In the 2023-2024 school year, DESE will release Investigating History, 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 its design is anchored in four instructional principles:
Investigating History is a complete and comprehensive package of curricular materials that includes lesson plans, student handouts, and slide decks. Sample materials from Unit 1 will be posted on the Investigating History web page by April 1, and new and revised curricular materials will be released on a rolling basis beginning in June 2023 (detailed release schedule listed below).
To support adoption and implementation of the materials, districts will:
This competitive grant is designed to fund the costs associated with professional development, as well as cover additional costs of implementation such as teacher planning time outside of contract hours or the purchase of printed copies of the Investigating History materials, in order to facilitate a successful adoption of the Investigating History materials across a school or district.
DESE encourages districts to apply in partnership in order to more efficiently provide professional development to teachers from multiple districts at once (e.g. through a cross-district, in-person training facilitated by a certified PD provider) and to facilitate cross-district collaboration among educators throughout the implementation process.
DESE seeks to award Investigating History implementation grants to entities that:
LEAs will commit to:
More information about each of these required commitments can be found under "Fund Use," below.
Competitive priority will be given to:
All Massachusetts Local Education Agencies (districts, charter schools, and Collaboratives) are eligible to apply.
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.
Federal CFDA: 84.425
Approximately $575,000 is available in FY 24. In FY 24, LEAs may apply for up to $100,000 under this grant.
Pending availability, there will be additional funding available for a continuation of this grant in FY 25. Depending on funding availability, there may be a separate maximum award amount for FY 25; at this time, however, there is no maximum amount for the projected FY 25 budget LEAs are asked to prepare.
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.
This grant will provide funding to support the implementation of Investigating History across one or more grades (5, 6, and/or 7) beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Funds can be used for:
To receive funds under this grant, recipients must fully implement Investigating History across one or more grades in one or more schools by the 2024-25 school year. As part of their implementation plan, grant recipients will choose a "long-track" or "short-track" implementation pathway at each grade level.
At each grade level:
LEAs should identify the implementation pathway that best fits their capacity and context; please consult the Investigating History Readiness Guide posted on the Investigating History web page to support you in making this decision.
Investigating History units are scheduled to be available on the following timeline:
*For districts who have used Investigating History in 2022-23, please note that in 2023-24, the Silk Road and East Asia content will be broken into two separate units
Upon Approval July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024
Pending budget appropriation, continuation of funding will be available in fiscal year 2025 for a total grant period of two years. Eligibility for funding in year two is based on meeting grant requirements and submission of year-end report and continuation grant application. Only applicants awarded FY24 FC653 grant are eligible to apply for the FY25 continuation grant.
Office of Literacy and HumanitiesCenter for Instructional Support
Friday, May 12, 2023
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. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. 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.
Part I — General — Program Unit Signature Page
Note: FY 25 budget should include projected costs; funding for FY 25 is not guaranteed. Continuation of funding is pending budget appropriation and meeting of requirements as described above under "Project Duration."
Part III — Required Program Information
Part IV — School Assurance (separate form required from each school principal)
Important: Vendor Scope of Work — If your proposal includes funds used for services from an external PD provider, please submit a scope of work that includes that organization's planned activities and costs, on that organization's letterhead. Those costs should correspond to the budget submitted (Part II).
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 April 7, 2023 and periodically thereafter as new questions are received. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to post a response to any questions received after Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
Evaluation — As part of the Investigating History implementation in the 2023-24 school year, DESE will be collaborating with a third-party, independent evaluator to learn more about student and teacher experiences with the curriculum. 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:
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.
DESE may share the names and contact information from districts who apply for, but do not receive, the grant with this evaluation partner; it is possible that some or all of these districts may also be contacted as part of the evaluation process.
Please email the required documents as listed above, attached to a single email, to CISGrants@mass.gov with the subject line FC 653 — Investigating History Implementation Grant — [LEA Name]. Please use the provided original Word or Excel formats, except for the Part I and Part IV signature pages which should be converted to PDF.
Applicants will receive a confirmation when the materials are received. Early submission is strongly encouraged to ensure the complete application is received and confirmed by 5pm Eastern on the due date.
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 25, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370
Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.