Innovation & Improvement

Title Grant Administration

Title I, Part A Schoolwide Programs

 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.

Return to top

 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.

Return to top

 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.

Return to top

 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. ISBE does not approve schoolwide plans.  Those are approved by the local school board.

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.

Return to top

 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.

Return to top

 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.

Return to top

 Schoolwide Program Components

Return to top

 Title I, Part A Schoolwide Program Resources

Return to top

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.