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21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Grant

Grants to Vermont LEAs, Municipalities, and Organizations
for K-12 After-School and Summer Programs

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Funding Source:

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Vermont Agency of Education (VTAOE)

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LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/05/18 4:30 PM


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Grants starting at $50,000 per year to Vermont LEAs, community-based organizations, municipalities, and faith-based organizations to support high-quality summer learning and after-school enrichment programs for disadvantaged students. An Intent to Apply is due November 20. Applicant workshops are scheduled for October 11, October 18, and October 19.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program has been funding high quality after-school and summer learning programs since 1998. Poverty, opportunity gaps, and unmet academic need drive the program’s purpose. Vermont's 21st CCLC program supports students' learning and interests through diverse and engaging programming using multiple approaches and curricula. Programs are delivered through schools and community partnerships for grades K-12. Annually, approximately 15,000 youth and 6,000 regular attendees are served in 104 high needs communities across the state. Programs are expected to complement, but not duplicate the school day. Annual or semi-annual grant competitions are held to support this vision.


The Vermont Agency of Education (VTAOE) invites schools, non-traditional educators, and community-based organizations to apply for 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) partnership grants for the purpose of providing high-quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities for students who attend schools where 40% or more of the students are from low-income families (free/reduced lunch assistance) and/or are approved for Title 1 Schoolwide Program status, and where the need for improved student performance is well documented.

The 21st CCLC initiative is authorized under Title IV part B of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Competitive grants are awarded to school and community partnerships that show the greatest promise of supporting the following overarching goal adopted by the Vermont State Board of Education: Ensure that Vermont’s public education system operates within the framework of high expectations for every learner and ensure that there is equity in opportunity for all.

Under ESSA, the law outlines the purpose of the 21st CCLC investments as follows {Section 4201}

(a) Purpose.--The purpose of this part is to provide opportunities for communities to establish or expand activities in community learning centers that—

(1) provide opportunities for academic enrichment, including providing tutorial services to help students, particularly students who attend low-performing schools, to meet the challenging State academic standards;

(2) offer students a broad array of additional services, programs, and activities, such as youth development activities, service learning, nutrition and health education, drug and violence prevention programs, counseling programs, arts, music, physical fitness and wellness programs, technology education programs, financial literacy programs, environmental literacy programs, mathematics, science, career and technical programs, internship or apprenticeship programs, and other ties to an in-demand industry sector or occupation for high school students that are designed to reinforce and complement the regular academic program of participating students; and

(3) offer families of students served by community learning centers opportunities for active and meaningful engagement in their children's education, including opportunities for literacy and related educational development.

In addition, the 21st CCLC initiative is designed to support attainment of the following overarching long-term goals:

By 2025, the Department expects 100% of Vermont Schools to have:
1) Average scores in a proficient range for English Language Arts (ELA), Math, and Science.
2) Average scores in a “healthy zone” for physical education
3) A 100% 6-year graduation rate
4) A 100% of English Learners attain English Language Proficiency
5) 67.5% of students to be Career and College ready

To implement strategies aligned to these goals, 21st CCLC-funded programs are expected to support Vermont’s Education Quality Standards (EQS). These standards include Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs) -- locally-delineated content knowledge and skills that, when supplemented with any additional locally-developed requirements, have been determined to qualify a student for earning a high school diploma. Intentional 21st CCLC alignment with local PBGRs is expected where possible; particularly with secondary-age programming that targets core content while at the same time developing transferrable skills. Transferrable Skills describe a broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and dispositions that determined to be critically important to success in today’s world, particularly in collegiate programs and modern careers. Transferable skills include communication, collaboration, creativity, innovation, inquiry, problem solving and the use of technology.

Special or Unusual Costs:
The applicant may apply for special or unusual costs outside of the parameters outlined above. To do so, the applicant must indicate this on the applicant cover page and must include a clear justification for the additional costs. In general, there will be a high burden of proof that unusual costs are necessary for the program to meet the needs of students and their families within the context of the program proposal. Applicants who are awarded unusual costs will be expected to document throughout the grant period that they are continuing to serve the expected numbers of regular attendees in a high quality program and that services provided continue to be necessary and of high cost.

Program Requirements:

Absolute Priority: The Agency of Education will make awards only to eligible entities that serve students who primarily attend schools that serve a high percentage of students from low-income families; and the families of students served by the 21st CCLC program.

Competitive Priority: The Agency of Education will provide three priority points to eligible entities that include sites that serve grades 7 and above and that receive at least 85 points in this competition.

