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Title 1 Site Navigation Program Improvement Title I Programs home Title I Homepage Other Title I Programs Schoolwide Programs home Targeted Assistance Programs

Title I Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

General Questions

Q.

What is the purpose of Title I?

A.

To provide extra educational assistance beyond the regular classroom to at-risk students.

Q.

What is the budget for Title I Part A?

A.

Nationally, the allocation for 2007-2008 is $12,838,125,280. North Dakota’s State allocation for 2007-2008 is $29,849,438.

Q.

How many children receive assistance?

Q.

Each year, approximately 19,190 children in North Dakota receive Title I services.

A.

If the same students are in Title I for many years, is that okay?

Q.

The goal of Title I is to assist students so that they no longer need Title I services. However, if a child continues to be eligible for services each year, it is allowable to keep serving them. Schools are highly encouraged to look at all students on a regular basis through student progress reports to determine if they can be released from the Title I program.

A.

If you have a signed letter from a parent checking off "No, I do not want my child to receive Title I services," do you need a separate waiver form as well?

Q.

No, a separate waiver form is not necessary. The requirement is only that you must have the parent's signature if he/she does not want his/her child to receive Title I services, not that you must also have a separate waiver form. You may create and use a waiver if you wish.

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Aides/Paraprofessionals

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has developed a written policy on the use of teacher aides/paraprofessionals.

Q.

Can Title I aides report to a classroom teacher?

A.

No. In a targeted assistance program, Title I instructional aides must work under the direct supervision of a Title I teacher who has the primary responsibility for providing the instructional services to eligible Title I students.

Q.

What does “direct supervision” mean?

A.

Direct supervision means: (1) the teacher prepares the lesson and plans the instructional support activities the aide/paraprofessional carries out, and evaluates the achievement of the students with whom the aide/paraprofessional is working, and (2) the aide/paraprofessional works in close proximity with the teacher.

Q.

As the only Title I teacher among aides, is the teacher the only one who should be doing the assessments on Title I students?

A.

Aides may assist a Title I teacher in assessing Title I students, but the Title I teacher should oversee this process. Title I aides may not have their own caseload of students. Ultimately, the Title I teacher is responsible for all Title I students.

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Assessment

Q.

Should the three assessment results be combined together on one form, like the student selection method results?

A.

The three assessment results do not have to be combined together; this is a local decision. However, for two reasons, it is recommended that a Title I teacher develop a combination form: (1) It is an easy, quick way to document that every student is assessed using three separate measures and (2) Since informing parents of their child's assessment is required, combining the results on one form is a convenient way to organize the results and inform them by simply mailing the form to parents.

Q.

When does the Title I assessment take place during the school year? Should/could it be done more than once? How many times per year do most Title I teachers formally assess students?

A.

Title I assessment takes place throughout the school year and it is typically recorded at quarterly periods, just as regular classroom assessment. It should most definitely be done more than once each school year. Three is probably the average number of times Title I teachers assess their students per year.

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Extending Day Programming

Q.

If my school decided to operate an extended day program, do I, as the Title I teacher, need to be the instructor?

A.

No, the district may hire any certified teacher to operate the Title I extended day program.  The only requirement is that they teach the grades that are listed on their teaching license. However, if a different person is responsible for the extended day program, it is VERY important that a regular means of communication on student progress exists between the daily Title I instructor and the extended day program staff.

Q.

Can the extended day program be open to all children at the school?

A.

Title I cannot pay for Title I students to attend an extended day program if the district covers the cost of the other students who participate in the program. This would break the “supplement, not supplant” rule because in such a case, Title I students would not be receiving something extra that is not provided to other students. There are ways, however, of coordinating an after-school program.

    • Students who are not identified for Title I services could be required to pay a fee if they would like to enroll. That fee could then cover some of the salary for the extended day instructor, as well as material costs and other expenses that arise.
    • The district could cover the costs of providing a part-time extended day program that, for example, operates two days a week. All children would be invited to attend this program. The Title I extended day program could meet on two other days of the week, with Title I funds covering the complete costs of this part of the program.

Q.

What CAN Title I funds pay for in an extended day program?

A.

Title I funds could pay for all costs associated with a Title I extended day program, including salary costs, material costs, snacks, and transportation.

Q.

What types of activities should occur in a Title I extended day program?

A.

Because Title I is specifically about raising academic achievement, the focus of the program should be primarily academic in nature, focusing specifically on reading and math.  After-school “clubs”, which are focused more on providing interesting activities that keep students at the school and safe, should not be the focus of a Title I-funded extended day program.  On an incidental basis, the program could cover the costs of an atypical Title I event, such as a guest speaker who comes to share an art activity with students.

