Innovation & Improvement

Title I, Part A Schoolwide Programs

 What's New?

Schoolwide Program Consolidation of Funds Option - Increased School Flexibility

ISBE is introducing the option of consolidation of funds to increase the flexibility in use of these funds to support comprehensive reform work as described in the Title I, Part A schoolwide program plan. Schoolwide buildings will have the option to consolidate their Title I, Part A and Title II, Part A funds. Once these funds are consolidated, the traditional supplement not supplant test is replaced with a more flexible method of determining allowable expenditures, providing for a truly comprehensive reform strategy to be put in place within schoolwide building.

ISBE is announcing this new flexibility in conjunction with the release of Title I and II allocations so that districts need only amend their NCLB Consolidated Application once to avail themselves of both.

A webinar is scheduled to field questions on the increased flexibility. Refer to the link below to view.  Future changes to the NCLB Consolidated Application, in response to your questions, will be made.

Please review the following updated documents for more information:

 Definition of a Title I Schoolwide Program

Schoolwide programs are not district wide and must be planned for and implemented at each individual school building (also known as attendance center) in the district. Schools with schoolwide programs use Title I funds to implement comprehensive strategies for improving the educational program of the whole school in schools with 40% or more poverty to increase the achievement of all students, particularly students who are failing or most at risk of failing to meet State standards.

 Which Schools Are Eligible To Provide Schoolwide Programs?

Schools must have 40% low income and have completed a year of planning which resulted in a comprehensive schoolwide plan that covers the 10 components required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Local board approval is required for schoolwide plans and plans should be reviewed yearly and revised if needed.

 What Are The Benefits/Advantages to Schools Developing Schoolwide Programs?

  • Flexibility – Schools may combine resources, serve all students, and redesign the school and its services. All students are eligible to use materials and resources.
  • Coordination and Integration – Schools will have a reduction in curricular and instructional fragmentation.
  • Accountability – School efforts are 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.

 How Does a School Notify ISBE That They Wish To Plan For a Schoolwide Program?

The NCLB Consolidated application is the tool that documents schoolwide programming. The district/school representative should notify their regional ISBE consultant to let them know they are interested in developing a schoolwide plan.

The online NCLB consolidated application contains a page (under the Title I, program specific tab, schoolwide programs tab), that allows districts to document information regarding schoolwide programs in their attendance centers. The page lists current schoolwide programs including their planning year, the date of initial local board approval of the schoolwide plan, the initial schoolwide implementation year and the poverty rate at initial implementation.  It also provides information on each targeted attendance center and provides a place for districts to indicate if schoolwide planning is in process for the next school year. This is where the district will highlight the radio button that identifies a desire to begin schoolwide planning. There is also a radio button to indicate if the school is requesting technical assistance from ISBE to facilitate the schoolwide plan development.

Any eligible school that desires to operate a schoolwide program shall first develop (or amend for such a program that was in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001), in consultation with the local education agency and its school support team or other technical assistance provider under section 1117, a comprehensive plan for reforming the total instructional program in the school that meets specific criteria.

In an effort to facilitate continuous improvement and move to a “one state – one plan”, ISBE is making the District Title I Plan available thru Rising Star. No later than July 1, 2013, all districts that wish to revise or update their Title I District Plan should do so via Rising Star. For further information please refer the following resources:

Existing approved Title I District Plans are encouraged to transition to Rising Star but are not required.

 Should Schools Begin Schoolwide Planning If They Are Not At 40% Low Income?

If a school is close to the 40% threshold and believes they may be at or over 40% low income by the end of the schoolwide planning year they may complete the schoolwide planning process.  Implementation of the plan could then only occur if the low income number is at 40% or above at the end of the planning year.

What Are The 10 Required Components of a Schoolwide Plan?

  1. A comprehensive needs assessment. A sample can be found at: 
  2. Schoolwide reform strategies that provide opportunities for all children to meet the State’s proficient and advanced levels of student academic achievement that use effective methods and instructional strategies based on scientifically based research; that include strategies to address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of low-achieving children and those at risk of not meeting the State student academic achievement standards who are members of the target population of any program that is included in the schoolwide program; and that are consistent with, and are designed to implement, the State and local improvement plans.
  3.  Instruction by highly qualified teachers.
  4.  High-quality and ongoing professional development for teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals and, if appropriate, pupil services personnel, parents, and other staff to enable all children in the school to meet the State’s student academic achievement standards.
  5. Strategies to attract high-quality highly qualified teachers to high-need schools.
  6. Strategies to increase parental involvement such as family literacy services.
  7. Measures to include teachers in the decisions regarding the use of academic assessments in order to provide information on, and to improve, the achievement of individual students and the overall instructional program.
  8. Activities to ensure that students who experience difficulty mastering the proficient or advanced levels of academic achievement standards shall be provided with effective, timely additional assistance which shall include measures to ensure that student difficulties are identified on a timely basis and to provide sufficient information on which to base effective assistance.
  9. Plans for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood programs, such as Head Start, Even Start, Early Reading First, or a State-run preschool program, to local elementary school programs.
  10. Coordination and integration of Federal, State, and local services and programs, including programs supported under this Act, violence prevention programs, nutrition programs, housing programs, Head Start, adult education, vocational and technical education, and job training.

 How Does a School Create a Schoolwide Program?

Schoolwide programs should be structured in a way that permits schools to combine federal, state, and local funds to provide an opportunity to undertake the kinds of fundamental instructional reforms necessary to improve teaching and learning geared to challenging standards.  These provisions, detailed in the links below, include school-level decision making, a greater emphasis on comprehensive planning and reform, and increased technical assistance and support for schools engaging in schoolwide reform.

 Schoolwide Program Components

 Title I, Part A Schoolwide Program Resources

 Frequently Asked Questions about Schoolwide Programs—(More to come….)

  1.  What happens if a school that becomes a schoolwide program drops below the initial eligibility threshold in a subsequent year?

    To promote effective, long-term planning, a school can maintain its schoolwide program eligibility even if it drops below the initial poverty threshold. There is no required redetermination of schoolwide program status every three years as there was in the past. Therefore, a school that becomes a schoolwide in 1996 with 51% poverty can continue its schoolwide program even if its poverty level falls below 50% in following years, as long as the school meets the general Title eligibility and selection requirements and the LEA has sufficient funds to serve the school. [Taken from: ]

Contact Information

For technical assistance, please contact your regional NCLB consultant at the Illinois State Board of Education, Division of Innovation and Improvement at 217/524-4832.

Some information on this page came from the U.S. Department of Education Website.