RFP Number: TA-14


1003(g) School Improvement Grant (SIG)
(SIG Round 5)


RECENT UPDATES

  • Questions and Answers PDF icon (427 kb) - POSTED February 24, 2014
  • UPDATE 2/7/14: NYSED has made the following revisions to RFP #TA-14: 1003(g) School Improvement Grant (SIG):
    • The Eligibility section no longer prohibits prior School Innovation Fund (SIF, rounds 1 and 2) grantees from receiving SIG funding for the same Priority School. LEAs are now eligible to apply for and receive a SIG award for a Priority School that has been awarded a SIF 1 and/or SIF 2 grant.
    • The Method of Award section has been revised to include previous SIF awardees within NYSED's three priorities. After all other applicants have been awarded, NYSED will award, in rank order, applicants that have previously been awarded 1003[g] SIG or SIF and that have met the minimum standard for funding.

    Please review the revisions in the RFP found here: http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/

    The Question and Answer period has been reopened in light of these revisions. Questions must be received by February 14, 2014, and should be submitted to: SIGAPP2014@mail.nysed.gov. Answers will be posted to http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/rfp/ by February 21, 2014.

Background

Under New York State Education Department’s (NYSED’s) approved Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver, the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools are identified as Priority Schools and may also be placed under registration review (SURR), pursuant to Commissioner’s regulation 100.18. As a result, Priority Schools, with the support of the larger district and school-community, have an opportunity to develop and implement a whole-school change model with the goal of achieving dramatic school-level achievement gains such that the school is in good academic standing within three years.

Purpose

The primary purpose of the SIG is to provide Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with an opportunity to support the implementation of a whole-school change model in its Priority Schools. This grant allows for three models to do so:  Turnaround, Restart and Transformation. A secondary purpose of the SIG is to support this school closure process.  In certain cases the LEA, in collaboration with the local community, may conclude the best option for its students is to close the existing school and transfer students to existing higher achieving options within the district.  The requirements and parameters set forth in this Request for Proposals (RFP) will serve as the quality standard for an approvable SIG plan. LEAs will be expected to fully implement the SIG plan in its funded Priority Schools through available resources including, but not limited to, the SIG. The SIG plans in this RFP must be designed to meet one of the following four intervention models: 

  • Turnaround

    Replace the principal and at least half the staff as part of the process of phasing out and replacing the school with a new school(s) or completely redesigning the school.
  • Restart

    Convert the school to a charter school, replace the school with a new charter school that will serve the students who would have attended the public school, or contract with an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO), such as a local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institution of higher education, or other non-profit partner organization as identified in Education Law 211-e, to govern and manage the Priority School and its implementation of the SIG plan.*  Please refer to the following guidance on implementation of the Restart model:  http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/guidance.html#sigg.
  • Transformation

    Replace the principal, but without the requirement to replace at least half the staff. Rather, the implementation of approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans would serve as the basis for rewarding effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers after ample professional development opportunities.
  • Closure

    Close the school and enroll the students who attended the school in higher achieving schools in the LEA. School closure and the transfer of students in this model occurs in one year or less.

The four intervention models identified are consistent with Commissioner’s regulations §§100.2(p)(10)(iv) and 100.18 and the United States Department of Education’s requirements for SIG funding. In addition, the parameters of the SIG plan set forth in this application are directly aligned with United States Secretary of Education’s seven (7) turnaround principles. Coupling these intervention model requirements with the Secretary’s turnaround principles, and the design elements of high quality schools, provides a framework for bold and dramatic school change. Specific requirements for each model are identified in subsequent sections of this RFP.

* Any conversion of an existing public school to a charter school, or any new charter that will replace a Priority School must be consistent with the provisions of Article 56 of the NYS Education Law, "The New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998," and all subsequent amendments to that statute.

