[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 45 (Wednesday, March 7, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 13566-13570]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-5456]


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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Office of the Secretary


DoDEA Grants to Military Connected Local Educational Agencies for 
Academic and Support Programs (MCASP)

AGENCY: Department of Defense Education Activity, Department of 
Defense.

ACTION: FY 2012 Grant program announcement.

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SUMMARY: DoDEA seeks full applications from eligible local educational 
agencies (LEAs).

DATES: 
    1. Deadline for Transmittal of Full Applications: April 13, 2012.

[[Page 13567]]

    2. Applications Package/Instructions Available on www.grants.gov: 
On or about March 1, 2012.
    3. Grants Awarded: On or about June 1, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Fatimah Dozier, Grant Program 
Manager, DoDEA, email: fatimah.dozier@hq.dodea.edu, telephone: 703-588-
3129.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Funding Opportunity Description

    The FY 2012 grants to Military-Connected Local Educational Agencies 
for Academic and Support Programs (MCASP) aim to strengthen family-
school-community relationships and enhance student achievement for 
military dependent students. Applicants may choose to design their 
projects with academic goals, family engagement goals, or a combination 
of both. Projects should focus on no more than two program areas. 
Academically-focused projects should strengthen teacher content 
knowledge and skills through sustained professional development and, in 
most cases, encourage integration of technology into the curriculum. 
Family engagement and support projects should address the social-
emotional needs of military families and aim to improve school climate. 
However, grant funds must be used for programs that directly support 
the student, and cannot be used for programs that only support family 
members.
    Awards will be made to local educational agencies (LEAs) on behalf 
of their eligible school(s). LEAs must have at least a five percent 
military dependent student enrollment at the district level. Eligible 
schools must have at least a 15 percent military dependent student 
enrollment. Although funding is related to military dependent student 
enrollment, it is expected that the proposed programs will serve all 
students at the target schools.
    The following two caveats should be noted:
     The impact on the military dependent student subgroups 
should be demonstrable.
     Family/support programs must focus primarily on military 
dependent students.
    The application package may be found at 
www.militaryk12partners.dodea.edu and www.grants.gov. The full 
application is due on April 13, 2012.
    Definition of Military Dependent Student: The term, military 
dependent student, is defined as an elementary or secondary school 
student who is a dependent of a member of the Armed Forces or a 
civilian employee of the Department of Defense who is employed on 
Federal property.
    Authorization:
     Section 574(d) of Public Law 109-364, as amended; Title 10 
U.S.C. Section 2192(b) and Title 10 U.S.C. Section 2193a.

CFDA Number

     CFDA 12.556: Competitive Grants: Promoting K-12 Student 
Achievement at Military-Connected Schools.

PK-12 Education

    Research-based strategies: DoDEA supports research-based programs 
that aim to increase student achievement; strengthen family, school, 
and community engagement; and foster a positive school climate for 
military dependent children. Research-based strategies:
     Are not limited to a research-based curriculum, but may be 
teaching and learning strategies that often cut across all content 
areas and all grade levels.
     Include both valid and innovative programs.
    Student achievement: Regarding academic programs, LEAs must employ 
strategies with demonstrated effectiveness in improving student 
achievement. Achievement should include but is not limited to 
measurements of performance on state norm- and/or criterion-referenced 
assessments. Within this context, projects may include research-based 
programs that promote college and career readiness or provide extended 
learning opportunities.

    Note: It is understood that some curricular areas and grade 
levels will not have state norm- or criterion-referenced tests to 
demonstrate need and reveal improvement. However, the LEA must 
present multiple data sources to demonstrate need and propose a 
cost-effective plan to demonstrate increased student academic 
achievement in those areas.

    Support programs: Family engagement and support programs must 
employ strategies to create a positive school climate and address the 
social-emotional needs of military dependent students. This includes, 
but is not limited to, guidance counseling, peer support groups, and 
parental involvement programs.

