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Community Schools Conferences Q&A

Community Schools Conferences Q&A 2023-09-19T10:37:28-06:00

To request a technical assistance session or site visit from the NMPED Community Schools team, please fill out this form for a technical assistance session.

1. If I attend the NMPED Grant Conference Spring Break Edition, am I required to attend again next week?

No, you only need to attend one conference

2. Has the budget amounts increased for each school or is it still 50,000 per school?

That depends on each grant. Planning is $50,000, Implementation is $150,000, and Renewal is dependent on the school’s situation and determination by the NMPED (this is in statute); usually 75 thousand.

3. In the fourth year what are we allowed to apply for? The renewal again?

You would apply for the coordinator. That $75,000 probably does not cover the whole coordinator position; funds should be braided by year 4. However, we understand that every school’s situation is different. Our team here at NMPED understands the situation surrounding sustainability. The Renewal grant will be considered in light of how many schools apply and consideration of every school’s situation. Our team is committed to providing every opportunity we can to support you, champion you, and build that sustainable funding.

4. If our district has the 21st Century grant, how is the grant for community schools different?

21st Century is for Out-of-School Time and the community schools grant is to implement the community school strategy. 21st Century is seen as a high-leverage asset under the CS strategy.

5. How do we create sustainability in paying for our coordinator? What other funding sources can be used and how do we access them?

Begin planning to sustain your community school in year 1. Consider community partners, district funding, school operations, At Risk funding, community partners, FII bill, ELTP, ESSR, etc. Please reach out for a technical assistance session with our team if you need further insights into sustainability.

6. For our year 1 implementation Grant, are going to write about what we did last year?

You include needs assessment, root cause, etc. There is a difference between the grant application and reporting. You do not need to reapply for year 2 and 3 on implementation years. You will need to report how you will be spending your budget.

7. We received the federal grant, are we still eligible for the renewal grant?

Yes, you are still eligible. Please work with your local district to ensure supplanting does not occur. The funding should complement and supplement one another. For example, if you requested funding in the federal grant for the CS Coordinator position, then the school should NOT request CS Coordinator funding for the NMPED grant.

8. We have a new principal and a new community school coordinator. The previous principal applied for the grant when there was no coordinator. We are learning about the community school strategy and we need clarification about who is in charge of doing the root cause analysis? There is some confusion at our school. We are in the first year of implementation.

The coordinator and principal should facilitate the site-based leadership team to coordinate the root cause analysis. We hope the districts are participating in collaborative leadership. We can offer a technical assistance session and/or site visit.

9. The focus of our SBLT is on the school needs assessment only. How do we move past this?

Provide some engage training on how to move from the needs assessment to the root cause analysis and then to the strategic plan. There are resources on the NMPED website, including handouts, to help with training the SBLT. The NMPED team is also working on coaching sessions on Canvas that can be given as a 10min module at the beginning of each SBLT meeting (to keep you on track!).

10. Who can attend the 1st annual community schools conference on May 10th?

We are still working on the details with who is mandatory and who may be invited. Check the website for regular updates.

11. How do we narrow down the needs of our students? This will be too overwhelming to do too much or focus on everything.

Pick 2 to 4 needs to focus on and get a diverse group together in the SBLT to help with the root cause analysis. Understand the importance of root cause analysis. Include the students and families in discussion to determine issues involving those communities.

12. Who is in the site-based leadership team?

The SBLT is facilitated by the CS coordinator and principal and is made up of staff, students, community members, and families. There should only be one SBLT for the school site.

13. Singular, small charter schools (and maybe very small districts?) might not have the flexibility/excess funding in-house to braid as suggested. We are tiny, so braided is difficult. How do we do braided funding when we are so small?

Let’s meet with Jodie and our NMPED team for technical assistance.

14. There seems to be a misunderstanding about state vs charter schools. There are some challenges that need to be addressed. “I would actually say that district charters are at the greatest disadvantage of all.” We should discuss this.

Please reach out for technical assistance

15. Can we upload PDFs and hyperlinks into Google Forms? We have hyperlinks in our needs assessment. How do we upload this?

Yes, if the links are embedded in the word doc or PDF

16. Are we eligible to apply for the community schools grant if the salary for our coordinator was included in the federal grant?

The statute states that for the renewal grant it is up to the district on how you use the money. No vans can be purchased. It depends on what you asked for in the budget, but yes, you can apply for a renewal if you have a federal grant.

1. Is the grant conference presentation available on the website as well?

After the conferences all this material will be available on the website.

2. Can small schools share a Community School Coordinator?

By statute, yes. That is only happening at one school. We recommend that each school has its own. Email me if you have a small school.

3. When do we need to hire the CS coordinator?

You do not need to hire the CS coordinator until the first implementation year.

4. Are food costs allowable for implementing the CS strategy?

No, the only food allowable is food ingredients.

5. Would a greenhouse renovation be an allowable budget request?

No, capital outlay or buildings are not allowable.

6. Is the state moving towards requiring all schools to be CS?

There are currently 69 NMPED granted schools and this number is growing! We encourage schools to look at the evidence around CS and incorporate those best practices.

