21st CCLC Applicant Frequently Asked Questions


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21st Century Community Learning Centers

2500 North Lincoln Boulevard, Suite 414
Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Phone: 405-522-6225  
Fax: 405-522-2269 

Prospective Applicants

Who is eligible to apply?

What are competitive priority points?

Will competitive points be awarded?

If our school district does not have a priority school site and we partner on our application with a district that has a priority site, will the application receive the Competitive Priority points?

What are the Tribal consultation requirements about?

What are the private school consultation requirements about?

Can we hire a grant writer?

What are other things we should think about as we consider hiring a grant writer?

Can someone other than the chief official of our non-district organization be given the credentials to log into the GMS?

What are the program evaluation requirements of this grant?

How do we determine what is a school site?

Can we serve students from more than two school sites, if we bring them to one location?

Where do I access the grant application?

May we submit a grant application past the deadline?

 
Peer Reviewers

What does peer review mean?

Why apply?

Who may apply?

Who may not apply?

How does the review process work?

What is the time commitment?

What is the timeline for completing the reviews?

How do I apply?

Where is the scoring rubric?

 
Navigating the Grants Management System

Can I print the application?

How do I know if I have entered or read all of the required information?

Can I write my grant in a word processor and paste all the information into the GMS?

I'm having trouble attaching a file.

Does the system time me out of my work?

Why did the system log me out?

I'm a double-clicker. Is that a problem?

 

 

Prospective Applicants

Who is eligible to apply?

Schools, school districts, and non-district organizations are encouraged to apply. Eligible applicants must propose to serve students who attend a school site that is eligible for designation as a Title I school-wide program.

To determine if your site is eligible to apply for 21st CCLC funds, please check the current year's Low Income Report

Non-district applicants may include: Non-Profit, For-Profit, Community-Based, and Faith-Based Organizations, in addition to Colleges or Universities, Municipalities or other non-school entities. 

School-community partnership is a requirement of the grant. A partnership with a local school district is required for a non-district applicant to be eligible. Local Education Agency (LEA) applicants must, likewise, demonstrate partnerships with community-based organizations. 

 

What are competitive priority points?

Competitive priority points are state specific priorities where additional points may be awarded to a grantee.  

 

Will competitive priority points be awarded?

Yes.  The USDE guidance specifies, “States must give competitive priority to applications that both propose to serve students who attend schools identified for improvement (pursuant to Section 1116 of Title I) and that are submitted jointly between at least one LEA receiving funds under Title I, Part A and at least one public or private community organization.”   Therefore, Oklahoma schools that hold a priority designation will be awarded competitive priority points in an effort to support school improvement. The current list of Oklahoma school designations is available here.

 

If our school district does not have a priority school site and we partner on our application with a district that has a priority site, will the application receive the Competitive Priority points?

In awarding competitive priority points, it is the OSDE’s intent that partnerships with an LEA designated as a priority school are developed in the spirit of supporting the students and families of the low-performing school. Three key requirements will be considered when awarding competitive priority points in a joint application. Is there evidence that:

  • A strong MOU is in place between the districts. This must include both Superintendent and Board signatures. This MOU should cover the 5-year grant period.
  • An equitable distribution of funds based on student enrollment and need has been developed.  
  • Services at the two sites are designed, developed, implemented and evaluated in a collaborative nature. Although we understand that each site will have their own specific needs based on their student population, this will be one grant application serving two sites.

 

What are the Tribal consultation requirements about?

In general, section 8538 of the ESEA requires affected local educational agencies (LEAs) (see Question 3 in the Tribal Consultation Guide for definition of “affected LEA”) to consult with Indian tribes, or those tribal organizations approved by the tribes located in the area served by the LEA, prior to submitting a plan or application for covered programs (see Question 5 in the Tribal Consultation Guide for more information on the programs covered by section 8538).

This requirement is designed “to ensure timely and meaningful consultation on issues affecting American Indian and Alaska Native students.” The consultation must be done “in a manner and in such time that provides the opportunity for such appropriate officials from Indian tribes or tribal organizations to meaningfully and substantively contribute” to plans under covered programs.

Read the Tribal Consultation Guide for more answers and help reaching out to and working with Native American tribes in Oklahoma before beginning your grant writing process.

Visit the OSDE Indian Education page for more information about working with Native American tribes and tribal organizations.

 

What are the private school consultation requirements about?

