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Schools-in-Need-of Assistance (SINA) information

September 16, 2005

On January 8, 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as “No Child Left Behind of 2001” (NCLB). This legislation requires that “each state shall establish a statewide system of intensive and sustained support and improvement.” Responsibilities of Title I schools and districts include providing technical assistance to schools identified as low performing, with priority given to schools subject to corrective action and school improvement.

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 (SINA) develop a two-year plan that:

  • Addresses core academic subjects
  • Utilizes scientifically researched strategies
  • Implements new teacher mentoring
  • Includes parent involvement activities, and
  • Provides for a peer review of the school plan.

August 30, 2005, the Department of Education released the official 2005-2006 SINA list. Three Elementary buildings in Davenport had been removed from the list. It was a time for celebration and recognition of collaborative efforts between the schools, district, and Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency staff members. With the trajectory inching upwards, this was a clear sign of focus, effectiveness, and continuous improvement. With the anticipation of additional schools identified in 2005-2006, early intervention by Mississippi Bend AEA staff allowed school buildings to complete the practices inventory in June, with dates set for work on the audit phase to begin in August. Both Muscatine and Davenport Districts with buildings in their second year, are currently re-evaluating their two-year action plans to submit a new two-year addendum. Proactive leadership by the AEA and thirty-five cross-divisional staff members are gearing up to provide technical assistance to all buildings identified on the SINA list in AEA9. A peer review of action plans will take place November 11th.

“Being designated a school-in-need-of-assistance was a blessing in disguise,” was a quote by one AEA9 building principal during a Title I visit in 2004-2005. It required a collective effort among the administrators, teachers, and the community to focus on student improvement. In this age of accountability, partnerships between AEAs and schools provide opportunities to educate all students to high standards, strengthen the internal capacity of each district and school, focus on results, and integrate quality educational practices with local decision-making.

If you are interested in more information about Mississippi Bend Areas Education Agency’s support of SINA schools or districts please contact: Nancy McIntire, 563-344-6455 or nmcintire@aea9.k12.ia.us; or James O’Hare, 563-344-6245 or johare@aea9.k12.ia.us; or Dr. Edward Gronlund, 563-344-6315 or egronlund@aea9.k12.ia.us.

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