Community Schools Questions & Answers

No.QuestionAnswerCreated at
1We were excited to learn that our organization is eligible to apply for the community school classroom facilities grant. We have some questions and are requesting to schedule a call with OFCC. Please let me know a date and time this week or next week that works. Thank you.OFCC will be hosting an informational webinar on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 10:00 am to describe the program and answer questions from the audience. For specific inquiries, please submit them according to the instructions provided in section I. B. (found on page 4) of the grant application and instructions.12/10/2019 11:25 AM
2We are wanting to be on the webinar tomorrow, December 17th, at 10 am for the Community Schools Classroom Facilities Grant Program. We have not received any additional information regarding how to watch/listen to the webinar. Could you please send me the details? Thank you.An email with the link to register for the webinar has been sent to the email contact provided.12/16/2019 12:29 PM
3Our operator and our school are each on the eligibility list. Can the operator and the school apply separately?Yes.12/17/2019 9:39 AM
4Is the purchase of commercial appliances and equipment an eligible expenditure of grant funds?Yes, if they are construction expenses related to the school’s educational purpose.12/17/2019 9:39 AM
5Since there was $25M approved initially and approximately $21M has been awarded already, is there only $4M available to be awarded between the selected applications? There is approximately $4M remaining out of the original $25M appropriation, plus an additional appropriation of about $8M that has been made available. As with earlier rounds, the total amount of grant awards for Round 3 will depend upon the quantity and quality of submitted applications. 12/17/2019 9:40 AM
6I’m hoping to participate in today’s webinar, but have not seen any information about how to join. Can you please send relevant details?The link to the December 17, 2019 recorded webinar and presentation materials can be found on the Round 3 web page. 12/23/2019 10:38 AM
7Both the operator and the school are eligible to submit a grant application. Would it increase the chance to submit the same grant from each party? We are only interested in completing one construction project. Please advise as to whether submitting two applications of the same grant would maximize the opportunity for funding.The best advice on maximizing the opportunity for funding is to thoroughly review the questions and examples of desirable responses. Each application will be judged on its own merits. There is no advantage to submitting the same application twice. If two similar applications are submitted, each will be scored separately, with the identical sections scored the same. 12/23/2019 9:48 AM
8Are community schools permitted to partner with an ESC to build a new facilityThe law limits eligibility to high performing community schools and high performing operators that want to use the money to replicate a high performing school. An Educational Service Center (ESC) cannot be a co-applicant in the process. However, in order to be eligible, the school or operator must provide local matching funds and the application includes an Educational Use Assurance Statement and a Payback Assurance Statement (Sections F1, F5 and F6 in the Round 3 application). An ESC can be a source of the local match reported in Section F1. The ESC’s superintendent can sign the third party letters requested in Sections F5 and F6 stating that in the event of a default, the ESC would be willing to become an educational-use tenant of the property for the remainder of the ten-year term of the grant agreement and would be willing to pay back the pro-rated balance of state funds.12/23/2019 10:40 AM
9What is the implication of being an eligible operator? Specifically, can we apply to for the expansion of a school that we operate, even if that school is not eligible because it's still in start-up?An existing school is eligible for a grant only if it is deemed to be high performing based on the criteria outlined in the law. If the school is not on the list of high performing schools, its operator is not eligible to apply for a grant to expand the number of seats in that building. Any high performing operator is eligible to apply for funds to open a new school that replicates the educational service model used in one or more high performing schools elsewhere. The operator should explain which model is being replicated and provide evidence of that model’s success.12/23/2019 10:41 AM
10How long does the community school have to perform the work awarded in the grant?There is no deadline for completion. The grant program is designed to increase the number of seats in high-performing community schools. All other things being equal, an application for a project with a shorter duration may be scored higher than one for a project with a longer duration.12/24/2019 12:25 PM
11We sponsor a school that is applying for funds from the grant. The school has requested that we provide a payback assurance as part of the grant application. I am concerned that most if not all sponsors will be unable to provide such an assurance (F-6) due to financial reasons. I understand that providing an insufficient answer doesn’t necessarily remove a school from consideration, but any loss of points for these issues may disqualify a school.A response to F-6 that includes a payback guaranty from a credit-worthy third party would be scored higher than a response that does not.1/3/2020 3:00 PM
12Can an operator who qualifies for the grant apply for money to expand an existing school that does not qualify for the grant if the existing school replicates a high performing model?No. An eligible operator may only apply for funding for a newly established community school that replicates a high-performing model.1/7/2020 9:59 AM
13We recorded a restrictive covenant as a requirement for a previous round of the Community Schools Classroom Facilities Grant Program. For the third round, we are seeking funds to continue the renovation of the same facility. Is there a requirement to execute a new restrictive covenant for the same property?No. If a grant is awarded in the third round and the approved work is on the same property covered by the previously recorded covenant, there wouldn’t be a need to record a new restrictive covenant on the same property. 1/10/2020 12:59 PM
14I would like to make sure that we need only fill out the grant application and submit it to you via email. Because I don't see this grant name on the Safe Account grant list. How are we going to apply for this grant by Jan. 24?Instructions for submitting applications are found in the grant application, Section D, Application Submittal (see page 5 of the grant application). The Ohio Department of Education’s grant application portal is not used for this grant program.1/10/2020 1:00 PM
15My eligible school wants to start a project now so it would be finished by August 2020. Can the school apply for this grant?Yes. If a grant were to be awarded for the project, eligible expenses incurred after July 1, 2019 could be included in the project budget (see page 12 of the grant application).1/10/2020 1:00 PM
16If my school is not on the eligible schools list, can we apply for the grant?No.1/13/2020 7:57 AM
17What legislation authorized Round 3 of the Community School Classroom Facilities Grant Program?132nd General Assembly Sub. H. B. No. 4381/15/2020 4:20 PM
18Would it be okay if a school submitted a copy of the application on a thumb drive rather than a CD as most computers do not have burners?Yes.1/16/2020 2:29 PM
19Would OFCC consider extending the application deadline due to some challenges we are experiencing securing our local match share?No. Extending the application deadline at this late date may give some applicants an unfair advantage in this competitive grant program. Some applicants may have already determined project scope, schedule and budget, and secured funding for their local share. Also, the current timeline will allow OFCC and ODE to complete the grant award process (including Controlling Board approval) by the end of FY 2020, a fiscal necessity for OFCC.1/17/2020 12:39 PM
20My school applied in a previous round. Can we answer the questions in this round in the same manner as before? The previous responses seemed acceptable in the previous round.Third-round applications will be considered as stand-alone applications by the evaluation and review committees. No previously submitted information will be considered. As in previous rounds, Applicants in round 3 are directed to provide clear and concise responses and to refrain from including extraneous information that is not relevant to the questions being asked.1/17/2020 2:13 PM
21Are significant changes to the construction design allowed after grant funding? Is there a mechanism to submit change orders?Any grant funds that are recommended for award by the evaluation committee will be for a fixed amount based on the funding requested in the application. Oversight of the project, including the administration of all change orders and costs associated with those changes are the responsibility of the grantee and its selected construction professionals. 1/21/2020 11:49 AM
22To what extent are grant recipients required to comply with the 2019 Ohio School Design Manual guidelines when using grant funds to renovate facilities?Grant recipients would not be required to follow the Ohio School Design Manual guidelines.1/21/2020 12:09 PM