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ESEA Title Grants Overview 2023-2024

Portland Public Schools (PPS) accepts funding through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.  As part of ESEA, PPS is required to provide reasonable opportunity for public comment on the consolidated application and consider such comment prior to submission of the application. The Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning and the Director of Title I and Academic Resource Strategy have been working with schools and the district wide teams to develop a draft proposal for Title I, II, III and IV funding for the 2023-24 school year. Throughout the spring input has been gathered from district administrative, curriculum and SEL teams, parents, and building leaders to plan for the use of ESEA funds in the upcoming year.  In addition, Title IA schools’ leadership teams review their school improvement plan progress, review their data, and develop an annual update to the current school-wide plan.

Title IA 

Preliminary allocation = $2,376,501
Title IA supports programs and resources for disadvantaged students. Title IA funding is designed to aid districts in closing the achievement gap by providing supplemental services to students. Funds are available to school districts and schools based on a measure of poverty. PPS has six schools that operate school-wide Title I programs (SWP), where Title I funds can be combined with state, local, and other federal funds to serve all students in the school: East End, Ocean, Presumpscot, Reiche, Rowe, and Talbot. Lyseth elementary has a targeted assistance Title I program (TAS), where funds are targeted towards specific Title IA staff and activities to serve students who have been identified as most at-risk of not meeting state standards. Additionally, Portland provides equitable Title I services to one state approved  non-public school in Portland, St. Brigid School.

The Title IA school-wide schools have 3 broad common goals: to increase the number of students meeting or exceeding rigorous state standards; to improve school climate and culture; and to increase parent engagement in student learning.

Each school develops a set of objectives and action plans to meet these goals. Federal law requires that a portion of Title IA funds be set aside to engage parents as partners in education, provide services to homeless youth, and provide equitable services to eligible youth in private schools within the district.

Parent Involvement: Title I Schools develop school specific parent involvement procedures and parent-school compacts to describe how schools and families will collaborate to help children meet rigorous state standards. Parent involvement funds are used to support school activities that provide information for parents on topics that are important to them and can help them support their child’s learning at home.

Homeless: The goals of this project are to improve attendance at school and academic achievement in school by assisting students experiencing homelessness with school enrollment and attendance, accessing necessary social services, and providing supplemental education services. 

Title IIA 

Preliminary allocation = $410,117
Title IIA provides resources for improving teacher and principal quality focused on preparing, training, and recruiting highly effective teachers and principals.  Portland’s Title IIA allocation supports literacy coaching in elementary schools that are not running a Title I schoolwide program, coaching for the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program at Ocean Avenue School, and a portion of the three Middle School Strategists to improve teacher instruction and student achievement. These instructional coaches provide job-embedded professional development to school staff to improve achievement. Any funds available beyond salaries and benefits for the staff described above can be used for staff training in core content areas identified as high priority areas through our needs assessment process.

Private Schools: ($64,432) Equitable services must be provided to private schools for the professional learning needs of the staff in order to support student achievement in high need areas identified through each school’s needs assessment process. Cheverus, The Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders, St. Brigid, and Waynflete schools receive Title IIA funding to conduct staff training and provide workshop and course reimbursement to enhance teachers’ content knowledge to increase student achievement.

Title III 

Preliminary allocation = $257,538
Title III assists school districts with increasing English proficiency and student academic achievement of Multilingual Learners (MLs) by supplementing their required English language development program,  providing high-quality professional development to classroom teachers, principals, and administrators involved in their education, and engaging family and community in the education of MLs. 

Portland’s application includes funding for 6.5 FTE Language Acquisition Ed Techs who will serve as interpreters and provide cultural/linguistic support for students during the school day to assist them with transitions to the American school system, specific classroom procedures, and social-emotional awareness. They will help new arrivals with classroom procedures and expectations, orientation to new technologies and platforms, and school routines. They will help lower the affective filter and anxiety levels of new arrivals by having an adult with the same language and/or cultural background. An additional goal is to preserve and strengthen students’ heritage languages.

A part-time staff member will also  be hired to provide training for ESOL staff, other teaching staff, and will provide in-class support for implementing new skills to support the growth of Multilingual Learners in advancing their English Language skills while also achieving grade level standards in other content areas. Funds will also be used for a Portuguese language course for educators and professional learning modules for educators on topics relevant to supporting the education of multilingual Learners.

Additionally, funds will be set aside to support family engagement activities for the families and caregivers of multilingual families.

Title IV 

Preliminary allocation = $254,623
This grant provides supplemental funding to help provide students with access to a well-rounded education (e.g STEM, visual and performing arts, foreign language, community involvement), improve school conditions for student learning by supporting safe and healthy students (e.g. PBIS, school readiness, trauma informed practices, substance abuse prevention) and the effective use of technology to improve academic achievement and digital literacy  (providing training on the use of technology for personalized learning, teacher collaboration, sharing best practices). 

For academic enrichment, Portland has been focusing on developing content knowledge and alignment in the areas of social studies and science. In 23-24 in social studies we will continue to focus on professional development for all teachers to understand and deliver the recently developed Wabanaki Studies curriculum. The science project for 23-24 will be bringing STEAM curriculum experiences to students in grades PK-5 in our Title I schoolwide schools aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Science and Engineering Practices via a Mobile Maker Space. 

Supporting the implementation of PBIS and ensuring the emotional well being of students has also been a focus supported by a Portland staff member and a contract with an external provider.  Funds will also be set aside to support technology integration efforts in alignment with the district’s computer science vision.

Private Schools:  ($40,003): Equitable services must be provided to private schools to fund activities allowable under Title IV.  Cheverus, The Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorder, St. Brigid, and Waynflete will receive funding to provide students with a well-rounded education, improve conditions for student learning, and/or improve the use of technology.