CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 44, No. 73

September 23, 2010

Missouri Schools Selected to Receive Federal “SIG” Funds

Model reform strategies to assist 32 struggling schools

More than $17.3 million from the federal School Improvement Grant (SIG) program will assist 32 struggling schools in Missouri this year, state education officials announced today.

The awards were made possible through a $54 million federal grant Missouri received for targeted school improvement efforts over the next three years.  This funding was part of $3.5 billion made available to states this spring from money set aside in last year’s federal budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Missouri schools eligible for the federal grant program were among the lowest-achieving 5 percent of all public schools over the past three years, based on state reading and math assessments or graduation rates.

Schools in Kansas City, St. Louis and southeast Missouri were selected by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to receive a first-year share of the competitive grant awards in order to implement one of four intensive school-reform models identified by the U.S. Department of Education:  turnaround, restart, school closure or transformation.

Districts that commit to the SIG process are eligible for grants ranging from $50,000 to $2 million per building each year.  The funding was awarded based upon an approved application that demonstrated a school district’s capacity to effectively implement the selected model.  (Only one school selected the school-closure model, and no schools selected the restart model.)

Seventeen of Missouri’s schools selected the transformation model that includes such strategies as replacing the principal, reforming the curriculum, extending learning time and providing extensive professional development.  The remaining 14 schools selected the turnaround model, which includes transformation strategies plus requires adopting a new governance structure, screening existing school staff and rehiring no more than half the teachers.

“All states are being required to take a more aggressive approach in working with schools that have consistently struggled with academic performance,” Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro said.  “With the SIG funding, schools will have immediate access to additional technical and academic assistance to support specific turnaround strategies and staff development.”

In March, when announcing the availability of school-improvement funds, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “States and school districts have an opportunity to put unprecedented resources toward reforms that would increase graduation rates, reduce dropout rates and improve teacher quality for all students, and particularly for children who most need good teaching to catch up.”

The 2010-11 grant award recipients, the first-year award amounts and the intervention models selected are:

Kansas City area schools


Alta Vista Charter School ($256,538 - transformation model)

B. Banneker Academy ($912,903 - turnaround model)

Genesis School Inc. ($250,120 - turnaround model)

Hickman Mills School District:

  • Smith-Hale Jr. High ($1,699,252 - transformation model)

  • Ervin Jr. High ($46,872 – school-closure model)

Kansas City School District:

  • Central High School ($806,900 - transformation model)

  • Northeast High School ($806,900 - transformation model)

  • East High School ($806,900 - transformation model)

Urban Com. Leadership Academy ($966,394 - turnaround model)

Southeast area schools


Hayti School District:

  • Hayti High ($1,030,200 - transformation model)

Caruthersville School District:

  • Caruthersville Middle School ($379,564 - transformation model)

St. Louis area schools


Construction Careers Center ($533,168 - transformation model)

Ferguson-Florissant School District:

  • McCluer South-Berkeley High ($407,822 - transformation model)

  • Berkeley Middle School ($307,826 - transformation model)

Hazelwood School District:

  • East Middle School ($1,722,508 - turnaround model)

Jennings School District:

  • Jennings Junior High ($364,226 - transformation model)

Normandy School District:

  • Normandy High School ($402,089 - transformation model)

  • Normandy Middle School ($425,300 - transformation model)

Riverview Gardens School District:

  • Riverview Gardens Senior High ($512,669 - turnaround model)

  • Riverview Gardens Central Middle School ($199,415 - turnaround model)

  • Westview Middle School ($199,415 - turnaround model)

St. Louis Public Schools:

  • Vashon High School ($399,827 - turnaround model)

  • Fanning Middle Community Ed. ($444,175 - transformation model)

  • Langston Middle School ($436,579 - transformation model)

  • L’Ouverture Middle School ($441,804 - transformation model)

  • Ashland Elementary and Br. ($353,737 - turnaround model)

  • Columbia Elementary Comm. Ed. Center ($356,608 - turnaround model)

  • Hamilton Elementary Community Ed. ($363,928 - turnaround model)

  • Jefferson Elementary ($340,193 - transformation model)

  • Mann Elementary ($380,419 - turnaround model)

  • Sigel Elementary Comm. Ed. Center ($382,436 - turnaround model)

  • Walbridge Elementary Community Ed. ($377,942 - turnaround model)


Missouri's application, which includes the list of public schools that consistently achieve the lowest, is available on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.