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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Innovation Schools Planning Grant
Fund Code: 156

Purpose: The innovation school model is intended to be a fiscally neutral and sustainable school redesign model. The purpose of this one-time state funded Innovation Schools Planning Grant is to support the planning process needed to develop and establish new and conversion innovation schools for implementation in September 2014.

Innovation schools are in-district public schools that operate with increased autonomy and flexibilities in six key areas: curriculum, instruction, and assessment; schedule and calendar; staffing; professional development; district policies and procedures; and budget. The innovation school model is rooted in the belief that autonomy and flexibly in one or more of the six identified areas will establish the school conditions that lead to improved teaching and learning.
Priorities: Priorities for this competitive grant will be given to applicants that:
  1. Establish a new or conversion innovation school in a Level 3 or 4 district.
  2. Convert an existing school designated as Level 3 or 4.
  3. Establish an innovation school that thoughtfully implements an expanded school day model. Additional consideration will be given to proposals that incorporate a yearlong calendar model.
  4. Establish an innovation school that thoughtfully implements a blended learning educational model.
  5. Establish an innovation school that thoughtfully implements an early college or multiple pathways educational model.
For information about accountability and assistance levels of districts and schools please see: 2013 Statewide Accountability Report.
Eligibility: In order to apply for an implementation grant, an applicant must:
  1. Be an eligible applicant as identified in the Innovation Schools statute, M.G.L., Chapter 71, section 92: (i) parents; (ii) teachers; (iii) parent-teacher organizations; (iv) principals; (v) superintendents; (vi) school committees; (vii) teacher unions; (viii) colleges and universities; (ix) non-profit community-based organizations; (x) non-profit business or corporate entities; (xi) non-profit charter school operators; (xii) non-profit education management organizations; (xiii) educational collaboratives; (xiv) consortia of these groups; and (xv) non-profit entities authorized by the commissioner. Innovation Schools Statute
  2. Have completed the first stage of the authorization process as outlined in M.G.L., Chapter 71, Section 92 (m). The first stage of the authorization process requires that the applicant's prospectus be approved by two-thirds of the district's three member screening committee.
  3. Not have received a previous planning grant award. Previous planning grant awards were awarded from fund codes 154 (Next Generation Learning Models) and 202 (Race to the Top).
Important note: private and parochial schools are not eligible to operate innovation schools as outlined in M.G.L., Chapter 71, Section 92.
Funding: Award amounts will be up to $10,000 per proposed innovation school.
Fund Use: Funds must be used to support innovation school planning activities and must be reasonable, appropriate, and consistent with all applicable state and federal requirements.

Examples of allowable expenditures include, but are not limited to: 1) stipends for educators to participate in the planning process; 2) reimbursements for substitutes to release educators involved in the planning process; 3) services provided by consultants; and 4) the acquisition of curriculum materials related to the development of an innovation plan.

Examples of unallowable expenditures include, but are not limited to: 1) capital expenses; 2) the purchase of computer hardware; 3) out-of-state travel expenses, and 4) purchase of food or beverages.
Project Duration: Upon approval- 06/30/2014
Program Unit: Office Charter Schools and School Redesign
Contact: Sheika Edmond sedmond@doe.mass.edu
Required Prior to Grant Submission Interested applicants must submit an email to sedmond@doe.mass.edu indicating their intent to apply. The non-binding intent to apply email must include: 1) the name(s) of the proposed Innovation School(s) for which the applicant seeks planning grant funding for; and 2) the contact information (name, title, email address, and phone number) for the applicant and district personnel who should be include on any communications regarding this grant program prior to the submission of a full application. A technical assistance webinar is scheduled for Thursday, November 14, 2013 from 3:30-4:30, and will provide participants with an overview of the Request for Proposal and opportunity to have questions answered.

Intent to Apply Email - Due Friday, November 18, 2013 (requested but not required)
Date Due: Full Grant applications are due: Monday, December 2, 2013 (see Required Forms section below). Proposals must be received by the Department by 5:00PM on the above date.
Required Forms:
  1.  Download MS EXCEL file  Budget Workbook - Includes- Part I-General Program Signature Page (Cover Sheet)- and Part II- Project Expenditures-Detail Information
  2. Download PDF document Download MS WORD Document  Part III - Required Program Information
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part IV- Innovation Schools Approval Calendar (must include original signatures)
  4. Copy of approved Innovation School Prospectus.
Submission Instructions: Email all required documents, in their original Word or Excel formats (e.g., not converted to a PDF), to sedmond@doe.mass.edu NOTE: Signatures are not required on the emailed versions.

AND

Mail three (3) sets of all required documents which includes original signatures to:

Sheika Edmond
Office of Charter Schools and School Redesign
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

All mailed documents must be received by the Department by 5:00PM on Monday, December 2, 2013.


Last Updated: October 16, 2013
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