FR Doc 2010-13775
[Federal Register: June 8, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 109)]
[Notices]               
[Page 32440-32449]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08jn10-75]                                 

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Full-Service Community Schools

 
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215J

AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education announces priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria for the Full-Service Community 
Schools (FSCS) program. The Secretary may use these priorities, 
requirements, definitions, and selection criteria for competitions in 
fiscal year (FY) 2010 and later years. We take this action to focus 
Federal assistance on supporting collaboration among schools and 
entities within a community in the provision of comprehensive academic, 
social, and health services for students, students' family members, and 
community members. We intend the priorities to support the improvement 
of student outcomes through their promotion of strong school-community 
partnerships that support effective resource coordination and service 
delivery. The FSCS program is a ``place-based'' program that can 
leverage investments by focusing resources in targeted places, drawing 
on the compounding effects of well-coordinated actions. Place-based 
approaches can also streamline otherwise redundant and disconnected 
programs.

DATES: Effective Date: These priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria are effective July 8, 2010.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Staton, U.S. Department of 
Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W245, Washington, DC 20202-
5970. Telephone (202) 401-2091 or by e-mail: FSCS@ed.gov.
    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call the 
Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Purpose of Program: The Fund for the Improvement of Education 
(FIE), which is authorized by section 5411 of the Elementary and 
Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA), supports nationally 
significant programs to improve the quality of elementary and secondary 
education at the State and local levels and help all children meet 
challenging academic content and academic achievement standards. The 
FSCS program, which is funded under FIE, encourages coordination of 
academic, social, and health services through partnerships among (1) 
public elementary and secondary schools; (2) the schools' local 
educational agencies (LEAs); and (3) community-based organizations, 
non-profit organizations, and other public or private entities. The 
purpose of this collaboration is to provide comprehensive academic, 
social, and health services for students, students' family members, and 
community members that will result in improved educational outcomes for 
children.
    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7243-7243b.
    We published a notice of proposed priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria for this program in the Federal 
Register on February 8, 2010 (75 FR 6188-6192). That notice contained 
background information and our reasons for proposing the particular 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.
    There are differences between the notice of proposed priorities, 
requirements, definitions and selection criteria (NPP) and this notice 
of final priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria 
(NFP) as discussed in the Analysis of Comments and Changes section 
elsewhere in this notice.
    Public Comment: In response to our invitation in the NPP, 11 
parties submitted comments on the proposed priorities, requirements, 
definitions, and selection criteria.
    Generally, we do not address technical and other minor changes, or 
suggested changes the law does not authorize us to make under the 
applicable statutory authority. In addition we do not address general 
comments that raised concerns not directly related to the proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria.
    Analysis of Comments and Changes: An analysis of the comments and 
of any changes in the priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria since publication of the notice of proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria follows. 
We discuss substantive issues under the title of the item to which they 
pertain.

Absolute Priority--Eligible Services

    Comment: Two commenters suggested that services provided under the 
FSCS program include strong alignment of academic supports and 
enrichment activities with existing resources for remedial programming. 
In addition, one commenter noted the importance of aligning remedial 
education and academic enrichment activities with State standards, 
curricula, and academic achievement data to ensure stronger connections 
between school day and after-school activities.
    Discussion: We agree that remedial education, academic supports, 
and enrichment activities should be clearly and deliberately aligned 
with other key components of successful schools (e.g., a State's high 
academic standards; rigorous curricula; effective teachers; effective 
school leadership; well-designed assessments and accountability 
systems; positive school climates; and strong professional development) 
and are modifying the absolute priority accordingly. We believe that 
such coordination and alignment are likely to support student academic 
success by promoting cost-effective school-community partnerships that 
are tailored to the needs of students and schools.
    Changes: We have revised the service category regarding remedial 
education in the absolute priority. This category now reads ``Remedial 
education, aligned with academic supports and other enrichment 
activities, providing students with a comprehensive academic program.''

[[Page 32441]]

