The purpose of this targeted grant program is to fund specific initiatives with evidence-based strategies to turnaround the state's lowest performing schools and districts and increase their capacity to sustain a continuous cycle of improvement. This grant is open to districts and schools in the Strategic Transformation Region and public and private community-based organizations (CBOs) working with a district or school in the Strategic Transformation Region.
Priority will be given to chronically underperforming schools and districts and other schools within the Strategic Transformation Region that have been identified under the state's District and School Accountability System.
This grant is intended to support the strategies and priority areas identified in the district's or school's chronically underperforming or underperforming turnaround plan. These turnaround plans describe evidence-based practices that are associated with rapid academic student achievement, including those that innovate on: school culture and climate, school autonomies and flexibilities, collaborative leadership, resource management, instructional rigor, cultural competency and dismantling systemic racism, social emotional learning, community partnerships, family engagement, and tiered systems of support.
The Department will list on this grant posting, on a rolling basis, any additional schools and/or districts and their designated grant allocations and application due dates as they are determined and as new needs emerge and funds become available.
Some districts are eligible for funds under more than one fund code. The applicable fund codes are specified in the Part I Workbook. In accordance with federal rules, all awarded Title I funds (Fund Code 323) will be evenly dispersed to schools with a federal designation as comprehensive support and intervention (CSI) and targeted support and intervention (TSI) in SY21-22 for federal reporting purposes. Please see below in the Additional Information section for a list of schools in each eligible district.
Public and private community-based organizations (CBOs) working with youth from the districts and/or schools in the Strategic Transformation Region.
Please Note: All applicants other than public school districts must demonstrate the capacity to administer grant funding through:
Describing the agency/organization's previous experience with similar amounts of funding at state, federal, or local levels through government, foundation, or private grants; and,
Attaching the organizations fiscal polices and procedures including process for cash management and procurement.
The grant amount for each currently eligible recipient (Due: June 25, 2021) is listed below.
Fund Code 149: Federal (CFDA 84.425)
Fund Code 323: Federal Title I Section 1003 School Improvement Reservation funds (CFDA 84.010)
Fund Code 220: State Targeted Assistance
Funding for the grant will come from federal and/or state funds as described above. The total allocation per grant will be determined by financial needs articulated by: eligible schools/districts in meetings and other communication with the Department, spending plans drawn up by the Department projecting financial needs of known chronically underperforming schools and districts and other identified schools within the Strategic Transformation Region, and input from the Commissioner, the State Board of Education, and other Department staff in the Center for District Support.
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 guidelines as listed in the initial RFP document.
Funding will only be approved after programmatic and budgetary reviews by Department staff as noted above and upon review by the Office of the Governor.
Fund use must be consistent with applicable state and/or federal requirements. Districts are allowed to budget funds at both the district level and school level.
Federal funding used for such grants will conform to Title I Section 1003 School Improvement requirements under ESSA (page 9–11) for Fund Code 323 and to State Targeted Assistance funding requirements for Fund Code 220.
State Fund Code 220: Upon Approval – 6/30/2022
Federal Fund Code 323: Upon Approval – 8/31/2022
Office of Strategic Transformation, Center for District Support
Office of Strategic Transformation, Targeted Assistance ManagerBreanna Higgins
Friday, June 25, 2021
The Department will list on this grant posting, on a rolling basis, any additional schools, districts, and/or community-based organizations and their designated grant allocations and application due dates as they are determined and as new needs emerge and funds
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
Part II — Budget — Entered directly in EdGrants Application Submission.
Part III — Required Program Information: Describe how the grant funds will be used, using the template provided by the Office of Strategic Transformation
Part IV — Budget Narrative workbook (template provided by DESE)
Part V (for CBOs only) — A letter of support from the district or school the applicant intends to work with. The letter of support must describe the scope of work and timeline for work to be completed between the district and CBO.
ESSA encourages, and in select cases requires, states and districts to implement "evidence-based" practices, activities, strategies, and interventions with demonstrated evidence of effectiveness. Evidence-based practices refer to interventions for which there is evidence of significant positive impact that can be found in published research papers, literature reviews, or DESE research briefs. Alternately, evidence-based practices can be those local practices that a district or state has previously instituted, measured, and found to be effective. Please visit the How Do We Know initiative for more information on evidence-based practices. Additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Education regarding evidence can be found at Non-Regulatory Guidance: Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments . More information can be found on DESE's How Do We Know Initiative and ESSA Evidence Quick Reference Guide .
These grants must demonstrate connections to the District Standards and Indicators as well as the Massachusetts research-based Turnaround Practices . When describing connections to the standards and indicators, the applicant may want to refer to the Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS), the Massachusetts Family, School, and Community Partnership Fundamentals , the Massachusetts Standards for Professional Development, and/or the Behavioral Health and Public Schools Framework.
Since these initiatives support the school's or district's existing turnaround process, the school/district is not asked to set additional outcome measures for this work. The district's measures under the state's accountability and assistance system and Measurable Annual Goals (MAGs) and turnaround plan annual benchmarks, if applicable, will serve as outcome measures for these initiatives as well.
Applicants may only legally claim expenses to the grant starting from the date of final ESE approval. The start date for the grant is the date on which the district submits substantially approvable budget and information for the grant.
List of Schools in Eligible Districts
Applying schools/districts must describe the rationale for their budget items and their intended outcomes in Part II of the Workbook. To support effective planning and the strategic use of grant funds, DESE requires that eligible schools and districts and CBOs explain how the strategic initiatives funded through this grant program connect to the implementation of the district and/or school's turnaround plan. These funds should be aligned with other district funds focused on school turnaround efforts.
Complete the Application Submission through EdGrants by the dates listed in the Due Date section above. The start date of the grant cannot be before a substantially approvable application is submitted in EdGrants.
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:
FY22 220/323 Office of Strategic Transformation (Applicant Name)
All items listed under the required forms section of this RFP should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List form of the Application Submission in EdGrants. This includes a signed / scanned PDF of Part I / Coversheet with Superintendent's signature as well as the applicable Workbook(s) and the pre-approved narrative and budget. 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.
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: May 20, 2021
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
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