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Notice

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education; Overview Information; Smaller Learning Communities Program; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards Using Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 Funds

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.215L.

DATES:

Applications Available: May 18, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 17, 2007.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 17, 2007. Start Printed Page 28432

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The Smaller Learning Communities (SLC) program awards discretionary grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support the implementation of SLCs and activities to improve student academic achievement in large public high schools with enrollments of 1,000 or more students. SLCs include structures such as freshman academies, multi-grade academies organized around career interests or other themes, “houses” in which small groups of students remain together throughout high school, and autonomous schools-within-a-school, as well as personalization strategies, such as student advisories, family advocate systems, and mentoring programs.

Priority: This priority is from the notice of final priority, requirements, and selection criteria for this program, published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Absolute Priority: For new awards made using FY 2006 funds and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition, this priority is an absolute priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet this priority.

This priority is:

Preparing All Students To Succeed in Postsecondary Education and Careers

This priority supports projects that create or expand SLCs that are part of a comprehensive effort to prepare all students to succeed in postsecondary education and careers without need for remediation.

In order to meet this priority an applicant must demonstrate that, using SLC grant funds or other resources, it will:

(1) Provide intensive interventions to assist students who enter high school with reading/language arts or mathematics skills that are significantly below grade level to “catch up” quickly and attain proficiency by the end of 10th grade;

(2) Enroll students in a coherent sequence of rigorous English language arts, mathematics, and science courses that will equip them with the skills and content knowledge needed to succeed in postsecondary education and careers without need for remediation;

(3) Provide tutoring and other academic supports to help students succeed in rigorous academic courses;

(4) Deliver comprehensive guidance and academic advising to students and their parents that includes assistance in selecting courses and planning a program of study that will provide the academic preparation needed to succeed in postsecondary education, early and ongoing college awareness and planning activities, and help in identifying and applying for financial aid for postsecondary education; and

(5) Increase opportunities for students to earn postsecondary credit through Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate courses, or dual credit programs.

Competitive Preference Priority: Within this absolute priority, we give competitive preference to applications that address the following priority.

This priority is from the notice of final priorities published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2006 (71 FR 60045).

Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(i) we award an additional 4 points to an application that meets this priority.

This priority is:

School Districts With Schools in Need of Improvement, Corrective Action, or Restructuring

Projects that help school districts implement academic and structural interventions in schools that have been identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Invitational Priority: For new awards made using FY 2006 funds, this priority is an invitational priority. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1), we do not give an application that meets this invitational priority a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

This priority is:

Applications that propose to engage faith-based and community organizations in the delivery of services under this program.

Application Requirements: In the NFP published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2005 (70 FR 22233), we established application requirements in the following areas for competitions conducted under this program: Eligibility; School Report Cards; Consortium Applications and Educational Service Agencies; Student Placement; Including All Students; and Evaluation. In the notice of final priority, requirements, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, we established additional application requirements in the following areas: Types of Grants; Budget Information for Determination of Award; Indirect Costs; Performance Indicators; Required Meetings Sponsored by the Department; and Previous Grantees.

These requirements are in addition to the content that all SLC grant applicants must include in their applications as required by the program statute in title V, part D, subpart 4, section 5441(b) of the ESEA.

We have incorporated the terms of these requirements under appropriate sections of this notice (e.g., the Eligibility requirement is listed in section III. Eligibility Information, elsewhere in this notice).

Definitions: In addition to the definitions in the authorizing statute and 34 CFR 77.1, the following definitions apply to this program:

BIE School means a school operated or supported by the Bureau of Indian Education, formerly known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Large High School means a public school that includes grades 11 and 12 and has an enrollment of 1,000 or more students in grades 9 and above.

Smaller Learning Community means an environment in which a core group of teachers and other adults within the school knows the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitors each student's progress, and provides the academic and other support each student needs to succeed.

Start Authority

Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 7249. Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The NFP published in the Federal Register on April 28, 2005 (70 FR 22233). (c) The notice of final priorities final priorities published in the Federal Register on October 11, 2006 (71 FR 60045). (d) The notice of final priority, requirements, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

End Authority

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $86,315,475.

At the time of the initial award, the Department will provide funds for the first 36 months of the performance period. Funding to cover the remaining 24 months will be contingent on the availability of funds and each grantee's substantial progress toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of the project as described in its approved application. Contingent upon the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2008 from the list of unfunded applicants from this competition. Start Printed Page 28433

Estimated Range of Awards: $1,250,000-$14,000,000.

