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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

District and School Assistance Grant
Fund Code: 323-B, 220-E

Purpose: The purpose of this grant program is to support improvement in Level 3 districts, districts that were Level 3 in FY13, and four eligible Level 4 districts (i.e., Athol-Royalston, Randolph, Southbridge, and Salem) and their schools through participation in regionally-based professional development and assistance initiatives associated with the District and School Assistance Centers (DSACs). DSAC regional assistance is designed to enhance district and regional capacity to plan, implement, and sustain research-based practices to improve student performance and is aligned with the Massachusetts District Accountability and Assistance Framework.
Priorities: Statewide Priorities:

District grant allocations will provide support to districts for expenses for staff to participate in initiatives and activities that align with the ESE District Standards and Indicators, including ESE approved professional development courses and/or to access other school and district improvement assistance offered through or agreed upon by the District and School Assistance Center's Regional Assistance Director.

Priority will be given to initiatives and activities aligned with one of more of the following goals and core strategies of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education:

Preparing Students for Success in Both College and Careers through:
  • Strengthening Curriculum and Instruction;
  • Improving Educator Effectiveness;
  • Turning Around Low Performing Schools; and
  • Using Data Effectively to Support Student Achievement.
Regional Priorities:

New for the 2013-2014 DSAC Grants, ESE is piloting establishing additional regional opportunities to support some DSAC regional priorities based on: feedback from and needs identified by the regions' schools and districts, findings from the external DSAC program evaluation, and from DSAC teams. Priorities for each region are summarized below. Please see the additional instructions for your DSAC region to see how these regional priorities may affect your district's application.

Central DSAC Region
Priority will be given to activities that:
  • support collaboration among teachers and administrators
  • address and support understanding and implementation of effective, standards-based instructional practices
Northeast DSAC Region
Priority will be given to participation in:
  • regional Level 3 Accelerated Improvement Planning
  • a regional World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) network
  • regional Math Network Seminars
  • regional Literacy Network Seminars
  • regional Curriculum and Instructional Leadership workshops
District participation in regional projects is limited to districts served by the Northeast DSAC Region.

Southeast DSAC Region
Priority will be given to:
  • development of action plans to support rigorous implementation of the 2011 Massachusetts Mathematics and ELA/Literacy Curriculum Frameworks
  • participation in a Southeast regional middle school network focusing on transition issues and mathematics improvement
District participation in the middle school network is limited to districts served by the Southeast DSAC Region

Berkshires+, Greater Boston, and Pioneer Valley, DSAC Regions
No additional priorities have been established for the Berkshires+, Greater Boston, and Pioneer Valley regions.
Eligibility: Level 3 DSAC-served districts, districts that were Level 3 in FY13, and the following Level 4 districts: Athol-Royalston, Randolph, Southbridge, and Salem. (See attached FY14 District and School Assistance Grant Regional Allotment List.)

Districts in Level 3 status SOLELY because of low MCAS participation rates are not eligible to receive funds through this grant.
Funding: Up to $1.355 million is available through Federal Title I School Improvement funds, and $600,000 through State Targeted Assistance funds to be distributed among the eligible districts in the six DSAC regions. See attached FY14 District and School Assistance Grant Regional Allotment List.

Districts that are:

In the lowest 20% MCAS performance, including Level 4 schools and districts, Title I allotments are based on low income enrollment in Level 2, 3, and 4 Title I schools in eligible districts. State Targeted Assistance allotments are based on the total enrollment in Level 2, 3, and 4 schools in eligible districts.

Exiting Level 3 status in FY13, Title I and State Targeted Assistance allotments are 50% of those for current Level 3 districts in the lowest performing 20% on MCAS.

Fund use must be consistent with the priorities described above and requirements associated with the following funding sources:
Fund Use: Title I School Improvement Funds (Fund Code 323-B) must be used to support improvement initiatives in Title I schools in Level 2, 3, or 4 status. All funds from this source must be attributed to Title I schools. (A special worksheet is included in the budget workbook for this purpose.) Funds must supplement, and not supplant, non-federal funds that would otherwise be used for activities authorized under this grant.

State Targeted Assistance Funds (Fund Code 220-E) may be used to support priority strategic professional development and assistance initiatives designed to raise performance in eligible districts and any of their schools. State Targeted Assistance funds may be used through August 31, 2014. Applications must include two budgets reflecting Fiscal Year 2014 (upon-approval - June 30, 2014) and Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014- August 31, 2014) included in the Budget Workbook. Districts may be required to submit updated budget forms for FY15.

Funds may be used for the following:
  1. Vendor costs on a per participant basis for educators to participate in regional or statewide ESE-approved professional development courses
  2. Vendor costs on a per course basis for funding an ESE-approved professional development course for delivery in the district or in partnership with other districts
  3. Stipends for educators to participate in designated professional development beyond contractual hours or payment for substitutes while teachers participate in professional development in ESE-approved courses and DSAC delivered or approved assistance activities;
  4. In-state travel and mileage associated with attendance at professional development
  5. Materials or supplies directly related to proposed professional development and other targeted assistance
  6. Other costs related to school and district improvement initiatives in consultation with the DSAC Regional Assistance Director (See Part III Required Information Plan for District and School Assistance Grant Fund Use)
Funds may not be used to provide refreshments.

