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School Intervention

Section 302.5 | Board Report 02-1023-PO03 | Date Adopted October 23, 2002

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INTRODUCTION

Intervention is a process that addresses the persistent failure of schools to provide an adequate educational program and to accomplish student academic progress. Schools subjected to intervention have performed significantly below the national norm for student achievement with no foreseeable prospect of improvement. Any progress and improvement in student achievement that was made has not been sustained. The intervention process, which is authorized by 105 ILCS 5/34-8.4, involves a critical evaluation of all aspects of a school's operations and implementation of an intervention plan designed to comprehensively improve all aspects of a school's educational programs and operations. Intervention is an ongoing process that will be implemented over a two to three year period at each designated school. Intervention is a step uniquely suited to address chronic educational deficiencies that may be taken without recourse to other measures such as remediation and probation. The goal of the intervention process is to ensure that a school provides students with the high quality instruction and educational programs they deserve.

I. Procedures for Initiating Intervention

The intervention process shall be initiated in the following manner, in accordance with the procedures set forth below:

  • Recommendation For Intervention

    The Academic Accountability Council may recommend to the Board that a school or schools be subject to intervention. The Academic Accountability Council shall base its recommendation for intervention on the following criteria:

    1. A school has been placed on remediation or probation pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/34-8.3 and Board Policy 302.3; or
    2. A school appears on the State Board of Education's category of Academic Early Warning List for two consecutive years.1

      Such recommendation shall not be binding on the Board and the Board may adopt the recommendation of the Academic Accountability Council in whole or in part. Pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/34-3.4, the Academic Accountability Council's recommendations that a school be subject to intervention must be provided to the Chief Education Officer, the principal of the designated school, the school's local school council, and the State Superintendent of Education. The Academic Accountability Council shall inform the State Superintendent of Education as to whether its intervention recommendations are accepted or not.

  • Public Hearing on the Recommendation For Intervention

    Based on its review of the Academic Accountability Council's recommendation, the Board shall conduct a public hearing and make findings of fact concerning the recommendation of the Academic Accountability Council and the factors causing the failure of the school to perform adequately. The Board shall follow the procedures listed below in conducting the public hearing:

    1. Notice

      • The Board shall provide written notice of the public hearing to the school's principal, administrators, and faculty no later than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
      • The Board shall provide written notice of the public hearing to the members of the school's Local School Council no later than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing date.
      • The Board shall post a notice of the date, time and location of the public hearing at the school.
      • The Board shall notify the public of the date, time and location of the public hearing through publication in at least one (1) local newspaper.
      • Notice in each instance shall include a statement regarding the Board's intention to consider intervention as the remedial step to correct the school's deficiencies.
    2. Conducting the Hearing
      • The Board shall preside over the hearing.
      • The Board shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing and receive input from concerned persons regarding the recommendation of intervention.
      • The hearing officer shall be solely responsible for conducting the hearing and shall conduct the hearing in an efficient and impartial manner according the following guidelines:
        1. The hearing officer will commence the hearing by reviewing the purpose for which the hearing is convened;
        2. The hearing officer will ensure that a record of the proceedings is made by a certified court reporter;
        3. The hearing officer shall determine the order of speakers' participation;
        4. The hearing officer shall call on the head of the Academic Accountability Council or designee to provide information regarding the educational bases for the recommendation of intervention;
        5. The hearing officer shall make every reasonable effort to provide interested parties wishing to give relevant and probative information the opportunity to do so. However, the hearing officer shall limit the presentations to avoid redundant or unnecessarily cumulative information. "Interested parties" include, but are not limited to:
          • the Chief Education Officer or designee;
          • representatives of the Office of Accountability;
          • representatives of the Office of High School Development;
          • probation manager;
          • external partners to the school;
          • local school council members;
          • school principal;
          • parents;
          • students;
          • the Chicago Teachers Union;
          • interested community members;
        6. Only the hearing officer and/or presiding Board members will be permitted to address or pose questions to the participants;
        7. The hearing officer may impose any other reasonable procedures as may be necessary to ensure that the proceedings are fair, orderly and efficient. In this regard, it shall be the prerogative of the hearing officer to determine the length of presentations so that all parties have an opportunity to provide information.
    3. Factors Relevant to the Determination of Intervention

