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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2017

Title II-B: Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership Program (MMSP)
Fund Code: 150-B

Introduction and Background: Title II, Part B, of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) authorizes the Massachusetts Mathematics and Science Partnership (MMSP) grant program. The intent of this competitive grant program is to encourage districts and institutions of higher education to collaborate in professional development activities that increase the subject matter knowledge and improve the standards-based instructional practices of science, technology/engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators.

Funds for new partnerships through this MMSP competitive grant program will be awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. A total of $400,773 is available for FY2017 and FY2018 MMSP awards (approximately $200,000 per fiscal year). Partnerships are to build a two-year plan and budget, but FY2017 awards are all that will be announced through this RFP. With successful implementation and data collection in FY2017, funded partnerships will be able to apply for FY2018 funds to continue their work, updating their plans and budgets as necessary. This will then mark the end of this funding.

Purpose: The purpose of the program is to improve student achievement in science, technology/engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through intensive, effective professional development activities that focus on deepening educators' knowledge of subject matter standards, disciplinary practices, and student learning.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has established the following goals for the MMSP program.
Develop and implement an effective and sustained course of study for in-service educators of STEM by integrating the courses of study into schools of arts and sciences and/or education at institutions of higher education.
Develop and implement a systemic approach to STEM education by integrating professional development with district and school STEM improvement initiatives.
Increase the number of STEM educators in the partner school districts who participate in effective professional development and advance their content knowledge and effective instructional practices.
Identify credible, instructionally useful measures of student learning that measure student impact relative to subject matter standards in the professional development course(s).

Eligibility: Eligible MMSP proposals must:
  1. be a partnership as described below and include at least one High-Need District and a STEM department from an institution of higher education (core partners); it is strongly recommended that the institution of higher education's education department be included in this partnership in addition to, but not in place of, the STEM department;

  2. propose the development of grades kindergarten - high school science, technology/engineering and /or grades 3-8 mathematics Professional Development and student learning measures as described in the General Requirements;

  3. address the Required Program Information; and

  4. be developed collaboratively by representatives from each partnering organization.

Core Partners
Core partner organizations share responsibility and accountability for the MMSP project. Core partners are required to provide evidence of their commitment to undergo coordinated institutional change necessary to sustain the partnership effort beyond the funding period.

Core partner organizations in each partnership must include:
  1. a High-Need District (See Additional Information for the High-Need District List); and

  2. a STEM department from a Massachusetts institution of higher education, which can include community colleges.

Districts may submit only one proposal as a core partner.

Lead Partner
One of the core partner organizations serves as the lead partner and submits the MMSP proposal on behalf of the partnership. The lead partner accepts management and fiduciary responsibility for the project. It is recommended that a High-Need District act as the lead partner.

Additional Partners
Additional partners from within Massachusetts may include: other local educational agencies, public charter schools, public or non-public elementary schools or secondary schools, or a consortium of such schools.

Additional partners from within or outside Massachusetts may include:
  1. the STEM department or education department of other institutions of higher education;

  2. non-profit or for-profit organizations with demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of STEM teachers; and/or

  3. business partners.

Massachusetts private schools are eligible to participate in a partnership and are to be given equitable opportunity for participation. (A minimum of fifty percent of the teachers participating in a partnership's activities must be employed in an MMSP qualifying High-Need District.)

General Requirements: Proposed MMSP partnership activities must address the following general requirements (specific requirements are outlined in the Required Program Information):
  1. at least 45 hours (per course) of effective professional development (PD) for STEM educators relevant to STEM topics in state standards and the student learning measures to be developed. The PD should include special education teachers and teachers of English language learners as possible. The PD should focus on:

    Mathematical Rigor: balancing conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application. Grades 3-8, with a focus on proportional reasoning; and/or

    Science and Technology/Engineering: balancing disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and application. Kindergarten - High School implementation of the revised Science and Technology/Engineering (STE) standards.

    Other grades may be included if it substantively supports the work in the target grades.

    It is encouraged that proposals include PD course(s) in spring and summer 2017, and then during the school year 2017 - 18. A summer 2018 PD course(s) can be proposed, as well, as part of future plans for FY2018 funds. However, awards through the current RFP will include funding for only the work to be undertaken by August 31, 2017;

  2. at least 24 hours of follow-up activities per course to guide the implementation of standards-based instruction and facilitate connections between the PD course(s) and student learning measures. See Additional Activities below for possible connections to school and district work. Any PD course(s) offered in spring and summer 2017 can embed follow-up in school year 2017 - 18 activities. Any PD course(s) offered in summer 2018 must propose either how follow-up will be conducted the following fall without funding OR an alternative follow-up activity or product to be completed in summer 2018;

  3. development and implementation of student learning measures related to STEM subject matter standards and disciplinary practices. These measures may include, but shall not be limited to: portfolios, approved commercial assessments and district-developed pre and post unit and course assessments, and capstone projects;

  4. integration of the state evaluator into program planning and compliance with state and federal reporting requirements; (See Additional Information for the MMSP Evaluation Approach for Partnerships);

  5. at least 50% of the participating educators must be from High-Need Districts; (See Additional Information for the High-Need District list);

  6. all professional development initiatives funded by this grant program will be implemented in accordance with the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development. In addition to the planning practices described in this RFP, the district must affirm that any professional development conducted with the use of grant funds meets Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development. (See Additional Information for the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development.)

