Archived Item - for information purposes only
Note: Many of the questions posed have been generalized to be of benefit to the greatest number of interested parties.
Q: Where can the complete RFP document and proposal submission requirements be obtained from?
A: The grant application can be found at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/projectsave/documents/charactered07.htm.
Q: How many applications were received in the last round and how many were awarded?
A: This is the first year of this grant award.
Q: How many awards do you anticipate making?
A: The maximum grant award is $250,000 for a three-year project period. Assuming each applicant selected requests and receives the maximum grant award, approximately seven projects can be funded.
Q: Are private schools eligible to apply?
A: No. The only eligible applicants for this grant are public school districts and charter schools. Private schools may be included within partnerships formed by the public school district or charter school that is applying for the grant.
Q: Can a college serve as the eligible applicant if they have a character education program, and partner with several school districts?
A: No. Colleges and Universities are not eligible applicants. The only eligible applicants for this grant are public school districts and charter schools. Colleges and universities may partner with an eligible applicant.
Q: Can a BOCES be the LEA, and include a college with a character education program to serve several school districts that want a program that is already successful and evaluated?
A: No, BOCES is not an eligible applicant. Only public school districts and charter schools are eligible to apply for this grant. They may partner with other organizations including BOCES.
Q: Our school is comprised mostly of students who have been diagnosed with autism, aspergers syndrome, and emotional disturbance. Additionally, we have a guest school who is a general education school. If our school currently partners with a “guest school” that is a general education school, would we qualify?
A: Eligible applicants for this grant are public school districts and charter schools. If your school falls into either category, you may apply for this grant. If not, you may partner with a public school district or charter school applying for the grant.
Q: Are public schools created under a "special act" eligible to apply?
A: Yes. As a public school, a special act school district may apply for this grant.
Q: Who should be writing the grant: the district or the partnering organization or both?
A: The New York State Education Department encourages meaningful consultation among all parties involved in the grant application. The eligible applicant is responsible for acceptable and timely submission of the grant application.
Q: Our proposal starts working with one school the first year and aims to add one school each of the following two years (2009, 2010). So far we only have the first school's agreement to collaborate and probably won't have the other two schools by the time we submit our proposal. Would that be ok or do we need the specific schools for years 2009 and 2010 by the time we submit the proposal?
A: All participating schools need to be identified prior to submission of the grant application. This information is needed to appropriately fill out the application.
Q: If the total page length of 20 pages must include the budget category (7 pages) and an FS-20 (2 pages), this will leave 11 pages of actual narrative?
A: Yes, up to 11 pages of narrative may be submitted.
Q: The RFP states "You must limit the project narrative to no more than 20 pages including the Budget Category and Narrative Forms and the Budget Summary Form." Is it correct to assume that the response to the section "Proposal Narrative" is then limited to eight pages?
A: No. Up to 11 pages of narrative may be submitted. The Budget Category and Narrative Forms and Budget Summary Form (FS-20) total 9 pages, leaving up to 11 pages for the Proposal Narrative.
Q: Are applicants obligated to utilize a three-year project period, or can they select one- or two-year project periods, if they feel such would be more appropriate for their situations?
A: Projects are expected to operate for three years, from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010. Research shows that it takes time to design, develop and sustain a project of this nature. budget.
Q: Is $1,894,819 the total amount of funding available statewide for all three years, or just the amount available this year?
A: It is the total amount of funding available Statewide for all three years beginning July 1, 2007, provided the 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 State Budgets make these funds available for use in those years.
Q: We are presenting a proposal for three years and the budget corresponds to three years. Should we state what we need for the three years and then complete the FS-20 for the first year only?
A: Yes. You need to submit a proposal narrative that describes the program plan for the full three-year grant period, from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010. You should include an explanation of the funds you request for the entire three-year project period; however, you only need to submit the Budget Category and Narrative pages and the Budget Summary (FS-20) for the first year only.
Q: What is meant by "replacement or supplement of existing staff" under "Non-Allowable Activities and Costs"? Does that imply that new personnel may not be hired under this grant?
A: Correct, new personnel may not be hired under this grant program. No more than 10% of the funds may be used to reimburse instructional coordinator(s) or director(s) for the grant activities above and beyond their normal job requirements.
Q: What is meant by no “promotion of private enterprises or products, labor organizations, religious proselytizing, lobbying, or partisan political activity” under “Non-Allowable Costs and Activities”? Does this include character education packaged products such as “Second Step”, “Project Wisdom,” or the 40 Developmental Assets for Youth?
A: As a non-endorsing state, the State Education Department does not endorse or recommend particular programs. Each school district must determine what approach they need to use, based on the needs of their students.
Q: Stipends for participants are also considered a non-allowable cost. We would be looking to train teachers in the Assets model and work on the integration of the assets into standards-based instruction. Much of this work would have to take place in the summer. Teachers are paid a stipend for summer work. Would this be allowable?