Eligibility

This grant is open to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with one or more eligible Priority Schools. An eligible Priority School is a Priority School that the LEA has designated as implementing a whole-school change model beginning in 2014-2015, that is not receiving a SIG 1003[g] or a School Innovation Fund (SIF) grant at the time of application. Schools currently receiving, or those that have received a SIF-Round 1 or SIF-Round 2 grant are not eligible to receive a SIF-Round 3 grant. For each eligible Priority School proposing to implement a Turnaround, Restart, or Transformation model, LEAs are eligible for up to $1.0 million, commensurate to school size and need, for the full grant term that includes three years of implementation. For applications proposing to implement a Closure model plan, LEAs are eligible for up to $200,000, commensurate to school size and need, for the full grant term that includes a one-year closure period. LEAs may submit multiple applications in response to this RFP, however; only separate and complete applications for each eligible Priority School will be accepted. Charter schools identified under the State accountability system are not eligible for award to implement a whole-school change model.  New charter applicants/schools partnering with a district to replace an identified Priority School may receive SIG funding as new replacement schools under Turnaround and Restart models.

NYSED has also announced a new SIF grant opportunity for eligible Priority Schools. An LEA may apply for a SIG and SIF for the same eligible Priority School.  Should the LEA receive preliminary notice of award for both grants for the same school, the LEA must withdraw from one or the other.  LEAs are limited to fifteen (15) SIG awards.

A full list of Priority Schools is available at:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEADesignations.html.

Funding

Estimated funds available: $30,000,000
Estimated number of awards: 30–40

* *Awards will be made subject to the availability of funds and approval of the NYSED SEA SIG application by the US Department of Education.

Project Period

For applications proposing to implement a Turnaround, Restart, or Transformation model, the full project period for this grant is three years.  Continuation funding after each period of the project is contingent upon progress toward meeting achievement goals, leading indicators, fidelity of implementation of required model actions, and maintenance of all grant requirements.

Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation Model Project Period

Year One Implementation Period

June 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015

Year Two Implementation Period

July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016

Year Three Implementation Period

July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017

For applications proposing a Closure model, the full project period will be one year.  There are no continuations past the year-one implementation period for the Closure model.

Closure Model Project Period

Year One Implementation Period

June 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015

Application Deadline and Submission Requirements

Letter of Intent

LEAs should submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) designating the specific identified schools for which applications will be submitted, identifying the intervention models being proposed for each school. The LOI should be submitted electronically through the Review Room Portal available at the following link: https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com/. The LOI should be received through Review Room by 5:00 p.m. on February 14, 2014. (Note: The LOI is not a requirement for submitting a complete application by the application due date. NYSED encourages all prospective applicants to submit an LOI in order to ensure appropriate resources are available for a timely and thorough review and rating process.)

Full Application Submission

Complete applications must be submitted electronically through the Review Room portal available at the following link: https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com/. In addition, one original application plus one hardcopy must be mailed by postal service to:

New York State Education Department
Contracts Administration Unit, 501 W EB
89 Washington Ave
Albany, New York 12234
Attn: Nell Brady, RFP # TA-14

Complete hardcopy applications must be postmarked by February 28, 2014 and complete electronic copies must be submitted through the Review Room portal no later than 3:00 p.m. on February 28, 2014.

Review Room Electronic Submission Portal

The electronic Review Room submission portal https://nysed-schoolturnaround.fluidreview.com/ will be live and accessible with instructions to applicants on January 13, 2014. If there are any technical questions regarding electronic submission through the Review Room portal, you must contact Tracy Farrell at tfarrell@mail.nysed.gov.

Additional Information

Questions and AnswersPDF icon (427 kb) - POSTED February 24, 2014

  • Webinar Information: This pre-recorded informational webinar reviews the purpose and key aspects of the School School Improvement Grant:

    Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Requirement

    Regardless of the SIG model selected (Turnaround, Restart, Transformation or Closure), an LEA must maintain a demonstration of full implementation of an approved APPR plan in compliance with Section 1 of Part A of Chapter 57 and Chapter 53 of the Laws of 2013, Education Law §3012-c, and Subpart 30-2 of the Rules of the Board of Regents throughout the entire period of the grant.

    Consultation and Collaboration Form Requirement

    The Consultation and Collaboration Form (Attachment A) must be completed in accordance with the instructions on the form, and submitted with the application, with original signatures in blue ink. Applications that are submitted without this form completed, in accordance with the instructions on the form, will be rejected. 

