Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) FY16 Career and Technical Education Partnerships Request for Proposals (RFP) – Fund Code 405 Questions and Answers (Q&A) UPDATED 6/13/2016 This is a running list of all questions asked to date. NEW questions received between 5/31/2016 – 6/8/2016 are located at bottom in red. This document will be updated periodically, through June 8, 2016. As of that date, no additional questions will be accepted. April 5, 2016 Q1 What are the grade levels to be served? A1 The students that can be served are grades 7–14. The caller was referred to the Priorities section of RFP. April 7, 2016 Q2 Can our private, for-profit, company be the lead entity on the grant? A2 No, a private, for-profit, company cannot be the lead entity on the grant. The caller was referred to the Eligibility section of RFP. April 13, 2016 Q3 When will the Bidders’ Conference be held? A3 The Bidders’ Conference information will be posted in the Commissioners Update once a date has been identified. April 27, 2016 Q4 Can a collaborative act as lead agency for grant? A4 Yes, a collaborative can act as lead agency for the grant. The caller was referred to the Eligibility section of the 405 RFP. April 28, 2016 Q5 What is required for the intent to apply email? A5 The caller was referred to the Required Prior to Grant Submission section of RFP. April 29, 2016 Q6 We are a public school within a district. Can we submit the intent to apply as a sole school? A6 No, applicants must apply as part of a school district. May 5, 2016 Q7 Will the Bidders’ Conference be recorded and accessible afterward for people who cannot attend? A7 We will not be recording the webinar, but the Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte as soon as possible post webinar. Q8 Can an organization submit more than one application, or may it be a partner in one application and the lead on a second? A8 Given the limited amount of money involved and the way the RFP reads under Funding: “Eligible applicants may apply for up to $10,000 for one (1) planning grant.” any eligible applicant may apply for only one planning grant. However, there is no such limit stated for engaging in multiple partnerships. If for any reason this interpretation changes, it will be posted on the OCVTE website at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/cte/ Q9 It was stated in the webinar that it is grades 7-14. Is grade 14 anyone in postsecondary education? Is there any age limit? A9 The 7th –14th grade range is consistent with the eligibility allowed under the Perkins Act. There is no age limit under the grant. The Perkins law allows service to anyone within those grade levels. The 14th grade level under Perkins is interpreted as postsecondary education up to the end of the second year of college. Q10 Can our city apply for a grant for one of our comprehensive high schools to develop a specific program with a major employer and a separate grant for our city vocational high school to develop a different program? So, our city would apply for two different grants. Would you accept both but only fund one or would you, possibly, fund both? A10 Based on the language in the RFP, we are only accepting one planning grant from a qualifying lead agency. A school department or other qualifying lead agency can only submit one planning grant application. Q11 Is there a link to the Power Point used during the Bidders’ Conference and any other attachments that you can send us please? A11 We will post slides on our website as soon as possible. The webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte. Q12 Are the slides going to be posted somewhere? A12 We will post slides on our website as soon as possible. The webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte. Q13 Can we submit more than one to be the project lead? Or must there only be one lead institution? A13 Per the RFP, there can only be one lead applicant. Q14 Please clarify the example of innovative models: The creation of a half-day split schedule so students can spend half a day in their CTE courses/programs and the other half in other coursework. Is the goal of this to create a half-day CTE program in a high school that does not have a Chapter 74 program? A14 The intent is to expand CTE options regardless of Chapter-74 status. Thinking outside the box is encouraged. Q15 If these funds supplement existing Perkins programs, does that require that the lead already receive Perkins funds? A15 There is no requirement that grantees must already receive Perkins funds. Funds can be used to expand existing CTE programs and/or develop new programs, as well. Q16 Are we to use double spaced or single space? A16 Single space allows for greater flexibility in content. Q17 Can we apply for more than one planning grant? A17 Applicants can apply for one planning grant only. Q18 Can we fax/email our application and/or supporting documentation? A18 Fax/email submissions are not allowable and will be rejected. Q19 What is the anticipated timeframe for implementation grant? A19 The Phase 2 implementation grant project duration is upon approval through August 31, 2017. Q20 Will the Power Point be posted online? A20 Yes, the webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte. Q21 Can the planning grant address multiple innovations from one district? A21 Yes, so long as the application aligns within the parameters of the RFP, including the up to $10,000 maximum. Q22 Will the Q and A be posted on websites? A22 Yes, the webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte. Q23 Do you have the spending dates