Note: All vendor costs for professional development will be paid directly by districts. Regional courses from the ESE-approved list will be delivered only if there are sufficient participants from a region or regions to fill a course.
Project Duration: Federal Title I: Upon Approval - 8/31/2014
State Targeted Assistance School Year: Upon Approval - 6/30/2014
State Targeted Assistance Summer: 7/1/2014 - 8/31/2014
Program Unit: School Improvement Grant Programs and Regional System of Support
Contact: Karen Johnston kjohnston@doe.mass.edu
Phone Number: (781) 338-3539
Date Due: Letter of Intent to apply for funding for regional projects: Friday, December 13, 2013.

Districts intending to act as lead agency or, where applicable, request regional funds to support participation in regional projects in the Northeast DSAC and Southeast DSAC regions must submit a letter of Intent to apply for funding by December 13, 2013. (See Required Forms, #1)

Complete proposals: Friday, March 14, 2014

Complete proposals are due by Friday, March 14, 2014. Districts may submit proposals at any time before the grant deadline. Proposals will be processed as they are received.

Note to districts requesting funds for school year activities: Districts proposing to fund school-year activities must submit a proposal that has been approved by its DSAC Regional Assistance Director at least four weeks before planned expenditures. Please note in the subject line of the Part III email submission: SCHOOL-YEAR FUNDING REQUESTED.

Partial proposals
Partial proposals to fund school year activities will be accepted.
Required Forms: Districts applying for funding must submit a grant application that includes all of the following required forms:
  1. If relevant, a letter of Intent to apply for funding to participate in regional projects in the Northeast DSAC Region and the Southeast DSAC Region is required. Please e-mail letters to Karen Johnston kjohnston@doe.mass.edu and copy the respective Regional Assistance Director: Northeast DSAC - David Troughton david.troughton@dsacma.org; Southeast DSAC - Marcia Adams O'Neil marcia.oneil@dsacma.org) by 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 13, 2013.
  2. Part I and II - Electronic Budget Workbook for each fund code and time period (includes the Standard Contract and Application for Program Grants and Budget Detail Pages):
    1.  Download MS EXCEL file  Fund Code 323-B: District and School Assistance Grant for Title I Eligible Schools;
    2.  Download MS EXCEL file  Fund Code 220-E: District and School Assistance Grant for District and School Activities through June 30, 2014 only; and/or
    3.  Download MS EXCEL file  Fund Code 220-E: District and School Assistance Grant for District and School Activities from July 1 to August 31, 2014.
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Part III Required Information: Plan for District and School Assistance Grant Fund Use. Districts will use this form to provide a narrative describing how grant funds will be used, their rationale for using funds in this way, and how the district will monitor the impact of District and School Assistance Grant-funded activities on professional practice and student outcomes.
    1. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Instructions for All Regions
    2. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Further Instructions for the Northeast DSAC Region
    3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Further Instructions for the Southeast DSAC Region
  4.  Download MS EXCEL file  PD Cost Worksheet: Regional and Statewide DSAC Professional Development Offerings. Districts using funds for professional development will use this required worksheet to calculate total costs for all professional development by course and fund code.
  5. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Non-ESE-Approved Professional Development Template. Districts opting to offer courses other than those on the DSAC professional development menu are required to submit a completed template and checklist that describes their proposed professional development.
  6. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix J: Goal Action Map Template (Southeast DSAC region only): Use this template for MA Frameworks implementation action planning for Southeast Regional DSAC districts.
Additional Information: Each grant recipient must complete a DSAC Grant Final Report to be submitted no later than Tuesday, September 30, 2014 prior to 5:00 p.m.

  1. Download PDF document Download MS EXCEL document  Appendix A: FY14 District and School Assistance Grant Allotment List. This list provides information about district allotments by fund code.
  2. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix B: Selecting and Enrolling in ESE-approved DSAC Professional Development Offerings. This document provides detailed information about working with your regional DSAC to select and enroll educators in these courses.
  3. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix C: ESE Standards for Professional Development. This reference document articulates the ESE Professional Development standards which apply to all professional development supported through ESE funding. Districts proposing off-menu courses need to demonstrate that offerings meet these standards.
  4. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix D: non-ESE Approved Professional Development Template. This completed form must be submitted with applications for off-menu courses.
  5. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix E: Research on the Impact of Professional Development. This document provides a one-page summary of research conducted by Bruce Joyce and Beverly Showers.
  6. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix F: DSAC Course Parameters: This reference document describes systemic components and expectations for DSAC professional development courses, and will be useful for districts proposing off-menu professional development as they complete the required Non-ESE Approved Professional Development Template.
  7. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix G: Northeast Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Northeast DSAC Regional districts.
  8. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix H: Southeast Regional Priorities: This document describes regional priorities and projects available to Southeast DSAC Regional districts.
  9. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix I: DSAC Grant Final Report Template: Each grant recipient is required to complete a DSAC final grant report, using this template, no later than 5PM on September 30, 2014.
  10. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix J: Goal Action Map Template (Southeast DSAC region only): Use this template for MA Frameworks implementation action planning for Southeast Regional DSAC districts.
  11. Download PDF document Download MS WORD document  Appendix K: Central Regional Priorities: This document describes grant priorities for all Central DSAC districts.
2014 DSAC Professional Development Menu. The list of pre-approved professional development offerings, as well as an electronic link to detailed information about each course can be found at: Professional Development webpage of Statewide System of Support.
Submission Instructions: Mail two (2) copies of Signature Page with the original signature of the Superintendent to:

Janet Pineault
Office for the Regional System of Support
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-5023


Email the Budget Workbook and required program information to: schoolimprovementgrants@doe.mass.edu


Last Updated: December 5, 2013
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