Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: FY22 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant

Fund Code: 121

Purpose:

The purpose of this targeted grant is to fund the implementation of a specific strategic initiative, the Acceleration Academies, during summer 2021 to help accelerate the learning of students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant opportunity is intended to supplement, not supplant, programming an applicant is already planning to offer over the summer, therefore the Summer Acceleration Academy program would need to take place between the end of an applicant's currently planned summer school programming and when the applicant's teachers return for the 2021-2022 school year.

Focus Areas for FY22 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant

The focus areas for the FY22 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant are as follows:

  • Early Literacy Academy for rising kindergartners, rising 1st graders, and rising 2nd graders
  • Math Academy for rising 3rd graders, rising 4th graders, rising 8th graders, and rising 10th graders

Acceleration Academy Model

An Acceleration Academy is a week-long academic program designed to accelerate student learning through engaging, standards-aligned lessons. Applicants that receive FY22 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant funds must implement the Acceleration Academy model with fidelity, ensuring the program adheres to the following key program components:

  • Instruction is provided in-person
  • Lessons are tailored to the specific needs of students and should involve engaging, hands-on learning experiences
  • Students are invited to participate in an Academy based on specific metrics
  • Students receive 4+ hours of in-person early literacy or math instruction each day for a total of 20+ hours of early literacy or math instruction during the Academy week
    (For example, students attending an Early Literacy Academy would receive 20+ hours of early literacy instruction during the Academy week. Students attending a Math Academy would receive 20+ hours of math instruction during the Academy week.)
  • Students in elementary and middle school grades attend at least 1 specials or enrichment class each day
  • Class sizes are small (10–12 students per early literacy or math teacher)
  • Students are taught by the same early literacy or math teacher for the duration of the Academy week
  • Classes are taught by highly effective teachers who are hired through a selective application process
  • Teachers are given the autonomy to create lessons based on their students' specific needs and/or focus standards set by the district or school

Key Instructional Components Specific to an Academy

  • An Early Literacy Academy should prioritize skills for early reading based on student needs, as determined by local assessments. Instructional time should be dedicated to grade-appropriate foundational skills and engaging with complex text. Grade-specific guides for each of these instructional components can be found at Mass Literacy.
  • A Math Academy should involve engaging, collaborative and hands-on learning experiences where students apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to real-world problems and focus on mastery (conceptual understanding and fluency) of a limited number of grade level standards (depth, not breadth)

To ensure classes are taught by highly effective teachers, districts must commit to the following:

  • Teachers are selected through an application process that ensures highly effective teachers are chosen to teach during the Academy week
  • Teachers selected/hired to teach in an Academy receive a $3,000 stipend
  • Academy site facilitators should conduct classroom walk-throughs/observations throughout the Academy week to ensure instruction meets instructional expectations and to provide feedback, if needed

Program Guidance

Applicants that are awarded funding will be provided additional guidance (written documents, webinars, logistical support, etc.) from DESE focused on planning and implementation of an Acceleration Academy program (e.g., teacher selection, student selection, curriculum and instruction, use of high-quality instructional materials, planning and professional development, etc.).

Eligibility:

School districts, charter schools, education collaboratives, and career vocational technical education (CVTE) schools that serve students in any of the target grades (Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 8, and/or Grade 10) are eligible to apply.

School districts, charter schools, education collaboratives, and CVTE schools that do not serve students in any of the target grades are not eligible to apply. Due to the in-person program requirement, virtual schools/districts are not eligible to apply.

Please view this attachment with the fund amounts available to each eligible applicant.

Please note, districts that were eligible for other Acceleration Academy related grants can still apply for this grant.

Funding Type:

Federal (ESSER II) CFDA 84.425

Funding:

A total of approximately $25,000,000 will be awarded under this grant program with the possibility of additional funding in subsequent years. Applicants are eligible to receive funding to serve roughly 10% of students in the target grades (based on the most recently reported student enrollment data or 3-year enrollment average, whichever is higher) at a rate of $500 per student. The formula used to calculate each applicant's available funds is below. Applicant's that serve less than 120 total students in the target grades are eligible to apply for up to $6,000.

Funding = Most Recently Reported Student Enrollment x 10% x $500 per student

Please view this attachment with the fund amounts available for each applicant. The funding amount available for each applicant can be found in column C of the spreadsheet. Please note, when calculating available funds for each applicant, if an applicant's 3-year student enrollment average was higher than its most recently reported student enrollment, the 3-year average was used to calculate available funds.

In all cases, funding is contingent upon availability. All dollar amounts listed in the attachment 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 posting.

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:

As outlined in the Purpose section, funds must be used to implement the Acceleration Academy model with fidelity and instruction must take place in person.

Approved applicants are expected to use these funds in accordance with state and federal laws.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 8/31/2021

Program Unit:

Center for Strategic Initiatives

Contact:

Thomas Zorich
Email address: thomas.zorich@mass.gov
Phone: (781) 338-3528

Date Due:

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.

Required Forms:
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 "Application Project Name" in EdGrants:

FY22 FC121 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant — [insert district name here]

All required forms should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission. All Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page documents must be wet-signed, scanned, and converted to PDF before being uploaded. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.

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

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding submissions, please contact Thomas Zorich .


Last Updated: May 11, 2021

 
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