P-12

Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education


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1003(g) School Improvement Grant (SIG)
(Round 7)

RFP Number: GC16-015


Update 7/18/16:

  • Application reposted with clarification highlighted on pages 6-9.

Update 7/19/16:

  • Questions and Answers document revised to reflect page number changes due to the application update on 7/18/16.

Grant Application Documents

Application in PDF PDF icon | Application in Word Word document icon (Revised 7/18/16)
Questions and Answers PDF icon

Background

Under New York State Education Department’s (NYSED’s) approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver, the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools are identified as Priority Schools and may also be placed under registration review (SURR), pursuant to Commissioner’s regulation 100.18. As a result, Priority Schools, with the support of the larger district and school-community, have an opportunity to develop and implement a whole-school change model with the goal of achieving dramatic school-level achievement gains such that the school is in good academic standing within three years.

Purpose

The primary purpose of the SIG is to provide Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with an opportunity to support the implementation of a whole-school change model in their Priority Schools. This grant allows for six federally-designated or state-determined models to do so:  Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based, and Early Learning Intervention. A secondary purpose of the SIG is to support the school closure process.  In certain cases the LEA, in collaboration with the local community, may conclude the best option for its students is to close the existing school and transfer students to existing higher achieving options within the district.  The requirements and parameters set forth in this Request for Proposals (RFP) will serve as the quality standard for an approvable SIG plan. LEAs will be expected to fully implement the SIG plan in its funded Priority Schools through available resources including, but not limited to, the SIG. The SIG plans in this RFP must be designed to meet one of the following intervention models: 

Turnaround
Replace the principal and at least half the staff as part of the process of phasing out and replacing the school with a new school(s), or completely redesigning the school.1
Restart
Convert the school to a charter school under a charter management organization (CMO), replace the school with a new charter school that will serve the students who would have attended the public school, or contract with an Educational Management Organization (EMO), such as a local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institution of higher education, or other non-profit partner organization as identified in Education Law 211-e, to govern and manage the Priority School and its implementation of the SIG plan.2 
Transformation
Replace the principal, but without the requirement to replace at least half the staff. Rather, the implementation of approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans would serve as the basis for rewarding effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers after ample professional development opportunities.3    
Innovation Framework
Select one of three NYSED-proposed design pathways: College and Career Readiness School Design, Family and Community School Design, or Individualized Learning School Design, and partner specifically with an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) to jointly launch a whole-school redesign.
Evidence-based
Implement, in partnership with a strategy developer, an evidence-based whole-school reform strategy that meets United States Department of Education (USDE) What Works ClearinghouseExternal link evidence standards.
Early Learning Intervention
Replace the principal and offer full-day kindergarten, establish or expand a high-quality preschool program, and implement an approved APPR plan that would serve as a rigorous evaluation and support system.
Closure
Close the school and enroll the students who attended the school in higher achieving schools in the LEA. School closure and the transfer of students in this model occurs in one year or less.

The intervention models identified are consistent with Commissioner’s regulations §§100.2(p)(10)(iv) and 100.18 and the United States Department of Education’s requirements for SIG funding. In addition, the parameters of the SIG plan set forth in this application are directly aligned with the United States Secretary of Education’s seven (7) turnaround principles. Coupling these intervention model requirements with the Secretary’s turnaround principles, and the design elements of high quality schools, provides a framework for bold and dramatic school change. Specific requirements for each model are identified in subsequent sections of this RFP.


1 An LEA that is eligible for services under subpart 1 or 2 of part B of title VI of the ESEA is allowed to modify one element of the Transformation or Turnaround model so long as the modification meets the intent and purpose of the original element.

2 Any conversion of an existing public school to a charter school, or any new charter that will replace a Priority School must be consistent with the provisions of Article 56 of the NYS Education Law, "The New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998," and all subsequent amendments to that statute.  

3 An LEA that is eligible for services under subpart 1 or 2 of part B of title VI of the ESEA is allowed to modify one element of the Transformation or Turnaround model so long as the modification meets the intent and purpose of the original element.

Eligibility

This grant is open to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with one or more eligible Priority Schools. An eligible Priority School is one that the LEA has designated as implementing a whole-school change model beginning in 2016-2017 and that is not currently receiving SIG 1003[g] or School Innovation Fund (SIF) grant funding. SIG 2 grantees end their award period on June 30, 2016 and are not eligible to apply for SIG 7 funds. For each eligible school proposing to implement a model other than Closure, LEAs are eligible for up to $2.5 million, commensurate to school size and need, for the full term of the five-year grant. For applications proposing to implement a Closure model plan, LEAs are eligible for up to $200,000, commensurate to school size and need, for the full grant term of one year.  In New York City, the eligible applicant is the NYC Department of Education on behalf of the individual Priority schools.

LEAs may submit multiple applications in response to this RFP, however; only separate and complete applications for each eligible school will be accepted. Charter schools identified under the State accountability system are not eligible for award to implement a whole-school change model.  New charter applicants/schools partnering with a district to replace an identified Priority School may receive SIG funding as new replacement schools under Turnaround and Restart models. 

A full list of Priority Schools is available on the ESEA Accountability Reports: School and District Accountability Designation Reports page.

Funding

Estimated funds available: $95,000,000
Estimated number of awards:Approximately 38     

*Awards will be made subject to the availability of funds and approval of the NYSED SEA SIG application by the US Department of Education.

Project Period

For applications proposing to implement a model other than Closure, the full project period for this grant is five years.  Continuation funding after each period of the project is contingent upon progress toward meeting achievement goals, leading indicators, fidelity of implementation of required model actions, and maintenance of all grant requirements.

Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based, and Early Learning Intervention Model Project Period

Year-One Implementation Period

September 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017

Year-Two Implementation Period

July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018

Year-Three Implementation Period

July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019

Year-Four Implementation Period

July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020

Year-Five implementation Period

July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

For applications proposing a Closure model, the full project period will be one year.  There are no continuations past the year-one implementation period for the Closure model.

Closure Model Project Period

Year-One Implementation Period

September 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017

Application Deadline and Submission Requirements

Letter of Intent
LEAs should submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) designating the specific identified schools for which applications will be submitted, identifying the intervention model being proposed for each school. The LOI should be submitted electronically through the Review Room Portal.