      In considering the recommendation of the Academic Accountability Council that a school be subject to intervention, the hearing officer shall consider the factors for placing a school on probation enumerated by Board Policy 302.3 (99-0825-PO2). These factors shall include the following:

      • The inability of the school to improve its performance by:
        1. Drafting an appropriate new school improvement plan;
        2. Additional training for the local school council;
        3. Effectively implementing the new school improvement plan;
        4. Mediating disputes or other obstacles to reform or improvement at the school.
      • Less than 20% of students are at or above national norms in reading.
      • Student attendance rates are significantly below system-wide averages.
      • High school drop out and graduation rates are significantly poorer than system-wide averages.
      • The hearing officer may also consider the existence of the following additional factors:
        1. Student scores or results on the Illinois Student Achievement Test ("ISAT") or on any other test assessing student learning used by the Chicago Public Schools or the Illinois State Board of Education that are significantly below statewide and/or national norms;
        2. Student truancy rates that are significantly above system-wide averages;
        3. The existence of a significant threat to the safety and well being of students and staff which is attributable to the internal operations of the school and which disrupts the educational process and learning environment;
        4. Failure by the principal, school staff or local school council to comply with applicable law, collective bargaining agreements, court orders, or Board rules and policies which results in the disruption of the educational process and learning environment;
        5. Lack of significant school progress in such areas as: (i) student mobility, (ii) bilingual educational programs, (iii) special education programs;
        6. Inadequate rates of significant progress in student achievement given the degree, type and length of time remedial resources have been provided to the school;
        7. Failure to develop and utilize a school curriculum that addresses the educational needs of students;
        8. Deficient educational management at the school;
        9. Probation manager's assessment of the school;
        10. Chronic student discipline problems as manifested by increasing numbers of suspensions and expulsions;
        11. Rising rates of failing grades assigned on semester and end-of-year grade reports;
        12. Evidence that a school has failed to adequately involve parents in an appropriate manner in the operation of the school and its educational programs.
    4. In addition to the foregoing, a presentation shall be made at the hearing by the Office of Accountability and/or the Office of High School Development regarding the school's relevant academic history.
  • Findings of Fact

    The hearing officer shall prepare written findings of fact summarizing the information received at the public hearing relevant to the Academic Accountability Council’s recommendation that a school be subjected to intervention. The findings of fact shall address the issue of whether intervention is the most appropriate remedy for the school’s deficiencies. The findings of fact shall be submitted to the Board.

    Interested parties shall have 48 hours following the close of the public hearing to submit written statements to the Board to supplement the hearing record. If the period for submissions ends on a weekend, parties shall have to the close of the next business day to supplement the hearing record.

II. The Intervention Process

The Board shall determine, after the public hearing and the submission of the hearing officer’s findings of fact, whether to accept the Academic Accountability Council’s recommendation that a school shall be subjected to intervention. If the Board determines that intervention should occur, the Board shall cause an intervention plan to be implemented at the school. As part of the intervention plan, the Chief Education Officer shall be directed to appoint an intervention team of instructional specialists for the school and to appoint an interim principal for the first year that the school is subjected to intervention. The Board also shall cause a performance evaluation to be conducted for each employee at the school. The intervention process includes the following:

  • The Three-Year Intervention Implementation Plan2

    Intervention shall follow a three-year implementation plan that proceeds as follows:

    First Year of Intervention: During the first year of intervention, the intervention team of specialists in the core subject areas assigned to a school shall accomplish the following:

    1. assess, with the assistance of the interim principal and teachers at the school, the causes of the school’s academic failure; and
    2. create, with the assistance of the interim principal and teachers at the school, an educational improvement plan for Board approval that addresses and remedies the assessed causes of the school’s history of academic failure.

    As part of school assessment, the interim principal shall conduct a thorough performance evaluation of each employee at the school.

    Second Year of Intervention: The Board-approved educational improvement plan shall be implemented. Faculty and staff at intervention schools shall receive extensive, on-going training and professional development as part of the implementation of the educational improvement plan.

    Third Year of Intervention: Implementation of the school’s Board-approved educational improvement plan shall continue with emphasis on the provision of such additional staff training and professional development as needed to ensure that the school’s educational progress will be maintained after the school leaves intervention.

