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Project Wisdom: Title I Alignment Document


Funding through Title I, Part A: Improving the Academic
Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Improving Basic Programs
Offered by Local Education Agencies

Title I-Section 1001 Purpose: The purpose of this title is to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach, at a minimum, proficiency on challenging State academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.

Program description: Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended (ESEA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Federal funds are currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.

Title I, Part A- Section 1114 Schoolwide Programs specific information
can be found at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html#sec1114.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

(A) A comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school (including taking into account the needs of migratory children as defined in section 1309 (2), that is based on information which includes the achievement of children in relation to the State academic content standards and the State student academic achievement standards described in section 1111(b)(1).

Project Wisdom provides assessment tools for use with campus administration, staff, students, parents, and area businesses. These assessments can be used by LEAs in conjunction with state assessment standards. By disaggregating all collected data, LEAs will be capable of determining the overall needs of the school. These assessment tools are a standard part of all Project Wisdom programs.

(i) provide opportunities for all children to meet the State's proficient and advanced levels of student academic achievement described in section 1111(b)(1)(D);

Emerging evidence suggests that character education programs enhance academic performance (Benninga, Berkowitz, Kuehn, Smith. "Character and Academics: What Good Schools Do." Phi Delta Kappan, Feb. 23, 2006). Project Wisdom is one of the oldest and most respected character education programs in the nation.

(ii) use effective methods and instructional strategies that are based on scientifically based research that:

An independent evaluation of Project Wisdom was conducted by Dr. Beth Manke of the Department of Human Development at California State University, Long Beach. It is available in its entirety at www.ProjectWisdom.com.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

(I) strengthen the core academic program in the school;

Project Wisdom implementation includes a daily campuswide, character education announcement. These daily character-building messages are written for students and are rich in biography, history, life skills, with some philosophy, science, and etymology.

Project Wisdom provides multiple opportunities for LEAs to practice skills that are in line with state-based standards. These skills are designed to be, but are not limited to, critical thinking exercises through journaling, self reflection, problem-solving strategies, writing proficiency, technology application by utilizing computers to research and journal.

The elementary curriculum includes a robust literary component as well as a supplementary reading list for elementary students. Secondary-level materials include content-specific activities for all academic areas, including art, science, math, language arts, social studies, and computer science. These activities correlate with the character trait or life skill being taught.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

(II) increase the amount and quality of learning time, such as providing an extended school year and before-, and after-school and summer programs and opportunities, and help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum; and

Disciplinary interruptions are the primary factor in reducing instructional time in the classroom. Project Wisdom is proven to maximize classroom instruction time by reducing disciplinary problems and consequently allowing LEAs to provide optimal opportunities for all children to meet and exceed the State’s proficient and advanced level of student academic achievement. Because these materials are not dated and are meant to be utilized in a number of ways, they are suitable for LEAs specialized needs, including before- and after-school learning groups, as well as extended-year learning opportunities.

(III) include strategies for meeting the educational needs of historically underserved populations;

Disciplinary interruptions which lead to reduced classroom instruction time occur more frequently where there are high concentrations of students from low-income families. For example, disruptive behaviors in urban, low-income communities are almost three times national estimates (Atkins, McKay, Frazier, et.al. "Suspensions and detentions in an urban, low-income school." Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, August 2002).

Data used in the program evaluation revealed that almost one-third of all Project Wisdom schools have populations with over half of all students being eligible for free and reduced-price lunches.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

(iii)(I) include strategies to address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of low-achieving children and those at risk of not meeting the State student academic achievement standards who are members of the target population of any program that is included in the schoolwide program, which may include:

All aspects of this requirement are met through the objectives of Project Wisdom.

  • To build character by encouraging students to take responsibility for their choices and actions.
  • To build confidence by empowering students to do and be their personal best.
  • To build a strong sense of community on campus by encouraging tolerance and understanding of different races, cultures, and religions.
  • To foster a more caring school climate by encouraging respectful behaviors that decrease incidents of bullying, teasing, and other disruptive behaviors, and by encouraging acts of kindness.
  • To encourage reflection and critical thinking.
  • To improve teacher morale.