The LOI should be received through Review Room by 3:00 p.m. on June 23, 2016. (Note: The LOI is not a requirement for submitting a complete application by the application due date. NYSED encourages all prospective applicants to submit an LOI in order to ensure that appropriate resources are available for a timely and thorough review and rating process.)

Full Application Submission
Complete applications must be submitted electronically through the Review Room portal. In addition, one signed original plus one hardcopy must be mailed by postal service to:

New York State Education Department
Attn:  School Improvement Grant
Office of Grants Management – Room 475 EBA
89 Washington Ave
Albany, New York 12234

Complete hardcopies of applications must be postmarked by July 20, 2016 and complete electronic copies must be submitted through the Review Room portal no later than 3:00 p.m. on July 20, 2016.

Review Room Electronic Submission Portal
The electronic Review Room submission portal will be live and accessible with instructions to applicants on June 20, 2016. Technical questions regarding electronic submission through the Review Room portal should be emailed to Antonio Parente at antonio.parente@nysed.gov.

Additional Information

  • A pre-recorded applicant informational webinar will be posted here on or about June 23, 2016.
  • Questions about this RFP must be received by June 27, 2016, and submitted to: SIGAPP2016@nysed.gov and should not include technical questions related to submission of the application through the Review Room portal.
  • Questions and Answers about this RFP, not including technical questions related to submission through the electronic portal, will be posted here by July 6, 2016. No individual responses will be provided.
  • Technical questions related to submission through the electronic portal can be submitted at any time to Antonio Parente at antonio.parente@nysed.gov.

Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Requirement

Regardless of the SIG model selected, an LEA must maintain a demonstration of full implementation of an approved APPR plan in compliance with Education Law §3012-c or §3012-d as applicable, and Subpart 30-2 or 30-3 of the Rules of the Board of Regents as applicable,  throughout the entire period of the grant.

Mandatory Application Requirements

  • Attachment A - Consultation and Collaboration Form:  This form must be completed in accordance with the instructions on the form, and submitted with the application both electronically and via hardcopy, with original signature in blue ink. Applications that are submitted without this form completed, in accordance with the instructions on the form, will be rejected. 
  • Memorandum of Understanding: If the model chosen for this school is a Restart or Innovation and Reform Framework, the LEA must provide in this application a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both parties, which identifies joint-agreement and the scope of services of the EMO or EPO and the broad achievement outcomes for the school.
  • Attachment B - School-level Baseline Data and Target-Setting Chart:  All applications, with the exception of those choosing the Closure model, must submit a completed target-setting chart. 

Program Requirements Specific to Each Model

LEA proposals must consider the following key elements specific to the following federal and state-determined intervention models.

Turnaround - LEA proposals selecting the Turnaround model must include the following federal requirements for this model:

  • Replace the principal, and use locally adopted competencies to review and select staff for the school, rehiring no more than 50% of the existing staff;
  • Implement such strategies as financial incentives, increased opportunities for promotion and career growth, and more flexible work conditions that are designed to recruit, place, and retain staff with the skills necessary to meet the needs of the students;
  • Provide job-embedded professional development designed to build capacity and support staff; ensure continuous use of data to inform and differentiate instruction; and
  • Provide increased learning time for staff and students, implement new governance structure, and grant operating flexibility to the school leader.

Restart - LEA proposals selecting the Restart model should refer to the Field Guidance Memo on Implementation of the Restart Model Adobe PDF and must include the following federal requirements:

  • In accordance with Education Law 211-e,  convert a school or close and reopen a school under a charter school operator, a Charter Management Organization (CMO), an Education Management Organization (EMO), or non-profit organization; 
  • Enroll, within the grades it serves, all former students who wish to attend the school; and
  • Implement a rigorous review process through which an LEA examines a prospective restart operator’s reform plans and strategies, and requires a prospective operator to demonstrate that its strategies are research-based and that it has the capacity to implement the strategies it is proposing.

Transformation - LEA proposals selecting the Transformation model must include the following federal requirements for this model:

  • Replace the principal; identify and reward school leaders and teachers who improve student achievement outcomes and remove those who do not; and implement strategies to recruit and retain high-quality staff;
  • Provide additional time for students to learn core academic content by extending the school day, week and/or year; provide more time for teachers to collaborate; and
  • Provide the school with sufficient operating flexibility (including in staffing, calendars/time, and budgeting) to implement fully a comprehensive approach to substantially improve student achievement outcomes.

Innovation and Reform Framework – A unique feature of this model is the requirement that LEA proposals for a total redesign of an existing school must be positioned around one of three NYSED-proposed innovative design pathways described below. The particular innovative design pathway proposed and the scope of the redesign must be clearly identified, reasonable, and justified as a valid and well-reasoned solution to address the identified school’s needs.

When selecting a pathway within this State-Determined Model: Innovation and Reform Framework, an applicant must address, in an acceptable manner, all of the requirements of a whole-school reform model which is designed to:

  1. Improve student academic achievement or attainment;
  2. Be implemented for all students in a school; and
  3. Address, at a minimum and in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, each of the following;
    1. School leadership
    2. Teaching and learning in at least one full academic content area (including professional learning for educators)
    3. Student non-academic support
    4. Family and community engagement

To address these whole-school reform model requirements in an acceptable manner, an applicant is expected to develop a comprehensive and coordinated application, aligning all details in the three RFP sections: District-level Plan, School-level Plan, and Budget Forms and Narrative. As per the Method of Award section (RFP pages 20-21) only those applications that receive a final average score of 65 or higher will be considered for funding. In the event of a tie score, the applicant with the highest combined score for Section II D. School Leadership and G. Organizational Plan will be ranked higher. To achieve a final average score of 65 or higher, an application earns points in each of those three RFP sections according to the Quality Rating Guide (RFP page 74).

