The purpose of the federally funded Title I program is to help disadvantaged students meet the same high academic standards expected of all children. Title I programs use the same assessments that are in place in Oregon for all children. Districts and schools now have greater flexibility to create programs responsive to the local needs of students in exchange for greater accountability for student performance. Recognizing that the quality of Title I programs depends on the skill of staff, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) emphasizes highly qualified staff and continuous, sustained professional development. Decision making is centered at the school level with parent involvement as a key component.
Title I distributes funds to schools based on the number of children from low-income families rather than on achievement scores. Unchanged from the original intent, Title I monies are provided to supplement state and local efforts. These federal funds may not be used in a manner which supplants regular education responsibilities and programs. Title I funds are to be used to create opportunities which extend learning time, minimize pull-out programs that remove children from the classroom, implement accelerated curriculum strategies rather than remedial drill and practice, and use effective strategies based on scientifically based research.
All six elementary schools in Grants Pass School District are schoolwide Title One programs. A schoolwide program must include the following components:
- A comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school based on information on the performance of children in relation to the state content and performance standards.
- Schoolwide reform strategies that provide opportunities for all children to meet the advanced and proficient levels of student performance, use effective instructional strategies, address the needs of all children in the school, and are consistent with the state’s Continuous Improvement Plan and LEA’s school improvement plan. A schoolwide should have its schoolwide plan be its school improvement plan. There is only one plan.
- Instruction by highly qualified professional staff.
- Professional development for teachers and educational assistants (and, where appropriate, pupil services personnel, parents, principals, and other staff).
- Strategies to increase parental involvement, such as family literacy services.
- Plans for assisting preschool children in the transition from early childhood programs to local elementary programs.
- Measures to include teachers in making decisions about assessments. Activities to identify, and ensure timely assistance to, students who experience difficulties. A description of how the school will use resources under Title I and other sources to implement the above components.