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Top Frequently Asked Questions About Applying for a Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Grant
These frequently asked questions (FAQs) are included in the FY 2009 SS/HS Application. We will continue to post FAQs as necessary throughout the competition, so please check this page often.

Content

Eligibility
Funding
Memoranda of Agreement
Evidence of Preexisting School-Community Partnership
Creating the SS/HS Comprehensive Plan and Addressing the Five SS/HS Elements
Evidence-Based Programs
Evaluation
GPRA Performance Indicators
Budget
Other Federal Administrative Requirements
General Information
Electronic Application


Eligibility

We did not serve as the lead local educational agency for a Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant, but we did receive some services as part of that grant.  Are we eligible to apply?

Yes.  Local educational agencies (LEAs) that have previously received grant funds or services under the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative directly or as part of a consortium of LEAs may apply for funding.  Applicants must include a signed assurance stating that if funded, the project will not serve those schools or subregions that were served by the first SS/HS project.  We will not consider applications from prior grantees or from LEAs that have received services as part of an SS/HS grant unless that application includes the required program-specific assurance.

We are a former SS/HS grantee and plan on submitting an application for FY 2009.  In addition to submitting the program-specific assurance regarding eligibility for former SS/HS grantees, is there anything else we should submit?

No.  Your program-specific assurance regarding eligibility should clearly state that none of schools or subregions that were served by the first SS/HS project will be served by the FY 2009 project, if awarded.  Applications from former SS/HS grantees that do not include the program-specific assurance regarding eligibility will be deemed ineligible and will not be forwarded to peer review.

What if a former SS/HS grantee is proposing to provide different or new activities, curricula, programs, or services to schools or subregions served by the first SS/HS project.  Is this allowable?

No.  The rationale for eliminating the restriction on eligibility that prohibited former SS/HS grantees from applying for new SS/HS funding is, that despite the size of SS/HS grants, some very large LEAs were not eligible to apply for sufficient funding to implement a comprehensive SS/HS plan district wide.  That is, the LEA was unable to include all of its schools or subregions in its first SS/HS project.  With the elimination of this eligibility restriction, former SS/HS grantees [LEAs] are now able to implement activities, curricula, programs, and services in those schools or subregions that were not served by the first SS/HS grant.  It is not our intent to allow prior recipients to “redo” a SS/HS project in the schools and subregions that were served by the first SS/HS project.

Applications from former SS/HS grantees that include schools and subregions served by the first SS/HS project will be deemed ineligible and will not be forwarded to peer review.

My LEA currently has an SS/HS grant but would like to apply for another.  Can we do so?

No.  The December 4, 2006, notice of final eligibility requirement for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS) limits eligibility under the discretionary grant competition to applicants that do not currently have an active grant under the same discretionary grant program.  This action was taken to ensure equitable distribution of awards among eligible applicants for grants under OSDFS discretionary grant programs and also to ensure that successful grantees have an opportunity to focus their efforts on completing a current project and to use information and results from that current project in designing future projects.

We are required to submit a logic model as an attachment to our preliminary MOA.  What is a logic model?  How is the logic model different from what is included in the narrative section of the application?

For the purpose of your preparing the SS/HS application, we consider a logic model to be a graphic representation of the narrative section of your application (also known as your SS/HS comprehensive plan) in a chart format.  The purpose of the logic model is to help applicants make sure that their proposed project connects community needs and gaps, goals, objectives, activities, partners’ roles, outcomes, and how outcomes will be measured.  The logic model should restate information from the project narrative; it should not present new information.

Should each LEA in a consortium have a separate logic model?

No. If the activities and measures for one LEA will differ from those of the other consortium members, those activities and measures should be captured in a single comprehensive logic model representing the SS/HS comprehensive plan. 

Where can I find out more about developing a logic model?

Information about the logic model requirement is included in this application package on page 18.  A sample page from a logic model for one element of an SS/HS project is included in this application package on page 55.  The resource list on pages 53–54 also contains sources on creating logic models.

What is the definition of the term “LEA”?  How can we determine whether our organization is an LEA?

The definition of the term “LEA” is provided in the definitions section on page 56.  If you are unsure whether your organization is an LEA, contact your State educational agency (SEA) for help in determining if your organization meets this definition. This agency is primarily responsible for your State’s supervision of public elementary and secondary schools. 

Are charter schools eligible to apply for SS/HS?

