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Personalized Learning Grant Guidelines

Grant Purpose:
This grant is designed to provide academic enrichment opportunities to increase student achievement focused around these personalized learning key concepts:

  • Learning is Personal:  Personalized learning recognizes that students engage in different ways and in different places.  Students benefit from individually paced, targeted learning tasks that formatively assess existing skills and knowledge and that address the student’s needs and interests.
  • Learning is Competency-Based: Students move ahead when they have demonstrated mastery of content, not when they’ve reached a certain birthday or undergone the required hours in a classroom.
  • Learning Happens Anytime, Anywhere: Learning takes place beyond the traditional school day and even the school year. The school’s walls are permeable—learning is not restricted to the classroom.
  • Students Take Ownership Over Their Learning: Student-centered learning engages students in their own success and incorporates their interests and skills into the learning process. Students support one another’s progress and celebrate success.

Funds:

  • The total amount of available funding for this grant is $500,000.
  • Applicants will be allowed to request an amount of at least $50, 000 and not to exceed $100,000 based on their stated plan of action.

Eligibility:
A local educational agency, on behalf of one of its schools, is eligible to participate in this competitive grant program.

Accountability:

  • Grantees will be required to submit the following:
    • Personalized Learning Action Plan
    • Invoices for funds expended on a quarterly basis
    • Quarterly progress reports during the grant period.
    • Final report, to include the final expense report, at the close of the grant.
  • The Personalized Learning Team of each grantee will be required to attend the 2016 SAS Institute (December 4-7, 2016) at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. Events include the following:
    • Four hour session presented by Inevitable author Beatrice McGarvey on December 4
    • SAS Institute sessions December 5 and 6
    • Post conference personalized learning grant workshop on December 7

Accessing eGrants:

  • Go to http://www.egrants.pa.gov
  • Click the hyperlink for “login” in the 3rd paragraph.
  • Login with your personal login for eGrants.  If you do not have a login, contact the user-administrator at your district who can add you.
  • Check that the date in the upper right hand corner shows 2016-2017 and that it shows the Bureau of Teaching and Learning.  To change either of these, click on the item and a pop-up will allow you to make the change.
  • Select the Personalized Learning Grant
  • If you are not able to enter the application, contact Karl Streckewald at kstreckewa@pa.gov.
  • Once you are logged in, additional support can be found by clicking the Home tab and selecting the appropriate user guide on the right.

Completing the Application:

  • Demographics
    • Complete information concerning the grantee and contacts
  • Readiness Assessment: The applicant is to self-score the building’s readiness for personalized learning and provide an explanation for the score.  Note: the self-ranking score itself is not evaluated; the narrative is evaluated.  PDE is looking for a mix of grantees in the final list so some will be low in personalized learning readiness and some will be more advanced; however, each of the selected grantees needs to understand clearly where they are in readiness.
  • Funding and Sustainability: complete the three questions.  There is a 100 word limit on the answers.
  • Submitting Plan:
    • Select Complete Step in lower right
    • Select Submit that appears in same space
    • A green checkmark will appear at the top of the grant confirming the plan has been submitted
  • Superintendent Awareness: This statement must be answered yes for the grant to be considered.

  Rubric:
Quality of Evidence to Support Factor Weighting (24 points + 3 possible bonus points)

  • For each of the eight readiness factors, the quality of evidence will be evaluated as follows:
    • 3 = Narrative reflects a strong understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals
    • 2 = Narrative reflects a satisfactory understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals
    • 1 = Narrative reflects a minimal understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals
  • Extra Credit:  Up to three (3) points may be awarded for Additional Comments that provide compelling evidence to support personalized learning, e.g., sustainability, district support, programs already in place, ability to mentor.

Note:  The readiness factor weighting will not affect the school score.  As noted above, it is the narrative response that will be evaluated.

Responses to Open Ended Questions (up to 15 points)

  • For each of the three open-ended questions, the quality of evidence will be evaluated as follows:
  • Strong: Narrative supports ranking and reflects a strong understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals (4-5 points)
  • Satisfactory: Narrative supports ranking and reflects a satisfactory understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals (2-3 points)
  • Minimal: Narrative supports ranking and reflects a minimal understanding of effort needed and knowledge to be acquired to successfully initiate or continue the personalized learning grant goals.  (1-2 points)

Note: Responses are equally weighted at a maximum score of 5 points each.

Timeline:

  • October 3, 2016: Application opens in eGrants
  • October 28, 2016: Deadline for submitting application
  • November 11, 2016: Grantees notified.
  • December 1, 2016: Funding begins
  • December 4-7, 2016: SAS Institute
  • January 2017: Submit Personalized Learning Plan
  • February 28, 2017: First quarterly report and invoice
  • May 31, 2017: Second quarterly report and invoice
  • August 31, 2017: Third quarterly report and invoice
  • November 30, 2017: Funding ends, final report and final invoice

Questions:
Personalized Learning Grant FAQ (PDF)