With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Colorado is taking the opportunity to change the way school improvement (1003a) funds are awarded to LEAs. Rather than multiple applications on separate timelines, CDE is now streamlining school improvement opportunities into a single application and using a “needs-based approach” to award services and funding. This new approach has been designed to: maximize impact on student learning; incentivize innovative ideas; create fair and transparent processes; increase efficacy and efficiency; provide fairness and predictability to LEAs; and prioritize LEAs with high numbers or high percentages of low-performing schools. Ultimately, the intent is to develop a robust process of matching schools’ needs with rigorous, evidence-based strategies and adequate resources. Awarded funds should be used to enhance districts’ and schools’ ability to meet the ESSA requirements (e.g., stakeholder engagement, improvement plan, implementation of evidence-based interventions) in a way that directly benefits students.
Colorado is committed to aligning federal and state accountability to the degree possible. These grants funds are aimed at districts with schools that are designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TS) under Title I. Identification of schools through the state accountability system (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround) overlaps with the ESSA identification process and will be considered in the application process, including the number of years that a school has been on the state accountability clock. For more information, see the ESSA Method and Criteria for Identification of Schools for Support and Improvement webpage.
EASI Application Routes
The application has been organized into five different routes: exploration supports, district designed and led, CDE offered supports, continuation and districtwide supports. The routes have different criteria and ways of awarding funds geared to a specific intent.
LEA is interested in funds and/or services to explore a solution (e.g., planning, community engagement) for the identified school(s). This is a planning phase and does not include implementation activities.
The exploration supports include:
- Diagnostic Review and Planning
- Accountability Pathways Planning
- Stakeholder and Community Engagement Planning
CDE Offered Services
LEA is interested in applying for an existing CDE program or support aimed at improving school systems. Services may include a comprehensive approach that includes planning and implementation phases.
LEA is interested in applying for existing CDE supports or consultation that will be focused at the district level or leveraged strategically for select schools. This is the only route that can work in tandem with another route.
- CDE Consultation
- Colorado Multi-Tiered System of Supports (CO-MTSS)
- School Turnaround Leaders Development Program
District Designed and Led Improvement Strategies
LEA has a plan or is already implementing a plan that meets requirements for school(s) and is interested in pursuing grant funds to support activities.
Continuation of CDE Offered Services
Identified school(s) is already participating in a program (e.g., Connect for Success, Turnaround Network, Tiered Intervention Grant). CDE and the LEA agree that continuing participation will result in improved results for the school.
Current grantees will work directly with CDE staff to fulfill current grant requirements. Please contact your program contact with any questions.
Completed applications for the EASI Grant must be submitted online at the following by Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:59 pm.
Note: In order to access the application, each interested LEA must designate an Application Contact and submit the name and contact information. Once contact information has been submitted, the LEA application contact will receive log-in instructions to access the application.
- Paper Version of EASI Application (PDF) Note: This resource is intended to provide information on EASI and to be used in planning responses to the application. When ready to apply, please click on the green button on the left to enter the online application
- EASI Online System Handbook (WORD) *NEW*
- Electronic Budget (Excel)
- Eligibility List (PDF)
- Menu of Supports (Word)
- Assurances (PDF)
- Assurances (WORD)
- CO-MTSS Team Membership Form (PDF)
A recorded webinar is available providing an overview of the philosophy behind the EASI Grant as well as a walk through of the process and supports
- Listen to the recorded overview webinar
- Webinar Handout (PDF) (Note: Please send requests to receive this resource in an alternate format to the Competitive Grants Team.)
An application training webinar was held on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.
Upon request applicants can request assistance in the planning of proposals. Consultation services will be provided by CDE staff beginning October 23, 2017. To request technical assistance from a CDE staff member, applicants may contact Laura Meushaw at Meushaw_L@cde.state.co.us.
A list of program contacts for each service is at the bottom of this page.
Virtual Office Hours
Dedicated technical assistance time with CDE staff members (via web-conference) may be scheduled in 15-30 minute time slots on the following dates:
- Thursday, October 26, 1:30 - 3:30 pm
- Tuesday, November 7, 10:00 - 11:30 am
- Wednesday, November 15, 12:30 - 2:30 pm
- Tuesday, November 21, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
- Monday, November 27, 1:30 - 3:00 pm
General Application Questions:
Send an email to Laura
Send an email to Kim
Online Application Technical Assistance:
Send an email to Anna
Send an email to DeLilah
Send an email to Evan