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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2016

District and School Assistance Grant
Fund Code: 323-B, 220-E

Purpose: The purpose of this grant program is to support improvement in districts that were Level 3 in FY14 , and four eligible Level 4 districts (i.e., Athol-Royalston, Randolph, Southbridge and Salem) and their schools through participation in regionally-based professional development and assistance initiatives associated with the District and School Assistance Centers (DSACs). DSAC regional assistance is designed to enhance district and regional capacity to plan, implement and sustain research-based practices to improve student performance and is aligned with the Massachusetts District Accountability and Assistance Framework.
Priorities: Statewide Priorities:
District grant allocations will provide support to districts for expenses for staff to participate in initiatives and activities that support implementation of the ESE Turnaround Practices, including professional development meeting ESE Professional Development Standards and/or to access other school and district improvement assistance offered through or agreed upon by the District and School Assistance Center's Regional Assistance Director.

Priority will be given to initiatives and activities aligned with one of more of the Turnaround Practices:
  • Leadership, Shared Responsibility, and Professional Collaboration
  • Intentional Practices for Improving Instruction
  • Providing Student-Specific Instruction and Supports to All Students
  • A Safe, Respectful, and Collegial Climate for Teachers and Students

Regional Priorities:
The 2015-2016 DSAC Grants include additional regional opportunities to support some DSAC regional priorities based on: feedback from and needs identified by the regions' schools and districts, findings from the external DSAC program evaluation, and from DSAC teams. Priorities for each region are summarized below. Please see the additional instructions for your DSAC region to see how these regional priorities may affect your district's application.

Berkshires+ DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • Berkshire+ Instructional Leadership Teams regional priority project;
  • CVTE Instructional Leadership Network regional priority project;
  • CVTE Weights and Measures regional priority project.
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Berkshires+ DSAC Region.

Pioneer Valley DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • Elementary school math improvement project
  • Leadership team development project
  • Career Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) Integration with Academics
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Pioneer Valley DSAC Region.

Central DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • DSAC Learning Walkthroughs and related activities
  • Central DSAC action based project
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Central DSAC Region.

Northeast DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • A regional WIDA network;
  • Regional high school leaders network
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Northeast DSAC Region.

Greater Boston DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • Formative assessment training
  • Supporting high quality core mathematics instruction and interventions
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Greater Boston DSAC Region.

Southeast DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • The Southeast principal leadership network
District participation in the principal leadership network is limited to districts served by the Southeast DSAC Region.
Eligibility: DSAC-served districts that were Level 3 in FY14, and the following Level 4 districts: Athol-Royalston, Randolph, Southbridge, Salem. (See attached FY16 District and School Assistance Grant Regional Allotment List.)

Districts in Level 3 status SOLELY because of low MCAS participation rates or graduation rates are not eligible to receive funds through this grant.
Funding: Up to $1,200,000 is available through Federal Title I School Improvement funds, and $800,000 through State Targeted Assistance funds to be distributed among the eligible districts in the six DSAC regions. See attached FY16 District and School Assistance Grant Regional Allotment List (Appendix A).

The minimum grant allotment for eligible districts is $5,000. Furthermore, all district allotments are at least 50% of their districts' FY15 total allotments. In cases where a district's FY16 Title I Part A allocation is less than its FY15 Title I Part A allocation, the district's FY16 DSAC grant allotment is at least 90% of its FY15 DSAC Grant allotments.

For all other districts, Title I allotments (i.e., Fund Code 323B) are based on economically disadvantaged enrollment in Level 3 and 4 Title I schools in eligible districts and,

State Targeted Assistance allotments (i.e., Fund Code 220E) are based on the economically disadvantaged enrollment in all Level 3 and 4 schools in eligible districts.
Fund Use: Fund use must be consistent with the priorities described above and requirements associated with the following funding sources:

Title I School Improvement Funds (Fund Code 323-B) must be used to support improvement initiatives in Title I schools in Level 3 or 4 status. All funds from this source must be attributed to eligible Title I schools. (A special worksheet is included in the budget workbook for this purpose.) Funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under this grant.


State Targeted Assistance Funds (Fund Code 220-E) may be used to support strategic professional development and assistance initiatives designed to raise performance in eligible districts and their Level 3 and Level 4 schools. State Targeted Assistance funds may be used through August 31, 2016. Applications may include two budgets reflecting Fiscal Year 2016 (upon-approval - June 30, 2016) and Fiscal Year 2017 (July 1, 2016- August 31, 2016) included in the Budget Workbook. Submission of two budget workbooks is necessary only if the district opts to split 220-E spending between two fiscal years. Districts may be required to submit updated budget forms for FY17.

Funds may be used for the following:
  1. Vendor costs for educators to participate in regional, statewide or in-district professional development aligned to the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development;
  2. Stipends for educators to participate in designated professional development beyond contractual hours or payment for substitutes while teachers participate in professional development aligned to the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development and DSAC delivered or approved assistance activities;
  3. In-state travel and mileage associated with attendance at professional development;
  4. Materials or supplies directly related to proposed professional development and other targeted assistance. Materials expenses in excess of 20% of the total grant must be approved in advance by the ESE Office for the Regional System of Support. Contact Abigail Slayton, 781-338-3517, ASlayton@doe.mass.edu for further information;
  5. Other costs related to school and district improvement initiatives in consultation with the DSAC Regional Assistance Director (See Part III Plan for DSAC Grant Fund Use Instructions).
Funds may not be used to provide refreshments.

