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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Academic Support Services Allocation Grant Program
Fund Code: 632/625

Purpose: The goal of this state-funded allocation grant program is to enhance academic support services so that all eligible students will meet the state's Competency Determination required for high school graduation.
Priorities: The Department's theory of action is that if state interventions are concentrated on ensuring that the necessary district systems are in place and are focused on establishing and sustaining the Conditions for School Effectiveness Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document in each school, substantial gains in student performance will result.

The following six of the eleven Conditions for School Effectiveness are most likely to be supported by Academic Support programming (where applicable): Effective district systems for school support and intervention; Aligned curriculum; Effective instruction; Tiered instruction and adequate learning time; Students' social, emotional, and health needs; and Family-school engagement (Conditions I, III, IV, VIII, IX, and X, respectively).

In order to achieve the Academic Support Allocation Grant program's goal, noted in the Purpose section above, strategic priorities for this grant program include the following:

Serving students in these categories:

  1. students from the classes of 2003-2014 (post 12th graders) who have not yet met the Competency Determination required for high school graduation;

  2. students in the classes of 2015-2019 (grades 8-12) who have scored at the Warning/Failing level on their most recent MCAS test(s) in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and/or Science and Technology/Engineering (STE); and

  3. students in the classes of 2015-2019 (grades 8-12) who are new to the district and have not taken MCAS but whose academic history and assessments would indicate that additional support services are needed in order to gain the skills and knowledge to pass the 10th grade MCAS tests required for graduation. (This documentation must be available if requested.)

Programs may also serve students in the classes of 2017-2019 (grades 8-10) who have scored at the Needs Improvement performance level on their most recent MCAS in English Language Arts and Mathematics if the needs of all the priority students noted above are already being met.

Eligibility: Public school districts, charter schools, approved private special education schools, and collaboratives with fiscal year 2014-2015 (FY15) allocations that calculated to at least $5,000 are eligible to apply for funds. See Funding section below for further information.
Funding: These funds are to supplement currently funded local, state, and federal programs. Individual grant awards are based on a formula that includes eligible students at the Failing level on the most recently available high school ELA, Mathematics, and STE MCAS. Funds are awarded if applicants meet the requirements of the Funding Opportunity's Request for Proposals (RFP). The amount of funds for which an applicant may apply will be included in a memorandum sent to the Superintendents, Leaders, and Directors of those eligible entities. Any entity wishing to be mailed a copy of the RFP and associated documents may send a request via email to achievement@doe.mass.edu.

Subject to funding appropriation, a list of eligible public school districts, charter schools, approved special education schools, and collaboratives with their allocation amounts is posted to FY15 allocations Ac Support Download MS EXCEL Document.

To operate a fiscal year 2015 school year (9/1/2014-6/30/2015) program and/or summer program (7/1/2015-8/31/2015):
Submit a grant application that includes all of the forms listed in the Required Forms section. Any expenses related to pre-program professional development/planning or delivery of supplies for summer programs (prior to July 1, 2015) must be budgeted as part of the School Year.

Note: Each year, some grantees find that after the program begins it is prudent to increase or decrease the total amount they receive for School Year programs (resulting in less or more money for a subsequent Summer program). In these cases, an amendment to increase or decrease School Year funding amounts must be received by the Department no later than Friday, April 3, 2015.

Any amendment to decrease School Year funding amounts may not be for an amount greater than the balance not yet received/requested by the grant recipient. For example, a district approved for a $60,000 grant that has received $45,000 by March may submit an amendment in April to decrease the School Year grant amount by up to $15,000.

The release of funds is contingent upon the submission of all required fiscal year 2014 program data and narrative evaluations.

Reminder: Grant recipients may expend funds as of the date the grant is entered as approved into the Grants Management system at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department). Details may be found at: Grants for Schools: Getting Them and Using Them, A Procedural Manual.

Grant Requirements:
  1. Funds must be used for the academic portions of programs and focus on the acquisition of skills in English language arts (ELA), mathematics, and/or science and technology/engineering (STE) needed for students to earn their Competency Determination.

  2. Funds must be used to extend student learning time in ELA, mathematics, and/or STE by expanding successful programs or initiating new direct services. Programs may offer instruction during the school day, before school, after school, weekends, and during school vacations.

  3. Programs must ensure that services are available to students with disabilities.

  4. School districts must provide annual written notice to former students who have not yet earned their Competency Determination of the availability of post-high school academic support programs. Districts must also encourage these students to participate in such programs. See the Additional Information section below for more details.

  5. Services provided for students must be in one or of more the subject matter(s) that make(s) them eligible for the services described above in this RFP's Priorities section.

  6. Under no circumstances may students be charged money to enroll or attend the Academic Support programs. This includes refundable registration fees.

