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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2012

Race to the Top - Vertical SIF Implementation
Fund Code: 204


The purpose of this federal grant program is to provide supplemental funding for RTTT Year 1 and Year 2 districts to aid in the building of the Vertical Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) structure which supports the reporting of both student and staffing data to the Department's data collection systems in near-real time. Application for supplemental funding in Years 3 - 4 will occur in a subsequent grant.

For purposes of this document, the following terms describing the data transmission via SIF that are used are:

  • Vertical SIF Implementation - using the SIF protocol to move state-required data from the district to the Department.
  • Horizontal SIF Implementation - integration of applications at the district level.


All participating RTTT districts indicating they would or will be implementing SIF in year 1 and year 2 that have not received supplemental funds in their RTTT allocation grant application are eligible to apply. This includes:

  • Districts that have not received funding through previous Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) federal grants.
  • Districts that have received some funding through the FY2009 and FY2010 Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) federal grants (fund code 120) for student data only. They are eligible to receive funding through this RFP for SIF expenses associated with the vertical transmission of HR data to the Department.


Vertical SIF Implementation is supported in 3 ways:

  1. Race to the Top - Vertical SIF Implementation RFP:
    • RTTT allocation for SIF support ( Fund Code 204)
  2. District's RTTT allocation (Fund Code 201).
  3. District independent funding

The percentage of funding available through this RFP (option #1 above) is based on each district's total RTTT allocation grant according to the table below. Funding will be based on the SIF specific expenses that are outlined in the "Fund Use" section.

Total RTTT allocation% of total SIF costs covered by this RFP
$0 to $24,999100%
$25,000 to $199,99985%
$200,000 to $399,99960%
$400,000 to $999,99940%
$1,000,000 or more25%
Fund Use:

Each district must determine its total SIF costs by consulting with its Student Information System (SIS) and Human Resources (HR) vendors. The Department is working closely with the SIS and HR vendors to evaluate SIF implementation costs. We strongly encourage you to contact us if you need assistance determining your SIF costs.

Specific types of expenses allowed under the following sources:

  1. Race to the Top - Vertical SIF Implementation (Fund 204)- Funds awarded through this RFP are used to supportvertical SIF implementation, including:
    1. SIS SIF agents the total cost of SIF Agent cannot exceed $7500.00. (If not previously funded through a prior year grant)
    2. HR system SIF agents or the cost of any additional configuration of the SIS needed to allow for HR SIF transfer. Cost of this HR agent or configuration cannot exceed $2,500.00. (If not previously funded through a prior year grant)
  2. District's RTTT allocation (Fund Code 201) - SIF specific expenses covered by the district's RTTT allocation grant include:
    1. Upgrading or purchasing an established SIS that supports SIF Vertical implementation for Department data collection;
    2. Purchasing equipment needed to successfully complete the vertical SIF implementation (Note: the cost for servers should be pro-rated to account for the share that will be used for SIF);
    3. Stipends to augment existing district and school staff to support SIF implementation (e.g., data cleansing prior to SIF implementation);
    4. Funds for consulting on the SIF project only if needed after consulting with Department SIF staff;
    5. Any costs associated with a horizontal SIF structure that contributes to the alignment with Department's data collection requirements; and
    6. Training for SIF agents.
  3. District independent funding - expenses NOT coveredby either this RFP or the district's RTTT allocation grant include:
    1. Vendor consulting services that are included in the cost of the SIF agents;
    2. Purchase of equipment used for systems not involving SIF transfer;
    3. Stipends for staff not working on SIF related activities; and
    4. Expenses in excess of district's RTTT allocation.


On behalf of the applying district, the grant recipient assures the Department the following:

  1. Grant recipients must send a minimum of 1 technical staff person per district to the SIF training sessions.
  2. Grant recipients must send at least 1 staff member to participate in each grantee meeting.
  3. Grant recipients are responsible for ongoing expenses related to the SIF server and agents as appropriate upon completion of the grant.
  4. Grant recipients shall provide the Department and/or the state SIF vendor CPSI, with access to personnel and SIF agent as necessary to SIF implementation
  5. Districts will be asked to ensure transparency and accountability and report publicly on the use of funds. In addition to the standard federal financial reports required for all federal grants, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) will require additional, extensive reporting to document the use of all American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. RTTT will be subject to the same quarterly financial reporting requirements as other ARRA funds and will also be subject to programmatic reporting requirements. USED is still determining the specific programmatic data to be collected, but all RTTT recipients will be expected to comply with the finalized data reporting requirements. Districts receiving a RTTT grant should anticipate that they will be required to report separately and in detail regarding the use and impact of these funds on at least a quarterly basis

Project DurationUpon Approval - 8/31/2012
Unit: Education Data Services
Contact: Maryann
Phone Number: (781) 338-6802
Date Due:

This non-competitive grant has a rolling submission with three submission date.

Note that response to the district will occur 2 weeks after each submission date.

Applications must be received by the ESE no later than 5:00 pm on the following submission dates:

Submission Date:Response by:
November 28, 2011December 12, 2011
December 12, 2011December 26, 2011
January 2, 2011January 16, 2012
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF Document  Download Word Document   Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2. Download Excel Document   Part II - Budget Detail Pages (Include both pages and give detail for each line item)
  3. Download PDF Document  Download Word Document   Part III - Required Program Information
  4. Download PDF Document  Download Word Document   Statement of Assurances
  5. Signed cost sheets from SIS and HR vendors for agent expenses.
  6. Letters of commitment from SIS and HR Vendors.
  7. Separate signed letter from the District Superintendent agreeing to all of the Assurances in this RFP as outline in the Assurances section above.
Additional Information:

Prior to developing proposals for this program, districts should refer to the following items:

  1. Technical assistance workshop webinars will be held on November 21, 2011, December 5, 2011, and December 19, 2011. To participate, please register. All answers to questions raised during the technical assistance workshops will be posted to the Q&A site.
  2. For more information about SIF, districts may refer to the following SIF Association website.

Submission Instructions:

Submit 4 sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director to:
Nicole Cirino
Education Data Services
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

75 Pleasant Street 3rd Floor
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: November 14, 2011
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