The following chart provides the ranges of awards per high school size:

SLC Grant Award Ranges

Student enrollmentAward ranges per school
1,000-2,000 Students$1,000,000-$1,250,000
2,001-3,000 Students1,000,000-1,500,000
3,001 Students and Up1,000,000-1,750,000

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $4,500,000.

LEAs may receive, on behalf of a single school, up to $1,750,000, depending upon student enrollment in the school, during the 60-month project period. To ensure that sufficient funds are available to support awards to LEAs of all sizes, and not only the largest LEAs, we limit to eight the number of schools that an LEA may include in a single application for a grant. LEAs applying on behalf of a group of eligible schools could receive up to $14,000,000 per grant. The actual size of awards will be based on a number of factors, including the scope, quality, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project, and the range of awards indicated in the application.

Maximum Award: Applications that request more funds than the maximum amounts specified for any school or for the total grant will not be read as part of the regular application process. However, if, after the Secretary selects applications to be funded, it appears that additional funds remain available, the Secretary may choose to read those additional applications that requested funds exceeding the maximum amounts specified. If the Secretary chooses to fund any of those additional applications, applicants will be required to work with the Department to revise their proposed budgets to fit within the appropriate funding range.

Estimated Number of Awards: 45.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Project Period: Up to 60 months.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Local educational agencies (LEAs), including educational service agencies and schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), applying on behalf of one or more large high schools.

An LEA may apply only on behalf of a school or schools that is not included in an SLC implementation grant that has a performance period that extends beyond the current fiscal year (September 30, 2007).

To be considered for funding, LEAs must identify in their applications the name or names of the eligible large high school or schools and the number of students enrolled in each school. A large high school is defined as one having grades 11 and 12, with 1,000 or more students enrolled in grades 9 and above. Enrollment figures must be based upon data from the current school year or data from the most recently completed school year. We will not accept applications from LEAs applying on behalf of schools that are being constructed and do not have an active student enrollment at the time of application. LEAs may apply on behalf of no more than eight schools.

In an effort to encourage systemic, district-level reform efforts, we permit an individual LEA to submit only one grant application in a competition, specifying in each application which high schools the LEA intends to fund.

In addition, we require that an LEA applying for a grant under this competition apply only on behalf of a high school or high schools for which it has governing authority, unless the LEA is an educational service agency that includes in its application evidence that the entity that has governing authority over the eligible high school supports the application. An LEA, however, may form a consortium with another LEA and submit a joint application for funds. The consortium must follow the procedures for group applications described in 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 in EDGAR.

An LEA is eligible for only one grant whether the LEA applies independently or as part of a consortium.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet use the following addresses: http://www.grants.gov or http://www.ed.gov/​programs/​slcp/​applicant.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: Education Publications Center, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.215L.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Alternative Format in section VIII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: All applicants must include in their applications the information required by the program statute in title V, part D, subpart 4, section 5441(b) of the ESEA. Applicants also must meet the following requirements:

(a) School Report Cards. We require that LEAs provide, for each school included in the application, the most recent “report card” produced by the State or the LEA to inform the public about the characteristics of the school and its students, including information about student academic achievement and other student outcomes. These “report cards” must include, at a minimum, the following information that LEAs are required to report for each school under section 1111(h)(2)(B)(ii) of the ESEA: (1) Whether the school has been identified for school improvement; and (2) Information that shows how the academic assessments and other indicators of adequate yearly progress compare to those indicators for students in the LEA as a whole and also shows the performance of the school's students on statewide assessments.

(b) Student Placement. We require applicants for SLC grants to include a description of how students will be selected or placed in an SLC and an assurance that students will not be placed according to ability or any other measure, but will be placed at random or by student/parent choice and not pursuant to testing or other judgments.

(c) Including All Students. We require applicants for grants to create or expand an SLC project that will include every student within the school by no later than the end of the fifth school year of implementation. Elsewhere in this notice, we define an SLC as an environment in which a group of teachers and other adults within the school knows the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitors each student's progress, and provides the academic and other support each student needs to succeed. Start Printed Page 28434

(d) Performance Indicators. We require applicants to identify in their application specific performance indicators and annual performance objectives for each of these indicators. Specifically, we require applicants to use the following performance indicators to measure the progress of each school:

(1) The percentage of students who score at the proficient and advanced levels on the reading/language arts and mathematics assessments used by the State to determine whether a school has made adequate yearly progress under part A of title I of the ESEA, as well as these percentages disaggregated by subject matter and the following subgroups:

(A) Major racial and ethnic groups;

(B) Students with disabilities;

(C) Students with limited English proficiency; and

(D) Economically disadvantaged students.

