A schoolwide program is built on schoolwide reform strategies, rather than separate, add-on services. A schoolwide program permits a school to use Title I, Part A funds to upgrade the entire educational program of the school in order to raise the academic achievement of all students.
This contrasts with a Title I targeted assistance program, through which Title I, Part A funds are used only for supplementary direct educational services for eligible children who are failing or at risk of failing to meet Kentucky's learning goals.
Schoolwide programs provide flexibility in spending Title I funds. They can use the funds "in the manner they choose as long as (they) engage in reform strategies that increase the amount and quality of learning time and help provide a high-quality curriculum for all children, according to a comprehensive plan so children meet the state's challenging standards." (Title I Handbook, Volume II, pg. G-1098)
In other words, the schools' Title I mini-budgets from their Schoolwide Program Report and their Comprehensive School Improvement Plan must be aligned.
A schoolwide program focuses on results. If student achievement does not increase, schools risk their funding flexibility. Title I law states that a schoolwide program must include schoolwide reform strategies that:
- Provide all children the opportunity to meet Kentucky's proficient and distinguished performance levels
- Be based on effective means of improving children's achievement
- Use effective instructional strategies that increase the amount and quality of learning time, help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum, and meet the educational needs of historically underserved populations
- Address the needs of all children, but particularly the needs of children in target populations of any program that is included in the schoolwide program, and address how the school will determine if these needs are met
- Are consistent with, and are designed to implement, the state and local improvement plans.
In addition to schoolwide reform strategies, schoolwide programs must include:
- A comprehensive needs assessment
- Instruction by highly qualified professional staff
- Professional development for teachers
- Strategies to increase parental involvement