Each of these objectives, while general, reach goals specific to teaching disadvantaged students.

Students are able to focus more clearly on their local learning objectives, long-term goals, and state student academic achievements standards. Consequently, disadvantaged students are more likely to prosper academically with the assistance of the Project Wisdom character education program because it allows them to make informed moral and ethical choices.
These positive choices can and will lead to the cessation of failure due to repeated under-performance due to deficits in quality decision making.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

(aa) counseling, pupil services, and mentoring services;

Project Wisdom is used by school counselors and other staff members in counseling sessions and advisory classes as well as in the disciplinary process.

Data evaluated by Dr. Beth Manke indicates perceived improvements in social-emotional learning competencies.

  • 87% Self-awareness
  • 89% Social awareness
  • 86% Self-management
  • 87% Relationship skills
  • 86% Responsible decision making

(II) address how the school will determine if such needs have been met; and

A "School Problems Inventory" assessment tool designed by the International Center for Character Education at the University of San Diego is provided. It allows LEAs to collect baseline data before implementation and to compare such data over the course of subsequent years.

(iv) are consistent with, and are designed to implement, the State and local improvement plans, if any.

Key findings in the program evaluation include:

  • Decreased incidents of student teasing and/or bullying.
  • Decreased discipline referrals to the office.
  • Affects the school climate in a positive way.
  • Has a positive impact on teacher morale.

All previously listed goals, along with the program content of Project Wisdom, are consistent with and designed to implement the state and local improvement plans.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

- (D) In accordance with section 1119 and subsection (a)(4), high-quality and ongoing professional development for teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals and, if appropriate, pupil services personnel, parents, and other staff to enable all children in the school to meet the State's student academic achievement standards.

Project Wisdom programs come with an easily accessible User Guide for campus administrators. In addition to the User Guide, administrators, counselors, and educators have access to the Educator Resource Site that offers continual staff support by way of reproducible documents, weekly morale boosters for educators, “Best Practices” guides, tips for involving the community, prepared press release forms, and many other reproducible tools and guides to enable campus personnel to implement Project Wisdom.

Additionally, there are support activities found on the online Educator Resource Site that consist of daily read-alouds, a vocabulary component, and thought-provoking reflective writing assignments. These materials encourage critical thinking and include discussion generators that spark meaningful classroom discussion about character issues and life skills such as goal-setting, positive work ethic, punctuality, perseverance, etc.

In addition to these resources, there are Quotations for the Classroom; downloadable classroom posters; parent and community resources; support information for counselors and administrators and weekly email deployments to all registered users that include morale boosters, featured lesson plans, and important links.

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged;
Improving Basic Programs Offered by Local Education Agencies
Title I, Part A, Section 1114 (b) Components How Project Wisdom aligns with these requirements

- (E) Strategies to attract high-quality highly qualified teachers to high-need schools.

Implementation of Project Wisdom can be an effective hiring tool as it indicates that classroom management and overall campus discipline will be lower on a campus that is utilizing the program.

Once quality teachers are attracted and hired, retaining such teachers is easier because of improved school climate and elevated teacher morale.

- (F) Strategies to increase parental involvement in accordance with section 1118.

The essential tool utilized by Project Wisdom is a daily, campus-wide announcement that injects reflective character education into the campus climate. One of the key elements in making this an effective tool is inviting guest speakers from the community, which include parents, to read the daily messages to students. An announcement that introduces parents to the program is included.

Additionally, it is recommended by Project Wisdom to post weekly character education themes on the marquee and to print it in the school newspaper, local newspaper, local business marquees etc. When the community is made aware of the values being taught through Project Wisdom, parents become involved in the process through awareness, participation, and meaningful dialogue with their students.

For an in-depth look at NCLB and specifically Title I funding, please visit:
www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg2.html.

Please contact Project Wisdom directly should you have any further funding questions
in regard to NCLB Title I-A funding opportunities.

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