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Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) Application

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and with revisions to the state’s Educational Accountability Act (HB 17-1355), Colorado is taking the opportunity to change the way school improvement (1003a through ESSA and the Transformation grant through HB 17-1355) funds are awarded to LEAs. Rather than multiple applications on separate timelines, CDE is now streamlining school improvement opportunities into a single application and using a “needs-based approach” to award services and funding. Ultimately, the intent is to develop a robust process of matching schools’ needs with rigorous, evidence-based strategies and adequate resources. Additionally, awarded funds will enhance districts’ and schools’ ability to meet the ESSA and state requirements (e.g., stakeholder engagement, improvement plan, implementation of evidence-based interventions) in a way that directly benefits students.

Colorado is committed to aligning federal and state accountability to the degree possible. These grant funds are aimed at districts with schools that are designated as (1) Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TS), Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (A-TS) under ESSA, and (2) Priority Improvement or Turnaround through the state accountability system.  Specific eligibility and prioritization requirements for each support is detailed in the Menu of Supports and the application.

EASI Application Routes

The application has been organized into four different routes: exploration supports, district designed and led, offered supports, and continuation.  The routes have different criteria and ways of awarding funds geared to a specific intent.  A summary of the routes and the individual services or opportunities can be found below.  Additional detail (e.g., eligibility criteria, prioritization guidelines, evaluation requirements, local commitments) for each program or opportunity is available below.

Exploration Supports

LEA is interested in funds and/or services to explore a solution (e.g., planning, community engagement) for the identified school(s) or particular populations within an identified school.  This is a planning phase with a small allocation for implementation activities.  Opportunities include: Diagnostic Review, Community Engagement and Improvement Planning.

Diagnostic Review

Stakeholder and Community Engagement Planning

Improvement Planning 

District Designed and Led Improvement Strategies

LEA has a plan or is already implementing a plan that meets school(s) needs and is interested in pursuing grant funds to support activities. 


Offered Services

LEA is interested in applying for an existing CDE sponsored program or support aimed at improving school systems.  Opportunities include:  Accountability Pathways Planning and Implementation, Colorado Multi-tiered System of Supports (CO-MTSS), Connect for Success, Early Literacy, School Turnaround Network and School Turnaround Leaders Development Program

Continuation of CDE Offered Services

Identified school(s) is already participating in a program (e.g., Connect for Success, Turnaround Network, Tiered Intervention Grant). CDE and the LEA agree that continuing participation will result in improved results for the school.

Current grantees will work directly with CDE staff to fulfill current grant requirements. Please contact your program contact with any questions.

EASI Application

EASI Application Planning Document (PDF) Note: This resource is intended to provide information on EASI and to be used in planning responses to the application. 

Online EASI Application (Coming Soon!)

The online grant application for the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) Grant will be available soon. 

To Access the Application: Each interested LEA must designate an Application Contact and submit the name and contact information at the following link:

Once contact information has been submitted and when the application is open, access instructions will be emailed to the Application Contact.

2018-19 EASI Application Resources

ESSA Planning Requirements

ESSA requires that identified schools develop and implement an improvement plan that addresses the reasons for the school’s identification and will result in improvement of student outcomes. Plan development, approval, and monitoring vary by identification categories. 

For more information regarding ESSA planning requirements for comprehensive, targeted and additional targeted support and improvement schools, visit the ESSA Planning Requirements page.

Technical Assistance

2018-19 Technical Assistance 

Virtual Office Hours

Dedicated technical assistance time with CDE staff members (via web-conference) may be scheduled in 15-30 minute time slots on the following dates:

  • Thursday, October 11, from 2:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 17, from 2:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 19, from 9:00-10:30 a.m. 
  • Wednesday, October 24, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. 
  • Friday, October 26, from 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Register for office hours here. 

Application Information Webinar 

An application training webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 3rd, from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Register for this technical assistance via Eventbrite here. If you have questions or issues regarding registration, email Note: this session will be recorded and added to the EASI website following the presentation. 


General Application Questions:

Laura Meushaw
Send an email to Laura

Kim Burnham
Send an email to Kim

Online Application Technical Assistance:

Kim Burnham
Send an email to Kim

Budget Questions:

Evan Davis
Send an email to Evan

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Fax: 303-830-0793
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