While the whole-school reform model requirements are embedded throughout all sections of the RFP, they are prominent in the School-Level Plan (RFP pages 30-35):

  1. Improve student academic achievement or attainment: Item C: Determining Goals and Objectives (RFP page 31); Item E: Instructional Staff (RFP page 32; and Item H: Educational Plan: (i) curriculum, (ii) instruction, (iii) use of time, and (iv) data-driven instruction/inquiry (RFP page 33);
  2. Be implemented for all students in a school: Item A: Assessing the Needs of the School Systems, Structures, Policies and Students: (i) Use school data and descriptive language, to describe the school’s student population, and the unique needs of sub-groups (e.g.: underperforming sub-groups, students with disabilities, English language learners, students from households that are eligible for free or reduced lunch, first-generation college-goers, and/or students traditionally underrepresented in college).
  3. Address, at a minimum and in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, each of the following;
    1. School leadership: Item D: School Leadership (RFP pages 31-32); and Item G: Organizational Plan (RFP page 33); and Item I: Training, Support, and Professional Development (RFP page 34);
    2. Teaching and learning in at least one full academic content area (including professional learning for educators: Item E: Instructional Staff (RFP page 32); Item G: Organizational Plan (RFP page 33); and Item I: Training, Support, and Professional Development (RFP page 34);
    3. Student non-academic support: Item H: Educational Plan: (v) Student Support and (vi) School Climate and Discipline (RFP page 33);
    4. Family and community engagement: Item B: School Model and Rationale (RFP pages 30-31); Item H: Educational Plan: (vii) Parent and Community Engagement (RFP page 34); and Item J: Community and Stakeholder Involvement and Agreement (RFP page 34).

Applicants for each pathway must complete the entire District-level Plan and School-level Plan sections which address design parameters of the whole-school reform model including a needs assessment, rationale of model selected, goals and objectives, principal and supporting leadership, effective partnerships, job-embedded professional development and support, teacher recruitment and retention relevant to the selected pathway, and an educational plan that addresses the curriculum, instruction, use of time, data-driven instruction/inquiry, student support services, school climate, and family/community engagement.   All applicants, despite the SIG model selected (except for Closure), must also complete the entire District-level Plan and School-level Plan sections, as described later in this document, which address these design parameters of the whole-school reform model.

The unifying elements around this model include the following specifications: (1) each school must partner with an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) to jointly launch its innovative whole-school redesign; (2) the chosen pathway must include intentional innovative activities and/or services which provide students with a skill set that is in addition to a sound educational plan; (3) the pathway must  draw support from multiple stakeholder groups with vested interest in realizing increased student achievement at the school. 

Districts interested in implementing a holistic and seamless approach among its schools may consider the use of a cluster for the purpose of sharing resources among SIG and Non-SIG schools. All schools participating in the cluster will be named within the application, which clearly reflects a coordinated vertical approach. Each SIG eligible school named within the application must also submit a separate application in order to be considered for a SIG 7 award. Non-SIG schools are not eligible for a SIG 7 award, but may be named within the cluster. All schools in the cluster must be designated as Title I or Title I eligible schools. A SIG eligible school can create activities which support other schools. For example, a SIG eligible high school can create professional development activities, hire instructional coaches, or purchase behavioral intervention systems and share these resources with the schools that feed into the SIG eligible high school using its SIG funds.  

  • Professional learning opportunities designed to meet cluster needs may be provided to all schools in the cluster with funds from the SIG grantee award.
  • Cluster coordinated identification and purchase of behavioral intervention systems, instructional programs, materials, and equipment may be provided with SIG grantee award funds.
  • Staff involved in collaborative and/or vertical planning times that are off contract hours may be compensated with a stipend or wage with funds awarded to the SIG grantee.
  • Instructional Coaches, Graduation Coaches, Social Workers, and Family and Community Coordinators may be paid with funds from the SIG grantee award and have flexibility to serve all schools in the cluster.
  • Plans for rewards and incentives may be designed to include cluster goals and achievements and may be paid with SIG grantee award funds.
  • Other coordinated cluster elements may be considered for SIG grantee award funding with SEA approval based on allowability and reasonableness.

Pathway 1: College and Career Readiness School Design: Selecting this pathway means that students are provided with intentional activities and opportunities to prepare them to be college and career ready. Career and Technical Education (CTE) reflects a continuum of education that is committed to student career development and planning in preparation for postsecondary education and the workplace. A comprehensive concentration of groups of courses or units of study, when combined, will make up a school design that includes rigorous academic content closely aligned with career and technical subject matter that uses the State learning standards of career development and occupational studies as a framework (8 NYCRR §100.1(l) and offers multiple pathways towards college and career readiness (§100.2 and 100.5).

Targeted populations will be provided with the opportunities to experience academic and career-focused success at an early grade level. High-quality Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, like P-TECH programs, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and reinforce both academic and technical skills as well as experiences in project and work-based learning where on-the-job mentoring can play a critical role in developing life-long, transferable and professional employability skills for a constantly global economy.

  • An elementary school program will focus on a comprehensive reading model and approach to literacy mastery. Students reading at grade level by third grade, by age 8, the age at which reading to learn becomes essential. When provided frequent, quality reading experiences in the home, and high-quality instruction in school, nearly every child can learn to read by third grade.
  • A middle school program will provide supports to prepare students to take dual enrollment and college-credit bearing courses in a college or career pathway high school. Outreach in middle school helps students and families make decisions on education and careers. There will be intentional activities for all students with a focus on those who have been traditionally under-represented in both college and career readiness activities and entering college, based on data review.
  • At the high school level, there will be intentional activities for college entrance preparation for all students with a focus on those who have been traditionally under-represented in both college and career readiness activities and entering college, based on data review. Such activities will include, but not be limited to, administering the PSAT for all students at the 8th, 9th, or 10th grades, using the AP Potential Report to objectively place students in advanced placement and/or honors courses; and administer the SAT or ACT for all students at 11th and/or 12th grade during the instructional day.
  • There will be the provision of early college activities. For example, schools can partner with an Institution of Higher Education (IHE) to provide all students with the opportunity to earn college credits tuition-free along with a high school diploma.  This partnership would provide intense academic and social supports to attain college readiness, and continue these supports throughout the students’ high school tenure to ensure their mastery of college level work and their development of a college-going culture.  The program will be comprehensive in nature, begin in 9th grade, and offer a minimum of 24 college-level credits. 

Additional guidance for this design framework may be found at: College Pathways

Additional guidance for this design framework may be found at: Career and Technical Education (CTE). When on this website, an elementary school can select NYSED CTE from the menu. Once on NYSED CTE, it can then select Learning Standards for the Elementary School level to view the Career, Universal, and Integrated Standards 1-2-3; the CDOS Resource Guide and Curriculum to assist schools in developing their Goals/Objectives/Curriculum; and then select Career Plans for students in K through Grade 4. One can also select this information for the middle and high school grades.

