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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2017

Supplementary Support to School Districts with High Concentrations of At-Risk Students: MassGrad Promising Practices Grant
Fund Code: 320

Purpose: The purpose of this federally-funded competitive grant opportunity is to provide supplementary support to school districts with high concentrations of students at-risk for not graduating from high school. These students may have risk factors such as: expectant or parenting teen, having drug or alcohol addiction, previous contact with the courts or juvenile justice system, being at least one year behind expected grade level for the age of the individual, having limited English proficiency; being a gang member, being a former dropout, and/or having high absenteeism or chronic truancy.

Priorities: The priority of this grant is to provide at-risk students in grades 9-12 with a variety of research-based, supplementary supports that reduce the number of students dropping out of school and ultimately increase high school graduation rates.

This grant program also supports implementation of Massachusetts' District Standards and Indicators Download PDF Document as well as supporting the Department's Strategic Plan Download Word Document that identifies five core strategies for Success After High School:
  • Strengthen Standards, Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
  • Promote Educator Development
  • Turn Around our Lowest Performing Schools
  • Use Data and Technology to Drive Instruction and Learning
  • Support Students Social, Emotional and Health
Grant applicants must select one to three research-based strategy areas in which to focus their implementation activities. The research-based strategy options included in this grant are:
  • Strategy 1: Alternative Pathways
  • Strategy 2: Adult advocates for student support
  • Strategy 3: Positive school climate and socio-emotional systems of support
  • Strategy 4: Contextual learning opportunities
  • Strategy 5: Expansion of the school year
  • Strategy 6: Meeting the requirements of the Massachusetts discipline law, Chapter 222: An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School
  • Strategy 7: Implementation of Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)
Details on the strategy areas are available in the Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement document provided under "Additional Information."

Eligibility: This grant opportunity is open to school districts in one of three ways:
  1. Districts/Schools that had a dropout count greater than 20 based on the state's 2015 Annual Dropout Report; or
  2. Districts/Schools that had a dropout rate above the state average (1.9%) as reported in the 2015 Annual Dropout Report; or
  3. Level 5 Districts
Funding: Approximately $889,000 is available for FY17 grant awards:

Submissions for Eligibility #1:
Submissions under Eligibility #2:
Submissions under Eligibility #3:

Fund Use: Funds can be used by school districts and schools for costs associated with the implementation of research-based programming targeted to students at-risk of dropping out of school. Allowable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Stipends for newly hired specialists, such as dropout prevention specialists, college and career planning specialists; graduation coaches, or dropout recovery coaches, to work during or after school with at-risk students;
  • Consultant fees associated with programming;
  • Counseling services for at-risk students not already provided by a school or district;
  • Supplies and materials associated with programming (see notes below);
  • Other costs related to creative and effective programs and initiatives addressing one or more of the risk factors exhibited by students in danger of dropping out of school or disrupting the school environment.
Additional Notes:
  • All funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, the use of local funds in meeting the needs of at-risk youth.
  • Snacks and food for staff and students are prohibited by this grant, unless specifically recommended as part of an intervention strategy and also conform to the State's guidelines on healthy nutrition. See 105 CMR: Department of Public Health section 225.100: General Nutrition Standards for Public Schools (attached).
  • Grant funds may not be used for programs exclusively serving students with disabilities or to supplant existing alternative education programs
Project Duration: Upon approval - 8/31/2017
Program Unit: Office of College, Career, and Technical Education
Lisa Harney
(781) 338-3903
Carrie Harrington
Date Due: Friday September 30, 2016
Proposals must be postmarked and emailed by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part I: Standard Contract and Signature Page
Download Excel Document
Part II: Budget Workbook
(Print and mail with the proposal all four budget and budget narrative pages.)
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part III: Program Information
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Part IV: Assurances
Additional Information:
Download PDF Document  Download Word Document
Appendix A: Research-based Strategy Descriptions
Submission Instructions: Email completed submission packet to Carrie Harrington at by 5:00PM on September 30, 2016.
(Signature page must be submitted in PDF format).

Last Updated: August 25, 2016
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