    SIG Plan Standards - Turnaround, Restart and Transformation Models

    The standards of this grant represent a framework for bold and dramatic whole-school change (SIG plan). The LEA should demonstrate through its application, a strong commitment to success in the turnaround of its lowest achieving schools and the capacity to use SIG and other available resources to fully and effectively implement one of the four intervention models. The chart below identifies the SIG plan requirements common to Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation models proposed:

    SIG Plan Standards for Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation Models

    District-Level Category

    Standard

    District Commitment and Capacity to Implement The LEA must demonstrate a commitment to success in the turnaround of its lowest achieving schools and the capacity to implement the model proposed in its Priority School in this application. This is an overarching standard, which is met by achieving an overall application score that is at or above the minimum score for a fundable application.
    Operational Autonomies The LEA must provide operational autonomies for Priority Schools in exchange for greater accountability for performance results in the following areas: 1) staffing; 2) school-based budgeting; 3) use of time during and after school; 4) program selection; and 5) educational partner selection. In addition to providing quality responses to each element requested in this section of the Proposal Narrative, the Priority School must have school-level autonomy in at least two of these areas for an acceptable rating in this category. Applications that provide quality responses and that are granted anywhere from 3 to 5 of these autonomies will receive a rating of exemplary for this category.
    District Accountability and Support The LEA must have the organizational structures and functions in place at the district-level to provide quality oversight and support for its identified Priority Schools in general, as well as specifically for the school identified in this application.
    Teacher and Leader Pipeline The LEA must have a clear understanding of the type and nature of teachers and leaders that are needed to create dramatic improvement in its lowest-achieving schools. In addition, the LEA must have a coherent set of goals and actions that lead to the successful recruitment, training, and retention of teachers and leaders who are effective in low-achieving schools.
    External Partner Recruitment, Screening, and Matching to Priority Schools The LEA must have a rigorous process for identifying, screening, selecting, matching, and evaluating partner organizations that provide critical services to Priority Schools.
    Enrollment and Retention Policies, Practices, and Strategies The LEA must have clear policies, practices, and strategies for managing student enrollment and retention to ensure that Priority Schools are not receiving disproportionately high numbers of students with disabilities, English-language learners, and students performing below proficiency.
    District-level Labor and Management Consultation and Collaboration The LEA/school must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with recognized district leaders of the principals’ and teachers’ labor unions about district Priority Schools and the development and implementation of the plan proposed for this specific Priority School.

    School-Level Category

    Standard

    School Overview The LEA/school must demonstrate a clear and organized synopsis of the major quality design elements of the school. In addition, the school overview should be suitable in substance and grammar for sharing with the general public, including essential stakeholders such as families, students, and school-level educators.
    Assessing the Needs of the School Systems, Structures, Policies, and Students The LEA/school must demonstrate a critical and honest assessment of structural/systems gaps and needs, as well as student achievement gaps and needs that are identified as the result of a systemic analysis process.
    School Model and Rationale The LEA/school must propose and present the SIG plan as a plausible solution to the challenges and needs identified in the previous section, as well as the appropriate fit for the particular school and community.
    School Leadership The LEA/school must have the mechanisms in place to replace the existing principal and select/assign a new school principal and supporting leadership that possess the strengths and capacity to drive the successful implementation of the SIG plan.
    Instructional Staff The LEA/school must have the mechanisms in place to assign the instructional staff to the school that have the strengths and capacity necessary to meet the needs of the school and its students. This standard and the actions that accompany it are required regardless of the model chosen. If the Turnaround model is chosen for the Priority School in this application, responses to this section should be planned/proposed in the context of the requirements for that model, replacing at least 50% of instructional staff. If the Turnaround model staffing requirement is not met by September 1, 2014, the SIG funding will be suspended immediately and the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.
    Partnerships The LEA/school must be able to establish effective partnerships to address areas where the school lacks the capacity to improve. The external partnership(s) may vary in terms of role and relationship to the governance of the school. If the model chosen for this school is a Restart, the LEA must provide a Memorandum of Understanding, signed by both parties, which identifies joint-agreement and the scope of services of the EPO and the broad achievement outcomes for the school. The fully executed EPO-district contract, signed by both parties, in full accordance with Education Law 211-e must be received by NYSED no later than August 1, 2014. If the fully executed EPO-district contract is not in full accordance with Education Law 211-e, submitted and in place by the date identified, the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.
    Organizational Plan The LEA/school must provide a sound plan for how the school will be operated, beginning with its governance and management. It should present a clear picture of the school's operating priorities, delegation of responsibilities, and relationships with key stakeholders.
    Educational Plan The LEA/school must provide an educationally sound and comprehensive plan for the school. Components of this plan include: curriculum; instruction; use of time; data-driven inquiry/instruction; student support; school climate and discipline; and parent and community engagement.
    Training, Support, and Professional Development The LEA/school must have a coherent framework for training, support, and professional development clearly linked to the identified SIG plan and student needs.
    Communication and Stakeholder Involvement/Engagement The LEA/school must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with key education stakeholders about the school's Priority status and on the development and implementation of the SIG plan.
    Project Plan and Timeline The LEA/school must provide a project plan that provides a detailed and specific, measurable, realistic, and time-phased set of actions and outcomes that reasonably lead to the effective implementation of the SIG plan.

