MassGrad (the High School Graduation Initiative)
In fall 2010, the U.S. Department of Education selected Massachusetts as just one of two states for the federal High School Graduation Initiative award and one of 29 projects total nationwide chosen for funding out of 184 total applicants. The Massachusetts grant project - MassGrad - focuses on the 133 high schools throughout the Commonwealth that exceeded the statewide annual dropout rate of 2.9 percent in the 2008-09 school year. Massachusetts will receive up to $15 million until September 2015 through the MassGrad project to support statewide and local efforts for high school dropout prevention, intervention, and recovery. The Department released a press release about this initiative in early November 2010.
Full Awarded Application submitted by the Department to the U.S. Department of Education
The MassGrad Resources pages contain materials from past trainings and events, a variety of evaluation reports from the MassGrad external evaluator (UMass Donahue Institute), and tools and resources created by Massachusetts school districts and the ESE.
MassGrad Key Activities
Dropout Prevention & Recovery Work Group - All districts eligible for MassGrad opportunities are welcome to participate in the Dropout Prevention & Recovery Work Group events - face-to-face meetings/trainings, district open houses, and topical webinars. The training calendar is typically available by August for the upcoming school year.
MassGrad Implementation and Planning Awards - Through a competitive procurement process, school districts throughout the Commonwealth were selected to be Implementation and Planning Awardees. These Awardees are employing research-based practices to increase their high school graduation rates.
MassGrad Coalition Challenge Awards - The Department selected four community coalitions to work on specific area of challenge related to dropout prevention that can best be solved through a collaborative approach.
MassGrad Gateway to College Start-Up Awards - Through MassGrad, the Department is providing start-up funding and intensive technical assistance and training support (provided by the Gateway to College National Network) for three institutions of higher education that partner with at least one MassGrad-eligible school district.
MassGrad Leadership Council - A cross-sector, state-level Leadership Council helps to guide all of the MassGrad activities. The Leadership Council also serves as the state-level portion of the MassGrad Coalition.