Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs: FY2018

EPIC Supervisor Certification Pilot
Fund Code: 176

Purpose: Through the Elevate Preparation: Impact Children (EPIC) Initiative, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) seeks to deepen and extend the quality of field-based experiences in order to ensure that teacher candidates are ready to make an impact on day one, through this competitive grant.

In line with this goal, DESE is offering a competitive grant to support participation in the pilot of a certification mechanism that can be used to assess the ability of supervisors to provide high-quality feedback and support to teacher candidates.

By establishing a rigorous certification mechanism focused on the delivery of high-quality feedback to teacher candidates, DESE seeks to recognize and retain high-performing supervisors and enable Sponsoring Organizations (SOs) to target additional support and training towards developing these essential skills.

Priorities: Sponsoring Organizations participating in the Supervisor Certification Pilot will recruit, select and support supervisors (Program Supervisors and/or Supervising Practitioners) to complete the certification mechanism during the 2017-2018 school year. DESE is seeking up to 250 supervisors for the pilot.

Background on the Certification Mechanism: DESE is proposing that supervisors complete the already developed Performance Assessment for Leaders - Task 3 Download PDF Document as a means of certifying their skills around feedback. As currently designed, PAL Task 3 assesses the ability of individuals to provide high-quality feedback and support to teachers through the evaluation and feedback processes in place. To complete PAL Task 3, participants conduct and document the observation and feedback process with one teacher, including planning for, facilitating, and reflecting on a pre-conference meeting, two or more observations, and a post-conference meeting.

Because of its applicability to existing evaluation and feedback systems, PAL Task 3 aligns well to the role and expectations of a supervisor implementing CAP and specifically targets the critical skill of providing high-quality feedback.

Additional Information on the Pilot: DESE seeks a set of Sponsoring Organizations that will help to facilitate the pilot with up to 250 supervisors across the state. By agreeing to support individual supervisors through the process, Sponsoring Organizations are eligible to receive $250 per supervisor they recruit. These funds may be used towards any activities associated with supporting or training supervisors (either those involved in the pilot or the broader group a provider works with). For their part, participating supervisors will receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the task as well as a waiver for the cost of the task itself (a $107 value).

In addition, during the pilot year, DESE will study the implementation and feasibility of the mechanism as means for determining supervisors' ability to provide high-quality, impactful feedback. Through a series of feedback surveys, focus groups and data analyses, DESE intends to explore the following research and policy questions:

  • Is PAL-Task 3, as currently designed, an appropriate assessment for examining the ability of supervisors of teacher candidates to provide impactful feedback?
  • What is the appropriate cut score for supervisors on PAL-Task 3 to obtain the certification?
  • What are the necessary incentives (e.g. PDPs, credits, licensure, recognition) to encourage participation by supervisors after the pilot period?
>Sponsoring Organizations participating in the pilot will engage in the following activities:

