Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Act (ESEA), provides financial assistance to local education agencies (LEAs) and schools, with high numbers or percentages of children from low-income families, in order to assist schools in ensuring that all children meet challenging academic standards.
Districts or schools accepting Title I funds are required to provide all children with fair, equitable and significant educational opportunities in order to obtain a high-quality education and to reach--at a minimum--proficiency on challenging state academic standards and assessments.Title I programs utilize highly qualified staff who implement instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and which are supported by organized and effective parental involvement.
Schoolwide Program (SWP)
A schoolwide program is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school; its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards.
In general, a Title I school may operate as a schoolwide program only if a minimum of 40 percent of the students in the school, or residing in the attendance area served by the school, are from low-income families.
While Title I targeted assistance programs provide educational services only to identified individual students, schoolwide programs allow staff in schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families to redesign their entire educational program to serve all students. The emphasis in schoolwide program schools is on serving all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining all resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal.
Schoolwide programs maximize the impact of Title I. Adopting this strategy should result in an ongoing, comprehensive plan for school improvement that is owned by the entire school community and tailored to its unique needs.
A school must go through a year of planning to become a schoolwide program. The process begins when the building principal submits the Intent to Apply form to the Minnesota Department of Education. Many Minnesota schools have combined the School Improvement framework and the schoolwide model to focus on the redesign of instructional delivery for all students in a Title I school.
- Benefits of a schoolwide program include:
- Flexibility – combining resources, serving all students, redesigning the school and its services.
- Coordination and Integration – reduction in curricular and instructional fragmentation.
- Accountability – clear and coordinated; all students are responsible for achieving the same high standards.
- Unified Goals – schoolwide programs bring parents, the community and the school together to redesign and improve the school.