The only entities eligible to receive a grant under this initiative are LEAs.  Because statutes in some States designate individual charter schools as LEAs and others make charter schools part of an existing LEA, interested applicants from charter schools should check with their SEA to determine if they are considered to be an LEA.  Charter schools that are not LEAs are not eligible to apply directly, but the LEA in which they reside can apply for an SS/HS grant that targets one or more public schools (including charter schools).

How would a consortium of LEAs apply for an SS/HS grant?

To apply as a consortium, all LEAs in the consortium must meet all of the eligibility requirements.  The consortium of LEAs then must assign one LEA as the lead and applicant for the grant.  As the applicant, the lead LEA completes all the required forms and submits the application on behalf of the consortium.  Authorized representatives of all LEAs participating in the consortium must sign the required preliminary memorandum of agreement (MOA) and applicable program-specific assurances.  Authorized representatives of local law enforcement agencies, local juvenile justice agencies, and local public mental health authorities that correspond to each of the participating LEAs in the consortium must also sign the required preliminary MOA.

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Funding

Available funding amounts under the program are now determined by student enrollment.  How should I determine my LEA’s enrollment for the purpose of submitting an SS/HS application?

To determine its enrollment, the LEA (with the exception of Bureau of Indian Education-funded applicants) must use the enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) National Public School and School District Locator Web page (http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch).  Directions for finding that information on the Web site are provided on page 20.

What should I do if I cannot find my LEA in the NCES locator?

If you cannot find your LEA in the NCES locator, try again, limiting information to the State and city fields only.  This database conducts its search using all of the information that you enter and is text sensitive.  Therefore, we recommend entering minimal information, such as the State and city where the district administrative offices are located.  The locator page’s “About the Data” and “Help” links are useful.  If you are still unable to locate your district, contact Michelle Bechard at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: 240-276-1872 or Michelle.Bechard@samhsa.hhs.gov and reference the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative grant competition.

We are part of a consortium of school districts applying for SS/HS.  How is our enrollment determined?

A consortium should determine its enrollment by adding together the enrollment of each of the participating LEAs in the consortium, as determined on the NCES Web site.  Consortium applications should print out verification from the Web site for each participating LEA and include those with the application.

What is the maximum amount of funding that can be awarded to an applicant?         

The maximum funding that can be awarded in a 4-year-grant to an LEA (or consortium of LEAs) with 35,000 or more students is $2,250,000 per year and a total of $9,000,000 for 4 years.  The maximum funding for an LEA (or consortium of LEAs) with fewer than 35,000 but at least 5,000 students is $1,500,000 per year and a total of $6,000,000 for 4 years.  The maximum funding for an LEA (on consortium of LEAs) with fewer than 5,000 students is $750,000 per year and a total of $3,000,000 for 4 years.

What happens if we request more funding than we are eligible for?

Your application will not be considered for funding.  Grants will not be awarded for amounts that exceed these established caps.  Applicants should ensure that their budget requests do not exceed the maximum award amount for their enrollment.

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Memoranda of Agreement

What is the difference between the preliminary and final MOAs?

While the two MOAs require the same signatures, the preliminary agreement is designed to demonstrate the commitment of required partners to the project and to provide basic information about the partnership, project design, and implementation.  Grantees will be required to provide a final MOA for the project that updates information provided in the preliminary agreement and that reflects more details about the project as implementation begins.

Detailed information about the preliminary and final MOAs is provided beginning on page 16 of this application.  An application that does not include the preliminary MOA with all required partner signatures and the logic model as an attachment will not be considered complete and will not be considered for funding.

Several LEAs are applying as a consortium.  Who must sign the preliminary MOA?

Authorized representatives of each LEA in the consortium and the authorized representatives of the local law enforcement agency, public mental health authority, and juvenile justice agency for each LEA must each sign the preliminary MOA.  If one of the required partners (law enforcement, public mental health, or juvenile justice) covers one or more of the LEAs in the consortium, the applicant should clearly state which agency (or agencies) corresponds to which LEA.  In those jurisdictions where more than one entity meets the partner requirements (for example, a police department and a sheriff’s department), the LEA should obtain the signature of the specific agency providing services to those schools where the program will be located.

The law enforcement partner is the agency (or agencies) with law enforcement authority for the LEA.  This entity would respond to an emergency situation at a school.  Examples of local law enforcement agencies include municipal, county, and State police; tribal police and councils; and sheriff’s departments.

