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Student and Family Support (SFS)

Safe and Supportive Schools Grants

  1. Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (FY2021) Safe and Support Schools Grants
    1. Fund Code (FC) 335 Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant
    2. Fund Code (FC) 337 Safe and Supportive Schools Continuation Grant
    3. Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program Evaluation
    4. Previous Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant Recipients

  2. Webinars
  3. Professional Development Opportunities - for Grantees and Others

The Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Programs (Fund Code 335 and 337) are state-funded programs, funded through state line item 7061-9612.

Most specifically, this work is intended to help districts ensure that each school creates a safe, positive, healthy and inclusive whole-school learning environment and makes effective use of a system for integrating services and aligning initiatives that promote students' behavioral health, including social and emotional learning, bullying prevention, trauma sensitivity, dropout prevention, truancy reduction, children's mental health, foster care and homeless youth education, inclusion of students with disabilities, positive behavioral approaches that reduce suspensions and expulsions, and other similar initiatives. Schools that receive funding (through their district) under this grant program will either convene a school team, respond to the questions in the Safe and Supportive Schools Self-Assessment Tool, determine areas to prioritize for improvements, and finalize an action plan; or implement and assess progress on a previously created action plan.

The Safe and Supportive Schools Self-Assessment Tool is available for any school to use. It can be accessed by requesting a username and password by emailing achievement@doe.mass.edu. Once completed, schools can use the following documents to complete their action and implementation plans:

1. Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (FY2021) Safe and Support Schools Grants (FY2022 grant information will be posted once confirmed)

1a. Fund Code (FC) 335 Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant

Note: For more information about this grant opportunity, please see the Funding Opportunity RFP, the information below, and the slides from the informational webinar (in the webinar section).

Grant Program Purpose: 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 their findings from completing the Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) Framework and Self-Reflection Tool.

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 (likely virtually this year) composed of various stakeholders (e.g., including but not limited to teachers, nurses, counselors, family members, etc.) to review and respond to the questions in the SaSS Tool.

    Based on the school team's reflections informed by using the SaSS Tool, the team will identify school and district areas to prioritize for improvements related to creating safer and more supportive learning environments, and will finalize a school plan that is aligned to school and district priorities, and a district plan that supports the schools' efforts.

    The SaSS action plans shall address all six sections of the SaSS Tool:

    1. Leadership, Infrastructure, and Culture
    2. Professional Learning Opportunities
    3. Access to Resources and Services
    4. Teaching and Learning that fosters Safe and Supportive Environments
    5. School Policies, Procedures, and Protocols
    6. Family Engagement

  • Option Two: Implementation and Mentorship/Support
    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 2019-2020. The creation of those action plans must have been informed by a local self-reflection process using the SaSS/BHPS Framework and Tool.

    These grantees will also serve as mentors/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.

In the Fall of 2020, 13 school districts and 1 Collaborative were awarded $135,950 in grant funds to complete the grant activities listed above. More information about these awards can be found on the Competitive Grants Awards page.

1b. Fund Code (FC) 337 Safe and Supportive Schools Continuation Grant

Note: For more information about this grant opportunity, please see the Funding Opportunity RFP, and the information below.

Grant Program Purpose: The goals of this state funded safe and supportive schools continuation grant program are to:

  • Help support implementation of school-wide action plans created by Fiscal Year 2019-2020 (FY2020) Fund Code 335 (FC 335) Option 1 (Action Planning) grantees in the prior year, and
  • Continue, expand, or extend the implementation and mentor/support efforts by FY2020 FC 335 Option 2 (Implementation and Mentoring/Support) grantees.

These districts (and their selected schools) have worked towards organizing, integrating, and sustaining school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments. As part of this work, Option 1 grantees created action plans in FY2020 (2019-2020) based on their insights gained from completing the Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) Self-Reflection Tool (Tool). Schools supported through these continuation grants are also expected to incorporate these action plans into their school improvement plans developed under MGL, c. 69, s. 1I. Grantees are also strongly encouraged to consider how to align their SaSS action plans with their school reopening plans described in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (Department) Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance. Option 2 grantees created action plans in FY2019 or earlier and were awarded competitive funds in FY2020 to implement or extend these action plans. Option 2 grantees also served as mentors and/or provided support to other Tool users, the Department, the Safe and Supportive Schools Commission, or others during the 2019-2020 school year.

Eligible Districts and Maximum Funding Amounts (Option 2 grantees are indicated with an asterisk):

Arlington Public Schools*$7,500
Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School*7,500
Carver Public Schools*6,500
Chelsea Public Schools*7,500
Concord Carlisle Regional High School8,000
Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School8,000
Gill-Montague Regional School District*7,500
Libertas Academy Charter School8,000
Milton Public Schools*6,500
Monomoy Regional School District*6,500
Monson Public Schools8,000
North River Collaborative8,000
Quabbin Regional School District8,000
Quaboag Regional School District*7,500
Southbridge Public Schools*6,500
Swampscott Public Schools8,000
Wilmington Public Schools*6,500

1c. Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program Evaluation

During school years 2017-2018 and 2018-2019, the Department (DESE) contracted with the Research and Evaluation Department of the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES) to evaluate the Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Program, through a competitive Request for Response (RFR) statewide procurement process. The 2018 grant program evaluation report and 2019 evaluation report outlines themes, positive findings, and common challenges for grantees.

1d. Previous Safe and Supportive Schools Grant Recipients

FY20 | FY19 | FY18 | FY17 | FY16 | FY14 (and continuation grant recipients available upon request)

2. Webinars

3. Professional Development Opportunities — for Grantees and Others

When possible, these and related events are shared in the Commissioner's Weekly Update, or the Holistic Supports & Enrichment: Strengthening Social Emotional Competencies, Health & Safety Newsletter.

Recordings and other materials from the 2020-2021 Anti-Racist Learning Series can be requested by contacting achievement@doe.mass.gov. Topics covered in this series included: Anti-Racism Terms and Perspectives, Anti-Racist Family Engagement, Anti-Racist Advocates, Anti-Racist Curriculum and Instruction, and An Equity Lens on School Discipline (Climate and Culture focused).

Materials are also available by request from the March 2019 Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: Using an Equity Lens to Support All Students and the March 23, 2018 statewide convening; Safe and Supportive Learning Environments: Bringing Together Social and Emotional Learning, Trauma Sensitivity, & Positive Behavioral Approaches.

Additional Resources:

  • From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope — Recommendations from the National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development

  • Trauma Sensitive Schools Books and Videos and other resources — The Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative's (TLPI) mission is to ensure that children traumatized by exposure to family violence and other adverse childhood experiences succeed in school.

  • Students Speak — Harvard Law School's Education Law Clinic, part of TLPI, created this site to share what they have learned working with students. The goal is to share lessons from students' own experiences about how to create better schools in order for schools to become safe and supportive learning environments where all students can learn and succeed.

Last Updated: May 28, 2021

 
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