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Grants and Other Financial Assistance Programs

FY2024: Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant

Fund Code: 335


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 Planning
    These 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 Support
    a) 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

Funding Type:

State Line Item 7061-9612


Pending appropriation, approximately $1,000,000 is expected to be available to support these grants.

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.

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.

*Additional factors:

  • Priority points will be given to:
    • Districts with schools that have received a preliminary identification in the Rethinking Discipline Initiative
    • Approximately 30 percent of the total amount available to award is available for applicant schools and districts in chronically underperforming status.
  • The Department may consider factors such as geographic distribution when making awards.
  • Grant awards shall be prioritized to applications that include a process for developmentally appropriate input from students who are reflective of the school population.
  • Should additional funds become available, the Department may redistribute those funds in an equitable manner among other awarded grantees or to applicants who were not initially awarded grant funds.
Fund Use:

Option One: Action Planning
These 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 Support
These 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 applicants
All 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.

Project Duration:

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.

Program Unit:

Student and Family Support


Emily Taylor

Phone Number:

(781) 338-6313

Date Due:

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.

Required Forms:
  • Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page — (Standard Contract Form and Application for Program Grants)
    • Complete and submit signed Part I FY2024 (through 6/30/2024) in a PDF.

  • Part II — Budget Template
    • Complete and submit Part II for FY2024. Please include a complete description of fund use in the narrative/comments column (on the right).

  • Part III — Required Program Information
    • Complete Part IIIA only — if applying for Option One: Action Planning
    • Complete Part IIIB only — if applying for Option Two: Implementation and Support.

  • Grant Assurances
    • Complete the applicable portion of the document for either Option One: Action Planning or Option Two: Implementation and Support, and submit with the application.

  • Option Two only: Action Plan
    • Attach a previously completed Safe and Supportive Schools action plan aligned with the implementation activities proposed in Part III.
Additional Information:
  • Program Evaluation and Professional Development
    Grantees 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 Information
    Provides additional information and clarification about the priorities and fund use for each option of the grant.

  • Attachment B: Collaborative Eligibility
    Provides additional information and clarification about the eligibility of collaboratives.

  • Questions and Information Webinar
    Due 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.

Submission Instructions:

Please submit all application materials electronically to .

  • All signature pages (Part I and Grant Assurances) must be signed, scanned, and submitted as two (2) separate PDF documents.
  • All budgets (Part II) must be submitted as Excel files, not as PDFs.
  • Part III must be submitted as a PDF or in its original Word format.
  • Any item not submitted in the correct format may not be reviewed.

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: June 27, 2024

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