Return to Learning Technology Grant Programs

NYSED / P-16: EMSC / EMSC Homepage ----

2009-2012 Learning Technology Grants Three-Year Application Questions and Answers

||

Q 1: Who is eligible to apply for a Learning Technology Grant?
Public school districts and Boards of Cooperative Education (BOCES), or consortiums thereof are eligible to receive funding under the Learning Technology Grant Program. At least one School In Need Improvement (SINI) or School under Registration Review (SURR) school building must be included in the application. State legislation requires applicants to include non-public schools of all denominations within a district or BOCES boundaries as substantial and equitable partners.
Q 2: For the purposes of this State-wide competitive grant, define SURR and SINI? Is there a complete list of the SURR and SINI schools eligible for inclusion? Is there a complete list of the SURR and SINI schools eligible for inclusion? For the purposes of this State-wide competitive grant, the designations SURR and SINI include Corrective Action, Planning for Restructuring, and Restructuring schools. For a complete list see: http://www.oms.nysed.gov/press/SchoolsUnderRegistrationReview2009.htm and http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/accountability/2008-09/March2009-Release-in-improvement-allSchools.pdf
Q 3: Are schools designated as Schools Requiring Academic Progress (SRAP) eligible to participate as required partners? A: Yes.
Q 4: If there is no SURR or SINI school in the district, must I partner with one to be eligible for the grant? A. Yes, to be eligible for the grant, you must include a SURR or SINI school in your application. You may create a consortium with a neighboring district that includes a SURR or SINI school. Links to lists of SURR and SINI schools can be found in the answer to question number 2, above. Q 5: Is a District In Need of Improvement that does not have a SINI school eligible to apply for this grant?
Yes, but only if the district in need of improvement includes an eligible SURR or SINI school from a neighboring district. Q 6: How can a District in Need of Improvement not have a SINI or SURR school?
Typically a district would become a DINI without a school in the district in improvement because the schools do not have sufficient numbers of students to be held accountable for the disaggregated performance of group, but the results from multiple schools when aggregated make the district accountable for a group and the district fails to make AYP. The inverse can also happen where a school fails to make AYP with a group but when results are aggregated the district does. In short there are DINIs that have no SINIs, and SINIs in districts that are not DINIs.
Q 7: Can schools apply individually for this grant rather than by a district. A. No, individual schools cannot apply, even in partnership with non-public school, SINI, or DINI schools. Public school districts, Boards of Cooperative Education (BOCES), and consortiums that include them are the only applicants eligible to receive funding under the Learning Technology Grant Program. Q 8: We are a middle school interested in applying for the grant. Do we need to team with a SURR school in order to be eligible or can we apply independently as a school?
A: If your school has been designated as SINI your district is eligible to apply with your school as a participant in collaboration with a non-public school partner. If your school is neither SURR nor SINI, your district must partner with one, in addition to a non-public school partner. Q 9: Is there priority status to SINI schools in this round?
A. No. All applications must include a SURR/SINI school to be considered for funding.
Q 10: If a district currently has a SINI school at the high school level, but is anticipating coming off the list once the new accountability status is issued, are they still eligible to apply? A: Yes. Eligibility is determined at the time of release of the LTG RFP. If the high school was designated as SINI when the RFP was released, it is eligible to participate as a SINI school. Q 11: I notice that schools that were in their first year of restructuring are on the eligibility list. These schools are not SINI. Are they still eligible? A. Yes. Schools in their first year of restructuring are eligible.
Q 12: Where can we find a list of all non-public schools in our district?
A: You can find a list of all non-public schools in New York State at the following links: A directory of non-public schools and principals in NYS can be found at the following link: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/schoolDirectory/
The non-public schools list can be found in the Adobe Acrobat .PDF format at: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/irts/schoolDirectory/nonpublic/sectionI.pdf However, this document does not indicate the districts in which the non-public schools are located. More complete information can be found at: http://www.nysed.gov/admin/bedsdata.html, where you can access the following database in the Excel format: SEDDIR.xls. A Rectype = 2 designates that the database record is for a non-public school. District = 332000 designates that the database record is for District 20; District = 331300 indicates that the record is for District 13; District = 342800 indicates that the record is for District 28.
Q 13: Must the non-public school partner be in the same district? A: No. The applicant should first look for a non-public school partners in the same district. If non-public school partners cannot be secured within the district, look for one in neighboring districts.
Q 14: The LTG application indicates eligible schools should consult with non-public schools, yet the best implementation of the grant would be with just one non-public school partner. Why does the grant seem to imply multiple schools should be contacted? This would be an issue if multiple schools wanted to collaborate. Is it okay, to just contact one non-public school with whom you want to partner?