    Comment: One commenter suggested that the FSCS program require the 
use of a standardized social-emotional curriculum for grades K-12 and 
require grantees to implement the resiliency-based after-school 
activities based on the 40 developmental assets from the Search 
Institute's Healthy Communities/Healthy Students program.
    Discussion: We decline to adopt the changes suggested by the 
commenter because we believe that mandating the use of specific 
curricula or frameworks would unduly restrict the flexibility of 
applicants to develop FSCS projects that are most appropriately suited 
to their particular circumstances. Applicants are free to select 
models, which may include those suggested by the commenter, that they 
deem most appropriate to address the needs of their proposed project.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that while family literacy and 
parental involvement are related activities, they are distinct in scope 
and execution and therefore, should not be grouped into a single 
service category. The commenter further stated that parent education 
and parent leadership programs are related, yet distinct, and should be 
listed separately in the final notice.
    Discussion: We decline to adopt the changes suggested by the 
commenter because we believe that family literacy, parental 
involvement, parent education, and parent leadership are related in 
that they seek to meaningfully engage parents in ways that support 
their children's learning. Services and activities coordinated or 
provided by the FSCS should be based on identified needs and aligned 
with clearly articulated outcomes, regardless of the comprehensive 
nature of the service category itself. Because we believe these 
services are so inter-related, we are revising the absolute priority to 
consolidate them under one broad service category of family engagement.
    Changes: In the absolute priority, we have combined the parental 
involvement, family literacy activities, parent education, and parent 
leadership program service categories into one service category, which 
now reads ``Family engagement, including parental involvement, parent 
leadership, family literacy, and parent education programs.''
    Comment: Some commenters recommended that in addition to parental 
involvement and family literacy activities, family services include 
linking families to a wide range of supports, including public health 
insurance options, social service programs (e.g., food stamps, 
Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and programs 
that encourage family financial stability (e.g., benefit screenings, 
assistance in claiming eligible tax credits and income supports, 
financial literacy programs, employment services, and asset-building 
programs).
    Discussion: We agree with the commenters that the receipt of 
information about health insurance options, social service programs, 
and programs that promote family financial stability can contribute to 
the overall well-being of a family. Providing information about health 
insurance options is an eligible activity under the primary health care 
service category in the absolute priority. We believe that using FSCS 
grant funds for activities that improve access to and use of social 
services programs and programs that promote family financial stability 
is also consistent with the purpose of the FSCS program, and are adding 
these activities to the absolute priority. It is important to note, 
however, that FSCS Federal grant funds are of greatest benefit when 
used to coordinate existing resources and services. Community schools 
cannot be sustained if administrators rely entirely on Federal FSCS 
funds to provide services.
    Changes: We have added a new service category to the absolute 
priority that provides for activities that improve access to and use of 
social service programs and programs that promote family financial 
stability.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the needs of students who 
have been chronically absent from school should receive greater 
prominence in the list of eligible services in the absolute priority. 
The commenter noted that chronic absenteeism during the early 
elementary school years can significantly affect a student's future 
academic success.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that chronic absenteeism 
can significantly affect academic success. We note that there is a 
growing body of national research linking chronic absence (missing 10 
percent or more of school due to excused or unexcused absences) to poor 
academic achievement, dropping out of school, and other negative 
outcomes. A report conducted by the National Center for Children in 
Poverty in 2008 examined the prevalence, consequences, and potential 
contributing factors associated with chronic absence in grades K-3 and 
noted that one in ten kindergarten and first-grade students is 
chronically absent nationally.\1\ The effects of chronic absence can be 
magnified for children living in poverty because they tend to have 
access to fewer resources at home to make up for lost time in school. 
We will, therefore, add to the service category in the absolute 
priority, programs that provide assistance to students who have been 
chronically absent.
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    \1\ Chang, Hedy; Romero, Mariajose. Present, Engaged and 
Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence 
in the Early Grades. The Annie E. Casey Foundation; National Center 
for Children in Poverty (2008).
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    Changes: We have revised the service category regarding programs 
that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or 
expelled, to include students who have been chronically absent.
    Comment: One commenter recommended modifying the service category 
regarding nutrition services to include a reference to physical 
education classes. The commenter asserted that nutrition, physical 
activity, and physical education are equally important in ensuring the 
healthy physical development of a child and his or her academic 
success.
    Discussion: We agree that physical activity and physical education 
are important to the healthy development of a child. An underlying goal 
of the FSCS program, however, is to supplement the in-school curriculum 
with additional services, supports, and opportunities, not to supplant 
it. We consider physical education to be a component of the in-school 
curriculum that, and as such, should not be supported using FSCS grant 
funds. Physical activities, however, are allowable if carried out in 
association with nutrition services or with mentoring and youth 
development services. We will, therefore, add physical activities to 
the nutrition services category in the absolute priority.
    Changes: We have revised the nutrition services category to include 
physical activities.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that while primary health care and 
dental care are related to each other, they should be listed as 
separate eligible activities and that the need for and delivery of one 
or both of these services should be based on the results of a needs 
assessment.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that the provision of 
primary health care or dental care should be based on the needs of 
students, students' family members, and community members. We decline, 
however, to adopt the changes suggested by the commenter. Listing 
primary health care and dental care in one service category is unlikely 
to affect the

[[Page 32442]]

coordination or delivery of these services by grantees under this 
program. All services and activities coordinated or provided by the 
FSCS should be based on identified needs and aligned with clearly 
articulated outcomes, regardless of the comprehensive nature of the 
service category itself.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended that vision care and the 
provision of corrective eyewear be explicitly included as an element of 
the primary health and dental care service category since vision 
problems can interfere with students' academic attainment. The 
commenter noted that undiagnosed and untreated vision problems are 
especially problematic among low-income and minority children.
    Discussion: We agree that access to vision care can affect 
students' success in school. Vision screening and vision care, 
including the provision of corrective eyewear, are allowable activities 
under the primary health care and dental care service category. 
Therefore, it is unnecessary to make the changes suggested by the 
commenter.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that in addition to counseling 
services, clinical mental health services should be included as an 
eligible service because many students in low-performing schools also 
live in high-poverty neighborhoods with increased rates of trauma due 
to violence, drug use, and other environmental stressors.
    Discussion: We agree with the commenter that addressing the mental 
health needs of students and their family members supports social and 
academic development and that these services may be broader than the 
proposed ``mental health counseling services.'' We recognize that 
mental health services encompass a broad range of school- and 
community-based services, including but not limited to clinical mental 
health services, and that the types of interventions may vary and 
should be based on the needs of the service recipient. We are, 
therefore, modifying the service category for mental health counseling 
services to be more general, which will allow applicants to define the 
appropriate range of mental health interventions needed to meet the 
needs of their target population.
    Change: We have revised the mental health counseling services 
service category to read ``Mental health services.''