  7. Narrative Evaluations
    Funded programs are required to submit a narrative report on the overall effectiveness of the program using the online link, which will be posted in the to the Academic Support webpage. Submissions of the online narrative evaluations are due July 31, 2015 for School Year programs and September 30, 2015 for Summer programs.

  8. Required Student Data Submissions
    Individual Student Data Information is required to be submitted through the Department's Security Portal. Due dates are July 31, 2015 for School Year programs and September 30, 2015 for Summer programs. Details and instructions will be provided by the Department to all grant recipients and will be posted to the Academic Support Data Collection webpage.

  9. Professional Development/Technical Assistance Sessions
    Grantees are expected to have personnel (coordinators, data entry staff, instructors, etc.) attend appropriate Academic Support training, technical assistance, and/or professional development sessions. We welcome your input and feedback on the workshops.

Fund Use:
  1. Funds may be used for activities that enhance and support student learning, which may include, but are not limited to:

    1. integrated tutoring and mentoring programs;

    2. supplemental web-based and software tutorial programs that are diagnostic and prescriptive;

    3. weekend and school vacation programs focused on academic support in ELA, mathematics, and/or STE;

    4. the ELA, mathematics, and/or STE components of comprehensive after-school programs;

    5. the academic support/remediation component of summer programs;

    6. costs related to removing barriers to participation and learning, including non-monetary incentives for students as well as services that address logistical and/or behavioral health issues;

    7. college and career readiness activities;

    8. service-learning projects;

    9. work-based learning activities;

    10. high school transition support; and

    11. counseling programs and services to educate parents and high school students on post 12th grade remediation options.

  2. Not more than 25 percent of the total amount of funding available to the district may be budgeted for supplies, licenses related to computer software (line 8 - memberships/subscriptions), and any instructional/non-instructional equipment costing more than $5,000 or having a useful life of less than one year.

  3. Not more than 15 percent of the total amount to the district may be used for program coordination costs (stipends for a program coordinator, bookkeeper, secretary, evaluator, etc.). Programs must supplement currently funded local, state, and federal programs at the school or district.

  4. If a grantee serves significantly fewer students than proposed in the grant application, the Department may request the return of such funds or withhold an appropriate amount of funds not yet paid. If a grantee provides services to students who do not meet the eligibility requirements of this grant program, this will be considered misuse of funds and the Department will require that the grantee return the funding.

Project Duration: Fund Code: 632 (School Year Program): Upon Approval (not earlier than 9/1/2014) - 6/30/2015

Fund Code: 625 (Summer Program): 7/1/2015 - 8/31/2015

Program Unit: Learning Supports and Early Learning (OLSEL)
Contact: Contact any Academic Support Liaison via achievement@doe.mass.edu or 781-338-3010.
Date Due: Districts must submit an application for Fund Code: 632 (School Year program) and/or Fund Code: 625 (Summer program) at least 15 business days prior to the proposed start of the program, in order to allow sufficient time for review, resolution of issues, and processing in order to comply with the state finance regulation 815 CMR 2:00, section 2.05, (4)(b). Programs are not permitted to expend funds on programs until program approval.
  • At the latest: *Wednesday, November 5, 2015 (*for both School Year and/or Summer programs)
Required Forms: Applicants must submit separate signature pages, budget pages, and budget narratives if applying for both Fund Code: 632 (School Year program) and Fund Code: 625 (Summer program).

If applicable,
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
School Year Program (Fund Code: 632) Part I - General: Program Unit Signature Page (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
 
If applicable,
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Summer Program (Fund Code: 625) 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 application all four budget and budget narrative pages.)
 
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part III - Required Program Information
 
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Assurances Document (Required only for programs proposing to serve students in the classes of 2017-2019.)

*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).

Additional Information:
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
General Guidelines - for Academic Support Allocation Grant Programs
 
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
District/Vendor Guidelines - for Use of Academic Support Funds
 
View HTML Page
Budget Detail - Description of Line Item Information
 
 
Annual Written Notice to Former Students
All school districts must provide annual written notice to their former students who have not yet earned their Competency Determination (and who have not transferred to another school) in order to: inform those students of the availability of publicly funded post-high school remediation programs aimed at helping them satisfy the graduation requirement; and encourage them to participate in those programs.

The written notice shall be sent annually by first class mail to the last known addresses of those students. The district is obligated to send annual written notice to a student's last known address for a period of two years from the date the student left high school in the district. Districts are strongly encouraged to use additional successful recruitment strategies that extend beyond the minimum requirement to solicit participation.
Submission Instructions: Submit two (2) sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director.

Mail to:

Donna Pisaturo, Grants Specialist
Learning Supports and Early Learning (OLSEL)
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906



Last Updated: July 14, 2014
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