The purpose of this state funded competitive grant program is to provide funding to school districts (and their selected schools) to organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments. Additionally, this grant is designed to coordinate and align student support initiatives based on grantee's findings from completing the Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) Framework and Self-Reflection Tool* (SaSS Tool).
*The SaSS (originally Behavioral Health and Public Schools — BHPS) Framework and Self-Reflection Tool was created by the BHPS Taskforce and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department), pursuant to Section 19 of Chapter 321 of the Acts of 2008. The resource is periodically updated in consultation with the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission (Commission).
The main priorities for this grant are to help ensure that each participating school creates an equitable, safe, positive, healthy, culturally-competent, and inclusive whole-school learning environment for all students, and makes effective use of a system for integrating services and aligning initiatives that promote students' behavioral health and wellness, through one of two grant applicant options:
Option One: Action PlanningThese grantees will convene a school team composed of various stakeholders (e.g., including but not limited to teachers, nurses, counselors, family members, students etc.) to review and respond to the questions in the SaSS Tool and to create an action plan based on the responses to the Tool.*
Option Two: Action Plan Implementation and Providing Supporta) These grantees will begin or continue to implement school-focused action plans (and associated district-support plans) that were created in prior year(s), i.e., during or before school year 2022-2023. Implementation activities may include but are not limited to development of school-based models for coordinated support of students in need, implementation of research-based educational programs that are proven to prevent substance use and misuse, activities that address and reduce substance use related problems, and/or development of information systems to help identify students at risk, track interventions and evaluate progress and outcomes.b) These grantees will also serve as supports for Option One grantees; other new SaSS Tool users; schools and districts that are new to implementation; as well as the Department, Commission, and others as needed and appropriate.*
Both options also prioritize developmentally appropriate input from students who are reflective of the school population.
Competitive priority will be given to districts and schools in chronically underperforming status.
*Please see Attachment A: Option One and Option Two Additional Information for more details about priorities and grant activities for each option.
Massachusetts public school districts and educational collaboratives* are eligible to apply for funding.
Each applicant may only apply for one of the two options detailed above (Option One: Action Planning or Option Two: Action Plan Implementation and Support).
Note: Former Fund Code (FC) 335 grantees are among the entities eligible to apply for either of the above options, provided the specific requirements are met for the schools to be included in the application under that option. For Option 1: Action Planning, former FC 335 grantees may apply for schools that have not yet utilized the SaSS Self-Reflection Tool and used it to inform action planning.
*Please see Attachment B for more information about Collaborative eligibility
Pending appropriation, approximately $1,000,000 is expected to be available to support these grants.
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.
Applicants may apply for up to $50,000 total, with a maximum of $10,000 per school under Option One: Action Planning.
Applicants may apply for up to $20,000 per district under Option Two: Implementation and Support.
Reminder: Applicants may only apply for one option. It is anticipated* that approximately 75% of the funds will be awarded through Option One: Action Planning, and approximately 25% through Option Two: Implementation and Support.
Option One: Action PlanningThese funds must be used to support the development of action plans that incorporate all six lever areas of the SaSS Tool upon completion of the SaSS self-reflection.*
Option Two: Implementation and SupportThese funds must be used to implement action plans that incorporate all six lever areas of the SaSS Tool, as submitted with the application. These funds must also be used for leadership efforts associated with support activities.*
All applicantsAll applicants may consider partnering with consultants to help facilitate the action planning and/or implementation process.
All applicants may also consider partnering with community-based organizations including early childhood education and afterschool or out-of-school time providers for alignment and collaboration.
Funds cannot be used for: electronics (such as iPads, computers, tablets, etc.) or construction.
*See Attachment A: Option One and Option Two Additional Information for more details on fund use.
Upon Approval – 6/30/24
Pending appropriation and the meeting of all grant requirements, all grantees will be eligible for a one-year continuation grant in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 (upon approval – 6/30/25) to support implementation of the action plan developed through this FY2024 grant and to continue implementation and support activities. Eligibility for this continuation grant is contingent upon submission of the required action plans or implementation status reports and a continuation application, and funding availability.
Student and Family Support
Friday, May 12, 2023*
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. 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 Submission 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.
Program Evaluation and Professional DevelopmentGrantees are expected to participate in professional development (e.g., conferences, webinars, and/or regional events, etc.) to be held by the Department, as well as in an evaluation of this grant program. In addition, the Department and Safe and Supportive Schools Commission will use feedback from grantees to inform continuous improvements to the Framework and Tool. Details will be provided to all grantees once information is confirmed.
Attachment A: Option One and Option Two Additional InformationProvides additional information and clarification about the priorities and fund use for each option of the grant.
Attachment B: Collaborative EligibilityProvides additional information and clarification about the eligibility of collaboratives.
Questions and Information WebinarDue to the competitive nature of this grant program, all questions about the Funding Opportunity documents and process will be addressed during the Grant Information Webinar and Q & A sessions. Please see online registration form for more details about the optional sessions.
Please submit all application materials electronically to email@example.com .
Department staff may reach out to applicant before awards are finalized for clarification.
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: April 6, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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