Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2021: Digital Literacy Now Grant Part 1 — Middle Grades (6–8)

Fund Code: 152


The purpose of this state competitive grant is to establish and promote rigorous, engaging, and standards aligned digital literacy and computer science education in public schools in kindergarten through grade 12. This grant will focus on middle grades (6–8) DLCS implementation.

School districts are the unit of change toward creating rigorous, inclusive, and sustainable K–12 digital literacy and computer science education. Through this grant District Teams of district administrators, school leaders, and educators will:

  • Engage in an in-depth, facilitated process to develop a Digital Literacy and Computer Science (DLCS) implementation plan for their District
  • Select DLCS curriculum for middle grades (6–8) for SY2022
  • Plan for DLCS educator and coach curriculum Professional Development (PD) during July and August 2021 for delivery in SY2022 (note: the funding for this PD is included in Digital Literacy Now grant Part 2).


Supports the creation of new programs and/or expanding existing programs to serve more students most underserved (including but not limited to students designated as economically disadvantaged, English language learners, special education, underrepresented minorities, and living in rural areas).


Massachusetts public school districts (including Regional and Charter districts) are eligible to apply for funding.

Funding Type:



Approximately $135,000 is available for new districts through the state Digital Literacy Now Grants line item 7010-1202.

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.

The initial level of funding could change during the year based on changes in the awarded program (e.g. scope, course, follow-up activities, number of participants, or number of course(s)). The grant budget may be amended up or down to reflect the program changes. Grant recipients are required to contact the program liaison to discuss any proposed change to the awarded program.

Approximately $135,000 of additional funding for curriculum PD during July and August of 2021 will be available through Digital Literacy Now grant Part 2.

Fund Use:

Funds must be used in alignment with the purpose and priorities outlined and as described in a budget, budget narrative, and required program information that is submitted to the Department's Center for Instructional Support Office/STEM.

  1. Funds may be used for substitutes and expenses for planning and program dissemination. Substitute reimbursements and expenses for the District Team should include:
    1. Allocate 4 days of PD for training and implementation planning for middle school curriculum.
    2. Allocate an additional 2 days for the K–12 SCRIPT DLCS Implementation Planning Workshop only if your District does not yet have a Plan or if you would like to rewrite your Plan.
    3. Allocate 1 day for a Year 1 Convening session in June.
  2. Funds may be used for stipends/salary for the District Team Point of Contact. The District Team Point of Contact maintains the plan and other grant artifacts in an accessible location, collects and reports data, and manages communication with DESE, the Grant Evaluator, and the PD Coordinator. For this role, plan for 1–2 hours/month.

Note: Grant funds may not be allocated to pay for both a participant's: graduate credit tuition and a stipend; or substitute reimbursement and a stipend. Grant funding may be used for stipends for work outside of school hours.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval through 6/30/2021

Grants to purchase selected curriculum and for summer curriculum PD from 7/1/2021 through 8/31/2021 will be offered through the Digital Literacy Now Grant Part 2.

Funding may also continue in: Year 2 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2022 & 7/1/2022 – 8/31/2022) and Year 3 (Upon Approval – 6/30/2023 & 7/1/2023 – 8/31/2023) pending state budget appropriation, submitting of all required documents and successful utilization of prior funding, and awarding of funds after a continuation grant process. In continuation years, only prior FC152—Digital Literacy Now grant recipients will be eligible for the continuation grant.

Program Unit:

Center for Instructional Support Office/STEM


Paula Moore

Date Due:

Friday, February 19, 2021

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

Required Forms:
Download Word Document
Part IGeneralProgram Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants) — Submit as a PDF with the original signature of the Superintendent.
Download Excel Document
Part IIBudget Detail Pages Workbook (Please Reference Budget Instructions and Details before completing the FY2021 Budget Workbook) — Submit in Excel format.
Download Word Document
Part IIIRequired Program Information — Submit in Word format.
K–12 DLCS Implementation Plan — If you have a Plan, please include it. If you have a plan but would like to rewrite it through the SCRIPT process, include the plan and, in the narrative, indicate that you would like to participate in the SCRIPT workshop and be sure to have 6 days in the PD budget for your District Team.

Additional Information:
  • Due to the competitive nature of this grant program, all questions about the Funding Opportunity documents and process will be addressed on our website. Any questions must be emailed to (with the subject: FC 152 Question) Questions and Answers will be posted at STEM Grant Opportunities.
  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant expects recipients to share a description of the outcomes of the grant and products as requested to expand the impact of the grant.
  • A grant-end report on the funded activities and outcomes of the program(s), including a section specifically on lessons learned that could be shared with others, is due to the Department by June 30, 2021.
  • During the 2-day SCRIPT workshop to develop a K–12 DLCS implementation plan, your District Team must include at least one district administrator, one school administrator, and one teacher. You are encouraged to invite a coach or other tech support person. Additionally, you should have someone who can speak for elementary, middle, and high school.
  • For Grant Management processes, including the Request for Funds, information about requesting funds beyond the initial payment, and additional details on managing your grant, see this webpage: EdGrants: User Guides and Information.
  • Districts submitting a budget with an Indirect Cost Rate must use Indirect Cost District Rates 2021 to confirm the maximum FY2021 approved indirect cost rate allowed and must fill out Indirect Cost Rate Calculation Worksheet Download Excel Document.

Submission Instructions:

Email one (1) complete set of all required documents to with "FY21 Digital Literacy Now Application" in the subject line; and submit one (1) complete set of all required documents with original signatures on Part I to:

Paula Moore
Science, Technology/Engineering, and Mathematics
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906

Applicants will receive a confirmation when the materials are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5:00 pm on the due date.

Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget in EdGrants and upload required documents. Once selected, grant recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: January 19, 2021

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