Profiles of School Turnaround Strategies in Selected Sites


The School Improvement Grants (SIG) program provides grants to support rigorous interventions aimed at turning around the nation’s persistently lowest achieving schools. Since the redesign of the SIG program in 2009, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded over $5.5 billion to all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Indian Education. More than 1,500 schools across the country are undertaking one of four interventions that require schools to institute rigorous changes to improve outcomes for students.

In the five years since SIG was redesigned, states, districts, and schools have taken a wide variety of approaches to implement one of the four SIG intervention models. Through its technical assistance efforts, the Department has worked to increase peer-to-peer sharing of some of these approaches and strategies, particularly in the area of capacity building. To further these efforts, AIR worked with the Department to develop profiles of state-, district-, and school-level strategies to build capacity for turning around the lowest-performing schools.

The result is more than 60 school-, district-, and state-level profiles covering a range of topics related to school turnaround. Covered in each profile are topics such the strategy used, the strategy development process and implementation, barriers overcome in the process of implementing the specific strategy, signs of promising implementation, and lessons learned from development and implementation of the strategy.

For more information about the profiles, see the Department of Education's page.

School-level Profiles

Making Data-Based Decisions
Leslie County High School - Hyden, KY

Changing Leadership Practices
Burke County High School - Waynesboro, GA
Emerson Elementary School- Kansas City, KS

Implementing Job-Embedded Professional Development
Rose-Ferrero Elementary School - Soledad, CA
Crim Open Campus High School - Atlanta, GA

Implementing a System of Rewards

Ensuring Committed and Qualified Staff
Orchard Gardens K–8 Pilot School - Boston, MA
Greenup County High School District - Greenup, Kentucky

Extending and Maximizing Learning Time
Kit Carson International Academy - Las Vegas, NV
McKay High School - Salem, OR
Tulsa Public School - Tulsa, OK

Strategies or English Language Learners (ELs)
Adams Elementary School- Yakima, WA

Improving School Climate and Conditions through Non-Academic Interventions

Engaging Families and Communities

District-level Profiles

Recruiting, Retaining Turnaround Leadership
Miami-Dade County Public Schools #1 - FL
Huntsville City Schools - AL
Miami-Dade County Public Schools #2 - FL

Labor-Management Collaboration
Collier County Public Schools - FL

Engaging the Community in the Turnaround Process
Griffin Spalding County School System - Griffin, GA

Making Data-Based Decisions
Charleston County School District - Charleston, SC

Holding External Providers Accountable

Developing Principal Pipelines
District of Columbia Public Schools - Washington, DC

State-level Profiles

State-Level Monitoring and Performance
Colorado Department of Education
Mississippi Department of Education

Administering School Diagnostic Process

Providing Technical Assistance to Build District Capacity
Virginia Department of Education
Massachusetts Department of Education

Helping Districts with External Providers

Organizing SEAs to Support Turnaround Efforts
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Developing State-level Principal Pipeline Programs
Delaware Department of Education
Kentucky Department of Education

Susan Therriault
Institute Fellow