Competitive Preference Priority--Strategies That Support Turning Around 
Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools

    Comment: Several commenters expressed concern that the competitive 
preference priority for Strategies that Support Turning Around 
Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools may result in the Department 
making awards to a cohort of grantees that is limited to only those 
Title I schools identified as persistently lowest-achieving. Some 
commenters stated that the competitive preference priority should not 
be limited only to the persistently lowest-achieving schools but, 
instead, be more broadly defined to include all schools that are 
eligible for Title I funding. Several commenters contended that it 
takes significantly more time, effort, and resources for persistently 
lowest-achieving schools to move through the developmental stages of a 
community school and to demonstrate results. In order to select 
projects with the greatest potential for success, one commenter 
suggested that the Department select a subset of applicants with 
schools that are persistently lowest-achieving from among the overall 
applicant pool in order to provide a more balanced portfolio of 
grantees.
    Another commenter stated that the Department's School Improvement 
Grants (SIG) program already prioritizes persistently lowest-achieving 
schools and provides a significant amount of financial resources to 
support implementation of the school intervention models. Other 
commenters stated that the competitive preference priority should be 
eliminated and that the FSCS program should support the development of 
the highest-quality full-service community schools, regardless of Title 
I funding status.
    Discussion: We appreciate the commenters' concerns. This 
competitive preference priority is aligned with the Department's reform 
goal of improving achievement in low-performing schools through 
intensive support and effective interventions. Persistently lowest-
achieving schools are most vulnerable and in need of a well-coordinated 
and integrated set of services to support their turnaround efforts.
    With respect to the SIG program, we note that FSCS program funds 
can be used to strengthen implementation of the intervention models 
authorized under the SIG program by leveraging resources that support a 
comprehensive academic program and qualify as one or more of the 
allowable FSCS services. FSCS funds cannot be used for direct 
implementation of the SIG interventions.
    In response to commenters' concerns that establishing a competitive 
preference priority for these schools would prevent support for the 
development of the highest quality full-service community schools, we 
note that including this competitive preference priority will not 
restrict funding only to those applications that are eligible to 
receive competitive preference. All applications will be evaluated and 
awarded points based on a number of selection criteria. Further, 
applications will be assessed under this competitive preference 
priority depending on how well an application meets the priority. We 
believe the inclusion of this competitive preference priority will 
allow for a balanced portfolio of funded applicants, including but not 
limited to, our most educationally disadvantaged, persistently lowest-
achieving schools. For these reasons we have concluded that no changes 
to the competitive preference priority should be made.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked whether a school that used to be a 
persistently lowest-achieving school but is no longer a persistently 
lowest-achieving school is eligible to receive the competitive 
preference. The commenter suggested that a school that was formerly 
identified as a persistently lowest-achieving school should be eligible 
for the competitive preference if it can demonstrate that it has taken 
steps within the last five years to become a full-service community 
school.
    Discussion: Applications that include schools that are not 
persistently lowest-achieving may still apply for funds under the FSCS 
program, but would not be eligible for the competitive preference. In 
order to meet the competitive preference applicants must propose to 
serve schools currently identified by the State as persistently lowest-
achieving schools that are currently implementing or plan to implement 
one of three school intervention models (as defined in this notice) to 
become full-service community schools.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter asked if one of the three school 
intervention models must be in place for an entity to be eligible to 
apply for a grant under the FSCS program.
    Discussion: Applications that propose to serve persistently lowest-
achieving schools that are planning to implement or are currently 
implementing one of the three school intervention models are

[[Page 32443]]

eligible for the competitive preference. Applications that do not 
propose to serve persistently lowest-achieving schools implementing or 
planning to implement one of the three school intervention models may 
still apply for an FSCS grant; however, such applications will not be 
eligible to receive the competitive preference.
    Change: None.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended adding other priorities. One 
commenter suggested adding a competitive preference for applicants that 
demonstrate an intention or plan to use site-based work and experience 
to catalyze district-wide change. The commenter noted that the presence 
of systems-level support and strong infrastructure is likely to result 
in the institutionalization of community school strategies. Another 
commenter recommended adding a competitive preference priority for 
applicants that collaborate with State educational agencies (SEAs) to 
develop mutually agreed upon performance measures for demonstrating the 
impact of community school interventions.
    Discussion: We agree that there is greater potential impact when 
full-service community schools have a strong infrastructure in place to 
sustain the overall effort and expand the number of FSCS program sites 
throughout an LEA or State. Applicants have the flexibility to develop 
projects most appropriately suited to the needs and context of their 
target population. Accordingly, applicants are free to select models--
including site-based management--they deem most appropriate to the 
needs of their proposed projects. Rather than adding a separate 
priority to address systemic support and infrastructure, we will revise 
the application requirements to focus on the importance of strong 
infrastructures to support full-service community schools.
    In response to the commenter's recommendation that we add a 
competitive preference priority for applicants that collaborate with 
SEAs to develop mutually agreed upon community school performance 
measures, we decline to add this priority because applicants have the 
flexibility to partner with SEAs to develop a set of mutually defined 
performance measures but we do not believe this should be a priority.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (4), regarding 
organizational capacity, to require applicants to include a description 
of the existing or proposed infrastructure that will support the 
implementation and sustainability of the full-service community school.

