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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2016

Innovation Schools Implementation Grant
Fund Code: 157

Purpose: Innovation schools are in-district public schools that operate with increased autonomy and flexibilities in six key areas: 1) curriculum, instruction, and assessment; 2) schedule and calendar; 3) staffing; 4) professional development; 5) district policies and procedures; and 6) budget. The innovation school model strives to be cost neutral and is rooted in the belief that autonomy and flexibility in one or more of the six identified areas will establish the school conditions that lead to improved teaching and learning.

The purpose of this one-time state-funded innovation schools implementation grant is to provide district and schools support for the implementation of approved Innovation Plans during the 2015-2016 academic year. In a continued effort to support high-quality implementation, the focus of the FY16 cycle will be on the identified start-up needs of high-impact; break-the-mold approved Innovation Plans.
Priorities: Priorities for this competitive grant will be given to applicants that:
  1. Operate an innovation school or academy in a Level 3 or Level 4 district.
  2. Received an FY15 Innovation Schools Fellowship Grant (Fund Code 159) or FY15 Innovation Schools Partnership Planning Grant (Fund Code 156).
  3. Clearly describe how key design elements central to the approved Innovation Plan will be sustained beyond the duration of the grant period.
    Example: an approved early college innovation school proposes to use grant funds to provide stipends to teachers to participate in professional development related to early college curriculum design. The applicant clearly articulates the district's plan to absorb the innovation schools unique professional development needs into the annual district budget.
Eligibility: In order to apply for an implementation grant, an applicant must:
  1. Be an eligible applicant as defined by the innovation schools statute, G.L., c. 71, § 92: (i) parents; (ii) teachers; (iii) parent-teacher organizations; (iv) principals; (v) superintendents; (vi) school committees; (vii) teacher unions; (viii) colleges and universities; (ix) non-profit community-based organizations; (x) non-profit business or corporate entities; (xi) non-profit charter school operators; (xii) non-profit education management organizations; (xiii) educational collaboratives; (xiv) consortia of these groups; and (xv) non-profit entities authorized by the commissioner.
  2. Have an approved innovation plan as outlined in G.L., c.71, § 92 (m) and will operate the approved innovation school by September 2016.
  3. Not have received a previous Innovation Schools Implementation Grant from the Department.
Funding: Grant requests should range between $50,000 and $75,000. The Department estimates that 3 to 6 grants will be awarded, though the final number of awards is subject to the quality of proposals and the availability of funds.
Fund Use: The innovation school model aims to be a fiscally neutral and sustainable school redesign model. Approved applicants are expected to use these one-time funds strategically to support high-leverage, high impact, and capacity-building strategies.

Examples of unallowable expenditures include, but are not limited to: 1) capital expenses; 2) the purchase of computer hardware; and 3) out-of-state travel expenses; and 4) purchase of food or beverages.

All expenditures must be consistent with applicable state and federal requirements.
Project Duration: Upon approval - 06/30/2016
Program Unit: Office Charter Schools and School Redesign
Contact: Shay Edmond
Required Prior to Grant Submission: Interested applicants must submit an email to indicating their intent to apply. The non-binding intent to apply email must include: 1) the name(s) of the approved innovation school(s) or academy for which the applicant seeks implementation grant funding; and 2) the contact information (name, title, email address, and phone number) for the applicant and district personnel who should be include on any communications regarding this grant program prior to the submission of a full application.

Office Hours: Office hours will be held on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 3:00-4:30, and will be an opportunity for perspective applicants to have their inquiries addressed. Contact Shay Edmond at 781-338-3217 or

Intent to Apply Notification Due: Thursday, October 8, 2015 by 5:00PM.
Date Due: Completed Proposals Due: Completed grant proposals must be received by the Department by 5:00PM on Thursday, October 22, 2015. See Required Forms section below.
Required Forms:
Download Excel Document
Budget Workbook - Includes both-Part I-General Program Signature Page (Cover Sheet) - and Part II- Project Expenditures-Detail Information
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part III- Required Program Information
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part IV- Innovation Schools Assurances Form
Copy of final approved Innovation Plan
Submission Instructions: Email all required documents, in their original Word or Excel formats (e.g., not converted to a PDF), to Note: Signatures are not required on the emailed versions.


Mail three (3) sets of all required documents which includes original signatures to:
Shay Edmond
Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

All emailed and mailed documents must be received by the Department by 5:00PM on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Last Updated: September 16, 2015
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