Pathway 2: Family and Community School Design: Schools will partner with one or more agencies with an integrated focus on rigorous academics and the fostering of a positive and supportive learning environment, and a range of school-based and school-linked programs and services that lead to improved student learning, stronger families, and healthier communities. Programming will be based on community-wide needs assessments, and overseen by a community school site coordinator. Programs, services, and resources may address parent and family engagement and involvement, adult education, nutrition, medical, dental, mental health, social services, early childhood, career and technical education, workforce development, community and economic development, expanded learning opportunities, and professional development specific to the unique needs of the students and families. The school will be accessible to the community before and/or after school hours.

Examples of activities can include supporting parents and other adult caregivers in strengthening home literacy and to provide students with broader opportunities to read with adults; training parents and caregivers to use effective tutoring and joint book-reading strategies; offering a parent advocate and advocacy services; disseminating information and tools; deliver development and training opportunities for families; provide family outreach material in the “home” language; and build family knowledge on specific strategies to enhance school success.

Additional guidance for this design framework may be found at: Building Community Schools: A Guide for Action.

Pathway 3: Individualized Learning School Design: A school provides high quality and personalized learning experiences. Program designs can incorporate alternative schedules such as a year-round schedule, balanced calendar, or iterations of extended school years. Alternative schedules could also address overaged/under-credited students. Program designs can also include virtual, blended learning, online, or digital design. In these cases, instructional interaction occurs through digital and/or internet-connected technology.  A blended school design provides a combination of face-to-face and digital instructional interaction, and offers flexibility of time and place of instruction, in order to meet individual student learning needs.  An effective virtual, blended learning, online, or digital school design provides high-quality college or career-prep courses to earn a high school diploma and college credit; ensures digital learning involves high quality instructional interactions between teacher and student, student and content, and other students; provides administrators and teachers with substantial, ongoing, and job-embedded professional development to better utilize technology for teaching; includes a comprehensive and transparent assessment system; and complies with Commissioner’s regulations for online learning. Additional guidance for may be found at: Virtual/Blended/Online learning.

Evidence-based – In partnership with a whole-school reform model developer, a proposal must have evidence of effectiveness that includes at least one study that meet What Works ClearinghouseExternal link evidence standards and that found a statistically favorable impact on student academic achievement or attainment outcome.  Proposals must demonstrate an LEA’s commitment to evaluate the evidence supporting the strategy it proposes to implement, which includes a sample population and/or setting similar to the school being served.  Strategies must be selected from the federally-approved list which may be found at U.S. Department of Education: School Improvement GrantsExternal link. For the purposes of this model, a “whole-school reform model developer” is defined as an entity or individual that maintains proprietary rights for the proposed strategy and/or has a demonstrated record of success in implementing the strategy in low-achieving schools. 

Early Learning Intervention – LEA proposals for an early learning intervention in an elementary school must include the following federal requirements for this model:

  1. Replace the principal who led the school prior to the commencement of the early learning model; offer full-day kindergarten; implement or expand a high-quality preschool program (see federal definition and requirements at: U.S. Department of Education: School Improvement Grants)External link; and provide educators with time for joint planning across grades to facilitate effective teaching and learning; 
  2. Implement all of the requirements of the transformation model in the identified Priority elementary school (with the exception of increased learning time at the preschool and kindergarten levels); implement the same rigorous, transparent, and equitable evaluation and support systems for teachers and principals required under the Transformation model.  The system must be used to identify and reward teachers and leaders who, in implementing this model, have increased student achievement; and identify and remove those teachers and leaders who have failed to improve their instructional practice;
  3. Implement such strategies as financial incentives, flexible work conditions, and increased opportunities for promotion and/or career growth in order to recruit, place and retain teachers and leaders with the skills necessary to meet the needs of the school; and
  4. Ensure high staff qualifications for the pre-school program, including a teacher with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or equivalent; have pre-school class sizes of no more than 20, and meet a child to instructor ratio of no more than 10 to 1.

Additional program requirements specific to the intervention models - Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based, Early Learning Intervention, and Closure- can be found at the following United States Department of Education (USDE) guidance web-site: Final Requirements-School Improvement Grants-Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the March 2015 Federal Guidance document posted at: School Improvement Grant (SIG)1003(g) Toolkit.

SIG Plan Standards - Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention Models

The standards of this grant represent a framework for bold and dramatic whole-school change (SIG plan). The LEA should demonstrate through its application, a strong commitment to success in the turnaround of its lowest achieving schools and the capacity to use SIG and other available resources to fully and effectively implement one of the intervention models. The chart below identifies the SIG plan requirements common to Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention models proposed:

SIG Plan Standards for Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention Models

District-Level Category

Standard

District Commitment and Capacity to Implement

The LEA must demonstrate a commitment to success in the turnaround of its lowest achieving schools and the capacity to implement the model proposed in its Priority School in this application. This is an overarching standard, which is met by achieving an overall application score that is at or above the minimum score for a fundable application.

Operational Autonomies

The LEA must provide operational autonomies for Priority Schools in exchange for greater accountability for performance results in the following areas: 1) staffing; 2) school-based budgeting; 3) use of time during and after school; 4) program selection; and 5) educational partner selection. In addition to providing quality responses to each element requested in this section of the Proposal Narrative, the Priority School must have school-level autonomy in at least two of these areas for an acceptable rating in this category. Applications that provide quality responses and that are granted anywhere from 3 to 5 of these autonomies will receive a rating of exemplary for this category.

District Accountability and Support

The LEA must have the organizational structures and functions in place at the district-level to provide quality oversight and support for its identified Priority Schools in general, as well as specifically for the school identified in this application.

Teacher and Leader Pipeline

The LEA must have a clear understanding of the type and nature of teachers and leaders that are needed to create dramatic improvement in its lowest-achieving schools. In addition, the LEA must have a coherent set of goals and actions that lead to the successful recruitment, training, and retention of teachers and leaders who are effective in low-achieving schools.

External Partner Recruitment, Screening, and Matching to Priority Schools

The LEA must have a rigorous process for identifying, screening, selecting, matching, and evaluating partner organizations that provide critical services to Priority Schools.

