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Letter to Superintendents on the Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP)

Dear Superintendents,

Attached is an overview of the elements required in your Smart Schools Investment Plan (SSIP).  These represent the questions that you will be asked in the plan.  We hope that this will help your prepare the necessary information to submit your plan on-line.  The SSIP on-line application will lead applicants through a series of eight modules linked to the allowable spending categories.   All applicants will complete the first section, where they will attest to having fulfilled the requirements for public notification and engagement, etc.  Next, districts will be required to complete any of the modules where they plan to make expenditures. Districts are permitted to submit an application that does not budget their entire Smart Schools allocation. You can wait to amend the SSIP at a later date to use those funds.

The budget module will be populated automatically by the data entered in the previous modules.  Applicants will be asked to confirm that the data as populated is correct and then submit the application which will notify the department that your application is ready for our review.    

As noted in the guidance, the SSIP application will be accessed through the State Education Department Monitoring application that many of you used as part of your Race to the Top Projects.  At present that system is undergoing modifications that will permit us to roll the SSIP budget data submitted into a payment tracking system that will support the project as payments begin to flow. We are working hard to bring the new system on-line, and anticipate being able do within several months. 

There are several things to note as you review the attached document:

  1. You will see language about a waiver from the data transmission speed requirement. This option was made available for those few districts with potential difficulties meeting the speed standard.  Information about the criteria for the waiver will be posted at the Smart Schools website.
  2. You will see questions where there is a (+yes) in the text, that is to indicate that in the actual web application the following question will only appear if the answer to that question is yes.
  3. Many of the responses are limited to 500 characters or less, and many will encourage you cite the District Instructional Technology Plan you will have submitted. Our intent is to ensure that Smart School Bond Act funds are spent in a manner closely linked to the Tech Plan (at least when technology is to be purchased, not in the case of the addition of prekindergarten classroom space, the replacement of transportable units and security spending). This will have the secondary benefit of streamlining the review of your SSIP.
  4. This application information will be posted on the Smart Schools website linked above for the reference of your staff and community. Additional information about the program will be posted as well, including information about a planned webinar to discuss program details, the SSIP itself and other matters of interest in the Smart Schools program. 

Please direct any questions about the plan to the program email address at:  Or you can call the Office of Educational Management Services at (518) 474-3927.

Thank you very much.