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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul
MN
55102

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Glossary

Glossary

Use Ctrl+F or your browser's search feature, or use the alpha navigator links below to get close and scroll to the term you're looking for.  Use Ctrl+Home to return to the top of this page or Ctrl+End to reach the bottom of the page.

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Academic Growth

Measures of academic growth provide a longitudinal view of student progress, and add important information to traditional measures that give a snapshot of student achievement at a single point in time. Methods of measuring growth range from subtracting last year’s test score from this year’s test score, to complex value-added models that statistically account for differences in student academic and background characteristics.

Academic Proficiency

Systems of instruction, assessment, grading, and reporting that measure the degree to which students have mastered the knowledge and skills they are expected to learn at a given point in their education.

Accountant

In addition to its accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) duties, the accounting department helps grant managers create, monitor and maintain the budget. Some of the typical duties of an accountant are to: prepare budgets, budgetary reports and statements, and prepare recommendations for future budgetary requirements. Additionally, the accounting department: determines proper accounting procedures and methods and recommends change in procedures as needed, performs internal auditing work in examining and verifying the accuracy of a variety of accounting reports, records, documents, statements and other financial information prepares project cost studies and analyses

Activity

Strategies are achieved through individual activities. Modifying the school day to accommodate 30 minutes of instruction, plus purchasing visual and tactile teaching aids to use during that instructional time are examples of two activities.

Allocation

The amount of funding provided for a specific purpose, for example salary or fringe benefits. Your grant funds will be allocated to the various areas required to launch and sustain grant activities.

Allowable

Expenditures that are permitted by the grant.  Each grant differs, and the grant management coordinator will provide a project-specific guide to costs that are allowed by the grant.  In addition to the grant-specific criteria, the expense must also meet the following:

  • Have a public purpose
  • Be necessary and reasonable for the implementation of the project
  • Be allocable (if the grant pays for 100%, only the grant program can use it)
  • Charged based on actual costs (taking all rebates into consideration)

Amendment (Contract)

Amendments to a contract are formal changes (either revision, addition, or deletion) to one or more of the terms. It must be signed by the same persons (or their successors) who signed the original contract. Typically, it states that everything in the contract remains in force except the following changes... (which are listed) and then has the signature block. The amendment is then attached to the original contract as part of the entire contract package.

Annual Report

Your grant award documents will include a schedule of reports to the funder. At the end of a project or each year of a project, it is common to submit a final report to the funder. Sometimes, these reports are highly structured; other times, they more resemble a thank you letter. It is critical that the annual report, and in fact ALL reports be reviewed and approved by, at a minimum, your supervisor, Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) and the Grant Management Coordinator.

Appropriation

Appropriation is how the legislative body authorizes the use of a specific amount of money for a government-funded program.  It is different from authorization because it attaches real dollars to it.

Approver

Grant applications, requests for gifts, reports for the funder, contracts and any number of related documents have to travel the SPPS approval process. "Approvers" include your supervisor, those in your supervisor's reporting chain, and others, depending on the document in question. "Approvers" have the authority to either approve or recommend termination of a project. Approvers sign off on projects before projects are presented to the Chief of Staff and Superintendent.

Asset

Assets as related to Property Control are restricted to various types of equipment as defined by the four digit Account Code of the Chartfields that the item was purchased against:

Note: Gifts that would be defined as an asset by the above definition are also tagged and tracked

Authorized Representative

It is not unusual for grant award notifications to include a form to be signed and returned to the grantor. Only an authorized representative can legally sign it. An authorized representative for SPPS is the Superintendent OR someone authorized by the Superintendent to sign in the Superintendent's absence. Authorized representatives are limited to the Board of Education, Superintendent, Chief Business Officer, and Purchasing Manager.

Award Documents

The notification of acceptance of your grant proposal will be accompanied by and a part of your award documents. The documents will vary by funder, but include, for example, the budget narrative, contract, report requirements, etc.

BAI (Board Agenda Item)

Those items requiring approval of the Board of Education are presented to the Board in a Board Agenda Item, (BAI). This routing process applies to all applications for grants or gifts, regardless of size. The approval process for a BAI includes the routing of the item to your supervisor, and all appropriate personnel along your reporting chain, along with those departments affected by the proposed item. Because of the detailed format required for the Board and the timing of the routing for signature, BAIs are generally written and routed through the approval process by the Communications, Marketing and Development Office.

