North Crawford High School was one of 65 Title I schools to receive Wisconsin Reward School Honors last week, making the High-Progress list.
The school only became a Title I school a couple of years ago, according to North Crawford Elementary School Principal Brandon Munson.
“At that time, we formed a school-wide Title committee,” Munson said.
“We do a school-wide needs assessment each year to determine where our needs are,” Munson said. “We also hold an annual parent involvement meeting in the spring, which we have received some very good suggestions from.”
The results of the needs assessment, comprised of testing scores and staff feedback, and parental feedback helps the school determine how Title I funds will be used.
“It may mean anything from additional resources and materials in the classroom up to additional teaching support working with small groups of students or individuals,” Munson said. “It can also be used for professional development and sending staff to workshops.”
The aim of the efforts is to reduce the disparity in achievement between low-income students and those from more affluent backgrounds.
“North Crawford is now a ‘school-wide’ Title I school,” explained reading specialist Sue Presser. “We used to be a targeted school. Now, instead of targeting specific individuals, all students are considered Title I. So this award, even though it is called a Title I award, is recognizing all of the teachers. We have many awesome teachers here at North Crawford and a supportive administration.”
Title I teachers Presser and Lynn Harden, the math specialist, work one-on-one with the students showing the greatest needs, much as they did prior to the school-wide designation. One change that Presser noted is the increase in physical resources for all the classrooms.
North Crawford was recently able to purchase document cameras for all the classrooms. These cameras replace overhead projectors, filling the same need while giving the teacher greater flexibility in what is demonstrated. Paper does not need to be made into a transparency to be projected, plus the teacher can put other physical objects under the camera for projection and magnification.
As part of Wisconsin’s Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver request, the Department of Public Instruction is required to identify Title I schools that are among the highest achieving in the state and those that have the most significant improvement in student achievement from one year to the next. Title I is a federal program to support schools serving low-income students.
To be recognized, schools first must receive Title I aid because they have significant numbers of students from low-income families based on federal free- and reduced-price school meal income guidelines. All reward schools must have minimal achievement gaps on statewide assessments or show evidence of reducing gaps between student groups, like racial groups, ethnic groups, income level groups or even males and females. Additionally, reward schools must meet the state’s test participation, attendance, and dropout goals.
The High-Progress Reward Schools earned a “Meets Expectations,” “Exceeds Expectations,” or “Significantly Exceeds Expectations” accountability rating on the Wisconsin School Report Card.
North Crawford High School received a “Meets Expectations” score of 71.7 out of 100, placing it in the top 10-percent of Title I schools.
There are 426 public school districts and 209 charter schools in Wisconsin. Of those, 64.4-percent are Title I schools.
Thirty-seven percent of the students statewide qualify for free or reduced lunches. At North Crawford, 45.1-percent of high school students qualify and 59.1-percent of K-8 students qualify.
Rewards schools received a certificate of achievement signed by the state superintendent. Next fall, the Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition and the Reward Schools programs will be combined.