Note: All vendor costs for professional development will be paid directly by districts.
Project Duration: Federal Title I: Upon Approval - 8/31/2016
State Targeted Assistance School Year: Upon Approval - 6/30/2016
State Targeted Assistance Summer: 7/1/2016 - 8/31/2016
Program Unit: School Improvement Grant Programs and Regional System of Support
Contacts: Abigail Slayton: Aslayton@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3517
Date Due: Letter of Intent to apply for DSAC Grant funding: October 9, 2015.

All districts intending to apply for their DSAC Grant fund allocations must submit a Letter of Intent to apply for funds by 5:00 Friday, October 9, 2015.

Districts planning to apply for additional funds to participate in regional priorities must also indicate their intent to do so in the same letter. The letter should specify the priority (or priorities) in which they plan to participate and, if relevant, whether the district intends to act as lead agent for that priority. The letter does not need to include any dollar amounts, just an indication of the district's intent to apply for funds

For your convenience, a form letter that fulfills this requirement is included in Appendix I. Districts may complete this form and submit it via e-mail. (See submission instructions, below, in Required Forms).

Complete proposals: March 16, 2016

Complete proposals are due by March 16, 2016. Districts may submit proposals at any time before the grant deadline. Proposals will be processed as they are received.

Note to districts requesting funds for school year activities: Districts proposing to fund school-year activities must submit a proposal to ESE that has been approved by its DSAC Regional Assistance Director at least four weeks before planned expenditures. When submitting materials to the School Improvement mailbox, please note School-Year Funding Requested in the subject line.

Partial proposals

Partial proposals to fund school year activities will be accepted.
Required Forms: Districts applying for funding must submit a grant application that includes all of the following required forms:

  
A letter of Intent to apply for the district's DSAC Grant allotment and, if relevant, additional funds to participate in regional DSAC priority projects is required by 5PM on October 9, 2015. Any district that does not submit this letter of intent by October 9 will lose its eligibility to apply for their district allotment and will not be eligible receive additional funds to take part in regional DSAC priorities.

  
Please e-mail letters to: School Improvement Grants schoolimprovementgrants@doe.mass.edu, and copy the respective Regional Assistance Director:
Berkshires+ DSAC - Donna Harlan donna.harlan@dsacma.org;
Central DSAC - Joseph Connors joseph.connors@dsacma.org;
Greater Boston DSAC - Mary Ann Jackman maryann.jackman@dsacma.org;
Northeast DSAC - David Troughton David.troughton@dsacma.org;
Pioneer Valley DSAC - Ken Rocke kenneth.rocke@dsacma.org;
Southeast DSAC - Marcia Adams O'Neil Marcia.oneil@dsacma.org

  
Part I and II - Electronic Budget Workbook for each fund code and time period (includes the Standard Contract and Application for Program Grants and Budget Detail Pages):
Download Excel Document
Fund Code 323-B: District and School Assistance Grant for Title I Eligible Schools;
Download Excel Document
Fund Code 220-E: District and School Assistance Grant for District and School Activities through June 30, 2016 only; and/or
Download Excel Document
Fund Code 220-E: District and School Assistance Grant for District and School Activities from July 1 to August 31, 2016.

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part III DSAC Grant Narrative Form. Districts will use this form to provide a narrative describing how grant funds will be used, their rationale for using funds in this way, and how the district will monitor the impact of District and School Assistance Grant-funded activities on professional practice and student outcomes.
Additional Information: Each grant recipient must complete a DSAC Grant Final Report to be submitted no later than Friday, September 30, 2016 prior to 5:00 p.m.

Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part III Plan for DSAC Grant Fund Use Instructions: This provides information for completing the DSAC Grant application and includes a rubric to assist in developing the grant narrative.
Download PDF Document  Download Excel Document
Appendix A: FY16 District and School Assistance Grant Allotment List: This list provides information about district allotments by fund code.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix B: Greater Boston DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Greater Boston DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix C: Southeast DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Southeast DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix D: Berkshires+ DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Berkshires+ DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix E: Pioneer Valley DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Pioneer Valley DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix F: Central DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Central DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix G: Northeast DSAC Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Northeast DSAC Regional districts.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix H: DSAC Grant Final Report Template: Each grant recipient is required to complete a DSAC final grant report, using this template, no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 30, 2016.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix I: Sample Letter of Intent: This document provides sample language for districts to submit a Letter of Intent to apply for DSAC Grant funding, including Regional Priority Funding.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix J: PD Self-Assessment Guide: This document explains how to complete the PD self-assessment.
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix K: PD Self-Assessment Worksheet: This document provides evidence of alignment of professional development to the MA Standards for Professional Development.
Submission Instructions: Mail 2 copies of Signature Page with the original signature of the Superintendent to:

Abigail Slayton
Office for the Regional System of Support
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-5023


Email the Budget Workbook and required program information to:
schoolimprovementgrants@doe.mass.edu


Last Updated: September 21, 2015
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