Balanced Budget

When a budget is balanced, that means that the amount of revenue and the budgeted expenditures are equal (or more accurately, add up to zero). Balanced budgets are important because as a grant manager, you want to ensure that you are spending all of your grant - no more, no less. It is fairly common for a budget to be created that is not equal to the anticipated revenue. Given the constraints and vagaries of the grant world, there is no mechanism in place to prevent this from happening. However, vigilant review of the budget and spending can keep revenues and spending in appropriate harmony, mitigating these oddities.

Bid

A bid is a potential vendor’s cost to provide a good or service. Typically, a bid accompanies or is included in a statement of work. For example, an external evaluator will provide an evaluation plan and cost estimate to carry it out. Those two items make up the bid. Should the district accept a bid, a purchase requisition would be entered in eProcurement and the bid attached.

As a grant manager, you may decide to hire services provided by a vendor from outside SPPS. The vendor will normally submit a bid which should include the price and a description of the product or services to be delivered (Statement of Work), the date requirements and a host of other items.

For grants, it is common that the grant manager will conduct the initial negotiation with and choose the vendor. Once the grant manager accepts a bid, then the contract, W9 and IC vs. EE process begins. Once the bid, contract, W9 and IC vs EE form are submitted to the Purchasing Dept, a purchasing requisition can be completed, which eventually morphs into a Purchase Order.

Board of Education Approval of Projects

The Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent to sign district grant applications. Normally, the Superintendent is the only person who may sign district-related documents, including school-level grant applications and contracts. The Superintendent may designate authorized representatives to sign in his or her absence.

See also: Authorized Representatives

Board of Education Policies

The Saint Paul Board of Education is the publicly elected governing board for the school district. All SPPS employees must adhere to the Board of Education policies and related procedures while conducting district business.

Budget

A budget is a best guess of how funds will be spent in a particular span of time. In grant management, a budget is set at the beginning of a project (and each subsequent project year) by identifying the activities to be carried out in the work plan and allocating an appropriate dollar amount to that activity. Then the dollars are categorized according to their purpose, i.e. personnel, benefits, fees for services, travel, or supplies, etc. A grant budget in SPPS is submitted using the Fully Financed Budget forms. For more information, visit the Business and Financial Affairs website.

Budget Administrator

The budget administrator is the person responsible for all aspects of a singular budget, whether a school's budget, a program budget, or an individual grant's budget. The administrator has authority to spend district funds as appropriate, and exercises that authority through signing and/or approving pay instruments such as requests for payment, time sheets, and purchase requisitions. Along with that authority comes the responsibility to adhere to the rules of the funding source, district policies and procedures, and all applicable laws.

Budget Code

The budget code is a series of 19 digits in a particular sequence, and with very specific purposes, as listed below. A budget code provides verification that the district has established a coding system to identify that purpose. However, it does NOT mean there are any funds allocated to a budget. Nevertheless, current practice requires that a budget code will not be created without an identified revenue source.

A budget code looks like this: 29-005-352-610-6430-3450

The "code" breaks down like this:

29 = Fund

005 = Organization (Org)

352 = Program (Prog)

610 = Finance (Fin)

6430 = Object (Obj)

3450 = Course

Most Fully Financed budgets have all but the object code fixed: 29-005-352-610-XXXX-3450 as everything else stays the same as part of the identification of the source and purpose.

See also: Budget, Fully Financed Budget, UFARS

Budget Revision

A budget revision is a redistribution of estimated expenses from the original budget, usually from one object code to another. If the revision is more than 10% it must be accompanied by the funder's approval of the revision. The funder's approval is secured officially by a letter under the Superintendent's signature. The letter is generally written and routed by the Communications, Marketing and Development Office. Regardless of who writes the letter, it must be written on the Superintendent's letterhead and routed through the approval process.

Budget Worksheets

Excel worksheets prefilled with formulas to assist in developing a budget for expenses. The formulas assist in figuring partial FTE costs, fringe benefits and indirect costs over a potential five-year period.

Budget Worksheet Template

Sample Worksheet

Budgeted Funds

Budgeted funds are those funds that have been determined necessary to implement the project. These funds should be identified in the grant application. Things like staff time fall under budgeted funds.

