First Nation Student Success Program
The First Nation Student Success Program (FNSSP) is designed to support First Nation educators on reserve (kindergarten to grade 12) in their ongoing efforts to meet students' needs and improve student and school results. Funding is limited to activities intended for students attending First Nation-operated schools. For 2016-2017, applications are being accepted under two deadlines.
Budget 2016 is investing $100 million over five years to support First Nations literacy and numeracy.
About the program
The First Nation Student Success Program supports activities that increase students' achievement levels in reading and writing (literacy), mathematics (numeracy) and encourage students to remain in school (student retention).
Activities funded through this program are required to include three interrelated components:
- school success plans that set out goals, activities and targets for improving student achievement levels in the three priority levels (literacy, numeracy and student retention)
- student learning assessments that support the school success planning process. Schools participate in their respective provincial standard testing process. Assessment results should be used to identify areas for improvement
- performance measurement systems for schools to assess, report and take steps to accelerate progress made by students and schools. It allows schools to set targets, monitor results and report to parents and communities on how students are doing
In the 2016-2017 call, funding is available to eligible recipients who commit to undertaking all three components of the FNSSP within a two-year period. Funding is provided in the form of a two-year set contribution. A set contribution is a transfer payment that is dependent on performance as outlined in a funding agreement. The program supports costs associated with the development of the plan and costs associated with the implementation of eligible activities identified within the plan.
Applications for structural readiness under FNSSP must support activities between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
Applications for FNSSP (except structural readiness) must support education activities between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018, including early literacy.
Who can apply?
- Regional First Nation organizations that currently provide, as a key function, elementary and secondary school support for a defined group of band-operated First Nation schools.
A school may only receive services from one regional First Nation organization.
Some First Nation band councils and federal schools that are not receiving these services, support or funding from any regional First Nation organization may be eligible for funding. Independent First Nations are encouraged to form groups, or join one, in order to facilitate efficient, effective service delivery and economies of scale.
Regional First Nation organizations cannot act only as a flow-through to member or non-member organizations under this program. They cannot issue calls for proposals to member or non-member organizations for activities funded through this program. This must be clear in the proposal.
The deadline to submit a proposal for structural readiness for 2016-2017 was January 27, 2016 at midnight ET.
The deadline to submit a proposal for other components under FNSSP for 2016-2018 was April 4, 2016 at midnight ET.
How to apply?
The template to submit a proposal for the First Nation Student Success Program is available through Service Portal or your regional office. If you do not have access to the portal, please contact your regional office. Only complete electronic proposals will be considered.
More detailed information about the application process, eligible activities, eligible recipients, selection criteria and the monitoring process can be found in the First Nation Student Success Program Guidelines and the First Nation Student Success Program Proposal Evaluation Guide (which includes early literacy activities).
Along with the completed proposal application form, applicants must also submit commitment/community support letters. Only complete proposals will be considered for assessment.
Proposals seeking information technology resources must be accompanied by a technology implementation plan to ensure that requests are an effective part of a comprehensive technology strategy.
For early literacy activities
Early literacy focuses on activities that support schools' literacy strategies and best meet the needs of students. For the 2016-2017 call, applicants can apply for support of early literacy activities.
Applications must support education activities between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2018. Eligible projects should address improving literacy outcomes of First Nation students between kindergarten and grade 3, and complement the existing literacy strategies included in the school success planning component of an existing proposal.
Activities can include:
- addressing early literacy needs through one-on-one or group learning
- implementing targeted or remedial instruction
- developing problem-solving and activity-based learning
- introducing professional development focused on early year interventions or assessments
- implementing early years assessments
- involving communities and families in the design and implementation of early literacy initiatives
How to apply for early literacy activity funding?
The template is available through the Services Portal of your regional office.
For more information on the selection criteria for early literacy activities please consult the First Nation Student Success Program Proposal Evaluation Guide.
For structural readiness activities
Structural readiness activities focus on increasing and supporting the capacity of regional First Nation management organizations to deliver school education services.
For the 2016-2017 call, structural readiness under the First Nation Student Success Program must support activities between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
The 2016-2017 call for proposals will prioritize proposed activities that focus on the development of:
- an aggregate First Nation education authority/school board that is fully delegated the responsibilities for elementary/secondary education funding and services on reserves (an aggregate is an organization that provides educational services to a group of First Nation-operated schools). This includes the operation and management of on-reserve schools and management of tuition arrangements.
- an agreement with a provincial school board that is fully delegated the responsibilities for elementary/secondary funding and services on reserve, including the operation and management of one or more schools on-reserve and the management of tuition arrangements.
Eligible activities are those that strengthen capacity for:
- governance and leadership (e.g. developing or formalizing policies, establishing codes of conduct and the development of formal agreements with individual First Nations, etc.)
- external relations (e.g. developing a network with governments or non-government organizations, participating in education intergovernmental forums, etc.)
- parental and community involvement
- planning, performance and risk management (e.g. professional development for strategic planning, policy development and risk management, etc.)
- financial management (e.g. developing a financial management plan, professional development for financial management, etc.)
- human resource management (e.g. developing a human resource plan)
- information management and technology (e.g. developing information management and information technology management plans and policies, etc.)
For more information consult the First Nation Student Success Program Guidelines and Structural Readiness Proposal Evaluation Guide.
How to apply for structural readiness activities?
For 2016-2017, proposals for structural readiness can only be submitted under the First Nation Student Success Program.
Organizations applying for structural readiness funding are encouraged to use the Education Organization Planning Tool or other education capacity development plans/tools as supporting documentation with their application.
The Education Organization Planning Tool was developed to support regional First Nation organizations in current priorities, mapping assets, assessing needs and building an organizational capacity development plan.
When submitting under the First Nation Student Success Program for structural readiness, there must be a separate First Nations Student Success Program proposal template completed, which is available through the Services Portal or your regional office.
For more information on the selection criteria consult the Structural Readiness Proposal Evaluation Guide.
Previously selected projects
Find out about previously selected projects in 2014-2015, including structural readiness projects, and success stories from the program's launch in 2008 to 2012.
Find out more
First Nation Student Success Program applicant's toolbox
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