Disabilities: Programs must meet the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. Student with disabilities may not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives or benefits from federal financial assistance.

Dosage: See Appendix L of the application documents for Full Comprehensive Center expectations.

Summer Learning programs must be developed for a minimum of five weeks by the start of the year-two award. Summer programs shall include programming for all grades or ages served in an equitable manner. Full-day summer programming aligned to, or unified with other offerings in the school or community, are strongly recommended.

Entity Limits: Each awarded entity may receive up to two 21st CCLC grant awards at any one time. Every effort must be made to unify all programs under one application.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA): Under Vermont’s ESSA state plan, “ESSA requires Vermont to identify schools with ‘consistently underperforming’ groups of students §200.19(b)(1) and (c) §200.19(b)(2). Vermont will make its first identification for these supports in the fall of 2018 based on student performance on indicators collected during the 2017-18 school year.

Governance: Projects must have an active governance or advisory group composed of a broad group of stakeholders to assist with planning and decision-making that assists the project multiple times each year.

Leadership: Projects must employ a Director at a minimum of 30 hours per week. Salary and fringe benefits must be adequate to employ a highly qualified individual in this role. Additionally, site-based coordination within multi-site projects is required. A minimum of 20 hours weekly is needed for this role. Full-time directors should be considered for all projects.

Location of 21st CCLC Programs: Typically, 21st CCLC programs and activities are carried out at school sites. However, programs may be located at facilities other than a school if:

-The site is at least as available and accessible as it would be at the school site; and
-The LEA, school district, and/or school(s) are in agreement on the alternate site;
-A clearly defined plan of communication between the alternate site and the school is in place; and
-Safe transportation between the school and the alternative site has been arranged (funding for transportation is an allowable grant expense).

Private School Consultation: Title IX (Uniform Provisions) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Local Education Agencies are mandated to consult with private school administrators about their students’ needs and how they can be addressed via federal programs. This must occur in a timely and meaningful way during the design, development, and implementation of the program. Local Education Agencies must provide equitable services to private school students and their families if those students are part of the target population. The Agency strongly recommends that documentation of this process be maintained for auditing and annual reporting purposes.

The Vermont Agency of Education has identified multiple elements of high-quality afterschool and summertime programming. The following baseline expectations have been determined to be indispensable for quality.

-Strong and Effective Program Leadership: Meaningful job structure, hours, hiring practices, and appropriate compensation at the project and site levels result in effective on-going leadership of the project.

-Linkages to the School: Buildings, Programs, and Staff: School buildings and their physical resources are fully used and leveraged for learning outside of the school day. Projects compliment, align to, and/or unified with other programs and plans in the school and/or community. The project includes significant licensed teacher participation as staff.

-Effective Community Partnerships: The project includes multiple community partners and/or partnerships that will extend the breadth and depth of offerings.

-Safe and Appropriate Environments: 21c safety standards are applied to all indoor and outdoor environments.

-High-Interest Programming: Programs are diverse, engaging, relevant, fun, and rigorous. Multiple end-products, performances and celebrations result that demonstrate acquisition of content and transferrable skills.

-School Leadership Support: Principals regularly provide support for the program as a key component of their educational vision.

Attention to Serving Regular Attendees: Full comprehensive centers are built. See Appendix L.

Strong Instructional Leadership: A designed system of program planning, (intentionality) and staff development exists. Effective content rich components are integrated into the overall program design including literacy, and/or math, and science components.

-Flexible Structures and Student Choice. All programs are attended by choice. Youth centered practices are evident and multi-faceted.

-Data and Evaluation: Projects adopt the statewide evaluation plan, use additional locally generated measure(s) using a SMART framework, and have effective technical data systems in place

Allowable Uses of Funds:
-Academic enrichment learning programs, mentoring programs, remedial education activities, and tutoring services, that are aligned with the challenging State academic standards and any local academic standards; and local curricula that are designed to improves student academic achievement
-Well-rounded education activities, including such activities that enable students to be eligible for credit recovery or attainment
-Literacy education programs, including financial literacy programs and environmental literacy programs
-Programs that support a healthy and active lifestyle, including nutritional education and regular, structured physical activity program
-Services for individuals with disabilities
-Programs that provide after-school activities for students who are English learners that emphasize language skills and academic achievement
-Cultural programs
-Telecommunications and technology education programs
-Expanded library service hours
-Parenting skills programs that promote parental involvement and family literacy
-Programs that provide assistance to students who have been truant, suspended, or expelled to allow the students to improve their academic achievement
-Drug and violence prevention programs and counseling programs
-Programs that build skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (referred to in this paragraph as (`STEM'), including computer science, and that foster innovation in learning by supporting nontraditional STEM education teaching methods
-Programs that partner with in-demand fields of the local workforce or build career competencies and career readiness and ensure that local workforce and career readiness skills are aligned with the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (29 U.S.C. 3101 et seq.)

