There are four requirements for getting grants in Carroll County Public Schools:
- All grants must directly support Carroll County Public Schools vision, mission and core values and align with the CCPS Master Plan.
- Approval before application submission.
- Recognition of the funds upon award.
- Adherence to funding agency and CCPS rules, regulations and/or guidelines.
Below is an overview of how grants are processed through the school system and information regarding additional requirements if the grant is awarded.
The Grants office is required to be informed of any grant project in development. Typically, an individual, group or school team generates a project idea. Contact is made with the Grants Office to determine the level of services needed or desired. The proposal narrative is developed simultaneous to developing the budget for the proposed activities. Contact must be made with the Grants Office at least two weeks prior to submission of the grant as most grants are required to go through a sign-off process before acquiring the Superintendent's signature.
The grant process can start in 2 ways: Grants Office finds an opportunity and forwards information to a potential project coordinator or a staff member contacts the Grants Office with a project/idea.
The CCPS Grants Office or interested party locates upcoming grant opportunities through announcements in publications, newsletters or the Internet. The Grants Analyst notifies appropriate CCPS personnel and/or publishes the opportunity in CCPS Grant News. If required/requested, the Grants Analyst performs a search for appropriate grant opportunities and makes recommendations to the project coordinator/staff member. Project coordinators also have access to grant information from professional publications or contacts. Any grant information may be forwarded to the Grants Office for inclusion in the library of funding opportunities.
The project coordinator contacts his/her principal and/or supervisor (as applicable) to inform them of the opportunity and the project idea to ensure alignment with CCPS goals.
If required/requested, the Grants Analyst can facilitate project/ proposal development as it relates to grantsmanship. The Grants Office will provide various forms of technical assistance in developing grant concepts and completing grant applications. The Grants Analyst will meet with the team or team leader and establish the level of services to be provided. Projects that contain technology related items will include a review by Tech Services. Likewise, projects involving other services will be reviewed by the appropriate office/department (i.e., Facilities, Plant Operations, Transportation).
The Grants Office will establish internal deadlines for application review and final approval based on funding agency deadlines, system impact and calendars. It is essential that all deadlines be met to ensure adequate internal review and timely submission of applications. The Grants Office will monitor the progress of proposals toward completion.
All grant applications are to pass through the Grants Office prior to acquiring the Superintendent's signature. The applications will be reviewed in one of two ways, depending on the nature of the application, and then forwarded to the Superintendent's Office for execution.
New Applications: New applications go through a sign-off process that includes, at a minimum, a budget review and completion of a Summary/Sign Off form with all appropriate signatures (project coordinator/grant manager and supervisors up to and including the superintendent). This form is completed by the Grants Analyst upon receipt of all pertinent grant information. Allow at least one week for this review to occur.
Existing Grants: Grants the system currently receives, such as formula or entitlement grants, will be reviewed by the Grants Office and sent directly to the Superintendent for signature. At a minimum, the budget will be reviewed for accuracy of category and account code allocation. The one exception to this minimal review for existing grants will occur if there are significant changes to the program/project including change of focus, project coordinator or budget categories. In that event, a full review will occur. Allow three to four days for the abbreviated review to take place.
In both cases, indicate whether you would like the Grants Office to forward the application to the funding agency or if you prefer to do so. If the Grants Office is to send the application, please provide the address and contact person. Contact with Grants Office staff during grant preparation will also speed the process.
Upon receipt of the grant award, contact the Grants Accountant immediately and forward the notice of grant award to the Grants Office. Copies of the grant should ultimately be in the Grants Office and with the Project Coordinator.
The Project Coordinator is responsible for preparing the Budget Adjustment form. The Grants Accountant is available to answer question. Submit the budget adjustment with grant award, financial report forms, contracts and/or assurances, as applicable, to the Grants Office. The budget adjustment is presented for Board of Education approval (consult schedule for submission of board work). The budget adjustment is then presented to Carroll County Board of Commissioners for approval. Upon approval of budget adjustment, the Project Coordinator receives authorization to proceed.
The Project Coordinator is responsible for submitting necessary paperwork to funding agency. The Grants Office can assist with getting necessary signatures and completing forms. However, most funding agencies send application guidelines, regulations and forms to the project coordinator so the project coordinator must contact the Grants Office to request the assistance.
The Grants Office acts as a clearinghouse for grants for the school system. The Office is to receive copies of all grant-related documents including applications, notices of award, contracts, reports, etc.
Most grants have time frames within which funds must be expended. It is important to note that internal financial processes and state and federal regulations affect these deadlines and that all expenditures must occur in a timely manner relative to the end of the grant year.
Individual grant files, including application, notices of grant award, approval of grant change submissions, copies of financial reports to grantor, CCPS financial system reports, interim and final programmatic reports should be maintained in the office for 1 year after grant end date or submission of all grant reports, whichever is later. The files are then moved to offsite storage for an additional 6 years or 1 year after audit requirements are met, whichever is later. Files may be kept on site longer if the grant extends over a period of years. The files are destroyed after the 6 year period. The project coordinator may forward the files to the Grants Office for storage.