FR Doc 2010-2700
[Federal Register: February 8, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 25)]
[Notices]               
[Page 6188-6192]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr08fe10-43]                         

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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 proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria.

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SUMMARY: The Secretary of Education proposes 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.

DATES: We must receive your comments on or before March 10, 2010.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments about this notice to Jill Staton, U.S. 
Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 4W245, 
Washington, DC 20202-5970.
    If you prefer to send your comments by e-mail, use the following 
address: FSCS@ed.gov. You must include the term ``FSCS--Comments on FY 
2010 Proposed Priority'' in the subject line of your electronic 
message.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Staton. (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:
    Invitation to Comment: We invite you to submit comments regarding 
this notice. To ensure that your comments have maximum effect in 
developing the notice of final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria, we urge you to identify clearly the specific 
proposed priority, requirement, definition, or selection criterion your 
comment addresses.
    We invite you to assist us in complying with the specific 
requirements of Executive Order 12866 and its overall requirement of 
reducing regulatory burden that might result from the proposed 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria. Please 
let us know of any further ways we could reduce potential costs or 
increase potential benefits while preserving the effective and 
efficient administration of the program.
    During and after the comment period, you may inspect all public 
comments about the proposed priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria in room 4W245, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, 
DC, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, 
Monday through Friday of each week except Federal holidays.
    Assistance to Individuals With Disabilities in Reviewing the 
Rulemaking Record: On request we will provide an appropriate 
accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability who 
needs assistance to review the comments or other documents in the 
public rulemaking record for this notice. If you want to schedule an 
appointment for this type of accommodation or auxiliary aid, please 
contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    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 between (1) 
public elementary and secondary schools; (2) the schools' local 
educational agencies; 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.
    Proposed 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. Under an absolute priority, as specified by 34 CFR 
75.105(c)(3), we would consider only applications that meet the 
priority. Under a competitive preference priority, we would 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)). With an invitational 
priority, we would signal our interest in receiving applications that 
meet the priority; however, consistent with 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we 
would not give an application that meets an invitational priority 
preference over other applications.
    The Secretary proposes two priorities for the Full-Service 
Community Schools program. Proposed Priority 1 is an absolute 
priority--all applicants would be required to meet this priority in 
order to receive a grant. Priority 2 is a competitive preference 
priority under which we would award additional points to an applicant 
that met the priority. We may choose, in the notice of final 
priorities, requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, to 
change the designation of any of these priorities to absolute, 
competitive preference, or invitational priorities, or to include the 
substance of these priorities in the selection criteria.
    Background:
    In order for children to be ready and able to learn, they need 
academic, social, and health supports. The National Research Council 
has cited the presence of these supports as important predictors of 
future adult success.\1\ Students' needs are better met when academic, 
social, and health services are delivered to them in a well-coordinated 
and collaborative manner.
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    \1\ Committee on Community-Level Programs for Youth (2002). 
Community Programs To Promote Youth Development. Edited by J.S. 
Eccles and J. Gootman. Washington, DC: National Research Council, 
Institute of Medicine, and National Academy Press.
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    A full-service community school, as defined in this notice, is a 
public elementary or secondary school that coordinates with its local 
educational agency and with community-based organizations, nonprofit 
organizations, and other public or private entities on the provision of 
comprehensive academic, social, and health services to students, 
students' family members, and community members. In addition, a full-
service community school fosters community development and promotes 
parental engagement by bringing together many partners in order to 
offer a range of supports and opportunities

[[Page 6189]]

for students, students' family members, and community members.
    Schools do not operate in total isolation from the communities in 
which they are located. Such community challenges as poverty, violence, 
poor physical health, and family instability are also education issues. 
When schools and community partners collaborate to address these issues 
and align their resources to achieve common results, children are more 
likely to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Full-service 
community schools seek to address these challenges by connecting 
students, students' family members, and community members with 
available services and opportunities, including with increased-
learning-time opportunities that can support high academic achievement.
    Additionally, the Department recognizes 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. They are 
characterized by high academic standards; rigorous curricula; high-
quality teachers; effective school leadership; well-designed 
assessments and accountability systems; positive school climates; and 
strong professional development. It is imperative that we pay close 
attention to our most educationally disadvantaged, persistently lowest-
achieving schools, as defined in this notice. These are the schools 
that continue to challenge our country's system of public education and 
fail to adequately educate our Nation's youth. Persistently lowest-
achieving schools can be transformed into schools that enable all 
students to meet high standards when these schools implement school 
intervention models, as defined in this notice, that are aligned with a 
well-coordinated system of comprehensive academic, social, and health 
services. The Department believes that the full-service community 
school model can create the needed synergy to bolster efforts to 
transform persistently lowest-achieving schools into schools that 
enable all students to meet high standards.
    Proposed Absolute Priority:
    This absolute priority would support projects that propose to 
establish or expand (through collaborative efforts among State and 
local agencies, community-based organizations, other public and private 
entities, and parents) 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(3) of the ESEA--and that 
establishes or expands a full-service community school as defined in 
this notice. 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. Early childhood education;
    2. Remedial education and academic enrichment activities;
    3. Programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy 
activities;
    4. Mentoring and other youth development programs;
    5. Parenting education and parent leadership programs;
    6. Community service and service learning opportunities;
    7. Programs that provide assistance to students who have been 
truant, suspended, or expelled;
    8. Job training and career counseling services;
    9. Nutrition services;
    10. Primary health and dental care;
    11. Mental health counseling services; and
    12. Adult education, including instruction of adults in English as 
a second language.
    Proposed Competitive Preference Priority:
    We are proposing the following competitive preference priority for 
this program:

