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2013 Community Schools Grant Initiative (CSGI)


Purpose of Grant Program

Pursuant to Education Law § 3641 subdivision 6-a, the Commissioner of the State Education Department (SED) is authorized to award competitive grants “to eligible school districts for plans that target school buildings as ‘community hubs to deliver co-located or school-linked academic, health, mental health, nutrition, counseling, legal and/or other services to students and their families in a manner that will lead to improved educational and other outcomes.’”

These “Community Schools” are public schools that emphasize family engagement and are characterized by strong partnerships and additional supports for students and families designed to counter environmental factors that impede student achievement. Fundamentally, Community Schools coordinate and maximize public, non-profit and private resources to deliver critical services to students and their families, thereby increasing student achievement and generating other positive outcomes. 

Grant Term

Grants will be for a term of three years, anticipated to begin on or before December 1, 2013, and to end June 30, 2016. Within this term there will be three program periods: December 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014; July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015; and July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

Eligibility Requirement


Community School grants will be awarded through a competitive Request for Proposals process.  Eligibility is as follows:

Public School Districts

  • Demonstration of Need: Any public school district may apply as long as the school district is 1) a high-need school district, or 2) an average-need school district with a minimum Extraordinary Needs percentage of 50% as most recently calculated by the State Education Department.  Lists of high- and average-need school districts and Extraordinary Needs percentages are available on the State Education Department website at this link: https://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/accountability/2011-12/NeedResourceCapacityIndex.pdf
  • Scope of Application: A school district may apply to support all or some of the schools in the district.  If a portion of schools within the district will be receiving supports, then those schools must be identified in the grant application narrative. 
  • Consortium of Public School Districts: A consortium of school districts may apply as long as all school districts in the consortium are 1) high-need school districts, or 2) average-need school districts with a minimum Extraordinary Needs percentage of 50%. Consortium applicants must comply with NYSED’s Consortium Policy for State and Federal Discretionary Grant Programs found in section 5 of this RFP.
  • Ineligibility: BOCES and public charter schools are not eligible for grants under this initiative.

Additional Eligibility Options in New York City

  • Non-Profit Organizations: As provided by law, in New York City only, non-profit organizations (including non-profit community-based organizations) that collaborate with the school district may apply on behalf of the New York City school district with approval of the Chancellor of the school district. Non-profit applicants must submit with their applications a letter of support signed by the Chancellor. Applications with nonprofit leads must comply with NYSED’s Requirements for Nonprofit-Led Applications found in section 5, Additional Grant Requirements.


Up to $15 million from the State FY2013-14 Enacted Budget will be available for grant awards supporting the Community Schools initiative.  Each eligible applicant may apply for a maximum allocation of $500,000 per Community School site (with only one Community School site per application) to be distributed over 3 years.  Awards will be made subject to the availability of funds and approval by the Commissioner. Pursuant to Education Law § 3641 subdivision 6-a, no single school district may receive more than forty percent (40%) of the $15 million available funding for this initiative. For purposes of this forty percent limitation, SED will consider the funding received by the New York City School District to consist of both any funding received by such district as an applicant and any funding received by non-profit organizations applying on behalf of such district.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

Letters of Intent (LOI) Received for Community Schools Grant Initiative (CSGI) PDF icon (41 KB) (Please note that the LOI is not a requirement for submitting a complete application by the application date.)

Applicants are requested to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) designating the specific participating school sites in which services will be delivered. The LOI should also identify the scope of the collaboration (intervention models, resource coordination, etc.) to the greatest extent practicable.

LOIs should be sent via email to commschool@mail.nysed.gov by 5:00 p.m. on September 6, 2013. Note: The LOI is not a requirement for submitting a complete application by the application date; however, NYSED strongly encourages all prospective applicants to submit an LOI to ensure a timely and thorough review and rating process. A non-profit applicant’s LOI will also help to facilitate timely review of their prequalification materials (see section 3, Mandatory Requirements for additional information).

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers related to eligibility are now available PDF icon (57 KB)
General Questions and Answers are now available PDF icon (410 KB)

Please note that Question #150 of the General Questions and Answers has been revised as of 9/10/13. No additional changes have been made.

Application Due Date and Submission Instructions

Applicants must submit one original hardcopy application (including original signatures, as requested) plus three complete copies, as well as one complete electronic copy on compact disc in Microsoft Word (.doc) format or portable document format (.pdf), via postal mail to the following address:

New York State Education Department
Grants Management Office, 464 EBA
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234
Attn: Betsy Kenney, Office of Student Support Services

Complete applications must be postmarked by September 18, 2013.  


Award List PDF icon (9KB)

Date Posted

August 9, 2013

Last Updated: December 19, 2013