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Title I and Equitable Multi-Level Systems of Supports


Title I is a federal program that provides funds to school districts and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children who are disadvantaged to support a variety of services. Its overall purpose it to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and assessments.

An equitable multi-level system of supports (MLSS) is a framework for achieving higher levels of academic and behavioral success for every learner through implementing and sustaining the key system features depicted here: 

Multi Level System of Support

Key System Features

Title I programs and services work well within an equitable MLSS:

  • Equity: Every learner has access to the resources and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education despite race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability, family background, or family income.
  • High Quality Instruction: Curricula, teaching practices, and learning environments are standards-based, evidence-based, engaging, differentiated, culturally responsive, and data driven. An equitable multi-level system of support can be supported in a Title I Targeted Assistance or a Schoolwide Program
  • Strategic Use of Data: Ongoing, reflective, and collaborative analysis of implementation and outcomes data in a problem-solving process to inform improvement and achieve equity. Students served by Title I funds are those most at risk of failing the state academic standards as identified by multiple assessment measures.
  • Collaboration: A systematic process of learners, families, educators, and the community working together to ensure the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional success of every learner. In a targeted assistance school, Title I teachers collaborate with classroom teachers to identify potential Title I students and to help design classroom interventions to implement with students before they would enter the Title I program. In a Title I schoolwide program, the school community collaboratively develops, implements and assesses their Title I program.
  • Family and Community Engagement: Families and communities are active partners and key collaborators in achieving the goal of success for every learner.
  • Continuum of Supports: High quality instruction, collaboration, and strategic use of data of varying intensity equitably address the needs of every learner.
  • Strong Universal Level of Support: Instruction, assessment, and collaborative systems and practices are accessible, effective, and reflective of every learner.
  • Systematic Implementation: Programs, practices, roles, and expertise aligned and coordinated into an independent whole to ensure every learner benefits equitably from access, opportunity, and support across the school and district. 
  • Strong Shared Leadership: Representative teams with responsibility to lead and oversee implementation of an equitable multi-level system of supports at the school and district levels.
  • Positive Culture: A collective sense of purpose and commitment to ensure the well-being, sense of belonging, safety, and success of every leaner.
  • Evidence-based practices: Use of programs, practices, and procedures with the best available evidence balanced with the fit to the school's and district's population and values. 


Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:

Other MLSS Resources:

For questions about this information, contact Title I and School Support Team (608) 267-3721