If you are applying as a consortium of LEAs with one lead LEA, you must designate a law enforcement partner or partners for each of the partnering LEAs.  If a law enforcement agency has jurisdiction over more than one LEA in the consortium, you should clearly indicate which agencies have jurisdiction over which LEA.  Note: LEAs or a consortium of LEAs can be served by one law enforcement partner or more than one law enforcement partner.

How do I identify the local public mental health authority? What if we do not have one?

Contact your Single State Agency (SSA) for Mental Health (see Appendix E).  The local public mental health authority is the legally constituted entity closest to the community level that, directly or through contract with the State mental health authority, provides administrative control or oversight of mental health services delivery within the community.  If your SSA is unable to provide you with a community-level entity, you must provide an MOA with the SSA.

Can our school district police force serve as the law enforcement partner?

A school district police force may serve as the law enforcement partner if it is accredited as a law enforcement entity and has jurisdiction over the LEA and its schools.

How do I know who should serve as our juvenile justice partner?

The selection of the juvenile justice agency or organization that serves as the SS/HS partner should be based on the agency’s role in the SS/HS comprehensive plan.  Examples of potential juvenile justice partners include juvenile justice task forces, juvenile justice centers, juvenile and family courts, juvenile probation, and juvenile corrections.

What should I do if I cannot get all required signatures on the preliminary MOA or federal application forms? Can I send or fax them in later?

A complete application must be postmarked by the deadline for the application, March 4, 2009.  Late additions or appendixes will not be accepted.

The solicitation states that the preliminary MOA must be signed by the authorized representative for the applicant LEA as well as authorized representatives for the other required SS/HS partners.  Who should sign the ED Standard Form 424 (cover sheet)?

An authorized representative for the LEA should sign both the preliminary MOA and the ED Standard Form 424 (the cover sheet).  Authorized representatives for other required partners must also sign the preliminary MOA if the applicant is a single district.  For a consortium applicant, the authorized representative for the lead LEA should sign the cover sheet. 

Authorized representatives for all participating LEAs and their corresponding required partners should sign the preliminary MOA.

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Evidence of Preexisting School-Community Partnership

The Management selection subcriterion seeks information about preexisting partnerships.  How can we demonstrate a preexisting school-community partnership in our project narrative and preliminary MOA?

Examples of evidence of a preexisting partnership can include, but are not limited to, the partnership’s history (including the circumstances of its creation), mission and vision, and accomplishments.  If your LEA is part of a preexisting school-community partnership, you should include information about the partnership in the narrative response and also in the preliminary MOA.

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Creating the SS/HS Comprehensive Plan and Addressing the Five SS/HS Elements

Does each LEA in a consortium need to submit a separate SS/HS comprehensive plan or may the five components be used as a framework to describe what the consortium will do?

A single SS/HS comprehensive plan may be submitted on behalf of a consortium of LEAs.  Although all services are not required to be implemented in all LEAs in the consortium, each participating LEA must implement a comprehensive approach addressing its five-element framework.  If LEAs within a consortium are taking different approaches, these differences should be delineated.  Sufficient explanation should be provided to show in detail how the approaches differ and how the consortium will ensure that an SS/HS comprehensive plan will be used in all areas and relate to SS/HS goals and objectives.

Should other members of our preexisting school-community partnership also sign the preliminary MOA?

Other local government, community, and faith-based agencies that will play an integral part in your SS/HS comprehensive plan may sign the preliminary MOA, but such signatures are not required.  For example, if your community has a separate local substance abuse prevention agency that will be coordinating substance abuse services, you should include details about that agency’s role in the narrative, logic model, and the preliminary MOA.

Is the SS/HS comprehensive plan an additional document that applicants must submit?

No.  The SS/HS comprehensive plan is not a separate document. It is the narrative portion of the SS/HS application package.  Your response to the selection criteria, in its entirety, will represent your SS/HS comprehensive plan.  The selection criteria are written in a manner that will guide LEAs and their SS/HS partners’ process in (1) assessing community needs and strengths, (2) articulating goals, objectives, and process and outcome measures, (3) finding best practices and evidence-based programs and curricula that closely match your needs, available resources, goals, and objectives, (4) evaluating and improving activities, (5) effectively managing the SS/HS project, and (6) matching budget resources to proposed activities.

