Our Mission: To ensure that each student achieves his/her highest personal potential
Our Vision: To be a world-class school system
Parent Involvement

Frequently Asked Questions

ESEA Flexibility Waiver

What are Title I schools?

Title I, originally enacted in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty to help the most disadvantaged students, is the largest federal investment in elementary and secondary education. Forty Lee County schools (including three charters) are identified as Title I schools. These schools have the highest concentrations of poverty (based on the number of free/reduced lunch students enrolled at the school). Title I funds are used to improve the teaching and learning in these schools and to help students meet challenging state academic standards..

Which schools in Lee County are Title I?

The Title I program in Lee County uses the schoolwide model. There are 42 Title I Schoolwides: ALC (Alternative Learning Center) Central, ALC West, Bonita Springs Elementary, Bonita Middle, Colonial Elementary, Dunbar High, East Lee County High, Edgewood Elementary, Franklin Park Elementary, Ft. Myers Middle Academy, G. Weaver Hipps Elementary, Harns Marsh Elementary, Harns Marsh Middle, Hector A. Cafferata, Jr. Elementary, Island Coast High, J. Colin English Elementary, James Stephens International Academy, LAMP, Lehigh Acres Middle, Lehigh Elementary, Lehigh Senior High, Manatee Elementary, Mariner Middle, Mirror Lakes Elementary, N. Ft. Myers Academy for the Arts, Oak Hammock Middle, Orange River Elementary, Orangewood Elementary, Patriot Elementary, Ray V. Pottorf Elementary, Robinson-Littleton Academy, San Carlos Park Elementary, Spring Creek Elementary, Sunshine Elementary, Tice Elementary, Tortuga Preserve Elementary, Treeline Elementary, Tropic Isles Elementary, Varsity Lakes Middle, Veterans Park Academy for the Arts K-8, and Villas Elementary.Please click here to visit the school websites.

What is Florida's ESEA Flexibility Waiver?

In 2002 the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law, renewing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that provides funding for K-12 education. No Child Left Behind established national educational standards. Having to comply with two separate school accountability systems with different standards and timelines has resulted in duplication and confusion. Florida has been granted an ESEA flexibility waiver so we can have a single accountability system tailored to our state. Transitioning from two systems to one poses short term challenges and deadlines, but should mean a more efficient system over the long term and, most importantly, higher-quality education for all of our students. Florida’s School Grades system has consistently succeeded in identifying the most struggling schools and students in need of additional support and rewarding the outstanding performance of high-achieving students and schools.

Florida requested a flexibility waiver in order to:

  • move to a single, simplified accountability system to reduce confusion caused by having several separate accountability systems;
  • make the way schools are held accountable for student achievement easier to understand;
  • improve student achievement by holding school districts and schools accountable for the performance of all students;
  • allow the state and school districts to focus support on students who need them most;
  • raise standards to boost national and international competitiveness; and
  • strengthen the state's ability to tailor its program to meet Florida's unique educational needs.

What is DA (Differentiated Accountability)?

Florida's Flexibility Waiver allows its own school grading system to identify struggling schools that need intervention and support to improve as well as set ambitious but achieveable Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs). There are four AMOs that will be used to review the performance of all schools:

  1. School Grades;
  2. Performance of all students and student subgroups in Reading and Mathematics;
  3. Progress of students in the lowest-performing 25% in Reading and Mathematics; and
  4. Comparison of Florida's student performance to the highest-performing states and nations.

As a result, Florida has four DA classifications:

  • Reward. "A" schools and schools that improve a letter grade. Reward schools would be eligible to receive funding through the Florida School Recognition Program.
  • Prevent. "C" schools. These schools will submit, as part of the School Improvement Plan (SIP), specific research-based intervention strategies to increase student performance in reading and/or mathematics.
  • Focus. "D" schools. These schools implement interventions. District submits a District Improvement and Assistance Plan. The District monitors the schools and provides support. FDOE will provide monitoring and technical assistance through regional teams.
  • Priority. "F" schools. Florida schools in Priority status are subject to more intensive intervention efforts required by FDOE and managed (initially) by the district. FDOE provides embedded support through regional teams. The District may choose from one of five turn-around models.

Please click here to see the School Grade information for Title I schools.

How can parents be involved?

Parents are very important in their child's education, we invite and encourage parents to become involved in their child's school. There are many ways to be involved such as joining the School Advisory Council, participating in the School Improvement Plan process, reviewing the school's Parent Involvement Policy and Home-School Compact, planning parent involvement activities and workshops, becoming a member of the school's parent/teacher organization, or volunteering at school. Click here for daily tips and ideas on the Just For Parents page.