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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2013

District and School Implementation: Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS): Next Steps in Universal Design for Learning
Fund Code: 324

Purpose: The District and School Implementation: Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS): Next Steps in Universal Design for Learning grant provides funds to support districts' efforts to plan for and implement Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as part of a tiered system of support. The goal of the grant is to establish a team of school and district leaders who will shape the learning environment so that it addresses the variability of ALL learners, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who have already demonstrated mastery of the concepts and skills being taught. The grant is also designed to support collaboration between level 3 and 4 districts and their DSAC regional staff or Commissioner's District Liaisons.

This grant program supports implementation of district standards and indicators of Table 1 below. Applicants should be deliberate and intentional in the use of grant funds to support these standards and priorities.

Table1
District StandardsIndicators
Leadership and GovernanceDistrict Planning
Curriculum and InstructionStrong Instructional Leadership and Effective Instruction
AssessmentData-Based Decision-Making
Human Resources and Professional DevelopmentProfessional Development
Student SupportAccess and Equity
Priorities: This grant will support teams in deepening their knowledge and understanding of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Teams will work to embed the principles of UDL into district and school level systems, classroom level instruction, and curriculum and assessment.

District leaders will
  • Have the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare for an implementation initiative.
  • Complete a resource map at the district level to identify and leverage resources to support implementation of UDL.
  • Develop procedures to measure progress to ensure that the project goals are being achieved.
Principals will
  • Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to apply UDL within school based implementation project.
  • Complete a resource map at the school level to identify and leverage resources to support implementation of UDL.
  • Develop procedures to measure progress to ensure that the project goals are being achieved.
Classroom educators will
  • Collaborate to develop 3 - 4 lessons to post and share on UDL Exchange, an online digital environment for creating and sharing lessons. The lessons will include goals, assessments, methods, and materials that minimize learning barriers and maximize learning opportunities.
  • Create classroom structures that are responsive to the variability of all learners.
  • Share UDL information with other educators in the district.
Eligibility: Eligibility is limited to districts/schools that:
  • were Level 3 or 4 in SY10-11 and/or SY11-12;
  • are eligible for Title 1 funds; and
  • participated in one or more of the following Massachusetts-sponsored trainings on UDL: Harvard University Professional Development Institute: Universal Design for Learning: Reaching All Learners; UDL Institute for Massachusetts Districts (ESE/CAST); CAST Summer Institute: Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Addressing the Variability of All Learners.
Please see the list of eligible districts in Additional Information: Appendix B.
Funding: A total of $275,880 is available for this grant program in FY13. Each district/school team may apply for up to $27,588. The Department anticipates it will fund up to ten districts. Please note, districts will be required to use $14,000 of these funds to pay for the UDL Academy.
Fund Use: Funds must be used for:
  • Tuition for the UDL Academy over the course of the 2012-2013 school year (See Part III: Required Program Information for Academy overview)
Funds may be used for:
  • Consultants
  • Substitutes
  • Travel/mileage (to UDL trainings only)
  • Stipends for educators
  • Participating in or delivering school-based professional development
  • Leading a UDL Professional Learning Community (PLC)
  • Co-planning
  • Developing materials and assessments aligned to UDL principles
  • Participating in monthly conference calls or webinars with CAST
  • Other
  • Massachusetts Teachers' Retirement System (MTRS) (related to stipends only)
  • Materials, supplies, and technology (for trainings or professional development)
Funds may not be used for:
  • Materials for students
  • Salaries
  • Out-of-state travel
  • Fringe benefits
  • Food or beverages
Project Duration: Upon approval - 08/31/2013
Program Unit: Office of Tiered System of Supports
Contact: Tara Gestrich tgestrich@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3369
Date Due: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Competitive proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2.  Download MS EXCEL file  Part II Budget Detail Pages (Include both pages.) - Instructions
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information: Program Overview and Application
  4. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part IV - Assurance from Participating School Districts
  5. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part V - Assurance from Participating Schools
  6. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part VI - Commitment to Collaborate to be signed by:
    • DSAC Regional Assistance Director (level 3 districts), or
    • District Liaison (level 4 districts)
Additional Information:
  1.  Download MS EXCEL file  Appendix A: Evaluation Scorecard
  2. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix B: List of Eligible Districts
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix C: Submission Checklist (for district use prior to submission)
Submission Instructions:
  1. Email the Part II Budget Detail Pages and the Part III Required Program Information (Overview and Application) to tgestrich@doe.mass.edu.
  2. Mail one (1) set of the complete application package, including the above and all related assurance documents, to Lisa Hanafin, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director.

    Mail to:

    Lisa Hanafin
    Office of Tiered System of Supports
    Massachusetts Department of
    Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street
    Malden, MA 02148-4906
This competitive proposal must be received at the Department by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

For questions regarding submission, please contact Tara Gestrich at 781-338-3369.


Last Updated: November 21, 2012
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