Michigan Center Title I


Frequently Asked Questions about Title I


My child has been chosen for Title I Reading/Math services.  What does that mean?

The Title I program is designed to help children meet high academic standards by participating in a support program.  This program provides extra instruction to children who are struggling or at risk of not meeting the core curriculum standards for their grade level.  It is not special education.  What it means is that your child is receiving 90-150 minutes of supplementary instruction in reading and writing or math every week in addition to their regular classroom instruction.  This time does not take away from your child’s core classes or specials (gym, music, etc.).

How was my child chosen for Title I services?

We use several assessments to find those students who are in need of extra support.  The data from those assessments as well as teacher recommendations are the primary ways that we choose students for Title I services.

Does this mean that my child is at the bottom of the class?

No!  It means that your child might have an area of weakness that needs to be addressed before it becomes a problem.  The program is flexible and students enter and exit as needed.  Working with students in small groups allows us to give more focused attention to the specific needs of each child we work with.  The extra attention often helps students progress faster than they would otherwise.

How can I help my child?

Get involved!  It is proven that parent involvement increases student achievement!  We encourage you to spend some time each night reading with your child.  Allow them to help you with simple tasks that involve reading and writing, such as making lists, following a recipe, or even playing games.  Come in and observe your child working in his/her literacy group.  Aside from being able to see what they do while they are working with us, you might pick up some easy ideas and strategies to help your child at home.  Ask questions and stay informed.  Do not hesitate to call us if you would like more information or need something clarified.  You should hear from us with regular progress reports about your child.


What are reading levels and at what level should my child be reading?

When we refer to a student’s “reading level”, we are typically talking about a score that we get from a reading test, usually a “Rigby” test.  There are two types of reading levels: independent and instructional.  A child’s independent level is the level at which they can read a text easily with very little help.  This is the level we would want them reading at when they are reading on their own.  A child’s instructional level is the level at which they can read a text with support.  This is the level the child should read with the help of his/her teacher.  The following chart indicates the recommended independent reading level of a student at the end of each grade:


At the end of…

A student should be reading independently at level…



First grade


Second grade


Third grade


Fourth grade


Fifth grade



My child’s classroom teacher told me his/her reading level and it is different than the reading level that you told me.  Why is that?

Though all teachers use many of the same reading assessments, the environment is different.  This can account for a variance in reading levels for some students.  For example, a child might feel more at ease in a one-on-one teaching situation or in their own classroom, which might result in a higher score in the environment in which they feel most comfortable.  Just as with any other test, children perform differently on any given day and in any given situation.  It does not mean that one score is right and one is wrong, it may simply be a reflection of the testing environment or some other variable.  We are more focused on progress rather than specific scores.  As long as the student is showing growth, a small difference in scores is nothing to worry about.

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