Enrollment and Retention Policies, Practices, and Strategies

The LEA must have clear policies, practices, and strategies for managing student enrollment and retention to ensure that Priority Schools are not receiving disproportionately high numbers of students with disabilities, English-language learners, and students performing below proficiency.

District-level Labor and Management Consultation and Collaboration

The LEA/school must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with recognized district leaders of the principals’ and teachers’ labor unions about district Priority Schools and the development and implementation of the plan proposed for this specific Priority School.

School-Level Category

Standard

Assessing the Needs of the School Systems, Structures, Policies, and Students

The LEA/school must demonstrate a critical and honest assessment of structural/systems gaps and needs, as well as student achievement gaps and needs that are identified as the result of a systemic analysis process.

School Model and Rationale

The LEA/school must propose and present the chosen SIG model as a plausible solution to the challenges and needs identified in the previous section, as well as the appropriate fit for the particular school and community.

Determining Goals and Objectives

The LEA/school must determine and present broad goals directly aligned to the in-depth diagnostic review and model selection, as well as specific objectives that have been developed to guide key strategies in a time-specific and measurable manner.  The LEA/school must demonstrate evidence of extensive backwards planning.

School Leadership

The LEA/school must have the mechanisms in place to replace the existing principal, where applicable, and select/assign a new school principal and supporting leadership that possess the strengths and capacity to drive the successful implementation of the SIG plan.  Please refer to, “Competencies for Determining Priority School Leaders.”

Instructional Staff

The LEA/school must have the mechanisms in place to assign the instructional staff to the school that have the strengths and capacity necessary to meet the needs of the school and its students. This standard and the actions that accompany it are required regardless of the model chosen. If the Turnaround model is chosen for the Priority School in this application, responses to this section should be planned/proposed in the context of the requirements for that model, replacing at least 50% of instructional staff prior to the first year implementation. If the Turnaround model staffing requirement is not met within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter, the SIG funding will be suspended immediately and the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.

Partnerships

The LEA/school must be able to establish effective partnerships to address areas where the school lacks the capacity to improve. The external partnership(s) may vary in terms of role and relationship to the governance of the school. If the model chosen for this school is a Restart, the LEA must provide in this application a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both parties, which identifies joint-agreement and the scope of services of the EMO and the broad achievement outcomes for the school. The fully executed EMO-district contract, signed by both parties, in full accordance with Education Law 211-e must be received by NYSED within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. If the fully executed EMO-district contract is not in full accordance with Education Law 211-e, submitted and in place by the date identified, the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.

If the model chosen for this school is Innovation and Reform Framework, the LEA must provide in this application a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both parties, which identifies joint-agreement and the scope of services of the EPO and the broad achievement outcomes for the school. The fully executed EPO-district contract, signed by both parties, must be received by NYSED within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter.

Organizational Plan

The LEA/school must provide a sound plan for how the school will be operated, beginning with its governance and management. It should present a clear picture of the school’s operating priorities, delegation of responsibilities, and relationships/interactions with key stakeholders.

Educational Plan

The LEA/school must provide an educationally sound and comprehensive plan for the school.  Components of this plan include: curriculum; instruction; use of time; data-driven inquiry/instruction; student support; school climate and discipline; and parent and community engagement.

Training, Support, and Professional Development

The LEA/school must have a coherent framework for training, support, and professional development clearly linked to the identified SIG plan, model selection and student needs.

Communication and Stakeholder Involvement/Engagement

The LEA/school must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with key education stakeholders about the school’s Priority status and on the development and implementation of the SIG plan.

Project Plan and Timeline

The LEA/school must provide a project plan that provides a detailed and specific, measurable, realistic, and time-phased set of actions and outcomes that reasonably lead to the effective implementation of the SIG plan. The plan must include activities designed to build capacity of instructional staff and school leadership, as well as reinforce sustainability of overall school improvement efforts beyond the timeframe of the five-year funding period.

 

SIG Plan Standards - Closure

The Closure model involves closing the existing identified Priority School and enrolling its students in higher achieving schools. For the purposes of this RFP “higher achieving schools,” means schools that are in good academic standing (not identified as a Focus or Priority School). These higher achieving schools should be within reasonable proximity to the closed school and may include, but are not limited to, charter schools or new schools for which achievement data are not yet available. Since the Closure model must be implemented within a one-year implementation period or less, and since the requirements of closure are different from those of implementing a full organizational and instructional plan, applications for a Closure model have a different set of standards. The following chart identifies the program standards of the Closure model plan.

SIG Plan Standards for Closure Model

Category

Requirements

District Organizational Capacity

The LEA must have the organizational structures and functions in place at the district-level to provide high quality oversight over the closure process and support for the schools that will accept transferring students from the closing school. 

Assessing the Needs of the School and its Students

The LEA must demonstrate a critical and honest assessment of structural/systems gaps and needs, as well as student achievement needs, specific to the Priority School identified for Closure in this application. The identified needs should be the result of a systemic analysis process.

School Overview, Model Selection, and Rationale

The LEA must propose and present the selection of a Closure model as a plausible and best-case solution to the challenges and needs identified in the previous section, as well as the appropriate fit for this particular school and community.

Communication, Collaboration, and Stakeholder Involvement/Engagement

The LEA must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with recognized district and local leaders of the LEAs labor unions, parent organizations, and the local school community on the development and implementation of the plan to close the Priority School identified in this application.

School Choice Options Available

The LEA must have the mechanisms to transfer students from the closing Priority School and clear options for enrolling them in higher achieving schools within one year or less.

Project Plan and Timeline

The LEA must provide a detailed and specific, measurable, realistic, and time-phased set of actions and outcomes that reasonably lead to the effective closure of the school and the transfer of its students into the higher achieving school options identified in the previous section. The project plan and timeline should include a reasonable and feasible plan for: 1) effectively transferring the students to a higher achieving school option of their choice; 2) downsizing teachers and other staff in the closing school; and 3) providing support for schools that will receive transferring students.

 

Budget Requirements

The budget documents requested in response to this RFP must identify and explain SIG funded costs for activities that are necessary to carry out all aspects of the whole-school change. In addition, through the budget narrative, the LEA will be asked to identify other sources and amounts of funding that will support and sustain the activities that are crucial to the whole-school change.

