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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2019: Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant

Fund Code: 335


The goal of this state funded competitive grant program is to provide funding to districts (and their selected schools) to organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments and coordinate and align student support initiatives based on their findings from completing the Behavioral Health and Public School (BHPS) Framework and Self-Assessment Tool*.

*The BHPS Framework and Self-Assessment Tool was created by the BHPS Taskforce and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department), pursuant to Section 19 of Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008. The Department, in consultation with the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission, is in process of developing an updated version of these resources, also known as the Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) Framework and Tool. It is anticipated that an updated version of the Tool will be available for grantees to pilot.


The main priorities for this grant are to ensure that each school creates a safe, positive, healthy, culturally-competent, and inclusive whole-school learning environment; and makes effective use of a system for integrating services Download Word Document and aligning initiatives that promote students' behavioral health, through one of two grant applicant options:

  • Option One: Action Planning*

    These grantees will convene a school team composed of various stakeholders (e.g., including but not limited to teachers, nurses, counselors, parents, etc.) to review and respond to the questions in the SaSS Tool.

    Based on the results from the Tool, the team will identify school and district areas to prioritize for improvements related to creating safer and more supportive learning environments, and will finalize a school and district action plan that is aligned to school and district priorities.

    The action plans shall address all six sections of the Framework:

    1. Leadership
    2. Professional Development
    3. Access to Resources and Services
    4. Academic and Non-Academic Activities
    5. School Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
    6. Collaboration with Families

    Note: Upon award, the Department will provide all Action Planning grantees with guidelines for convening teams to create action plans that are aligned with other district and school plans and initiatives, including but not limited to district and school improvement plans (if applicable).

  • Option Two: School Based Implementation and Mentorship

    1. These grantees will begin or continue to implement school-based action plans (and associated district-support plans) that were created in prior year(s), i.e., in or before school year 2017-2018. The creation of those action plans must have been informed by a local self-reflection process using the BHPS Framework and Tool. Those completed action plans must be submitted with the applications, and will be considered as part of the competitive review process.

    2. These grantees will also serve as mentors for new tool users. The areas of mentorship may include one or more of the following, or another area agreed to by the applicant and Department:

      • School level personnel role
      • District level personnel role
      • Forming effective school based teams that encompass the whole school/district community
      • Facilitating school based or district teams to utilize the Tool
      • "Buy-in" from District leadership
      • Gathering data to utilize to inform completion of each section of the Tool
      • Creating a realistic and feasible timeline for utilizing the Tool
      • Analyzing results from the Tool to create priority areas for next steps
      • Writing an effective and measurable action plan

*Historical notes:

The "Action Planning" grant opportunity (Option one in this RFP) was referred to as "Category A" last year [in fiscal year 2017-2018 (FY18) Fund Code (FC) 335]. Those "Category A" FY18 grant recipients are eligible in FY19 (this year) for continuation grants through FC 337 (see that Funding Opportunity RFP for more details). This year's Action Planning grantees are expected to be eligible in FY20 for continuation grants as well (see Funding section below for more details).

Last year's FC 335 "Category B" grant opportunity (to implement previously created action plans) has been modified in scope this year to include an additional required mentoring component, and is referred to now as "Option two" in this RFP.


Massachusetts school districts are eligible to apply for funding.

Each district may only apply for one of the two Options detailed above (Option one: Action Planning, OR Option two: School Based Implementation and Mentorship).

Note: Former FC 335 grantees are among the entities eligible to apply for either of the above Options, provided the specific requirements are met for the schools to be included in the application under that Option. For Option one: Action Planning, former FC 335 grantees may only apply for schools that have not yet utilized the BHPS Self-Assessment Tool and used it to inform action planning.

Funding Type:



Approximately $270,000 is expected to be available to support these grants.

Applicants may apply for up to $20,000 total, with a maximum of $10,000 per school under Option one: Action Planning.

Applicants may apply for up to $10,000 per district under Option two: School Based Implementation and Mentorship.

Reminder: Applicants may only apply for one Option. It is anticipated* that approximately 75% of the funds will be awarded through Option one: Action Planning, and approximately 25% through Option two: School Based Implementation and Mentorship.

*Additional factors:

  • The Department may consider factors such as geographic distribution when making awards.
  • Should additional funds become available the Department may redistribute those funds in an equitable manner among other awarded grantees.

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:

Option one: Action Planning

  • These funds must be used to develop action plans that incorporate all six elements of the Framework.

  • Grant funds may be used for teacher stipends, consultants, substitutes, and materials to be used in the development of district action plans and school action plans for those schools proposed under this option. Applicants should not include in their application requests for funds to support activities related to action plan implementation.

  • Note: The Department may consider requests during the spring from Option one: Action Planning grantees to amend budgets to support action plan implementation, provided a comprehensive action plan has been completed and submitted.

Option two: School Based Implementation and Mentorship

  • These funds must be used to implement action plans that incorporate all six elements of the Framework, as submitted with the application. These funds must also support efforts associated with mentorship activities.

  • Grant funds may be used for school and district based implementation coordinator(s), consultants, substitutes, evidence-based programs/initiatives, and materials to be used in the implementation of district action plans and school action plans for proposed schools.

  • Funds may also be used to provide stipends for the members of the team that will be responsible for the mentorship activities, or for any appropriate costs associated with mentoring.

All applicants

  • All applicants may consider partnering with educational collaboratives or other consultants to help facilitate the action planning and/or implementation process.

  • Funds cannot be used for: electronics (such as iPads, computers, tablets, etc.) or construction.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 08/31/2019

Option one: Action Planning only
Pending appropriation and meeting all grant requirements, applicants under Option one: Action Planning (only) will be eligible for a one-year continuation grant in FY20 (9/1/2019 – 8/31/2020) to support implementation of the action plan developed through this FY19 grant. Eligibility for this continuation grant is contingent upon submission of the required action plans and a continuation application.

Program Unit:

Student and Family Support


Emily Taylor

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6313

Date Due:

Thursday, September 20, 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)
Complete and submit signed Part I for both FY19 School Year and FY20 Summer (Summer 2019), if applicable, in one PDF.

Download Excel Document
Part II — FY19 New Budget Template
Complete and submit Part II for both FY19 School Year and FY20 Summer (Summer 2019), if applicable, using the respective tabs in the Budget Template provided. Please include a complete description of fund use in the narrative column.

Part III — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Option 1 — Required Program Information
Download Word Document
Option 2 — Required Program Information
Complete and submit for Option one or two, as applicable.

Download Word Document
Grant Assurances
Complete and submit for Option one or two, as applicable.

Additional Information:

Program Evaluation and Professional Development
Grantees shall participate in professional development (e.g., conferences, webinars, and/or regional events, etc.) to be held by the Department, as well as in an evaluation of this grant program. In addition, the Department and Safe and Supportive Schools Commission will use feedback from grantees to inform continuous improvements to the Framework and Tool. Details will be provided to all grantees once information is confirmed.

Questions and Information Webinar
Due to the competitive nature of this grant program, all questions about the Funding Opportunity documents and process will be addressed during the Grant Information Webinar and Q & A sessions. Please register for a one hour webinar. Session dates will be added here once they are confirmed. Please email if you would like to be notified of these dates.


Please submit all application materials electronically to

All signature pages should be signed, scanned, and emailed as PDF documents.

All budgets should be submitted as excel files, not as PDFs.

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Contact Us

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

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


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