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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: MassGrad Promising Practices Grant

Fund Code: 320


The purpose of this federally-funded non-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: be expectant or parenting teens, have drug or alcohol addictions, have current or previous contact with the courts or juvenile justice system, be at least one year behind expected grade level for the age of the individual, have limited English proficiency, be a gang member, be a former dropout, have high or chronic absenteeism, and/or any other factors that would place students at-risk for not graduating.


Under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements, all high schools with a graduation rate lower than 67% will receive a federal designation as "Comprehensive Support and Intervention (CSI)" schools. Massachusetts high schools with graduation rates lower than 67% can meet federal requirements of a CSI designation by successfully applying for and implementing a MassGrad Promising Practices Grant. (Eligibility list can be found in "Additional Information" below)

This grant is intended to provide high schools with graduation rates under 67% for the 2017 cohort innovative programming to better meet the needs of their at-risk students by reducing the number of students dropping out of school, and ultimately increasing high school graduation rates.

Grant applicants must select at least one evidence-based strategy for implementation in response to a self-assessment (see "Additional Information") that identifies a need that will be addressed by the selected strategy or strategies. Schools that have existing turnaround plans may use information from the turnaround plan to identify the need and the reason for the strategy selection in place of the self-assessment. (The form for the Turnaround Plan Reporting can be accessed in "Additional Information" below). The focus of the work should be on a student-centered activity that contributes to immediate action for improving graduation rates.

Details on research-based strategy areas are available in the Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement. A second resource that may help identify programs and strategies for success for at-risk youth could be the Alternative Education Guide. Both documents are available in the "Additional Information" section.


This grant opportunity is open to school districts with schools that have a 4-year graduation rate under 67%. An eligibility list can be found in "Additional Information" below.

Funding Type:

Federal Title I At-Risk Youth funds; Non-competitive CFDA: 84.010


Funding is based on 2017 enrollment numbers: Schools that enrolled 60–150 students may request up to $20,000; enrolled 151 to 249 students may request up to $30,000; and 250 enrollees and higher may request up to $40,000. Please see the eligibility list in "Additional Information" below.

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:

Funds may be used for costs associated with the implementation of the 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 directly with programming;
  • Counseling services not provided by the school or district for at-risk students;
  • 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:

  • Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of technology — hardware or software or licenses for on-line learning
  • 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 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

Grant funds may not be used for programs exclusively serving students with disabilities or to supplant existing alternative education programs

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 8/31/2019

Program Unit:

Office of College Career and Technical Education


Lisa Harney
Carrie Harrington

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3903

Date Due:

Friday October 19, 2018: Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II — Budget Detail Pages — The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Completed Self-Assessment Tool

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement
Download Word Document
Alternative Education Guide
Download Word Document
Self-Assessment for Schools Serving At-Risk Youth
Download Excel Document
Eligibility List


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:

  • FY19 FC 320 MassGrad Promising Practices Grant

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 as well as Part II Budget Detail Pages, Part III Required Program Information, and Completed Self-Assessment Tool. 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.

One hard copy of all forms should be mailed with postmark no later than October 19, 2018 to:
Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education
c/0 Carrie Harrington
75 Pleasant St.
Malden, MA 02148

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.