How do you decide if a child is eligible for Title I?
Children receiving Title I assistance are those students who, for a variety of reasons, have fallen behind their peers in reading. The purpose of Title I is to help them catch up to grade level and succeed in the classroom. Children in first grade are determined eligible for services if their kindergarten teacher refers them or if their DIBELS test results from kindergarten show a need for reading support. During the year, their classroom teacher may also recommend students based upon classroom reading assignments. Teacher or parent referral, prior inclusion in Title I and early intervention test scores showing non-proficient reading determine students in grades 2-3 eligible. Fourth and fifth grade students are determined eligible by teacher or parent referral, prior inclusion in Title I and scoring less than 40% on the National Percentile Rank of comprehension on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Once a child is determined as eligible for Title I, how do you determine if they are in need of special help or just a poor test taker?
After students have been identified as eligible, they are given an individualized reading test based on their grade. First graders are given a set of six different tests including identification of alphabet letters, knowledge of concepts of print, writing vocabulary, and hearing sounds in words and reading. If they then score below a set stanine on the subtests, they are included in Title I services. Second through fifth grades are asked to read an individual reading passage, written at grade level, and the teacher does an inventory of comprehension. If a student scores below 80% on the inventory, a second reading assessment is given. Students showing frustration on the second test in either reading accuracy or comprehension are then selected for Title I services.
What are stanines?
Stanines are a fancy way of saying below average (stanines 1-3), average (stanines 4-6) and above average (stanines 7-9).
Do all the children who need extra help participate in the Title I program?
No, unfortunately there are not enough funds available to help all the children who need extra help. The Title I staff try to work with the children who show the most need, with emphasis at the primary grade levels. Children who are not put into Title I and are still having difficulty may, however, qualify for help from the at-risk program.
Why does DC-G place the greatest emphasis at the primary level?
The Title I program at DC-G places the greatest emphasis at the primary level because it is believed if problems are remediated when they first occur, the child will have a better chance to be successful in later grades. Studies also indicate that after first grade, habits in reading are set and are much harder to change.
I want to recommend my child for Title I services. What do I do?
Parents who feel their child would benefit from continued support of Title I need to simply tell the Title I teacher of their feeling. Parents may also discuss this with their regular classroom teacher. Title I teachers will then try to evaluate the child and let the parent know, in a timely manner, what the child’s test results were and if they qualify for Title I.
How are parents notified of their child’s inclusion in the Title I or Reading Recovery programs?
Any time a student has been identified as needing Title I or Reading Recovery services, a permission letter is sent home with the student. We ask that the letter be read, signed, dated and returned. Also sent home at this time is the Title I Parent/Teacher compact to be signed, read and returned. A Title I booklet is also given to any new Title I family when a child starts Title I services.