  • The School-Based Intervention Teams

    A school-based intervention team composed of instructional specialists in the core subject areas of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies shall be assigned to each school that is subjected to the intervention process. Additionally, the interim principal at each school shall be a member of the intervention team. The intervention teams shall work under the supervision and direction of the Office of High School Development. Once an intervention team has been assigned to a school, the probation manager at the school shall convey all of his/her information and records concerning the probation process to the intervention team members.

  • Duties of the Intervention Teams

    Working under the direction of the Office of High School Development, the intervention team’s duties shall include:

    1. During the first semester of the first year of intervention, to engage in an assessment and evaluation of all existing academic and non-academic programs at the school.
    2. During the first semester of the first year of intervention, write an educational improvement plan that addresses the school’s specifically assessed deficiencies. The plan shall be submitted to the Board for approval no later than the end of the first semester.
    3. Model effective instructional techniques.
    4. Each of the instructional specialists shall be scheduled to teach at least one class.
    5. Assist in providing staff training and professional development as needed in order to promote the successful implementation of the school’s Board-approved education improvement plan.
    6. Make immediate changes as needed;
    7. Assist the school in creating a new identity with a new school mission.
    8. Evaluate the role of the Local School Council in implementing intervention at the school. This assessment shall consider the Local School Council’s role at the school, including its ability and willingness to collaborate with the intervention team and the interim principal in correcting the school’s deficiencies.

    Nothing herein shall preclude the deployment of additional persons to assist the intervention teams in their work.

  • The Role of the Interim Principal At Schools Subjected to Intervention

    The interim principal plays a pivotal role in the intervention process. The interim principal’s duties shall include:

    1. The interim principal shall have the sole responsibility for evaluating the existing staff at the school for each year the school is subjected to intervention.
    2. At the beginning of the first intervention year, the interim principal shall appoint at least one teacher to serve as the faculty representative to the school’s intervention team.
    3. The interim principal shall be a member of the school’s intervention team and shall provide the team with any assistance it needs in assessing the causes of the school’s chronic academic failure and in formulating an educational improvement plan for the school.
    4. The interim principal shall make monthly reports to the local school council on the progress of intervention at the school.
    5. The interim principal shall be responsible for recruiting teachers to meet the faculty staffing needs of the school as those needs have been established in the school’s educational improvement plan.
    6. The interim principal shall have primary responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the school.

    At the end of each school year when a school is subjected to intervention, the Board shall review and evaluate the performance of an interim principal. Those principals who have exhibited exemplary performance in promoting the successful implementation of intervention at a school shall be offered the opportunity to continue in their position for the next school year during which the school is subjected to intervention. Interim principals who are retained for the next school year shall be rewarded for their exemplary work with performance bonuses determined by the Board. Interim principals whose performance, as determined by the Board, have not promoted the successful implementation of intervention will be reassigned and a new interim principal shall be appointed by the Chief Education Officer.

  • The External Partner

    An external partner may be selected for each school subjected to intervention. The external partner may assist the school’s intervention team in developing an educational improvement plan. The external partner also may provide the intervention team with expertise and assistance as needed during the intervention process. If an external partner is selected to work with an intervention school, the work of the external partner shall be reviewed by the Chief Educational Officer at the end of the school year.

  • Evaluation of Staff

    105 ILCS 5/34-8.4 mandates that the Board shall cause a performance evaluation to be made of each employee at a school subjected to intervention. This performance shall take place each year that a school is involved in the intervention process. The evaluation process employed shall be conducted in a manner that ensures uniformity of evaluation standards and the implementation of sound pedagogical and operational practices and standards. In evaluating teachers, interim principals shall use the criteria set forth in the Classroom Teacher Visitation Form. Interim principals may use additional criteria that have been submitted to and approved by the Office of High School Development.

  • Reassignment, Layoff, or Dismissal of Staff

    Following the evaluation process, the Board shall determine whether to reassign, layoff, or dismiss any employees at a school subject to intervention. The Board’s decisions shall be made notwithstanding the provisions of 105 ILCS 5/24A-5 and 105 ILCS 5/34-85. Those employees subject to dismissal will receive due notice stating the basis for the dismissal and be provided with a pre-termination hearing convened by the Bureau of Labor and Employee Relations.

