Priority schools invited to apply for $1.7 million SIG

For the fifth straight year, the Maine DOE has been awarded money from the U.S. Department of Education Title I School Improvement Grants (SIG) program to turn around our state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools.

The Department’s continued success in securing this federal award each year that it’s been offered through this program is a testament to the strong track record of the Department and Maine schools in effectively deploying these funds to raise student aspirations and achievement at the state’s most struggling schools.

In addition to Maine, which was awarded $1.7 million, other states selected to receive SIG support included Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon and Texas.

The Department will now be reaching out directly to eligible schools to invite them to apply to us by the May deadline for the portion of that award they believe is necessary to fund an intensive, locally-led three-year improvement initiative. A SIG overview webinar will be held on Wednesday, March 19 at 1 p.m. and a technical assistance webinar will be held Wednesday, March 26 at 2 p.m. to review the application process in more detail.

Schools that are categorized as “priority” under the State’s Title I accountability system are eligible to apply, though one of the 19 schools has requested an extension on Title I fund usage and five others are already SIG recipients and cannot seek additional funds including Governor James B Longley Elem School, 4YO-6; Montello School, 4YO-6; Fort Kent Community High School, Grades 9-12; East End Community School, 4YO-5; and Ellsworth High School, Grades 9-12.

The 13 eligible schools thus include:

Washburn School (Auburn), K-6
Shead High School, Grades 9-12
Harmony Elementary, K-8
Robbinston Grade School, K-8
Monroe Elementary School, 4YO-5
Mountain Valley Middle School, Grades 6-8
Hartland Consolidated School, 4YO-4
Limestone Community School, 4YO-12
Miller School, K-6
Andover Elementary School, K-5
Katahdin Middle/High School, Grades 7-12
Moscow Elementary, 4YO-4
James Otis Kaler Elementary School, 4YO-5

To participate in the webinars or for more information about Maine’s Title I School Improvement Grant program, contact Maine DOE Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome at or 207-624-6705.

2 thoughts on “Priority schools invited to apply for $1.7 million SIG

  1. Yes, it is possible! There will always be priority and focus schools as long as our waiver is in place, because that’s based on the schools that are in the bottom percentiles of Title I schools, either overall or based on in-school gaps (see for specific definitions). However, if Maine could not prove its schools met the requirements of “persistently low-achieving” as defined by US DOE, we would not receive SIG money from them.

    As always, thanks for your interest, Nancy!

  2. Is it statistically possible for there never to be any “persistently low-achieving schools” or are all schools ranked and therefore some must inherently be at the bottom?

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