The purpose of this targeted funding opportunity is to recognize challenges voiced by districts and educators regarding available resources to provide robust online course options to middle and high school students (grades 6 through 12) who cannot participate in the in-person learning opportunities offered by their schools.
Priority will be given to eligible districts that are most significantly impacted by COVID-19 and, on average, have students attending school in-person at least twice a week.
School districts who serve secondary students in grades 6 through 12 must meet two eligibility criteria:
Federal: Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund CFDA: 84.425
Up to $5 million is allocated to eligible districts*for this grant. Awards in the table below were determined based on the number of high-needs secondary (grades 6 through 12) students served by the district, with a minimum allocation of $10,000.
*These districts will be eligible for funds once they can confirm that they have begun hybrid or in-person instruction in accordance with public health data and DESE expectations.
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.
Funds should be used to support expenditures from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 for access to virtual course options for secondary students who need to opt out of a district-implemented in-person learning model for health, safety, or family reasons. This primarily includes the costs for online courses or related student licenses through remote learning partners such as those identified, but may also include stipends for district educators to support the engagement and learning of students enrolled in virtual courses, and other supports (e.g. virtual tutors, assistive technology, etc.) necessary for specific students identified as being part of a high need population, including economically disadvantaged students, homeless students, students in foster care, students with disabilities, and/or English learners to engage successfully in the virtual coursework.
Funding should not be used as a supplement to hybrid or in-person learning, or for the purchase of technology or equipment.
Districts wishing to fund partnerships with post-secondary institutions to support credit-bearing coursework (e.g. online dual enrollment, and designated Early College or Innovation Pathway programs) should use funding opportunities made available through the Department of Higher Education.
Upon Approval — June 30, 2021*
*Optional 8/31/2021 end date is available for those who notify the grant contact listed below and perform the necessary documentation in EdGrants.
These funds may be used to cover costs incurred from 7/1/2020 according to the federal GEER funds guidance.
College, Career, and Technical Education
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
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:
FY21 423 Secondary Virtual Course Access Grant (Applicant Name)
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 and all required forms. 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 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 26, 2020
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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