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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP) Grant
Fund Code: 231

Purpose: The purpose of this grant is to support district ongoing efforts to address disproportionate identification and placement of disadvantaged students. This grant is aligned with the Leading Educational Access Project (LEAP) which was created to support the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (ESE) commitment to improving outcomes for all students.

This grant provides funding to a cohort of Massachusetts districts (LEAP districts) that DESE has been working collaboratively with to assess why disproportionality in special education identification and placement is occurring for disadvantaged students. LEAP districts include Acton-Boxborough, Andover, Boston, Brookline, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lynn, Malden, Medfield, Nashoba, Needham, and North Attleborough.
Priorities: The priorities of this grant align with the following Department-wide goals:
  • Strengthen curriculum, instruction, and assessment

  • Improve educator effectiveness

  • Use data and technology to support student performance

  • Support the social, emotional, and health needs of students and families.

Successful grant proposals will focus on at least one of the following priorities:
  1. Improving understanding of and teaching with poverty in mind;

  2. Improving resources for educators and student support teams;

  3. Improving services and placements for homeless and transient students;

  4. Decreasing inappropriate eligibility determinations for special education;

  5. Increasing identification of special education placements in the least restrictive environment.

Successful grant proposals must include the accessing of services from Educational Collaborative trainers that have completed the LEAP Train-the-Trainer Program and will articulate how proposed activities will contribute to systemic best practices in the chosen priority area and will describe data-driven methods to achieve and track outcomes. Proposals must focus on the development and sustainability of best practices, rather than on programming only for specific students.

Plans or programs to be developed should:
  1. Be evidence-based

  2. Align with school and district-wide initiatives and programs

Proposals will be organized according to an explicit theory of action, detailing:
  1. The rationale and goals for the initiative;

  2. An action plan; and

  3. How the effectiveness of the initiative will be evaluated, sustained, and improved over time.

Proposals will state explicit S.M.A.R.T. goals for administrators, educators, and students.

If you will braid funds from this grant with other funds, or if you will use in-kind resources, you will be asked in the Required Program Information to detail the source and nature of these other funds or in-kind resources.

Eligibility: Eligible to apply for this grant are the cohort of 16 Massachusetts districts (LEAP districts) that DESE has been working collaboratively with to assess why disproportionality in special education identification and placement is occurring for disadvantaged students. LEAP districts include Acton-Boxborough, Andover, Boston, Brookline, Chicopee, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Lynn, Malden, Medfield, Nashoba, Needham, and North Attleborough. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until Friday, December 29, 2017.

Funding Type: Federal CFDA 84.027
Funding: Upon Approval - 8/31/18

A total of $80,000 is available, subject to federal appropriation.
Grant amounts will be $5,000 per district (16 districts).

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use: Fund use must include LEAP Collaborative trainer services and may also be used for:
  • Computer software

  • Conference registration

  • Consultants

  • In-State Travel

  • Instructional materials or supplies

  • Membership and subscriptions

  • MTRS/Fringe (related to stipends only)

  • Printing and reproduction

  • Stipends

  • Substitutes

Funds may not be used at any time for:
  • Computer hardware

  • Food and refreshments

  • Indirect costs

  • Out-of-State Travel

  • Staff salaries


Project Duration: Upon Approval - 8/31/2018
All grant-funded activities must be completed by the end of August 2018.

An electronic report on grant activities and resulting outcomes is required. An online link to the grant report form will be emailed to grant recipients by September 1, 2018.

Program Unit: Special Education Planning and Policy Development Office
Contacts: Susan Fischer
sfischer@doe.mass.edu
(781) 338-3365
Date Due: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with a final submission deadline of Friday, December 29, 2017.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Word Document
Required Program Information Form

Additional Information:
  1. Instructions for Completing an Application Submission in EdGrants
    Download PDF Document
    EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Application Submission
    Download PDF Document
    EdGrants Front Office User Guide: Requesting Grant Funds (payments)
    View HTML Page
    EdGrants: User Security Controls
    View HTML Page
    Budget Detail - Description of Line Item Information
  2. Applications can legally claim expenses to the grant only from the date of final DESE approval.
Submission Instructions: Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants
In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY18 231 SPED Applicant Name

All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature and Required Program Information Form. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides and Information.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.



Last Updated: October 24, 2017
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