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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: Acceleration Academies Grant

Fund Codes: 224/322


The purpose of this targeted grant is to support district and school implementation of the Acceleration Academies. The Acceleration Academies are an evidence-based academic intervention with a history of positive academic results for students.

Districts that receive Acceleration Academies Grant funds must implement the Acceleration Academy model with fidelity, ensuring the program adheres to the following key program components:

  • Acceleration Academies take place during the February school vacation week, during the April school vacation week, or both
  • Instruction is provided in-person
  • Students can only be assigned to one subject area during an Acceleration Academy week
  • Students receive 4+ hours of in-person core content instruction each day within a given week or a total of 20+ hours of core content instruction in a week
  • Class sizes are small (10–12 students/core content teacher)
  • Students are taught by the same core content teacher for the duration of an Acceleration Academy
  • Elementary and Middle school students attend at least 1 specials/enrichment class each day
  • Classes are taught by highly effective educators who are hired through a selective application process

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

  • Teachers are hired through a selective application process
  • Teachers selected and hired to teach in the Acceleration Academies receive a stipend of up to $4,000 for each Acceleration Academy they are selected and hired to teach in
  • Academy site facilitators conduct classroom walk-throughs/observations throughout the Academy week to ensure instruction meets instructional expectations and to provide feedback, if needed

To ensure the Acceleration Academies are enrolled at or near a district's projections (per the Part III document), grant recipients must commit to the following:

  • District provides each Acceleration Academy host site and/or sending school with resources to support student recruitment and enrollment management prior to an Academy week, as needed, to ensure high attendance rates

Districts that fall into at least one of the categories listed below are eligible to apply for this grant.

Category 1 — Chronically underperforming districts within the Strategic Transformation Region that have been identified under DESE's District and School Accountability System are eligible to apply.

Category 2 — Districts with multiple schools among the lowest performing 10% of schools are eligible to apply (based on the most recent accountability data from 2019).

Districts that meet the eligibility criteria are:

  • Holyoke Public Schools
  • Lawrence Public Schools
  • Chelsea Public Schools
  • New Bedford Public Schools
  • Springfield Public Schools for SEZP
Funding Type:

FC 224 — State
FC 322 — Federal CFDA 84.010


Approximately $980,000 will be awarded to school districts with the possibility of additional funding in subsequent years. Allocation amounts for eligible districts are based on the size of the district's student population (or, in the case of SEZP, the number of students within SEZP).

Eligible districts may apply for the following amount of funds:

  • Districts with a student population under 5,000 students can apply for up to $105,000.
  • Districts with a student population between 5,000 to 10,000 students can apply for up to $155,000.
  • Districts with a student population over 10,000 students can apply for up to $205,000.

The table below provides the allocation amount for each eligible district.

Eligible DistrictAllocationFund Code
Chelsea$155,000224 (state funds)
Holyoke$155,000322 (federal funds)
Lawrence$205,000224 (state funds)
New Bedford$205,000224 (state funds)
Southbridge$105,000322 (federal funds)
Springfield for SEZP$155,000322 (federal funds)

In all cases, 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.

Fund Use:

As outlined in the Purpose section, funds must be used to implement the Acceleration Academy model with fidelity and funds must be used for in-person Acceleration Academy programming. The majority of funds from this grant must be used for teacher stipends but funds can also be used for grant and program coordination salaries/stipends, administrative staff stipends, transportation, food services, consumable program materials and supplies (paper, pencils, markers, etc.), professional development/facilitated planning, family engagement activities, and any COVID-19 costs needed to comply with guidance (if applicable). No more than 10% of funds can be used for Supplies and Materials.

Important Note: Funds from this grant cannot be used for Indirect Costs or Equipment Costs (including software and technology) and cannot be used to purchase incentives. MTRS is allowable for districts receiving federal funds (FC 322).

Project Duration:

FC 224: Upon Approval * – 6/30/2023
FC 322: Upon Approval * – 6/30/2023

* Grant start date cannot be prior to DESE receiving a substantially approvable Application Submission as directed in this RFP's Submission Instructions. Goods and Services cannot be procured prior to Grants receiving and approving an application submission. Funds cannot exceed the project duration end date.

Program Unit:

Center for Strategic Initiatives


Thomas Zorich
Phone: (781) 338-3528

Date Due:

Friday, October 14, 2022.

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:

FY23 [insert fund code] Acceleration Academies Grant — [insert district name]

All required forms should be uploaded / attached in the Attachments List formlet of the Application Submission. The Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page document must be wet-signed, scanned, and converted to PDF before being uploaded. The Part I document must be signed by an authorized signatory.

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

Last Updated: September 22, 2022

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