See also: liquidated funds, obligated funds

Carryover

Grant funds that were not spent in the year intended and are then applied to the next fiscal year of the project. In order to carryover funds from year to year, the funder must approve in writing. This requires a revised budget to be submitted reflecting the carried over funds. Excessive carryover can be seen by the funder, fairly or not, as a failure of SPPS to do what we said we'd do and when we said we'd do it. There are oftentimes legitimate reasons for carryover, but carryover can also be a result of a poorly managed grant. A regular examination of activities and budgets will keep your reasons for carryover legitimate.

CBC (Criminal Background Check) for volunteers and vendors

All applicants for a volunteer position with Saint Paul Public Schools should complete the Volunteer Application and a Volunteer Background Investigation Permission and Release Form. The permission and release form allows the District to complete a criminal background investigation for each applicant. If a criminal background investigation is required for the volunteer assignment, the investigation must be successfully completed before the volunteer is to begin providing service at the school. The need for a CBC applies both to volunteers and vendors and is related to situations in terms of increasing increments of risk; a criminal background check is warranted only in a few situations. In most cases, a criminal background check will be completed only if volunteers or vendors will be working with children in an unsupervised setting.

Change Order (Contracts)

Rarely encountered on a grant project, a change order is a revision to a contract, typically for a capital improvement project such as construction. It is an amendment that changes the scope, cost or the time in which a project is to be completed. Change Orders in excess of $100,000 must be approved by the Board of Education.

Clean Raw Data

Data that has been exported from a database, has not been analyzed (raw), but has been error checked (clean). Those involved with grants will encounter this term when involved with research and evaluation - the researcher needs clean raw data to analyze. Data collection and dissemination needs to be coordinated with REA., and be defined in the data sharing agreement.

Closeout

Grant closeout is the completion of the grant life cycle and the official end of the government’s relationship with grantees.  It is the period 90 days after the end of the grant.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The Code of Federal Regulations is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the federal government

Comptroller General

The Comptroller General of the United States heads the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The Comptroller General works in a non-partisan and non-ideological manner with Congressional clients and external parties.  They support congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and in helping to improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.  The agency carries out audit, evaluative, and investigative assignments and provides legal analyses to congress.

Consultant

An expert in an area who is contracted (not an employee) to perform a specific service for a specific period of time. External evaluators are consultants, as are many other service providers e.g. professional development providers.

Contract

Defines the parameters (type of work, amount to be paid for services rendered or product delivered, start and end dates, time frame for deliverables, etc.) of an agreement to provide products or services Your grant application is the guide to the entire project and constitutes a contract between SPPS and the funder.

This is why it is so important that as a grant manager, you understand in full detail your grant application. In the grant development stage, various sections may be written by others, or you might inherit a grant developed by others. Whatever the case, it is your responsibility to read and understand all of the grant application in detail.

Contract Monitoring

Contract Monitoring involves ensuring compliance with the contract terms and conditions, understanding progress and performance measured against contract deliverables, identifying and mitigating risk, managing the change process and securing the best value for district dollars.

Contract Terms

"Terms" can be a bit confusing. Terms generally refers to a contract's time period...the contract's start and end dates. Terms, as in "terms and conditions" also applies to the elements within a contract, including the following:

  • The description of goods or services being supplied
  • The price and payment structure
  • The delivery details, including time, place, and who is responsible for delivery
  • The rights of any party to terminate the contract
  • Confidentiality provisions, particularly if the contract address items of a sensitive nature
  • Limitation of liability provisions

 The contract coordinator within the Purchasing Deptartment is going to guide you through all of these concepts

Contractor (Independent Contractor)

St. Paul Public Schools is required by law to obtain a W-9 Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification form from independent contractors. In addition, a written contract for the services must be in place prior to any work done or services provided.

An IC vs EE form must be completed by the hiring party (supervisor) of a worker if that worker or supervisor is expecting the worker to be classified as an independent contractor. Human Resources will make the final determination of whether or not the worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor.

Cost Objective

A specific grant award, or other category of costs, that requires the grantee to track specific information related to costs. Cost objectives are an important factor in Time and Effort reporting.

Cost Share

It is common for grants to contain a matching funds requirement on the part of a grantee. Grants with a matching fund requirement obligate grantees to provide other sources of funding to either match or exceed the grant’s matching stipulation. Stipulations are normally expressed as a percentage: for example, a matching grant might cover 50% of the project cost, which means the grantee has to identify an additional source or sources to cover the remaining 50%. “1:1” match means every $1 of grant funding must be matched by $1 of SPPS funding.