Q.

What resources exist for Title I extended day programs?

A.

On the North Dakota Title I website, we offer many links that you may find useful as you design your extended day program.  Of particular note are the results of the “Ideas Submitted for the Extended Day Idea Exchange” where Title I teachers from across North Dakota offer spectacular ideas for an extended day program.  The direct link to this part of our website is: www.dpi.state.nd.us/title1/resource/aftrschl/index.shtm.

Q.

Are there other federal funds that I could use to support an extended day program?

A.

Federal funds that could be used to support an extended day program include:

    • Title I – Remember that Title I funds can pay for an extended day program only if the program is just for Title I students.  This program must be supplemental, above and beyond what other students have available.
    • Title IV
    • Title V
    • 21st Century
    • Title VI – Flexibility and Accountability

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Highly Qualified

Q.

What about using volunteers to work with Title I students? How are they affected by the “highly qualified” requirements?

A.

As long as volunteers are not being paid, they can work with Title I students if they are under the supervision of the Title I or classroom teacher. They are not affected by the paraprofessional or highly qualified teacher requirements.

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Homeless

Q.

If we don’t offer Title I services in grades 4 and above buildings, and a homeless student enrolls in one of those grades, are we required to provide teacher services through Title I, migrant, neglected/delinquent, etc.?

A.

Yes. If the student is identified as needing assistance. This is why we encourage districts to set aside some money for this purpose. The set-aside can be used district-wide, so wherever the student is, or whatever grade level, if that student is at risk of failing, then help can be given. Please remember, just because they are eligible does not mean they are automatically identified.

Migrant, neglected/delinquent, and other students are also eligible for Title I services. Eligibility does not necessarily mean they are identified as failing or at risk of failing.

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Homework

Q.

Could part of a Title I period be used for supplementing basic skills and part of the time be used for working on homework?

A.

Generally speaking, homework completion should not be a regular part of the Title I program. Title I teachers may supplement the primary instruction provided by the regular classroom teacher. Thus, the Title I teacher may pre-teach, re-teach or post-teach skills being presented in the classroom. A major component of the Title I program should not be the completion of classroom/homework assignments, but instead should be pre-teaching/re-teaching a skill to the student so that the student has the ability to work on homework without assistance. The goal of Title I is to provide an alternative way to teach a skill to a struggling student so that he/she may do homework independently.

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Private School Students

Q.

If an eligible student attends a private school, but is at a grade level above where the resident public school has targeting services, does that student also receive services?

A.

No. If the student would not receive services at their resident public school, then they would not receive services at the private school. During the consultation process, the public and private school would collaborate on a “Needs Assessment” for the private school to use. Remember, any student receiving services in a private school MUST come from an eligible attendance center.

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Professional Development

Q.

If we use Title I funds for professional development, can we only include Title I teachers?

A.

It depends, as the requirements vary depending on whether the school operates as a targeted assistance program or a schoolwide program.

For a schoolwide program, schoolwide Title I funds can be used to support all personnel for professional development purposes as long as it has been outlined in the schoolwide plan and is aligned to the schoolwide goals.

For a targeted assistance program, Section 1115(C)(1)(F) of NCLB states that schools may use Title I funds to provide professional development for teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals who work with students participating in the Title I targeted assistance program. This professional development must, however, meet the following requirements:

  • The professional development must be focused on helping at-risk students.
  • The cost of the training must be reasonable.
  • The teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals participating must be reflective of the grades being served by the Title I program. For instance, if a school serves   Title I students in grades K-2, then only teachers in grades K-2 could participate in the professional development.
  • All professional development expenditures must be detailed and approved in the district’s consolidated application or budget revision before they are implemented. 

When determining whether or not Title I funds can be used to fund a whole school professional development activity, review each of the above items. If the professional development is not exclusively focused on helping at-risk students or is extremely expensive, then it would be more appropriate to do a cost share between programs. School districts receive Title II funding specifically for professional development purposes. The district could calculate the number of children receiving Title I services versus those not participating in Title I and share the professional development costs accordingly.

For more information on this issue, please refer to www.dpi.state.nd.us/title1/targeted/general/facts/index.shtm.

Q.

Can Title I funds be used to pay stipends for all staff in a Title I targeted assistance building?

A.

If the professional development is specific in helping at-risk, Title I students and if the intent of the professional development is to assist classroom teachers in helping these students achieve, then yes.

However, it would not be allowable to pay stipends with Title I funds if the professional development has no relation to Title I students, such as the state math/reading conference or general math/reading professional development. Rather, Title II funds should be used to cover these stipends.

