RFP Number: TA-06

2012–2014 Commissioner's Schools – Dissemination Grant


The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is participating in the United States Department of Education’s (USED) Race To The Top initiative, which includes a component relating to Commissioner’s Schools.  Highest performing or high progress schools awarded Dissemination Grants through this competitive grant application process will be designated by the Commissioner as “Commissioner’s Schools.”  Schools chosen for this honor should exemplify autonomy, accountability and high performance. These schools will have practices that are evidence-based, proven to advance student achievement and can be replicated by low performing schools.  Low performing schools are defined in this application as persistently lowest achieving (PLA)/Schools Under Registration Review (SURR) schools, and schools in improvement, corrective action or restructuring under Differentiated Accountability (DA) during the 2011-12 school year.


The Dissemination Grant is consistent with the State’s broader agenda for school improvement.  Five (5) Dissemination Grants will be awarded. The Dissemination Grant will enable the selected Commissioner’s Schools to disseminate information to the recipients of the Replication Grant about their best practice(s) that have helped them to raise the academic achievement of all students and to close the achievement gaps among subgroups of students within their schools.  Replication Grant Schools are low performing schools in New York State that have been awarded a Replication Grant through a competitive grant application process.  Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools will use grant funds to: 1) disseminate their best practices to recipients of the Replication Grant; 2) mentor Replication Grant Schools; and 3) refine and enhance their own best practice(s).  Mentoring is defined in this application as providing direction and/or on-site support to include instructional planning, coaching, modeling and overall coordination to ensure the Replication Grant Schools’ successful implementation of the Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools’ best practice(s).


The goal of the Dissemination Grant is to enable highest performing or high progress schools to provide assistance and information to low performing schools to improve their practices and subsequently raise the academic performance for all students and to close the gaps among subgroups of students.  This grant will be instrumental in building a cadre of schools that will endure as models of effective practice to other schools striving to implement best practice(s) and improve student performance.


Public school districts that contain one or more highest performing or high progress schools are eligible to apply. The criteria used by the Commissioner to determine which schools qualify as highest performing/high progress are outlined in Appendix B.

Charter schools cannot apply for Commissioner’s Dissemination Grants.

A list of all schools that meet the criteria is attached as Appendix C.


Each Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant School will use grant funds to help up to four (4) low performing schools replicate their best practice(s). Up to twenty Replication Grant Schools will be identified based on a separate competitive grant application process.

To help the Replication Grant Schools replicate their best practices, Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools will:

  1. disseminate the best practice(s) to the matched Replication Grant Schools.  Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools will package the best practice(s) to ensure successful replication. Dissemination activities may include, but are not limited to, workshops, webinars, e-mails and telephone conferences;
  2. mentor and provide professional development to the matched Replication Grant Schools. Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools will develop strategies that will assist the Replication Grant Schools in adopting the best practice(s) and help them to sustain the practice(s) beyond the grant period.  Methods for mentorship might include coaching and modeling.  Methods for professional development might include peer demonstration and peer review processes.  Professional Development is defined in this application as providing activities and/or presenting methods to the matched Replication Grant Schools to extend professional knowledge.
  3. evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented best practice(s) in the Replication Grant Schools. To evaluate the effectiveness, Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools should consider how well the Replication Grant Schools adopted the best practice(s) and the impact on student achievement.  Applicants will use qualitative and quantitative methods to measure student success.


Commissioner’s Dissemination Grant Schools must use 15% of the grant to enhance or refine their own best practice(s) and sustain them beyond the grant period.  Activities to enhance, refine, and sustain best practice(s) might include staff attendance at educational conferences and engaging external experts in the focus area(s).


Five (5) schools will each be awarded up to a maximum of $150,000 each year for two years and up to $300,000 for the entire grant period.


Each applicant must submit an 8-10 minute DVD with an accompanying transcript.  The DVD can be produced in any way that the applicant feels is appropriate, as long as it is sufficiently detailed to demonstrate and capture the key components of the best practice(s).  It also must illustrate how those components have closed the achievement gap among subgroups and/or significantly raised the academic achievement of all students.  These materials, the proposed dissemination plan and the workplan, will be posted on NYSED’s website for Replication Grant applicants to utilize in the selection of best practice models and in the development of their own proposed replication plans. The DVD/transcript will not be reviewed or considered during the application scoring process.


Grants will begin October 1, 2012 and end August 31, 2014. The first program period, Year 1, will be from October 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013 and the second program period, Year 2, will be from September 1, 2013 to August 31, 2014.


Applicants must submit five (5) copies of the completed application (one bearing an original signature in blue ink).  Applicants must also submit an electronic version in Microsoft Word (the FS-10 budget form may be submitted in Word or Excel) in CD format to the address below.
The application must be submitted in a sealed envelope and received at NYSED no later than July 31, 2012 by 3:00 PM.

Mail the application to:

New York State Education Department
Contract Administration Unit, RFP #TA-06
89 Washington Avenue
Room 505WEB
Albany, NY 12234
Attention:  Lynn Caruso

Only complete applications received by the due date, and submitted by districts included on the Commissioner’s list of highest performing or high progress schools, will be reviewed.

(Facsimile copies of the application will NOT be accepted)


Questions and Answers are now posted.


Original RFP Posting Date: June 11, 2012

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Last Updated: July 11, 2012 10:12 AM