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NCLB, Title IV Part B
21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Application

Purpose of Grant Program

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program is authorized under Title IV, Part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (www.emsc.nysed.gov). Its purpose is to create or expand community learning centers that:

  1. provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services to help students, particularly students who attend low-performing schools, to meet State and local student academic achievement standards in core academic subjects such as reading and mathematics; 
  2. offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities, such as youth development activities, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, art, music, and recreation programs, technology education programs, and character education programs, that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students; and
  3. offer families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

A Community Learning Center must be located in a safe and easily accessible facility.  It must offer services when school is not in session (before school, after school or during weekends, holidays or summer recess).  

Program Requirements

All 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) must have the above three strands of program activity: academic enrichment, youth development and family literacy/educational programs for participants’ families.  See Appendix 7 for the 21st CCLC performance indicators.
In addition, programs are to be designed to include the 10 essential elements of high quality after-school programs outlined in the Program Quality Self-Assessment (QSA) Tool that was developed by the New York State Afterschool Network and is available at www.nysan.org .
The QSA tool is used by all 21st CCLCs twice each year for self-assessment and planning for program improvement.  It provides an opportunity for program leaders and key staff, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to utilize a common set of standards to assess, plan, design and execute strategies for ongoing program improvement. The 10 essential elements of high quality after-school programs listed below are the foundation for all professional development provided to 21st Century programs by the State Education Department, its Statewide 21st Century Technical Assistance Center and Regional Student Support Services Network Centers.

  1. Environment and Climate
  2. Administrative and Organization
  3. Relationships
  4. Staffing and Professional Development
  5. Programming and Activities.
  6. Linkages Between the School Day and After School Programs
  7. Youth Participation and Engagement
  8. Parent, Family and Community Partnerships
  9. Program Sustainability and Growth
  10. Measuring Outcomes and Evaluation

 Additional information about the QSA Tool and other resources are available online at www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/ by clicking on the link for 21st CCLC.
Instructions for Accessing the 21st CCLC Technical Assistance Webinar

Go to http://ellum2.nyit.edu   Click on the blue ‘Recordings’ tab in the top left hand corner of the page.  Select January 22nd from the calendar on the right.  Click on “21st CCLC Technical Assistance Webinar”.  This should open up the Elluminate software itself and the Webinar should begin shortly.  Please be patient as the upload process may take a few minutes.

Once in the webinar, if you wish to pause, stop, and/or advance or go back to a specific slide, use the buttons at the bottom left corner of your screen.

Please make sure your computer has speakers so you will be able to hear the 21st CCLC Technical Assistance Webinar. 

Highly Recommended: If this is the first time you will be using Elluminate, you may not have the appropriate software, and will be prompted to download some software which may take anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes depending upon your Internet connection speed.  If you have trouble downloading the software, please go to the support page located at: http://www.elluminate.com/support/ . This will ensure that you will be able to access the recording.

Please Note:  The Powerpoint presentation is also available as a WORD document. See www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss.

Safety and Health Requirements

If the applicant is a school district, BOCES, charter school or nonpublic school, the applicant must adhere to New York State’s SAVE laws including provisions related to fingerprinting of staff. Programs located in school buildings will be governed by the district’s School Safety Plan and any related building-level plans. If the proposed program is located at a site other than the school building, the provisions for School-Age Child Care Registration detailed below for community organization applicants shall apply.

If the applicant is a community organization, college or university, municipality or other eligible entity and proposes to serve only children ages 13 and older, it is recommended that the applicant work with its partnering school(s) to ensure the safety and health of all participants, including reasonable staff-to-student ratios and background clearances for staff.

If the 21st CCLC activities take place in a school building, all staff must be trained in and familiar with the School Emergency Response Plan and its emergency procedures.

The applicant must address how students will travel safely to and from the center and their homes.

School-Age Child Care Registration

If the applicant is a community organization, college or university, municipality or other eligible entity and proposes to serve seven or more children under the age of 13, the applicant must obtain School-Age Child Care (SACC) registration in accordance with New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) Regulations at 18 NYCRR Part 414 to operate an after-school program. 