7. In our District, the plan is to apply with an elementary school that feeds into the middle school that feeds into the high school. Would the funding be shared between all three schools or is it by site only?

The NMPED grant funding is intended for sit-level whole school transformation.

8. What is the licensure requirement for the community school coordinator? Do they need to be a licensed teacher?

We recommend that they be a community member. They can be a licensed teacher, but they will not be teaching. They should be treated as an admin in the community school, but the actual requirements are dependent on the district.

9. Does the 50,000 dollars from the grant for the CS coordinator salary?

It depends on your school and how you want to go about it.

10. What other things, besides the CS coordinator salary, require funding?

Someone needs to do a data analysis in the first year. Some contract out to NMSU or other data collection agencies.

11. Do you have any job description examples so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel and so we can follow best practices?

We don’t have a job description example. Email me if you need support with writing the job description.

12. How do we learn more?

Look on our PED community schools website. You can find our canvas coaching and also you may request technical assistance.

13. Do we need a full-time coordinator for the planning year?

It is your choice for the planning year. You will need a CS coordinator in your first implementation year. The deliverables are online.

14. Could you please share more about the deliverables (what is expected, approx. timeline for submission)?

Report on deliverables in December (self-assessment) and final deliverables in May. You get a full year. Award letters and budget authority by July 1.

15. How many schools will receive planning funds for 23-24?

We don’t know yet. It is dependent on how many schools apply and the state legislative session and how much budget we get.

16. What about a community garden with raised garden beds? Would the beds made by our technical school be allowable, or is that considered a capital outlay?

If the greenhouse is becoming a permanent structure, then it is not allowed. The funding can be pulled from a different account. You want to have a sustainable justification for the request for supplies (like seeds).

17. Are the deliverables on the website in chronological order by due date or implementation?

Yes, they do go in order. You are going to report on them all at the same time in May.

Planning grants cannot be used for implementation. The planning grant is only for planning.

18. What are other schools doing that are innovative to support academics?

When you walk into a community school, they are all so different. A strategy that worked for one school may not work for your school. Different communities need different and unique strategies. You may join our virtual ECHO sessions that review examples for each practice. There is also a newsletter coming with examples and strategies. One example that some schools have done is a homework diner. This addresses academics and food insecurity at the same time.

19. How do we complete the application by March 31st?

We suggest that you get a team together and complete the application together. Use the Google form online to guide through the application. There is a rubric to help know how we give points. Due March 31st at 5pm.

20. Can we use funds for FTE for someone who is currently employed at school?

You can, but it is not recommended. We have seen some bumps with doing this. It is not best practice. You can hire someone part time with the 50,000. ELTP, At risk, EFFER, title 1, operations. There are a lot of options. Remember to think about braided and leveraged funding. We want to see schools that are committed to a plan for sustainability.

21. What if the coordinator is already hired?

Good job! You can use the funding for data analysis, needs assessment, etc.

22. When will we know that our application was approved for funding?

Letters will go out by April 15th and July 1st.

23. We have no budget authority, we don’t have a significant approved budget plan. Any expected timeline to plan towards? Our spending plans were derailed.

July 1 is the timeline for budget authority. We are doing our best as a team now to provide budget authority by July 1.

24. Some CS coordinators do not have an admin license. How can they be part of the admin team?

The CS coordinator does not need to have to have an admin license, but they should be part of the admin team. They should be involved with the 90-day plan and the school planning team. The coordinator should have good skills and capacity to use data and facilitate partnership.

25. Who do we need to contact if we have specific questions?

Go on our website and make a technical assistance request.

26. When will the allowable expenditure fund be posted?

Look for it online in the next few days.

27. Our school district does not use Google? How can we apply using the Google sheets?

Create a Google account for the school.

28. How do I create a Google account?

Creating a Google Account

1. Can I get a copy of the Grant Conference slide presentation?

Yes, it will be put online Friday or Monday

2. For the application due on March 31, what if we have not completed our root cause analysis or data assessment?

Put in everything you have. Explain what you have started and what you have completed.

3. The deliverables for the implementation grant look similar to the planning grant, is that correct?

Yes, they are the same strategy, but now you will be implementing. Same strategy each year.

4. When should we be doing the Community Schools 101?

We strongly recommend doing one at the beginning of each year. This way your new staff at the beginning of the new school year can learn about the strategy.

5. Can we review and proofread our application before we submit?


6. It is March now and we still have no coordinator. Is there a salary range (regulation) that PED is requiring for CSC salary?

It’s okay if you don’t have one yet. There is no guidance from PED about salary amount. Salary choice is completely district lead. We only require that the position be full time.

7. Who do we hire as a coordinator?

Some of the best coordinators come from the community. Someone who understands the community and will be good at data collection and analysis.

8. Our school’s SBLT is very large. Do we really have to meet twice a month?

Yes, I do recommend that they meet twice a month. You can break them up into groups. Let them know how important it is to meet often to get outcomes.

9. We are in the first year of ELTP TOPS program model school. We have money for this year and next year. Do I need to apply now for the funding we will need in two years or do I need to wait?

