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Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

preschool students


On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a long-awaited overhaul of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) or most commonly referred to as the No Child Left Behind Act. ESSA passed with bipartisan support, and encourages states and schools to innovate, while at the same time maintaining an emphasis on state and local systems of improvement and strengthening a more balanced assessment and accountability system.

ESSA establishes a framework for preparing students for life beyond K-12, whether that is attending college or pursuing a career. The reauthorized Act largely continues Congress' interest in ensuring that the nation's investment in elementary and secondary education is in service of our most vulnerable youth. This includes:

  • Ensuring students graduate high school ready for college and the workplace;
  • Reducing gaps among student groups in achievement, opportunity and graduation;
  • Supporting and improving struggling schools;
  • Improving school conditions for student learning, including the use of technology to improve academic achievement;
  • Providing all students with access to a well-rounded education;
  • Expanding access to high-quality early learning opportunities; and
  • Keeping the focus on high-quality classroom instruction through professional development and meaningful feedback for educators.

The transition plan as outlined in ESSA includes the following timelines:

  • The new federal law does not impact the 2015-2016 school year. New Hampshire’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver remains in effect until August 1, 2016. New Hampshire must continue interventions in schools identified as priority and focus schools for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year and during the 2016-2017 school year.
  • The 2016-2017 school year will be a planning period with full implementation of new state accountability plan effective with the 2017-2018 school year.


Every Student Succeeds Act Acrobat Reader


ESSA requires states to develop accountability and support plans that address areas such as: standards, assessments, educator support, school and district accountability and improvement, and special help for struggling schools. The New Hampshire Department of Education is committed to involving educators, parents and other stakeholders as we explore this new student-focused plan. Over the next year, a variety of engagement strategies will be implemented:

  • The NH DOE will facilitate advisory teams of educators, policymakers, partners and other stakeholders to gather input into the plan design. These teams can be found below and as meetings take place, minutes of those meetings and meeting materials will be posted.
  • The NH DOE will host two regional listening tours to gather input and feedback into the state’s visions for education and the state plan for accountability and support. Dates and locations will be announced below as they are scheduled.
  • The NH DOE will be posting three survey’s during the 2016-17 school year: (1) a vision survey (mid-Sept to mid-Nov); (2) an input survey for the state accountability and support plan (mid-Nov to late Dec) and support plan; and (3) a feedback survey for the draft state accountability and support plan (mid-March to mid-April). Please look for these links and results below as they are posted and analyzed.
  • This web page will be updated regularly to provide information and status updates on the state’s plan development.

The New Hampshire Department of Education would like your input!

In an effort to gather input from New Hampshire citizens about what they value in their educational system, the NH Department of Education held seven Regional Listening Tours around our state and collected information via a survey. The information collected will be considered as the state develops its accountability and support plan required in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Summaries of the feedback received at the forums will be linked with each community name below as the notes are completed. The presentation provided and flyer for the events can be found here:

Regional Listening Tours
Date Location Address
Tuesday, November 1
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Moultonborough Acrobat Reader
Community Auditorium at Moultonborough Academy
25 Blake Road
Thursday, November 3
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Keene Acrobat Reader
Keene High School
43 Arch Street
Monday, November 7
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Gorham Acrobat Reader
(North Country)
North Country Education Services
300 Gorham Hill Road
Wednesday, November 9
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Exeter Acrobat Reader
Seacoast Professional Development Center
30 Linden Street
Thursday, November 10
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Merrimack Acrobat Reader
(South Central)
Merrimack High School (Little Theater)
38 McElwain Street
Tuesday, November 15
6:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m.
Concord Acrobat Reader
NH Department of Education (Room 15)
101 Pleasant Street
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Please click here to translate information regarding this meeting using Google Translate
Manchester Acrobat Reader
Hillside Middle School
112 Reservoir Ave.
Manchester, NH 03104-4498

ESSA Advisory Teams

Since March 2016, the NH DOE has been collaborating with various stakeholders in an effort to build an understanding of the new ESSA. We have actively engaged an Accountability Task Force, an Educator Equity and Support Advisory Team, an English Learner Advisory Team, and a Comprehensive Support and Improvement Advisory Team. Soon, we will be bringing together stakeholders to discuss opportunities in federal fiscal streams and early childhood education.

The ESSA requires a state accountability and support plan, which will outline the state’s strategies for implementing key requirements of the new law, including accountability and school improvement. The New Hampshire Department of Education will be seeking broad collaboration in formulating this state plan. The following initial advisory teams will be critical in formulating this plan. The Department will add advisory teams on topics if and as needed.

General Presentations by the NH DOE

Frequently Asked Questions and Other Summary Documents

Information from the US Department of Education

Acrobat Reader Symbol Acrobat Reader format. You can download a free reader from Adobe.

Microsoft PowerPoint Symbol Microsoft PowerPoint format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.

New Hampshire Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street | Concord, NH | 03301-3494
Telephone: (603) 271-3494 | TDD Access: Relay NH 711