Skip to main content

Comprehensive Support System

Under the ESSA, the state must identify schools in need of additional assistance based on various criteria. This requirement goes into effect for the first time in 2018–19, so schools will be selected for the first time in January 2019 based on their 2018 Dashboard data.

LEAs will be responsible for developing and/or approving school-level improvement plans for identified schools. As described in more detail below, California will use the existing LCAP and school level planning processes to meet these federal requirements, with the state providing general resources and technical assistance to support LEAs.

Consistent with the System of Support’s focus on increasing the capacity of LEAs to meet the needs of all students, these resources will focus on building the capacity of LEAs to support their schools and differentiate those supports as appropriate based on data about opportunities and outcomes within the LCAP process. These resources will be available to all LEAs, i.e., they are Support for All (Level 1), and LEAs with identified schools will be responsible for using those resources to meet ESSA’s school improvement requirements.

ESSA’s school identification requirements intersect with Differentiated Assistance (Level 2) only when a school has been identified for CSI and has not met exit criteria within four years. In that circumstance, federal law requires more rigorous state-determined intervention. California’s more rigorous intervention is to identify the LEA to receive differentiated assistance based on the persistent low performance of one of its schools.

The ESSA requires the development of school improvement plans for school identified in each category, with the planning requirements differing somewhat for each category.

California will utilize an existing school planning process for LEAs and schools to address the federal school planning requirements. Legislation enacted this year redesignated what was formerly known as the Single Plan for Student Achievement to the School Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and updated statute to ensure this plan and the stakeholder engagement process for its development address federal planning requirements. Additional information, including updated guidance and an updated template are forthcoming.

Additionally, for CSI schools, the SBE must ultimately sign-off on the plans developed by the LEAs for these schools. To address this requirement, the CDE will recommend adding a new prompt to the existing LCAP Plan Summary template that LEAs with CSI schools must complete. COEs would have to approve this section of the LCAP, applying criteria under development to ensure the response addresses all federal requirements, prior to final SBE approval of the plans. The SBE is expected to consider this proposed modification to the LCAP template at its January 2019 meeting. Additional information and future updates are available at:

Every Student Succeeds Act Information