about NCLB Title II-D Applications
Districts are reminded to
read the complete RFP, including the application forms and
the accompanying review rubrics. Addressing the criteria
in the rubrics and paying attention to the tips in the application
forms can help increase your scores and thus your chances
to be among the awardees. :)
Regarding Focus Area 3: Digital Tools,
can you provide a project example related to the section
in the application form and the reviewers rubric for focus
area 3 that refers to creating 1:1 and greater than 1:1 classrooms?
Here is an example of a project design that accommodates
an experimental and control group situation for the second
half of 2008-09 and the first half of 2009-2010:
"Using a combination
of existing resources plus new digital tools purchased
with this grant, the ABC School will create teaching environments
where some classes have 1:1 access while others have a
4:1 ratio of access to tools. During each morning of the
week, two of our four science classes in the 7th grade
will have access to digital tools at a ratio of 1:1 (one
tool per student) because we will position the full compliment
of tools in those classrooms. During each afternoon of
the week, two more science classes will have a 4:1 access
ratio to the tools because some of the tools will be in
the science classes while others will be made available
to our language arts, social studies, and unified arts
classes. This will allow the impact of our project to be
evaluated based on a control and experimental situation
for the grant period (January 2009 through December 2010)."
Based on the above digital tools
scenario, why couldn't we have a 1:1 ratio in all science
and math classrooms and 4:1 in all language arts and social
This would probably
weaken your proposal scores and would definitely weaken
the research design possibility. To have a good research
project, you want to get as close as you can to minimizing
the differences between the two groups, while being able
to change the one factor that you think might make a difference.
In this case, the question is whether increasing digital
tools will have a positive impact on student learning.
The ideal is to have only ONE thing that is different – in
this case, the one thing that you want different is the
number of tools available to teach. So if the teacher is
the same, the grade level and content is the same, but
there are simply less tools, you have minimal differences
between the two groups. If you have teacher and grade level
the same, but both the content AND number of tools are
different, you have too many variables.
Why is the research design important?
The above scenario is a modestly
constructed research design. Yet, it will allow New
Hampshire to learn more about the impact of quantities
of digital tools in our classrooms. The federal Title IID
program has always emphasized the need to evaluate
the impact of funding on student
learning, and to conduct research on funded projects wherever
feasible. We can all understand current budget limitations
and we know that many NH classrooms have student to computer
ratios of 5:1 or higher. It is important to create model
classrooms within our state that will help educators and
decision makers to see the impact of tools on student learning.
If we can reach a delicate balance of modest purchases
which yield significant impact on learning, we will have
a compelling reason to consider budgeting for
careful purchases of 21st century resources.
If we are applying for a digital
tools grant and have to also apply for the tech
leader training, is the latter budget an additional
$3,000 on top of our digital tools budget?
We have corrected an
error on the originally released RFP related to this question
(see corrected RFP on the website).
In the maximum amounts table for Focus Area 3 (digital
tools - page 14 of the RFP) you’ll
note that if you are applying for digital tools, you are
also required to involve someone in the tech leader training.
That $3,000 will count towards the 25% federal required
minimum for professional development, but please take care
not to double count the amount. Your tech leader application
will show the $3,000 as well. You should include a notation
in your digital tools budget that you applied for the tech
For example, ABC School is in the small
school category so the are requesting $24,000 in equipment
and supplies, $3,000 in tech leader training, and another
$5,000 in other professional development related expenses.
This is a total of $32,000 in funding of which $29,000
will appear on your digital tools application $24K plus
$5K) and another $3,000 will be requested on
the tech leader application, with a notation about the
tech leader training placed on the digital tools application.
Twenty-five percent of a $32,000 digital tools award
is $8,000 for PD, which represents $3,000 tech leader
plus $5,000 other PD.
Can we purchase adaptive/assistive technologies for our
IEP students with these funds?
Yes, so long as the technology purchased
is used for activities consistent with the guidelines of
this RFP. For example, mini-grants which support project
based learning might be implemented in a classroom where
a student needs upgraded AT software to address visual
impairment in order to fully participate. The mini-grant
budget can include the cost of such software. The same
is true for the digital tools grants, where AT equipment
or software can enhance the learning experience for students
who need it. Districts considering purchasing AT equipment
might want to visit http://atinnh.org for more information
about resources in New Hampshire.