    These standards encourage a set of coherent learning experiences that is systematic, purposeful, and structured over a sustained period of time with the goal of improving teacher practice and student outcomes. High-quality PD enables educators to facilitate the learning of students by acquiring and applying knowledge, skills, and abilities that address student needs and improvement goals of the district, school, and individual.

Proposed MMSP partnerships are encouraged to include additional activities for the High-Need Districts that integrate the professional development with local STEM improvement initiatives (e.g., improvement plans, curriculum alignment or instructional documents, instructional leadership training and protocols, and/or Individual Professional Development Plans). Additional MMSP partnership activities may include:
  1. creating district/school STEM documents aligned to the Frameworks and/or STEM school improvement plans/curriculum;
  2. creating district/school STEM documents for the implementation and/or transition plans for the revised STE standards;
  3. providing instructional leadership training to facilitate effective site-based supplemental activities and standards-based instruction or evaluation of instruction that incorporates the Curriculum Frameworks;
  4. providing additional team or professional learning community (PLC) time for teachers to analyze data from common student learning measures and adjust measures or assessments.
Funding: Approximately $200,000 will be available for these grants through this RFP (FY2017). Second awards for FY18 are contingent upon yearly progress toward meeting the goals and objectives established for the program. The level of funding for each grant award will depend primarily on the number of teacher participants and the number of students affected.

In order to be cost effective, the cost per teacher participant should be approximately $2,300 per professional development course. (This is an estimate and may be lower or higher depending on the proposed program activities.)

Fund Use: Funds awarded shall be used to supplement, not supplant, state and/or local funds that would otherwise be used for proposed activities.
  1. Funds may be used to support STEM professional development programs, course development, student assessment development, and activities that integrate this development and administration with local STEM improvement initiatives.

  2. Funds may be used for administrative costs, stipends, substitutes, materials for professional development, program evaluation, and program dissemination. Note: Grant funds may not be allocated to pay for both a participant's graduate credit tuition and to provide a stipend.

  3. Funds may not be used for equipment (costing more than $5000 per unit), space rental, or food.

  4. Funds may not be used for equipment or instructional materials for the students of the participating teachers.

  5. Funds may not be used for full-time staff positions.

  6. 10% of the total proposal must be set aside for the State Evaluator, University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

  7. Indirect costs, if charged, must be at the Department's approved rate and may not exceed a rate of 8%.

  8. Administrative costs and indirect costs combined may not exceed 20% of the total budget.

  9. Consultant fees may not exceed $100 per hour, up to $750 per day.

All budgets and budget descriptions must be aligned with the program activities and reflect any coordinated uses of resources from other sources.

Project Duration: Upon Award - 8/31/2017
Program Unit: Office of Instructional Support
Contact: Craig Waterman ( and cc Eve Bassett (
Phone Number: (781) 338-3244
Date Due: Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms: Forms to be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on January 31, 2017, emailing to both Craig Waterman and Eve Bassett and submitting paper copy by date due.
Download Excel Document
All forms are included in the MMSP Application Workbook (Excel file)
  1. Section I — Signature Pages — including:
    1. Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants — Cover Page FY2016
    2. Partner Contributions and Commitments
    3. Statement of Assurances
    4. Equitable Participation of Private Schools
  2. Section II — General — including:
    1. Title and Abstract
    2. Project Impact
    3. Contact Information
  3. Section III — Required Program Information — including:
    1. General Program Narrative
    2. Work Plan Including Courses and Activities
    3. Project Timeline
    4. Evaluation Plan Summary
    5. Qualifications
  4. Budget Pages — including:
    1. Project Expenditures
    2. Budget Details
    3. Cumulative Budget
Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Required Program Information
Download Word Document
High Needs Districts List
Download Word Document
Definitions of Terms
Download Word Document
MMSP Evaluation Approach for Partnerships
Download Word Document
Massachusetts Standard for Professional Development
Download Excel Document
Scoring Rubric

Submission Instructions: Submit 2 hardcopy sets of the complete application package with original signatures on Section 1A, 1B, and 1C to:

Craig Waterman
Office of Instructional Support
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Submit an electronic copy of the complete application package to Craig Waterman ( and cc Eve Bassett (, noting "2017 MMSP Competitive Application" in the subject line. The due date of January 31, 2017 also applies to the electronic submission.

Last Updated: December 7, 2016
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