Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2020 and FY2021: Supporting Students' Behavioral and Mental Health and Wellness

***Please Note: The FY20 portion of this grant is no longer available due to the school closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.***

Fund Code: 613/336


The goal of this competitive state-funded grant program is to improve student behavioral and mental health outcomes and to address related barriers to student success.

This grant is one of a series of a coordinated initiatives intended to build capacity of public school districts and communities to:

  • develop comprehensive, integrated multi-tiered systems for student support; and
  • establish an infrastructure to facilitate integrated coordination of school and community-based resources, including but not limited to, social services, mental health, and behavioral health resources.

This grant furthers several of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (Department's) five core strategies, including Supporting Social-Emotional Learning, Health, & Safety Download PDF Document, as well as the four themes of Deeper Learning, Holistic Support & Enrichment, Innovation and Evidence Based Practices, and the state as partner, in Commissioner Riley's Our Way Forward Download Word Document report.

The priorities of this grant are to support schools and districts to:
  • Contract with licensed community-based providers;
  • Maximize coordination with community based-services and community-based providers to improve connections for students and establish more comprehensive continuums of care;
  • Create and/or implement school and/or district action plans with goals related to improving student access to robust, culturally responsive multi-tiered systems of support, including access to behavioral and mental health services; and
  • Access professional development (related to students' behavioral and mental health) offered by the Department or its partners.

Competitive Priority will be given to applicants:

  1. that are designated as requiring broad/comprehensive or targeted/focused support, as well as districts in receivership and/or schools that are in the lowest 10th percentile in the state's Accountability system;
  2. with limited access to mental and behavioral health services and limited existing financial resources;
  3. that have created action plans based on the safe and supportive schools framework;
  4. that have and/or are building systems for integrated student supports (i.e., coordinated efforts for linking schools to community-based resources), including those districts participating in the Systemic Student Support (S3) academy Download PDF Document;
  5. with at least 45% of students in the economically disadvantaged category [in their districts or proposed school(s) to be supported through this grant]; and/or
  6. receiving the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's (DPH) School and Community Based Targeted Intervention Services grant (see intent to award notice in that RFR's attachments), or that have partnered with community providers to receive other grants/contracts funded through DPH's Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) or other state agencies.


Massachusetts public school districts, charter schools and collaboratives* are eligible to apply.

Applicants may apply under either:

  • **Round 1 (due February 25, 2020) for funding and activities to be implemented in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) (upon approval – June 30, 2020) AND, pending appropriation, in FY21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021); OR
  • Round 2 (due June 12, 2020) for funding and activities to be implemented only in FY21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

** Note: Due to the school closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, no awards will be made for Round 1. All applicants that submitted for Round 1 must reapply in Round 2 to be considered for funding.

* Note regarding collaborative eligibility:

In accordance with "The Education Collaborative statute" (Chapter 40, Section 4E) which was amended and signed into law on January 10, 2019. "…The department may designate educational collaboratives as eligible recipients for any applicable federal or state grants to cities, towns, and regional school districts for educational programs."

  • In light of this new statute, educational collaboratives may consider applying for this grant to carry out grant activities for the collaborative's own full-time educational programs. In this case, please consider the educational program a "school" and the collaborative a "district" when completing the application materials.

  • Alternatively, educational collaboratives are also allowed to apply on behalf of interested school districts (and either collaborative or districts can serve as the lead/fiscal agent) to help support and facilitate school and district-based grant activities described above and throughout this grant opportunity. In this case, the collaborative would be considered neither the school nor the district, but instead a facilitator and/or fiscal agent, or other type of support, and would be supporting the efforts of the school and district teams. If the collaborative is serving as the fiscal agent, the collaborative's authorized signatory will sign the Part I — Standard Contract form.

Funding Type:



Approximately $3,300,000 is available.

Applicants may apply for one or both of the categories of grants below. Applicants' requests for funding should be commensurate with the scope of activities proposed.

Note that efforts proposed through this grant must be supplementary and complementary to (and not supplant) what is funded through other grants/contracts.