Whether the program(s) operates in a school building or community site, it must meet SACC requirements pertaining to buildings and equipment, discipline, fire protection and safety, sanitation, staff background checks and clearances, staff to child ratios, staff credentials, staff training and supervision of children and youth.  Programs with a mixture of children and youth under and over 13 years of age must complete the SACC registration process and all children and youth, including those over 13 years of age, will be considered part of the program. This provision applies to after-school programs whether situated in schools or community locations. 

Applicants are urged to contact the OCFS Bureau of Early Childhood Services (BECS) regional office (Appendix 5) for SACC registration information and to consult with their local childcare resource and referral agency.  This registration process must be completed prior to receiving 21st CCLC funds and prior to providing services to students.  Applicants are encouraged to notify the appropriate regional OCFS office of their intent to seek registration once proposed sites have been identified.  This will expedite the approval process subsequent to award notification. 

Applicants selected for funding must submit a copy of the SACC license for each approved site to the State Education Department 21st Century program office before the program begins operation.

Available Funding

Approximately $35 million is expected to be available annually statewide.  Each applicant may apply for an annual grant of a minimum of $50,000 to a maximum of $900,000.

Up to $900,000 will be set aside per year statewide to be shared among for-profit awardees.  Each for-profit applicant is limited to a maximum annual award of $450,000.  Any unused funds will be added to the funding available for not-for-profit awardees.

Project Period

Grants will be for five years, July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014 subject to availability of funds from the United States Department of Education and satisfactory performance of the grantee in the previous year.  

Eligible Applicants

Any public or private organization who meets the minimum requirements is eligible to apply for 21st CCLC funding.  This includes public school districts, BOCES, charter schools, private schools, nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and for-profit corporations.  For this RFP, private schools and charter schools are considered to be local education agencies.

Grants will be awarded only to eligible applicants that propose to serve students who primarily attend: 

  1. schools eligible for schoolwide programs under Title I, Section 1114 of the No Child Left Behind Act, or
  2. schools with at least 40 percent of its students eligible for free or reduced priced lunch. (New York City requires that 40 percent of a school’s students be eligible for free lunch.); and the families of these students.

Eligible School Buildings:

21st Century Eligible Charter Schools (In Excel Format)

21st Century Eligible Public Schools (In Excel Format)        

21st Century Eligible Nonpublic Schools (In Excel Format) 

21st Century Eligible NYC Schools (In Excel Format)

If a particular school does not appear on one of these lists, it can still be identified as a school that serves a high percentage of students from low-income families if it meets one of the following criteria:

Note: If two or more schools are to be served by the applicant, at least 50% of the school buildings must meet the eligibility criteria stated above.

Competition Priorities

Section 4204(1) of NCLB requires that competitive priority be given to applications that propose to target services to students who attend schools that have been identified as schools in need of improvement (SINI) under NCLB, Section 1116 and are submitted jointly by eligible entities consisting of not less than one local educational agency receiving funds under Title I Part A and a community-based organization or other public or private entity. For this RFP, private schools and charter schools are considered to be local education agencies.
Priority points will be awarded to applications that will serve students who attend schools in need of improvement as follows.  Schools in need of improvement include SINI 1, SINI 2, Corrective Action, Planning for Restructuring and Restructuring schools.

Note:  If an application proposes to serve students in more than one school, 75% of those school buildings must be schools in need of improvement to be eligible for priority points.

Note:  A school in need of improvement that does not meet the Title I school-wide program or free/reduced lunch eligibility requirement, is NOT eligible for 21st Century funding.

Family Involvement

21st Century Community Learning Centers must provide families of their students with opportunities for literacy and related educational development.  Services for families should be based on a needs assessment to determine what the families need and want. Examples of appropriate services are computer classes, resume preparation, English as a second language and parenting. 


Applicants must collaborate with partners including the eligible school(s) the students attend. A partnership signifies meaningful involvement in planning, as well as specific individual or joint responsibilities for program implementation. The application must contain signed Partnership Agreements with each partnering agency that describes their significant involvement in planning and program implementation.  A sample Partnership Agreement is provided in Appendix 1 that may be used as a guide to develop customized agreements.  Please do not submit letters of support.  They will not be reviewed.
Note:  An individual, agency, organization or other entity that only provides services described in the proposed program is considered a vendor, not a partner. Therefore, a Partnership Agreement is not required.  For the purpose of this funding, the required independent evaluator is a vendor, NOT a partner.
Current grantees may apply to expand their programs if they are proposing to serve more students, add another school or add a new program component – e.g., the arts, GED preparation, service learning.  Current grantees may apply to establish an entirely new program.  However, they cannot apply to increase the funding for the current program as it exists.

