Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2020: Integrating Social and Emotional Learning into Academic Learning

Fund Code: 141


The goal of this federally funded targeted grant program is to build school and district capacity to:

  • Engage in explicit teaching and learning of social and emotional (SE) skills/competencies that are integrated and applied throughout all subject areas; and/or
  • Measure students' SE skills and competencies and effectively use data to identify areas of need and support students to develop specific skills/competencies within a tiered system of support.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently released Creating Positive Learning Environments: Recommendations and Resources to Support the Social Emotional Well-being of Students, Staff, and Families (Summer 2020) Download Word Document, to help districts and schools prioritize and support the social emotional well-being of students, staff, and families as they prepare for the new school year.

Even during a pandemic, our job as educators is to create a safe and healthy learning environment that is joyful, engaging, and equitable for every child. In Massachusetts, we have demonstrated immense resilience and creativity in dealing with this complex situation. Whether operating in-person, remotely, or through a combination of the two, the public education system plays a pivotal role in supporting students, families, and communities.

This grant offers schools and districts funding to build upon efforts to implement and sustain safe and supportive learning environments and attend to students' needs in a holistic and integrated way, particularly now as we are all learning and adjusting to the new complexities of the world around us.


Through this grant, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and/or its partners will provide, in addition to the grant funds, technical assistance, professional development and/or coaching to support school and/or district teams in one or more of the following priority areas.

  • Priority 1 — The Social and Emotional Learning Indicator System (SELIS) survey supports a strength-based, tiered approach to developing students' social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies. Developed by researchers in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SELIS identifies students' self-reported SEL strengths in five core competencies. The data enables educators to support students in areas in need of development within a tiered system of support. DESE will provide participating districts with SELIS data and technical assistance to make meaning of the SEL data in an integrated system of support.

  • Priority 2 — Using Service-Learning (SL) to Teach and Reinforce SE Skills Across Content Areas (SL/SEL Integration): This priority is designed to support teachers' instruction, boost students' collaborative skills, and spark students' interest in future civic work. Participants will create and implement units that use service-learning to integrate SEL, content instruction and civics education to support students to develop SE skills/competencies.

    1. General SEL and Academic Integration through SL: Teams will engage in professional development to understand what explicit teaching of SEL is and begin to develop an integrated SEL/SL project connected to the content-area(s) and at the grade-level(s) of their choosing.

    2. Pilot Evidence-Based Connect Science (4th Grade SEL, Science, SL Unit): Participants will learn about and implement the Connect Science Energy evidence-based curricula, a 12-week project-based learning unit through which fourth graders explore the topics of energy and natural resources in depth and engage in science through service-learning. The program prepares students to be knowledgeable and engaged citizens who can collaborate with others to solve community problems. Participating fourth grade teachers will implement the standards aligned unit with their students.

    3. Connect Science Design (3rd – 5th Grade): Teams will engage in professional development to design and plan standards aligned units of study that use Connect Science's interdisciplinary SL approach for grades three through five. These units will build upon the district's existing science curricular materials and/or other vetted materials, and will include explicit teaching and deeper learning related to SE competencies. Note: Applicants under this category must have previously participated in Connect Science Energy.

Please see the Additional Information section below, as well as Part III — Required Program Information for full details about the key grant activities and grant requirements for each of the above priorities.


The following recipients of a FY2020 FC 141 grant are eligible to apply:

  • Community Day Charter Public School
  • Mohawk Trail Regional School District

Funding Type:

Federal (CFDA) 84.424


Approximately $10,000 is available.

Applicants may apply to continue the work done in FY2020 under priorities 2b and 2c., as well as, if desired, to add work related to priorities 1 and 2s. Applicants may apply for up to the amount of funds that they returned and/or did not claim from their FY2020 FC 141.

Funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed are estimated/approximate and are subject to change. If more funding becomes available it will be distributed under the same guidelines that appear in this RFP document.

Fund Use:

Funds may be used to support stipends for staff engaged in grant activities, substitutes, materials and or supplies.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 8/31/2021

Program Unit:

Student and Family Support


Kristen McKinnon

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6306

Date Due:

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

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 Details (template provided for drafting purposes, to be entered directly into EdGrants formlet)
Download Word Document
Part III — Required Program Information

Additional Information:

More details on each grant priority area:

  1. SELIS Overview and Key Requirements Download Word Document

  2. (2a. – 2c.) SL/SEL Integration Overview and Key Requirements: Applicants should reference this document for additional details about the SL/SEL Integration opportunities and the key grant requirements. In addition, please see the (2b.) Connect Science Energy — Year 1 details Download Word Document for more information about the Connect Science Energy unit and the school year 2020-2021 requirements.

Submission Instructions:

Submit all required grant materials through EdGrants

In EdGrants, districts are required to create and name the project. Please use the following naming convention for your "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:


All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature as well as Schedule A form, if applicable to your district. The final budget the applicant is requesting will be entered directly into EdGrants as part of the application submission process.

For Guidance Documents regarding EdGrants, visit EdGrants: User Guides, Information and Trainings.

Please note: It is up to the district to determine who they want to add as EdGrants Front Office users in order to submit grant application as well as payment request information. Please review the EdGrants: User Security Controls to make informed decisions regarding assigning your district level users.

Last Updated: October 31, 2019

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