Q.

Can Title I funds be used to pay professional development costs (i.e., registration, travel, meals, etc.) for all staff in a Title I targeted assistance building?

A.

If the professional development is specific in helping at-risk, Title I students and if the intent of the professional development is to assist classroom teachers in helping these students achieve, then yes.

However, it would not be allowable to pay registration, travel, meals, etc., with Title I funds if the professional development has no relation to Title I students, such as the state math/reading conference or general math/reading professional development. Title II funds should be used to cover these expenses.

Q.

If we have a teacher participate in a professional development opportunity, what are we obligated to pay?

A.

It is up to the school or district to decide what will be paid. Typically, the school or district covers the cost of the training (registration, travel expenses, hotel, meals, etc.). Some schools and districts only cover these costs if the school/district requires or requests the teacher to attend. However, it is the school or district’s decision whether or not a stipend will be paid.

Q.

Are we required to pay stipends for professional development?

A.

No. Schools and districts are not required to pay stipends for professional development; however, it is very common among schools and districts across the state to do so. In particular, if the professional development is happening outside the regular contracted school day or calendar year, stipends are typically paid.

Q.

If we do pay a stipend, how much are we required to pay?

A.

There is no requirement on the amount a school or district must pay if a stipend is given. The state Title I office has seen stipends range from $10-$30 per hour.

If your school or district is having difficulty deciding what to pay for stipends, you may want to take the following into consideration:

  • The average hourly rate for teachers at the school.
  • The amount of funding available for professional development stipends.
  • The amount typically paid in past years.

Q.

Can stipends be paid to paraprofessionals?

A.

Yes. Most often, schools and districts paying stipends to paraprofessionals have a different pay rate than what is being paid to teachers.

Q.

If we pay stipends, are we also obligated to pay for benefits?

A.

Yes. Regardless of the amount of the stipend or how it has been done in the past, schools and districts MUST also include ALL benefits when paying stipends.

Q.

Can a school or district dismiss early for professional development purposes?

A.

Yes. During the 2007 Legislative session, HB 1270 provided districts with several choices regarding professional development. These include:

  • Having two full-days for professional development during the school year. They defined a full-day as six hour sessions, exclusive of meals, breaks, etc.

OR

  • Having four half-days for professional development during the school year. They defined a half-day as a four hour session, exclusive of meals, breaks, etc. This option would essentially be “early dismissal” as the bill also clarifies that schools can operate a half-day of instruction and provide a half-day of professional development.

Q.

What funds are available for professional development?

A.

Schools and districts have a variety of funds available to access for professional development. All of the federal program funds can be used for professional development, particularly when it meets the intent and purpose of that particular program. These federal funding sources include:

  • Title I
  • Title II A
  • Title II D
  • Title IV
  • Title V
  • Special Education

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Reading First

Q.

Can Title I teachers work with Title I students during the 90-minute block of instruction in a Reading First program?

A.

No. Title I students need to receive their reading instruction from the classroom teacher and for the same duration that is made available to all students in the classroom. The 90-minute block is intended to be a period when core reading instruction is provided and at-risk students need that core instruction more than anyone else. Since these students are struggling in reading, they are entitled to additional, supplemental reading instruction above and beyond what a proficient student needs to receive. At-risk students need to be provided with additional instruction time to accelerate their progress rather than given replacement services.

Q.

Do the Title I regulations require school districts using Reading First assessments to administer another assessment funded by the district in order to select Title I students?

A.

The guidance states that the school district is responsible for the cost of the assessments used for the selection of Title I students. Title I funds may not be used to purchase assessments for the purpose of identifying Title I students. However,  Reading First funds, or other federal funds such as Title V, may be used for the purpose of selecting students eligible for Title I services.

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Special Education

Q.

Can students on an IEP also receive Title I services?

A.

Yes. Special education students are eligible for Title I services on the same basis as all other students. You cannot exclude special education students just because they are already receiving extra services, as that would be discrimination. These students must be chosen, ranked, and served on the same basis as all other students. In addition, local schools may not create a policy saying that they won’t double serve students. However, IEP or LEP students are also entitled to additional services required by law because of their disability or their limited proficiency in English. School staff may decide that these additional services required by law are sufficient to enable them to meet the state’s challenging standards, or that a child who is not receiving any additional services is more qualified for Title I services. Every situation and student is unique and should be considered for services on a case-by-case basis. Again, Title I teachers must use their best professional judgment in making decisions as to which students are in greatest need to receive Title I services.

Q.

