North Carolina Innovative School District Announces Schools Being Considered for New Statewide Program

Raleigh, NC

Eric Hall, the superintendent of the newly created North Carolina Innovative School District (NCISD), today announced the schools that qualify for consideration for this new statewide intervention model for low-performing schools. A list of the schools that qualify can be found here. The NCISD will now begin the task of selecting the first schools to participate, beginning in the 2018-19 school year. There are 48 qualifying schools on the list for consideration from across 21 school districts in North Carolina. Launched in 2017, NCISD is focused on improving student and school outcomes in low-performing schools by creating a collaborative and accountable partnership with school districts and local communities.

“These schools represent school districts from across the state that can benefit from the diverse strategies and interventions made available by the NC Innovative School District,” Hall said. “Once the school selection process is complete, we will be partnering with local communities and districts to examine how we can together create innovative conditions that will help students to improve their academic achievement.”

Schools on the qualifying list were identified by using the following criteria:

  • A performance score in the lowest 5 percent of all schools in the prior year.
  • Offers all or part of grades K-5.
  • Did not exceed growth in at least one of the prior three school years and did not meet growth in at least one of the prior three school years.
  • Did not adopt one of the established reform models for the immediate prior year.

In the coming weeks, the NCISD superintendent will engage with the local district superintendent of each qualifying school. Once the list of qualifying schools has been narrowed, based on a review of data, those schools still under consideration for the NCISD will include additional evaluation activities that includes NCISD superintendent meetings with parents and families, local communities, the local school principal, the local school board and the local county commissioners. As part of the final selection process, the NCISD superintendent will complete an evaluation based on school outcomes and available information, which will include feedback from these local meetings.

Once the selection process is complete, the NCISD superintendent will work with the local community, school districts and the parents and families to identify and match a qualified charter management organization (CMO) or education management organization (EMO) to run the Innovative school under contract with the State Board of Education for a period of five years.

The driving force behind the NCISD and its approach is research. NCISD has been drawing on research from across the country, as well as Carrboro-based education organization Public Impact, which has studied similar strategies nationally.

“Based on our research,” said Tim Field, a senior consultant at Public Impact, “innovation districts have the best chance to succeed when they engage parents and community in envisioning each school’s future, select strong partner organizations that match schools’ needs, create conditions that retain and attract talented educators, and hold the schools to high expectations for making dramatic gains.”

About the NC Innovative School District
The North Carolina Innovative School District (NCISD) is partnering with local communities to design and implement strategies for school improvement, creating innovative conditions and accelerating student achievement. The NCISD is led by Eric Hall, district superintendent. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

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