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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2014

Alternative Education State Grant: Education Pathways to Support Students Most At-Risk of Not Graduating from High School (Competitive)
Fund Code: 790

Purpose: The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to help school districts plan, pilot, or enhance middle school and high school level district and inter-district alternative education programs/schools that serve students who are most at risk of not graduating from high school.

The target population includes, but is not limited to: students identified as high and moderate risk in the Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS), students who are suspended or expelled, students who are chronically truant, students with have mental health concerns, and/or students with course failures.
Priorities: This grant program also supports implementation of Massachusetts' Download PDF Document Download Word Document   District Standards and Indicators and the Download PDF Document Download 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 goal of success after high school through four priority areas: strengthening curriculum and instruction; improving educator effectiveness; using data effectively to support student achievement; and turning around our lowest performing schools.

In particular, this grant opportunity focuses on the development or implementation of an alternative education pathway that addresses at least one of the following five priority components to support student-centered learning. One component is required for all applicants (socio-emotional supports), and the remainder are optional priority components:
  1. Providing socio-emotional supports (behavioral health support) - required for all applicants
  2. Implementing a competency based education system
  3. Serving suspended or expelled students to meet requirements of the Massachusetts discipline law, Chapter 222: An Act Relative to Student Access to Educational Services and Exclusion from School
  4. Implementing Individual Learning Plans (ILPs)
  5. Providing contextual learning opportunities
Applicants must address one or more of the priority components through the selection of one of the following grant missions:
  1. Planning - Funds are used to support the creation of an implementation plan for a new alternative education program/school.
  2. Pilot - Funds are used to implement an innovative, new alternative education program/school.
  3. Enhancement - Funds are used to enhance an existing alternative education program/school.
Descriptions of these five priority components for student-centered learning, as well as the three grant mission options, are included in the Descriptions of Options for Grant Mission and Grant Priority Components document listed under "Additional Information" below.

Grants will be awarded to districts that propose activities based upon research-based interventions that:
  • educate students using the same academic standards and curriculum frameworks as used with all students;
  • provide an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma (for high school programs);
  • have small class sizes that use engaging instruction, address individual learning styles, and provide a supportive environment;
  • use flexible scheduling;
  • use existing resources in school districts, educational collaboratives, community colleges, other agencies, service providers, and community-based organizations;
  • use family-based approaches and self-improvement, behavior management, and life skills training to help provide students with tools to better manage their lives and attitudes;
  • provide a comprehensive array of social services to support students with issues that can cause school failure, excessive absenteeism, truancy, and dropping out of school; and
  • use pre- and post-evaluative data in program development and assessment of program outcomes.
All selected districts will participate in professional development, networking, and evaluation activities during the 2013-14 school year.
Eligibility: Eligible entities are public school districts that had a 2012 four-year cohort graduation rate below 80.0%. See the Alternative Education Grant FY14 Eligibility document listed under "Additional Information" below for eligible district names. Eligible school districts may partner with non-eligible districts for implementation of the grant program (the eligible district must be the lead).
Funding: Applicants may apply for up to $10,000 (Planning grant) or $20,000 (Pilot or Enhancement grant). A total of $146,000 is available.
Fund Use: Grant funds may be used for salaries for staff salary or stipends, curriculum development, consultants, substitutes, community partnerships, technology, travel, training, and purchase of materials and supplies.

Grant funds may not be used to pay students for program participation, however modest incentives (e.g., school supplies, snacks, transportation) are permitted.

Grant funds may not be used for programs exclusively serving students with disabilities or to supplant existing alternative education programs.
Project Duration: Upon Approval through 6/30/2014
Program Unit: College and Career Readiness
Contact:Jenny Curtin
Phone Number: (781) 338-6839
Date Due: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 5 p.m.
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.
Required Forms:
  1. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
  2.  Download Excel Document  Part II Workbook - Budget (II-A) and Budget Narrative (II-B)*
    (Print and mail with the proposal all four budget and budget narrative pages. See important opening instructions at the bottom of this section.)*
  3. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part III - Required Program Information
  4. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part IV - Grant Assurances
  5. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part V - Dropout Reduction Student Support and Intervention Mapping Tool
  6. Download PDF Document Download Word Document  Part VI - Alternative Education code form (only required for Pilot and Enhancement applicants that do not currently have an Alternative Education code for SIMS data collection)
Additional Information:
Submission Instructions: Applicants must submit the complete application via email and via mail, following the instructions below:
  1. Email the complete application (without signatures) to:
  2. Mail two (2) complete applications with an originals signatures on Part I (Signature Page) and on the Grant Assurances page to:

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

Last Updated: November 25, 2013
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