Historically, matching funds violations have been the focus of grant audits. Federal auditors point out that it's important to remember that matching funds generally must meet the same requirements as the grant funds. It's easy to lose track of the matching component during the life of a grant, so during your budget meetings remember to track this component.  Also referred to as matching funds..

Data

Technically speaking, data is almost anything; a fact about something - quantitative (numbers) or qualitative (descriptive). In grant management, the term 'data' is usually in reference to student data - information like gender, MCA scores, survey responses, enrollment dates, etc. Data by itself is typically a list or a table and doesn't mean anything until analyzed. See this website for a simple explanation.

Data Center

The goal of the SPPS Data Center is to provide a professional one-stop website that is highly useful to school staff, parents, and community members. The intent of the SPPS Data Center is to avoid replication of data collection and to integrate several SPPS websites into one primary site. SPPS Data Center is designed to serve as the single web-based repository for all data based decision making and analysis regarding SPPS. The Data Center can be found at http://datacenter.spps.org

Data Collection

The gathering of data in preparation for analysis. Typically data is collected as part of an evaluation through surveys, interviews, mining databases, or observation.

Data Sharing Agreement

An agreement with REA that is often used in addition to a contract to explicitly detail what data will be shared, when, how and in what format it will be shared and how the recipient will protect the privacy of that data.

Deliverable

Products that are delivered as part of a contract. An example is a PowerPoint presentation or publishable report that an external evaluator provides. Deliverables are the tangible product of the work getting done. Often invoices are tied to deliverables. For example, once a report is delivered, the evaluator prepares an invoices for the time they spent preparing the report.

Deliverable Schedule

The list of deliverables, format, deadline, and distribution of products.

Direct Costs

Those costs that can be identified specifically with a particular program, including program services provided to intended beneficiaries, or compensation of the employees who administer the program.

Dissemination of Results

Various laws and rules govern the dissemination of data, and Research, Evaluation and Assessment(REA) can help you through the process of understanding what you can and cannot do with your data. REA provides responses to all Saint Paul stakeholders. This includes stakeholders within the district, as well as external stakeholders such as federal granting agencies, the greater St. Paul community, and the legislature.

Document Translation Order Form

The Office of Translation Services translates written documents, records connect-ed messages for parents, and provides a list of on-call interpreters for several schools and programs in the district. Currently staff provide services in Hmong, Karen, Somali and Spanish. Requests for translations should be sent to Translation Services through an online request. Translations are usually completed within 5 business days, but turn around time may vary depending on length and complexity of the translation and the office general workload.

Documentation

Any method of appropriately tracking activities; akin to "getting it in writing." In Grant Management, documentation is necessary for anything that tracks the appropriate use of funds: invoices for work done, copies of revision requests and approvals, copies of original contracts, Time & Effort reports, payroll time sheets, work logs, sign-in sheets, etc. Other forms of documentation could include copies of correspondence - especially requests for corrective action from vendors to show good faith on the part of the District, reflecting that what has been promised and purchased was of appropriate quality and received by the District.

EDGAR (Education Department General Administrative Regulations)

EDGAR is a subset of the Code of Federal Regulations specific to ED, and includes regulatory materials and requirements on the administration of grants and agreements, protection of human subjects, etc.

Employees

In the grant world, the distinction between an employee and a contractor is important, and affects, among other things, how each is paid. From employees, St. Paul Public Schools is required by law to obtain certain information, including an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form (for all employees) and a Criminal Background Check authorization (for certain jobs/positions only). In addition, employees have key benefits and protections which are not available to independent contractors, like FICA & Medicare contributions, Public Employees Retirement Association contributions (for qualifying positions), and coverage under workers compensation. These factors (costs) will affect your budgeting process as well.

eProcurement

SPPS’ internal system for requisitioning supplies, contractors, etc. iProcurement is used to create purchase orders and initiate the procurement of goods and services in excess of $1,000.

Evaluation

Steve Schellenberg, Assistant Director of REA, quotes Egon Guba saying, "Evaluation is the stimulation, aiding and abetting of insightful action." While that is lovely to ponder, what it actually means is this: The systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and outcomes of programs forms judgments about the program, improve program effectiveness, and/or inform decisions about future programming.