I. Recruitment of Supervisors:
  • By the application deadline (July 27, 2017): Applicants must identify the number of supervisors who will participate in the pilot and submit signed letters of commitment from at least 60% of identified participants in order to receive the full amount of requested funds. For example, an applicant will receive funding for 10 supervisors if they have specified that 10 supervisors will participate and secured letters of commitment from at least 6. If an applicant secures letters of commitment from fewer than 60% of identified participants, awards will be adjusted accordingly.
  • By September 30, 2017: If applicable, the remaining letters of commitment must be submitted.
II. Certification Coordination and Support
  • August/September 2017: Participate in an ESE-facilitated webinar on the requirements and expectations of PAL Task 3 for participating SOs and supervisors.
  • Support supervisors with task registration, completion, and submission as necessary.
  • Organize and host an ESE-facilitated focus group with participating supervisors.
  • Disseminate feedback surveys to participating supervisors and other stakeholders as applicable.
  • Issue stipends to supervisors once confirmation of task completion is received.
  • Encouraged, but not required: be willing to sponsor additional supervisors not already connected to your organization. DESE anticipates that there may be current supervisors who would be interested in piloting the mechanism but are either not already connected to an SO or are affiliated with an SO that has decided not to facilitate the pilot. We would like to make sure that these individuals still have an opportunity to participate. In your application, please specify the number of additional supervisors you'd be willing to support through the pilot.
Supervisors participating in the pilot will engage in the following activities:
  • Attend the ESE-hosted webinar
  • Complete PAL Task-3 (Stipends will be contingent on submission of the completed task by the final submission deadline of April 26, 2018).
  • Complete a feedback survey
  • Participate in one in-person focus group in the spring of 2018
Successful applicants will demonstrate:
  • Signed letters of commitment from at least 60% of participating supervisors in order to receive the full amount of requested funds and, if applicable, a thorough plan for recruiting and securing commitments from the remaining participants.
    • Competitive preference will be given to SOs with high rates of participation, either in proportion to their total number of supervisors or in total quantity, and representation from both Program Supervisors and Supervising Practitioners.
    • Competitive preference will also be given to SOs who indicate a willingness to facilitate the pilot for additional individuals not already directly connected to their organization.
  • Designation of a point-person with the necessary authority and capacity to oversee the pilot, including the recruitment of and communication to supervisors, issuance of stipends, and coordination of in-person focus group.
  • An interest and commitment to setting a high bar for supervision within your organization and a vision for how a state certification mechanism could be leveraged within your organization in support of this goal.
    • Competitive preference will be given to applicants applying as an SO/district partnership.
Eligibility:This grant is available to all Massachusetts Educator Preparation Sponsoring Organizations approved to offer initial teacher licensure programs. The pilot is focused on initial teacher licensure supervisors and does not extend to professional, administrative or professional support personnel licensure programs. Sponsoring Organizations may apply with a Massachusetts public school district partner.
Funding Type:Foundation
Funding: The total allocation for this grant program is approximately $187,500 for up to 250 supervisors.

Individual awards to Sponsoring Organizations will be dependent on the number of supervisors participating in the pilot. SOs are eligible to receive $750 per supervisor to include$500/supervisor for stipends and $250/supervisor for SO expenses associated with supporting or training supervisors (either those involved in the pilot or the broader group a provider works with).

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding is to become available it will be distributed under the same guideline as listed in the initial RFP document.

Fund Use: Submit requests for funding using the budget template provided:
  1. On Row 4, enter the number of Supervisors to receive stipends and the total amount requested ($500 per supervisor).
  2. On Row 9, enter the total amount of Program Administration Costs (equating to $250 per supervisor).
Allowable expenditures include:
  • Stipends
  • Recruitment of supervisors
  • Certification coordination and support, and
  • Other reasonable expenses associated with supporting the quality of supervision within their organization and/or participating in the pilot
Unallowable expenditure include:
  • Meals
  • Contract buyouts
  • Capital expenses
  • Purchase of technology, computer software, or hardware.
Project Duration:Upon Approval - 6/30/2018 (no renewal/extensions)
Program Unit:Center for Instructional Support
Contacts:Shannon Clancy
Phone Number:(781) 338-3239
Date Due:Thursday, July 27, 2017

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on the date due.

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part I - General - Program Unit Signature Page - (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Excel Document
Part II - Budget
Download Word Document
Part III - Required Program Information (Application)
Download Word Document
Letter of Commitment Template

Additional Information:
Download Word Document
Score Card

Submission Instructions:
  1. Submit one electronic copy of all application materials, excluding original signature page, to Shannon Clancy with the subject line "Supervisor Certification Pilot Grant"

  2. Submit four printed copies of the application and budget, one printed set of the signed letters of commitment, and one printed Part I Signature Page with the original signature of the Sponsoring Organization Leader to:

    Shannon Clancy
    Center for Instructional Support
    Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    75 Pleasant Street
    Malden. MA 02148-4906
Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.