Application Requirements

    Comment: None.
    Discussion: In the course of reviewing application requirement (1), 
regarding a description of the needs of students, students' family 
members, and community members to be served, we determined that 
requiring information about basic demographic characteristics of the 
target population would strengthen our understanding of the service 
recipients beyond their status as students, students' family members, 
and community members. Therefore, we have revised requirement (1) to 
require applicants to provide information about basic demographic 
characteristics of the population to be served.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (1) to require 
applicants to describe the needs of the students, students' family 
members, and community members to be served, including basic 
demographic characteristics of the students, students' family members, 
and community members.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended strengthening the language in 
application requirement (2), which would require an applicant to 
provide a list of partner entities, to underscore the importance of 
realigning existing services and resources in support of the full-
service community school. The commenters noted that community schools 
cannot be sustained if administrators rely entirely on the Federal FSCS 
program or any single funding stream.
    Discussion: We agree that applicants should describe how they will 
realign existing resources to sustain the efforts of a full-service 
community school. We further believe that an applicant's primary 
emphasis should be on coordinating and integrating existing services 
and leveraged resources.
    Change: We have revised application requirement (2), to provide 
that an applicant must describe how existing resources and services 
will be coordinated and integrated with new resources and services.
    Comment: Two commenters recommended that we revise application 
requirement (3), regarding the memorandum of understanding, to provide 
that the memorandum of understanding include information about the 
services to be provided by partner entities and the results they will 
work toward, in addition to the role each partner entity will assume.
    Discussion: We agree that the memorandum of understanding should 
include information about the role of each partner entity and the 
resources and services it will provide. This will help ensure that 
applicants have agreements in place to coordinate existing resources 
and leverage other resources. Such agreements contribute to the long-
term sustainability of a community school effort. We will change the 
language in the final requirements accordingly.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (3) to require 
applicants to provide in their applications the memorandum of 
understanding between the applicant and all partner entities, 
describing the role each partner will assume, the services or resources 
it will provide, and the desired results and outcomes.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Department revise 
application requirement (4), regarding organizational capacity, to 
require applicants to include in their applications a description of 
the existence of an infrastructure to support community schools at the 
LEA level. The commenter asserted that system-wide support promotes 
institutionalization of community schools as a strategy that will be 
sustained by the LEA over time.
    Discussion: As discussed earlier, we agree that system-level 
support for community schools can promote better alignment of LEA 
policies, practices, and resources with the activities and intended 
outcomes of community schools. We also agree that requiring applicants 
to address this aspect of organizational capacity would enhance our 
ability to identify high-quality applications that are capable of 
achieving the desired results and outcomes. We are therefore modifying 
this requirement to require applicants to describe the existing or 
proposed infrastructure as part of an overall description of the 
applicant's experience partnering with the target school(s) and other 
partner entities, including the LEA.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (4) to provide 
that applicants must include in their applications a description of the 
existing or proposed infrastructure to support implementation and 
sustainability of the full service community school.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that the Department require 
applicants to include a ``logic model'' in their applications. The 
commenter asserted that inclusion of a logic model promotes strong 
alignment of the goals, activities, objectives, performance measures, 
and

[[Page 32444]]

outcomes of the project, resulting in a more coherent evaluation plan.
    Discussion: We agree that clearly articulated and well-aligned 
goals, activities, objectives, performance measures, and project 
outcomes are critical to the design of an effective community school 
and are modifying the application requirements to make this clear. 
Applicants have the flexibility to select a logic model or use an 
alternative approach of their choice to describe their projects' well-
aligned goals, activities, objectives, performance measures, and 
project outcomes.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (5), regarding a 
comprehensive plan, to require that applicants submit a comprehensive 
plan that includes a description of well-aligned goals, services, 
activities, objectives, performance measures, and project results and 
outcomes.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that application requirement (6), 
which requires applicants to provide a list and description of eligible 
services to be provided, be revised. The commenter recommended that we 
require applicants to include a description of the applicant's approach 
to integrating the existing and new programs and services with the 
school's core instructional program.
    Discussion: We agree that there should be intentional alignment 
among key components of a full-service community school, including the 
school's core instructional program, and are revising this requirement 
accordingly. A full-service community school should work with its 
partners to provide a coordinated, integrated, and results-focused set 
of programs and services in response to the needs of its students, 
students' family members, and community members. Such alignment is 
needed for a full-service community school to be successful in 
achieving a range of results and outcomes, including student academic 
success.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (6) to require 
applicants to include a description of the applicant's approach to 
integrating new and existing programs and services with the school's 
(or schools') core instructional program and identification of the 
intended results and outcomes.
    Comment: One commenter suggested revising application requirement 
(7), which requires applicants to provide a description of how the 
applicant will use data to drive decision-making and measure success. 
The commenter recommended that we expand the data collection rubric to 
require applicants to track results of health, social, and family 
support indicators, in addition to the proposed academic and community 
support indicators.
    Discussion: We agree that applicants should collect data for a 
range of project and program indicators to monitor and assess progress 
toward achieving project results and outcomes and that those indicators 
should align with the proposed project's goals, objectives, services, 
and outcomes. As noted in the NIA, published elsewhere in this issue of 
the Federal Register, all grantees are required to collect and report 
on a program-level performance measure relevant to the individuals 
served by the project. However, we also believe that it is important 
for an applicant's data plan to include information related to project 
services as well as the recipients of those services and are revising 
the requirement accordingly. Applicants may design their plans based on 
the design of their projects. We further believe that it is important 
to emphasize in this requirement the need for applicants to ensure that 
their data collections and use of data comply with applicable Federal, 
State, and other privacy laws and requirements.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (7) to require 
applicants to include a description in their applications of their 
plans to monitor and assess outcomes of the eligible services provided 
and coordinated by the FCSC project as well as the number of 
individuals served. We also have revised this requirement to specify 
that an applicant's plan must provide for compliance with Federal, 
State, and other privacy laws and requirements.
    Comment: Two commenters suggested revising application requirement 
(8), regarding the role and responsibilities of the full-service 
community school coordinator. The commenter recommended that we 
emphasize the need for the FSCS coordinator to be an active member of a 
joint planning effort consisting of key stakeholders from the school 
and community to guide the overall community school strategy and 
promote a sense of shared responsibility among all partners. Another 
commenter suggested requiring the FSCS coordinator to be a full-time 
position.
    Discussion: We agree that the FSCS coordinator should work closely 
with school leadership and community stakeholders to plan and implement 
a community school strategy that aligns with and strengthens core 
instruction. Further, the role of the FSCS coordinator should be 
closely linked to the leadership and management of the school, beyond 
simply coordinating additional programs and services. Such joint 
planning encourages (1) identification of and support for mutually 
defined results and outcomes that are responsive to students' needs, 
(2) alignment of services with those needs, and (3) shared 
accountability for achieving intended outcomes and results. We also 
agree that performing the duties of an FSCS coordinator entails a full-
time commitment and are revising the requirement accordingly.
    Changes: We have revised application requirement (8) to require 
that the FSCS coordinator be employed full-time in that position at the 
full-service community school and that the applicant include a 
description of its proposed approach to ensuring that the FSCS 
coordinator engages in joint planning with the principal and key 
community stakeholders to guide the proposed full-service community 
school.
    Comment: One commenter suggested that all full-service community 
schools be required to be open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. so as to 
expand community access to the facilities in order to achieve maximum 
utilization of available resources.
    Discussion: We agree that full-service community schools should 
consider creative ways to expand learning opportunities and access to 
services and supports, including by extending hours of building 
facilities. However, we believe that such decisions are best left to 
applicants to determine based on the unique circumstances in their 
schools and communities.
    Changes: None.