Where do we start to conduct a needs assessment?  What data should we consider using as part of the community assessment?

Communities developing their comprehensive SS/HS plan should consider a broad range of data from a variety of sources and should especially consider the core members of the SS/HS partnership as important resources.  Applicants should look for data that will help them understand how the children in their community are doing with regard to the five elements that must be addressed in each SS/HS comprehensive plan.  The purpose of gathering these data is to help communities begin to assess, in a concrete way, if their community is providing a safe school environment for its students, as well as the other services and supports needed for the development of healthy students.

Schools may be able to provide data about the prevalence of student ATOD use and violence; crime, violence, and weapons in schools; suspensions and expulsions; truancy; and academic success.  The law enforcement or juvenile justice partners may be able to inform the needs assessment phase of the SS/HS plan by contributing information about levels of youth violence in the community, students involved with the juvenile justice system or on probation, or youth gang activity.  The public mental health authority or social service agencies in your community may be able to provide data about mental health needs of students in schools and the community and about levels of child abuse or neglect and students in foster care or child protective services. 

In addition to identifying problems, communities should assess their strengths and existing resources.  Data on these topics might be available from schools and also from other community-based or governmental organizations.  Applicants might want to consider whether their community already offers afterschool programs that provide supervision and enriching activities for students as well as other strategies such as mentoring.  Schools can contribute information about the ATOD and violence prevention programs and strategies that they are already implementing.  Applicants should also consider the extent to which high-quality mental health and other social services are already available to students and families.

How should my application address management?

The application should include a clear plan for managing the tasks necessary to implement the SS/HS comprehensive plan.  The management plan should address how the core management group will assist the partnership in making decisions, operating, communicating, sharing information and resources, overcoming barriers, increasing levels and intensity of collaboration, and planning for mutual sustainability of the SS/HS comprehensive plan.  Partnership activities and meetings may be supported with grant funds.  Preliminary information about management structures should be included in the preliminary MOA.  More detailed information will be required in the final MOA for applicants that receive a grant.

How can I get more information on “evidence-based” activities, curricula, programs, and services?

Sources for additional information on “evidence-based” activities, curricula, programs, and services are listed in Appendix B—Resource List.

In responding to the “Community Assessment” selection criteria, must my application address all domains and levels of risk and protective factors?

Your applicant should address those domains and levels of risk and protective factors that are applicable to your community.  For more information on risk and protective factors, go to http://www.helpingamericasyouth.gov.    

In responding to Management subcriterion (a), I want to include position descriptions, resumes, and a timeline.  Would these documents be counted toward the 40-page text limit for the narrative?

Position descriptions, resumes, timeline, and an organizational chart can be included in Attachment E of your application and will not be counted toward the 40-page text limit for the narrative.  Reviewers will be permitted to read and evaluate these materials.  Reviewers will not read or evaluate any additional materials included in Attachment E that are not specified on pages 89-91.

In responding to the Management subcriterion (e), are applicants expected to create data systems.

The LEA and many of its SS/HS partners and service providers already have data systems that are used to collect data that are used to track a specific activity (such as truancy) or to manage administrative service data (such as the number of patients served).  Your response to this subcriterion should describe how these existing data systems or how a new data system will be used to support the decision-making process for the grant.

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Evidence-Based Programs

What are evidence-based programs or interventions?

Evidence-based programs, practices, and interventions (sometimes referred to as EBIs) are approaches to prevention, behavioral intervention, or treatment that are validated by some form of documented scientific evidence to indicate their effectiveness.  Programs, practices, and interventions that are based on tradition, convention, belief, or anecdotal evidence are not evidence based.

Is it enough for me to just say in the narrative portion of the application that a program I have selected is evidence based?

No.  For every selected program or intervention you must include sufficient detailed information to support that the program is effective and works. What counts as evidence can vary.  The information could reference specific program evaluations or accepted theory from youth development or human development research.  Alternatively, the applicant could cite the source of the evidence (for example, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, Blueprints, or SAMHSA Model Programs).

What kind of information is needed to demonstrate that a program is an EBI if it is not included on the SAMHSA Model Programs list or other similar lists?

The application narrative should include sufficient information and data to support that the program or intervention has been proven to be effective.  Examples could include but are not limited to statistical analyses or professional publications.

Can I earn additional points if I propose by name an evaluator and identify their qualifications in the application narrative?

