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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative (Continuation)
Fund Code: 105

Purpose: The purpose of this continuation grant program is to provide support for the implementation phase (Phase II) of this initiative in Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) to five districts awarded grants in FY14. Those five districts were selected to create comprehensive approaches to college and career readiness in their districts, through the creation and integration of activities that mutually support both academic and workplace readiness goals. The program offered two years of funding, with a year to create a plan in FY14, and then an implementation phase in FY15 upon completion of the plan, so that participating districts can launch their plans. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) made known to all five districts at the outset that it intends the awardees to serve as demonstration sites, knowing that effective practices are needed in all districts to scale up efforts to prepare all students for success after high school.

The original source of this initiative came from the Massachusetts Task Force for Integrating College and Career Readiness (ICCR). The Task Force was charged by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education with finding actionable, scalable steps that the Department could take to better prepare our students for successful careers. In conversations with the state's leading educators, employers, and academic and labor experts, the Task Force affirmed the need for the Commonwealth to bring a renewed focus on career readiness education and to fully understand both college and career readiness as essential components of preparation for postsecondary success.

The ICCR Task Force recommendations "stem from the core knowledge that students who are able to gain experience and exposure to the world of work while in high school are better prepared to persist in and complete a postsecondary education and success in pursuing livable wage careers." The Task Force also concluded that offering students the knowledge and skills of careers and the workplace lend essential context and relevancy to their education experiences.

This Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program is specifically focused on the ICCR Task Force recommendation to "incentivize schools to create and demonstrate comprehensive career readiness strategies." This continuation grant will support the five selected school districts to implement the ICCR recommendations at the local level and demonstrate to educators and the general public what a fully integrated approach to college and career readiness looks like. The grant supports those school districts' implementation of the core principles of the ICCR report:

  • Increase college and career planning
  • Improve the utilization of school counselors
  • Adopt an expanded MassCore framework to include career readiness activities
  • Implement career?readiness standards assessments
  • Identify and expand employer partnerships

This grant opportunity is intended to support these districts to be more "student-centered" in their approach, including opportunities for students to: develop a postsecondary plan, have authentic learning experiences outside the traditional classroom environment, and play a leadership role in the development of an integrated academic and career readiness system. The overarching goal of the grant program is to use this student-centered approach to fuel districts' in their work to simultaneously promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, support social-emotional development, and provide workplace readiness skills that will lead to more students graduating from high school that are ready for postsecondary success.

Priorities: The mission of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) is to strengthen the Commonwealth's public education system so that every student is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, compete in the global economy, and understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizens, and in so doing, to close all proficiency gaps.

The Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program serves to address the Department's priority to strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment and the overall Department goal of ensuring all students are prepared for success after high school.

The Department's ability to achieve this mission depends crucially on the quality of our public school districts and partners, which educate the children of the Commonwealth. The Integrating College and Career Readiness Demonstration Initiative grant program serves to strengthen capacity by supporting implementation of the Department's District Standards and Indicators Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document (in particular, the District Standard of Curriculum and Instruction).

This grant program also serves to strengthen capacity by supporting implementation of the Department's Conditions for School Effectiveness Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document - in particular the conditions of "Aligned curriculum" and "Effective instruction."

This grant initiative covers two phases of work: a planning phase and an implementation phase. The five grantees have pursued the planning phase during FY14, and must now propose activities for the Implementation phase. As indicated at the outset of this initiative, the planning phase must be complete by June 30, 2014. At the end of the Planning Phase participating districts must submit a complete plan for the Implementation Phase, including the activities, timeline, and budget, in order to be eligible for continuation funding.

Continuation funding will be given to districts that:

  • Complete and submit their Implementation Plan by June 30, 2014, using the template provided to them by ESE
  • Provide thoughtful and appropriate goals, objectives, and self-assessment activities related to the grant implementation
  • Have a timeline and budget that are appropriate and aligned with the planned activities

District and school practices to be expanded or started during the grant's implementation phase:

  • Working towards all students (including English language learners, students with disabilities, and students at-risk for dropping out):
    • Participate in career readiness activities starting at Grade 7 (see the Career Readiness Continuum document under "Additional Resources" for more information) in order to promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, and provide workplace readiness skills
    • Use the MA Work-Based Learning Plan when participating in workplace experiences to set goals and assess learning
    • Participate in the development of an "Individual Learning Plan" (ILP) for all students, including the use of YourPlanForTheFuture, Massachusetts' no-cost, one-stop online shop for students, parents, and educators designed to help Massachusetts students manage their educational and career pathways
    • Have the opportunity to complete MassCore, the Massachusetts recommended high school program of studies, that also integrates career readiness activities to promote student engagement, enhance academic achievement, and provide workplace readiness skills
    • Play an active leadership role in the development and evaluation of an integrated academic and career readiness system
  • Develop/expand and maintain partnerships with employers and local workforce development agencies to enhance college and career readiness programming
  • Implement the Massachusetts School Counseling Model (Mass Model) at the high school level at a minimum
  • Create/expand and maintain collaborative team time for teachers to work on the integration of academic and career-related curricula

Recipients of continuation funding will receive technical assistance and professional development support from the Department and appropriate partners. The Department will collect, document, and share best practices and challenges from the awarded school districts in order to inform and support other Massachusetts districts.

Eligibility: The five districts that received planning funding under this Fund Code: Chicopee, Gill-Montague, Hampden-Wilbraham, Northbridge, and Weymouth.
Funding: Districts may apply for up to $50,000, less the amount they were awarded and spent through Fund Code 105 during FY14 for their planning phase.
Fund Use: Funds may be used for:
  • Program coordination
  • Staff stipends (out of contract hours)
  • Consultant and contract fees to provide program-related professional development and support partnership activities
  • Supplies
  • Incentives for students that remove barriers for participation
  • Necessary student transportation
No more than 20 percent of the total amount of the grant may be budgeted for supplies. Funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, existing programs and activities. Funds may not be used for direct stipends to students.
Project Duration: Upon Approval - August 1, 2015
Program Unit: Office of College and Career Readiness
Contact: Shailah Stewart sstewart@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3904
Date Due: Friday, July 25, 2014
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download MS EXCEL Document
Part II Workbook - Budget (II-A) and Budget Narrative (II-B)*
(Print and mail with the proposal all four budget and budget narrative pages. See important opening instructions at the bottom of this section.)*

*Note: The Budget and Budget Narrative Workbook is a Microsoft Excel file which includes macros that enable the workbook to compute totals and summary tables.

  1. For Microsoft Office 2000/2003, you may need to change the security setting in Excel before opening the file. In Excel, click 'Tools', 'Macro', and then 'Security'. When the dialog box appears, change the security setting to 'Medium' and then click 'OK'. You can now open the budget file.

  2. For Microsoft Office 2007, you must save the workbook as an earlier version of Excel (.xls not .xlsx).

  
Implementation Plan on the template previously provided to the grantees.
Additional Information:
  • ICCR Task Force Report
Submission Instructions:
  1. Submit 1 electronic copy of all materials, except the original signature page to: Shailah Stewart
  2. Submit 2 sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director. Mail to:

    Shailah Stewart
    Office of College and Career Readiness
    Massachusetts Department of
    Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street
    Malden, MA 02148-4906



Last Updated: July 14, 2014
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