Evaluation is about attaining goals...implementation of a program, understanding program processes, identifying unanticipated consequences and long-term impacts. Evaluation is undertaken to inform decisions, clarify options, identify improvements, and provide information about programs and policies within contextual boundaries of time, place, values, and politics.

Utilization-Focused Evaluation is based on the premise that evaluations should be judged by their utility and actual use; that evaluators should facilitate the evaluation process and design with careful consideration of how everything that is done, from beginning to end, will affect its use; and, the use concerns how real people in the real world apply evaluation findings and experience to the evaluation process.

Execute(d) Contracts

A contract is fully executed when all parties have signed the agreement.

Expenditure / Expense

The amount of funds spent for a specific purpose, for example salary, or to pay an individual invoice.

External Evaluator

There are times and circumstances that will require an outside evaluator. In those instances, you should meet with SPPS Research, Evaluation and Assessment (REA) to review your data collection and evaluation plans. At this point, REA will also make the determination of whether or not the evaluation will be conducted in-house or whether it will be contracted out to an external evaluator. This is one of the few decisions that you will not have control over – input for sure, but not the final decision. REA will assist you in all of the requirements specific to hiring and working with an external evaluator.

File Format, Transfer, and Storage

When transferring data, especially large files for evaluators, this must be done in a format that is usable (e.g. in Excel and not MSWorks), the transfer must be secure, and the file must be stored in a way to maintain the privacy of the data.

File Format, Transfer, and Storage are important to the Data Sharing Agreement.

Fiscal Responsibility

The obligation to manage the funds entrusted to a budget administrator within the limits of the law and district policy, ever mindful that he or she is a faithful and vigilant steward of the public's money.

Form 524b

Grant Performance Report. For federal grants, it has three sections that need to be filled out annually: Cover Sheet and Summary, Budget, and Performance.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)

Full-time Equivalent (FTE) is a unit that indicates the workload of an employee in a way that makes workloads comparable across various contexts. FTE is often used to measure a worker's involvement in a project. An FTE of 1.0 means that the person is equivalent to a full-time employee, while an FTE of 0.5 signals that the employee is budgeted half-time on a particular project.

Fully Financed Budget

A fully financed budget is a budget adopted by the Board of Education, which has an outside funding source for a specific use. Most private, state and federal grants require specific reporting procedures to ensure funds are expended within the grant period and used for allowed expenditures. To facilitate this reporting requirement, the funds are placed in a separate budget from regular district funds hence, a fully financed budget. Having a Fully Financed Budget is necessary before you can--

  • Order materials
  • Contract for services
  • Hire staff
  • Pay bills
  • Ensure an accurate report of financial activity

For assistance in establishing a grant budget, contact accounting.

Funder

The individual, firm or agency that has awarded the district grant funds.

GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)

An agreed upon method for accountants to follow the same processes for accounting, allowing for a standardization of accounting practice.

Gift

The process by which the district accepts gifts is governed both by law and District policy.

Guidelines For Use Of Gifts

Gifts may be used for instructional materials, field trips, student incentives, equipment, professional services and technical services. All district regulations covering these types of expenditures must be followed. Gifts which are to be used to buy additional staff time must be approved by the area superintendent or senior staff. Gifts which involve capital improvements to any building site must be pre-approved by the executive director of school services.

Gifts to PTO (Parent/Teacher Organization) or PTA (Parent/Teacher Association)

If a check is payable to a PTO or PTA, the PTO or PTA needs to send a letter of appreciation with their taxpayer identification number. Their tax ID number cannot be the same ID number as the SPPS federal tax ID number. Also, if a check is made payable to “Saint Paul Public Schools” or a specific school name such as “Ames Elementary” the donation cannot be given to the PTO or PTA as a gift.

Goal

The goal of a project is the answer to “Why are you doing this?” In education, it more often than not is about improved educational outcomes for our students. The goal is a very big, long-term end-result or achievement. Objectives, strategies, and stakeholders are all part of the goal, but the goal is the ultimate reason for a project. The goal is the one thing you’ll look back on this project in ten years and ask yourself, “Did I get it right?”

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. The head of GAO is the Comptroller General.

GPRA (Government Performance Reporting Act)

Each federal grant has key objectives that it collects from all grantees. These are considered GPRA indicators and must be included in all reports to the federal agency that funded the grant. They are usually submitting in Section 2 of the SF524b.