    SIG Plan Standards - Closure

    The Closure model involves closing the existing identified Priority School and enrolling its students in higher achieving schools. For the purposes of this RFP “higher achieving schools,” means schools that are in good academic standing (not identified as a Focus or Priority School). These higher achieving schools should be within reasonable proximity to the closed school and may include, but are not limited to, charter schools or new schools for which achievement data are not yet available. Since the Closure model must be implemented in one year implementation period or less, and since the requirements of closure are different from those of implementing a full organizational and instructional plan, applications for a Closure model will be reviewed and rated separately and have a different set of standards. The following chart identifies the program standards of the Closure model plan.

    SIG Plan Standards for Closure Models

    Category

    Requirements

    District Organizational Capacity The LEA must have the organizational structures and functions in place at the district-level to provide high quality oversight over the closure process and support for the schools that will accept transferring students from the closing school.
    Assessing the Needs of the School and its Students The LEA must demonstrate a critical and honest assessment of structural/systems gaps and needs, as well as student achievement needs, specific to the Priority School identified for Closure in this application. The identified needs should be the result of a systemic analysis process.
    School Overview, Model Selection, and Rationale The LEA must propose and present the selection of a Closure model as a plausible and best-case solution to the challenges and needs identified in the previous section, as well as the appropriate fit for this particular school and community.
    Communication, Collaboration, and Stakeholder Involvement/Engagement The LEA must fully and transparently consult and collaborate with recognized district and local leaders of the LEAs labor unions, parent organizations, and the local school community on the development and implementation of the plan to close the Priority School identified in this application.
    School Choice Options Available The LEA must have the mechanisms to transfer students from the closing Priority School and clear options for enrolling them in higher achieving schools within one year or less.
    Project Plan and Timeline The LEA must provide a detailed and specific, measurable, realistic, and time-phased set of actions and outcomes that reasonably lead to the effective closure of the school and the transfer of its students into the higher achieving school options identified in the previous section. The project plan and timeline should include a reasonable and feasible plan for: 1) effectively transferring the students to a higher achieving school option of their choice; 2) downsizing teachers and other staff in the closing school; and 3) providing support for schools that will receive transferring students.

    Budget Requirements

    The budget documents requested in response to this RFP must identify and explain SIG funded costs for activities that are necessary to carry out all aspects of the whole-school change. In addition, through the budget narrative, the LEA will be asked to identify other sources and amounts of funding that will support and sustain the activities that are crucial to the whole-school change.

    Budget Documents Required for Submission

    • Budget Narrative – The budget narrative, described in the Proposal Narrative sections of this RFP, should identify and explain SIG funded costs for the entire project period (three years of implementation for Turnaround, Restart, or Transformation Models; and one year of implementation for Closure models).
    • Budget Summary Chart (Attachment D) - This chart summarizes the budget for the entire project period (three years of implementation for Turnaround, Restart, or Transformation Models; and one year of implementation for Closure models).
    • FS-10 for the year-one implementation period (June 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015).

