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  • For technical assistance, please contact your regional ESSA consultant at the Illinois State Board of Education, Title Grants Administration at (217) 785-1969​.​​
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Schoolwide Programs   Section 1114PDF Document

On December 10, 2015, President Barack Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds ActPDF Document(ESSA), which reauthorized and updated the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). ESSA authorizes two distinct program structures under Title I, Part A. They are schoolwide programs and Targeted Assistance School Programs.

 Definition of Title I Schoolwide Program

Schoolwide programs are not districtwide and must be planned for and implemented at each individual school building (also known as attendance center) in the district. A Title I, Part A schoolwide program is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school with a poverty percentage of 40% or more in order to improve the achievement of the lowest-achieving students.

Consolidating Funds

A school operating a schoolwide program may consolidate federal, state, and local funds to better address the needs of students in the school.  Schoolwide schools must maintain records that demonstrate the use of funds from all federal programs.  These records must address the intent and purposes of each of the federal programs that were consolidated to support the schoolwide program.  Separate fiscal accounting records or the identification of specific activities is not required.

Supporting School Reform by Leveraging Federal Funds in a Schoolwide Program,PDF Document Non-Regulatory Guidance, September 2016:

Examples of Uses of Funds in a Schoolwide Program (Based upon a Needs Assessment)

  • Increased learning time (extended day or year)
  • High-quality preschool or full-day kindergarten
  • Strategies for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood education to elementary school
  • Evidence-based strategies to accelerate acquisition of content knowledge for English learners
  • Equipment, materials, and training needed to compile and analyze data to monitor progress, alert the school to struggling students, and drive decision making
  • Devices and software that allow students to access digital learning materials and collaborate with peers and related training for educators (including accessible devices and software needed by students with disabilities)
  • Professional development for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school personnel to improve instruction and use of data from academic assessments, and to recruit and retain effective teachers, particularly in high need subjects
  • Instructional coaches to provide high-quality, school-based professional development
  • School climate interventions (e.g., anti-bullying strategies, positive behavior intervention supports, restorative justice programs, school safety programs, etc.)
  • Educational materials and resources to accelerate learning (curriculum, intervention programs and staff, etc.)
  • Activities shown to be effective for increasing family and community engagement
  • Family literacy programs
  • Counseling, mentoring services, and school-based mental health programs
  • Career and technical education
  • Access to coursework to earn postsecondary credit while still in high school (such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, dual or concurrent enrollment, or early college high schools)
    • A school using funds for dual or concurrent enrollment program may use such funds for any of the costs associated with such program, including the costs of:
      • training for teachers, and joint professional development for teachers in collaboration with career and technical educators and educators from institutions of higher education, where appropriate, for the purpose of integrating rigorous academics in such program;
      • tuition and fees, books, required instructional materials for such program, and innovative delivery methods; and
      • transportation to and from such program.

Preschool Programs
A school that operates a schoolwide program under this section may use funds available under this part to establish or enhance preschool programs for children who are under 6 years of age.

Delivery of Services
The services of a schoolwide program under this section may be delivered by nonprofit or for-profit external providers with expertise in using evidence-based or other effective strategies to improve student achievement.

Supplemental Funds, Not Services
A school participating in a schoolwide program shall use funds available to carry out this section only to SUPPLEMENT the amount of funds that would, in the absence of funds under this part, be made available from non-federal sources for the school, including funds needed to provide services that are required by law for children with disabilities and English learners.

Reasonable and Necessary
All expenditures must be reasonable and necessary.

 Which Schools Are Eligible To Provide Schoolwide Programs?

  • Schools that serve an eligible school attendance area in which not less than 40% of the children are from low-income families, or not less than 40% of the children enrolled in the school are from such families.

Eligibility Exception

  • If a schoolwide program will best serve the needs of the students at the eligible school attendance area (which less than 40 percent of the children are from low-income families, or a school for which less than 40 percent of the children enrolled in the school are from such families) by improving academic achievement and other factors, then that school may receive a School WaiverPDF Document from the State Educational Agency.  

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

  • Flexibility – Schools may combine resources (consolidating federal, state, and local funds), 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 ESSA 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. ISBE does not approve schoolwide plans. Schoolwide plans are approved by the local school board. For more information, see What are the required components of a Schoolwide Plan?Word Document

 How to implement a Schoolwide Program?

There are three required elements of a schoolwide program that are essential for effective implementation:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive needs assessment
  2. Prepare a comprehensive schoolwide plan based upon the comprehensive needs assessment.  Schoolwide plan must be approved by the local school board.
  3. Evaluate the schoolwide plan annually.  (*Does your current plan follow your program?  Have needs changed and so the plan needs to be updated?)

All schools transitioning to schoolwide programming must develop a schoolwide plan and obtain school board approval.  Use this Schoolwide TemplateWord Document to guide the process.

 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 above 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; if not, you may be eligible to apply for a Schoolwide WaiverPDF Document.

 What are the required components of a Schoolwide Plan?

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