    At any time during a school year when a school is subjected to intervention, teachers whose performance is evaluated by the interim principal as "unsatisfactory" following two formal observations will be given recommendations for improvement. If the teacher does not successfully implement the recommendations for improvement within a reasonable time, the teacher may be recommended by the interim principal for dismissal pursuant to 105 ILCS 5/34-8.4. The interim principal’s recommendation shall be made in writing to the Chief Education Officer. Following receipt of a written recommendation of dismissal, the Chief Education Officer or an appropriate designee shall make at least two unannounced observations of the teacher recommended for dismissal. Based on these observations, the Chief Education Officer or designee shall either ratify or set aside the principal’s dismissal recommendation. The grounds for this decision shall be set forth in writing and provided to the teacher, the principal, and any other appropriate parties. If the Chief Education Officer or designee concludes that the interim principal’s dismissal recommendation is warranted, then he or she shall formulate a written dismissal proposal that details the reasons why the teacher dismissal is justified. Following a hearing on the Chief Education Officer’s dismissal proposal conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Employee Relations, a determination shall be made as to whether the Chief Education Officer’s proposal should be presented to the Board for final action

III. Removal from Intervention

Schools that make significant educational improvement while on intervention will be removed from intervention status and placed on probation. "Significant education improvement" warranting removal from intervention shall be determined by weighing a variety of factors that include both objective data and qualitative reports on educational environment at an intervention school. Assessment and evaluation of a school’s educational improvement shall be made on a case-by-case basis in order to account for the unique obstacles to student achievement at each intervention school. The factors used to determine if a school has achieved the significant educational improvement that warrants removal from intervention shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Factors Used to Determine Significant Educational Improvement

    1. a substantial number of the students progress from one quartile to another in reading as measured by a designated district-wide end-of-year test of academic progress;
    2. a substantial number of the students achieve a greater rate of progress in reading than they had in the previous school year as measured by a designated district-wide end-of-year test of academic progress;
    3. the graduation rate increases in comparison to the previous school year;
    4. a decrease in the student drop-out rate in comparison to the previous school year;
    5. a decrease in both the number of students receiving one or more failing grade and the total number of failing grades assigned during the current school year in comparison to the previous school year;
    6. a decrease in the number of student misconduct reports in comparison to the previous school year;
    7. evidence that lesson plans are regularly collected and monitored;
    8. evidence that professional and staff development programs mandated in the school’s educational improvement plan for the purpose of improving classroom instructional practices have been successfully implemented;
    9. evidence that faculty receive effective and timely professional assessment and evaluation;
    10. evidence that teachers communicate with parents in a timely manner regarding student progress;
    11. evidence that the school promotes parental and community involvement in school activities;
    12. evidence that the school has achieved the goals established in its Board approved educational improvement plan.
  • Procedures For Removing a School From Intervention

    The following procedures shall be used in determining whether a school should be removed from intervention:

    1. working in collaboration with the Office of High School Development ("OHSD"), principals of interventions school shall deliver to OHSD all requested materials that pertain to the school’s performance under intervention one week after the conclusion of the school year;
    2. OHSD staff shall evaluate the performance of intervention schools using the factors set forth in section IIIA (along with any other relevant data) and determine if any of the schools have achieved significant educational improvement that warrants removal from intervention;
    3. in evaluating a school’s improvement for purposes of removal from intervention, OHSD may weigh certain factors listed in IIIA more heavily than others, e.g. OHSD may decide to give factors 1 and 2 more emphasis than factors 10 and 11;
    4. within four weeks after receiving materials pertaining to the performance of intervention schools, OHSD shall present to the Board written findings and recommendations regarding schools that should be removed from intervention; and,
    5. the Board shall make a final determination regarding the removal of schools from intervention.

IV. Continued Support and Monitoring of Schools Removed from Intervention

Schools removed from intervention have not successfully remediated the chronic problems that necessitated their intervention status. Rather, under intervention, these schools began a process of educational improvement that must continue uninterrupted. In order to ensure continued educational progress, the following program of support and monitoring shall be implemented with schools that have been removed from intervention.

