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Home > Title II > Title II-D

Updated 12/14/09 RAM

No Child Left Behind - Title II-D
Enhancing Education Through Technology

IID NCLBA Title IID ARRA Competitive Grant RFP # 200911555
Phase 2 RFP Questions and Answers

Questions for Phase 1 RFPs (200907487 and 200911556) follow.

Competitive Grants Request for Proposals (RFP)  RFP # 200911555
for developing and providing professional development statewide for using open education resources to support the integration of technology in teaching and learning of Maine’s Learning Results (MLR) Parameters for Essential Instruction.

Recording of Q&S Session http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/p64682263/

Questions and Answers – The most recent questions appear at the top of the list.

Q: On page 24 of the RFP is a Rider A: Specifications of work to be performed. I believe the dates in this Rider A are incorrect.
 A: Appendix 5 is a Sample State Agreement. Final timeline and reporting dates will be negotiated and are dependent on the final award date of the grant.
 
Q: Would you please confirm that a team of teachers representing each of Maine’s School Superintendent Regions must be assembled for this OER PD project?
A: Appendix 5 is only a sample Rider A and was copied from the OER Research proposal. Page 3 of RFP 200911555 identifies the elements that should be included in a successful proposal.

Q: We are considering becoming a partner with another eligible school system for the competitive Title IID grant. Our district isn't eligible to apply on our own. If we do partner with another eligible district for the Title IID grant, do they have to file a letter of intent form on their own or do we both have to file the letter of intent form?
A: The letter of intent is filed by the eligible School Administrative Unit (SAU) that will be acting as the fiscal agent.

Q: Can a proposal cross grade spans and content areas?
A: Individual proposals can cover grade spans, but just one content area. A proposal can mention other content areas, but choose a primary content area.

Q: Is it possible to submit an integrated proposal for the PD RFP that crosses different content areas? We are working on a proposal with schools that involves PD around promising instructional practices that embed OERs and technological innovations in 4 major content areas.
A: Proposals are to be submitted for one Content Area. Choose the primary content area. You may, in fact, submit proposals in several content areas.

Q: Am I correct in my understanding that a letter of intent by Dec. 11 is not a requirement for submission of an application for the Title IID tech grants?
A: Letters of intent are requested, not required.

Q: What sections constitute the five page limit?  Must the parent involvement, training and development quality standards and budget sections be included in the five page narrative limit?
A: The narrative is limited to five pages not including the budget, budget notes, and the required forms.

Q: What is the content of the professional development? Is the content using OERs? Is the content using technology in enhance learning? Is the content related to some Core Content area?
A: Yes to all the questions. Professional development on a particular teaching practice that is pedagogy, but behind that is content. The content piece needs to be OER so that other teachers can take immediate advantage of the resource. It isn’t how to use OER as a conceptual idea.

Q: Must the teachers participating in the pilot come from a high needs district?
A: No. The proposal must be submitted by a high needs district as the fiscal agent, but teachers can come from across districts. It would be great to recruit teachers from other districts. You may also include representatives from institutes of higher education and content area related organizations.

Q: How do we address the statewide requirement of the proposal?
A: The pilot project could be a smaller group of teachers, but the project must also be scaled up for statewide delivery in the second year of the project.

Q:  Do you anticipate awarding a number of smaller grants and then a larger grant for the statewide component?
A:  There is no limit to the number of awards or the size of awards. We have to start small. We don’t want to beta test on the entire state.

Q:  Wasn’t this RFP actually both Phase Two and Phase Three?
A:  Yes, we combined Phase Two PD development and Phase Three Statewide deployment.  The OER is the content. We’re looking for good teaching practice.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act - No Child Left Behind
Title IID Enhancing Education Through Technology
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Competitive Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) # 200911556
Question and Answer Session December 2, 2009
http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/p36707999/

A Question and Answer Session for a similar RFP ,#200907487, took place on September 9, 2009. Those Questions and Answers follow as well. http://stateofmaine.na4.acrobat.com/p68218450/

Questions and Answers – The most recent questions appear at the top of the list.

Q: Do positions have to be posted with the Career Centers?
A: IF the position

Q: Are you using learncentral.org as the social network tool and is the program accessible?
A: We are using learncentral.org Any Maine teacher can get a membership free of charge. Learncentral.org has a built-in resource database, that system provides a good platform for this style of work. It can be a link or a file you upload. You can categorize that resource against state standards or national standards. You can tag the resources so they are finable, searchable  while at the same time, plus there is a comment blog built in. teachers can comment on resources plus there is a fiver star rating system. Once entered the resources are searchable. This will also provide teachers the opportunity to learn ways in which they can use these tools with teachers and students.

Q: Are many Maine schools on learncentral.org?
A: Individuals join not the schools. Right now not many people are using it, but one of the problems that we have is that there aren’t a lot of places that teachers can gather electronically with resource sharing and discussion boards, where you can have a personal place like Facebook. This was one of the first sites we saw that was robust enough to serve our needs.

Q: So you would use this instead of a Moodle system??
A:  Moodle is a closed system. If we used a “walled garden” then then community will be only as large as the number of people we can attract. If we use this system then we will be joining a community of well over 27,000 members. While they are from around the world some percentage will be interested in OER, they may start to key in on the process which is a good thing. It is easier to do this kind if work if you have more people involved.

Q: What about OER Commons?
A: It is a place to go for resources and it does have some capability. One of the reasons I didn’t look at it is that it is very focused on OER.

Q: Is learncentral.org a system that should be written into our  plan?
A: Yes. It is a no-cost system and networking space. When we first stated writing the RFP we were just starting to look at those recourses  so we didn’t write it into the grant.

