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Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education and Work (RENEW)

Grants to Pennsylvania LEAs to Help At-Risk
High School Students Transition to Adult Life

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education (PDE/BSE)

Deadline Date:

10/06/17 3:00 PM Receipt


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Grants of up to $5,000 to Pennsylvania local education agencies to establish school-to-career transition programs in secondary schools throughout the State. School sites will implement a structured and individualized program for emotionally and behaviorally challenged youth during the upcoming school year.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), Bureau of Special Education is requesting proposals from Local Education Agencies (LEA) interested in a project designed to support Rehabilitation for Empowerment, Natural Supports, Education, and Work (RENEW) for the 2017-2018 academic year.

RENEW is a structured school-to-career transition planning and individualized wraparound process for youth with emotional and behavioral challenges. RENEW is an evidence-based, intensive (tier 3) intervention that supports at-risk youth at the secondary level to design and pursue a plan for transition from school to adult life.

The purpose of the School Based Behavioral Health RENEW Grant is to:

1. Build the capacity of staff to synthesize academic and behavior data to create robust profiles of students at-risk across and within multiple areas of functioning.

2. Support staff in identifying, through data-based decision-making, youth at-risk and in need of an intensive, individualized intervention.

3. Utilize a person-centered planning process with students as an integral component to support their academic and behavior progress, credits earned toward graduation, community/family inclusion, and preparation for attainment of post-secondary goals including education, employment, and/or independent living.

4. Enhance the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) for behavior in which all students have immediate access to aligned interventions and creation of action plans identifying their goals and outcomes.

5. Offset costs associated with implementing sites’ efforts to fully participate in the required training and technical assistance as provided by Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers and/or local Trainer of Trainers.

6. Offset costs associated with release time for RENEW Facilitators and the school’s Tertiary Level Team in fulfilling their role and function as personnel associated with the implementation of RENEW.

Required Grant Priorities:

1. The RENEW project will be provided within one of the following settings: an established School-Wide PBIS System, a LEA that has implemented RENEW in previous years, or a LEA that has a pre-existing agreement with Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers or local Trainer of Trainers (TOT) to function as a pilot site for the 2017-18 school year.

Definition: Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an application of a behaviorally- based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices, programs and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. School-Wide PBIS systems ensure that a continuum of positive behavior support is available for all students within the school environment, including both the classroom and non-classroom settings (e.g. hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, and bus).

2. All services will be provided in partnership with Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers and/or local TOT.

Definition: Pennsylvania has four RENEW state-level trainers as well as a cohort of local TOT that can present and train the Tertiary Level Team and Facilitators in RENEW pilot sites.

3. The LEA commits personnel, with appropriate role-alike assignments, to support the implementation of RENEW.


Facilitator – the facilitators will work with individual youth that have been referred by the Tertiary Level Team. The facilitators’ work will include but is not limited to: person-centered planning mapping, action plan development and implementation, individualized student team development.

Tertiary Level Team – the tertiary level team will include the following school-based personnel, as appropriate: district/school level administration, school psychologist, transition coordinator, school counselor, and general and special educators. This team will meet monthly to review data points to inform decision making and progress monitoring of the targeted youth.

Individualized Student Team - the individualized student team will be identified by the student and his/her facilitator. The work of this team will be to support the student in identifying natural supports and resources in carrying out their action plan.

RENEW Student Tracker Data Manager – the designee will coordinate the collection and submission of all data points.

4. Targeted students will be identified as youth at-risk of dropping out and with the manifestation of emotional and behavioral challenges in their daily routines. A person-centered planning process will be used to inform the youth’s goals and dreams with subsequent action planning completed to focus on academic, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes as well as community inclusion, and attainment of post-secondary goals including education, employment, and/or independent living.

Definition: RENEW will involve the creation of a referral system to identify youth at-risk of drop out and exhibition of emotional and behavioral challenges by the Tertiary Level Team. The youth will be approached about participation in RENEW with an explanation of the Roles and Responsibilities. Consent will be received from the parent/guardian. Person-centered planning mapping, action plan development, individual team invitations and meetings, and progress monitoring meetings with the youth’s team will occur. The evidence-based, person-centered planning model needs to be a strength- based approach that addresses: a) self-determination; b) personal futures planning; c) unconditional care; d) family and other natural and community supports; and e) systematic support and consultation.

5. Commit to parents and/or guardians as essential partners in RENEW. Families/guardians will provide consent for youth participation in the RENEW and will be an integral member of the youth’s individual team, if the youth so requests.

6. Intensive support, crisis management, and/or wrap-around services (tier 3 / tertiary intervention) will be provided for those youth, as needed and based upon compilation of referral data points.

