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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Supplementary Support to School Districts with High Concentrations of At-Risk Students: Alternative Education Pathways (Non-Competitive)
Fund Code: 320-B

Purpose: The purpose of this federally-funded grant opportunity is to provide continuing supplementary support to school districts with high concentrations of students at-risk for not graduating from high school* to support the piloting and enhancement of alternative education pathways.

* Eligible students for the purposes of this grant program are school-aged individuals who are at-risk of academic failure or dropping out of high school. These students may have risk factors such as: being pregnant or a parent, having drug or alcohol addiction, previous contact with the juvenile justice system, being at least one year behind the expected grade level for the age of the individual, having limited English proficiency, being a gang member, being a former high school dropout, or having a high absenteeism rate at school.
Priorities: The priority of this grant is to provide at-risk students in grades 9-12 with a variety of research-based, supplementary supports to increase high school graduation rates.

This grant program also supports implementation of Massachusetts' Download PDF document Download MS WORD document   District Standards and Indicators and the Download PDF document Download MS WORD document   state's high priority strategies for increasing student achievement. In so doing, the program serves to strengthen the capacity of school districts to educate the Commonwealth's neediest children.

Specifically, this grant program may be used in support of the following District Standards (and Indicators): Curriculum and Instruction (sufficient instructional time); Assessment (data-based decision-making, student assessment); and Student Support (academic support, access and equity, educational continuity and student participation, services and partnerships to support learning).

In addition, this grant program is intended to support the state's five high priority strategies for increasing student achievement: preparing students for college and career; strengthening curriculum and instruction; improving educator effectiveness; using data effectively to support student achievement; and turning around our lowest performing schools.
Eligibility: This grant opportunity is open to five school districts: Boston Public Schools, Boston Day and Evening Academy, Brockton Public Schools, Fall River Public Schools, and Holyoke Public Schools, that previously submitted plans to pilot or expand an alternative education pathway.
Funding: A total of $91,000 is available.
Fund Use: Funds can be used by school districts and schools for costs associated with the implementation of the alternative education pathway to target students at-risk of dropping out of school. Allowable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Stipends for newly hired specialists, such as dropout prevention specialists, graduation coaches, or dropout recovery coaches, to work during or after school with at-risk students;
  • Consultant fees associated with programming;
  • Counseling services for at-risk students not already provided by a school or district;
  • Supplies and materials associated with programming (see notes below);
  • Incentives, including out-of-school nutrition and/or health-related fees, such as low-cost or group memberships to community-based organizations working specifically with at-risk students; and
  • Other costs related to creative and effective programs and initiatives addressing one or more of the risk factors exhibited by students in danger of dropping out of school or disrupting the school environment.
Additional Notes:
  • All funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, the use of local funds in meeting the needs of at-risk youth.
  • Grant recipients will be expected to participate in all Department-sponsored evaluations on the effectiveness of the grant program. Participation in a possible continuation grant for FY15 will be contingent upon promising evaluation results.
  • Snacks and food for staff and students are prohibited by this grant, unless specifically recommended as part of an intervention strategy and also conform to the State's guidelines on healthy nutrition. See 105 CMR: Department of Public Health section 225.100: General Nutrition Standards for Public Schools (attached).
Project Duration: Upon approval -7 /31/2014
Program Unit: Office of College and Career Readiness
Contact: Jenny Curtin
Phone Number: (781) 338-6839
Date Due: Friday, February 28, 2014
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
Submission Instructions: Submit one (1) electronic copy of all materials, except the original signature page to: Jenny Curtin at

Submit one (1) set with an original signature of the Superintendent/Executive Director.

Mail to:

Jenny Curtin
Office of College and Career Readiness
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Last Updated: February 14, 2014
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