Eligible Applicants

    Comment: One commenter recommended that the Department broaden the 
definition of Eligible Applicants to include a consortium of schools or 
an LEA because, as the requirement is currently written, a consortium 
of schools in a particular LEA could not apply without the approval of 
its LEA.
    Discussion: Eligible applicants under the FSCS program are 
consortia consisting of an LEA and one or more community-based 
organizations, non-profit organizations, or other public or private 
entities. A public elementary or secondary school that has the 
independent authority to apply for a grant from the Department may do 
so. Generally, however, an individual school does not have independent 
authority to apply for a grant from the Department, or make the 
commitments required of a consortium partner. Consequently, in most 
cases, public elementary and secondary schools, while they can serve as 
FSCS sites, cannot be consortium partners or lead applicants and will 
need their LEA to

[[Page 32445]]

form a consortium and submit an application to the Department.
    Changes: None.

Planning

    Comment: Some commenters suggested amending the language for the 
optional planning year to direct applicants to devote adequate funding 
for comprehensive planning, capacity building, technical assistance, 
and evaluation. One commenter stated that grantees implementing one of 
the three school intervention models should be required to devote 
adequate funding for the first year of the project period to plan and 
obtain intensive technical assistance to build capacity for 
implementing a full-service community school. The commenter noted that 
schools undergoing significant restructuring tend to require intensive 
support for planning and implementation.
    Discussion: We agree that including capacity-building activities as 
an allowable use of funds during the planning year will help address 
some of the technical assistance needs of projects that are in various 
stages of readiness and are modifying the requirement to provide this 
clarification. We believe that including comprehensive program planning 
and capacity-building as allowable activities in the first year of the 
project period will make those activities sufficiently broad in scope 
to cover the diverse needs of FSCS applicants, including the need for 
intensive technical assistance.
    Changes: We have revised the requirement regarding the optional 
planning year to allow applicants to use FSCS funds for capacity 
building and establishing results-focused partnerships, as well as 
comprehensive program planning.

Definitions

    Comment: One commenter suggested adding definitions to describe the 
concepts of ``results-focused partnerships'' and ``conditions for 
learning'' to provide greater context for the FSCS program.
    Discussion: We agree that defining ``results-focused partnerships'' 
would highlight the importance of partners working collaboratively to 
achieve shared results and outcomes. In this regard, we believe that it 
is important for school-community partnerships to be based on 
identified needs and organized around a set of mutually defined results 
and outcomes. We are adding a definition of results-focused 
partnerships that reflects these key concepts.
    In terms of defining ``conditions for learning,'' we acknowledge 
that in order for students and the members of the communities in which 
they reside to thrive, their schools must be effective. Effective 
schools create learning environments that support student academic 
success and other outcomes. When characterized by stable leadership and 
a strong instructional program, full-service community schools have 
been associated with improved attendance and student achievement,\2\ 
increased family and community engagement,\3\ and improved student 
behavior and youth development.\4\ However, we decline to add a 
definition of this term because we believe there are numerous factors 
that contribute to effective learning and defining the term might limit 
applicants' flexibility in developing their proposals.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Krenichyn, Kira, Helene Clark, and Lymari Benitez (2008). 
Children's Aid Society 21st Century Community Learning Centers 
After-School Programs at Six Middle Schools: Final Report of a 
Three-Year Evaluation, 2004-2007. New York: ActKnowledge.
    \3\ Quinn, Jane, and Joy Dryfoos (2009). Freeing teachers to 
teach: Students in full-service community schools are ready to 
learn. American Educator, Summer 2009:16-21.
    \4\ Whalen, Samuel (2007). Three Years Into Chicago's Community 
Schools Initiative (CSI): Progress, Challenges, and Emerging 
Lessons. Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved April 
9, 2010, from http://www.aypf.org/documents/CSI_ThreeYearStudy.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Changes: We have added the term results-focused partnerships to the 
Definitions section of this notice and defined it to mean collaboration 
between a full-service community school and one or more nonprofit 
organizations (including community-based organizations) based on 
identified needs and organized around a set of mutually defined results 
and outcomes for increasing student success and improving access to 
family and community services. We have added this term throughout this 
notice, where appropriate.
    Comment: One commenter suggested revising the definition of a full-
service community school to highlight the importance of providing 
integrated services in response to identified needs. The commenter also 
recommended revising the definition of full-service community school 
coordinator to underscore the FSCS coordinator's role in planning 
jointly with the school principal.
    Discussion: We agree that the commenter's suggested edits 
strengthen and clarify the meaning of full-service community school and 
FSCS coordinator and are revising the definitions accordingly.
    Changes: We have revised the first sentence of the definition of 
full-service community school to indicate that services must be 
integrated as well as coordinated. We have also revised the definition 
of full-service community school coordinator to provide that the FSCS 
coordinator works closely and plans jointly with the school principal 
to drive the development and implementation of the full-service 
community school.
    Comment: One commenter suggested revising the definition of student 
to include all children eligible to attend the school served by the 
FSCS grant, not just those enrolled.
    Discussion: We believe it is unnecessary to revise the definition 
of student because a child residing in the community served by the 
full-service community school could be eligible for services under the 
definitions of either student's family member or community member. A 
student means a child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary 
school served by the FSCS grant. A child who lives in the community and 
has a sibling or any other related individual living in the same 
household as the student would fall under the definition of student's 
family member and, therefore, would be eligible for services under that 
definition. A child who does not meet the definition of student or 
student's family member, but who lives in the community served by the 
FSCS grant, would be eligible for services under the definition of 
community member.
    Changes: None.