  • "Transition School" Status

    During the first school year following removal from intervention, a school will be considered as a "transition school" and, as such, it will be provided by OHSD with financial support as needed to help support continued school improvement.

  • Return to Probation Status

    Following the one-year "transition school" period, former intervention schools shall be returned to probation status and governed in accord with provisions for probation schools set forth in the School Code and Board Report 99-0825-PO2.

  • Educational Support Services

    Former intervention schools shall continue to receive enhanced educational support services designed to accelerate students academic progress. Area Instructional Officers ("AIO") shall provide former intervention schools with resources and technical expertise to continue the progress in curriculum and instruction begun during intervention. This support shall include professional development opportunities for teachers, and programs such as the CPS reading and math initiatives that focus on enhancing student achievement in core academic areas.

  • Leadership Support

    Schools removed from intervention shall comply with all requirements pertaining to schools on probation. In addition, principals of former intervention schools shall prepare, in collaboration with the AIO and OHSD, an agenda of specific school improvement goals for the upcoming school year and the measures that will be used to assess the school’s progress in reaching those goals. This agenda will be submitted to the Board and the Chief Education Officer by the end of the first month of the school year. At the end of the school year, principals at former intervention schools, AIOs and OHSD shall submit a written report to the Board indicating the school’s performance in meeting the specific school improvement goals established at the beginning of the school year.

  • Financial Support

    OHSD shall be provided with at least $100,000 annually in discretionary funds to use as needed to help support the educational programs of former intervention schools during the first "transition school"”" year after they have been removed from intervention.

  • Monitoring of Former Intervention Schools

    The Board shall monitor the performance of a former intervention school until it meets the performance criteria for removal from probation set forth in Board Report 99-0825-PO2. If student progress levels at a former intervention school fall below the levels reached during the year immediately prior to removal from intervention status for two consecutive years, the school may be returned to intervention status, or subjected to other remedial measures authorized by the School Code, including school closure. It is expected that former intervention schools will satisfy the criteria for removal from probation within three years after they leave intervention. If, absent extenuating circumstances, a former intervention school fails to leave probation within three years following its removal from intervention status, the school may be returned to intervention, or subjected to other remedial measures authorized by the School Code, including closure.

V. New Local School Council Elections

If the Board determines, based on the evaluation conducted by a school’s intervention team, that the Local School Council has failed or refuses to implement the changes needed at a school subjected to intervention, then the Board may direct the Chief Executive Officer to order new local school council elections. These elections shall be scheduled in a manner to ensure that the newly elected local school council shall be prepared to carry out its responsibilities at the beginning of the next school year.

VI. Employee Incentives

Each year during which a school is subject to intervention, 5% of the supplemental general State aid funds distributed to the school shall be used for employee incentives. The Board, at its discretion, may provide additional funds that will be used to recognize and reward employees, including administrators, faculty and other staff members, at an intervention school for outstanding work. A plan for distribution of the funds shall be developed under the direction of the Chief Education Officer. Those staff reassigned, laid off, or dismissed shall not be eligible for such incentives.

VII. Recruitment of Teachers

Based on selection criteria established by the Chief Education Officer, the Board will provide financial incentives to attract and/or retain outstanding teachers to work in intervention schools. These incentives may include funding for best practices teachers who will receive enhanced salaries during the time they work at intervention schools. In addition to their teaching responsibilities, these best practices teachers will work to develop and implement professional development activities that promote the use of innovative and effective teaching methods in intervention school classrooms.

VIII. Board Report on the Results of Intervention

The Board shall prepare a report evaluating the results of school interventions and shall make recommendations concerning the implementation of special programs for dealing with underperforming schools on an ongoing basis. The report shall be submitted to the State Superintendent of Education and to the Mayor of the City of Chicago.


  1. The term “Academic Early Warning List” has been used by the Illinois State Board of Education instead of the term “Does Not Meet Expectations” since the 1997-98 school year.
  2. The Board shall have the authority to remove a school from intervention at the end of two school years if the school’s progress indicates that a third intervention year is unnecessary.
Amends/Rescinds Amends 02-0327-PO1
Cross References 01-0822-PO1, 00-0628-PO2
Legal References 105 ILCS 5/34-8.4
Public Comment  

Policy and Procedures

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