A Title I school is eligible to become a Title I schoolwide program when the poverty level, (determined by free and reduced meal counts, Wisconsin Works (W-2), census, or Medicaid) is at or above 40%.
A school with less than 40% poverty may operate a schoolwide program if the school receives a waiver from the State Educational Agency to do so, after taking into account how a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students in the school.
Schoolwide programs have great latitude to determine how to organize their operations and allocate the multiple funding sources available to them. They do not have to identify particular children as eligible for services or separately track federal dollars. Instead, schoolwide programs can use all allocated funds to increase the amount and quality of learning time. In this way, they can embrace a high-quality curriculum, according to a comprehensive plan that ensures all children meet the state's challenging academic standards.
Schoolwide programs serve all children in a school. All staff, resources, and classes are part of the overall schoolwide program. The purpose is to generate high levels of academic achievement in core subject areas for all students, especially those students most in need.
Core Elements of Schoolwide Programs
- A school operating a schoolwide program must conduct a comprehensive needs assessment that identifies the school’s strengths and challenges in key areas that affect student achievement.
- The school must develop a comprehensive schoolwide program plan that describes how it will achieve the goals it has identified as a result of its needs assessment.
- The school must regularly evaluate the outcomes and the plan’s implementation to determine whether the academic achievement of all students, and particularly of low-achieving students, improved, whether the goals and objectives contained in the plan were achieved, and if the plan is still appropriate as written. The school must update the plan as necessary.
Comprehensive Needs Assessment
As a school prepares to become a schoolwide program, it needs to understand its current status, a snapshot that will help illustrate the gap between where the school is now and where it wants to be when its vision is realized. A school profile provides that picture; it is a data-driven description of the school’s student, staff, and community demographics, programs, and mission. The school profile serves as a starting point for discussion by the planning team, and useful information for each of the focus areas of the needs assessment that follows.
Initial Planning Process
In general, every school that plans to operate a schoolwide program is required to spend an entire year conducting the planning process. However, an exception to this general rule can be made if the school district determines, in consultation with the school, that the school needs less time to develop and implement its schoolwide program. All new schoolwides are required to submit the Schoolwide Programs Assurances and Narrative form, which provides information on the planning process that took place in preparation for this new service delivery model. This form is not the schoolwide plan. It is the application to become a Title I schoolwide program.
Annual Evaluation & Planning Process
A schoolwide school must regularly evaluate the impact of the plan on student achievement and update the plan as necessary.The planning process must involve all staff, parents and community members in the implementation and evaluation of the Title I schoolwide program.
All staff in a schoolwide school, including teachers and paraprofessionals, must be appropriately licensed.