The Diagnostic Review and Improvement Planning Grant is ideal for schools that are not sure of how to prioritize improvement efforts or that need time to explore options. LEAs are awarded funds on behalf of their schools to work with a CDE-trained partner to conduct a school-based diagnostic review process and/or a facilitated improvement planning process. Reviews result in a diagnostic report and recommended improvement actions. The facilitated improvement planning process is designed to assist the school in refining the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) to build upon the diagnostic review recommendations.
CDE-trained partners will provide the following services:
Conduct and report on a comprehensive, evidence-based review and report detailing how the school is functioning in the areas of:
- Culture of Performance
- Instructional Transformation
- Talent Development
In-person staff debrief including:
- Key findings from the review
- High level observations
- Opportunities for improvement
Assistance with improvement planning support through the UIP process, which may include:
- Support for data gathering and organizing (pre-planning for data analysis)
- Review of student performance data
- Identification of trends and performance challenges
- Prioritization of performance challenges
- Root cause analysis
- Target setting
- Action planning
- Progress monitoring
- Involving relevant stakeholders (e.g., staff, school accountability committee) in data analysis and action planning
Applicants may apply for a Diagnostic Review and improvement planning support or improvement planning only.
Eligible Applicants and Prioritization
Eligible applicants are LEAs with schools that are identified as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS), Targeted Support and Improvement (TS), or Additional Targeted (Additional TS). Schools that have been awarded this grant in the last two years, and schools currently participating in the Tiered Intervention Grant and Connect for Success grant are not eligible.
If CDE is unable to fund all applications, then a prioritization process will be used. Unlike some of the other opportunities within EASI, requests for this service will not be scored competitively. Consideration will be given to (1) geographic representation and (2) school identification type in the following order:
- Comprehensive Schools – lowest 5% of Title I schools;
- Comprehensive Schools – low grad or completion rate and on the state accountability clock;
- Comprehensive Schools – low grad or completion rate and not on the state accountability clock (i.e., Improvement, Performance);
- Additional Targeted Schools that are on the state accountability clock (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround);
- Additional Targeted Schools with an Improvement plan type;
- Additional Targeted Schools with a Performance plan type;
- Targeted Schools that are on the state accountability clock;
- Targeted Schools with an Improvement plan type; and then
- Targeted Schools with a Performance plan type.
LEAs may apply on behalf of eligible schools for up to $50,000 for a diagnostic review and improvement planning support. An LEA may choose to only apply for improvement planning support for an award of up to $30,000.
Allowable Use of Funds
- Cost of contracting with a CDE-trained partner or partners willing to be trained after the award
- Costs associated with the review visit (e.g., substitutes), an all staff debrief of the findings (e.g., stipends, copying)
- An improvement planning facilitator that has been or is willing to be trained by CDE, staff time (e.g., substitutes, stipends) and any other costs associated with the planning process (e.g., hosting a community meeting)
Funds from this opportunity must be used to supplement and not supplant any federal, state, and local funds currently being used to provide activities. There will be no carryover of funds. Unobligated funds at the end of the fiscal year will be returned to the CDE to be redistributed.
Important Program Dates
- January: Award notifications
- February: Kick-off meeting in Denver for new grantees
- February-April: Diagnostic visit from CDE-approved partner
- April: UIP due for LEAs/schools for public posting and CDE review of plan for documentation of grant requirements
- June 30: Grant funds must be obligated
- September 30: All grant funds must be requested from CDE or will be returned
Evaluation and Reporting
Schools receiving funds under this grant opportunity are required to:
- Submit the UIP that has been updated based on the results of the Diagnostic Review and/or improvement planning support for review by CDE. The school’s UIP will be reviewed during the April submission timelines;
- Use the findings of the diagnostic review to inform the comprehensive needs assessment as part of the ESSA school improvement identification (i.e., CS schools, TS schools, Additional TS schools) and/or Title I Schoolwide Plan; and
- Submit the Annual Financial Report (AFR) to CDE.
CDE-trained providers are required to submit the final report to CDE for review and then to the grantee, within 30 days of the review date. Note that the final report is paid for with public funds and must be shared with the public, if requested.
In addition to the assurances found on pages 14‐15 of the EASI planning application, LEAs that accept School Improvement services and/or funding for Diagnostic Review and Planning agree to the following:
- The grantee will annually provide the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) the evaluation information outlined above.
- The grantee will work with and provide the evaluation requested data to CDE for this grant within the timeframes specified above.