USDE (F-16) Federal 21st CCLC Guidance states that in designing a program that meets requirements, grantees must provide comparable opportunities for the participation of both public- and private-school students in the area served by the grant. Grantees must consult with private school officials during the design and development of the 21st CCLC program on issues such as how the children’s needs will be identified and what services will be offered. Services and benefits provided to private school students must be secular, neutral, and non-ideological.

Page 13 of State 21st CCLC Guidance states that all students are eligible to participate in 21st CCLC programs on an equitable basis, including private school students and their families within the community. Grantees must document consultation with private school officials during the design and development of the 21st CCLC program on issues such as how the children’s needs will be identified and what services will be offered to private school students.

 

 

Can we hire a grant writer?

Many applicants have wonderful programs planned, but do not feel confident in writing a competitive grant application. Grant writers may be hired; however, grant writing is NOT an allowable expense for reimbursement with these funds, if the applicant is awarded.

All applicant programs MUST be included in the planning of the proposal and will be expected to carry out all areas of the proposed program plan. We highly encourage grant writers, Advisory Committees, and school/organizational administration and staff to work closely together to develop a program that is within reasonable reach of the school or organization to bring to fruition. Applicants MUST be aware of the details being proposed in the application before submission. Applications that appear to the OSDE to be substantially similar to other applications submitted or appear to be duplicates of others or do not appear to be uniquely developed for the applicant district may be disqualified.

The awarded organization will be held responsible for execution of the program plan and performance goals as stated in the application. Disconnection or lack of communication with a grant writer will not constitute grounds for alteration of the application or responsibility for its execution.

 

 

What are other things we should think about as we consider hiring a grant writer? 

Your grant application is the basis for which we conduct monitoring and evaluation. If you are awarded, it is based on what is contained in the application. Make certain you are aware and have thoroughly reviewed all sections of the grant before submission - you will be held to the terms of the original application for the 3 - 5 year duration  of your grant. This includes having the district financial officer approve the proposed budget, ensuring that it is in compliance with OCAS coding requirements, and that all proposed expenditures are reasonable, necessary, and allocable.

The establishment of an advisory committee is a requirement of the grant. This committee should be deeply engaged in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program. The advisory committee should work closely with the grant writer (should you choose to hire one) to ensure that a thorough, consistent, and original application is submitted. Every grant application submitted must be an original application.

It is important to keep a copy of your grant application. Every superintendent/executive director should keep the original grant application and every site director/coordinator should have access to a copy of the grant as well as the ability to at least view the Grants Management System.

 

Can someone other than the chief official of our non-district organization be given the credentials to log into the GMS?

Only the chief official of your organization, the individual assuming legal responsibility for upholding the parameters of the grant proposal, will be given the credentials. 

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What are the program evaluation requirements of this grant?

The 21st CCLC program has an extensive evaluation system. Self-assessments are required each year of the grant. Program staff are required to attend annual training on the assessment tool and planning with data. An external assessment will be conducted in years two and three. Programs will be required to pay an assigned assessor a minimal fee to cover time and travel. Additionally, each site is required to purchase assessment materials annually. It is recommended that approximately $750 per school site served per year be budgeted to cover the evaluation requirements of this grant. Program evaluation outside of this system is not a grant requirement.

 

How do we determine what is a site?

Applicants are limited to serve students who attend no more than two sites in a multi-site application, and each site from which students attend must meet the eligibility requirements. For purposes of this grant a site will be defined using the school site listing as posted on the Oklahoma State Department of Education School District Directory at http://sde.ok.gov/sde/state-school-directory.

 

Can we serve students from more than two school sites, if we bring them to one location?

No. Prospective applicants are required to identify one or two school sites from which students will attend the program and serve only those students. This requirement is designed in order to ensure that there is no duplication of services and that there is an equitable distribution of funds among geographic areas within the state. Additionally, this greatly improves the process of collecting, following, and analyzing data throughout the duration of the grant.  

 

 

Where do I access the grant application?

School districts access the grant application through the Single Sign On (SSO) on the State Department of Education website. All superintendents have full access of the SSO and must assign a user role for anyone else in the district to have access. Non district applicants will receive an email with the link for accessing the grant application once they have received their credentials.  For step by step instructions to create an application, please view the Grant Process Flow Chart.

 

May we submit a grant application past the deadline?

No, the system is set to remove the submit button at the time and date the grant is due. Although you may still go into the system, you will no longer have the ability to submit your application. Please plan accordingly and make sure you allow enough time for the system to complete the required consistency checks and make any necessary corrections. Again, the submit button will be removed and you will no longer be able to submit after the due date and time.

