Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

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Announcement of Funding Opportunity
2017-18 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a)
Reward School Dissemination Grants – 4th Cohort

Grant Application Documents

Application in PDF PDF icon | Application in Word Word document icon

Purpose of Allocation

Section 1003(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that State Education Agencies allocate funds to Local Education Agencies (LEA) to carry out the State's responsibilities under sections 1116 and 1117, which may include providing support to Reward Schools to mentor staff at Priority and Focus Schools and to refine and enhance the Reward School’s own best practices.


Only districts with Title I Schools identified as Reward Schools based on both the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school year accountability results are eligible to apply for this grant.  Non-Title I Reward Schools and Charter Schools are not eligible for this grant.

To be eligible Title I Districts with Reward Schools that meet the two-year identification criteria must correctly report the Title I status of these schools on the 2017-18 LEA Application for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)-Funded Programs.  The districts must complete their 2017-18 LEA Application for ESSA-Funded Programs online, and the Title 1 Office will review the data to confirm eligibility for these schools. 


Each Title I Reward School District will receive up to $50,000 per Title I Reward School to support and enhance each respective designated Reward School’s best practices. These funds are available to support each Reward School’s activities that take place from September 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.  Budgets must outline the specific expenditures that will build upon each Reward School’s best practices.  These expenditures may not exceed $50,000 per school. 

Costs related to the selected NYSED dissemination activity must be paid in advance by the district (e.g., Purchase Order) and will be reimbursed upon completion of the required activity using existing Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Grants.  This portion of the grant can be accessed during both the planning phase (09/01/17 – 09/30/17) and implementation phase (10/01/17 through 06/30/18), provided that the amount reimbursed for the selected NYSED dissemination activity does not exceed $25,000 per school. 


To receive a Reward School grant, Title I Reward Schools must:

  1. Complete a Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Self-Reflection Word document
  • A copy of the Self-Reflection must be included with this application. Reward Schools should refer to the DTSDE rubric for a deeper understanding of the Statements of Practice identified in the Self-Reflection. The DTSDE rubric can be found at: Comprehensive School Rubric for DTSDE Tenets PDF icon
  1. Make a commitment for the principal to be trained as a Principal Mentor by the National Association for Elementary School Principals (NAESP).
  • Reward School principals who received this training last year will be determined to have already fulfilled this requirement.
  • New Reward School principals will need to attend the two-day NAESP training occurring in Alexandria, Virginia on October 26-27, 2017.  The Reward School grant can be used to cover the costs of participating in this training.
  1. Complete either A or B (or both) of the following dissemination activities during the 2017-18 school year:
  1. Serve as a mentor site for Priority and Focus Schools Principals:     
    • Reward Schools will serve as mentor sites for Priority and Focus Schools principals.  Priority and Focus Schools principals will be paired with a Mentor Principal from a Reward School and will have an opportunity to fully immerse in a comprehensive mentoring program complete with a robust inter-visitation program that allows the Priority and Focus School staff to observe classrooms, common planning time meetings, feedback meetings between instructional coaches and teachers, feedback meetings between teachers and students and any institutionalized systems and structures that contribute to the successful functioning of the Reward School.  Reward Schools principals wishing to serve as mentors will serve in this capacity for one year.  Reward Schools pursuing this option will need to document a minimum of 72 hours of collaboration (face-to-face or electronic) between their school and the assigned Focus/Priority School.
  1. Serve as an advisor to support one Focus/Priority School principal
    • A Reward School principal will support a principal of a school scheduled to receive a State-led DTSDE Needs Assessment and follow-up support during the 2017-18 school year.
    • Principals pursuing this option must commit to:
      1. Attending the third day of the state-led DTSDE review (typically on a Thursday), when the review team’s recommendations will be finalized and agreed upon by the principal.
      2. Communicating with the principal via phone or e-mail following the DTSDE review to provide support and guidance on how to implement the recommendations following the DTSDE visit.
      3. Attending the first post-DTSDE follow-up visit, when the principal and Outside Educational Expert will discuss the support to be provided during the remainder of the year.  This meeting will take approximately one hour.
      4. Identifying a minimum of two additional times to connect with the Priority School/Focus School principal, one of which must be in person to provide additional support.  These meetings should be no less than one hour. 
  1. Optional additional commitment: Reward School principals are eligible to use the Reward School grant to become an NAESP Certified Principal Mentor.  After attending the NAESP training and serving as a mentor to a principal, each month the mentor and mentee will interact (electronically or in person) for a total of 72 contact hours across the school year.  The 72 contact hours will fulfill the requirement of any Reward School pursuing option A to serve as a Mentor Site.  The principal mentor will report his or her work to the coach who will be assigned to his or her team of mentors-in-training. Online chats or conference calls are also held monthly for mentors and coaches to discuss the mentoring process, lessons learned, and recommendations. A final project is completed regarding the mentoring experience. 
  2. All Reward School Grant recipients may be required to serve as panelists or presenters at a maximum of two (2) future Focus District Institutes.  Reward School leaders will be invited to participate as panelists or presenters to:
    • Share the respective systems and structures at their schools aligned to identified Statement of Practices (SOP’s);
    • Highlight their best practices as content area presenters; and/or
    • Share reflections of respective experiences in the one or more activities engaged in during the academic year as a Reward School leader.

