With guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USED), the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) created and then, updated its lists of Turnaround and Focus Schools. All recipients of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waivers are required to classify at least 5 percent of Title I schools as Turnaround Schools and 10 percent of Title I schools as Focus Schools. Per federal guidance, these categorizations are based upon 2010-2011 data. Recipients of School Improvement Grants (SIG schools) were automatically classified as Turnaround Schools. In order to ensure that the Turnaround list had a representative balance of high schools to elementary/ middle schools in the State, the CSDE filled all remaining spots on the list with non-SIG Title I elementary/ middle schools with the State’s lowest overall CMT School Performance Indexes (SPIs). Schools with four-year cohort graduation rates less than 60 percent or the State’s lowest performing subgroups were classified as Focus Schools.
Districts with Focus Schools are now actively developing interventions for these schools. Such interventions are required to begin during this calendar year. The CSDE will continue to provide guidance and support during the development and implementation of these plans.
The planning process for interventions in Turnaround and Review Schools will take place this academic year, with interventions scheduled to begin in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. The newly constituted Turnaround Office will facilitate this process.
The CSDE has also created lists of Review Schools and Schools of Distinction.
Review Schools are among Connecticut’s lowest performing, irrespective of Title I status. All schools with CMT/ CAPT 2012 participation rates less than 95 percent, four-year cohort graduation rates below 60 percent (for the graduating class of 2011), three-year baseline School Performance Indexes (SPIs) below 64 or identification as Focus Schools were classified as Review Schools. Like Turnaround Schools, Review Schools must develop plans during this academic year and are not required to implement until either 2013-2014 or 2014-2015.
Schools of Distinction have achieved State targets for achievement and graduation rates for all students or have made notable progress toward these goals. By creating this list, the CDSE recognizes the commendable work these schools have done and results they have achieved.
The CSDE is firmly committed to high standards for student achievement and believes its approved waiver and new accountability system will support the innovative work being carried out in schools to drive improvement. We encourage you to review the approved waiver at
should you have questions about the waiver, school lists or intervention requirements.