Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2022: Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM), K–5 and 6–12

Fund Codes: 509/510

Purpose:

Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) K–12 grants will support deep and lasting improvements to schools' multitiered system of support for Literacy, enabling schools to better serve all students, especially historically underserved students; and ensuring that all students can reach their literacy potential. This competitive grant provides two to three years of funding, access to customized support from Literacy experts, and opportunities to collaborate with a network of educators doing similar work. GLEAM is designed to make a transformative impact on recipients' ELA/Literacy programming for students.

A multitiered system of support (MTSS) is an evidence-based approach to providing culturally responsive, tiered instruction to enable academic success for all students. GLEAM grants will support schools to implement components of a multi-tiered system of support for ELA/Literacy in grades K–12, which have been shown to promote equity of access and achievement for diverse students. This grant will focus on supporting:

  • Adoption of high-quality core curricular materials and intervention materials for ELA/Literacy
  • Adoption of a valid and reliable early literacy screening assessment
  • Professional development and support for teachers, principals, and literacy coaches to support skillful and culturally responsive tiered instruction.
Priorities:

DESE seeks to award GLEAM grants to entities that:

  • Articulate a clear approach to building and sustaining multi-tiered systems of support for Literacy, based upon the GLEAM activities;
  • Demonstrate favorable conditions and the resources necessary to make and sustain meaningful Literacy program improvements, across multiple schools if applicable;
  • Bring together a diverse coalition of stakeholders committed to the activities articulated in the grant proposal, including families, diverse staff members, administrators, school committee, and students where appropriate.

Competitive Priorities

  1. Competitive priority will be given to entities with at least one school:
    • identified as requiring assistance in the state accountability system based upon 2019 data and/or
    • with an overall accountability percentile of 20 or below based upon 2019 data.
  2. Additional competitive priority will be given to entities whose total student population is comprised of 10% or more students identified as English Learners.
  3. Additional competitive priority will be given to applications in which over 50% of schools named to participate in GLEAM serve a population of students of which over 50% are identified as economically disadvantaged (or 40% for high schools).
Eligibility:

Public school districts and charter schools meeting the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • With at least one school in which the percentage of students identified as economically disadvantaged is 50% or greater; and/or
  • With at least one high school in which the percentage of students identified as economically disadvantaged is 40% or greater

The list of eligible LEAs is available in the attached spreadsheet.

A group of eligible LEAs (public school districts and/or charter schools) may apply as a consortium convened by a lead fiscal agent, which may be a collaborative.

Due to the structure of this federal funding, applicants may only apply for one grade band, either K–5 or 6–12.

  • If applying for grades K–5, please use fund code 509. If applying for grades 6–12, please use fund code 510.
  • LEAs in the Strategic Transformation region are excepted from this restriction and may apply for more than one grade band.

Applicants must identify which schools will participate in the GLEAM activities. Applicants may identify between 1–8 schools to participate.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA 84.371

Funding:

Approximately $2,700,000 is available for FY2022. The Department expects to award up to 15 GLEAM grants to begin in FY2022, in the range of $20,000–$300,000.

Recipients will be eligible for continuations to continue for up to two additional years in the GLEAM program. Over the course of the program (FY2022–2024), recipients will be eligible for total awards of approximately $150,000-$1,000,000 based upon enrollment and needs. Up to approximately $7,750,000 total is available for the first cohort of recipients. DESE aims to award approximately half ($3,875,000) to the elementary (K–5) grade band (FC 509), and half ($3,875,000) to the secondary (6–12) grade band (FC 510).

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. Recipients will need to provide detailed cost information to DESE to demonstrate compliance with grant priorities and approved fund uses in order to draw down funds over the grant period.

Fund Use:

This grant will provide funding as well as hands-on support from Department specialists for two to three years for recipients to accomplish the activities listed under either Track 1 or Track 2. Following the grant period, recipients are expected to continue implementing the materials and practices initiated by this grant, and will have access to ongoing customized assistance from DESE specialists as needed.

Track 1: This track strengthens the Tier 1 core Literacy learning experience offered to all students. Applicants focused on the K–5 grade band or 6–12 grade band, and without high-quality core curricular materials in place, may apply for this Track and will receive funding to support:

  1. A process of evaluating and select high-quality core curricular materials for ELA/Literacy;
  2. Purchase of the selected curricular materials. This grant will fund half the cost of procurement of ELA/Literacy curricular materials, with the other half paid by the applicant;
  3. 3Professional development for teachers and administrators to support skillful and culturally responsive implementation of the new curricular materials;
  4. [K–5 only] Purchase of high-quality screening assessment(s) designed to inform instruction in ELA/Literacy and professional development to utilize them;
  5. Professional development for Literacy Coaches or similar building-based Literacy Leaders in a collaborative support network, organized and sponsored by DESE;
  6. Customized support from an expert Literacy consultant onsite periodically throughout the grant period, responsive to the needs of the school.