Selection Criteria--Quality of Management Plan

    Comment: One commenter suggested revising selection criterion 
(c)(ii), Quality of the Management Plan, to include consideration of 
the applicant's plan to obtain technical assistance for community 
school planning and implementation.
    Discussion: We do not believe applicants should be required to 
obtain technical assistance, but if an applicant were to propose using 
FSCS funds to obtain technical assistance, then that would be evaluated 
along with other proposed uses of funds. Applicants should determine 
for themselves their need for technical assistance in planning and 
implementing their proposed project.
    Changes: None.

Selection Criteria--Quality of Project Services

    Comment: One commenter suggested that we revise selection criterion 
(d)(2)(ii), Quality of Project Services, to

[[Page 32446]]

provide for consideration of the likelihood that the services to be 
provided will lead to improvements in children's social and emotional 
outcomes in addition to outcomes related to student achievement.
    Discussion: We agree that a child's academic, social, and emotional 
development can contribute to the child's long-term economic and social 
success. We decline, however, to revise selection criterion (d)(2)(ii), 
Quality of Project Services, in order to maintain focus on the 
Department's reform goal of improving the academic achievement of 
students. We also believe that consideration of the complete range of 
supports and the desired results and outcomes of a proposed project is 
best addressed in other selection criteria, such as Quality of the 
Project Design.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter recommended adding a selection criterion 
that would be used to judge the extent to which applicants create and 
expand technology infrastructure to support the work of community 
schools.
    Discussion: We agree that use of technology infrastructure can 
support attainment of student outcomes as well as support program 
management by enhancing a grantee's ability to use data to drive 
decision-making and measure success. However, we do not believe it is 
necessary to add a selection criterion specifically focused on 
technology infrastructure because technology infrastructure may be 
addressed in an applicant's responses to other selection criteria, such 
as Quality of the Project Design, Adequacy of Resources, and Quality of 
the Management Plan.
    Changes: None.

Final Priorities

Types of Priorities

    When inviting applications for a competition using one or more 
priorities, we designate the type of each priority as absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational through a notice in the Federal 
Register.
    Absolute priority: Under an absolute priority, as specified by 34 
CFR 75.105(c)(3), we consider only applications that meet the priority.
    Competitive preference priority: Under a competitive preference 
priority, we give competitive preference to an application by (1) 
awarding additional points, depending on the extent to which the 
application meets the priority (34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i)); or (2) 
selecting an application that meets the priority over an application of 
comparable merit that does not meet the priority (34 CFR 
75.105(c)(2)(ii).
    Invitational priority: With an invitational priority, we signal our 
interest in receiving applications that meet the priority; however, 
consistent with 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that 
meets an invitational priority preference over other applications.
    Final Priorities: The Secretary establishes the following 
priorities for the Full-Service Community Schools program. We may apply 
these priorities in any year in which this program is in effect.
Absolute Priority--Projects That Establish or Expand Full-Service 
Community Schools
    This absolute priority supports projects that propose to establish 
or expand (through collaborative efforts among local educational 
agencies, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and 
other public and private entities) full-service community schools, as 
defined in this notice, offering a range of services. To meet this 
priority, an applicant must propose a project that is based on 
scientifically based research--as defined in section 9101(37) of the 
ESEA--and that establishes or expands a full-service community school. 
Each applicant must propose to provide at least three of the following 
eligible services at each participating full-service community school 
included in its proposed project:
    1. High-quality early learning programs or services.
    2. Remedial education, aligned with academic supports and other 
enrichment activities, providing students with a comprehensive academic 
program.
    3. Family engagement, including parental involvement, parent 
leadership, family literacy, and parent education programs.
    4. Mentoring and other youth development programs;
    5. Community service and service learning opportunities.
    6. Programs that provide assistance to students who have been 
chronically absent, truant, suspended, or expelled.
    7. Job training and career counseling services.
    8. Nutrition services and physical activities.
    9. Primary health and dental care.
    10. Activities that improve access to and use of social service 
programs and programs that promote family financial stability.
    11. Mental health services.
    12. Adult education, including instruction of adults in English as 
a second language.

Competitive Preference Priority--Strategies That Support Turning Around 
Persistently Lowest-Achieving Schools

    We give competitive preference to applications that propose to 
serve persistently lowest-achieving schools, as defined in this notice, 
and are currently implementing or plan to implement one of three school 
intervention models, as defined in this notice, to enable these schools 
to become full-service community schools. Applicants seeking to receive 
this priority must describe (a) the school intervention model that 
would be or is being implemented to improve academic outcomes for 
students; (b) the academic, social, and/or health services that would 
be provided and why; and (c) how the academic, social and/or health 
services provided would align with and support the school intervention 
model implemented.

