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Grants to Massachusetts K-3 Schools for Early Writing Development

Early Grades Literacy Program: Creating Independent Writers

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)


Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #151821

Grant Description

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Grants to Massachusetts schools serving grades K-3 to improve early literacy, with a focus on writing. Applicants are required to submit an LOI prior to applying. Funding is intended to provide teachers with a deeper understanding of literacy, its developmental stages, and strategies to support students becoming independent writers. Competitive priority will be given to schools that have been identified in need of focused/targeted support by the DESE.

The grant program supports selected schools with funding for a team of teachers and one administrator to participate in a year-long professional learning series that supports the implementation of the 2017 Curriculum Framework, with a focus on Writing in kindergarten through grade 3.

Two levels of participation are available:
- Group 1 Professional Learning Series: 5 full-day meetings, 2 Institutes, 3 Regional/Focus, Virtual Book Study
- Group 2 Professional Learning Series: 5 full-day meetings, 2 Institutes, 3 Regional/Focus, 8 school-based after school meetings, Support of a school-based literacy consultant, Virtual Book Study (optional)

The priority of this grant program is to support teams in participating schools to deepen educators' understanding of:
- The writing standards, specifically the three broad categories: opinion, informative/explanatory and narrative and the elements of effective writing in each category;
- The developmental stages and progression of writing in young children (grades k-3) and how the writing standards in the 2017 ELA/Literacy Framework promote writing in support of literacy achievement;
- Developmentally appropriate, grade-level, standards-aligned, authentic writing expectations across the k-3 span that reflect intentional integration of the Reading, Speaking and Listening, and Language standards;
- Strategies that support students becoming independent writers;
- Meaningful writing feedback for students

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

This grant program is designed for school teams. Districts interested in more than one school participating will be required to submit the required information for each school separately.

Schools applying to be part of Group 1 must:
- Identify a team (no more than six members) consisting of one teacher from each of the target grade levels (K-3 or K-2 depending upon school makeup) and one school-based leader responsible for early literacy instruction (an administrator or teacher-leader) that will participate in all grant activities to lead teacher learning, planning and implementation of grant priorities;
- Ensure that all team members participate in all grant events: two (2) statewide literacy institutes, three (3) full-day regional/focus meetings and a virtual book study group (optional for Group 2);
- Commit to implementing strategies and resources presented in the grant program to enhance student achievement in writing;
- Commit to showcasing the school's implementation work at full-day regional/focus meeting;
- Participate in a pre-and post-survey and focus groups or individual interviews to gauge teacher learning and progress.

Schools applying to be part of Group 2 commit to all Group 1 requirements, and:
- Commit members of the grant team (no more than six members) to participate in eight (8) monthly afternoon meetings facilitated by the Early Grades Literacy Consultant;
- Dedicate time in the school day, including common planning time and PD time as needed, for 225 hours of work with an Early Literacy Consultant;
- Participate in a mid-year survey to assess the program effectiveness, including the effectiveness of the consultants;
- Meet quarterly to focus on developing measurable, school-based goals and action planning (school grant leader);
- Host visits by DESE staff to observe implementation of the grant program.

Pre-Application Information:

All districts intending to apply to participate in this grant opportunity must submit a Letter of Intent indicating the which schools will be applying for funds by 5:00 PM Friday, June 14, 2019.

Complete proposals are due by 5:00 PM Friday, July 5, 2019. Applicants may submit proposals before the grant deadline.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$800,000

Term of Contract:

Project Duration: Upon approval through 6/30/2020

Contact Information:

Letter of Intent Form:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc3gmPlIsDlf1LRSKmpvPzrdkIHc4vvhKojcZpOVHLdwMzrKA/viewform

Email the Budget Detail Pages workbook, required program information, and related documents to:
Tracey Martineau
tmartineau@doe.mass.edu
(413) 519-8426 (cell)

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