Schoolwide programs are designed to generate high levels of academic achievement in core subject areas for all students, especially those students most in need. Schoolwide programs serve all children in a school, and all staff, resources, and classes are part of the overall program.
Schoolwide programs have great latitude in organizing their operations and allocating funds. They do not have to identify particular children as eligible for services or track federal dollars separately. Instead, they can use all allocated funds to increase the amount and quality of learning time. Schoolwide schools can improve systems and practices and embrace high-quality curricula, creating and implementing a comprehensive plan to ensure all students meet the state's challenging academic standards.
A Wisconsin Title I school is eligible to implement 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%. Schools with less than 40% poverty may operate a schoolwide program if the DPI grants the school a waiver to do so.
Core Requirements for Schoolwide Programs
- A comprehensive needs assessment that identifies the school’s strengths and challenges in key areas affecting student achievement
- A comprehensive plan for long-term improvement, created with stakeholders and designed to address identified needs
- Regular evaluation of the program and updating of the plan as necessary
- Appropriately licensed teachers and qualified paraprofessionals
Comprehensive Needs Assessment
In preparing to implement a schoolwide program, those involved need to understand the gap between where the school is now and where they want to be when their vision is realized. The first step toward a comprehensive needs assessment is a school profile, 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 provides useful information for each of the focus areas of the needs assessment that follows.
Schools proposing to operate a schoolwide program are generally required to spend an entire year conducting the planning process. An exception may be made if the school district, in consultation with the school, determines that the school needs less time. The plan is based on the comprehensive needs assessment and describes the strategies the school will implement to address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of those at risk of not meeting Wisconsin's challenging academic standards. As appropriate and applicable, the plan should be developed in coordination and integration with other Federal, State, and local services, resources, and programs (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, 20 USC. § 6314).
The plan must be developed with the involvement of parents and other members of the community to be served, as well as individuals who will carry out the plan. This includes teachers, principals, paraprofessionals, administrators, the local educational agency, tribes and tribal organizations present in the community, and, if appropriate, specialized instructional support personnel, technical assistance providers, school staff, and students. The plan must be available to the public. The information must be in an understandable format, and to the extent practicable, the plan should be provided in a language that the parents can understand (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, 20 USC. § 6314).
All new schoolwide schools are required to submit the Schoolwide Programs Assurances and Narrative form, providing information on the planning process that took place in preparation for this new service delivery model. This form is merely the application to operate a Title I schoolwide program and is not the same as the schoolwide plan.
A schoolwide school must regularly evaluate the impact of the program on student achievement and update the plan as necessary (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, 20 USC. § 6314). This involves examining outcomes and implementation data to determine whether the academic achievement of all students—particularly of low-achieving students—has improved, whether the goals and objectives were achieved, and if the plan is still appropriate as written.
All staff in a schoolwide school, including teachers and paraprofessionals, must be appropriately qualified (Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, 20 USC. § 630). More information is available on the Teacher and Paraprofessional Qualifications page.
Using Title I Funds to Support an Equitable Multi-Level System of Supports
Title I funds combined with other resources may be used to fund any aspect of an equitable MLSS in a schoolwide school. All activities to be funded by Title I must be reflected both in the school's comprehensive needs assessment and schoolwide plan, and they must be evaluated annually for their effectiveness in increasing student achievement.
Districts may set aside a portion of their Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B funds to be used within Title I schools to support any part of their schoolwide plan (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, 20 U.S.C. § 1400). For more information on this option, see IDEA - Title I Schoolwide Set-Aside. The U.S. Department of Education offers an informative power point on this topic: Implementing RTI Using Title I, Title III, and CEIS Funds.
The district must take appropriate measures to ensure that a schoolwide program does not supplant state and local funds with federal Title I funding.
- Title I Schoolwide Application Form
- US Department of Education. 2006. "Designing Schoolwide Programs: Non-Regulatory Guidance." (formally rescinded)
- US Department of Education. 2016. "Supporting School Reform by Leveraging Federal Funds in a Schoolwide Program." (non-regulatory guidance)
- US Department of Education. 2009. "Implementing RTI Using Title I, Title III, and CEIS Funds." www2.ed.gov/programs/titleiparta/rti.html
- WI RtI Center
- PBIS Network