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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2024: Investigating History Expansion Grant

Fund Codes: 0116/0206

Purpose:

Investigating History is here! Investigating History is an openly available, comprehensive set of history/social studies curricular materials for Grades 5 through 7. Investigating History is fully aligned to the 2018 Massachusetts History/Social Science Framework , and is anchored in four instructional principles:

  • historical inquiry and investigation;
  • historical empathy and human connections;
  • civic engagement and current world relevance;
  • culturally and linguistically sustaining pedagogy.

Investigating History is a complete and comprehensive package of curricular materials that includes lesson plans, student handouts, and slide decks. Learn more about the curriculum and register to access the materials at Investigating History.

In partnership with the One8 Foundation, DESE will offer two funding options to support implementation of Investigating History materials. These grants support teacher professional development as well as curriculum printing costs.

  • Track A: For LEAs that received FC 653 (Investigating History Implementation) and/or worked with a certified Investigating History professional development provider in FY24, and wish to deepen and extend their Investigating History work by expanding their implementation to additional units, classrooms, and/or grades.
  • Track B: For LEAs that have not received FC 653 or worked with a certified Investigating History professional development provider and wish to pilot Investigating History or ramp up adoption.

One or more schools from the LEA can participate.

Priorities:

DESE seeks to award Investigating History grants to entities with participating schools that:

  • Provide all students, including students with disabilities and English Language Learners, with the history/social studies instructional time required for the Investigating History curriculum (an average of 90 minutes per week in Grade 5 and 225 minutes per week in Grade 6 and 7)
  • Demonstrate the necessary conditions, including time and commitment, to make and sustain meaningful adoption and implementation and affirmatively commit to be part of the implementation supports included under the grant

Competitive priority will be given to:

  • Districts and schools in chronically underperforming status and the Strategic Transformation Region; and/or
  • Local Education Agencies (districts, charter schools, or Collaboratives) that are adopting/using Investigating History for grades 5–7 across the entire LEA.
Eligibility:

Eligible to apply for Track A (FC 0116):

  • Local Education Agency (district, charter school, or Collaborative) that was awarded FC 653 (Investigating History Implementation) in FY24 and/or established a partnership with a certified Investigating History professional development provider in the 2023-24 school year
  • All schools participating in the grant meet the following criteria:
    • At least 15% of students are designated as low income according to currently-posted DESE data.
    • If a participating school serves grade 5:
      • All fifth-grade social studies teachers in the school will be using Investigating History next year; and,
      • A school that serves grades 6 and 7 in the LEA is either already using Investigating History and/or is included within this grant application.
    • If a participating school serves grades 6 and/or 7, all sixth- and seventh- grade history teachers in the school will be using Investigating History next year.

Eligible to apply for Track B (FC 0206):

  • Local Education Agency (district, charter school, or Collaborative) that was not awarded FC 653 (Investigating History Implementation) in FY24 and did not have an established partnership with a certified Investigating History PD provider in the 2023-24 school year

In addition, to be eligible, Curriculum Data must be up to date on DESE District Profiles for K–8 ELA/Literacy, K–12 math, and 6–8 Science by the time of the grant due date. To check if this information is complete, check the statewide Curriculum report, Or, visit your District Profiles page via Profiles Home, and select Curriculum Data from the left-hand navigation. If the required data is not complete or up-to-date, details and directions on how to enter or update this data can be found at Curriculum Data Collection.

Funding Type:

Fund Code 0116: Trust
Fund Code 0206: Federal CFDA# 84.425
Federal grant funds must adhere to:

  • UGG (2 CFR 200)
  • EDGAR As Applicable
  • EDGAR General Fiscal Administration 34 CFR Part 76
Funding:

Track A (FC 0116): Approximately $50,000 is available for FY24. Pending funding, districts can apply to continue and receive additional funding for FY25.

Track B (FC 0206): Approximately $200,000 is available.

Funding for both tracks 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:

Track A: For LEAs that wish to deepen and extend their Investigating History work

LEAs in Track A will receive funding to access special resources and supports to promote teacher and student success with Investigating History, provided in partnership the One8 Foundation, an Investigating History supporter and DESE partner. These are required for Track A districts and include the following:

  • At least two of district, school, and/or teacher champions will attend an in-person event at the DCU Center in Worcester on April 24, 2024;
  • All teachers in participating schools who are new to Investigating History will attend an in-person, centrally located Investigating History orientation day in June (specific date TBD);
  • All participating teachers (classroom teachers as well as ESL/language support teachers and special education teachers supporting Investigating History) will attend an in-person, centrally located Unit Launch Day event for each of 4 units. Unit Launch Days will take place in June 2024, October 2024, January 2025, and March 2025. Print teachers' guides and color classroom resources will be provided to all participating teachers;
  • One or more district, school, and/or teacher leaders will participate in a statewide Investigating History Leaders Community of Practice, which will meet regularly both in-person and virtually throughout the school year (dates TBD).

In addition, Track A LEAs may request funds to cover some or all of the cost of professional development for teachers and/or administrators from a certified Investigating History PD Provider.