Application Budget Documents

  • Budget Narrative – The budget narrative, described in the Proposal Narrative sections of this RFP, should identify and explain SIG funded costs for the entire five-year implementation project period for Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention models; and one year of implementation for Closure models).
  • Budget Summary Chart (Attachment D) - This chart summarizes the budget for the entire five-year implementation project period for Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention models; and one year of implementation for Closure models). 
  • FS-10 for the year-one implementation period (September 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017).

                                                                                                 
Maximum Funding Amounts for Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based and Early Learning Intervention models

  • The year-one implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
  • The year-two implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
  • The year-three implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
  • The year-four implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
  • The year-five implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
  • The SIG funding directed at district-level administration and support activities for each period may be no greater than ten percent (10%) of the total maximum funding request for each period.  (Ninety-percent (90%) of the maximum funding requests for each period must be directed toward school-level activities supporting the implementation of the SIG plan. Applicants must describe and justify in the budget narrative any specific district-level expenses to be supported by SIG funds at no more than 10% of total request).
  • Supplies and materials are allowable, if necessary to meet the project goals and objectives, but must not exceed 10% of the total budget for each project period.

Funding Amount for Closure Model

  • The one-year closure period SIG funding request may be no greater than $200,000.

Non-Allowable Costs

  • The purchase of equipment (defined as equipment items having a unit value of $5,000 or more with a useful life of more than one year) is not allowed.

Other

Grant funds must supplement, not supplant, existing district funding sources.

Additional Budget Guidance

Appropriate Costs

  • SIG funds are intended to supplement and support comprehensive school reform by funding specific initiatives designed to promote targeted and sustainable school improvement. The actions and practices identified through each category of the project narrative drive the appropriate costs. Appropriate costs are those costs that are directly connected to the actions and to sustaining the practices prompted in the categories of the project narrative (e.g., the implementation of a curriculum aligned the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), continuous use of data to drive decision making, the effective implementation of an APPR system in the school, extended/expanded learning time, etc.).
  • It is incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate the close connections between the costs proposed and the organizational or pedagogical purposes those costs will support from the project narrative. LEAs must make the case in the budget narrative that such costs are closely connected to the actions the practices prompted in the project narrative. For example, if the applicant budgets for a series of I-Pads for use by administrators without explaining both the specific functions those I-Pads will serve in the context of the project narrative, how the administrators would have support in using them, and how the technology will enhance the core work set-forth in the plan, the cost would be considered too loosely connected to the plan. As a second example, if the applicant budgets for a set of Smart Boards or other computer hardware or software, and explains them merely as “helping to engage learners,” the justification may be too loosely connected to high quality instructional practice and to the plan itself. Costs that remain unexplained or are judged by NYSED to be too loosely connected to high quality organizational and instructional practice will be scored accordingly in the budget section. 

Budgeting and Planning for Sustainability

  • In budgeting and planning for sustainability, LEAs should be certain to support critical, ongoing SIG plan activities through reliable and stable funding sources. In budgeting and planning for sustainability, SIG funds should support but not serve as the sole source of funding for this work. For example, if a core feature of the educational plan proposed in this application is to increase learning time by extending the school day and/or year and the sole source of funding was SIG (or another discrete grant) it would be unclear how the action could reasonably be sustained after SIG.  Therefore, the cost may be scored accordingly in the budget section. However, if for example, the LEA were able to demonstrate a restructuring of its general funding and Titles I, II, III, and IVb funding to extend the school day/year, or use SIG funds to contract with a partner organization to assist in the creation of a research-supported schedule for the school day and provide training to staff in order to make the most effective use of learning time during and after school, and support this action by providing labor-management agreements to extend the school day, such costs and the planned activities may be considered acceptable.

Further program and fiscal guidance on SIG (1003[g]) can be accessed at the following links:  Final Requirements-School Improvement Grants-Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the March 2015 Federal Guidance document posted at: School Improvement Grant (SIG)1003(g) Toolkit.

Please also review NYSED’s Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State GrantsExternal link.

Payment Schedule

Upon grant award, an initial first payment equal to 20 percent of the approved year one budget will be issued.  Interim payments are generated by the submission of form FS-25 Request for Funds.  FS-25s must be submitted directly to the NYSED Grants Finance office at the address listed on the form. FS-25s are submitted based on actual expenditures to date plus anticipated expenditures needed for the next month. 

Any final payment for a grant period will be made after an FS-10-F /Final Expenditure Report Long Form is submitted to Grants Finance and reviewed.  The FS-10-F for each grant period ending June 30 is due in Grants Finance no later than 90 days after the end of the grant period.

Reporting Requirements

The lead points of contact at the LEA, responsible for oversight and support of the SIG in its Priority Schools, will be required to participate in progress monitoring telephone calls with NYSED. During these bi-monthly telephone calls, the LEA will be required to use leading and lagging indicators (identified below) and other evaluation data to report on the quality and effect of the implementation of the SIG plan in its Priority Schools. In addition, LEAs will be responsible for submitting monthly, quarterly and/or annual reports on school progress that may include, but are not limited to:

Leading Indicators

  • Student attendance and school average daily attendance
  • Attendance by instructional staff and staff average daily attendance
  • Interim assessment data
  • Student course completion data
  • Instructional staff turnover rate
  • Instructional staff APPR ratings
  • In-school and out-of-school suspension rates and average in-school and out-of-school suspension rates by total school and broken down by sub-group
  • Chronic absenteeism rates
  • Dropout rates
  • Number of students completing advanced coursework by subgroup (e.g., Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate, college pathways or dual enrollment classes [high schools only]) 
  • Other program evaluation and indicator data as needed

Lagging indicators

  • Student achievement rates
  • State assessment data disaggregated by sub-group
  • Student achievement rates compared to the State
  • Student achievement rates compared to the district
  • Student growth data
  • College readiness data
  • Graduation and transition data

Formative Assessment Data

  • NYSED-approved assessments used to measure student growth, inform instructional practice, and identify professional development needs.
  • School-developed and/or LEA-directed formative assessments used by the school to determine the likelihood of meeting academic achievement targets.
  • School-developed and/or LEA-directed formative assessments used to determine the impact of instructional practice.