A: Yes, 25% of grant funding can be applied toward the professional development of instructional faculty, when such professional development occurs outside of the normal school day. Stipends are not allowed for students or student participants in the program but are allowed for teachers.
Q: What is meant by “equipment” under "Non-Allowable Activities and Costs"? Does that refer to any equipment, or equipment as defined by the budget categories (items with a unit cost of $5,000 or more)?
A: Items with a unit cost of $5,000.00 or more are not allowed. Items with a unit cost of $4,999.99 or less are allowed if such items are shown to be directly needed for program implementation as described in the proposal narrative.
Q: I would like to incorporate the “Facing History and Ourselves” curriculum into my grant application. Would this grant cover a teacher to teach 4-5 sections of this class along with supervision of a volunteerism component?
A: No. It is expected that the proposed program will be implemented in classrooms by existing teachers. Funds may be used for the professional development and training of existing teachers to implement the program within the school’s curriculum and instruction.
Q: Can you clarify the meaning of and provide some examples for how the school would/could "evaluate the civic engagement impact on student participants" (Application, page 5)?
A: Eligible applicants should document tools and or methods used to evaluate the programmatic effectiveness of the instruction in civility, citizenship, and character education.
Q: How is the money allocated: to the school district or to the partnering organization?
A: This is a competitive grant. Funds will be awarded to public school districts and/or charter schools according to their final average score from highest to lowest until funds are insufficient to fund the next ranking applicant in full. Funds are not awarded to partnering organizations.
Q: In New York City, who needs to sign off on the grant at the district level?
A: The Local Instructional Superintendent (LIS) or the Regional Instructional Superintendent (RIS), or either Superintendent’s designee, would sign off on the grant in New York City.
Q: How many schools need to be included in the scope of the project?
A: There is no minimum or maximum number of schools required.
Q: Can the grant include salaries of directors and/or staff from any partnering organization(s)?
A: No more than 10% of the total grant funds may be used for salaries and benefits for instructional coordinators or directors of the grant program. Up to 25% of the grant funds may be used for the professional development of the instructional faculty. How this money is used would depend on the needs of the partnership.
Q: We are looking at the possibility of adding staff (social worker or counselor). If they provide classroom instruction, could their salary be included in the grant?
A: No. The proposed program should be infused by the classroom and subject area teachers into the school’s existing curriculum and instruction.
Q: What salaries are acceptable? For example, if a health teacher provides instruction to all grade 7 students about character outside of his/her regularly assigned classes, can a portion of their salary be in the grant?
A: No. The proposed program should be infused into the existing public school districts’ and/or charter schools’ curriculum. Teachers would not be paid to infuse the proposed program into their own instructional practice. Up to 25% of the grant may be used to train teachers to implement and infuse the proposed program into their instructional practice.
Q: Can we use our existing character education curriculum or do we need to develop a new curriculum?
A: Eligible applicants may build upon an existing character education curriculum.
Q: We do not have a character education program in place, PreK-12, but it is one of the goals for the 2007-08 school year. Can any of the monies go toward working with a consultant to help develop and implement such a program in year one of the grant?
Q: On the FS-20, what is the 'Agency Code,' 'Project #' and 'Contract #'?
A: The Agency Code is the public school district’s or charter school’s BEDS code. The Project Number and Contract Number are both supplied by the New York State Education Department during the application process.
Q: Our University has some indirect costs for proposals. Since we are not the LEA, are we allowed to write them on the budget?
A: No. Indirect costs are not allowed and universities are not eligible applicants.
Q: If an applicant has difficulty filling out the forms, may he/she contact someone at NYSED for assistance? If so, who should be contacted?
A: No. All questions had to be submitted by December 15, 2006. The process of accepting questions and posting answers via the web by a deadline date allows all eligible applicants equal opportunity for information related to the program.
Q: When should we expect to hear the final resolutions?
A: Grant winners will be notified prior to the close of this school year.
Q: How much could our school win if we applied for this grant?
A: Grants will not exceed $250,000 for the entire three-year period. Award sizes will vary based on need and scope of the proposed program. Applicants should submit allowable and appropriate budgets. An excessive or inappropriate budget will receive a low score.
Q: Will this grant be available next year if we do not apply this year?
A: We do not know. It depends on the availability of funds in the 2007-08 State Budget.
Q: Are schools that are opening in August 2007 eligible?
A: No, eligible applicants must be in operation for the entire project period: July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2010.
Q: Would this grant cover salaries of program instructors hired to teach character education and to develop our school's character education curriculum?
A: No. The grant is not to be used to teach character education as a separate discipline; rather, it is expected that the proposed program will be infused in the public school districts’ and/or charter schools’ curriculum and taught as part of a regular standards-based program.
Q: Is this funding only for newly designed programs or can schools purchase well-established programs that meet the guidelines?
A: This grant program will support new as well as well established programs as long as it meets the needs of the student population.