Laws & Guidance ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
Subpart 4 — Smaller Learning Communities

SEC. 5441. SMALLER LEARNING COMMUNITIES.

    (a) GRANT AUTHORITY- The Secretary is authorized to award grants to local educational agencies to enable the agencies to create a smaller learning community or communities.

    (b) APPLICATION- Each local educational agency desiring a grant under this subpart shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such information as the Secretary may require. The application shall include descriptions of the following:

      (1) Strategies and methods the local educational agency will use to create the smaller learning community or communities.

      (2) Curriculum and instructional practices, including any particular themes or emphases, to be used in the smaller learning environment.

      (3) The extent of involvement of teachers and other school personnel in investigating, designing, implementing, and sustaining the smaller learning community or communities.

      (4) The process to be used for involving students, parents, and other stakeholders in the development and implementation of the smaller learning community or communities.

      (5) Any cooperation or collaboration among community agencies, organizations, businesses, and others to develop or implement a plan to create the smaller learning community or communities.

      (6) The training and professional development activities that will be offered to teachers and others involved in the activities assisted under this subpart.

      (7) The objectives of the activities assisted under this subpart, including a description of how such activities will better enable all students to reach challenging State academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards.

      `(8) The methods by which the local educational agency will assess progress in meeting the objectives described in paragraph (7).

      `(9) If the smaller learning community or communities exist as a school-within-a-school, the relationship, including governance and administration, of the smaller learning community to the remainder of the school.

      `(10) The administrative and managerial relationship between the local educational agency and the smaller learning community or communities, including how such agency will demonstrate a commitment to the continuity of the smaller learning community or communities (including the continuity of student and teacher assignment to a particular learning community).

      `(11) How the local educational agency will coordinate or use funds provided under this subpart with other funds provided under this Act or other Federal laws.

      `(12) The grade levels or ages of students who will participate in the smaller learning community or communities.

      `(13) The method of placing students in the smaller learning community or communities, such that students are not placed according to ability or any other measure, but are placed at random or by their own choice, and not pursuant to testing or other judgments.

    `(c) AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES- Funds under this section may be used for one or more of the following:

      `(1) To study—

        `(A) the feasibility of creating the smaller learning community or communities; and

        `(B) effective and innovative organizational and instructional strategies that will be used in the smaller learning community or communities.

      `(2) To research, develop, and implement—

        `(A) strategies for creating the smaller learning community or communities; and

        `(B) strategies for effective and innovative changes in curriculum and instruction, geared to challenging State academic content standards and State student academic achievement standards.

      `(3) To provide professional development for school staff in innovative teaching methods that—

        `(A) challenge and engage students; and

        `(B) will be used in the smaller learning community or communities.

      `(4) To develop and implement strategies to include parents, business representatives, local institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and other community members in the smaller learning communities as facilitators of activities that enable teachers to participate in professional development activities and provide links between students and their community.


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Last Modified: 09/15/2004