Elementary Title I Schoolwide Program
In 1965, the federal government passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which includes the Title I program. The purpose of this law is to help students at risk in basic subject area such as reading and math that may not have the resources to afford additional help or tutoring. The amount of funds that a school district receives is based on their poverty, which is determined by the number of students that receive a free or reduced lunch.
On January 8, 2002, Title I became a part of the No Child Left Behind act. It stresses the use of standards and benchmarks to monitor the progress of all students. Every school that receives Title I funding is required to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) meaning that most students are reaching the benchmarks for their grade level. This is determined by the Pennsylvania state test or the PSSA that is given to all students in 3rd - 11th grade.
Towanda Area School District has two elementary schools, J. Andrew Morrow Primary School and the Towanda Area Elementary School. Both are RTII (Response to Intervention and Instruction) schools where students are screened three times a year; fall, winter, spring. The DIBELS Next screening is used in grades kindergarten to sixth to monitor student progress and evaluate our instruction. We presently screen for literacy skills in K5-6th and numeracy skills in K5- 1st. Scores are reviewed and compared to national norms. Some students will receive intervention, extra instructional support to insure they are making progress. Parents are informed if their child is to receive any extra assistance. Student progress is monitored within the intervention group and they may be dismissed if adequate progress is made or benchmarks are reached.
The Towanda Area School District Title I program is schoolwide. This means that all students and teachers are considered part of the program, whether they receive an extra intervention or not. This makes all students eligible to use and receive materials purchased through the Title I budget. Formerly, only students identified for the program had access to these materials. Title I intervention teachers are reading specialists and our instructional aides are highly qualified.
A dominant feature of the Title I law is the involvement of parents in their child's education. Since our program is schoolwide, we partner with our Parent Teacher Organization, PTO, to plan, review, and monitor our program. Meetings are held monthly at the Towanda Area Elementary School and all parents are encouraged to join and take an active part in their child's education.