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

    We propose to give competitive preference to applications to enable 
schools that are currently identified as persistently lowest-achieving 
schools, as defined in this notice, and are currently undergoing or 
plan to undergo one of three school intervention models, as defined in 
this notice, to become full-service community schools. Applicants would 
be required to describe (a) the school intervention model that would be 
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.
    Proposed Requirements:
    Background:
    Children, particularly those living in poverty, need a variety of 
family and community resources, including intellectual, social, 
physical, and emotional supports, to have the opportunity to attain 
academic success. Many children live in communities that lack not only 
high-performing schools, but also the supports that children need to be 
ready and able to learn when they start school. School-community 
partnerships are key strategies for providing resources to these 
individual students. A variety of organizations can help provide the 
missing resources for children living in poverty and, therefore, begin 
to transform struggling schools and communities. These organizations 
can be public or private, community-based or faith-based, governmental 
or non-governmental, or a combination thereof, but they must work 
together with clearly articulated and mutually agreed upon goals, 
target populations, roles, and desired outcomes. Partnerships between 
schools and organizations may take many forms; for example, a 
telecommunications firm might offer internships to high school students 
to help them make real-world connections to the school's science 
curriculum or a local police department might provide mentors for 
troubled youth in order to improve a low school graduation rate. Such 
partnerships can transform the capacity of schools to serve students' 
diverse needs and improve their outcomes.
    A full-service community school coordinator, as defined in this 
notice, is often central to the effective facilitation of these 
partnerships and the delivery of services. The FSCS coordinator serves 
as the lead advocate for the on-site development of the community 
school effort. The FSCS coordinator assists school staff, parents, and 
community members, as defined in this notice, by linking students with 
the community organizations that offer programs and services that can 
address students' needs. The FSCS coordinator is essential to ensuring 
that programs and desired outcomes are fully aligned.
    Proposed Requirements:
    The Secretary proposes the following requirements for this program. 
We may apply one or more of these requirements in any year in which 
this program is in effect.

Application Requirements

    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 magnitude or severity of the problem to be addressed by 
the project; and (b) the extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in 
services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified

[[Page 6190]]

and will be addressed by the proposed project.
    2. A list of partner entities that will assist the applicant in 
coordinating or providing services to promote successful student, 
family, and community outcomes.
    3. A memorandum of understanding between the applicant and all 
partner entities, describing the role each partner entity will assume.
    4. A description of the organizational capacity of the applicant to 
provide and coordinate eligible services at an FSCS that will 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 partners, and lessons learned from 
similar work or previous community-school efforts. 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 ongoing improvement.
    5. A comprehensive plan that includes descriptions of 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 community to be served. The 
plan must also include the estimated total number of individuals to be 
served, disaggregated by the number of students, students' family 
members, and community members, as defined in this notice, 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.
    7. A description of how the applicant will use data to drive 
decision-making and measure success. This description must include a 
description of the applicant's plans to build or expand a longitudinal 
data system to track academic and community support indicators that 
will be used to monitor and assess outcomes of the eligible services 
provided and coordinated by the FSCS project.
    8. A description of the role and responsibilities of the full-
service community school coordinator.

Eligibility

    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

    Because interagency collaborative efforts are highly complex 
undertakings, and require extensive planning and communication among 
partners and key stakeholders, applicants receiving funding under this 
program may devote funds received during the first year of the project 
period to comprehensive program planning. Funding received by grantees 
during the remainder of the project period must be devoted to program 
implementation.
    Proposed Definitions:
    Background:
    Several important terms associated with the FSCS program are not 
defined in sections 5411-5413 and 9101 of the ESEA.
    Proposed Definitions:
    The Secretary proposes 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 elsewhere 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 coordinates with its local educational agency and 
community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and other 
public or private entities on the provision of comprehensive academic, 
social, and health services to students, students' family members, and 
community members. In addition, a full-service community school fosters 
community development and promotes parental 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 
has lead responsibility for on-site development and implementation of 
the full-service community school effort and who, in that capacity, 
facilitates partnerships and coordinates 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.
    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 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)

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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.
    Proposed Selection Criteria:
    Background:
    The first FSCS grant competition was held in FY 2008. Our 
experience with administering this competition suggests that the 
selection criteria used in FY 2008 were effective in selecting FSCS 
projects for funding with the greatest potential for success. We 
believe the following proposed selection criteria, which are 
essentially the same as those used in FY 2008, would contribute to our 
efforts to support successful FSCS sites.
    Proposed Selection Criteria:
    The Secretary proposes 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 and students' family 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;
    (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.
    Final Priority, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria:
    We will announce the final priorities, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria in a notice in the Federal Register. We will 
determine the final priorities, requirements, definitions, and 
selection criteria after considering responses to this notice and other 
information available to the Department. This notice does not preclude 
us from proposing additional priorities,

[[Page 6192]]

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 proposed priorities and one or more of 
these proposed requirements, definitions, and selection criteria, we 
invite applications through a notice in the Federal Register.

    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 proposed regulatory 
action.
    The potential costs associated with this proposed 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 proposed regulatory action, we have determined 
that the benefits of the proposed priority, requirements, definitions, 
and selection criteria justify the costs.
    We have determined, also, that this proposed 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: February 3, 2010.
James H. Shelton, III,
Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 2010-2700 Filed 2-5-10; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-P