You will not be given any additional points for identifying an evaluator or describing his or her qualifications.  The criteria for the “Evaluation” section do not require applicants to identify an evaluator or his or her associated qualifications.

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Evaluation

Can evidence for a program be local evidence (that is, a bullying prevention program was modified and local data support its effectiveness)?

Yes, but the evidence and data must be fully documented in the application narrative.

If we identify a specific evaluator in our application package, must we employ that evaluator if we receive a grant?

If funded, a grantee must follow the basic procurement guidelines outlined in Section 80.36 of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in order to contract for evaluation or any other project services.  (For more information, visit http://www.ed.gov/policy/fund/reg/edgarReg/edgar.html.)  These standards require grantees to use their own procurement procedures, which reflect State and local laws and regulations, provided that the procurements conform to applicable federal law and standards identified in this section of EDGAR.  The provisions describe standards for engaging in procurements for both small purchases and sealed bids, as well as for competitive and (rarely) noncompetitive proposals.  Both applicants and potential contractors should be aware that including a specific individual or firm in a grant application does not free a grantee from its responsibility to use its procurement procedures when contracting for services.

What are our obligations to a national evaluation should one be conducted that includes our grant cohort?

Grantees are required to participate in any evaluation of the program sponsored or conducted by the SS/HS federal partners.

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GPRA Performance Indicators

Are we required to collect GPRA performance indicators, even though we are conducting a comprehensive local evaluation?

Yes.  The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 (Public Law 103–62) requires all federal departments and agencies to develop strategic plans that specify what they will accomplish over a 5-year period, to annually set performance targets related to their strategic plans, and to annually report the degree to which the targets set in the previous year were met.  In addition, agencies must regularly evaluate their programs and use the results of the evaluations to explain their successes and failures based on the performance monitoring data.

Information about the GPRA measures for the SS/HS Initiative is contained on page 11 of the application package.  We will expect grantees to provide detailed information about each of the GPRA measures on an annual basis, including results of student surveys or other data collection activities.

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Budget

In responding to the “Budget” selection criteria, can I reference Attachment D that contains the itemized budget?

No, simply referring to Attachment D is not responsive to the selection criteria.  Applicants should prepare a narrative response (in the same manner as was done with the other selection criteria) to the “Budget” selection criteria, explaining how the proposed detailed budget (provided in Attachment D) corresponds to the project design and is reasonable in relation to the students, staff, and the objectives of the project.

Why are two separate budgets required?

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly provide funds for grant awards.  ED has statutory language that prohibits use of funds for certain activities.  To ensure that the use of ED funds is in compliance with the statutory language, applicants are asked to develop two separate and detailed budgets for each of the four 12-month budget periods.  One set of budgets represents costs needed to support Elements One, Two, and Three—the costs ED can support.  The second set of budgets support Elements Four and Five—the costs ED generally cannot fund and are thus funded by HHS.

The grant will provide funds for up to 4 years.  Do I need to submit budgets for each project year?

Yes.  For each 12-month project period, a set of two detailed budgets is required—a total of eight detailed budgets:  one set for Elements One, Two, and Three and the second set for Elements Four and Five.  You also need to submit with the application an ED Form 524 ”Budget Information Non-Construction Programs” which summarizes the total costs of both budgets for each of the four 12-month budget periods.

How much information should be included in the detailed budgets?

For each budget category (for example, personnel, travel, supplies, consultants) you should provide a per unit cost breakdown for all proposed costs.  There should be enough information to demonstrate how costs were calculated and that the costs are reasonable.  For example, instead of requesting a total of $12,000 for supplies, you should provide a unit cost breakdown.  The breakdown might be by month (@$1,000 per month) or per staff (@$800/staff/year for 15 staff members).  Regardless, there should be enough detail to support the amount of funding that is being requested.

Where can I find guidance on developing a detailed budget?

For additional guidance on preparing a detailed budget, please see http//www.sshs.samhsa.gov/apply/default.aspx.

How should program administration costs (for example, project director’s salary, evaluation, and supplies) that are associated with all elements and both budgets be handled?

Program administration costs that are not unique to any of the five elements can be allocated between the two required budgets in the appropriate expense line.  The decision about how to allocate the costs across the two budgets is up to the applicant.

Is there a matching or in-kind requirement?

