Migrant Education Program
Preliminary Guidance for Title I, Part C
Public Law 103-382

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Serving Migrant Children in Schoolwide Programs

Schoolwide Programs Under the ESEA

Schoolwide programs may use federal, state and local funds to upgrade a school's entire educational program, provided that federal funds taken as a whole supplement state and local funds that would otherwise be spent at the schoo l. Section 1114 of the ESEA permits schools and school attendance areas with 60 percent poverty in the 1995-1996 school year and 50 percent poverty in subsequent years to elect to combine funds to support schoolwide projects. The flexibility to combine funding sources helps schools use resources t o improve the entire instructional program to better serve all children in these schools. Rather than having several different categorical programs which separately provide extra assistance for a portion of a school's population, schoolwide programs serve all students in the school while at the same time ensuring that target populations succeed.

Schoolwide programs may combine funds from other sources--including programs authorized under Title I (Parts A, B, C, and D), and many federal discretionary grant programs5 --with state and local education funds. Schoolwide programs that combine funds allocated under federal programs are exempt from statutory or regulatory provisions of those individual programs if they carry out activities that meet the intent and purposes of those programs. Further, schoolwide programs may not be limited to only certain grades within a school; a schoolwide program is just that--schoolwide. It should be designed to upgrade the effectiveness of the entire school program. Although a multitude of activities can be conducted in a schoolwide program, some varying from grade to grade, any particular focus must occur within the context of the entire school reform effort.

Choosing to become a schoolwide program allows a school to marshall considerable resources in an effort to create an exceptional learning environment. For example, schoolwide programs can:

  • Accelerate the curriculum to enable all students to meet high standards;

  • Encourage and facilitate collaboration and planning among regular classroom teachers, administrators, specialists, support staff, and parents;

  • Encourage innovation in instruction, use of time, staffing, and other resources;

  • Involve parents more centrally in planning, decision making, and instructional support roles;

  • Coordinate budgets from multiple sources;

  • Integrate and streamline pupil services, including diagnostic and counseling assistance as well as health services; and

  • Consolidate and tailor professional development to a school's particular needs.

Resource Available from the U.S. Department of Education

An Idea Book for Educators: Implementing Schoolwide Projects, a resource for policy makers and practitioners, is available from the U.S. Department of Education. The book provides ideas for planning and implementing effective schoolwide projects and includes profiles of 12 elementary schoolwide programs along with persons to contact for further information. To request a single copy, contact the Department's Publications Hotline at (202) 401-3132.

SEAs are also required, in consultation with LEAs and schools, to establish a statewide system of schoolwide support teams (Section 1117(c)(1)). These teams are made up of individuals who know the research and practice on teaching and learning, particularly as related to low-achieving students. The school support team's role is to review the school's progress in enabling children to meet the state's student performance standards, to ident ify problems in the design and operation of the instruction program, and to make recommendations for improvement to the school and the LEA. For more specific information on schoolwide programs, please see Section 1114 of the statute and the relevant section of the guidance for Title I , Part A programs.

Planning to Serve Migrant Students in Schoolwide Programs

In planning a schoolwide program that includes migrant students and MEP funds, an LEA and school need to know that:

  • Even though the MEP is a state-administered program, an eligible school may, in consultation with the LEA, combine MEP funds with other federal, state and local funds in a schoolwide program. (34 CFR 200.44)

  • While MEP funds may be combined with other program funds in order to improve the program of instruction for the entire school, the reauthorized ESEA recognizes that migrant students have unique needs that must be addressed even when migrant students p articipate in a schoolwide program. For this reason, the regulations (34 CFR 200.8(c)(3)(ii)(B)(1)) require a school that combines MEP funds in a schoolwide program to:

    • Consult with parents of migrant children or organizations representing those parents (or both);

    • Address the identified needs of migrant children that result from the effects of their migrant lifestyle or are needed to permit migrant children to participate effectively in school; and

    • Document that services to address those needs have been provided.

  • An SEA's responsibilities under the MEP, with regard to a schoolwide program are to provide technical assistance to help the school continue to meet the needs of migrant students, to establish and maintain school support teams, and to monitor the prog ram for compliance with applicable sections of the statute and regulations.

Plans for implementing schoolwide programs are developed over a one-year period unless the LEA determines, after considering the recommendations of technical assistance providers, that less time is needed to develop and implement the schoolwide program. Parents and educators of migrant children may take advantage of this period to provide input on how to structure the schoolwide program so that the unique needs of migrant children are met and so that migrant students are included in the regular activitie s and instructional programs offered to all children in the school, notwithstanding when they arrive throughout the school year.

Example of Planning Schoolwide Projects to Meet the Needs of Migrant Students

A high school implementing a schoolwide program conducts an assessment of the needs of its migratory students as part of its comprehensive planning. Having found that many of the migratory students who enroll at the school need assistance in preparing fo r the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), which they must pass in order to receive a diploma when they return to Texas, the school provides for tutoring services aligned to the TAAS to be offered to migratory students when they arrive at the school later in the year.

Schoolwide programs can be particularly effective in serving migrant children by:

  • Providing an "enrichment" rather than a "deficit" model of instruction;

  • Validating migrant students' language and culture, including their migrant experiences;

  • Supporting the aspirations of migrant students and providing them with role models from the local community;

  • Implementing bilingual curricula and programs, employing bilingual staff, and providing for the full involvement of the parents of migrant children; and

  • Maintaining and transferring students' education and health records.

Many of these components are evident in the following examples of promising schoolwide programs.

Examples of Promising Schoolwide Programs

  • Hollinger Elementary School's K-6 Title I schoolwide program is based on a year-round calendar with an extended-day schedule; a two-way bilingual program; weekly staff development sessions; an anthropological approach to home visits that generates int erdisciplinary, multicultural units; and a full-service family support center. The school's goal is "to provide the ultimate learning opportunity by which students are able to develop their full potential and become successful members of the community." To this end, Hollinger has implemented programs that offer students and their families opportunities to boost academic achievement and resolve social and economic problems that interfere with schooling. These efforts include a preschool program and additional teachers who provide in-class help for lower achievin g students during reading and language arts instruction. Contact: Alicia Castillo; Hollinger Elementary School; 150 West Ago Way; Tucson, Arizona 85713; (520) 617-6755.

  • Employing a multicultural, thematic curriculum integrated through social studies and highlighting a different culture or ethnic group every ten weeks, the staff at Glassbrook Elementary School builds new learning on the knowledge and skills that stude nts bring to the school. Glassbrook has replaced pullout programs with in-class interventions in which special education, language development, and regular education teachers work together daily to instruct all children. An extended school day for all s tudents increases instructional time and offers enrichment and extracurricular activities. Bilingual instruction makes all children participants in peer coaching, cooperative learning, and learning through projects and experiments. Learning centers and a diverse support staff in all classrooms capture the interests and engage the energy of the diverse student population. Parents--a vital resource--are regular contributors to the multicultural and multilingual curriculum. Contact: Gina Gonzales; Glassbrook Elementary; 975 Schafer Road; Hayward, Cal ifornia 94544; (510) 783-2577.


5 Schoolwide programs may not combine formula or discretionary grant programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (Section 1114(a)(4)(a)).


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Last Modified: 05/15/2009