Requirements

    Requirements: The Secretary establishes the following requirements 
for the FSCS program. We may apply these requirements in any year in 
which this program is in effect.
    In order to receive funding, an applicant must include the 
following in its application:
    1. A description of the needs of the students, students' family 
members, and community members to be served, including information 
about (a) the basic demographic characteristics of the students, 
students' family members, and community members; (b) the magnitude or 
severity of the needs to be addressed by the project; and (c) the 
extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, 
infrastructures, or opportunities have been identified and will be 
addressed by the proposed project.
    2. A list of entities that will partner with the applicant to 
coordinate existing services or to provide additional services that 
promote successful student, family, and community results and outcomes. 
The applicant must describe how existing resources and services will be 
coordinated and integrated with new resources and services.
    3. A memorandum of understanding between the applicant and all 
partner entities, describing the role each partner will assume, the 
services or resources each one will provide, and the desired results 
and outcomes.
    4. A description of the organizational capacity of the applicant to 
provide and coordinate eligible services at a full-service community 
school that will

[[Page 32447]]

support increased student achievement. The description must include the 
applicant's experience partnering with the target school(s) and other 
partner entities; examples of how the applicant has responded to 
challenges working with these schools and entities; lessons learned 
from similar work or previous community-school efforts, and a 
description of the existing or proposed infrastructure to support the 
implementation and sustainability of the full-service community school. 
Applicants must also describe their past experience (a) building 
relationships and community support to achieve results; and (b) 
collecting and using data for decision-making and continuous 
improvement.
    5. A comprehensive plan based on results-focused partnerships, as 
defined in this notice, that includes a description of well-aligned 
goals, services, activities, objectives, performance measures, and 
project results and outcomes. In addition, the plan must include the 
estimated total number of individuals to be served, disaggregated by 
the number of students, students' family members, and community 
members, and the type and frequency of services to be provided to each 
group.
    6. A list and description of the eligible services to be provided 
or coordinated by the applicant and the partner entities; a description 
of the applicant's approach to integrating new and existing programs 
and services with the school's (or schools') core instructional 
program; and identification of the intended results and outcomes.
    7. A description of how the applicant will use data to drive 
decision-making and measure success. This includes a description of the 
applicant's plans to monitor and assess outcomes of the eligible 
services provided and coordinated by the FSCS project, as well as the 
number of individuals served, while complying with Federal, State, and 
other privacy laws and requirements.
    8. A description of the roles and responsibilities of a full-time 
FSCS coordinator and the proposed approach to ensuring that the FSCS 
coordinator engages in joint planning with the principal and key 
community stakeholders to guide the proposed full-service community 
school.

Eligible Applicants

    To be eligible for a grant under this competition, an applicant 
must be a consortium consisting of a local educational agency and one 
or more community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, or 
other public or private entities.

Cost-Sharing or Matching

    To be eligible for an award, a portion of the services provided by 
the applicant must be supported through non-Federal contributions, 
either in cash or in-kind donations. The applicant must propose the 
amount of cash or in-kind resources to be contributed for each year of 
the grant.

Planning

    Interagency collaborative efforts are highly complex undertakings 
that require extensive planning and communication among partners and 
key stakeholders. Partnerships should be based on identified needs and 
organized around a set of mutually-defined results and outcomes. As a 
result, applicants under this program may devote funds received during 
the first year of the project period to comprehensive program planning, 
establishing results-focused partnerships, and capacity building. 
Funding received by grantees during the remainder of the project period 
must be devoted to program implementation.

Definitions

    The Secretary uses the following definitions for this program. We 
may apply these definitions in any year in which this program is in 
effect.
    Community member means an individual who is not a student or a 
student's family member, as defined in this notice, but who lives in 
the community served by the FSCS grant.
    Full-service community school means a public elementary or 
secondary school that works with its local educational agency and 
community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other 
public or private entities to provide a coordinated and integrated set 
of comprehensive academic, social, and health services that respond to 
the needs of its students, students' family members, and community 
members. In addition, a full-service community school promotes family 
engagement by bringing together many partners in order to offer a range 
of supports and opportunities for students, students' family members, 
and community members.
    Full-service community school coordinator means an individual who 
works closely and plans jointly with the school's principal to drive 
the development and implementation of the FSCS effort and who, in that 
capacity, facilitates the partnerships and coordination and integration 
of service delivery.
    Persistently lowest-achieving school means, as determined by the 
State under the School Improvement Grants program (pursuant to the 
final requirements for the School Improvement Grants program, 74 FR 
65618, published in the Federal Register on December 10, 2009)--
    (1) Any Title I school in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools 
in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring or the lowest-
achieving five Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or 
restructuring in the State, whichever number of schools is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 
34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years; 
and
    (2) Any secondary school that is eligible for, but does not 
receive, Title I funds that--
    (i) Is among the lowest-achieving five percent of secondary schools 
or the lowest-achieving five secondary schools in the State that are 
eligible for, but do not receive, Title I funds, whichever number of 
schools is greater; or
    (ii) Is a high school that has had a graduation rate as defined in 
34 CFR 200.19(b) that is less than 60 percent over a number of years.
    Results-focused partnership means a partnership between a full-
service community school and one or more nonprofit organizations 
(including community-based organizations) that is based on identified 
needs and organized around a set of mutually defined results and 
outcomes for increasing student success and improving access to family 
and community services.
    School intervention model means one of the following three specific 
interventions described in the final requirements for the School 
Improvement Grants program, 74 FR 65618, published in the Federal 
Register on December 10, 2009 and summarized as follows:
    (1) Turnaround model, which includes, among other actions, 
replacing the principal and rehiring no more than 50 percent of the 
school's staff, adopting a new governance structure, and implementing 
an instructional program that is research-based and vertically aligned 
from one grade to the next as well as aligned with a State's academic 
standards.
    (2) Restart model, in which a local educational agency converts the 
school or closes and reopens it under the management of a charter 
school operator, a charter management

[[Page 32448]]

organization, or an education management organization that has been 
selected through a rigorous review process.
    (3) Transformation model, which addresses four specific areas 
critical to transforming persistently lowest-achieving schools: (i) 
Replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school 
effectiveness; (ii) institute comprehensive instructional reforms; 
(iii) increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; 
(iv) provide operational flexibility and sustained support.
    Student means a child enrolled in a public elementary or secondary 
school served by the FSCS grant.
    Student's family member means the student's parents/guardians, 
siblings, and any other related individuals living in the same 
household as the student and not enrolled in the school served by the 
FSCS grant.