Please clarify coordination of services with special education students and language expression qualification, etc. When can’t Title I serve them?

A.

Each case is looked at independently. You need to pay close attention to what is written in the student’s IEP. Remember, if the school is required by law to provide the service in the absence of Title funds, then services cannot be provided with Title I funds. Please contact the state Title I office if you are unsure whether or not a student can be served.

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Student Selection

Q.

Would a questionnaire/checklist on study skills serve as a method of student selection?

A.

Whenever choosing or creating a method of student selection, it is important to keep in mind that all methods for grades three and up must be based on objective, uniform criteria. Assessing a student's study skills is probably a judgment-based or subjective method, and therefore may not be acceptable.

Q.

Can "Class Rank" be a method of student selection? Could one selection criteria be "Teacher Referral" and another be "Received Services Last Year?"

A.

"Class Rank" could possibly be a method of student selection, but only if the information which is used to determine each student's class rank is objective. If "Class Rank" is based solely on a teacher's judgment, that would be too subjective for student selection purposes. "Received Services Last Year" is an acceptable criteria for student selection. Although for grades three and up selection criteria must be objective, Title I regulations state that preschool through grade two children CAN be selected on the basis of teacher referral, parent referral and developmentally appropriate measures.

Q.

In first grade, as the year goes by, teachers refer students to the Title I program. Can teachers do this? Is there some way to make this a part of the student selection?

A.

Students may be referred for Title I services at any time during the school year. After receiving a referral, the Title I teacher must then use the same uniform, objective criteria to determine eligibility and rank this student as the teacher did in the original student selection process. The referred student would then receive Title I services if he/she ranked as one in "greatest need." The important thing to remember is that you must have a formal student selection process based on educationally related, objective, uniformly applied criteria given to all students at each grade level, no matter what time of the school year a student is reviewed for services.

Q.

Should new Title I referrals during the school year go through Teacher Assistance Teams?

A.

New Title I referrals should undergo the same student selection process that students went through during the original student selection process. Therefore, if teacher referral without Teacher Assistance Teams was the original student selection process, new referrals should not go through the Teacher Assistance Team either.

Q.

If teachers want students dismissed from Title I services during the year, do you have to prove that they no longer meet the selection criteria?

A.

If a student who was originally selected for services is no longer going to be a part of the Title I program, this decision should be made by the Title I teachers, classroom teacher(s), and the student's parents. If, for example, a Title I teacher or a classroom teacher notices a dramatic improvement in a Title I student, then both teachers as well as the student's parents could decide that the student no longer needs Title I services. Removal of a student from the program during the year should always be done on an individual student basis and it must be a joint decision between all parties involved.

Q.

May you use a Reading Inventory as both a method of student selection and an assessment? What are the advantages/disadvantages to using the same method for both?

A.

Yes, you may use the same "test" as a method of student selection and as an assessment if you feel that this will work well in your program. There are no obvious advantages or disadvantages in using, for example, the Reading Inventory as both a student selection method and an assessment.

Q.

Is it okay if the classroom teacher is ranking all math students and those are the ones who are receiving Title I services?

A.

The most important issue to keep in mind here is that you must use objective criteria when you select which students will receive Title I services. Look at the criteria that the classroom teacher is using, if the criteria is objective, like a test score, then yes, this could be one method of student selection. Remember, however, that although this could definitely be one criteria for student selection, you need more than one to determine which students will receive Title I services. In addition, the Title I teacher is responsible for combining the various selection methods onto one worksheet to rank which students will receive services.

Q.

Can parent input be a part of the Title I student selection process?

A.

No. Parent input is not an allowable criteria for student selection. Student selection is to be based on objective, educationally related, and uniformly applied criteria. Parent request is not objective, nor can it be uniformly applied to all students in the school. Parents can, of course, visit with their child’s teacher if they have academic concerns. The teacher can refer the student for Title I services. If teacher referral is used, please keep in mind that it must be objective, educationally related, and uniformly applied to all students. Schools utilizing teacher referral must have teacher referral worksheets on file to document the student selection process.

Q.

How does a Title I teacher select those students who are in greatest need for receiving Title I services?

A.

A Title I teacher must select students from an eligible pool of students in a targeted assistance school who have the greatest need for special assistance to receive Title I funds. Many times, a school does not have sufficient funds to provide services to all eligible students. Difficult choices need to be made concerning which students to serve. Title I teachers, based on a review of all the information available about the performance of eligible students, must use their best professional judgment in making these choices. It is imperative that the student selection worksheet have a ranking that shows which students are most in need and were selected to receive Title I services.