The above uses of funds should be designed to link with and complement the regular academic program of participating students.

21st CCLC Alignment with Personalized Learning:
21st CCLC funds can be used to support systemic change by supporting whole school and community-based learning opportunities. Additional definitions of programming terms or approaches that are fundable during out of school time in line with Section VI allowable uses of funds can be found in Appendix K. Use these definitions to consider all options.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 148442

Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum 21st CCLC grant award is $50,000 per year.

New Programs: The maximum upper range for a single site grant award is $100,000 - $125,000. If multiple sites are included within a grant application, the maximum upper award range is $80,000 - $100,000 per site.

Term of Contract:

New Programs: Grants will be for five years if annual program objectives are met and all reporting and monitoring requirements are successfully fulfilled.

Existing 21st CCLC programs: Current grantees are expected to demonstrate a high level of performance and sustainability in order to receive additional funding under this competition. Pending availability of federal funds and program performance, for current 21st CCLC programs reapplying without expansion, new grant awards will be level-funded for five years.

Awards begin July 1, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include local educational agencies (LEAs); community-based organizations (CBOs); and other public or private entities, including faith-based organizations, or a consortium of two or more agencies, organizations, or entities. Municipalities may also apply.

Please consult the free and reduced eligibility report for school year 2016-17 at VT Agency of Education free and reduced lunch (FRL) eligibility report 2017 for information to determine which schools are eligible to partner with community-based organizations or other public or private entities in applying for funding under Title IV-B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Communities with schools with 40 percent of FRL assistance rates are eligible to apply (including those approved for Title I Schoolwide Program status).

Eligibility may also be determined through calculation of poverty based on the lunch assistance percentages of feeder schools.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicant workshops will be held on the days listed below from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Key information will be presented and there will be time after 1:00 PM for team planning and individual assistance.

-Wednesday, October 11, VT Technical College, Langevin House, Randolph

-Wednesday, October 18, Vermont Historical Society, Barre

-Thursday, October 19, Golden Eagle Resort, Stowe (Library)

Bringing a team to one of these workshops is essential for success. Reserve your team members’ attendance by e-mailing names, affiliations and contact information to Emanual Betz at least one week prior to the meeting. Space is not guaranteed at each location and confirmations will be sent by email.

Pre-Application Information:

The Federal Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget has not yet been passed as of the release date of this application, therefore the exact funding amount is unknown. As such, the Vermont Agency of Education is not obligated to award money under this competition and reserves the right to refuse any and all proposals. If funding were to remain at its current level, an estimate of $2,300,000 will be available for dispersal under this grant competition.

For first-time recipients of a 21st CCLC grant, pending availability of federal funds and program performance, grant awards are funded up to 100% of the total budget for the first three years of funding. In year four, programs must show a further sustainability base and the applicant will receive 75% of the initial grant award. In year five, the applicant will receive 65% of the initial grant award.

Pending availability of federal funds and program performance, for current 21st CCLC programs reapplying without expansion, new grant awards will be level-funded for five years at no more than 50% of the total program budget.

Any questions about this grant application must be submitted via email to Emanual Betz by January 29, 2018. All applicant questions, responses, and resources will be forwarded to potential applicants via a group email list. To be included on this list, send a request via email.

It is strongly recommended to visit an existing 21st CCLC funded program in Vermont. The state coordinator can assist in connecting existing programs to applicants.

An electronic copy of the Intent to Apply form must be received by Emanuel Betz no later than 4:30 PM on November 20, 2017 for an application to be accepted in the 2017-18 competition.

An electronic copy of the entire application must be submitted by email no later than 4:30 PM on February 5, 2018.

-Grant application released: September 6, 2017
-Applicant workshops: October 11, 18 and 19, 2017
-Intent to Apply due date: November 20, 2017
-Application due date: February 5, 2018 (4:30 PM)
-Awards announced by: April 27, 2018
-Awards begin: July 1, 2018

2017-2018 21st CCLC Grant Application Questions and Answers:

Afterschool Wiki maintains regular updates and detailed information about 21st CCLC funded after-school and summer programs:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Emanuel Betz, 21st CCLC State Coordinator
(802) 479-1396

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Rebecca Holcombe
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Vermont