    Maximum Funding Amounts for Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation Models

    • The year-one implementation period total SIG funding request may be no greater than $500,000.
    • The total year-two implementation period SIG funding request may be no greater than $250,000.
    • The total year-three SIG funding request may be no greater than $250,000.
    • The SIG funding, directed at district-level administration and support activities for each period, may be no greater than ten percent (10%) of the total maximum funding request for each period.  (Ninety-percent (90%) of the maximum funding requests for each period must be directed toward school-level activities supporting the implementation of the SIG plan. Applicants must describe and justify in the budget narrative any specific district-level expenses to be supported by SIG funds (at no more than 10% of total request).
    • Supplies and materials are allowable, if necessary to meet the project goals and objectives, but must not exceed 10% of the total budget for each project period.

    Maximum Funding Amounts for Closure Models

    • The one-year closure period SIG budget may be no greater than $200,000.

    Non-Allowable Costs

    • The purchase of equipment (defined as equipment items having a unit value of $5,000 or more with a useful life of more than one year) is not allowed.

    Other

    • Activities budgeted for through this application must supplement, not supplant, core activities currently provided, or to be provided, by the district.

    Additional Budget Guidance

    Appropriate Costs

    • SIG funds are intended to supplement and support comprehensive school reform by funding specific initiatives designed to promote targeted and sustainable school improvement. The actions and practices identified through each category of the project narrative drive the appropriate costs. Appropriate costs are those costs that are directly connected to the actions and to sustaining the practices prompted in the categories of the project narrative (e.g., the implementation of a curriculum aligned the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), continuous use of data to drive decision making, the effective implementation of an APPR system in the school, etc.).
    • It is incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate the close connections between the costs proposed and the organizational or pedagogical purposes those costs will support from the project narrative. LEAs must make the case in the budget narrative that such costs are closely connected to the actions the practices prompted in the project narrative. For example, if the applicant budgets for a series of I-Pads for use by administrators without explaining both the specific functions those I-Pads will serve in the context of the project narrative, how the administrators would have support in using them, and how the technology will enhance the core work set-forth in the plan, the cost would be considered too loosely connected to the plan. As a second example, if the applicant budgets for a set of Smart Boards or other computer hardware or software, and explains them merely as “helping to engage learners,” the justification may be too loosely connected to high quality instructional practice and to the plan itself. Costs that remain unexplained or are judged by NYSED to be too loosely connected to high quality organizational and instructional practice will be scored accordingly in the budget section. 

    Budgeting and Planning for Sustainability

    • In budgeting and planning for sustainability, LEAs should be certain to support critical, ongoing SIG plan activities through reliable and stable funding sources. In budgeting and planning for sustainability, SIG funds should support but not serve as the sole source of funding for this work. For example, if a core feature of the educational plan proposed in this application is to increase learning time by extending the school day and/or year and the sole source of funding was SIG (or another discrete grant) it would be unclear how the action could reasonably be sustained after SIG and therefore the cost may be scored accordingly in the budget section. However, if for example, the LEA were able to demonstrate a restructuring of its general funding and Title I, II, III, and IVb funding to extend the school day/year, or use SIG funds to contract with a partner organization to assist in the creation of a research-supported schedule for the school day and provide training to staff in order to make the most effective use of learning time during and after school, and support this action by providing labor-management agreements to extend the school day, such costs and the planned activities may be considered acceptable.

    Further program and fiscal guidance on SIG (1003[g]) can be accessed at the following link:
    http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/sigguidance03012012.doc

    Payment Schedule

    Payments are generated by the submission of an FS-25: Request for Funds for a Federal or State Project form. Requests for Interim Payments may only represent actual expenditures. All FS-25's must be submitted directly to the State Education Department Grants Finance Unit at the address listed on the form for payment.

    A final payment for the balance of each project period will be made after an FS-10-F: Final Expenditure Report for a State or Federal Project is submitted to the Grants Finance Unit and approved. The FS-10-F for each project period (ending June 30 each year within the grant term) is due in the Grants Finance Unit no later than 90 days after the end of the period.