Additional Requirements Post-Award

  • If the model initially approved in this application is Turnaround, the full school-staff roster successfully meeting the 50% staffing requirement must be in place within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. If Turnaround staffing requirements are not met within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. SIG funding will be immediately suspended and the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.
  • If the model selected requires the replacement of a principal, then the principal selected to lead the school must be in place within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. If the principal selected to lead the school is not in place within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter, or does not meet the quality standards set forth in this application, the SIG will be suspended immediately and the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated. 
  • If the model initially approved in this application is Restart, the fully executed EMO-District contract, signed by both parties, which identifies the scope of services of the EMO, the specific autonomies the EMO will have, and the mechanism for the district to hold the EMO accountable in accordance with Education Law 211-e, must be received by NYSED within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. NYSED will accept contracts prior to that date in the order they are received to ensure timely review.  For SIG purposes, NYSED must approve the EMO-District contract in order to continue grant funding.
  • If the model initially approved in this application is Innovation and Reform Framework, the fully executed EPO-District contract, signed by both parties, which identifies the scope of services of the EPO, must be received by NYSED within 30 days of receipt of the preliminary award letter. NYSED will accept contracts prior to that date in the order they are received to ensure timely review. For SIG purposes, NYSED must approve the EPO-District contract in order to continue grant funding.
  • For all models other than Closure, an LEA must submit, and NYSED must approve, a new FS-10 and Continuation Plan for each school prior to the completion of each funding period in order to continue funding for the subsequent funding period.
If the LEA fails to adhere to any of the timelines referenced in this section and/or fails to meet the quality standards set forth in this RFP, the SIG will be suspended immediately and the LEA will be at risk for termination of the grant.

Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE)

The following M/WBE requirements apply when an applicant submits an application for grant funding that exceeds $25,000 for the full grant period.

All forms referenced here can be found in the M/WBE Documents section at the end of this RFP.

All applicants are required to comply with NYSED’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) policy.  Compliance can be achieved by one of the three methods described below.  Full participation by meeting or exceeding the M/WBE participation goal for this grant is the preferred method. 
M/WBE participation includes services, materials, or supplies purchased from minority and women-owned firms certified with the NYS Division of Minority and Women Business Development.  Not-for-profit agencies are not eligible for this certification.  For additional information and a listing of currently certified M/WBEs, see NYS M/WBE Directory. The M/WBE participation goal for this grant is 30% of each applicant’s total discretionary non-personal service budget over the entire term of the grant.   Discretionary non-personal service budget is defined as total budget, excluding the sum of funds budgeted for:

  1. direct personal services  (i.e., professional and support staff salaries) and  fringe benefits; and
  2. rent, lease, utilities and indirect costs, if these items are allowable expenditures.

For multi-year grants, applicants should use the total budget for the full multi-year term of the grants in the above calculation.  The M/WBE Goal Calculation Worksheet is provided for use in calculating the dollar amount of the M/WBE goal for this grant application. 

M/WBE participation does not need to be the same for each year of a multi-year grant. 

All requested information and documentation should be provided at the time of submission. If this cannot be done, the applicant will have thirty days from the date of notice of award to submit the necessary documents and respond satisfactorily to any follow-up questions from the Department. Failure to do so may result in loss of funding.

METHODS TO COMPLY

An applicant can comply with NYSED’s M/WBE policy by one of three methods: 

  1. Full Participation - This is the preferred method of compliance.  Full participation is achieved when an applicant meets or exceeds the participation goals for this grant. 
    COMPLETE FORMS: 
    M/WBE Goal Calculation Worksheet
    M/WBE Cover Letter
    M/WBE 100 Utilization Plan
    M/WBE 102 Notice of Intent to Participate
  2. Partial Participation, Partial Request for Waiver - This is acceptable only if good faith efforts to achieve full participation are made and documented, but full participation is not possible. 
    COMPLETE FORMS: 
    M/WBE Goal Calculation Worksheet
    M/WBE Cover Letter
    M/WBE 100 Utilization Plan
    M/WBE 101 Request for Waiver
    M/WBE 102 Notice of Intent to Participate
    M/WBE 105 Contractor’s Good Faith Efforts
  3. No Participation, Request for Complete Waiver - This is acceptable only if good faith efforts to achieve full or partial participation are made and documented, but do not result in any participation by M/WBE firm(s).  

    COMPLETE FORMS: 
    M/WBE Goal Calculation Worksheet
    M/WBE Cover Letter
    M/WBE 101 Request for Waiver
    M/WBE 105 Contractor’s Good Faith Efforts

GOOD FAITH EFFORTS

Applicants must make a good faith effort to solicit NYS certified M/WBE firms as subcontractors and/or suppliers to achieve the goals for this grant.  Solicitations may include, but are not limited to:  advertisements in minority and women-centered publications; solicitation of vendors found in the NYS Directory of Certified Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises; and the solicitation of minority and women-oriented trade and labor organizations. 
Good faith efforts include actions such as setting up meetings or announcements to make M/WBEs aware of supplier and subcontracting opportunities, identifying logical areas of the grant project that could be subcontracted to M/WBE firms, and utilizing all current lists of M/WBEs who are available for and may be interested in subcontracting or supplying goods for the project.

Applicants should document their efforts to comply with the stated M/WBE goals and submit this with their applications as evidence. Examples of acceptable documentation can be found in form M/WBE 105, Contractor’s Good Faith Efforts. NYSED reserves the right to reject any application for failure to document “good faith efforts.”

REQUEST FOR WAIVER

When full participation cannot be achieved, applicants must submit a Request for Waiver (M/WBE 101).  Requests for Waivers must be accompanied by documentation explaining the good faith efforts made and reasons they were unsuccessful in obtaining M/WBE participation. 

NYSED reserves the right to approve the addition or deletion of subcontractors or suppliers to enable applicants to comply with the M/WBE goals, provided such addition or deletion does not impact the technical proposal and/or increase the total budget.

All payments to Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise subcontractor(s) should be reported to the NYSED M/WBE Program Unit using the M/WBE 103 Quarterly M/WBE Compliance Report. This report should be submitted on a quarterly basis and can be found at: M/WBE Forms & Compliance Forms.

NYSED’s M/WBE Coordinator is available to assist applicants in meeting the M/WBE goals.  The Coordinator can be reached at MWBE@.nysed.gov.