A. Multiple schools should be contacted as evidence of equitable attempts for outreach. A final decision for a partnership should be based on commonality of needs and interests and a willingness to collaborate. Q 15: I am writing to request inclusion of our non-public school in the 2009-2012 Statewide Learning Technology Grant (LTG) when applications are made for our public schools.
A. Eligible applicants include public school districts and BOCES, or consortiums thereof. Applicants must give non-public schools of all denominations within their boundaries the opportunity to participate. There is no guarantee that your district is preparing a grant application in response to this RFP. You may wish to contact administrators in your public school district, to verify if a grant is being prepared, and to ensure your non-public school’s inclusion and involvement.
Q 16: Who do I contact in my local school district for this or other opportunities for non-public schools? A. Contact your school district or regional BOCES Superintendent’s office to discover who might be preparing an LTG application in your district or BOCES, with whom you might be eligible to participate. Q 17: If there are no non-public schools in the service area, will our application not receive the 10 points under question 4, “Collaborative Planning and Involvement of Non-public Schools”? A: Points are issued based on documentation of attempts districts have made in securing non-public school involvement and outreach. Applicants should be prepared to provide documentation confirming that there are no non-public schools in their service area. NYC has many non-public schools; therefore, an applicant from NYC should be able to find a non-public school partner. Q 18: Do charter schools qualify as non-public schools? A. Pursuant to the Learning Technology Grant (LTG) statute (Section 550 of Chapter 170 of the Laws of 1994) and Commissioner's Regulation (8 NYCRR 144.8), only public school districts, BOCES, and consortium that include them are eligible to apply for the LTG funds. As charter schools are neither entity, they are not eligible applicants.
Also, charter schools are not considered non-public schools for purposes of the Learning Technology Grant program. Education Law 2853(4) provides that charter schools may be treated as non-public schools for purposes of certain statutes enumerated in section 2853. The Learning Technology Grant statute is not included in that enumerated list.
An amendment to section 2853(4) to also reference the Learning Technology Grant statute would be required to permit charter school students to be served as non-public school students by a public school district or BOCES as part of its LTG grant. Q 19: I am just double checking to make sure I am reading the RFP correctly: Charter schools as public school LEA's are NOT eligible to apply for this Grant, nor are they eligible to participate with a district through this Grant. If this is the case, please explain why. A. Correct. The RFP defines eligible applicants as "public school districts" and BOCES, or consortium thereof. Charter schools are not public school districts or BOCES. If the RFP defined eligible applicants as "LEAs", then they would be eligible, since SED has defined them as being LEAs for the purpose of receiving federal funds. The statue for State-funded programs typically specifies that public school districts are eligible to receive funds. Charter schools are not public school districts. Therefore, unless the statue explicitly states that charter schools are eligible, a reference to a district being eligible to receive funds does not also make charter schools eligible to receive funds.
Q 20: What is the difference between this program and the Learning Technology Grant Program for which the applications were due in January 2009?
A. NYSED issued the revised 2009-2012 LTG RFP following DOB approval in May 2009, and included within the 100 point rubric matrix ‘STEM’ and ‘collaborative projects’ and removed them from the priority points section. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the application in its entirety.
Q 21: Who can serve as the Fiscal Agent for LTG program? A. Only a public school district or BOCES can be the applicant and fiscal agent.
Q22: If applying as a BOCES can just the interested schools in the BOCES region participate, or must all schools in the region participate? A. Yes, just the interested schools can participate - the BOCES can determine the schools. All schools need not participate. But the application must include an eligible SURR/SINI school and the applicant must give all non-public schools within their boundaries the opportunity to participate. Q 23: Is it possible to apply for the 2009-12 grant if a school district is completing an LTG grant cycle (2006-09), so that the project can be expanded on a school-wide basis? A: Yes. A school district completing an LTG grants cycle (2006-09), can be included in an application for the 2009-12 grant. The proposal can include a project to be expanded on a school-wide basis, but would be considered in the competitive process along with all other competing proposals. Q 24: We have completed the third year of the Learning Technology Grant 2006-2009 cycle. Can we apply again in the 2009-2012 cycle? A. Yes. Being the recipient of a Learning Technology Grant for the 2006-2009 cycle would not disqualify an application again in the 2009-2012 cycle. Q 25: Is it public knowledge what schools districts will be awarded the funds?