    Reporting Requirements

    The lead points of contact at the LEA, responsible for oversight and support of the SIG in its Priority Schools, will be required to participate in a bi-monthly telephone call with NYSED. During these bi-monthly telephone calls, the LEA will be required to use leading and lagging indicators (identified below) and other evaluation data to report on the quality and effect of the implementation of the SIG plan in its Priority Schools. In addition, LEAs will be responsible for submitting monthly and/or quarterly and annual reports on school progress that may include, but are not limited to:

    Leading Indicators

    • Student attendance and school average daily attendance
    • Attendance by instructional staff and staff average daily attendance
    • Interim assessment data
    • Student course completion data
    • Instructional staff turnover rate
    • Instructional staff APPR ratings
    • In-school and out-of-school suspension rates and average in-school and out-of-school suspension rates by total school and broken down by sub-group
    • Truancy rates
    • Dropout rates
    • Number of students completing advanced coursework by subgroup (e.g., Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate, college pathways or dual enrollment classes [high schools only]) 
    • Other program evaluation and indicator data as needed

    Lagging indicators

    • Student achievement rates
    • State assessment data disaggregated by sub-group
    • Student achievement rates compared to the State
    • Student achievement rates compared to the district
    • Student growth data
    • College readiness data
    • Graduation and transition data

    Additional Requirements Post-Award

    • If the model initially approved in this application is a Turnaround model, the full school-staff roster successfully meeting the 50% staffing requirement must be in place prior to September 1, 2014. If Turnaround staffing requirements are not met by September 1, 2014 SIG funding will be immediately suspended and the LEA will be at risk of having the grant terminated.
    • If the model initially approved in this application is a Restart, the fully executed EPO-District contract, signed by both parties, which identifies the scope of services of the EPO, the specific autonomies the EPO will have, and the mechanism for the district to hold the EPO accountable in accordance with Education Law 211-e, must be received by NYSED no later than August 1, 2014. NYSED will accept contracts prior to August 1, 2014 in the order they are received to ensure timely review.  For SIG purposes, NYSED must approve the EPO-District contract in order to continue grant funding.
    • LEAs awarded to implement the Turnaround, Restart, or Transformation models must submit a new FS-10 and refined project plan and timeline no less than thirty-days prior to the start of the Year Two Implementation Period and no less than thirty days prior to Year Three Implementation Period, to be reviewed and approved by NYSED prior to any expenditure for that project period.

    If the LEA fails to adhere to any of the timelines referenced in this section and/or fails to meet the quality standards set forth in this RFP, the SIG will be suspended immediately and the LEA will be at risk for termination of the grant.

    Other LEA Requirements

    Rule of Nine

    LEAs must adhere to the “Rule of 9,” which states that an LEA with nine or more Priority Schools may not implement the Transformation model in more than 50% of those schools. Priority Schools that have already completed a full 3-year SIG are not counted toward the LEA’s total number of schools for purposes of calculating the Rule of 9.

    Review and Rating of Applications

    Only complete applications from eligible LEAs received at NYSED by the due date will be accepted. LEAs must clearly identify the specific Priority School for which SIG funding is being sought and the specific model (Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, or Closure) being proposed in each separate application or the application will be rejected as incomplete.

    All complete applications will be reviewed and rated by at least two reviewers. The scores of the first two reviewers will be totaled and then averaged to arrive at the final score for each application.  If there is a difference of 15 points or more between the two reviewers’ scores, a third reviewer will review the application. The two scores mathematically closest to each other will be averaged for the final score unless the difference between the third review score and the first two are equidistant; in which case the third reviewer’s score will solely be used. An application must receive a final average score of 65 or higher to be considered for funding.

    Method of Award

    SIG funding will be awarded according to the following:

    All applications reviewed for Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation models from eligible Priority schools that have not previously been awarded 1003[g] SIG, receiving the minimum required final average score or above, will be ranked in order of the final average score, regardless of the model proposed. (These applications represent Priority 1). All applications reviewed for Closure models that have not previously been awarded 1003[g] SIG that receive the minimum required final average score or above will be ranked separately, in order of the final average score (Priority 2). All applications for Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, and Closure models from eligible Priority schools that have previously received 1003[g] SIG funds will be ranked separately, in order of final average score, regardless of model (Priority 3).

