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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

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

Purpose: The purpose of this grant program is to provide supplemental funding for RTTT districts Years 1-4 to assist districts in the building of the 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.

For the purposes of this document the below term describing the data transmission via SIF that will be used is:
  • Vertical SIF Implementation - using the SIF protocol to move state-required data from the district to the Department.
Eligibility: All participating RTTT districts indicating they would or will be implementing SIF in year 4 and 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.
Funding: Vertical SIF Implementation is supported in 3 ways:
  1. Race to the Top - Vertical SIF Implementation RFP:
    • RTTT allocation for supplemental SIF support ( Fund Code 204)
      (The percentage of funding available through this RFP (option #1 above) is based on each district's total RTTT allocation grant according to the below table. Funding will be based on the SIF specific expenses that are outlined in the "Fund Use" section.)
  2. District's RTTT allocation (Fund Code 201).
    Total RTTT
    % 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%
  3. District independent funding
Fund Use: Each district must determine their total SIF costs by consulting with its Student Information System (SIS) vendors. The Department is working closely with the SIS vendors to evaluate SIF implementation costs. We strongly encourage you to contact the Department 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 support vertical SIF implementation, including:
    1. The total cost of SIF Agent cannot exceed $7,500.00. (If not previously funded through a prior year grant)
  2. District independent funding - expenses NOT covered by 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 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 and LDS2 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 and LDS2 recipients will be expected to comply with the finalized data reporting requirements. Districts receiving a RTTT or LDS2 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 Duration: Upon Approval - 6/30/2014
Program Unit: Education Data Services
Contacts: Maryann Donie
Phone Number: (781) 338-6802
Date Due: This non-competitive grant has a submission date of Thursday, July 25, 2013. Note that response to the district will occur 2 weeks after the submission date. Applications must be received by the Department no later than 5:00 pm on July 25, 2013.
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
  4. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Statement of Assurances
  5. Signed cost sheets from SIS vendors for agent expenses.
  6. Letters of commitment from SIS and 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 July 23, 2013 (2:00) and July 24, 2013 (2:00). . To participate, please register.
  2. Please refer to SIF webpage for information on the SIF 2013 Project.
Submission Instructions: Submit four (4) sets, each with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director

Mail to:

Maryann Donie
Education Data Services
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street 3rd Floor
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: July 22, 2013
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