(2) The school's graduation rate, as defined in the State's approved accountability plan for part A of title I of the ESEA.

(3) The percentage of graduates who enroll in postsecondary education, advanced training, or a registered apprenticeship program in the semester following high school graduation.

Applicants must include in their applications baseline data for each of these indicators and identify performance objectives for each year of the project period. We further require recipients of grant funds to report annually on the extent to which each school achieves its performance objectives for each indicator during the preceding school year. We require grantees to include in these reports comparable data, if available, for the preceding three school years so that trends in performance will be more apparent.

Grantees must submit this additional data using the Department's SLC electronic reporting Web site within three months after awards are made.

(e) Evaluation. We require each applicant to provide assurances that it will support an evaluation of the project that provides information to the project director and school personnel, and that will be useful in gauging the project's progress and in identifying areas for improvement. Each evaluation must include an annual report for each of the first four years of the project period and a final report that would be completed at the end of the fifth year of implementation and that will include information on implementation during the fifth year as well as information on the implementation of the project across the entire project period. We require grantees to submit each of these reports to the Department.

In addition, we require that the evaluation be conducted by an independent third party, selected by the applicant, whose role in the project is limited to conducting the evaluation.

(f) Required Meetings Sponsored by the Department. Applicants must set aside adequate funds within their proposed budget to send their project director and at least two individuals from each school included in the application to a two-day technical assistance meeting in Washington, DC, in each year of the project period. The Department will host these meetings.

(g) Additional Requirements. Additional requirements concerning the content of an application for this program, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. We encourage you to limit the narrative to the equivalent of no more than 30 pages and suggest that you use the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Double space (no more than three lines per vertical inch) all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

The suggested page limit does not apply to the forms; the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; the assurances and certifications; the one-page abstract; the resumes; school report cards; indirect cost agreement; or letters of support. However, the suggested page limit does apply to all of the application narrative section.

3. Submission Dates and Times:

Applications Available: May 18, 2007.

Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: June 18, 2007.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 17, 2007.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Grants.gov Apply site (Grants.gov). For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV. 6. Other Submission Requirements in this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: September 17. 2007.

4. Intergovernmental Review: This program is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is the application package for this competition.

5. Funding Restrictions: Eligible applicants that propose to use SLC grant funds for indirect costs must include, as part of their applications, a copy of their approved indirect cost agreement. We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

6. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

a. Electronic Submission of Applications. Applications for grants under the Smaller Learning Communities Program, CFDA Number 84.215L, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at http://www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and Start Printed Page 28435submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

You may access the electronic grant application for the Smaller Learning Communities Program at http://www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this competition by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.215, not 84.215L).

Please note the following:

  • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.
  • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not consider your application if it is date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system later than 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.
  • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.
  • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov at http://e-Grants.ed.gov/​help/​GrantsgovSubmissionProcedures.pdf.
  • To submit your application via Grants.gov, you must complete all steps in the Grants.gov registration process (see http://www.grants.gov/​applicants/​get_​registered.jsp). These steps include (1) registering your organization, a multi-part process that includes registration with the Central Contractor Registry (CCR); (2) registering yourself as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (3) getting authorized as an AOR by your organization. Details on these steps are outlined in the Grants.gov 3-Step Registration Guide (see http://www.grants.gov/​section910/​Grants.govRegistrationBrochure.pdf). You also must provide on your application the same D-U-N-S Number used with this registration. Please note that the registration process may take five or more business days to complete, and you must have completed all registration steps to allow you to submit successfully an application via Grants.gov. In addition you will need to update your CCR registration on an annual basis. This may take three or more business days to complete.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. Please note that two of these forms—the SF 424 and the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424—have replaced the ED 424 (Application for Federal Education Assistance).
  • You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. (This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department.) The Department then will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send a second notification to you by e-mail. This second notification indicates that the Department has received your application and has assigned your application a PR/Award number (an ED-specified identifying number unique to your application).
  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

If you submit an application after 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that that problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. The Department will contact you after a determination is made on whether your application will be accepted.