Category A — Increasing Access and Coordinating Services: up to $100,000 to support one or more schools in one or more of the following activities:

  • creating and/or or implementing action/improvement plans that include goals related to increasing student access to culturally responsive multi-tiered systems of support, including providing and/or connecting students to behavioral and mental health services;
  • working with community-based providers to identify options for increased collaboration, provision of mental health/behavioral health services on-site (at school) and/or in the community;
  • designing or implementing improvements to data systems and software applications to facilitate mapping of school and community-based resources, making referrals, tracking students' use of services, and monitoring the impact of services and implications for future service, subject to compliance with all applicable state and federal laws regarding data security and privacy;
  • supporting implementation of activities prioritized through action-planning as part a safe and supportive schools grant or as a result of participation in the systemic student support academy; and/or
  • other activities to support the priorities of this grant, provided that they are part of a coordinated approach to increasing student supports, and are either one-time activities that have a longer-term impact (e.g., professional development needs associated with mental and behavioral health and aligned with locally-created action plan goals), and/or activities that have a reasonable likelihood of being continued and sustained beyond the grant period through other funding sources (e.g., funding startup costs for the initial offering of services on-site to students eligible for the Children's Behavioral Health Initiative or MassHealth, with the goal of sustaining these services through MassHealth, commercial insurance providers, or other sources after the end of grant funding.)

Category B — Participating in Department-Sponsored Professional Development: up to $10,000 to support school teams' participation in mental and behavioral health related professional development (PD) offered by the Department and/or its partners. There will be no fees charged to districts for this PD. Funds should be budgeted to support teams' participation in these offerings, which will primarily be offered in FY21. These PD opportunities will support school staff in identifying and supporting students in need of behavioral and mental health services. PD may include an opportunity for district and school teams to engage in a multi-year learning community to assess needs, prioritize and develop action plans related to this work. For planning purposes, applicants may anticipate:

  • 3–6 in-person full-day sessions for school and district teams. These days will include content learning, networking and team-action planning time.
  • Follow up technical assistance to support continued action-planning and in-district implementation.
  • Opportunities for networking and cross-district learning.
  • Additional professional development on specific topics identified by grantees.

A detailed description of PD offerings will be shared once finalized.

This grant program will fund a number of the awards through the state budget line 7061-9650, focused on Supporting Healthy Alliances Reinforcing Education (SHARE). The balance of the grant awards will be funded through the 2018 and 2019 supplemental budgets' line 7061–0010, (pending continued appropriation), focused on connecting schools with community-based mental and behavioral health service providers.

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:

These funds must be used in ways that are aligned to the grant purpose and priorities described above and that have reasonable likelihood of being sustained (or having impact) beyond the grant period.

Fund use may include, but is not limited to salaries, stipends, resources, materials, local PD, travel, contracted services with community-based providers, and partnership coordination activities.

Applicants choosing to participate in Department-sponsored PD (Category B) should budget those funds to facilitate district and school teams' participation (e.g., for stipends, travel, additional meeting/planning time, etc.) There will be no fees charged for participation in this PD.

Project Duration:

Updated Project Duration: Upon Approval (no earlier than 7/1/2020)–6/30/2021**

Year 1: Upon Approval – 06/30/2020*
Year 2: 7/1/2020–6/30/2021 (subject to continued appropriation, submitting all required documents, including mid-year and end-of-year reporting, and successful utilization of prior funding)

* Year 1 funding may also carry over to Year 2, subject to continued appropriation and other approvals.

**Note: No Year 1 funding will be awarded. The project duration for all grantees will be for FY21 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2021), with the possibility of carry over funds through 8/31/2021. Further details will be provided to funded grantees, as needed.

Program Unit:

Office of Student and Family Support


Kristen McKinnon

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6306

Date Due:

Round 1: Tuesday, February 25, 2020*

* No Round 1 funding will be awarded. Any applicant that submitted for Round 1 must reapply in Round 2 to be considered for funding.

Round 2: Friday, June 12, 2020 (Applicants submitting through Round 2 may only apply for funding for FY21 (Year 2): July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021)

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

Required Forms:
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Download Word Document
Part I — Year 1 (upon approval – June 30, 2020)*
Download Word Document
Part I — Year 2 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Budget Template
Download Excel Document
Budget — Year 1*
Download Excel Document
Budget — Year 2

Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information

* Part I and Budget for FY20 are not required as no FY20 funds will be awarded. Applicants should submit a Part I and Budget for only FY21 (Upon Approval – June 30, 2021)

Additional Information:

Questions and Answers: The Department will hold Question and Answers Sessions via webinar. Use the online registration form to find session times and to register. During these sessions, the Department will share answer applicants' questions. Questions may be submitted in advance of the sessions to with the subject line "SHARE grant question". Due to the competitive nature of this grant, questions and responses will be shared during these sessions so that all potential applicants have the opportunity to hear the information.

Submission Instructions:

Please submit all required documents electronically to with the subject line "SHARE Application".

All signature pages (Part I and Grant Assurances) should be signed, scanned, and emailed as PDF documents. All other documents should be submitted in their original Word/Excel formats.

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.

Last Updated: February 3, 2020

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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