Priority school designation adopted

Senators passed a bill April 3 that provides special assistance to the state’s three lowest performing schools.

Under LB438, introduced by York Sen. Greg Adams, an intervention team appointed by the State Board of Education will assist the school district and school staff in diagnosing issues and designing and implementing strategies to address them. A school will retain the priority designation until the State Board of Education determines it is no longer necessary.

The intervention team — in conjunction with school district staff — is required to develop a progress plan to include specific action by the school and district to remove the priority designation. Any priority school will be required to comply with the progress plan for the school district to maintain accreditation.

The State Board of Education annually will review progress plans and suggest any modifications. If a school is designated as a priority school for five consecutive years, the board is required to reevaluate the progress plan.

The bill also authorizes the state board to implement an alternative administrative structure if a school consistently fails to meet the guidelines set forth in its progress plan.

Senators passed the bill on a 48-0 vote.

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