Note:

The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because— Start Printed Page 28436

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

and

  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevent you from using the Internet to submit your application.

If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Gregory Dennis, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W243, FB6, Washington, DC 20202-6200. FAX: (202) 205-4921.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail. If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the applicable following address:

By mail through the U.S. Postal Service: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.215L), 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260; or

By mail through a commercial carrier: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Stop 4260, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.215L), 7100 Old Landover Road, Landover, MD 20785-1506.

Regardless of which address you use, you must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.215L), 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications: If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The following selection criteria will be used to evaluate applications for new grants under this program and are from the notice of final priority, requirements, and selection criteria published elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register.

Note:

The maximum score for all selection criteria is 100 points. The points or weights assigned to each criterion are indicated in parentheses.

Need for the Project (8)

In determining the need for the proposed project, we will consider the magnitude of the need for the services that will be provided and the activities that will be carried out by the proposed project.

Quality of the Project Design (25)

In determining the quality of the design of the proposed project, we will consider the extent to which—

(1) Teachers, school administrators, parents and community stakeholders support the proposed project and have been and will continue to be involved in its development and implementation;

(2) The applicant has carried out sufficient planning and preparatory activities to enable it to implement the proposed project during the school year in which the grant award will be made;

(3) School administrators, teachers, and other school employees will receive effective, ongoing technical assistance and support in implementing structural and instructional reforms;

(4) The applicant will offer all students a coherent sequence of rigorous English language arts, mathematics, and science courses that will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in postsecondary education and careers without need for remediation; and

(5) The proposed project is part of a districtwide strategy for high school redesign and strengthens the district's capacity to develop and implement smaller learning communities and improve student academic achievement as part of that strategy.

Quality of Project Services (45)

In determining the quality of the services to be provided by the proposed project, we will consider the extent to which the proposed project is likely to be effective in—

(1) Creating an environment in which a core group of teachers and other adults within the school know the needs, interests, and aspirations of each student well, closely monitor each student's progress, and provide the academic and other support each student needs to succeed;

(2) Equipping all students with the reading/English language arts, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education and careers without need for remediation;

(3) Helping students who enter high school with reading/English language Start Printed Page 28437arts or mathematics skills that are significantly below grade-level “catch up” quickly and attain proficiency by the end of the 10th grade;

(4) Providing teachers with the professional development, coaching, regular opportunities for collaboration with peers, and other supports needed to implement a rigorous curriculum and provide high-quality instruction;

(5) Increasing the participation of students, particularly low-income students, in Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or dual credit courses; and

(6) Increasing the percentage of students who enter postsecondary education in the semester following high school graduation.

Support for Implementation (17)

In determining the adequacy of the support the applicant will provide for implementation of the proposed project, we will consider the extent to which—

(1) The management plan is likely to achieve the objectives of the proposed project on time and within budget and includes clearly defined responsibilities and detailed timelines and milestones for accomplishing project tasks;

(2) The project director and other key personnel are qualified to carry out their responsibilities, and their time commitments are appropriate and adequate to implement the SLC project effectively;

(3) The applicant will support the proposed project with funds provided under other Federal or State programs and local cash or in-kind resources; and

(4) The requested grant amount and the project costs are sufficient to attain project goals and reasonable in relation to the objectives and design of the project.

Quality of the SLC Project Evaluation (5)

In determining the quality of the proposed project evaluation to be conducted by an independent, third-party evaluator, we consider the extent to which—

(1) The evaluation will provide timely, regular, and useful feedback to the LEA and the participating schools on the success and progress of implementation, and identify areas for needed improvement; and

(2) The independent evaluator is qualified to conduct the evaluation.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notice (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section in this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: The application requirements and other information related to performance indicators and objectives are described elsewhere in this notice under section IV. Application and Submission Information, 2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

VII. Agency Contact

Start Further Info

For Further Information Contact:

Gregory Dennis, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 3W243, FB6, Washington, DC 20202-6200. Telephone: (202) 205-3784 or by e-mail: smallerlearningcommunities@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

VIII. Other Information

Alternative Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII in this notice.

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. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in the Washington, DC, area at (202) 512-1530.

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.

Start Signature

Dated: May 15, 2007.

Kerri L. Briggs,

Acting Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.

End Signature End Further Info End Preamble

[FR Doc. 07-2477 Filed 5-16-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P