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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2024: Math Acceleration Academies

Fund Code: 125

Purpose:

The purpose of this competitive grant is to fund the implementation of a specific strategic initiative, the Acceleration Academies, to help accelerate the learning of students most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focus Area for the Math Acceleration Academies Grant

Funds from this grant can be used to support the implementation of math focused Acceleration Academies for students in grades 3 through 10. The Math Acceleration Academies must take place during the February and/or April school vacation weeks of the 2023-2024 school year.

Acceleration Academy Model

An Acceleration Academy is a week-long academic program designed to accelerate student learning through engaging, standards-aligned lessons. Applicants that receive Math Acceleration Academies Grant funds must implement the Acceleration Academy model with fidelity, ensuring the program adheres to the following key program components:

  • Instruction is provided in-person
  • Lessons are tailored to the specific needs of students and should involve engaging, hands-on learning experiences
  • Multiple forms of student data (MCAS, benchmark assessments, attendance, etc.) are used to determine which students are invited to participate in an Academy
  • Students receive 4+ hours of in-person math instruction each day for a total of 20+ hours of math instruction during the Academy week (Note: There is no requirement for schools/districts to make up missed time due to inclement weather resulting in closures)
  • Students in elementary and middle school grades attend at least 1 specials or enrichment class each day, such as art, PE, music, etc. (Highly recommended but not required)*
  • Class sizes are small (10–12 students per math teacher)
  • Each Acceleration Academy math teacher teaches the same group of students each day for the duration of the Academy week
  • Classes are taught by highly effective teachers who are hired through a selective application process
  • Teachers are given the autonomy to create lessons based on their students' specific needs and/or focus standards set by the district or school

*Note Regarding Specials:
Districts/schools are encouraged to work with educators to create specials that integrate math concepts within the specials class (for instance, a STEAM focused special that builds upon what students are learning in their Math Academy class). Student time spent in specials that integrate math concepts and learning can be counted toward the 20+ hour math instruction requirement for an Academy. Or, rather than having separate specials classes, districts/schools could also work with core content teachers and specialists to develop integrated co-teaching classes.

Key Instructional Components for Math Acceleration Academies

A Math Acceleration Academy should involve engaging, collaborative and hands-on learning experiences where students apply their mathematical knowledge and skills to real-world problems and focus on mastery (conceptual understanding and fluency) of a limited number of grade level or above grade level standards (depth, not breadth)

Additional Commitments
To ensure classes are taught by highly effective teachers and instruction during the Academy week meet instructional expectations, districts must commit to the following:

  • Teachers are hired through an application process that ensures highly effective teachers are chosen to teach during the Academy week
  • To help attract highly effective teachers, LEAs should provide a competitive stipend rate of up to $3,000 per Academy week. In job postings, LEAs should also inform teachers that the stipend covers up to 5 hours of district and/or school run planning time/PD prior to the Academy week as well as teaching time during the Academy.
  • Math Acceleration Academy site facilitators should conduct classroom walk-throughs/observations throughout the Academy week to ensure instruction meets instructional expectations and to provide feedback, if needed

To ensure student enrollment serves roughly 10% of students within each target grade level, LEAs must commit to the following:

  • LEAs provide each Acceleration Academy host site and/or sending school with resources to support recruitment and enrollment management prior to the Academy week, as needed, to ensure high attendance rates

Program Guidance

Please review the Math Acceleration Academy Guidebook for additional information regarding planning and implementation.

Priorities:

Competitive priorities for this grant will be given to:

  • districts in chronically underperforming status
  • districts with experience implementing high-quality academic programming during school vacation weeks
Eligibility:

All Massachusetts Local Education Agencies (LEA) — school districts, charter schools, education collaboratives, and career vocational technical education schools — that serve students in any of the target grades (Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, Grade 9, and/or Grade 10) are eligible to apply.

LEAs in the Strategic Transformation Region may be awarded multiple awards to account for alternative governance structures (e.g., Springfield Empowerment Partnership Zone).

LEA's that do not serve students in any of the target grades are not eligible to apply. Due to the in-person program requirement, virtual schools/districts are not eligible to apply.

Funding Type:

Federal CFDA: 84.425 Federal Coronavirus Relief Programs - Federal Grant Programs

Federal grant funds must adhere to:

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

A total of approximately $4,000,000 will be awarded under this grant program with the possibility of additional competitive funding in subsequent years.

Applicants can request up to $3,000 per Acceleration Academy classroom needed for the program (10–12 students per classroom/teacher). Applicants can also request additional funding for general program implementation costs. Please see the "Fund Use" section of this RFP for information on allowable program costs.

For example, if a Math Academy requires 4 classroom teachers, an applicant could request $12,000 (4 teachers x $3,000) for teacher stipends plus funding for a program facilitator, busing, materials, food services, etc.

Per the "Acceleration Academy Model" guidance provided in this RFP, schools/districts should aim to serve up to 10% of students within each target grade level. Applicants should only request funds needed to provide programming for up to 10% of students served within each of the target grades. Please see excel spreadsheet below for potential funding ranges.

Math Acceleration Academies Grant Funding Ranges

This RFP is the governing document for these grant funds.

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:

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 Notes:

  • Funds from this grant cannot be used for indirect costs, equipment costs (including software and technology), and purchasing of student incentives, curricula, or other non-consumable supplies such as textbooks, calculators, etc.
  • MTRS is allowable since this is a federally funded grant.

Approved applicants are expected to use these funds in accordance with state and federal laws.

Project Duration:

Upon Approval – 6/30/2024

Program Unit:

Center for Strategic Initiatives

Contact:

Thomas Zorich

Date Due:

Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, November 10, 2023.

All responses must be received by the due date listed above. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Responses not received 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.

Required Forms:
Submission Instructions:

Please email Parts I, II, III, and IV to CSI@mass.gov by the due date noted above. Parts II and III should be in their original Word or Excel formats (i.e., not converted to PDFs) and Parts I and IV should be signed and converted to PDFs. Please note, the Part I form must include an original, wet signature of an authorized signatory (i.e., the superintendent/executive director or, in some cases, the chief financial officer).

Awarded Recipients: Upon award, recipients will be required to enter the approved budget and Part I in EdGrants. Once selected, recipients will be contacted with further instructions on the process.

Last Updated: October 25, 2023

 
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