Mass.gov
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Go to Selected Program Area
Massachusetts State Seal
Students & Families Educators & Administrators Teaching, Learning & Testing Data & Accountability Finance & Funding About the Department Education Board  
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
 
 
 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

Massachusetts Focus Academy (MFA) Courses
Fund Code: 248A

Purpose: This is a competitive professional development opportunity that will be awarded as participation in Massachusetts Focus Academy (MFA) course offerings.

Schools and/or districts implement a number of strategies and initiatives designed to support school improvement and/or turnaround efforts. Professional development can serve as a lever to deepen educator skills and practices to support these strategies for school improvement and turnaround efforts. The MFA Courses (see attached course names and descriptions under Additional Information in the RFP posting) are designed to provide an opportunity for schools and/or districts to support a cohort of educators to deepen their skills, knowledge and instructional strategies to improve the outcomes for all students.

The MFA courses are designed to provide participants with both content (on-line and possible face-to-face coursework) and in-school coaching to help support the implementation of learned content and strategies. Participants will receive 67.5 PDPs upon course completion and will also have the option to purchase graduate credits at a discounted rate through each of the partnering institutions of higher education. Information regarding registration for course credit will be covered by the course instructor at the beginning of the course.

The first half of the courses (approximately November - February) will be taught using the BlackBoard online learning platform. It varies by course, but course content is delivered through assignments, weekly readings and an online discussion board. Participants are expected to regularly attend class by logging into BlackBoard and interacting with the course instructor and their peers (posting questions, sharing reflections, discussing assignments, etc.). The second half of the course (approximately February - May) will include a designated number of in-school coaching sessions for participants with course instructor(s). These in-school coaching sessions will provide participating school teams with more tailored coaching and feedback on implementing what they are learning through the course. (Note: instructors may opt to schedule their courses differently so that content and coaching is distributed across the entire November to May semester rather than dividing the course into halves.)

The courses will be a combination of online and in-district coaching. It varies by course, but course content is delivered through assignments, weekly readings and an online discussion board. Participants are expected to regularly attend class by logging into BlackBoard and interacting with the course instructor and their peers (posting questions, sharing reflections, discussing assignments, etc.). The courses will run from January - June. Note: instructors may opt to schedule their courses differently so that content and coaching is distributed across the entire November to May semester rather than dividing the course into halves.)
Priorities: The Massachusetts Focus Academy (MFA) Courses provide a cohort of educators (no less than 3 and no more than 24) from a school with the opportunity to receive professional development and support in a specific content area that is aligned with their school or district improvement/turnaround plan. The course is intended to provide educators with the skills, knowledge and strategies to support the school or district's overall improvement efforts.

Each participating school or district will be expected to:
  • Identify the MFA course they would like a cohort of educators to enroll in and describe how that course aligns to the school or district's overall improvement/turnaround plan. Applicants are welcome to apply for multiple courses and should indicate course preference.
  • Enroll a cohort of 3 or more educators in the course starting in November.
  • Ensure educators fully participate in the course and have adequate time to meet as a team, receive in-district coaching and discuss course implementation.
  • Develop a plan of how the school will measure course implementation throughout the year and outline expected outcomes at the end of the course.
Eligibility: Level 3, 4, or 5 schools or districts throughout the Commonwealth are eligible to apply. Applicants must indicate the number of educators from each school/district who will participate in the course and their respective roles. Administrators are encouraged but not required to participate with the cohort. Teams that include a school or district administrator will be prioritized for enrollment.

Funding: Grant funding is not available through this RFP. However, for schools/districts selected for this opportunity, DESE will pay for the course costs. Participants will receive 67.5 PDPs upon course completion and will also have the option to purchase graduate credits at a discounted rate through each of the partnering institutions of higher education. Information regarding registration for course credit will be covered by the course instructor at the beginning of the course.
Project Duration: Upon Approval - 6/30/2018
Program Unit: Systems for Student Success Office
Contact: Andrea Ricotta
Phone Number: (781) 338-3556
Date Due: Wednesday December 13, 2017
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I

Download Word Document
Part III - Required Program Information

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Massachusetts Focus Academy Course Descriptions

Submission Instructions: Email submission to andrea.ricotta@doe.mass.edu and submit 2 sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent.
Mail 2 sets to:
Andrea Ricotta
Systems for Student Success Office
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906


Last Updated: October 6, 2017
E-mail this page| Print View| Print Pdf  
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Search·Public Records Requests · A-Z Site Index · Policies · Site Info · Contact DESE