Middle schools and groups that run after-school programs can officially begin pairing off now that the city has released a formal request for proposals as part of the mayor’s after-school expansion.

The request, put out Tuesday by the Department of Youth and Community Development, formalizes many of the details we wrote about last week when the city released an implementation plan for the expansion.

A key feature of the plan is how closely the host middle schools are expected to collaborate with the community-based groups that will run the after-school programs. In fact, the RFP asks the providers to submit “School Partnership Agreements” signed by the schools’ principals.

Principals will be required to help hire the after-school program directors, assign a school staffer as the official after-school liaison, and contribute “in-kind” resources such as teacher time or curriculum materials, the RFP says.

Susan Brenna, a spokeswoman for The After-School Corporation, whose after-school model helped shape the city’s plan, said the RFP pushes schools and community-based groups to “work as a team with a set of common goals for kids.”

“That’s a progressive move that puts NYC on the leading edge of the movement to improve program quality,” she said.

The RFPs are due May 2, giving applicants time to see how much funding the city secures for the after-school expansion once the state budget is settled.

Read the full request for proposals below:

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After-School Programs Request for Proposals (PDF)

After-School Programs Request for Proposals (Text)