Priorities

    For the FY12 grant program, there are three priorities, and each 
applicant must include at least one priority area in their project 
design. Overall, projects should focus on no more than two program 
areas. While applicants are permitted to choose more than two program 
areas, submitting an application that addresses additional areas may 
result in an unfocused program design. No additional points will be 
assigned to proposals that incorporate more than one of these priority 
areas. Proposals may include programs outside of these priorities. 
Program areas are any K-12 academic content support (English, Math, 
Science, Social Studies, ESL, or Special Education) and military 
student socio-emotional support.
    Priority #1: Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM): 
Projects include strategies to infuse STEM principles throughout the 
curriculum. For example, a project that focuses only on math would not 
be given priority points for this area. The intent is to encourage 
STEM-integration across several content areas.
    Priority #2: Strategic foreign languages: Projects include 
establishment or expansion of foreign language learning, specifically 
less commonly taught languages such as Asian/Pacific languages and 
Middle Eastern languages. Programs under this priority may include 
virtual learning, intensive summer instruction for teachers and 
students, and immersion courses.
    Priority #3: Parent, family, and community engagement: Projects 
include ongoing, systemic strategies for parent and family engagement. 
Strategies may include parent training and support, resources and 
materials, and community involvement activities. Grant funds must be 
used for programs that directly support the student, and cannot be used 
for programs that only support family members.
    In addition, there are two competitive priorities:
    High concentration of military dependent students: An applicant may 
receive five additional points if one or more of the eligible schools 
have a military dependent student enrollment of 50 percent or more.
    New applicants: Applicants may receive five additional points if 
the LEA has never previously received a DoDEA grant award.

Eligibility

    Applicants are limited to LEAs that have at least a 5 percent 
military dependent student enrollment at the district level. Eligible 
schools within the district must have at least a 15 percent military 
dependent student enrollment. Although funding is related to military 
dependent student enrollment, it is expected that the proposed programs 
will serve all students at the target

[[Page 13568]]

schools. Funds may be used for programs at any grade level.
    Current DoDEA grant recipients are eligible to apply for a FY 2012 
MCASP grant if they have eligible schools that are not named (that is, 
not receiving services) from any of their existing DoDEA grant awards, 
unless the current grant is scheduled to end on August 31, 2012.

Funding Formula

    The funding formula is based on the number of military dependent 
students at eligible (target) school(s). For example, an LEA with 101-
200 students may propose any amount between $135,000 and $270,000. The 
dollar figures below are for the entire 3-year grant period.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Total military  dependent  students at target    Minimum      Maximum
                   school(s)                     award  ($)   award  ($)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
100 or fewer..................................     $100,000     $135,000
101-200.......................................      135,000      270,000
201-300.......................................      270,000      405,000
301-400.......................................      405,000      540,000
401-500.......................................      540,000      675,000
501-600.......................................      675,000      810,000
601-700.......................................      810,000      945,000
701-800.......................................      945,000    1,080,000
801-900.......................................    1,080,000    1,215,000
901-1,000.....................................    1,215,000    1,350,000
1,001-1,100...................................    1,350,000    1,485,000
1,101-1,200...................................    1,485,000    1,620,000
1,201-1,300...................................    1,620,000    1,755,000
1,301-1,400...................................    1,755,000    1,890,000
1,401-1,500...................................    1,890,000    2,025,000
1,501-1,600...................................    2,025,000    2,160,000
1,601-1,700...................................    2,160,000    2,295,000
Above 1,700...................................    2,295,000    2,500,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Award Information

    Project Period: June 1, 2012 to August 31, 2015.
    Estimated Available Funds: $25,000,000.
    Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000 to $2,500,000.
    Estimated Average Award Size: $1,000,000.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 30.
    Minimum Award: $100,000 (100 or fewer military dependent students).
    Maximum Award: $2,500,000 (1,700 or more military dependent 
students).

Expected Dates

     Full Applications Available: On or about February 22, 
2012.
     *Live Technical Assistance Webinar 1: March 8, 
2012, 3 p.m. ET.
     *Live Technical Assistance Webinar 2: March 9, 
2012, 11 a.m. ET.
     Deadline for Intent to Apply (optional): March 14, 2012.
     Deadline for Transmittal of Applications through 
www.grants.gov: April 13, 2012, 11:59 p.m. ET.
     Grants Awarded: On or about June 1, 2012.
    *See application instructions on www.grants.gov for information on 
how to access the webinars.

