RFA Social Workers for Middle Schools Initiative Page 1

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1 REQUEST FOR APPLICATION (RFA) RFA Released: May 11, 2015 Final Date to Submit RFA: June 5, 2015, by 5:00pm No consideration will be available for RFA s received after final date. This is a Request for Application (RFA) and does not constitute an award. This RFA may qualify an applicant for funds. $1,300,000 dollars in competitive funding is available to New Mexico school districts to support placement of up to 20 school social workers to establish an innovative and impactful social worker program in eligible middle schools. If awarded funding, districts will be required to hire an individual with an appropriate license in accordance with STARS assignment code #82. Application Checklist Please complete the checklist below to ensure that all required information and actions have been completed before ing the RFA to Chris Narkun, Policy Division, New Mexico Public Education Department. Applications must be submitted to All pages of the Application for Social Workers for Middle Schools Initiative funds completed Cover page Electronic submission of narrative explaining the district and targeted school s need and proposal for a middle school social worker program, double-spaced, 12pt. font, separated into the following sections: 1. Eligibility Requirements a section noting how the district and targeted school(s) meet the requirements of the, as articulated in the Eligibility section of this RFA; 2. District/Target School(s) Demographics a section including: enrollment total and enrollment by grade, ethnicity percentages, percent of students receiving Free/Reduced Price Meals, percentages of students receiving special education services, and district graduation rate; 3. District/Target School(s) Need for Proposed Program an explanation of how the program would directly benefit the district, targeted school(s), students, families and community, with reference to relevant student data, including STARS infraction data and/or Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey data; and Page 1

2 4. Role of Social Worker a section detailing the anticipated role and scope of work of the social worker at the targeted school(s), including how the social worker will collaborate with the current school staff, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, school-based health center staff, and student wellness or crisis teams, as well as any additional expectations the school will hold for this role. Purpose Schools are tasked with the important role of providing a safe, supportive learning environment for all students. This includes promoting/addressing the social and emotional health and wellness of students and ensuring access to appropriate behavioral health services. The purpose of the is to establish a cohort of middle school social workers placed across the state to address the many social and psychological issues and challenges faced by middle school students and their families that may impact their academic achievement and social well-being in the school environment. School social workers can provide services and supports to students that help reduce risk factors, increase resiliency, and achieve positive student outcomes such as improved behavior, attendance, academic performance, and peer relationships. School workers are part of a coordinated school health approach to create a healthy and effective learning school environment that supports students both academically and emotionally. New Mexico Public Education Department s Policy Division is issuing this RFA to all New Mexico districts, charters, and Regional Educational Cooperatives (RECs) interested in hosting a middle school social worker to provide these services for one or more middle schools. For applications involving RECs, the REC will complete the application as the lead applicant with documented support from participating schools and districts, as well as a staffing plan detailing how the social worker will serve two or more schools. Goals and Best Practices for Middle School Social Workers Guidance from the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) describes the broad and varied level of supports a school social worker can provide to students, parents, school staff, and districts, including: Assessing students for support systems, barriers to academic performance, physical and emotional functioning, substance abuse, peer issues, suicidal ideation and other issues; Providing therapeutic services such as group, individual, or family counseling to facilitate aligned approaches to student support; Developing and implementing treatment plans that support student self-determination; Providing crisis intervention, ongoing intervention strategies, and conflict resolution and anger management skills for students; Providing case management services, including referrals and assisting students and families in accessing and utilizing programs and resources to support student success; Participating in special education assessment meetings, preparing a social or developmental history on a student with disabilities, and assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies; Contributing to a multi-disciplinary team, such as a Student Assistance Team, School Safety Committee, District or School Crisis Response Team, or School Health Advisory Council; Conducting home visits; Page 2