A. Yes. Grant recipients and a brief abstract of funded proposals, along with recipient contact information, will be posted on the New York State Education Department’s website. Grant recipients from the 2006-2009 cycle are currently posted at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/InstrTech/home.html
Q 26: Are comments (scores) for those LTG proposals who did NOT receive funding sent out by NYSED to the applicants?
A. No. No scores or comments from any grants - funded or non-funded – are typically sent out or posted by NYSED. Grant applicants may submit a written request for grant scores or comments after the scoring cycle is complete and the funds are announced. Request should be made to the SED Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Instructional Technology. Requests from NYC schools must also provide a copy of their request to the Office of School Improvement and Community Services (NYC).
Q 27: We submitted a grant during the last round and didn't win the grant. We would like to get the reviewer feedback. How can we get the grant rubric feedback to inform the process this time around? A. Follow the procedure as indicated in the answer to question number 26, above. The most opportune time to submit these requests is during the first year of LTG for any given round.
Q 28: How is district defined for New York City schools? A. For this grant for New York City, “district” is defined as one of the thirty-two community school districts and District 75. Q 29: We are a NYC school and want to invite a non-public school from another NYC district to participate. Is that allowable? A. Each district should first make sure the learning technology program is made available to non-public schools on an equitable basis within the district receiving funds. If no non-public participants can be found within the district, then the applicant is allowed to invite non-public participants outside the district.
Q 30: Can we apply for this grant as an individual school or do we need to apply as a group of schools?
A. Individual schools are not eligible applicants. Only public school districts, BOCES, or consortiums thereof are eligible applicants.
Q 31: Which agency code should we submit on the application form?
A. The applicant must submit the agency code for the district.
Q 32: For the purposes of this statewide competitive grant program, what is a consortium?
A. A consortium is two or more public school districts and/or BOCES applying together for a Learning Technology grant. One of the school districts or BOCES must serve as the applicant and fiscal agent for the grant. In the event a grant is awarded to a consortium, the applicant/fiscal agent is the grant recipient.
Q 33: In a consortium, are all schools required to have SINI or SURR status?
A. No. At least one school is required to have SURR or SINI status.
Q 34: If a consortium applies, do they still request $50,000? Or, can they request a larger sum? Can a consortium receive an award of more than $50,000?
A. No, the maximum grant award per application per year is $50,000. Q 35: Can a private company certified by the state apply for this grant? A: No. Eligible legal applicants are public school districts, BOCES, or a consortium thereof.
Q 36: Can a private company participate as part of a consortium? A. No, consortiums are defined as a group of eligible applicants. Private companies are not eligible applicants, and therefore cannot be part of a consortium.
Q 37: Under what budget code would I include stipends for participating teachers that would provide services beyond the school day for LTG purposes? A: Public school teachers would receive compensation under SED budget code 15 – Professional Salaries. Non-public school teachers would receive compensation under SED budget code 40 – Purchased Services.
Q 38: Can funds be used to purchase services of a retired teacher for Professional Development?
A: Yes, LTG funds may be used to purchase the services of a retired teacher to provide professional development. Q 39: Sections 2 & 3 of the narrative portion of the LTG RFP refer to "district plans." NYC schools do not work with district plans. They have individual school Comprehensive Education Plans (CEP) and work under NYC initiatives. How should NYC schools respond to these questions? A: In sections 2 and 3 of the narrative portion of the LTG proposal, NYC applicants should refer to the plans, policies, and initiatives developed by the Central Office of the NYC DOE. In this section of the proposal narrative NYC applicants can also refer to the plans and policies of their School Support Organization (SSO).
Q 40: Do the Budget Summary, Budget Category and Narrative Forms, and Budget Summary responses for Questions 8 & 9 of the LTG RFP count toward the 14 page limit for the grant proposal narrative?
A: No. The Budget Summary, Budget Category and Narrative Forms, and Budget Summary form do not count toward the 14 page limit for the proposal narrative. Q 41: Regarding evaluation, the application states that "no more than 5% of the funds may be used for evaluation." It also states that "All grant recipients must submit an annual report...after each project year." Are applicants required to hire an outside evaluator or (like in past competitions) can this be done internally? A. The evaluation can be done internally. Applicants are not required to hire outside evaluators. Under either scenario - outside or internal evaluation – not more than 5% of the total annual grant funds may be used for evaluation purposes. Q 42: On the Proposal Narrative, part 2C of the Learning Technology Grant Application, it asks for a description of the STEM related project. If we are writing a proposal based on our SINI qualification, how will the STEM relate to our goal of improving ELA for the Special Ed population? A. Applicants can focus on the implementation of STEM projects with interdisciplinary connections to English Language Arts, targeted to Students with Disabilities in addition to other groups of students.
