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 Division of School and District Effectiveness


 GaDOE School Improvement Strategic Plan - On the Move Presentation

Georgia's Systems of Continuous Improvement

The Georgia Department of Education’s strategic plan emphasizes transforming the agency into one that provides meaningful support to schools and districts. The agency has developed a common, continuous improvement framework to ensure that these efforts are aligned across all agency divisions, departments, and programs. The Georgia’s Systems of Continuous Improvement framework focuses on the systems and structures (the “what”) that must be in place for sustained improvement in student outcomes. It also utilizes a problem-solving model (the “how”) to provide a clear process for identifying improvement needs, planning for improvement, and implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the improvement efforts.​​ Click here.

Theory of Action
How we will move from where we currently are to the future we envision:  If leadership and professional learning communities improve their organizational systems, structures, and processes, then Georgia schools and districts will continuously improve.


What we envision for Georgia’s future:  Quality leadership resulting in effective instruction and learning for all students in every Georgia region, district, school, and classroom


Our Strategy:  To provide a superior system of statewide support to districts and schools in Georgia to advance school improvement efforts that positively influence student learning


Our role in getting to the future we envision:  To increase collective leadership capacity to understand what effective schools and districts know and do, and to support the leaders to own their improvement work on organizational systems

The Work

The work of the Division of School and District Effectiveness is to engage with and support schools and districts in their improvement efforts, providing helpful tools, resources, and professional learning.  The Division of School and District Effectiveness also collaborates with other entities within the Georgia Department of Education and external agencies such as the Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs), the Georgia Learning Resources System (GLRS), and colleges and universities to provide district and school support. While the Division of School and District Effectiveness works with all Georgia schools and districts, the primary focus is on schools experiencing achievement challenges:

SIG Schools (School Improvement Grant 1003(g) Schools)

  • Only Priority Schools are eligible to compete for the SIG 1003(g) grant. The awarded schools receive SIG funds 1003(g) to implement a school intervention model.

Priority Schools

  • ​Title I Schools 
  • 3-year average of Content Mastery category performance 
    • Category performance will be weighted by enrollment for schools with more than one grade band 
    • Schools must have 3 years of data 
  • Rank schools by 3-year average of category performance  
  • Select lowest 5% ​ 
  • Add schools with graduation rates <60%for 2 consecutive years
    • 2014 and 2013 4-year cohort graduation rate
  • Schools identified as Priority Schools in 2012 which did not meet the exit criteria will be re-identified as Priority Schools

Focus Schools 

​Title I schools

  • Must not meet the definition of a Priority School 
  • 3-year average of Achievement Gap scores 
    • Achievement Gap will be weighted by enrollment for schools with more than one grade band 
    • Schools must have 3 years of data 
  • Rank schools by 3-year aver​​​age of Achievement Gap scores 
  • Select lowest 10% 
  • Schools identified as Focus Schools in 2012 which do not meet the exit criteria will be re-identified as Focus Schools

Reward Schools
The Title I Reward Schools Program recognizes and honors two categories of Reward Schools:

  • Highest-Performing Reward Schools
  • High-Progress Reward Schools.
Below is an organizer that locates those GaDOE resources, including the Division of School and District Effectiveness initiatives, within the structure of continuous improvement for successful learning and teaching for all schools. 


As we plan for any process or performance, we first need to decide what success will look like. That picture of success is usually found in performance standards. Below are Georgia standards that describe success for students in their academic performance, and that describe what effective teachers, leaders, schools, and districts know and do.​​
Student Performance
Professional Effectiveness
Organizational Effectiveness
After we have determined what success looks like (based on performance standards), we then can measure the current performance relative to those standards. Below are some of the ways in Georgia that we measure the degree to which students, teachers, leaders, schools, and districts are meeting the standards of success.
Student Performance
Professional Effectiveness
Organizational Effectiveness

 We can know what success looks like (i.e., the standards), and we can determine the degree to which we are succeeding based on the standards. We can then identify areas where we need to improve. Below are resources that can help as we seek to improve the performances of students, teachers, leaders, and schools.

Student Interventions
Professional Resources
The companion document to the School Keys, the Implementation Resource Guide is currently being updated. Effective December 2014, the new name for the document is the Leadership Guide to Georgia School Performance Standards. At this time three strands (Curriculum Planning, Assessment, and Instruction) have been completed and posted for your use. Additional strands are under construction and will be released during 2015.
Organizational Processes
There are times when schools and districts may need support to improve processes and performances. The Georgia Department of Education and Regional Education Service Agencies (RESAs) offer different avenues of that additional assistance. Below are supports that are offered to schools and districts.
School Supports
District Supports (Federal Programs)

 Contact Information


Stephanie S. Johnson, Ed.S.
Deputy Superintendent of School Improvement
Phone: 404-651-7277
Email: ​​

Administrative Assistant

Faya Paul, Ed.D.
Division Director
Phone: 404-463-2314

Nancy Walker
Phone: 404-657-9971

Division Program Manager

Amy Alderman
Interim North Area Program Manager
Phone: 404-944-5105

Samuel Taylor, Ph.D. 
Metro Area Program Manager
Phone: 404-657-7155 

Patty Rooks, Ed.D.
South Area Program Manager
Phone: 404-576-4213 

SIG Fiscal Analyst

SIG Program Specialist

SDE Staff and RESA Staff Contact List


 Frequently Asked Questions






 Helpful Links