Equal Employment Opportunity Reporting (EEO) Pursuant to Article 15-A of the New York State Executive Law
Applicants must complete and submit form EEO 100: Staffing Plan.

Review and Rating of Applications

Only applications from eligible LEAs received at NYSED by the due date will be accepted. LEAs must clearly identify the specific Priority School for which SIG funding is being sought and the specific model (Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based, Early Learning Intervention, or Closure) being proposed in each separate application or the application will be rejected as incomplete.

All eligible applications will be reviewed and rated by at least two reviewers. The scores of the first two reviewers will be totaled and then averaged to arrive at the final score for each application.  If there is a difference of 15 points or more between the two reviewers’ scores, a third reviewer will review the application. The two scores mathematically closest to each other will be averaged for the final score unless the difference between the third review score and the first two are equidistant; in which case the third reviewer’s score will solely be used. An application must receive a final average score of 65 or higher to be considered for funding.

Method of Award

Only those applications that receive a final average score of 65 or higher will be considered for funding. Applications will be separated into three categories: 1) eligible New York City applications proposing models other than Closure; 2) eligible applications in Rest of State (RoS) proposing models other than Closure; and 3) eligible applications proposing the Closure model. Applications will be placed in the appropriate category and ranked according to their final average score from highest to lowest. 

$600,000 will be set aside to award any fundable Closure model applications. Fifty-six percent (56%) of the remaining available funding will be used to award applications in the NYC category, based on the fact that NYC represents 56% of the eligible schools. Forty-four percent (44%) of the remaining available funding will be used to award applications in the RoS category.

Funding will be awarded to qualifying applications in each category in descending order. Awards will be made in each category until there are no remaining fundable applications or until funds are exhausted. Any leftover funds in a category will be pooled to make awards to any remaining fundable non-Closure applicants in either NYC or RoS in a statewide ranking. If there are remaining funds that are insufficient to award the next application in full, that applicant will be given the option of receiving partial funding for a reduced plan.

In the event of a tie score, the applicant with the highest combined score for Section II D. School Leadership and G. Organizational Plan will be ranked higher.

If any funded LEAs withdraw or become ineligible within the first year of funding, the leftover funds may be used to fund the next highest ranking applications.

Post-Award Debriefing Process

At the conclusion of the rating and ranking process, and the notification to all applicants as to the status of their application, an applicant who has not been awarded funds will have fifteen (15) calendar days from notification of non-award to request a debriefing by mail at the following address:

NYS Education Department
Contract Administration Unit
89 Washington Avenue
Room 501W EB
Albany, NY  12234

NYSED staff will summarize the comments identified by the raters. This will be mailed to the applicant within ten (10) business days of receipt of the request.

Protest Procedures

Applicants who receive a notice of non-award may protest the NYSED award decision subject to the following:

  1. The protest must be in writing and must contain specific factual and/or legal allegations setting forth the basis on which the protesting party challenges the contract award by NYSED.
  2. The protest must be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the notice of the written debriefing letter.  The protest letter must be filed with:

    NYS Education Department
    Contract Administration Unit
    89 Washington Avenue
    Room 501 W EB
    Albany, NY 12234
  3. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) will convene a review team that will include at least one staff member from each of NYSED’s Office of Counsel, CAU, and the Program Office.  The review team will review and consider the merits of the protest and will decide whether the protest is approved or denied.  Counsel’s Office will provide the applicant with written notification of the review team’s decision within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the protest.  The original protest and decision will be filed with OSC when the contract procurement record is submitted for approval and CAU will advise OSC that a protest was filed.
  4. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) may summarily deny a protest that fails to contain specific factual or legal allegations, or where the protest only raises issues of law that have already been decided by the courts.

NYSED’s Reservation of Rights

NYSED reserves the right to: (1) reject any or all proposals received in response to the RFP; (2) withdraw the RFP at any time, at the agency’s sole discretion; (3) make an award under the RFP in whole or in part; (4) disqualify any bidder whose conduct and/or proposal fails to conform to the requirements of the RFP; (5) seek clarifications of proposals; (6) use proposal information obtained through site visits, management interviews and the state’s investigation of a bidder’s qualifications, experience, ability or financial standing, and any material or information submitted by the bidder in response to the agency’s request for clarifying information in the course of evaluation and/or selection under the RFP; (7) prior to the bid opening, amend the RFP specifications to correct errors or oversights, or to supply additional information, as it becomes available; (8) prior to the bid opening, direct bidders to submit proposal modifications addressing subsequent RFP amendments; (9) change any of the scheduled dates; (10) waive any requirements that are not material; (11) negotiate with the successful bidder within the scope of the RFP in the best interests of the state; (12) conduct contract negotiations with the next responsible bidder, should the agency be unsuccessful in negotiating with the selected bidder; (13) utilize any and all ideas submitted in the proposals received; (14) unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, every offer is firm and not revocable for a period of 90 days from the bid opening; (15) require clarification at any time during the procurement process and/or require correction of arithmetic or other apparent errors for the purpose of assuring a full and complete understanding of an offerer’s proposal and/or to determine an offerer’s compliance with the requirements of the solicitation; (16) to request best and final offers.

Entities’ Responsibility

Projects must operate under the jurisdiction of the local board of education or other appropriate governing body and are subject to at least the same degree of accountability as all other expenditures of the local agency. The local board of education or other appropriate governing body is responsible for the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, project funds. Written agency policy concerning wages, mileage and travel allowances, overtime compensation, or fringe benefits, as well as State rules pertaining to competitive bidding, safety regulations, and inventory control must be followed. Supporting or source documents are required for all grant related transactions entered into the local agency's recordkeeping system. Source documents that authorize the disbursement of grant funds consist of purchase orders, contracts, time & effort records, delivery receipts, vendor invoices, travel documentation and payment documents, including check stubs. Supporting documentation for grants and grant contracts must be kept for at least six years after the last payment was made unless otherwise specified by program requirements.  Additionally, audit or litigation will "freeze the clock" for records retention purposes until the issue is resolved.  All records and documentation must be available for inspection by State Education Department officials or its representatives.

Grant Application Documents

Additional information and the application documents are available from the following documents:

Application in PDF PDF icon | Application in Word Word document icon
Questions and Answers PDF icon

Last Updated: July 19, 2016