  • LEAs should work with your preferred certified provider(s) to develop a PD package that meets your needs; the amount requested through the grant should not exceed $500 per teacher for this PD.
  • PD packages may include facilitated common planning time, PLCs, or coaching. Please note, these PD packages should not include Unit Launches because those will happen at Unit Launch Days.
  • Please note that these additional funds are subject to availability.

Track B: For LEAs that wish to pilot Investigating History and/or ramp up adoption.

This track is for LEAs that have not yet received any grant funding to systematically adopt Investigating History and have not established any other partnership with a certified Investigating History professional development provider. While educators in these LEAs may have taught portions of the curriculum, Track B is intended to support schools where educators have not yet received any comprehensive professional development to support their use of the curriculum.

Track B will support initial adoption and implementation of 1–2 units of Investigating History in SY2024-25. The goal of Track B is to lay the foundation for the adoption of remaining Investigating History units in SY2025-26. LEAs are encouraged to consider their readiness and capacity to adopt Investigating History and develop a multi-year implementation plan.

LEAs in Track B may request up to $1000 per core classroom teacher implementing Investigating History for the first time. Funds may be used to:

  • Purchase print copies of Investigating History materials. For each core classroom teacher implementing Investigating History, schools may budget up to $100 per teacher for print materials (estimated costs of teacher's guide, color classroom resources, and curriculum and grade-level guidebooks for two units).
  • Provide professional development for teachers and/or administrators by partnering with a certified Investigating History PD Provider or enrolling in the One8 Unit Launch Days. If partnering with a certified provider, please work with your preferred certified provider(s) to develop a PD package that meets your needs and include a scope of work alongside their proposal. If electing to enroll in Unit Launch Days, the cost will include printed materials.
Project Duration:

Track A: Upon Award – June 30, 2024. After being awarded for FY24, Track A recipients will have the opportunity to apply for second year of funding (July 1, 2024–June 30, 2025).

Track B: Upon Award – September 30, 2024. Due to expiration dates on ESSER funds, Track B LEAs must obligate all funds by September 30, 2024. Services can be provided by professional development providers through December 29, 2024. In developing the scope of work with a certified PD provider, LEAs may plan contracted activities beyond December 29, but would have to use other funds to cover this portion of the work.

  • DESE is pursuing a further extension from USED and it is possible (but not guaranteed) the window to provide grant-funded, contracted services may be extended. Note that even if an extension is granted, all grant funds would still need to be obligated by September 30.
Program Unit:

Office of Literacy and Humanities
Center for Instructional Support

Contact:

InvestigatingHistory@mass.gov

Date Due:

February 16, 2024*

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on the date due.

*All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Responses not submitted on time will not be reviewed. Applicants applying after the due date may be notified their application was received late and will not be reviewed. Applications must be submitted as directed in the Submissions Instructions below. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. If you need assistance with submitting your application, please reach out to the contact person listed on this funding opportunity.

Additional Information:

Questions and Answers — Applicants can submit questions to InvestigatingHistory@mass.gov until the grant deadline. Answers will be posted to the Investigating History page by February 1, 2024 and periodically thereafter as new questions are received.

Informational Webinar — There will be an informational webinar about this grant opportunity, including time for questions, on Monday, January 29, 2024 from 3:00–3:45 PM. Please register here to receive a link to the webinar. The webinar recording will also be posted on the Investigating History page.

Please Note: DESE is collaborating with a third-party, independent evaluator to learn more about student and teacher experiences with Investigating History. As a condition of fund use, administrators and/or teachers will be expected to engage with research activities, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Administering an end-of-unit student assessment and/or 3–4 brief, in-class formative assessments
  • Completing periodic surveys about their teaching practice and experiences with the Investigating History curriculum
  • Participating in classroom observations and brief follow-up debrief conversations
  • Participating in interviews, student surveys, and/or focus groups

DESE will analyze the statewide data collected for research purposes. Analyses will only be reported in the aggregate (e.g., by grade-level, region, etc.) or anonymized in order to meet state and federal confidentiality laws. The identities of districts and schools will not be reported, and all reporting will protect the identities of students, educators, schools, and districts.

Submission Instructions:

The FY24 FC 0116/0206 Investigating History Expansion Grant will be submitted in our new GEM$ system. GEM$ is a cloud-based fiscal and program management grant system that will eventually phase out the use of EdGrants.

Grants for Education Management System (GEM$)

Competitive grant applications are considered submitted when the Superintendent / Chief Executive approves the grant application in GEM$. In order to be considered for competitive funding, applicants must submit a grant application by the due date listed in the RFP.

The Superintendent / Chief Executive Approved Step allows for the organization lead to review and approve the grant application. Removing the requirement for the Part I Standard Contract Form, this step signifies Superintendent /Chief Executive sign off. Any grant budget changes requiring signature, will re-execute this step when amended signifying the organization lead is approving these changes.

Please Note: Grant Submission requires applicants to have their organization established in GEM$. Entities that do not have an organization in GEM$ must contact the DESE Program Unit issuing this grant at a minimum 5 business days prior to the grant due date for temporary organization access.
Failure to provide DESE with GEMS Request Form at least 5 business days prior to the due date may result in not meeting the submission due date listed above. DESE cannot accept or review applications after the due date.

Last Updated: January 30, 2024

 
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