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New York State Education Department Seal

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

Office of Higher Education

Room 977, Education Building Annex, Albany, New York 12234

(518) 486‐3633

To: 
Presidents/Chief Executive Officers of Institutions of Higher Education
District Superintendents
Superintendents of Public Schools
Superintendents of State‐Operated and State‐Supported Schools
Directors of Charter Schools
New York State United Teachers
New York Council of School Superintendents (NYSCOSS)
New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS)
Big 5 Conference
Other Partners
From: 
Joseph P. Frey, Deputy Commissioner
Subject: 
Grant for Smart Scholars Early College High Schools – Cohort 2
Date: 
December 7, 2010

Governor Paterson has provided a $6,000,000 grant from the Community Projects Fund to support the Smart Scholars Early College High School (ECHS) Program. The Smart Scholars ECHS Program seeks to support students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education by providing them the opportunity and preparation to accelerate the completion of their high school studies while earning significant college credit at the same time. This groundbreaking program is possible through a public/private partnership. The funding provided by the Governor provides the matching funds for the next phase of this program that started in 2009 with private funding.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the second cohort of this grant program is located on the SED Web site at: http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ss/rfp. The application deadline is January 28, 2011. The Smart Scholars ECHS program targets grants to partnerships consisting of institutions of higher education and public schools or charter schools (especially those serving students in high need schools). Together, these school‐college partnerships create early college high schools that provide students academic support to ensure they are at grade level and ready to participate in rigorous high school and collegiate courses. Through a dual or concurrent enrollment program, students earn a high school diploma and at least 20 college credits.

Eligibility

The following types of institutions are eligible to submit a response to a Request for Proposal (RFP) to create a Smart Scholars ECHS program:

all public high schools and charter schools [especially Schools in Improvement Status (SIIS), Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools (PLAS), and Schools under Registration Review (SURR)]; and

all New York State colleges and universities.

Community‐based organizations and businesses are encouraged to engage in support of the ECHS partnerships, but they cannot be an applicant. The participating community‐based organization must have 501(c) 3 status.

While priority will be given to proposals with a systemic approach to establishing new early college high schools, existing early college high schools are eligible to respond to the RFP. However, if funds are made available to an existing program, the investment must result in a new or expanded level of service that includes developing demonstration sites with a design for sustained longevity; creating and communicating best practices; or increasing the number of students served.

Funding

A typical four‐year award for the second cohort of Smart Scholars ECHS partnerships may range from $200,000 to $450,000, contingent on a regional distribution of the awards and the number of successful applicants.

Bidders Conference by Webinar

The Bidders Conference will be conducted as a Webinar and is scheduled for Tuesday, January 4, 2011 from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM. Each computer terminal represents a separate registration so we encourage teams to participate in the Webinar using a single computer terminal. To reserve a spot, please send an E‐mail by December 30, 2010 to: SMARTSCHOLARSRFP@mail.nysed.gov. Subject: “Bidders Webinar Reservation.” After we receive your reservation request, we will provide you with the technical information needed to participate in the Webinar. The Webinar will be recorded and posted on the Department’s Web site for future access.

Important Dates to Remember

Register for the Bidders Conference by December 30, 2010

Bidders Conference by Webinar is scheduled for January 4, 2011

Proposals must be postmarked by January 28, 2011

Project period begins April 1, 2011

School year begins in September 2011

Next Steps

If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact Evelyn Maclutsky at (518) 474‐1068 or via e‐mail to smartscholarsrfp@mail.nysed.gov. Answers to questions submitted via E‐mail by January 6, 2011 will be posted to http://www.highered.nysed.gov/ss/rfp by January 13, 2011.

This program offers us an exciting opportunity to put into practice the promise of a truly connected P‐16 system of education that benefits students and the P‐12 and higher education communities. I hope you will consider participating.