Priority Schools

Priority Oklahoma State Department of Education School Turnaround

Important Notice:

This information will be in effect for the 2013-2014 school year only.

Effective immediately, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) will not require schools identified for the first time as Priority Schools to offer school choice, notify parents, or reserve a percentage of the local educational agency’s (LEA’s) Title I, Part A allocation to support interventions or school choice. 

However, for the 2014-2015 school year, LEAs must offer school choice for schools identified for the first time as Priority Schools during the 2013-2014 school year and other schools identified as Priority Schools during the 2014-15 school year.  School choice requirements will require LEAs to:

  • Offer school choice sufficiently in advance of, but no later than 14 calendar days before, the beginning of the “school year,”
  • Notify parents directly by regular mail and through a broader means of dissemination such as the Internet,
  • Set aside five (5) percent of the LEA’s Title I, Part A allocation for school choice options, which may include transportation to a higher-performing school able to accept additional students, and
  • In addition to and in consultation with the state education agency, set aside up to 20 percent of the LEA’s Title I, Part A allocation required to support the implementation of Turnaround Principles in Priority Schools.


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Priority School Designation and Exit Criteria

Designation Criteria:

(1) Any school that receives a grade of F; or

(2) Any school in the bottom 5% in each grade span for reading and mathematics that has not been named a high‐progress Reward School; or

(3) Any high school with a graduation rate below 60% for three consecutive years; or

(4) Any Priority School receiving School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds.

Exit Criteria:

Receive an A, B, or C on the State’s A-F School Grading System. In addition, the school cannot be in the bottom 5% of performance in the state in reading and mathematics as defined in Section 2.D.i, and the school cannot have a graduation rate less than 60% for at least three years as defined in Section 2.D.i.

Definitions and exit criteria taken from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility waiver that was approved February 9, 2012.


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The ESEA Flexibility Waiver requires that an LEA set aside five (5) percent of its Title I, Part A allocation, before any reservations, to provide Public School Choice. In addition, the LEA must set aside an amount up to 20 percent which is reasonable and necessary to implement the Turnaround Principles. Please refer to the Sliding Scale Guidance or contact the Title I office for more information at (405) 521-3466.


Parent Notification and School Choice

According to the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, the local education agency (LEA) is responsible for providing, or paying for the provision of, transportation necessary for students to attend their new school. 

In some cases, an LEA may have no other schools available for transfer. This may occur if:

  1. all schools at a grade level are identified for improvement;
  2. an LEA has only a single site at that grade level; or
  3. transfer options are so remote that school change is impracticable.

If another public school served by the LEA is not available, please refer to the designation for Priority and C3 Partnership form regarding approved strategies for meeting this requirement.


Sample Parent Notification Letters


Data Reviews

The purpose of conducting Data Reviews is to analyze school benchmark assessment data at the student level in reading, mathematics, and other content areas and to analyze how performance relates to the state standards/Oklahoma Academic Standards. Other data to be reviewed may include student behavior and professional activities. 

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Last updated on January 22, 2015