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Title I, Part A Schoolwide Programs


The purpose of Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015  is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and close the achievement gap between high- and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority students, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers.

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. ESSA allows for schools in which less than 40% of the students are from low-income families to apply for a waiver to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program.

Program Requirements and Eligibility

Serving All Students

A school operating a schoolwide program does not need to identify particular students as eligible to participate. There are three basic requirements:

  • Conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school, using academic achievement and growth data, process data, and perception data from school staff, parents, and others in the community. The Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) should serve as the school’s comprehensive needs assessment.
  • Preparing a comprehensive schoolwide plan—through consultation with district and building leaders, teachers, staff, parents, students, and community members—that describes how the school will improve academic achievement overall, but particularly for the lowest-achieving students, by addressing the priority performance challenges identified in the comprehensive needs assessment.
  • Annually reviewing the schoolwide plan, using data from State and local assessments, other indicators of academic achievement and growth, process data, and perception data to determine if the schoolwide program has been effective in addressing the priority performance challenges and increasing student achievement, particularly for the lowest-achieving students. Schools need to revise the plan annually, as necessary, to ensure continuous improvement.

Schoolwide Plan Requirements

The comprehensive schoolwide plan must be:

  • Developed annually
    • In coordination with other Federal, State and local programs
    • Meaningful consultation with district and building leaders, teachers, staff, parents, students, and community members
  • Regularly monitored and revised to ensure all students are provided opportunities to meet Colorado Academic (CAS) and Colorado English Language Proficiency (CELP) Standards
  • Based on the results of the comprehensive needs assessment
  • Made available to the public in an understandable and uniform format, and to the extent practicable, provided in a language that parents can understand
  • Include a description of the strategies the school will implement to address school needs and how those strategies will:
    • Provide equitable opportunities for all children, including low-income students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and English learners
    • Use methods and instructional strategies that strengthen the academic program in the school, increase the amount and quality of learning time, and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum, which may include programs, activities, and courses necessary to provide a well-rounded education
    • Address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of those at risk of not meeting CAS and CELP standards
    • Please note: Specifics of the schoolwide plan, including evidence-based strategies and instructional methods used, are determined at the discretion of district and building leaders

Use of Funds

A school operating a schoolwide program may use Title I funds for any activity that supports the needs of students in the school as identified through the comprehensive needs assessment and articulated in the schoolwide plan. In implementing the schoolwide plan, a school must, among other things, use effective methods and instructional strategies that are based on evidence, provide instruction by highly-qualified teachers, provide high-quality, ongoing professional development, and increase parent involvement.

Examples of Uses of Funds in a Schoolwide Program (Based on the Comprehensive 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
  • 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, 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)

Supplemental Funds, Not Services

  • A school operating a schoolwide program need not limit activities to services that are supplemental. However, the LEA is still required to demonstrate that their methodologies for allocating State/local funds ensure that each Title I school receives all the State/local funds it would have if it was not receiving Title I, Part A funds.

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.

Reasonable and Necessary

  • All expenditures must be reasonable and necessary.


  • Title I, Part A Schoolwide Programming

This training provides an overview of ESEA Title I, Part A Schoolwide programming as well as the Schoolwide program development cycle in order to plan, implement, and evaluate a Schoolwide program.

Recording | Slides


For Additional Information Please Contact: 

Laura Meushaw
Title I Coordinator and Program Implementation Supervisor
720-728-9023 (c)

Nazanin (Nazie) Mohajeri-Nelson
Executive Director, Federal Programs & Supports Unit
720-626-3895 (c)

Evita Byrd
ESEA Title I and IV Specialist
720-347-5667 (c)