Evaluation Criteria

    The Project Narrative may not exceed 15 pages in length. The 
Project Narrative describes, in sufficient detail, how the project will 
be implemented and includes the Evaluation Criteria in Sections A-F 
below. The application will be reviewed and scored according to the 
quality of the responses to the requirements in Sections A-F. The 
Project Narrative, with all sections included, may be no longer than 15 
pages.

Section A: Needs Assessment (10 points)

     Provide relevant school district data or background 
information, including the connection to the military installation(s).
     State student achievement needs and/or lack of educational 
opportunities at target schools.
     Cite multiple sources, primarily quantitative data, to 
confirm the need.
     Explain why current or past efforts failed to resolve the 
need, if applicable.
     Include other relevant information, e.g., the consequences 
of not addressing the need.

Section B: Project Goals (10 points)

     Include goals that (1) relate to the program's purpose, 
(2) lead to the desired results, and (3) are achievable through the 
project's interventions and strategies.
     Express goals broadly, such as: Increase K-5 student 
achievement in mathematics. Applications should have one goal related 
to each program area selected, with the recommendation that no more 
than two program areas are chosen.
     Include outcomes that are (1) measurable and reasonable 
and (2) related to baseline school, district, and state data as well as 
the relevant literature.
     Specify outcome timeframes, measurement tools, and target 
populations. Measurement tools should be an above school-level 
assessment(s), such as norm- or criterion-referenced standardized state 
or national test. The baseline should be referenced. The timeframe 
should be sufficient for strategies to achieve the expected results. 
Consider the following example of an outcome:

By June 2015, ---- percent of the ---- grade students in the target 
schools will score proficient or above on the state ---------------- 
assessment, an increase of ---- percent over the SY10-11 level.

     Interim outcomes are tied to the goal and are presented as 
specific measurements that assess each year of the project. Typically, 
each goal will have multiple interim outcomes.

By the end of SY11-12, ------ percent of the ---- grade students in the 
target schools will score proficient or above on the state ------------
---- assessment, an increase of ---- percent over the SY10-11 average.


    Notes: 


--Grantees may have many goals, however it is highly recommended to 
design a project that includes manageable and reasonable data 
collection and reporting. DoDEA requires quarterly reporting so the 
greater the number of goals, the more complex and burdensome the 
evaluation and reporting becomes.
--With academic programs, the measuring tool is usually a state 
assessment. For some programs, such as PK-2 Academic and Support, 
other measuring tools must be selected.
--For goals assessed by changes in attitude or behavior, grantees 
should use validated surveys or scales. Be aware that baseline 
measurements for the target population must be taken in order to be 
able to document changes as a result of project activities.

Section C: Project Plan (30 points)

     Include strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness in 
improving student achievement in the core curricular areas. The 
research base should be summarized in this section and details, 
including references and links should be provided in the appended 
bibliography.
     Address the issues identified in the needs assessment. If 
applicable, an explanation of how the project fits into the district or 
school's improvement plan or the LEA's strategic plan should be 
included.
     Incorporate strategies for sustained professional 
development/capacity building related to each program area goal.

    Notes: 


--The strategies, actions, and a timeline for each goal should be 
presented. Strategies should work as interrelated parts of a whole.
--Actions are specific steps to accomplish the strategies that occur 
at specific times and usually involve direct services to students, 
educators, or other stakeholders. Strategies must be aligned with 
the goals and outcomes listed above. A well-written strategy section 
should answer:
    1. What strategies are employed?
    2. Why were the strategies selected?

[[Page 13569]]

    3. How will the strategies help achieve the stated outcomes?
    4. What evidence shows the strategies to be effective?
    5. If applicable, how will the strategies work together to 
achieve the outcomes?