3 Supporting school staff in developing behavior management strategies, gathering essential information relating to student performance and behavior, assessing mental health concerns, and developing staff in-service training; Coordinating support to schools from social, health, and mental health agencies and organizations, including school-based health centers; Assisting districts and schools in the planning and implementation of effective programs and policies to address drop-outs, truancy, suspected abuse or neglect, violence and substance abuse prevention, suicide prevention, bullying, grief and loss, and mental health stigma; Assisting districts and schools with the planning and implementation of curriculum-based programs that focus on social and emotional health and early intervention; and Assisting districts and schools with adherence to state and federal laws and policies regarding confidentiality and consent and other issues in the school setting Schools participating in the can develop a schoolwide approach to promote positive academic, behavioral, and social traits while also providing more effective and individualized support to students and families requiring such support. Participating schools will benefit from reduced truancy and dropout rates, peer-to-peer conflict, drug and alcohol use, disciplinary/behavioral concerns (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) and improved student well-being and academic success. All of these factors can contribute to a safe and supportive school and more successful academic environment. Eligibility Districts serving at least one middle school of any size or any district or charter serving any of grades 6-8 may apply. Regional Educational Cooperatives representing more than one middle school are also eligible If applying through a Regional Educational Cooperative (REC), the REC will complete the application as the lead applicant with documented support from participating schools REC applicants will need to provide a staffing plan encompassing how the social worker will serve two or more schools (can be included in the Role of Social Worker section) Districts or targeted middle schools do not already have a school social worker position, and must articulate a recruitment strategy to hire a social worker hire an individual with an appropriate license in accordance with STARS assignment code #82 (e.g., ability to recruit from an Institution of Higher Education, or an identified candidate) Districts or targeted middle schools should meet one or more of the following criteria (with priority given to those schools meeting multiple criteria): o School Grade of C or lower o 70% or more of students eligible for free or reduced lunch o Habitual truancy rate of 15% or higher Page 3

4 Application Requirements 1. The application must include: a. Completed cover page form (located below on page 4) 2. Electronic submission of narrative explaining the school s need and proposal for a middle school social worker program, double-spaced, 12pt. font, separated into the following sections: a. Eligibility Requirements a section noting how the district and targeted school(s) meet the requirements of the, as articulated in the Eligibility section of this RFA; b. District/Target School(s) Demographics a section including: enrollment total and enrollment by grade, ethnicity percentages, percent of students receiving Free/Reduced Price Meals, percentages of students receiving special education services, and district graduation rate; c. District/Target School(s) Need for Proposed Program an explanation of how the program would directly benefit the district, targeted school(s), students, families and community, with reference to relevant student data, including STARS infraction data and/or Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey data; and d. Role of Social Worker a section detailing the anticipated role and scope of work of the social worker at the targeted school(s), including how the social worker will collaborate with the current school staff, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, school-based health center staff, and student wellness or crisis teams, as well as any additional expectations the school will hold for this role. The completed RFA must be electronically generated. An electronic copy of the completed RFA must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 5, All electronic copies should be sent to Chris Narkun at Requests for an extension of this date will not be granted. Page 4

5 COVER PAGE Applicant Contact Information District and targeted school(s): Regional Educational Cooperative (if applicable) Number of social workers requested: Primary Contact Phone Mailing Address Page 5

6 Rubric Lead Applicant Name Criteria Included Comments Application Format Electronic application received by 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2015 Yes No Cover page Yes No Narrative showing the proposed program meets each of the eligibility requirements described in Yes No this RFA If the above items are not complete the application will not be accepted. Score Sheet Understanding of the purpose and goals of the program Targeted Demographic District/School(s) Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey Data Demonstration of need in district/targeted school(s) Role of the social worker Total Points /50 Page 6

7 Application a. Eligibility Requirements How the school meets the requirements of the Social Workers for Middle Schools Initiative b. School Demographics Total Enrollment: Enrollment by Grade 6 th : 7 th : 8 th : % of students receiving Free/Reduced Price Meals: % of students with disabilities: Truancy Rate: School Grade(s): Page 7

8 c. School(s) Need for Proposed Program How the program would directly benefit the school(s), students, families and community d. Role of Social Worker What is foreseen as the role of the social worker at the school(s), how the social worker will work with the current student support team, and any additional expectations school(s) will hold for this role Page 8

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