Q:  Could you talk about the difference between this grant and the other grant?
A: This grant is focused on identification of content resources. MLTI training has focused on the TPCK model- technology, pedagogy, content knowledge.  As teachers we have content knowledge, like math, and how we tech, pedagogy. This grant focuses on the content that is out there. What are the new pieces out there? Technology brings us capacity that is more than just text on a page, more interactive. The other RFP is focused on the pedagogy, the practice.

This lead to the question about having this step done before the other RFP….                   
While it would be nice to have a list of resources, I think that we can move forward.

Q: Are we looking for a proposal on a repository for aligning OERs with the Learning Results?
A: learnsentral.org will be the space, but we are looking at alignment as a task. There is a need to identify to what the resources refers. We can’t identify resources for every single indicator, but more importantly we can help teachers understand that these resources exist and how they evaluate the quality resources. We will be producing a workshop on quality indicators for OER materials – what constitutes quality.

The resources won’t live in learncentral but can be accessed through learncentral. If you find material you can post information so we can share. The effort is to build a community around the research process. The goal is to build the network. The strategy is to build that capacity beyond the end of the grant.

You are encouraged to build partnerships beyond the district you live in. There are organizations which might have a viable group which can meet this need, like Maine Math Science or arts groups. We have to work through eligible districts of which will see the benefit to the district. Any of those organizations can be part of the team.

Questions and Answers from September 9, 2009

Q: How do we deal with a new RSU that may not yet have a united tech plan?
A: The RSU does not need a unified plan. The RSU is covered by the plans of the school administrative units making up the new entity.

Q: Is there a form that should be signed by partnering districts in a consortium? The one included in the RFP is really for the district acting as fiscal agent.
A: There is no form that should be signed by partnering SAUs in the consortium. Identify them in the narrative. The superintendent of the SAU submitting the proposal is the only required signatory.  

Q: Can indirect be charged by the district acting as fiscal agents and is there a limit?
A: The SAU acting as the fiscal agent can charge a 3% administrative fee.

Q: How are you defining professional development?
A: A description of professional development can be found in the introduction to “Achieving Results”  http://www.maine.gov/education/achievingresults/intro.htm

Q: The focus this first year is on researching OERs. Is much of that work- exploring and identifying resources-considered professional development or learning??
A: Professional development hopefully involves learning! The description provided in the introduction to the Department publication “Achieving Results” captures the essence of professional development. It “regards teachers as learners and supports collegiality and collaboration rather than separation. Research tells us that training and development must: include a clear purpose and well-defined, assessable goals that are anchored in student learning; be ongoing and grounded in each individual's job; clearly demonstrate the connections between old and new educational methods; provide appropriate models including training, observation, inquiry, and mentoring; feature site-based activities that emphasize relevance and real-world applicability; and involve planning for the long-term, as the process must be seen as a long-term investment.”

Q: What counts as administration?
A: Administration are activities like fiscal management and the “nuts and bolts” work like making meeting arrangements or scheduling on-line meetings.

Q: Is it true that the grantee will need to assemble a team that includes members from ea of the 9 superintendents’                           regions in the state?
A: Yes, the content team must include a teacher from each superintendent’s region.

Q: I presume that you are looking for a proposal that will hire a person to coordinate all of these people as they dig around for appropriate OER for whatever content area we choose to focus on. Is that correct?
A: No, not necessarily.

Q: Can adult ed staff be included on the team?
A: Yes, as part of the team.

Q: Do you have to file a letter of intent in order to submit a proposal?
A: A letter of intent is not required, but requested to help gauge interest.

Q: If the proposal is coming from a consortium or statewide initiative involving multiple districts and regional partnerships, do all the superintendents need to sign off in the letter of intent?
A: The letter of intent should be signed by the superintendent of the school administrative unit that will be submitting the proposal for the consortium.

Q:  Do you really need to have a representative from ALL superintendent regions, if you’ve got an existing network that covers most- but not all??
A: The RFP and the Rider A of the contract requires that the team must include representatives from each of the Maine School Superintendent’s Regions.

Q: Can you kindly tell me if a district not on the list of eligible SAUs can partner with an institution of higher learning to apply for this grant?"
A: A school administrative unit (SAU) not eligible to submit a proposal can work with an SAU  that is eligible to submit a proposal in a collaborative arrangement that can also include representatives of institutes of higher education and/or related professional organizations.

Q: For the PD portion of the OER, do we create it, or does it have to exist within the OER source?
A: The goal of this grant is to identify Open Educational Resources. If there are related professional development materials or strategies that is great. Developing professional development will be support in the Phase 2 RFP.

Q: How can we, as a regional technical center, participate in this technology integration grant? And further, how will we connect this to content areas, and CTE.
A; Technical center teachers can connect through the eligible SAUs in their regions. Contact the superintendents to learn if the districts are part of a collaborative team or considering developing a proposal.

Q: Are Phase 1 grants connected to Phase 2 grants? If you are awarded a Phase 1 grant does the district automatically get a Phase 2 grant?
A: Districts awarded a phase 1 grant will not automatically get a Phase 2 grant. The information gathered in Phase 1 will inform the work in Phase 2.

Q: What is the reason for having a representative from each Superintendent’s Region?
A: There are two reasons for having representatives from various regions in the state. It is important that teachers from across the state have the opportunity to contribute to the work. An equally important outcome is that a network of teachers be created or existing networks enhanced that will enable the collaborative work of creating and using open educational resources to continue after the grant itself ends.