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Grants to Massachusetts School Districts to Promote Safe and Healthy Learning Environments for Students

Safe and Supportive Schools Competitive Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
Funding or PIN Number: 335
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Geographic Focus
USA: Massachusetts

Important Dates
Deadline: 05/12/23 5:00 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Massachusetts school districts and educational collaboratives to develop and implement programs that improve the quality of the school environment. Funding is also intended to support initiatives that promote the behavioral health of students and make effective use of systems for integrating services. Grants are available for Action Planning and for School-Based Implementation and Support.

The purpose of this state-funded competitive grant program is to provide funding to school districts (and their selected schools) to organize, integrate, and sustain school and district-wide efforts to create safe and supportive school environments. Additionally, this grant is designed to coordinate and align student support initiatives based on their findings from completing the Safe and Supportive Schools (SaSS) Framework and Self-Reflection Tool.

The main priorities for this grant are to help ensure that each participating school creates an equitable, safe, positive, healthy, culturally-competent, and inclusive whole-school learning environment for all students, and makes effective use of a system for integrating services  and aligning initiatives that promote students' behavioral health and wellness, through one of two grant applicant options:

  • Option One: Action Planning:
    • These grantees will convene a school team composed of various stakeholders (e.g., including but not limited to teachers, nurses, counselors, family members, students, etc.) to review and respond to the questions in the SaSS Tool and to create an action plan based on the responses to the Tool.
  • Option Two: Implementation and Support:
    • These grantees will begin or continue to implement school-focused action plans (and associated district-support plans) that were created in prior year(s), i.e., during or before school year 2022-2023. Implementation activities may include but are not limited to the development of school-based models for coordinated support of students in need, implementation of research-based educational programs that are proven to prevent substance use and misuse, activities that address and reduce substance use-related problems, and/or development of information systems to help identify students at risk, track interventions and evaluate progress and outcomes.
    • These grantees will also serve as supports for Option One grantees; other new SaSS Tool users; schools and districts that are new to implementation; as well as the Department, Commission, and others as needed and appropriate

For more information on the two options, see the Full Grant Text RFP.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Massachusetts school districts and educational collaboratives are eligible to apply for funding.

Priority points will be given to:
- Districts with schools that have received a preliminary identification in the Rethinking Discipline Initiative
- Approximately 30 percent of the total amount available to award is available for applicant schools and districts in chronically underperforming status.

All applicants may consider partnering with consultants to help facilitate the action planning and/or implementation process. All applicants may also consider partnering with community-based organizations including early childhood education and after-school or out-of-school time providers for alignment and collaboration.

Funds cannot be used for electronics (such as iPads, computers, tablets, etc.) or construction.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Due to the competitive nature of this grant program, questions about the Funding Opportunity documents and process will be addressed during the Grant Information Session.

The session will take place on May 1, 2023, at 3 pm.

Register here:

Pre-Application Information
Proposals must be received at the Department by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12, 2023.

Applicants may only apply for one Option. It is anticipated that approximately 75% of the funds will be awarded through Option One: Action Planning, and approximately 25% through Option Two: Implementation and Support.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Applicants may apply for up to $50,000 total, with a maximum of $10,000 per school under Option One: Action Planning.

Applicants may apply for up to $20,000 per district under Option Two: Implementation and Support.

Term of Contract
Project Duration: Upon Approval – 6/30/24

Pending appropriation and the meeting of all grant requirements, all grantees will be eligible for a one-year continuation grant in Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 (upon approval – 6/30/25) to support the implementation of the action plan developed through this FY2024 grant and to continue implementation and support activities. Eligibility for this continuation grant is contingent upon the submission of the required action plans or implementation status reports and a continuation application, and funding availability.

Contact Information
Please submit all application materials electronically to

Emily Taylor
(781) 338-6313

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