How does a student qualify for Title 1 services?
Kindergarten: All kindergarten students in the public and non-public schools are screened for pre-reading skills, such as print concepts and letter recognition, and math skills, such as counting and number recognition, to determine which students are in need of additional support. As the year progresses children may be added to the program based on teacher observations and further screening.
First through fourth grade: All classroom teachers fill out a comprehensive needs assessment in May each year. Information recorded includes:
- Teacher observation and recommendation
- Report card grades
- Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) scores below the 30th percentile
- Guided reading levels (k-2) that are six months or more behind grade level
- Accelerated Reading (AR) or Star Reading tests (grades 3-4) that are more than six months behind grade level
- Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) scores that are below the 50th percentile
Any student who has qualifying scores in two or more of these areas may be eligible for Title 1 services.
How long does my child remain in Title 1?
Title 1 is a very fluid and flexible program. Students are served as long as needed and may exit the program at any time. The classroom teacher and Title 1 staff communicate frequently about academic progress and decisions are made based on performance. Typically, students are exited at the end of a school year after final report cards and assessments have been completed and goals have been reached.
What does a typical Title 1 experience look like?
In the public schools, a highly qualified teacher or paraprofessional may assist your child. Depending on need, your child may be seen individually or in a small group. Teachers often bring reading students to another setting where resources are readily available and distractions are eliminated. Paraprofessionals often work with children in the classroom or in a connected workspace. Students are usually scheduled in 20-30 minute blocks of time.
If your child receives Math assistance, the Title 1 staff will monitor and assist in the classroom after the regular whole-group instruction time. There may be occasions when additional one-on-one or small group assistance is given.
What formal assessments are given?
In the public schools, two formal assessments are given: the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP test), and the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA). The first experience children have is in kindergarten doing the MAP tests. These are currently given in the fall, winter and spring in grades K-2. The MCAs are given in April to students in grades 3-8 and grade 11. Students currently take MCA exams in Reading, Math, and Science.
Standardized achievement tests are given to students in the private schools. Our Lady of Victory gives the Iowa Basic to their students in October. Morning Son Christian School administers the Terra Nova test in April
What rights are granted parents under No Child Left Behind (NCLB)?
Under NCLB, parents have the right to be involved with their child's education. This means parents have the right to attend school events, parent/teacher conferences, and parent involvement activities. They have the right to visit the classroom and to volunteer. And they have the right to be a part of a committee, such as the Parent Advisory Committee for Title 1. What having this 'right' means is that parents cannot be denied the opportunity to participate because of barriers that might prevent participation from happening. If transportation is a problem, parents need to work with the schools to come up with a solution to remove that barrier allowing parents to attend events.
Another right that parents may exercise is the removal of their child's name from the list that high schools are required to give to colleges and military recruiting offices.
What is the importance of parental involvement?
Research strongly and clearly shows that parent involvement is the key to a child's success. Children with involved parents earn higher grades, have better test scores, and are more apt to graduate and go on to college or tech school. These children have better school attendance, self-esteem, social skills, behavior, and attitudes.
What does parent involvement look like?
Think of parent involvement as having three levels. The first level requires minimal effort, but is very important to your child. It involves attending school functions like open house, game nights, music programs and parent/teacher conferences.
The second level is the most effective parent involvement and that involves active, intentional effort to work with, or tutor, your child. It definitely includes reading to your child, which is the most important activity you can do together. It is also providing encouragement, study time and space, along with the monitoring of homework such as checking agenda books, helping to study spelling words, or finishing math assignments.
The third level of parent involvement would include the act of volunteering in the classroom or taking an active role in decision-making groups like the PTO, PAC (Title 1's Parent Advisory Committee), the district's Curriculum Advisory Council, or others.
What is the PAC?
PAC stands for Parent Advisory Council. It is a small group of parents who are willing to work with the Title 1 lead teacher to plan Title 1 activities for the year. It consists of two meetings, a fall meeting to plan and a spring meeting to evaluate the success of the parent involvement activities and make recommendations for the next year.