    Funding will be awarded first to those applications for Turnaround, Restart and Transformation models in schools that have not previously been awarded 1003[g] SIG receiving the minimum score or above (Priority 1). Applicants scoring at or above the minimum threshold will be awarded in rank order of score until funds are insufficient to fund the next ranking application in full.  After all Priority 1 applicants have been awarded,  NYSED will award Priority 2 applicants that have not previously received 1003[g] SIG that received the minimum average score or more in rank order, until funds are insufficient to fund the next ranking application in full. After all Priority 2 applicants have been awarded NYSED will award Turnaround, Transformation, Restart, and Closure applicants (Priority 3) that have met the minimum standard or above in rank order, until funds are insufficient to fund the next ranking application in full.

    In the event of a tie score within the ranking for Turnaround, Restart, and Transformation models, the applicant with the highest combined score for Section II D. School Leadership and G. Organizational Plan will be ranked higher. In the event of a tie score within the ranking for the Closure model, the applicant with the highest total score for F. Project Plan Narrative/Timeline will be ranked higher.

    Once the awardees have been ranked via the method described above, if any LEA is a prospective awardee for both the current rounds of SIG and SIF grants, for the same Priority School, this LEA will be notified by NYSED and asked to select one grant and decline the other. These LEAs will be given five business days from notification to make their selection. If they do not respond within the time given, they may be removed from both award lists. Any additional SIG funds that become available due to declinations will be awarded to the next highest-ranked applicant. NYSED will continue this process until no LEA is an apparent winner of both a current SIG and SIF grant for the same Priority School, and until there are insufficient funds to award the next fundable, highest-ranked applicant in full.

    The New York State Education Department reserves the right to reject all proposals received or cancel this RFP if it is in the best interest of the Department. If any funded LEAs withdraw or become ineligible within the year of funding, the leftover funds may be used to fund the next highest ranking applications.

    Post-Award Debriefing Process

    At the conclusion of the rating and ranking process, and the notification to all applicants as to the status of their application, an applicant who has not been awarded funds will have five (5) business days from notification of non-award to request a debriefing by emailing the request to SIGAPP2014@mail.nysed.gov. NYSED staff will summarize the comments identified by the raters. This will be emailed to the applicant within ten (10) business days of receipt of the request.

    Protest Procedures

    Applicants who receive a notice of non-award may protest the NYSED award decision subject to the following:

    1. The protest must be in writing and must contain specific factual and/or legal allegations setting forth the basis on which the protesting party challenges the contract award by NYSED.

    2. The protest must be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the notice of the written debriefing letter.  The protest letter must be filed with:

      NYS Education Department
      Contract Administration Unit
      89 Washington Avenue
      Room 501 W EB
      Albany, NY 12234

    3. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) will convene a review team that will include at least one staff member from each of NYSED’s Office of Counsel, CAU, and the Program Office.  The review team will review and consider the merits of the protest and will decide whether the protest is approved or denied.  Counsel’s Office will provide the applicant with written notification of the review team’s decision within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the protest.  The original protest and decision will be filed with OSC when the contract procurement record is submitted for approval and CAU will advise OSC that a protest was filed.
    4. The NYSED Contract Administration Unit (CAU) may summarily deny a protest that fails to contain specific factual or legal allegations, or where the protest only raises issues of law that have already been decided by the courts.

    Entities’ Responsibility

    Projects must operate under the jurisdiction of the local board of education or other appropriate governing body and are subject to at least the same degree of accountability as all other expenditures of the local agency. The local board of education or other appropriate governing body is responsible for the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, project funds. Written agency policy concerning wages, mileage and travel allowances, overtime compensation, or fringe benefits, as well as State rules pertaining to competitive bidding, safety regulations, and inventory control must be followed. Supporting or source documents are required for all grant related transactions entered into the local agency's recordkeeping system. Source documents that authorize the disbursement of grant funds consist of purchase orders, contracts, time & effort records, delivery receipts, vendor invoices, travel documentation and payment documents, including check stubs. Supporting documentation for grants and grant contracts must be kept for at least six years after the last payment was made unless otherwise specified by program requirements.  Additionally, audit or litigation will "freeze the clock" for records retention purposes until the issue is resolved.  All records and documentation must be available for inspection by State Education Department officials or its representatives.

    For additional information about grants, please refer to the Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Grants.

    RFP DOCUMENTS


    RFP Posting Date: January 13, 2014

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    The New York 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: February 24, 2014 9:30 AM