If you have all the deliverables then, yes, you can apply now to have funding for the three years or you can wait. You will need to show justification for the need of funds to cover the cost of strategy implementation.

10. Can we use the grant to fund another position other than the CS coordinator?

Yes, but only if the CS coordinator is already fully funded and only if the other position will be helping with the CS strategy. Fill out a pre approval form.

11. Where do we find the pre approval form?

It will be found online.

12. Who writes the grant?

We strongly recommend that the SBLT write the grant. It will be a stronger application if you do this as a team.

13. If there is a change in leadership, do we have to fill out that form?


1. Over the last two years the budget items we have asked for keep getting rejected. We have asked for a Basketball court or even just a basketball.

Grant funding cannot be used for permanent structures or capital outlay. We are creating an allowables guidebook. You can request a TA discussion.

2. Going into 2nd year of grant, what do I put for grant applying for?

For years 2 and 3

3. For artifact deliverables, is that the documents that are signed with partners or part of the plan? May reporting.

Ask to show partnerships however you can, MOU, contract. As for deliverables, report how they are meeting your needs. Should be done already because of root cause analysis, straightforward.

4. Would an improvement plan be part of improvement and planning?

Yes, it shows targets and goals.

5. If in Year 2 or 3, just doing budget proposal, so do assessment of needs, etc, need to be done?

Those are just for schools applying for implementation grant. Just the budget proposal is needed.

6. Question 1 asks for a file, is there a template to use?

No, it’s up to you to show how the budget addresses the issue, can be anything – a narrative, a graphic, etc.

7. Do we submit a report in May?

Yes, watch your emails for notification.

8. Leadership team is separate from community team, should we combine them?

Yes, best practice is to combine them so all are involved.

9. Our district is supposed to have a school advisory cmte to look at budgets, should that be combined?

Yes, include all the stakeholders with site based leadership team.

10. RE: Change of Leadership Form, the AP moved to Principal but as AP coordinated all the grant application and had been involved all along, how should we report that?

Fill it out and say that you changed roles but have been involved along.

11. Will funding continue Jan to Jan, or go back to July to July?

We are working to revert to July to July funding and budget authority.

12. In grant application for attachments, would you prefer a screenshot, PDF, photo, jpeg?

Doesn’t matter. Can be any document format.

1. What is the difference between SBLT and Collaborative Leadership Team? At our school these teams are two distinct entities.

The SBLT should include a representative of each leadership team of the school.

2. When will the deliverables for the renewal grant be available for us to look at?

The reporting requirements will come out soon. You have time to work on them and they will be due in May.

3. Will the slides from this conference be available?

Yes, they will be posted in the week of March 20th.

4. The rules have changed. Will there be a grace period for us to meet the deliverables?

Yes, there will be a grace period. The Community Schools 101 meeting and the root cause analysis will not be due in May. Schools are being given a 5-month grace period until December of next year. We are working to keep up with national and best practices; we are keeping the statute in mind. Please sign up for a site visit. We are here to support you and your team.

5. How do we measure the deliverables that are due in December?

We are going to be using Google forms. The form will guide you through the process. We want it to be approachable and as simple as possible.

6. What is the difference between ECHO and NEA? Who is expected to attend?

ECHO is not required, but strongly encouraged. Anyone is welcome to join the ECHO sessions; principals, coordinators, families, community members. Contact the NEA to inquire about their specific expectations on NEA participation.

7. What is going on this year in May for reporting on the deliverables?

The deliverables are due in May. If you have already implemented the new requirements then it will be a bonus. We are planning to combine the deliverables with the MLSS report. When you report in May we want you to tell your story. This should be an opportunity for your school to be reflective.

8. Is it possible to facilitate community schools to come together so we can support each other? How will we get support?

You may request Community Schools Technical Assistance on the website. Also, we will be supporting community schools in the same districts, “sister schools”, to connect with each other for peer-to-peer support.

9. How do I get support when filling out the grant application?

Start by working on the application with your SBLT. Working on the grant application with your SBLT will get you bonus points. If you still have questions, you may contact Julie Brenning or request technical assistance on the website.

10. Is the site-based leadership team (SBLT) the same as the Community School Council?

Yes, SBLT and Community School Council are two different names for the same thing. SBLT is how this team is referred to in the statute.

11. Is there an example of how other schools have completed their grant application?

There is not an example of a completed grant application. If you have questions, please feel free to set up a technical assistance session to get support.

12. Our school is currently in the process of gathering data for our needs assessment. Any suggestions?

The application is designed to be simple and straightforward. Turn in the information you have about where your school is at now. Work with you SLBT to make a good plan for next year.

13. Does submitting a change in leadership form change the grant deliverables deadline?

No, there is not a change in the deadline. We want to see where your school is now. We are developing strategic technical assistance plans for school with leadership changes. Email Julie Brenning with questions due to change of leadership.

14. Who fills out the grant?

The principal and the coordinator should fill out the grant with the SBLT and community partners. Schools who work with their SLBT will get bonus points.

Page last updated September 19, 2023