Applicants must ensure that the students they are proposing to serve are not going to be served by more than one 21st CCLC grant. Information on all 21st CCLC programs in New York State can be found at http://ppics.learningpt.org/ppics/public.asp .


Section 4204(b)(2)(K) of NCLB requires “a description of a preliminary sustainability plan for how the 21st CCLC will continue after the five-year 21st Century funding ends.”  All proposals must include this sustainability plan.  

Programs can use up to 3 percent of the annual funding amount for the purpose of identifying and securing other federal, State and local sources of revenue to sustain the program after the five-year funding period ends. For more information on how to build a sustainable program, go to www.financeproject.org.

NYSED Consortium Policy for State and Federal Discretionary Grant Programs

Applicants/participants can form a partnership or consortium to apply for the grant.  In order to do so, the partnership or consortium must meet the following requirements:

  1. The partnership/consortium must designate one of the applicants/participants to serve as the applicant and fiscal agent for the grant.  The applicant agency must be an eligible grant recipient.  All other consortium members must be eligible grant participants, as defined by the program statute or regulation.
  2. In the event a grant is awarded to a partnership/consortium, the grant or grant contract will be prepared in the name of the applicant agency/fiscal agent, not the partnership/consortium, since the group may not be a legal entity.
  3. The applicant agency/fiscal agent must meet the following requirements:
    1. Must be an eligible grant recipient as defined by statute; 
    2. Must receive and administer the grant funds and submit the required reports to account for the use of grant funds;
    3. Must require consortium partners to sign an agreement with the fiscal agent that specifically outlines all services each partner agrees to provide.
    4. Must be an active member of the partnership/consortium, except where SUNY or CUNY Research Foundations are the fiscal agent.
    5. Cannot act as a flow-through for grant funds to pass to other recipients.  NYSED may establish a minimum level of direct service to be provided by the fiscal agent.
    6. Is PROHIBITED from sub-granting funds to other recipients.  The fiscal agent is permitted to contract for services with other consortium partners or consultants to provide services that the fiscal agent cannot provide itself.
    7. Must be responsible for the performance of any services provided by the partners, consultants, or other organizations and must coordinate how each plan to participate. 

Nutritional Services

21st CCLC funds may not be used for nutritional services such as daily snacks for participants.  However, for the benefit of the children being served, applicants are strongly encouraged to include such services as part of a comprehensive program.  Many programs will be eligible to receive funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service for after-school snacks and, in some cases, to provide meals.  For more information concerning the availability of these resources for coordination with 21st CCLC programs, please refer to the Department’s 21st CCLC web page: www.emsc.nysed.gov/sss/ or www.frac.org/ .

Eligible Activities

21st Century grantees are limited to providing activities from the list below that are identified in the No Child Left Behind Act, Title IV, Part B, Section 4205.  These activities listed below are intended to advance student achievement, positive youth development and services to families. 

Evaluation Requirements

The evaluation requirements for 21st CCLCs consist of the three components described below:

  1. A periodic independent evaluation, contracted by the grantee, is required to assess the 21st CCLC’s progress toward achieving its objectives to provide a high-quality after school program. The cost of the independent evaluator may not exceed 5 percent of the total annual amount requested. The results of the evaluation must be (1) used to refine, improve, and strengthen the program; and (2) made available to the public upon request.
    The evaluation must be based on the factors included in the principles of effectiveness. In order for a program to meet these principles, the program or activity must:
  1. The Annual Performance Report (APR) is the federal web-based reporting system.  Grantees will be responsible for periodic entry of data into this system. The two purposes of the APR are to (1) demonstrate that substantial progress has been made toward meeting the objectives of the project as outlined in the grant application, and (2) collect data that addresses the performance indicators for the New York 21st Century Community Learning Center program (Appendix 7).  APR measures of participants’ progress include:

Grantees must evaluate the objectives identified in the federal APR as well as any others they have set for themselves.