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Peer Reviewers

What does peer review mean?

Peer review is a process of scoring applications by other professionals who have experience and expertise in a given area. Each grant application is reviewed by a minimum of three peer reviewers. 

Why apply?

Reviewing grants is a rewarding experience!  By lending your expertise to the process, you will help shape 21st CCLC programming in Oklahoma.  Furthermore, serving as a grant reviewer will help you learn more about student services and the grant writing process.

 

Who may apply?

Reviewers must have training and/or experience in education, afterschool programming, child, youth, and/or community development and reflect a balance of backgrounds, experiences, and geographic locations.  If you currently receive or have previously received 21st CCLC grant funds, but are not applying, you may apply to serve as a reviewer. We encourage teachers, administrators, professors, graduate students, and parents to apply.

 

Who may not apply?

Individuals who are affiliated with an agency that is submitting an application proposal as a response to the 21st CCLC RFP cannot serve as reviewers.  Furthermore, individuals who have a real or apparent conflict may not serve as reviewers.

 

How does the review process work?

Once selected, all reviewers must participate in a reviewer’s training via webinar.  Once the training is completed, reviewers are assigned proposals for review.  Reviewers will use an online application review system for completing the documentation review and entering both comments and scores. This system can be accessed from any computer at any time using the user name and password provided by the OSDE. 

 

What is the time commitment?

All reviewers must participate in a training webinar (approximately one hour).  Each proposal takes approximately 4 to 5 hours to review, score and comment.  Based on past funding cycles, we estimate that each reviewer will be assigned approximately 5 applications for review. 

 

What is the timeline for completing the reviews?

The typical timeline for the grant review process is:

  • Participate in a pre-recorded webinar that will be posted during this week to assist you in navigating the on-line Grants Management System (GMS) and provide an overview of resources to assist you in the review process. 
  • Reviewers are assigned their grant applications for review.
  • Scores and comments will be due in the system typically 3 to 4 weeks from the date grants are assigned.

 

How do I apply?

If you are interested in applying to serve as a peer reviewer, click here to access the Peer Reviewer Application.

 

Where is the scoring rubric?

Peer reviewers will score grants in the rubric that appears in a pop-up window. As you prepare to enter the GMS, be sure to turn off your browser's pop-up blockers.

If you do not already know how to do this, please click on the internet browser below for detailed instructions on how to turn your pop-up blockers off.

If you still cannot find the pop-up rubric window, please call our office for assistance before proceeding.

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Navigating the Grants Management System

Can I print the application? 

While you are in your application, the print tab is located at the far right side of the page. You will go in and request a print job. Every hour the system will generate a PDF document of your application. Return to this page in an hour and your PDF will be ready for print. Printing will not submit, change, or delete your application. Printing will NOT include your attachments. It is a good idea to keep track of what you attach on your own.

Depending on your purposes for printing, please be mindful of confidential information and dispose of any grant paperwork no longer needed appropriately by shredding it.

 

How do I know if I have entered or read all of the required information?

The application in the Grants Management System (GMS) is formatted utilizing a system of tabs. There will be one set of tabs across the top; each tab may or may not have another set level of tabs that will open below it. Some of the second level tabs will also open a third row of tabs below them. Be sure to click through all the tabs available to orient yourself to the application and to make sure you did not skip any important information or pages.

 

Can we write the grant application answers in a word processor and paste all the information into the GMS?

We do NOT recommend that you copy and paste from word processing document. The system does not always read the formatting you have added in a word processing document. If you must copy and paste something, we recommend that you ONLY do so from a plain-text editor such as Notepad.

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I'm having trouble attaching a file.

Make sure your file is between 3 and 5 MB (megabytes) in size and does NOT contain any special characters in the file name (# @ % & *).

 

Does the system time me out of my work?  

The GMS will timeout approximately every half hour if you are not working in the system. Remember to save your work often! Every time you enter something substantial, it is a good idea to save your page and continue working. 

 

Why did the system log me out?

The Grants Management System is a web-based system. At times, moving too quickly or clicking on an option multiple times may cause you to be logged off and you will receive an error message. After clicking on a radio button to select an option, give your computer a moment to register what you just did before clicking any other buttons to continue.

 

I'm a double-clicker. Is that a problem?

Double-clicking may get you logged off as well. All buttons in the GMS need only ONE click. Sometimes the system moves slower than at other times; please be patient and allow time for it to register your selection.

 

 
Last updated on April 3, 2018