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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2023: MassGrad Promising Practices

Fund Codes: 320/324


The purpose of this federally funded targeted grant opportunity is to provide supplementary support for dropout prevention and reengagement activities to school districts with high numbers of dropouts. These students may: be expectant or parenting teens, have drug or alcohol addictions, have current or previous contact with the courts or juvenile justice system, be at least one year behind expected grade level for the age of the individual, have limited English proficiency, be a gang member, be a former dropout, have high or chronic absenteeism, and/or any other factors that would place students at-risk for not graduating.


This grant is intended to provide identified high schools with high dropout numbers in school year 2020-2021 funding for programming to better meet the needs of their at-risk students by reducing the number of students dropping out of school, and ultimately increasing high school graduation rates. Priority will be given to districts and schools in chronically underperforming status.

Grant applicants must select at least one evidence-based strategy for implementation in response to a needs assessment that identifies the need that will be addressed by the selected strategy or strategies. Schools that have existing turnaround plans may use information from the turnaround plan to identify the need and the reason for the strategy selection in response to the needs assessment. The focus of the work should be on a student-centered activity that contributes to immediate action for decreasing the number of students dropping out. The implementation of a career development continuum is strongly suggested so students can experience a sense of hope, see a future for themselves in a field of interest and create an individual pathway to success. Grant applicants must address re-engagement of students in a COVID-19 environment as part of their response.

Details on research-based strategy areas are available in the Research-Based Strategies for Dropout Prevention and Re-Engagement. A second resource that may help identify programs and strategies for success for at-risk youth could be the Alternative Education Guide. Both documents are available in the "Additional Information" box below.


Schools with dropout rates higher than the state average in 2021 or 10 dropouts and twice the state average. An eligibility list can be found in "Additional Information" below

Funding Type:

Fund Code 320: Federal CFDA 84.010 Federal Title I At-Risk Youth funds
Fund Code 324: Federal CFDA 84.425 Federal ESSER Fund


Approximately $3,015,000 dollars are available under these fund codes.

Approximately $183,000 is available for schools and districts in chronically underperforming status

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:

Funds may be used for costs associated with the implementation of the research-based programming as identified in targeted to students at-risk of dropping out of school. Allowable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Stipends for newly hired specialists, such as dropout prevention specialists, college and career planning specialists; graduation coaches, or dropout recovery coaches, work-based learning specialist, to work during or after school with students at risk of dropping out;

  • Consultant fees associated directly with programming;

  • Counseling services not provided by the school or district for at-risk students;

  • Development of contextual learning opportunities for students

  • Supplies and materials associated with programming (see notes below);

  • Other costs related to creative and effective programs and initiatives addressing one or more of the risk factors exhibited by students in danger of dropping out of school or disrupting the school environment.

Additional Notes:

  • Grant funds may not be used for the purchase of technology — hardware or software or licenses for on-line learning;

  • Grant funds may not be used for programs exclusively serving students with disabilities or to supplant existing alternative education programs;

  • Grant funds may not be used for trips to activities that are recreational by design: e.g., amusement parks, canoeing/kayaking, sporting events, mazes, etc.

  • All funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, the use of local funds in meeting the needs of students at risk of dropping out.

  • Snacks and food for staff and students are prohibited by this grant, unless specifically recommended as part of an intervention strategy and conform to the State's guidelines on healthy nutrition. See 105 CMR: Department of Public Health section 225.100: General Nutrition Standards for Public Schools.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 8/31/2023

Program Unit:

College Career and Technical Education


Lisa Harney

Phone Number:

(781) 338-3903

Date Due:

Priority deadline is Friday September 16, 2022, no applications will be accepted after Wednesday November 30, 2022.

Required Forms:
Additional Information:
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 "Applicant Project Name" in EdGrants:

  • FY23 324 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 as well as Schedule A form, if applicable to your district. 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 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: August 5, 2022

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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