for implementation phase? A23 The Phase 2 implementation grant project duration is upon approval through August 31, 2017. Q24 Will the slides be available, and if so, where? A24 Yes, the webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte. Q25 When is the award of implementation grant and dates of that grant? A25 The Phase 2 implementation grant project duration is upon approval through August 31, 2017. Q26 At what point do you anticipate a new program to be fully up with students enrolled and participating? A26 The program should be fully operational no later than September 1, 2017. Q27 Can you restate the anticipated amounts of implantation grants? A27 A total of $710,000 for implementation grants is available, with maximum individual award amounts for implementation being $150,000 (contingent on funding availability). Q28 Can one school district request funds for multiple innovation models? A28 Yes, so long as the application aligns within the parameters of the RFP, including the up to $10,000 maximum. Q29 How important is sustainability after the implementation? A29 The activity must be sustainable after the implementation. In the grant materials provided online, Required Forms: Part III outlines the required components of the grant and the point totals associated with each component. Out of 130 possible points, Sustainability can earn a maximum of five (5) points. Since competition for the Planning Grants is expected to be substantial, applicants are cautioned to address each component fully. Q30 Can two vocational schools partner in the planning grant? A30 Yes, two vocational schools can partner in the planning grant. Q31 Will you be looking at schools that recently received grants and help others that haven’t received funding in the past two years? How do you determine needs? Will you have interviews and site visits with schools to determine needs? A31 Funding decisions will be based solely on the completeness of applications, their eligibility under the criteria specified in the grant materials, and the score earned on the narrative as specified in Required Forms: Part III. No other considerations will factor into decisions. Q32 What if planning phase results in a change of our initial idea? A32 The planning process may reveal that the intended plans, or some components of the plan are not viable and/or feasible. ESE anticipates and expects that in some cases, the program plan outlined in an Implementation Grant narrative will differ from the proposed plan outlined in the Planning Grant narrative. There will be no penalty imposed upon applicants whose program plans change during the Planning Phase. Q33 During the webinar, there was a comment that made me question what we are thinking about for our planning grant. Our idea is to add two new CTE programs and house them at our high school to capitalize on teaching staff and teachers we have there and to have sustainability. We see that as adding seats, but is this not what is meant by adding seats? A33 The design is entirely up to the school district, but adding additional seats is an extremely important criterion in this RFP. The Program Design section requires “an absolute increase in the availability of career and technical education for prospective students who would otherwise not be served (15 points).” This stipulation will present an obstacle to any school or program where the number of students is fixed. In those cases, a new program simply involves the movement of students from one program to another but no increase in total seats. Proposals that propose new or expanded programs where students who otherwise would not have access to career and technical education are as a result gaining access DO increase seats and meet the criterion. Districts should also ensure all other elements of the RFP are also clearly described. Q34 Somewhere in the Power Point it states “letters of support” (or something along those lines) from partners. Is that the Schedule C or in addition to Schedule C? A34 The Schedule C lists the partners in the grant. The letters of support are from the partners in the grant and should be signed letters from the partners identifying that they will be participating in the grants and how they will be participating in the planning process. Friday, May 6, 2016 Q35 Is there a rubric for scoring of the planning grant? When will the Q&A be posted on the website? A35 Yes, all applications will be assessed and scored by an ESE team using a common rubric. And, the webinar Power Point will be posted on the OCVTE WebPages at www.doe.mass.edu/cte, as soon as possible. May 12, 2016-May 31, 2016 Q36 “The student population served through this funding opportunity may include grades 7 through 14, including access to apprenticeship programs.” Do we need to demonstrate that students are in Grades 13 & 14? Would an adult who is participating in an Adult Basic Education program qualify as a Grade 13 or 14 student, or does that student need to be enrolled in a public institution such as a Community College? A36 A student’s grade level is a local decision. Your School Department would make that determination, not ESE. Q37 The signed letters of commitment are just letters from partners indicated that they are committed to be a part of the planning process, correct? A37 Based on the RFP, under the Section Application Requirements, that should be sufficient. Q38 Could you clarify the dates for the implementation grant phase 2? The due date for the implementation grant proposal is tentatively 10/31/2016. When is the expected award announcement for this phase and when