OPS Title I Director:
Ms. Tina L. Forté
Title I, Omaha Public Schools
Teacher Administrative Center
3215 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68131-2024
Title I of the Omaha Public Schools is the largest Title I program in the state of Nebraska. It serves 47 public school wide programs as well as targeted assistance programs in 28 private schools. In addition, 22 social services agencies throughout the Omaha metro area are also served. Title I support for the OPS district is seen in the following areas: site-based decision-making, curriculum support, staff development, parental involvement, and transition plans.
Site-based Decision Making
Funding allocated to the school wide buildings is based on the number of free and reduced students in the building. Each school creates a School-Wide Plan, which is their School Improvement Plan.
School wide reform strategies are implemented to form effective methods and instructional strategies based upon scientifically based research. These strategies have been shown to strengthen the core academic programs in the school in reading, writing, and math. To provide extended quality learning time, Before and After Programs and School-based tutorial Programs are available for qualifying students. Summer programs and opportunities also provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum.
Highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals administer Title I instruction. Professional development opportunities are offered and supported through the Title I office.
Parent and Family Engagement
Parents are encouraged to be full partners in their child's education. A Title I Parent and Family Engagement Policy is included in the OPS District Practices and Procedures. Part of the goals of this policy is to encourage parents to have an integral role in assisting their children's learning. Parent and Family Engagement activities at the school level are promoted through a Title I School/Parent Compact as well as each individual School/Parent Compact, i.e. a policy that facilitates a regular, two-way, and meaningful communication between parents and school concerning issues involving student academic learning and other school activities. One percent of the Title I budget is designated for parent and family engagement.
In the elementary schools, transition plans are in effect to assist preschool students be better prepared to enter kindergarten. This is also accomplished from early childhood programs such as Head Start, Even Start, Early Reading First (a preschool program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), and state-run preschool programs.
Title I is a major contributor to the education of many youth in the Omaha Public School district. The program has been in existence for more than 40 years, yet some may not be aware of the many ways it assists the education of our youth.
Title I, Part A came into existence as a section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. As the largest federal assistance program for our nation's schools, it provides funds for reading/language arts and math curriculum to students in impoverished areas who are at risk of failing to meet state standards. Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education are given to State Education Agencies (SEA), which then direct those funds to Local Education Agencies (LEA). Private schools, state agencies for neglected and delinquent youth, and homeless shelters also receive federal Title I monies.
According to the U.S. Department of Education's Web site, Title I reaches approximately 12.5 million students in both public and private schools nationwide. Of that number, 77% of the students served are in grades Pre-K through 12. Ninety percent of U.S. school districts and approximately half of all public schools receive some Title I, Part A funds. Those funds can be administered through two types of programs. LEA's may offer a school wide program in which the whole school is served, or a targeted assistance program.
A school wide program's objective is to improve academic achievement, related to State/District standards, throughout the whole school. Targeted assistance programs identify specific students who are the most "at-risk" of failing or not achieving State/District standards and designs methods to help those students.
Regardless of which type of program an LEA uses, all Title I programs offer special features, including:
•Additional teachers and paraprofessionals
•Additional training for school staff
•Extended time for instruction
•Smaller class sizes
•In-services/workshops provided for parents
Title I also assists, through the use of Transition Plans, preschool students entering kindergarten from various early childhood programs such as, but not limited to, Head Start.
The Title I program in the Omaha Public School District is the largest in the state of Nebraska, with 59 school buildings spanning the grades of kindergarten through twelve. Forty-three schools will be served through the School wide model and two as Targeted Assistance Program. The amount of funds given to a particular school is based on the number of students receiving free and reduced lunches. Title services are also received in 30 private schools in the Omaha area. Those students are served with a targeted assistance program. Twenty-three social service agencies throughout the Metro area are also served.
Accountability is monitored through a process called Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). If a school does not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same subject and same grade level, a School Improvement Plan is enacted for two years.
Further information may be found on the U.S. Department of Education Web site, https://www.ed.gov, search word, "Title I".
ELEMENTARY & SECONDARY EDUCATION
Title I Delinquency
Prevention and Intervention Programs for Children and Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk*
(A) PURPOSE- It is the purpose of this part —
(1) to improve educational services for children and youth in local and State institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth so that such children and youth have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic content standards and challenging State student academic achievement standards that all children in the State are expected to meet;
(2) to provide such children and youth with the services needed to make a successful transition from institutionalization to further schooling or employment; and
(3) to prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of school, and to provide dropouts, and children and youth returning from correctional facilities or institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth, with a support system to ensure their continued education.
(B) PROGRAM AUTHORIZED- In order to carry out the purpose of this part and from amounts appropriated under section 1002(d), the Secretary shall make grants to State educational agencies to enable such agencies to award subgrants to State agencies and local educational agencies to establish or improve programs of education for neglected, delinquent, or at-risk children and youth.
*- Source US Department of Education