Other target populations, such as students with disabilities and LEP students, present similar choices. Those students are eligible for Title I services on the same basis as other eligible students. However, they are also entitled to additional services required by law because of their disability or their limited proficiency in English. School staff may decide that these additional services required by law are sufficient to enable them to meet the state’s challenging standards. Every situation and student is unique and should be considered for services on a case-by-case basis. Again, Title I teachers must use their best professional judgment in making decisions on which students are in greatest need to receive Title I services.

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Targeted Assistance

Q.

In a targeted assistance school, may only eligible Title I students be served?

A.

The basic rule of thumb is that only eligible Title I students should be served in a targeted assistance school. This rule of thumb also pertains to in-class models of instruction for targeted assistance schools. However, the law does provide for some flexibility. There is a term in the Title I regulations called “incidental inclusion”. This allows schools to serve non-Title I students on an incidental basis or in unusual circumstances. However, this should be the exception, not the norm. For example, the Title I teacher is going to teach a supplementary lesson on contractions. There is a student in the regular classroom who has not been identified for Title I services because she is typically a good student who learns new skills easily. However, for whatever reason, she is having a lot of difficulty understanding contractions. Therefore, that student could join the other students for that day in going to the Title I room, or within the classroom, to receive additional instruction on that skill. Any child that is receiving Title I services on a regular basis must go through the student selection process.

Q.

Can non-Title I students use computers or other items purchased with Title I funds?

A.

It is the local school's responsibility to ensure and document that Title I students are using equipment, or any other item purchased with Title I funds, the vast majority of the time. The Title I guidance refers to a 90-10 rule suggesting that Title I students should be using Title I purchased items 90% of the time.

Q.

What is the average number of Title I students per teacher?

A.

The average caseload for a 1.0 FTE Title I teacher in North Dakota is between 25 – 35 students. The maximum caseload for a full-time Title I teacher is 45 students.

Q.

How are Title I services provided?

A.

In Title I, there are basically four choices for instructional delivery models: (1) pull-out, (2) in-class, (3) extended day, or (4) extended year summer programs. When choosing a delivery model, remember that all targeted assistance schools must ensure that services provided by Title I personnel, regardless of the model of delivery used, are supplemental. The primary responsibility for the choice of instructional models is at the school building.

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Testing Out of Title I

Q.

Is there a way that students may "test out" of Title I during the school year? For example, would you administer a mid-year assessment and then release the students who are doing okay?

A.

If a Title I teacher or a classroom teacher notices a dramatic improvement in a Title I student, then both teachers as well as the students parents could decide that the student no longer needs Title I services. This should always be done on an individual student basis and must be a joint decision between all parties involved.

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Title I Teachers as Substitutes

Q.

Are Title I teachers allowed to substitute teach in regular classrooms?

A.

Title I personnel may be assigned substitute teaching responsibilities, but only under certain circumstances. There are certain regulations that must be followed. Title I personnel should not be in the pool of staff available to substitute. Title I personnel should only be asked to substitute if no other staff are available. It should only be on an incidental basis. Substitute teaching may only be performed by Title I personnel during non-teaching periods, for example, during planning periods. Title I class may not be cancelled in order for personnel to substitute teach in the regular classroom.  If Title I personnel only teach three days a week, then it would be permissible, on an incidental basis, the other two days of the week.

Q.

How long can a substitute teacher be utilized to provide Title I services?

A.

It depends. The use of substitute teachers for Title I is primarily intended to be short term to allow Title I personnel to attend professional development or when ill. According to the Approval and Accreditation office within the department, there is no such assignment as a long term substitute. The department is currently working on a policy statement regarding duration of substitute teachers. However, once a teaching position has been vacated, it is no longer appropriate to hire someone as a substitute teacher. If there is no highly qualified teacher of record on contract, then there is no one to substitute teach for. In that case, placing someone in the classroom becomes a teaching assignment. Any staff assigned to teach Title I must be highly qualified and have the appropriate Title I credential. Initial Title I credentials are available for Title I personnel, if a plan of study is approved.

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Use of Title I Funds

Q.

Can Title I funds be used to send staff to a convention that is being held in another country?

A.

Possibly. There are no regulations barring use of Title I funds to travel outside of the United States. The use of Title I funds must simply be reasonable and appropriate. The annual IRA convention was previously held in another country and addresses specific Title I topics and is a very appropriate professional development activity using Title I funds regardless of where it is being held.

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Do you have a question?

If you are a Title I teacher, coordinator, or administrator in North Dakota and you would like to have a Title I question and its answer added to this page, you may email your question to aellefson@nd.gov.

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Kirsten Baesler, State Superintendent
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