The federal Title I program provides funds to public schools with at least a 35 percent enrollment of children from low-income families. The program is intended to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards. Staff development and parent involvement are key components of the Title I program. About half of North Carolina’s traditional and charter public schools and all of the state’s 115 school districts receive Title I funding. The program was established by the federal government’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act in 2001 and is now regulated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
For more than a decade, both Park View Elementary School and South Elementary School operated highly successful Title I programs providing targeted assistance to K-3 students, with a focus on early intervention to improve reading skills. In the 2014-2015 school year, Park View and South both transitioned to operating school wide Title I programs, which offer greater flexibility in offering services to all enrolled students. Beginning in 2015-2016, Title I school wide services were expanded to both Mooresville Intermediate School (MIS) and East Mooresville Intermediate School (EMIS).
Title I funds enable the schools to provide enhanced literacy instruction and remediation tutoring to students at risk of failing to meet the North Carolina’s end of grade performance standards. The district is extremely proud of the exceptional performance of all of its schools. For 2017-2018, MGSD ranked 8th in the state based on its overall grade level proficiency of 70.3 percent, which is more than 11.5 percentage points higher than the state average. MGSD third grade students indicate a bright future with an overall ranking of 3rd in the state and a 2nd place ranking in math. Also displaying a strong performance were MGSD sixth grade students, who ranked 5th in reading and 8th in math.
Although MGSD’s impressive academic results clearly demonstrate the value of the district’s focus on early intervention, a key component of which is the Title I program, MGSD’s success is rooted in more than test scores. “There are many more equally important services that our schools provide that are focused on the development of the whole child and are not identified in state reports,” explains MGSD Superintendent Stephen Mauney. “I think the strength of our district lies in these areas where our staff regularly go above and beyond to meet the needs of all our students.”