Q 43: Can an eligible applicant apply for more than one grant?
A. Yes if the following conditions are met:
1) A separate application is needed for each $50,000 grant. 2) The application must include a different focus and/or different schools. 3) Each application must include a SINI or SURR school building. Q 44: Can two different LTG applications propose to serve different grade spans of the same non-public school building, or must each LTG application propose to serve different locations of non-public schools? A school district receiving funds through LTG must assure that the programs are made available to non-public school students on an equitable basis. Applications that fail to demonstrate compliance with this assurance could potentially score lower in the Collaborative Planning and involvement of Non-public Schools section, and be less competitive. The district should follow a process of consulting with non-public schools in the service area on an equitable basis in making an application for LTG.
While the proposed scenarios could be acceptable proposals, the applications must include a different focus and/or different schools in each grant application, and each application must include a SINI or SURR school building.
Q 45: Can one LTG application include services to two different grade spans in a non-public school building? A. Yes. Such a proposal would not render an LTG application ineligible. LTG proposals are not limited to a single grade spans. The proposal would be judged on its merits within the competitive grant award process.
Q 46: Is there a problem applying in conjunction with a school in a different district? If not, which District superintendent signs off on the application? A. A public school district or BOCES applying for a grant may include schools from different districts in the application. The superintendent from the applicant district or BOCES must sign the application.
Q 47: If we don't use all of our money in year one, can it be rolled over to the next year? A. No.
Q 48: How do you purchase non-FAMIS (the NYC DOE Financial Accounting Management Information System) items such as Kindles or Sony e-Readers. Can they be written into the grant and purchased with bids? A. If you are awarded a grant, you must follow your agency’s policies and procedures on purchasing. SED approval of a budget does not supercede local policies and procedures.
Q 49: How school-wide does this grant proposal have to be? Can it be for an academy, grade, subject area, single classroom?
A. The grant proposal can be focused and targeted to any particular school program, academy, subject, grade, classroom, or combination thereof. The goals and priorities for winning grant proposals are specified in the grant RFP.
Q 50: Are there sample grants posted online?
A. There are abstracts from the winning grants of the 2006-2009 cycle posted at http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/InstrTech/home.html Q 51: Question - Do projector bulbs qualify as equipment that can be purchased?
A. Yes. Projector bulbs are an allowable purchase. Any item with a unit cost under $5,000 is considered supplies, not equipment.
Q 52: Are new schools (opening this September, 2009) eligible to participate in an applying consortium?
A. Yes. New schools are able to participate.
Q 53: My public school is in good standing. Across the street is the public school our students attend after they graduate. That school is in its 4th year of restructuring. Are we eligible to apply together? If yes, are we also required to include a local non-public school? Do we apply as a consortium using the address of one of the schools on the cover of the application? Or are we applying as the District and using the district address, even though we plan to host the program at one of the schools?
A. Only public school districts and BOCES or consortiums thereof can apply. Schools are not eligible applicants. Non-public schools within the district boundaries must be given the opportunity to participate. The application would use the district address, and require the signature of the superintendent. You would apply as a consortium only if you are applying with other public school district(s) or BOCES. Q 54: Is it OK for 3 schools to work together so long we are all within the same district?
A. Yes, three schools can work together as long as all other eligibility requirements for the application are met. However, the applicant must be the district.
Q 55: We are interested in starting an after-school program for teachers who want to increase their own information literacy skills and to collaborate in designing standards-based projects for our students that would integrate instructional technology with a science or social studies topic. Is this a fundable program? Would a community adult technology literacy program be better?
A. For the purposes of LTG, both the after school program or the adult technology literacy program could be funded in a winning grant that met all other eligibility requirements for the grant application. The program of the greater merit would be determined in the scoring process, as indicated in the grant scoring rubric. Focus and scoring of the LTG program is aligned with helping students attain higher levels of performance in the New York State Learning Standards. The program proposal designed to use resources for student learning activities most closely aligned with the Learning Standards would likely score higher in the competitive process. Q 56: Is tuition for graduate school to take classes in instructional technology an eligible expense for participating teachers?
A. Any such classes must be an integral part of the LTG project design as indicated in the proposal application. Applications will be scored on a competitive basis in accordance with the LTG scoring rubric. Q 57: Can the teachers who will be participating and creating something original receive per session payment through the grant? A. Yes. Teachers may receive per session payment. For example, participating teachers could receive per session payment for developing standards-based curriculum content to be delivered through the use of technology.