There is no requirement for an applicant to provide in-kind funds.  SS/HS does not require a matching contribution.  However, if you choose to include or identify additional in-kind non-federal funds, such as a match or in-kind services that will support your SS/HS plan, you must honor and report on these activities if your application is funded.

May I use grant funds to purchase guns and other equipment or lease vehicles for school resource officers (SROs)?

Generally, grant funds may not be used to purchase these kinds of items.  In unusual circumstances, some costs associated with equipping SROs might be allowable.  Federal project officers will review requests for such purchases on a case-by-case basis.

May I use grant funds for construction, remodeling, and renovations?

Grant funds cannot be used for construction.  In some cases minor renovations and remodeling to adapt office or classroom space for grant activities may be allowable.  Minor renovations and remodeling related to improving school safety and security (for example, installing breakproof doors and window locks) cannot exceed 10 percent of the total funds requested each year.  All remodeling and renovation requests should be consistent with the applicant’s proposed SS/HS comprehensive plan.

May I use grant funds to support professional development activities?

Yes.  Grant funds may be requested and used to support professional development activities.  These activities should directly support the activities, curricula, programs, services, and overall goals of the SS/HS comprehensive plan.

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Other Federal Administrative Requirements

Do I have to submit separate applications to all the federal agencies involved in this initiative?

No.  A unique aspect of the SS/HS Initiative is that applicants submit one application for funding although a comprehensive variety of activities will be implemented if a project is funded.

Will letters of support from officials or others help our chances of being awarded an SS/HS grant?

No. Peer reviewers will be instructed to read and evaluate only the application abstract, narrative, and attachments A, D, and E as detailed on pages 89-91.  If other organizations or individuals plan to play a specific role in your SS/HS project, that information should be included in one or more of these sections.

Can support letters, sample surveys, and other documents be included in Attachment E?

No.  Attachment E should only include position descriptions, resumes, a timeline, and an organizational chart.  We will instruct peer reviewers to disregard any other documents.

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General Information

How can I find more information on current grantees?

Information on current grantees is available at http://www.sshs.samhsa.gov/initiative/currentinit.aspx.

What is the CFDA number for SS/HS applications?

The CFDA number is 84.184L.

How can I get assistance with completing the standard federal application forms?

Assistance with completing federal discretionary grant application forms is available through the U.S. Department of Education’s Web site http://www.ed.gov/admins/grants/apply/techassist/index.html.

Can I get copies of previous applications from sites that have received SS/HS grants?

Copies of the three highest scoring applications from the FY 2005 competition are available at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/leg/foia/readingroom_2.html.  You should be aware that the application requirements are different than those in effect when these posted applications were submitted.  You may request copies of applications from previous applicants or grantees, but they are not obligated to provide them.  If they agree to provide copies of their application, they may require you to cover the costs of those copies.  You may request copies through the Freedom of Information Act, but requesters must cover the costs associated with providing the copies, and receipt of the copies may take several weeks or more.

If funded, we plan to use some of the grant funds to contract for services that we will need to implement our planned project.  Because we would be using federal funds to support contracts, are there special procedures that we would need to use in awarding contracts funded with grant monies?

Generally, all procurement transactions must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition, consistent with the standards in Section 80.36 of the Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR).  This section requires that grantees use their own procurement procedures (which reflect State and local laws and regulations) to select contractors, provided those procedures meet the minimum standards for procurement described in EDGAR.  (EDGAR is available online at http://www.ed.gov/policy/fund/reg/edgarReg/edlite-part80c.html; Section 80.36.)

Because grantees must use appropriate procurement procedures to select contractors, applicants should not include information in their grant application about specific contractors that will be used to provide services for the proposed project.

Consistent with limitation in Section 75.515 of EDGAR concerning the use of consultants, contractors or consultants may be used to help prepare grant applications, but their participation
in the application development process should not be presumed to result in the receipt of a contract for work under the project if a grant is awarded.

What are some circumstances that might cause an application to be deemed ineligible for review?

An application submitted for funding under this competition will be deemed ineligible for funding and will not be forwarded to peer review if any one of the following is true:

  • The applicant is not an LEA.
  • The applicant is a previous SS/HS grantee (or a previous member of a SS/HS consortium grantee) and does not include a program-specific assurance for eligibility.
  • The application does not meet the absolute priority.
  • The application does not include the preliminary MOA signed by the required partners.
  • A logic model is not included with the MOA.
  • The applicant’s request for funding exceeds the maximum amount established based on the most recent student enrollment data from the NCES Common Core of Data as published on the NCES Web site (http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/districtsearch). 
  • The application is postmarked after the due date.
  • The electronic submission of the application is received after 4:30:00 p.m. (Washington, DC time).