  1. The Program Quality Self-Assessment (QSA), the research-based planning and self-assessment tool developed by the New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN), will be used by each program site two times each year.  The QSA process should include representatives of all stakeholders involved in the program.  Although the QSA tool is not considered to be an evaluation tool, the feedback from the QSA does contribute to the overall understanding of the outcomes of the program.  

Payee ID Form

The Payee ID Form is used to establish an identifying number that enables organizations (e.g., community-based organizations) to receive funds from the State Education Department. The form is to be submitted with each proposal from applicants that are not a BOCES or public school district even if the organization already receives funds from the Department. (BOCES, public school districts and charter schools) have BEDS codes for this purpose.)  The Payee ID Form may be accessed at www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/forms.html.

Vendor Responsibility

State law requires that the award of state contracts be made to responsible vendors. Before an award is made to a not-for-profit entity, a for-profit entity, a private college or university or a public entity not exempted by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Department must make an affirmative responsibility determination. The factors to be considered include: legal authority to do business in New York State; integrity; capacity- both organizational and financial; and previous performance. Before an award of $100,000 or greater can be made to a covered entity, the entity will be required to complete and submit a Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire.

Vendors are invited to file the required Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire online via the New York State VendRep System. To enroll in and use the New York State VendRep System, see the VendRep System instructions at: http:\\www.osc.state.ny.us/vendrep/systeminit.htm or go directly to the VendRep System online at https://portal.osc.state.ny.us.

For direct VendRep System user assistance, the OSC Help Desk may be reached at 866-370-4672 or 518-408-4672 or by email at helpdesk@osc.state.ny.us

Vendors opting to file a paper questionnaire can obtain the appropriate questionnaire from the VendRep website: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/vendrep/templates.htm or will receive it with the award letter.

Unallowable Expenditures

Planning expenses, nutritional services for participants, purchase of vehicles or facilities, major remodeling or new construction are not allowed.

Charging for Program Services

Under certain circumstances, 21st CCLCs may charge for services.  However, programs must be equally accessible to all students targeted for services, regardless of their ability to pay.  Programs that charge fees may not prohibit any family from participating due to its financial situation.  The priority of the program to serve poor students and families could be compromised through high program fees.  Programs that opt to charge fees must offer a sliding scale of fees and scholarships for those who cannot afford the program.  Income collected from fees must be used to fund program activities specified in the grant application. 

Program Income

If a grantee earns any program income, the income must be used to reduce the amount of the grant award and defray current grant expenditures unless prior approval is requested and received from SED.  If a grantee wishes to earn program income for grant program activities without decreasing the amount of grant funds received from SED, the grantee must submit a written request and receive approval from SED prior to earning any program income.  The request must describe the activities from which program income will be earned and the anticipated time period during which the income will be earned and a statement that the program income will be added to the total grant and expended for grant activities before claiming expenditures for such activities from SED.  SED will review the request and either approve or disapprove it.  

In addition, grantees must report all program income in the twice annual reports to SED.  SED will deduct program income from the grant award unless SED gave the grantee prior approval to add the program income to their grant.

For further information on the treatment of program income, see Section 11 http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/Guide.html#Eleven.
Budget (FS-10)

The application must include an FS-10 Budget Form for the first year of the program.

Please remember that travel costs for program employees should be itemized under Travel Expenses; travel for consultants should be itemized under Purchased Services.

General descriptions of expenditures, allowable costs, applicable federal cost principles and administrative regulations are available in the Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Aided Grants at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/ .  

Indirect Costs

Only LEAs and not-for-profit organizations may include indirect costs as part of the budget; for-profit organizations cannot.  Indirect costs are costs of activities that benefit more than one program or objective and, therefore, cannot be readily assigned to only one specific program or objective. For more information, visit the web site www.oms.nysed.gov/cafe/faqs.html  in the frequently asked questions section.