Selection Criteria

Final Selection Criteria

    The Secretary establishes the following selection criteria for 
evaluating an application under the FSCS program. We may apply one or 
more of these criteria in any year in which this program is in effect. 
In the notice inviting applications, the application package, or both, 
we will announce the maximum possible points assigned to each 
criterion.
    (a) Quality of the Project Design.
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the design of the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the design of the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the extent to which the proposed 
project consists of a comprehensive plan that includes a description 
of--
    (i) The project objectives;
    (ii) The students, students' family members, and community to be 
served, including information about the demographic characteristics and 
needs of the students, students' family members, and other community 
members and the estimated number of individuals to be served; and
    (iii) The eligible services (as listed in the Absolute Priority 
described elsewhere in this notice) to be provided or coordinated by 
the applicant and its partner entities, how those services will meet 
the needs of students, students' family members, and other community 
members, and the frequency with which those services will be provided 
to students, students' family members, and community members.
    (b) Adequacy of Resources.
    (1) The Secretary considers the adequacy of resources for the 
proposed project.
    (2) In determining the adequacy of resources for the proposed 
project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The adequacy of support, including facilities, equipment, 
supplies, and other resources to be provided by the applicant and 
consortium partners;
    (ii) The relevance and demonstrated commitment of each partner in 
the proposed project to the implementation and success of the project; 
and
    (iii) The extent to which costs are reasonable in relation to the 
number of persons to be served and services to be provided.
    (c) Quality of the Management Plan.
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the management plan for 
the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the management plan for the 
proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:
    (i) The extent to which the proposed project consists of a 
comprehensive plan that includes a description of planning, 
coordination, management, and oversight of the eligible services (as 
listed in the Absolute Priority described elsewhere in this notice) to 
be provided at each school to be served, including the role of the 
school principal, the FSCS coordinator, partner entities, parents, and 
community members;
    (ii) The qualifications, including relevant training and 
experience, of the FSCS coordinator and other key project personnel 
including prior performance of the applicant on similar or related 
efforts; and
    (iii) The extent to which the time commitments of the project 
director, the FSCS coordinator, and other key project personnel are 
appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed 
project.
    (d) Quality of Project Services.
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the services to be 
provided by the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the project services, the 
Secretary considers the following:
    (i) The extent to which the services to be provided by the proposed 
project reflect up-to-date knowledge from research and effective 
practice; and
    (ii) The likelihood that the services to be provided by the 
proposed project will lead to improvements in the achievement of 
students as measured against rigorous academic standards.
    (e) Quality of the Project Evaluation.
    (1) The Secretary considers the quality of the evaluation to be 
conducted of the proposed project.
    (2) In determining the quality of the evaluation, the Secretary 
considers the extent to which the proposed evaluation--
    (i) Sets out methods of evaluation that include the use of 
objective performance measures that are clearly related to the intended 
outcomes of the project and will produce quantitative and qualitative 
data to the extent possible;
    (ii) Will provide timely and valid information on the management, 
implementation, or efficiency of the project; and
    (iii) Will provide guidance on or strategies for replicating or 
testing the project intervention in multiple settings.

Factors Applicants May Wish to Consider in Developing an Evaluation 
Plan.

    The quality of the evaluation plan is one of the selection criteria 
by which applications in this competition will be judged. A strong 
evaluation plan should be included in the application narrative and 
should be used, as appropriate, to shape the development of the project 
from the beginning of the project period. The plan should include 
benchmarks to monitor progress toward specific project objectives and 
also outcome measures to assess the impact on teaching and learning or 
other important outcomes for project participants. More specifically, 
the plan should identify the individual or organization that has agreed 
to serve as evaluator for the project and describe the qualifications 
of that evaluator. The plan should describe the evaluation design, 
indicating: (1) What types of data will be collected; (2) when various 
types of data will be collected; (3) what methods will be used; (4) 
what instruments will be developed and when; (5) how the data will be 
analyzed; (6) when reports of results and outcomes will be available; 
and (7) how the applicant will use the information collected through 
the evaluation to monitor progress of the funded project and to provide 
accountability information both about success at the initial site and 
about effective strategies for replication in other settings. 
Applicants are encouraged to devote an appropriate level of resources 
to project evaluation.
    This notice does not preclude us from proposing additional 
priorities, requirements, definitions, or selection criteria, subject 
to meeting applicable rulemaking requirements.

    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. In any year in 
which we choose to use these final priorities and one or more of 
these final requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we 
invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.


[[Page 32449]]


    Executive Order 12866: This notice has been reviewed in accordance 
with Executive Order 12866. Under the terms of the order, we have 
assessed the potential costs and benefits of this final regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this final regulatory action 
are those resulting from statutory requirements and those we have 
determined as necessary for administering this program effectively and 
efficiently.
    In assessing the potential costs and benefits--both quantitative 
and qualitative--of this final regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this final regulatory action does 
not unduly interfere with State, local, and tribal governments in the 
exercise of their governmental functions.
    Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive 
Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. One of the 
objectives of the Executive order is to foster an intergovernmental 
partnership and a strengthened federalism. The Executive order relies 
on processes developed by State and local governments for coordination 
and review of proposed Federal financial assistance.
    This document provides early notification of our specific plans and 
actions for this program.
    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this 
document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, 
audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the contact person 
listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as 
well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal 
Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the 
Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister. To 
use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at 
this site.

    Note:  The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the 
official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal 
Regulations is available on GPO Access at: 
http//www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.


    Dated: June 3, 2010.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2010-13775 Filed 6-7-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P