School/District in Need of Assistance (SINA/DINA) - Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency

School/District in Need of Assistance (SINA/DINA)

The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency provides assistance to districts in systematic planning and facilitation for comprehensive school improvement. As we look at the impact of No Child Left Behind, the importance of being proactive whenever possible is more important then ever. As part of the Iowa Support System, our efforts will be to align all efforts with other state initiatives (i.e. Comprehensive School Improvement Planning, Iowa Professional Development Model, Iowa Instructional Decision Making Model, Learning Supports, Every Student Counts, Every Child Reads, Every Learner Inquires, Etc.) and seek to integrate whenever possible.

The Iowa Support Team was developed in response to state and federal legislation described above. Within three months following identification by the Iowa Department of Education, No Child Left Behind requires that a School in Need of Assistance/District in need of assistance develop a two-year plan that:
     • Addresses core academic subjects
     • Utilizes scientifically researched strategies
     • Implements new teacher mentoring
     • Includes Parent involvement activities
     • Provides for a peer review of the school plan

The purpose of the Iowa Support System for Schools in Need of Assistance/Districts in Need of Assistance (SINA/DINA) is to assist the districts;/schools’ achievement of the following:
     • Educate all students to high standards
     • Strengthen the internal capacity of each district and school
     • Focus accountability on results
     • Integrate quality educational practices with local decision making

A building/district identified as a school in need of assistance will receive Title I allocation based on the federal guidelines. A tow-year action plan that has been reviewed by peers will be required before allocations are distributed. All Title I buildings identified must allocate 10% of their Title I funding to professional development in the area for which the school is identified.

Structure Overview:
There are five phases in the Iowa Support System for Schools in Need of Assistance/Districts:
     • Audit Phase
     • Diagnosis Phase
     • Design Phase
     • Implementation/Monitoring Phase
     • Monitoring Assessment Phase

The Audit Phase focuses on the collection and analysis of district/school data to identify areas of concern in order to design the action plan to increase student achievement. The audit team will…
     • Collect and analyze district/school data
     • Develop a district/school profile
     • Determine the area(s) of concern based on the preliminary analysis in preparation for a more
       focused review by the district/school.

As part of the support framework for Schools in Need of Assistance (SINA)/(DINA), the Diagnosis Phase reviews prioritized areas from the audit summary. Through a comparison of the current reality with the desired state, a gap analysis is completed. The root causes that are contributing to the area(s) for further study are identified. If/then statements based on possible solutions are created as a final step to set the stage for the goals or action plan steps in the design phase.

The Design Phase provides for the development of an action plan to address the prioritized areas of concern in order to increase student achievement. The district/school collaborates with the support team to design a two-year action plan that:
     • Increases the proficiency of their students in the identified area(s) of concern
     • Incorporates the Iowa Professional Development Model to provide teachers with additional or
       enhanced skills within the area(s) of concern
     • Develops the capacity of leadership within the district/school
     • Integrates statewide initiatives/programs where appropriate
     • Demonstrates how resources (e.g., time, dollars, expertise) are dedicated to the achievement of
       the plan
     • Aligns with the district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan
     • Provides both formative and summative evaluation strategies
     • Incorporates actions for appropriate primary elements for the domains based on the identified
       areas of concern:

Academic Domain: standards, curriculum, instruction, and assessment
Quality Educator Domain: external environment, stakeholders/family and community, resource allocations, technology, accountability, and completed peer review.

The Implementation/Monitoring Phase provides the professional development that develops the capacity of teachers in the SINA/DINA process. The building leadership team in collaboration with the supports team lead…
     • Assures the delivery of the intervention
     • Facilitates ongoing support to the building/district staff members
     • Provides for ongoing formative assessment and data collection
     • Builds the capacity of the district/school for ongoing school improvement

The Monitoring/Assessment Phase provides for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention(s) for student achievement and provides the support for recommendations that assure sustainability. The building leadership team in collaboration with the support team…
     • Evaluates the effectiveness of the intervention(s)
     • Reports findings and recommendations to district/school, their stakeholders, and the Iowa 
       Department of Education
     • Determines recommendations for adjustments to the action plan

For questions, contact:
Nancy McIntire
Coordinator of Quality Learning
Phone: 563-344-6455
Terri Hansen-Blair
Consultant-Quality Learning
Phone:  563-344-6484
Nicole Peterson
Head of Staff Development
Phone: 563-344-6487
Martha Yerington
Consultant-Quality Learning
English Language Learner & Equity
Phone 563-344-6582



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