     Describe actions for each strategy. The section outlining 
actions may be framed with a chart shown in the example below. Charts 
may use a 10-point font.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Strategies                             Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------------
EXAMPLE.................................................................
Goal 1: Improve  student achievement in .
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1: Strategy Name: Teacher  1. Use of Professional Learning
 professional development.           Teams for student data analysis.
                                    2. Professional development to
                                     improve teacher content knowledge.
2: Strategy Name: Added    1. Ongoing job embedded coaching in
 technology to curriculum.           instructional technology.
                                    2. Benchmark assessments for
                                     students.
                                    3. Pre and Post survey of students'
                                     technology skills.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Create an implementation timeline for each goal using the 
model shown below. Costs may be broken down by actions or by strategies 
(as shown by the partially completed example below). In-kind/matching 
costs are not required, but should be included if they will be used for 
this program. When grant funds are listed, the dollar amount is 
required. If in-kind/matching costs are included, please cite their 
purpose, source, and amount for example, In-kind Professional 
Development, $25,000.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   Point of
           EXAMPLE Category             Start date    End date     contact                   Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Goal 1: Title........................       Improve  student achievement in 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Strategy 1, Action 1.................                                         Grant:
                                                                              In-kind/Matching:
Strategy 1, Action 2.................
Strategy 2, Action 1.................                                         Grant:
                                                                              In-kind/Matching:
Strategy 2, Action 2.................
Strategy 2, Action 3.................
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section D: Project Evaluation (30 points)

     Include (1) the fidelity of program implementation, (2) 
formative or process evaluation activities that provide information to 
guide program improvement, and (3) a summative evaluation to assess how 
the outcomes have addressed the academic needs. The evaluation should 
help shape the project from inception. The evaluation plan must:
    1. Pose questions, in each of the three areas above that the 
evaluation will answer.
    2. Describe the data and the data collection process (including 
multiple sources).
    3. Describe how the data will be analyzed.
    4. Identify who will conduct the evaluation.
    5. Indicate what resources will be expended in the evaluation.
    6. Explain how the data will be used, particularly to inform 
decisions involving curriculum and instruction at the classroom, 
school, and/or district levels.

    Notes: 

--The evaluation concept should provide a broad framework regarding 
the data collection sources, the available resources, and how the 
data will inform decisions involving curriculum and instruction at 
the classroom, school and/or system levels.
--Data collection instruments should include standardized forms 
(such as validated surveys and assessment protocols) wherever 
possible.
--Grantees must disaggregate data at the school level for the 
military student population.
--Grantees will be required to submit quarterly reports regarding 
evaluation activities.
--Three percent of total grant funds must be spent on a third-party/
external evaluator.

Section E: Management Plan (10 points)

     Indicate the Project Director who will be responsible for 
day-to-day management of the grant.
     Provide information on the qualifications of all project 
leader(s), including their role and responsibilities relative to the 
strategies and actions, and estimated time commitment to the project.
     The third-party evaluator's qualifications and roles 
should be briefly described.
     Append r[eacute]sum[eacute]s of project leaders--each 
being 1-2 pages in length. If the third-party evaluator has not been 
determined, then his or her role and qualifications should be 
described.

Section F: Budget Narrative and Sustainability (10 points)

     Align budget with proposed project plan, goals, and 
activities.
     Provide a narrative justification for the items included 
in the proposed budget.
     Describe existing resources and other support the LEA 
expects to receive for the proposed project.
     Identify how project leaders will track budget 
expenditures.
     Describe how project activities will be sustained after 
completion of the grant period.

    Notes: 

--For budgeting purposes, the grant years are:
Year 1: June 1, 2012-August 31, 2013.
Year 2: September 1, 2013-August 31, 2014.
Year 3: September 1, 2014-August 31, 2015.

Review and Selection Process

    MCASP applications are peer reviewed according to the evaluation 
criteria listed above. Applications may receive a maximum score of 110 
points.

[[Page 13570]]



------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Narrative (15-page maximum)                     Points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Needs Assessment...............................................       10
Project Goals..................................................       10
Project Plan...................................................       30
Project Evaluation.............................................       30
Management.....................................................       10
Budget Narrative and Sustainability............................       10
Priority 1: High concentration of military dependent students..        5
Priority 2: New applicants.....................................        5
                                                                --------
    Total......................................................      110
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Decisions to fund a grant are based on:
     Strengths and weaknesses of the application as identified 
by peer reviewers
     Availability of funds
     Equitable distribution of awards in terms of geography, 
Branches of Service, repeat awardees, or other factors.

