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The Exploration route of the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) application is focused on identifying needs and exploring options through external reviews, stakeholder engagement, and effective planning. There are several offerings to assist LEAs identifying areas of strength and need (External Review), building a plan centered around those prioritized needs (Improvement Planning) as well as how to engage a variety of stakeholders in improvement conversations (Stakeholder Engagement). The EASI application also offers the opportunity for LEAs/schools to explore their school systems centered on a particular population of students or areas (i.e., English Learner, AEC, and Literacy).
The Exploration route operates a bit differently than the other routes within the EASI application - namely, the application process is simplified. Reviewers assess readiness and fit, rather than awarding points through a competitive grants process. If the collective amount of requests exceeds availability of funds, then a prioritization process will be used. The duration of the awards is typically shorter than the other EASI routes and span for one year (e.g. January - December). Based on the exploration work, LEAs may build in a small amount of funding for initial implementation of activities and strategies associated with the findings of the diagnostic review and improvement planning process.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for services in external review (holistic or specialized), community and family engagement and improvement planning (external partner or CDE) to ensure a thorough exploration process. However, EASI is a needs-based process, so LEAs should only opt schools into the services that are needed. Note that applying for subsequent implementation activities through EASI will require evidence of an external review, meaningful community engagement and a well-developed improvement plan. Below is a flowchart that describes the paths within Exploration. There is a detailed sheet for each support that details the process, allowable use of funds, timelines and eligible applicants and prioritization
Program Contact Information
Title I School Improvement Coordinator, Federal Programs
(303) 866-6618 | Meushaw_L@cde.state.co.us
Improvement Planning Specialist, School Improvement and Planning
(720) 520-2840 | Callahan_A@cde.state.co.us