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Priority Schools 2022-11-09T22:43:17-07:00

Due to the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools, the U.S. Department of Education has granted the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) a waiver to bypass assessment and accountability requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  Specifically, the waiver addresses the state’s inability to administer assessments as required under ESEA section 1111(b)(2) or to comply with the test administration, reporting requirements, and school identification, as would normally be planned due to extensive school closures in the state.

With the absence of data, the PED will “hold-constant” the federal designations of Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) through the 2020-2021 school year.  This in turn, provides currently identified CSI Schools with an additional year of funding.  Complete applications are to be saved as a PDF for each school and must be submitted separately on behalf of the LEA by Friday, July 31, 2020, to no later than 4:00 p.m.  If you have questions please email Ms. Elisabeth Peterson at

Please visit our CSI Planning Awards 2020-2021 and Application webpage for more information and to access application materials.

The Priority Schools Bureau works in partnership with NM schools and districts to build the capacity of educational leaders resulting in improved outcomes for all students. Priority Schools provides support for the following programs:

NM DASH (Data, Accountability, Sustainability, and High Achievement) is a web-based action-planning tool identified for developing school improvement plans and identifying evidence-or research-based interventions it has put into place for the school year.

Information on NM DASH and other information resources can be found on our District and School Resources page.

NM DASH Log-In Portal

School Improvement Grants (SIG) provide Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with an opportunity to support the implementation of a whole-school change model in their Priority and Focus Schools. This grant allows for four federally-designated models Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, and Closure and in addition, this grant introduces three additional models: Leadership Innovation, Evidence-based, and Early Learning Intervention.

Principals Pursuing Excellence (PPE) is a two-year program aimed at leveraging the expertise of New Mexico’s educational leaders to support and empower New Mexico’s school leaders as they work to dramatically improve student achievement in their schools.

Achieve Excellence is a new and exciting one-year program aimed at supporting and empowering New Mexico’s early career (5-years or less classroom experience) and alternative licensure teachers as they work to improve instruction and dramatically increase student outcomes in their schools.

Page last updated November 9, 2022