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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2015

Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grant
Fund Code: N/A

Purpose:The purpose of this competitive, matching state grant program is to assist public school districts in improving student instruction and assessment through the use of information technology, including, but not limited to, enhanced information technology infrastructure (Wi-Fi) and increased broadband access.
Priorities: Priority shall be given to applications that:
  • Maximize the access of broadband and improve the efficiency and productivity of education through the use of technology;
  • Provide student access to individualized and rigorous digital learning experiences;
  • Ensure that educators and administrators have the knowledge and skills to develop and implement digital learning curricula; and
  • Maximize taxpayer value, student access to information technology and information technology preparedness.
Eligibility: All public school districts in the Commonwealth are eligible for funding, provided that:
  • Funds are not awarded to school buildings scheduled for decommissioning or razing within 10 years from the completion of the project; and
  • Projects occur only on and within publicly-owned real property maintained for the benefit of the school district.
Charter schools are eligible to apply as long as the two eligibility criteria above are met.
Funding:A total of $5 million is available: $2 million for suburban communities, $1 million for rural communities, and $2 million for urban communities. Cities and towns will be required to contribute between 30% and 70% on a sliding scale based on their local contribution to the Chapter 70 formula. The school district may contribute matching funds from either a public or private source.
Fund Use:State bond funds may be used to fund capital projects that provide high-speed broadband and/or wireless Internet connectivity for schools. Up to 100% of the local contribution (between 30% and 70% of the total cost of the project) may fund devices for students and teachers, provided that the district has a sound plan for incorporating recurring device costs into the annual operating budget. State bond funds may not be used retroactively or for devices, and any devices for students purchased or leased through the local match must meet current PARCC specifications, regardless of the district's current plans to participate in online statewide assessments.
Project Duration:Upon approval through June 30, 2017
Program Unit:Office of Digital Learning
Contact:Andrea (A.J.) Kupps
Phone Number:(781) 338-3256
Date Due:Monday, November 17, 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: Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part II: Assurances
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Part III: Required Technical Information
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Part IV: Required Program Information
Additional Information:
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Attachment A: Process and timeline
Download PDF Document  Download MS EXCEL Document
Attachment B: Lists of communities and match requirements
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Attachment C: Resources for developing strong digital learning programs
View HTML Page
Online resources, including links to statewide vendor contracts

Interested districts should participate in a technical assistance webinar on one of the following dates: October 16 from 3:00-4:30 PM or October 17 from 9:30-11:00 AM. Districts that register will receive an email with details on accessing the webinar.

Additional information, including an FAQ, will be posted on the Office of Digital Learning’s Digital Connections Partnership Schools Grant resource page.

Submission Instructions: Applicants must submit Parts I & II with original signatures via U.S. Mail to:
Office of Digital Learning
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Applicants must submit Parts III & IV via email in MS Excel and MS Word, respectively.


Last Updated: October 9, 2014
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