Required Application Components

    Applications must include the required 10 application components.
    Cover page: Cover page must include contact information, names of 
military installations served, focus areas, enrollment data, and 
authorized signature.
    Abstracts: Both a 50-word and a 200-word abstract are required. 
Abstracts must provide a clear overview of the project's purpose, 
design, and goals. Both abstracts may be placed on the same page in the 
application.
    Table of Contents: Proposals should include an accurate Table of 
Contents.
    Project Narrative: The project narrative must not exceed 15 pages 
(excluding supporting documents and appendices) and should include all 
sections listed under the Evaluation Criteria section of this 
announcement.
    Supporting documents: Supporting documents should include needs 
assessment data, r[eacute]sum[eacute]s of key personnel, and 
bibliography. Letters of support may be included.
    Evaluation design matrix: The evaluation design matrix illustrates 
goals and strategies as outlined in the evaluation plan.
    Budget Table: Proposals must include a detailed budget.
    SF 424: Standard Form 424--Application for Federal Assistance is 
required.
    SF 424A: Standard Form 424A--Budget Information for Non-
Construction Programs is required. All sections on this form must be 
completed. Totals should match the detailed budget.
    SF 424B: Standard Form 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction 
Programs is required.
    Certifications: Applicants must complete the Certification 
Regarding Lobbying form and the Certification regarding Debarment, 
Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters (www.grants.gov).

Funding Requirements

    Cost sharing: Cost sharing/matching funds are not required in this 
program.
    Indirect costs: No grant funds may be allocated to administrative 
or indirect costs. Indirect costs are those incurred for a common or 
joint purpose benefiting more than one cost objective, and not readily 
assignable to the cost objectives specifically benefitted, without 
effort disproportionate to the results achieved. For further 
information, see OMB Circular A-87 -Attachment B.
    Personnel: Up to 25 percent of Federal funds may be allocated to 
full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. However, proposed budgets that 
exceed 25 percent for FTE personnel may be considered. The term, full-
time equivalent (FTE), usually refers to fully benefited positions. For 
grant purposes, the funding category, Personnel, includes FTE and non-
FTE positions/costs. Examples of non-FTE personnel costs include 
stipends for teachers, wages to afterschool tutors, and costs for 
substitute teachers. FTE and non-FTE positions must be clearly 
delineated on the detailed budget (Appendix C).
    Fringe benefits: Although fringe benefits for grant-funded FTE 
positions are an allowable cost, no grants funds may be allocated for 
administrative or indirect costs. Fringe Benefits are defined as costs 
in the form of employer contributions or expenses for social security; 
employee life, health, unemployment, and worker's compensation 
insurance (except as indicated in OMB Circular A-87 (Attachment B, No. 
22)), and other similar benefits for employees expected to work solely 
on this grant.
    Equipment: ``Equipment means tangible, nonexpendable, personal 
property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition 
cost of $5,000 or more per unit. A grantee may use its own definition 
of equipment provided that such definition would at least include all 
equipment defined above.'' See DoD 3210.6-Rs 33.3 for additional 
information.
    Evaluation: DoDEA requires that at least three percent of grant 
funds will be spent on a third-party evaluator. The third-party 
evaluator may not be a current employee of the LEA.
    Grant meeting: In the Year 1 budget, LEAs must include $3,000 for 
the project director and the third-party evaluator to attend a two-day 
meeting, which is expected to occur in September 2012. Any funds not 
expended for the meeting may be realigned in the grant for other grant 
usage. Note: An LEA located outside the continental United States may 
wish to budget additional funds.

Submission Requirements

    Applications are due Friday, April 13, 2012, by 11:59 p.m. (Eastern 
Time). All applications must be submitted electronically through 
www.grants.gov by the deadline. Applications received after the 
deadline will not be considered.
    The following standards should be followed:
    [ssquf] A page is 8.5'' x 11'', one side only, with 1'' margins at 
the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [ssquf] Single space all text in the application narrative, 
including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and 
captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
    [ssquf] Use a 12-point font; titles may be larger; charts may use a 
10-point font.
    [ssquf] Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, 
Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font 
(including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) may not be accepted.

Proposal Compliance

    Failure to adhere to deadlines to be specified in the forthcoming 
application may result in proposal rejection. Any proposal received 
after the exact time and date specified for receipt will not be 
considered. DoDEA, at its sole discretion, may accept a late proposal 
if it determines that no advantage has been conferred and that the 
integrity of the grants process will not be compromised.

    Dated: March 1, 2012.
Aaron Siegel,
Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
[FR Doc. 2012-5456 Filed 3-6-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 5001-06-P