Evidence-Based Best Practices for At-Risk Programs and Instructions

This webpage is to assist districts in meeting the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and K.S.A 72-5153. The ESSA requires districts to use their federal funds to support evidence based practices. K.S.A 72-5153 (d) states that “the state board shall identify and approve evidence-based best practices for at-risk program and instruction of students receiving at-risk program services. The state board shall review and update such best practices as part of its five year accreditation system review process.” We will continue to update this webpage with approved evidence-based practices.

An at-risk student (as defined by the state board) is one who meets one or more of the following criteria:

a.   Is not working on academic grade level.
b.   Is not meeting the requirements necessary for promotion to the next grade; is failing subjects or courses of study
c.   Is not meeting the requirements necessary for graduation from high school. (e.g., potential dropout)
d.   Has insufficient mastery of skills or is not meeting state standards
e.   Has been retained
f.    Has a high rate of absenteeism
g.   Has repeated suspensions or expulsions from school
h.   Is homeless and/or migrant
i.    Is identified as an English Language Learner
j.    Has social emotional needs that cause a student to be unsuccessful in school
k.   Is identified as a student with dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia

Kansas At-Risk Guidelines: https://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/guidelines_manuals/At%20Risk%20guidelines.pdf

Evidence-based: Any concept or strategy that is derived from or informed by objective evidence that demonstrates a statistically significant effect – most commonly, educational research or metrics of school, teacher, and student performance.

Districts that identify evidenced based practices that are not on this webpage or the links on this website (i.e. What Works Clearinghouse) may submit through e-mail a request to have an evidence-based practice added. Please e-mail essaquestions@ksde.org including the practice and the evidence, including links to where the practice and evidence may be found online.
Link to this page: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=748


The KSDE is currently making adjustment to the evidence-based programs and practices process. The list resulting from the improved process will be available in early 2024 for the 24-25 school year. 

Any current or future requests that have been received will be considered for the new list.

The current list will not be changed, note that some programs are now marked with expiration dates after which At-Risk funding should not be used. More information will be coming out from the KSDE later in 2023.

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Tate Toedman
Assistant Director
(785) 296-6714

Doug Boline
Assistant Director
(785) 296-2600

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