Definition: Intensive need or crisis management services involve planned programs that provide mental health and/or social, emotional, and/or behavioral skills for students who are exhibiting serious skill, performance, self-management, and/or self-esteem difficulties that significantly interfere with interpersonal interactions, psychological ability to cope, and/or mental status and quality of life. Such services might address serious levels of student aggression or conduct disorder, depression, suicide risk, drug and alcohol involvement, or psychosis.

7. Engage agency and community partners in aspects of the action plan as needed and as pertinent to transition planning, such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, County-Based Office of Mental Health, County-Based Office of Intellectual Disabilities, and County-Based Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Definition: Agency and community partners will be engaged as needed as driven by specific goals associated with the youth’s action plan. Such engagement may include includes post-secondary education and training, employment, independent living, behavioral or mental health supports, or supports for a disability category.

Additional Grant Requirements:

Beyond the priorities delineated above, funded projects also must demonstrate a commitment to the following requirements through explicit objectives and/or activities written into the grant application.

1. If implementing School-Wide PBIS, express the intent to continue scale-up and incorporate RENEW as an intensive, individualized intervention.

2. Submit a mid-point report and a summative annual report on specified activities and data that is required in the RENEW Student Tracker. Note that budget expenditures will be reimbursed on a bi-annual cycle and will be contingent upon the successful submission of the mid-point and summative annual reports, including all data associated with the RENEW Student Tracker.

3. Promote the involvement of parents and/or guardians and other community agencies in an ongoing and meaningful advisory and/or participatory capacity relative to the program or initiative.

4. Ensure that cultural competence and sensitivity is reflected in the development of student action plans and mapping activities.

5. Commit to attending PAPBS Network, PaTTAN, and PDE professional development activities designed to provide training or technical assistance on funded project priorities.

6. Commit to working with Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers and/or local TOT for training or technical assistance on funded project priorities.

7. Agree to disseminate materials and effective programs or practices through publications, trainings, and/or poster presentation as requested by PaTTAN and/or PDE, including but not limited to the PAPBS Implementers’ Forum May 22 - 23, 2018 at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center, Hershey, PA.

Competitive Preference:

Competitive preference will be given to applications that focus on one of the following three priorities:

1. First time establishment of a RENEW program in a school-based setting.

2. Expansion of an existing RENEW program, in which the following conditions apply. Expansion site:

a. Maintains a coaching relationship with a credentialed, Pennsylvania-based RENEW state-level trainers or local TOT;
b. Commits to expand the number of RENEW Facilitators operating in the school-based setting;
c. Ensure RENEW Facilitator(s) engage in a fidelity measure (RENEW Integrity Tool) , as administered by the RENEW state-level trainers or local TOT.
d. Host site visits, upon request of a RENEW state-level trainers or local TOT, for grantee sites that are establishing RENEW programs for the first time in a school-based setting.

3. Establish in interagency agreement with any one of the following regional agencies as to serve as an adjunct member of the school-based RENEW Tertiary-level Team: Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, County-Based Office of Mental Health, and County-Based Office of Intellectual Disabilities.

Training and Technical Assistance:

Grant awardees must agree to the following:

1. Training and technical assistance for RENEW will be provided by Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers and/or local Trainer of Trainers in which RENEW Facilitators:

a. Commit to attend required live trainings at PaTTAN and participate in scheduled webinars (dates to be determined) throughout the academic year,
b. Commit to participating in the administration of the RENEW Integrity Tool (RIT) as administered by RENEW state-level trainers and/or local Trainer of Trainers, and
c. Participate in regularly scheduled meetings of all grant recipient teams for progress review and general technical assistance.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162302

Number of Grants:

There will be 16-17 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum funding available to each successful grantee is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is available form the date of the award through June 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Local Education Agencies (including school districts, intermediate units, approved private schools and charter schools) are eligible to apply for the School Based Behavioral Health RENEW Grant.

This is a competitive grant. Grant monies will be awarded to a school that meets the following criteria.

The LEA:

a. Is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support (PAPBS) Network
b. Participated in the RENEW project previously
c. Has a pre-existing agreement with Pennsylvania’s RENEW state-level trainers to function as a pilot site for the 2017-18 school year.

Equipment costs, clothing (non-work related uniforms), food, and entertainment are not allowable expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be received by 3:00 PM October 6, 2017.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For more information, contact:

Mike Minor

Sielke Caparelli

Karen Grammas

Kristin Starosta

Please send all electronic proposal submissions to:

Hard copy submissions may be addressed to:

James Palmiero, Ed.D., Director
PaTTAN Pittsburgh
3190 William Pitt Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15238

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania

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