Can we use these funds to purchase equipment for our Unified
It depends on the instructional activities
intended with the funds. You will want to show how your
project will strengthen your school's efforts to provide
a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering,
and math (STEM) and that the project creates a 1:1 environment
for some classrooms. We suggest you read the RFP as well
as the application form and rubric to be sure you've designed
a project that covers the requested elements.
you might focus on an integrated curriculum that is based
in the Arts and Family/Consumer Science classrooms but
that also involves the science and math teachers. The
result would be stronger and more coherent overall curriculum
alignment across all of these classrooms.
We want to apply for the digital
tools project, but it requires that we also apply for the
tech leader training. While we understand the importance
of training to support a digital tools project, our teachers
are concerned about the approximate 4 hours per week that
they will be expected to spend on tech leader training activities.
They are already very busy with many responsibilities related
to federal and state requirements. Why are they expected
to spend 4 hours per week on this training?
This program is intended to enhance
participants' skills and expertise with ICT while also
developing their skills as 21st century educational leaders.
It was not intended that every teacher in the school participate
in this extra training. Focus area 4 is intended to build
capacity across the state, so that every school has at
least one tech leader who provides leadership and collegial
support to colleagues. In addition, the tech leader gain
skills which will help her/him be a resource for district
technology planning and professional development committees.
It is important to have
participants who are committed to the program and whose
administration is fully supportive of their involvement.
The estimate of 4 hours per week is
an average for the entire year of the project. There may
be weeks when it is less and weeks when it is more. Some
of these hours might be during the school day (e.g., tech
leader meets with the professional development committee
to map out a series of after-school tech training sessions),
while other hours might be in the evening (e.g., tech leader
participates in an online course to address digital citizenship
efforts among teachers and students). Still other hours
might be in a spring or summer face-to-face workshop or
institute. We suggest that applicants think of this program
as somewhat similar to a graduate degree program with a
field-based practicum. Course work will be largely online
while field based work will be within their own schools.
In addition, participants who are part of a digital tools
project will be using their tech leader training to support
aspects of their school's digital tools project.
Can we use the $3,000 tech leader budget to pay a stipend
to our teacher or to purchase a laptop for their use?
Yes, there is flexibility with the budget.
You can use some of the budget for stipends. You can also
use some of the budget for a laptop which is loaned to
the teacher to support their leadership efforts. It is
requested that you set aside $2,000 for travel, course,
and meeting related expenses.
The RFP does not indicate where the tech leader training
events will be held. How do we know that we will have enough
travel funds to cover these expenses if events are not locally
We anticipate applicants from all regions
of the state and that the Local Educational Support Center
Network will be actively involved in this training effort.
The few face-to-face events will likely be hosted by a
center within about 30 miles of your school. If additional
funds are available, it may be possible to allocate additional
funds at a later date if a school has inordinately large
Why are we asked to budget $1,500
for the tech leader course and meeting expenses?
We anticipate that most of the face-to-face
activities for the tech leader program will occur at the
Local Educational Support Centers. The Centers need
to cover their meeting and facilitation expenses, as they
only receive limited funding directly from the NHDOE. Therefore,
it makes more sense for you to build these expenses directly
into your project budgets so that you will be able to pay
these costs directly to the center that supports your area.
Your applications will provide important information about
the trainings and expertise participants may have already
received, as well as the skills most needed. This information
will inform the final training agenda for the year.
Our school already has someone we would consider a tech
leader, but s/he expects to retire in a few years. Can we
have two participants in this program in order to allow our
current tech leader to mentor a new teacher into this role?
Yes, we'd love to support two people from your school in
this way. You would have to share the same $3,000 eligible
amount per school for both people's involvement. The other
issue that might arise with this scenario is whether we will
have the space and capacity to support twice as many people
in the program. We hope to ensure that this is a possible
scenario for those schools that might propose one tech leader
and a second in the role of tech leader/mentor.
More questions and answers will be posted as
they are received ...