Review and Rating of Applications

Incomplete proposals and proposals postmarked after the due date will not be reviewed. Proposals from applicants that SED determines do not have sufficient capacity to administer this program will not be reviewed.  Proposals with formatting errors will result in considerable penalties – e.g., the proposal will not be reviewed in its entirety or the proposal will be rejected.  Only the first 30 pages of a program narrative that exceeds the 30-page limit will be read; only a proportionate part of narratives that are less than double-spaced or prepared in a smaller font will be read.  The allowed 30 pages include the “Template for Goals and Objectives Based on 21st Century Community Learning Centers Performance Indicators” (Appendix 7) and charts or graphs used to display numerical data or activity schedules.  Other types of charts are not allowed and will not be reviewed.
The State Education Department will administer a peer review process of proposals that includes the following components:

An application (except from a for-profit applicant – see next section “For-Profit Applicants”) must receive a final average score of 75 not including priority points to be considered for funding. 
Applications will be ranked according to final average score plus priority points from highest to lowest in one of the following three geographic areas:

  1. New York City
  2. Big Four Cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Yonkers)
  3. Rest of the State

Funds will be allocated to each geographic area based on its relative share of the allocation of Title I funds to New York State schools – 60 percent to New York City; 10 percent to the big four cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers; and 30 percent to the rest of the State. Placement of applicants into one of these groups will be made at the discretion of SED staff.

Awards will be made in the full amount of the budget, as adjusted, to applicants within each geographic area in rank order of score.  If funds remain in a geographic area after awards are made to all applicants who score 75 or higher, the funds will be redistributed proportionately to the other geographic area(s).

In the event of tie scores, the program serving students with higher poverty will be ranked higher.

For-Profit Applicants

Up to $900,000 will be set aside per year to be shared among for-profit awardees. Each for-profit applicant is limited to a maximum annual award of $450,000.  Applications from for-profit organizations will be reviewed and ranked separately from all other applicants. .  Each eligible application from a for-profit organization must receive a minimum technical score of 60 points (out of a possible 80 points) in the peer review process using the point scales indicated in the first four sections of the scoring rubric (Appendix 2) to be eligible for the objective cost scoring phase. The remaining 20 points allowable for the “Adequacy of Resources” section which addresses the proposed budget will be scored separately according to cost criteria by the SED’s Contract Administration Office.

The final score awarded will be the total of the final average technical score (up to 80 points), the “Adequacy of Resources” or cost score (up to 20 points) and priority points, if applicable.

For–profit applicants will be ranked separately from all other applicants according to their final score from highest to lowest.  For-profit applicants will not be separated into three separate geographic regions. 

Awards will be made to for-profit applicants in rank order of score until an insufficient amount of the $900,000 set aside for for-profit applicants is available to fund the next ranking for-profit applicant in full.  The next ranked applicant after that will be given the opportunity to operate a smaller program using the remaining funds allocated to for-profit applicants.  In the case of a tie score, the applicant with the lower cost will be ranked higher.

Entities’ Responsibility

Entities that receive 21st Century funding are responsible for the proper disbursement of, and accounting for, program funds. Written agency policy concerning wages, mileage and travel allowances, overtime compensation, or fringe benefits, as well as State rules pertaining to competitive bidding, safety regulations, and inventory control must be followed. Supporting or source documents are required for all grant related transactions entered into the local agency's recordkeeping system. Source documents that authorize the disbursement of grant funds consist of purchase orders, contracts, time & effort records, delivery receipts, vendor invoices, travel documentation and payment documents, including check stubs.

Supporting documentation for grants and grant contracts must be kept for at least six years after the last payment was made unless otherwise specified by program requirements. Additionally, audit or litigation will "freeze the clock" for records retention purposes until the issue is resolved. All records and documentation must be available for inspection by State Education Department officials or its representatives.

For additional information about grants, please refer to the previously noted Fiscal Guidelines for Federal and State Aided Grants at Fiscal Guidelines.

Application Submission Instructions

Please submit one hard copy of the application with the required original signatures along with a CD in Word or .pdf of the entire application.  Original signatures are required on the following forms in blue ink:

Cover Page – The original signature of applicant (fiscal agent); the Chief School / Administrative Officer

Participating Schools Form – The principal of each school that is sending their students to the program.

Partnership Agreements – The School District Superintendent; or, in New York City, the Community School District Superintendent.  If the New York City schools being served are located in more than one Community School District, then all participating CSD Superintendents must sign the Partnership Agreement(s).

Only complete applications will be reviewed. A complete application must include the Application Checklist and all the items on it in the order listed.

Reporting Requirements

Each recipient of funds under this RFP will be required to submit reports two times each year on January 1 and July 1 to the State Education Department in a format to be provided by the Department.  Reporting elements include but are not limited to:

-           Report of any program income.