Reward School funds can be used for the following:
Funds may only be used for activities allowed under Title I and must be used to support the following:

  1. Up to $25,000 to support NYSED required activities (Can be accessed during both Planning and Implementation Phases):
    1. Completion of a Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Self-Reflection; and
    2. Determination, by no later than October 1, 2017, of the option the school will select:  
      1. Serve as a mentor site for Priority and Focus Schools
      2. Serve as a mentor and advisor to one Focus/Priority School principal
    3. Costs associated with travel to the NAESP Principal Mentor Conference.  Meal and Lodging reimbursements should not exceed the Federal Government per diem rates, which can be found at: https://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104877
  1. A maximum of $50,000 will be provided to enhance the school and district’s best practices (Can only be accessed during Implementation Phase), after a required activity has been selected and approved.

Reward School funds cannot be used for the following:
Funds under this grant may not be used for construction, renovation, furnishings, or acquisition of technology.

Grant/Project Periods

Planning Phase: September 1, 2017 to September 30, 2017 
Implementation Phase: October 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018

Application Deadline

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis and must be postmarked no later than September 22, 2017.

Submission Instructions

Please Note: All grants must be submitted by the district.  If more than one school in the district is applying, combine all schools into one district application and budget, but include separate Program Budget Narrative Charts, Self-Reflections, and other required documents for each participating school.  

A complete application consists of one original bearing the original signature of the Superintendent and one electronic copy (CD, flash drive, or e-mail to fieldsupport@nysed.gov including the following):
  • Cover page (with original signature)
  • Title I Reward School Program Budget Narrative Chart (one chart per school)
  • Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) Self-Reflection (one per school, completed and submitted no later than 9/22/17)
  • FS-10 Budget (with original signature) Form available at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/forms/

Electronic copies sent via e-mail should include the DISTRICT NAME in the subject line to expedite processing. 

Send the completed application to:

ATTN: Professional Learning and Support Unit, Reward School 1003(a) Application

New York State Education Department
Professional Learning and Support Unit
55 Hanson Place, Room 484
Brooklyn, NY 11217

For additional information or assistance please contact the NYSED Focus District Field Support office at fieldsupport@nysed.gov

The State Education Department does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, religion, creed, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, race, gender, genetic predisposition or carrier status, or sexual orientation in its educational programs, services and activities. Portion of any publication designed for distribution can be made available in a variety of formats, including Braille, large print or audiotape, upon request. Inquiries regarding this policy of nondiscrimination should be directed to the Department’s Office for Diversity, Ethics, and Access, Room 530, Education Building, Albany, NY 12234.

Last Updated: September 12, 2017