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Title IV, Part A - Student Support and Academic Enrichment

The purpose of this program is to improve students’ academic achievement by increasing the capacity of States, local educational agencies, schools, and local communities to:

  • provide all students with access to a well-rounded education;
  • improve school conditions for student learning; and
  • improve the use of technology in order to improve the academic achievement and digital literacy of all students.

Title IV Resources

Stronger Connections Grant

As part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), Congress authorized $1 billion in formula funding under Title IV, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) to state educational agencies (SEAs) to provide students with safer and healthier learning environments. The U.S. Department of Education has allocated $4,833,025 of these funds to Vermont under the BSCA Stronger Connections grant program, 95.5% of which will be awarded competitively to high-need local educational agencies (LEAs) to fund activities allowable under section 4108 – the Safe and Healthy Students section - of the ESEA (see Title IV Allowable Uses). The AOE has established the following indicators of high-need which will be identified for each applicant using AOE data, and translated into a four-point scale (see scoring criteria appendix):  

  1. Poverty rates as measured by the percentage of free-and-reduced price meal-eligible students by supervisory union/district (SU/SD);   
  2. Rates of disciplinary incidents that result in exclusionary discipline (such incidents may include bullying, hazing, physical altercations, threats, and more depending on LEA policies) by SU/SD;  
  3. Rates of emergency or provisional licenses sought by SU/SD (as this implies a qualified educator shortage); and   
  4. Rates of chronic absenteeism by SU/SD.    
  5. LEA percentages will be compared to statewide average percentages for each indicator.  

In addition, there will be an option in the application for LEAs to self-identify need for additional points. 

The LEA grants will support the following activities: 

  • Implementing comprehensive, evidence-based strategies that meet each student’s social, emotional, physical, and mental well-being needs; create positive, inclusive, and supportive school environments; and increase students’ access to place-based interventions and services. 
  • Engaging students, families, educators, staff, and community organizations in the selection and implementation of strategies and interventions to create safe, inclusive and supportive learning environments. 
  • Designing and implementing policies and practices that advance equity and are responsive to underserved students, protect student rights, and demonstrate respect for student dignity and potential. 


The Stronger Connections Grant competition closed on May 12, 2023. We are pleased to announce the LEAs that will receive the Stronger Connections Grant. These 18 LEAs have proposed plans for implementation during the performance period of July 1, 2023, to September 30, 2026. The proposed award amounts for the entire performance period, and the spending plan summaries, are as follows:  

  • Burlington School District: $250,000 for comprehensive, district-wide implementation of Restorative Practices (RP), to include needs assessments to inform this work, and staff professional development.  
  • Central Vermont Supervisory Union: $240,000 for a Student Assistance Professional to provide prevention education, individual and group supports and training for staff. 
  • Essex-Westford Educational Community Unified Union School District: $240,000 for school social worker or mental health clinician positions to engage students and families.  
  • Kingdom East Unified Union School District: $250,000 to support a 1.0 FTE special educator as well as staff training and other costs for a program that will complement existing Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten programs.  
  • Mill River Unified Union School District: $230,000 for a 6th-7th grade transition program, and the addition of a school-based mental health clinician.  
  • Milton School District: $250,000 for a Coordinator for Behavioral Services and a Flexible Learning position as part of Continuum of Personalized Support Program. 
  • North Country Supervisory Union: $250,000 to support the development of a local (within district) alternative placement program.  
  • Orange East Supervisory Union: $250,000 for a Social-emotional Learning Engagement Specialist who would develop systemic and inclusive engagement opportunities for students, families, community partners, and stakeholders. 
  • Orange Southwest Supervisory Union: $250,000 to increase access to physical and health education for elementary students across the district; provide professional development on harassment and bullying; support a student-led advisory council on equity and inclusion topics and provide additional professional development on these topics; and more. 
  • Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union: $250,000 for 1) Coordination and implementation of Restorative Practice programs; 2) promotion of positive mental health through family and student engagement activities; and 3) professional development for trauma-informed instructional and classroom management practices.  
  • Rivendell Interstate School District: $212,250 for a .5 FTE salaried position to further coordinate their LEA-level Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) work in order to facilitate connections to additional services that will increase academic success. 
  • Rutland City School District: $179,000 for parent/guardian community health education events and other community engagement activities; to enhance primary grades-level health education; and to improve availability of access to community engagement activities. 
  • Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union: $250,000 for a Manager of School-Based Mental Health position, who will work with other safety and student support personnel and increase capacity to support mental health needs. 
  • St. Johnsbury School District: $250,000 for a Dean of Student Life position to foster a positive and healthy school community by providing programming and leadership opportunities for youth.  
  • White River Valley Supervisory Union: $148,800 to enhance and expand upon an existing mindfulness program that serves to incorporate daily mindfulness activities for students and adults.  
  • Windham Central Supervisory Union: $219,285 for comprehensive planning, implementation, and evaluation of a district-wide social-emotional learning curriculum and training protocol.  
  • Windham Northeast Supervisory Union: $248,000 for enhancement of technologies supporting student need identification, case management, restorative justice partnerships, and equity efforts.  
  • Windham Southeast Supervisory Union: $233,500 for implementation of a comprehensive, district-wide social-emotional learning curriculum, Youth Mental Health First Aid training for staff, and more. 

These awards will enable the LEAs to implement evidence-based strategies for student well-being, engage stakeholders in creating inclusive learning environments, and design equitable policies that protect student rights, dignity, and potential.  

Please do not hesitate to contact Beth Keister, Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention Coordinator and Stronger Connections Grant Coordinator, at if you require further information or clarification.   

Stonger Connections Important Dates

GMS application live: March 29th

Question and Answer period: begins Wednesday, March 29, 2023, and ends Monday, April 10, 2023

Question and Answer office hours session 2: Wednesday, April 5, 2023, from 11 a.m.-noon.

Questions and Answers published by Friday, April 14, 2023

Grant applications due in GMS: Friday, May 12, 2023 at 4:30 p.m.

Award decisions made by: Friday June 2, 2023

Stronger Connections Grant Resources

Stronger Connections Grant Questions and Answers

Stronger Connections Grant Scoring Rubric

Title IV Allowable Uses

Stronger Connections Equitable Services Outreach Letter (Template)

Stronger Connections Equitable Services Documentation of Consultation (Template)

BSCA Stronger Connections Grant FAQs