Track 2: This track strengthens Literacy support for students across all three Tiers. Applicants focused on the K–5 grade band with high-quality core curricular materials already in place, or any applicant focused on the 6–12 grade band, may apply for Track 2 funding to support:

  1. Access to an expert ELA/Literacy consultant to evaluate the strengths and needs in the school/schools' ELA/Literacy multi-tiered system of support and identify materials, assessments, and/or professional development that is needed;
  2. Purchase of instructional materials for use in Tier 2/3 interventions, assessment(s), and/or professional development, based upon the results of the needs assessment. This grant will fund half the cost of procurement of instructional materials, with the other half paid by the applicant. The grant will fully fund the cost of assessments and/or professional development for teachers and administrators.
  3. Professional development for Literacy Coaches or similar building-based Literacy Leaders in a collaborative support network, organized and sponsored by DESE;
  4. Customized support from an expert Literacy consultant onsite periodically throughout the grant period, responsive to the needs of the school.

*For districts with high quality core curricular materials already in place but in need of professional development to support the skillful implementation of those materials, please apply for track 2. Funding for implementation PD will be made available for districts in this situation in track 2.

Please visit the GLEAM Grant Video Series for assistance with deciding to which track to apply.

For full details about the GLEAM program and how funds may be used, please see the Fund Use Details attachment.

For both tracks, the entity will be required to form a "GLEAM Leadership Team." This team will work together to coordinate and enact the multi-year work of this initiative, across schools if applicable, and will also attend DESE-run conferences for GLEAM recipients.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval (no earlier than July 1, 2021) – August 31, 2022

Continuations for recipients will be available for additional funding in FY2023 (October 1, 2022 – August 31, 2023) and FY2024 (October 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024) to enact the full multi-year GLEAM program.

Note that grant funds will only be approved to fund specific activities listed in the Fund Use Details attachment. Initial awards will be partial, to cover the costs of initial GLEAM activities, and additional funds will be awarded based upon availability and recipient performance over the multi-year program period.

Program Unit:

Office of Literacy and Humanities & Center for Instructional Support (CIS)

Contact:

Allison Pickens

Date Due:

Thursday, May 13, 2021

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

Required Forms:

Forms for Fund Code 509 (for grades K–5 applicants)

Forms for Fund Code 510 (for grades 6–12 applicants)

Note on Budget Details.
Please use the provided Budget template to calculate each annual budget. Costs for some items, like curriculum purchases, cannot be accurately budgeted until the actual product to be purchased is identified. In those cases, the Budget template provides estimates to be used in the application. DESE will make partial awards initially in July 2021, to cover the costs of initial GLEAM activities, and will increase the awards later in FY2022 based upon recipients' specific program needs and performance in the grant program.

Additional Information:

Using federal Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) funding, the Department expects to award $19 million across several different grants to support improvements in ELA/Literacy teaching and learning in preK-12 between 2021 and 2025, under the program name GLEAM (Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts).

A second cohort of GLEAM grant recipients will be selected to begin receiving funding in the future. Entities that participated in GLEAM Cohort 1 may be eligible to apply for another round of funding for GLEAM Cohort 2.

GLEAM recipients will be required to prepare and provide data requested by the Department in order to evaluate the effectiveness of grant funds and activities. In the first year this data will be primarily focused on inputs, such as number of teachers trained or materials selected. In future years this data will include outcomes, such as student performance on assessments and surveys of participating teachers. In addition, a national evaluation of this federally-funded program is being conducted; recipients will have the option to opt in to this national evaluation and to access additional related funding through the evaluator.

Any questions about GLEAM grants must be emailed to GLEAM@mass.gov . Q+A will be posted to Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) Grant Program page.

Informational webinars about GLEAM grants and assistance for applicants are available. Please visit Growing Literacy Equity Across Massachusetts (GLEAM) Grant Program page.

Submission Instructions:

Please email the required forms as listed above, attached to a single email, to GLEAM@mass.gov . Please use the subject line:

  • GLEAM Proposal from [Entity Name] Fund Code 509 (for grades K–5 applicants)
  • GLEAM Proposal from [Entity Name] Fund Code 510 (for grades 6–12 applicants)

Please use the provided filetypes (word and excel). Please do not send jpgs or other filetypes. Signature pages may be sent as pdf documents.

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 5pm on the due date. Late and/or incomplete applications cannot be accepted.

Statement of Intent
Entities that intend to apply for GLEAM grants should fill out this brief statement of intent by March 19, 2021. This statement is non-binding and allows DESE to offer assistance during the application process.

Awarded Recipients: 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: March 9, 2021

 
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