A school-wide program is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school; its primary goal is to ensure that all students, particularly those who are low-achieving, demonstrate proficient and advanced levels of achievement on state academic achievement standards. This school-wide reform strategy requires that a school:
- conduct a comprehensive needs assessment;
- identify and commit to specific goals and strategies that address those needs
- create a comprehensive plan
- conduct an annual review of the effectiveness of the school-wide program and revise the plan as necessary.
Adopting this strategy should result in an ongoing, comprehensive plan for school improvement that is owned by the entire school community and tailored to its unique needs.
Whereas Title I targeted assistance programs only provide educational services to identified individual students, school-wide programs allow staff in schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families to redesign their entire educational program to serve all students. The emphasis in school-wide program schools is on serving all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining all resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal. School-wide programs maximize the impact of Title I.