Schoolwide ProgramsA comprehensive support program to improve outcomes for all students in Title I schools.
A schoolwide program (SWP) is a comprehensive reform strategy designed to upgrade the entire educational program in a Title I school. The 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.
Whereas, Title I, Part A targeted assistance school (TAS) programs only provide educational services to identified individual students. SWP allows staff in schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families to redesign their entire educational program to serve all students. The emphasis on SWP schools is to serve all students, improving all structures that support student learning, and combining all resources, as allowed, to achieve a common goal. SWP maximizes the impact of Title I, Part A. 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.
Additional information on TAS programs may be located on the Title I, Part A Targeted Assistance Schools Web page.
In general, a Title I, Part A school may operate as a SWP if a minimum of 40 percent of the students in the school, or residing in the attendance area served by the school, are from low-income families (ESSA Section 1114[a]). A school that serves less than 40 percent of children from low-income families may operate as a SWP if the school, with local governing board approval, receives a waiver from the State educational agency (SEA) (ESSA Section 1114[a][B]).
A school operating a SWP shall develop a comprehensive plan (ESSA Section 1114[b]). The SWP plan will remain in effect for the duration of the school’s participation in a SWP and will be monitored and revised as necessary (ESSA Section 1114[b]).
Additional information on SWP plans may be located on the School Plans Web page.
A SWP may continue operating as a SWP as long as it maintains the low-income percentage of students in the school at 40 or higher (ESSA Section 1114[a][A]). If a SWP falls below the threshold of 40 percent low-income, the SWP may apply with local governing board approval to the SEA for a waiver based on the criteria approved by the ESSA Section 1114(a)(1)(B).
SWP Waiver Criteria and Process
SWP waivers may be approved by the SEA if the local governing board approves such a request and if the school meets one or more of the following criteria:
- ≥25 percent student low income;
- Graduation rate is below state average;
- Local governing board recommends that a SWP is the best way to serve the student population;
- ≥30 percent English Learner student population;
- School has been identified for comprehensive or targeted support; or
- School has been identified as the lowest 5 percent of low performing schools.
Once the local governing board approves the waiver request, the school must then complete the following:
- Conduct a Needs Assessment
- Develop a SWP Plan
- Have the local governing board approve the SWP Plan
- The LEA will indicate on the Notification of Authorization of SWP report in the Consolidated Application Reporting System the dates of when the local governing board approved the SWP Waiver and SWP Plan.
A school may begin to operate as a SWP on the day the local governing board approved the SWP plan (ESSA Section 1114[b][B]).
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding SWP plans may be found at School Plans FAQs.
- Title I, Part A, Targeted Assistance Schools
- Title I Fiscal Guidance (PDF)
- Non-regulatory guidance issued February 2008 by the U.S. Department of Education (DOC)
- Non-regulatory guidance issued March 2006 by the U.S. Department of Education (DOC)
- Non-regulatory guidance about SWP issued in September 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education (PDF)
- Designing Schoolwide Programs - Sample (DOCX)