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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2016

Alternative Education State Grant: Education Pathways to Support Students Most At-Risk of Not Graduating from High School (Competitive)
Fund Code: 790

Purpose: The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to help school districts plan, pilot, or enhance middle school and high school level district and inter-district alternative education programs/schools that serve students who are most at risk of not graduating from high school.

The target population includes, but is not limited to: students identified as high and moderate risk in the Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS), students who are suspended or expelled, students who are chronically truant, students with have mental health concerns, and/or students with course failures.
Priorities: This grant program also supports implementation of Massachusetts' District Standards and Indicators Download PDF Document and the state's high priority strategies for increasing student achievement. In so doing the program serves to strengthen the capacity of school districts to educate the Commonwealth's neediest children.

Specifically, this grant program may be used in support of the following District Standards (and Indicators): Curriculum and Instruction (sufficient instructional time); Assessment (data-based decision-making, student assessment); and Student Support (academic support, access and equity, educational continuity and student participation, services and partnerships to support learning).

In addition, this grant program is intended to support the state's goal of success after high school through four priority areas: strengthening curriculum and instruction; improving educator effectiveness; using data effectively to support student achievement; and turning around our lowest performing schools.

In particular, this grant opportunity focuses on the development or implementation of an alternative education pathway that addresses two required priority components:
  1. Providing socio-emotional supports (behavioral health support)
  2. Meeting the requirements of the Massachusetts discipline law, Chapter 222: An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School, including education options for:
    • students at-risk for dropping out (Section 8)
    • students that are suspended or expelled (Sections 1, 2, and 9)
In addition to these two required priority components, applicants may also implement through the grant additional optional components for student-centered learning:
  1. Implementing a competency based education system
  2. Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)
  3. Providing contextual learning opportunities
Applicants must address the two required priority components, and any optional components, through the selection of one of the following grant missions:
  1. Pilot - Funds are used to implement an innovative, new alternative education program/school.
  2. Enhancement - Funds are used to enhance an existing alternative education program/school.
Descriptions of the two required and three optional priority components for student-centered learning, as well as the three grant mission options, are included in the Descriptions of Options for Grant Mission and Grant Priority Components document listed under "Additional Information" below.

Grants will be awarded to districts that propose activities based upon research-based interventions that:
  • educate students using the same academic standards and curriculum frameworks as used with all students;
  • provide an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma (for high school programs);
  • have small class sizes that use engaging instruction, address individual learning styles, and provide a supportive environment;
  • use flexible scheduling;
  • use existing resources in school districts, educational collaboratives, community colleges, other agencies, service providers, and community-based organizations;
  • use family-based approaches and self-improvement, behavior management, and life skills training to help provide students with tools to better manage their lives and attitudes;
  • provide a comprehensive array of social services to support students with issues that can cause school failure, excessive absenteeism, truancy, and dropping out of school; and
  • use pre- and post-evaluative data in program development and assessment of program outcomes.
All selected districts will participate in professional development, networking, and evaluation activities during the 2015-16 school year.
Eligibility: All public school districts and education collaboratives are eligible to apply for this grant. Applicants must describe their need for the grant in the "Required Program Information.".
Funding: Applicants may apply for up to $20,000 for either the Pilot or Enhancement grant. A total of $250,000 is available.
Fund Use: Grant funds may be used for salaries for staff salary or stipends, curriculum development, consultants, substitutes, community partnerships, technology, travel, training, and purchase of materials and supplies.

Grant funds may not be used to pay students for program participation, however modest incentives (e.g., school supplies, meals, transportation) are permitted.

Grant funds may not be used for programs exclusively serving students with disabilities or to supplant existing alternative education programs.
Project Duration: Upon Approval through 6/30/2016
Program Unit: College and Career Readiness
Contacts: Jenny Curtin
Lisa Harney
Carrie Harrington
Phone Number: (781) 338-3906
Date Due: Friday, September 18, 2015.
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Note: Proposals received earlier than the due date will be reviewed and processed on a rolling basis. Proposals must be submitted and approved before funded services may begin.
Required Forms:
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download 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. See important opening instructions below.)
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part III - Required Program Information
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part IV - Grant Assurances
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part V - Dropout Reduction Student Support and Intervention Mapping Tool
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part VI - Alternative Education code form (only required for applicants that do not currently have a Department-provided Alternative Education code for SIMS data collection)
Additional Information:
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The Massachusetts definition of Alternative Education
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Descriptions of Options for Grant Mission and Grant Priority Components
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
FC790 Recipients FY14 and FY15
Submission Instructions: Applicants must submit the complete application via email and via mail, following the instructions below:
  1. Email the complete application (without signatures) to:

  2. Mail two (2) complete applications with an originals signatures on Part I (Signature Page) and on the Grant Assurances page to:

    Carrie Harrington
    College and Career Readiness
    Massachusetts Department of
    Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street
    Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: August 24, 2015
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