How does the Freedom of Information Act affect my application?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was enacted in 1966 and provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information.  All agencies of the U.S. Government are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure by the nine exemptions listed in the FOIA.  All applications submitted for funding consideration under this grant competition are subject to the FOIA.  To read the text of the Freedom of Information Act, visit http://www.usdoj.gov/04foia/foiastat.htm.

How should the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Confidentiality and Participant Protection be addressed in the application?

At a minimum, applicants must address the applicable seven components (including the bulleted points under each) of the Confidentiality and Participant Protection; see pages 118–120 for additional information.  If any of the components or subcomponents are not applicable or relevant to the proposed project, simply state that they are not applicable and explain why.  Your response to the Confidentiality and Participant Protection should be included in Attachment F.

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Electronic Application

How do I submit my grant electronically?

If you would like to submit your grant electronically, please use http://www.grants.gov to do so.   Instructions on electronic submission can be found on page 1 of this application package. You should note that applications received after 4:30:00 p.m. (Washington, DC time), even by a few seconds, are late and will be deemed ineligible for funding and will not be forwarded to peer review.

Do I have to submit my application electronically?

No.  This program does not have a mandatory electronic submission policy.

Does Grants.gov support the new Microsoft Vista Operating System?  

Grants.gov uses two viewer products (Adobe Acrobat Reader and PureEdge) that predate the release of Windows Vista. Adobe Reader 7.0.9 may work with Vista, but Adobe does not fully support this configuration. PureEdge Viewer 6.0.2 is only compatible with Vista when using a Citrix server connection. Grants.gov is anticipating the release of Adobe Reader 8.1.1 shortly, which will be compatible with Microsoft Vista. Until Adobe Reader 8.1.1 is released, you have two choices: Use an operating system other than Vista or use Citrix, which has been identified as an option for any applicant that is using Vista. The Grants.gov Web site (http://www.grants.gov/help/general_faqs.jsp#18) has been updated to provide applicants with instructions on how to use the Citrix solution.

Does Grant.gov support Word 2007?

The new version of Microsoft Word saves documents with the extension .DOCX.  The Grants.gov system does not process Microsoft Word documents with the extension .DOCX.  When submitting Microsoft Word documents to Grants.gov, please use the version of Microsoft Word that ends in .DOC.  If you have any questions regarding this matter, please email the Grants.gov Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call 1-800-518-4726.

I have submitted my application by the deadline via Grants.gov, am I finished?

If you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, there is a two-step validation process.  Within two days of submitting your grant application, you will receive two email messages.  The first email will confirm receipt of your application by Grants.gov system.  The second email will indicate whether your application has been successfully validated by the system or if it has been rejected due to errors.  You should track your application via the Grants.gov system to determine the progress of your application.

What if I have not received a validation by the closing date?

If you are submitting your application with the last two days, you may not receive your validation or rejection notification until after the closing date.  We recommend that if you have not received this validation by 4:30:00 pm Washington, DC time on March 4, 2009, that you print your application and mail a hard copy of your application that adheres to the paper application submission procedures included in this application (see page 1).

What are some reasons I won’t receive a validation from Grants.gov?

  • You submitted your application after the application deadline date.
  • You did not provide the DUNS number on your application that was used when your organization registered with the Central Contractor Registry.
  • The E-Business Point of Contact at your organization did not respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and authorize you as an Authorized Organization Representative.
  • You are uploading a file type that is not compatible with Grants.gov.
  • You did not fill out the mandatory fields on the application or form.

Additional reasons Grants.gov may reject an application can be found on the Grants.gov site: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/submit_application_faqs.jsp#10.  We also suggest reading the FAQs on Grants.gov to provide you additional information to assist with your submission.

Do I need to provide the Funding Opportunity Number (Item #12) and the Competition Identification Number (Item #13) on the Standard Form 424?

If you are submitting your application electronically via Grants.gov, then you will need to provide these numbers.  The numbers can be found on Grants.gov on the application download page and also on the application package page once the package has been downloaded. If you are submitting a paper application, you do not need to provide these numbers.

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Last Updated on 3/5/2013