is the expected start and end dates for the grant? A38 If you will look at the RFP under Project Duration, “… The phase 2 implementation grant opportunity will have a tentative due date of October 31, 2016.” That is all the information we have at the current time regarding the start date of the Phase 2 implementation grant. The end date of the Implementation Grant will be August 31, 2017. Q39 Is there a limit to how many different ways a school can apply for this grant? A39 Based on our conversation this morning, I understand that the district wants to propose two different design ideas under the 405 grant. The RFP http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/2016/405/ does not prohibit this, but the district can only submit one planning grant application. Q40 We discussed this funding opportunity at a meeting this morning, but noticed that a Letter of Intent was due on May 13th. Can we still submit a Letter of Intent to apply for this grant. A40 The deadline for the letter of intent was May 13, 2016. The Department cannot accept any letters of intent after the deadline has passed. Q41 Is there any way to get on an email list for opportunities such as this grant, that come up in the CVTE Department? A41 I would recommend that you keep checking the grants page, perhaps once every two weeks, for new grant opportunities: http://www.doe.mass.edu/Grants/current.html Q42 Should we write the planning grant as if it were the entire program proposal, or just focus on the phase one planning aspect of the proposal? In other words, are you looking for budget, etc. that is under $10,000. for planning needs only, or are you looking for a budget that includes the entire program costs (for phases 1 and 2)? A42 We are only requesting information only pertaining to the planning grant. Look under Application Requirements; Funding; and Fund Use on this grant link. http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/2016/405/ These sections will provide information on how to respond to the grant. Q43 Is there a form for the "letter of Commitment" for the Grant that we need to have signed for the next step in the application? A43 No; there is no form for the letter of commitment. May 31, 2016 – June 8, 2016 Q44 We just realized that we did not submit the intent to apply on May 13, 2016 and would like to know if we are still able to apply to this grant competition. A44 If the school did not submit the intent to apply on May 13, 2016, the school is not eligible to submit an application for the 405 grant on June 15, 2016. Q45 Do you anticipate hosting this grant competition again next year or in future years? A45 We have no information on future grant competitions. Q46 We are a community college that is being asked to form a partnership with other local schools through the 405 grant. The RFP states that programs offered under the RFP must meet Perkins requirements. For community colleges this has historically meant courses must be credit-bearing courses. However, we will not be the primary proposal provider, but would be a partner only. Do the courses we offer as a partner to this grant need to be credit bearing? A46 The primary courses offered as a result of the collaboration need to meet Perkins definitions that would apply to the primary proposing body. If a high school is the lead agency, the school would need to meet Perkins program requirements for the high school; if a college is the primary proposer, the programs would need to meet Perkins program requirements for the college. Q47 Does the 6-page page limit for FC 405 narrative responses include the two pages of questions, or can we go to 8 pages total for our response? A47 The following is from the 405 Grant Required Forms section, Part III, Required Program Information: Sections I through IV of Part III comprise the narrative section of the grant proposal. Sections I-IV may not exceed six (6) pages in total. All narrative responses must be in Arial 10 point font, with one (1) inch margins. Responses to Section V (Budget) are not included in the page limit. Applicants are required to provide page numbers on every page of the proposal, including appendices and material not subject to the page limits. Additional attachments are permitted but will not factor into scoring. The directions indicate that Sections I-IV may not exceed six pages in total. Q48 The RFP does not say anything specifically in regards to indirect costs and references the Perkins manual for allowable and unallowable costs. The manual states, “The United States Department of Education requires that the combined expenditures proposed for both indirect and direct administrative costs in a Perkins Title I Grant when taken together not exceed 5% of the total grant amount.” I am assuming that this means that we can include 5% in our budget for indirect from this, but am hoping that you can confirm this. A48 Yes. You can request indirect costs as part of the 5% maximum allowable for Administration, as long as the 5% does not exceed your approved indirect rate. Q49 As long as we are a partner and not the lead on the grant and the initiative will provide students with increased pathways to postsecondary education, the program under consideration does not have to be for college credit. Is this correct? A49 The lead agency is responsible for ensuring that the program submitted meets the definition of a Perkins program—so the program proposed would need to meet Perkins criteria. Whether the college section must be credit bearing depends on what the postsecondary component is supposed to provide to the program design.