Grant

Money that has requirements for financial tracking and reporting that isn't part of a funding formula.

Grant Activities

The minutia of "doing" the grant. Each major activity should be identified on the grant's work plan and an appropriate amount of the budget should be allocated to carry out those efforts. As an example, for a professional development session, activities that need to be carried out are: a trainer must be contracted, a meeting place must be secured, materials for instruction must be prepared and the content of the training must be selected.

Grant Award Notice (GAN)

 The official communication from the Federal Department of Education of your grant. It includes information about the budget, project period, department contacts, reporting requirements, etc.

Grant Funded FTE Dependence

The Council of Great City Schools measures Grant Funded FTEs as the number of FTEs funded by grant resources divided by number of total FTEs funded by all sources of a school district. Because grants are not a long-term solution to staffing, a district with many FTEs on a grant has a larger than advisable situation to deal with when grant funds end and those staffs are laid off due to the budget cuts.

This is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the Effective Grants Management Program.

Grant Funded Materials

Supplies purchased with state or federal grant funds are property of the granting agency. If the grant materials are no longer needed to sustain grant activities, grant materials must be offered for return. If the granting agency refuses the materials, those materials are to be kept in the district, and are first to be used to sustain the grant activities. If the grant activities are ending, they are to be redistributed to other projects supported by that granting agency. Typically this means they can go to the following areas:

  • Title I
  • Special Education English Language Leaner (ELL)

Note: Once the items are either returned or redistributed, remember to update the physical inventory to reflect these changes.

Grant Management

The profession or avocation that ensures funded projects are implemented as planned, meet the expectations of the funder, satisfy the laws and regulations of the grantor, grantee, and any governments with jurisdiction, all while trying to help subject matter experts make something meaningful happen with the money.

Grants management brings leadership, management, research, evaluation and administration together with a subject matter expert to implement a project with a strict time table and budget. It is at once an art and a science.

In SPPS, grant managers are supported by a team of professionals from across the district with expertise in program implementation, evaluation and reporting, fiscal responsibility, and contracting and procurement.

Grant Manager

The individual responsible for the implementation and administration of an individual grant.  Also referred to as the principal investigator (PI) or project director.

Grant Narrative

The narrative is the section of the grant that was actually written - without all the forms and attachments. It is usually fewer than 25 pages in length and contains an executive summary, statement of need, project goals, strategies and activities, the management plan, evaluation plan and budget narrative.

The grant narrative is the district's commitment to action pending a financial award from the funder. Once awarded, the grant narrative becomes the guide for the entirety of the project.

Grant Spending Efficiency

This is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for the Council of Great City Schools that measures grant spending against anticipated or expected spending. In SPPS this will be measured during the Performance Assessment that is done at least every six months and is also a key progress indicator for the Effective Grants Management Program. A review of grant spending efficiency would reveal issues of potential over-or-under spending, often a result of improper grant implementation.

Grants Management Coordinator

The administrative position that supports the district’s capacity to develop promising practices in education by securing competitive revenues and ensuring the success of grant-funded programs. The grants management coordinator (GMC) works to ensure that grant-funded programs run smoothly and helps to create a vision for future grant development and program success.

The essential functions include the following duties, any of which can come into play when you need support with your grant:

  • Lead the the district grant management plan that coordinates existing information and leverages the relationship between the Business Office; Research, Evaluation, and Assessment; and the Office of Communications, Marketing and Development.
  • Support district administrators in effectively implementing and managing grant projects, assisting with collaboration and fostering accountability across departments and programs.
  • Implement district policy and practice related to grant management.
  • Implement a grant management system to create a connected spectrum of grant management for the effective administration of grants once awarded, including the setting up and overseeing of procedures to:
    • Accept and run grants
    • Ensure compliance with legal and fiduciary responsibilities
    • Schedule grant reporting and dissemination
    • Create and manage the grant management calendar
    • Give advice and consultation to external teams and all district staff (including senior staff and grant program managers)
    • Collaborate with the Business Office to create, re-negotiate, and balance grant budgets
    • Develop and implement the grants management technology system
    • Track grant administrators and ensure compliance with regulations on choosing and naming grant administrators
    • Develop written materials outlining the program or school's plans and goals to assist in the development of later grant reporting and writing

Hiring Leader

Hiring processes in the District are fairly complex. But to simplify, for those instances when you as a grant manager decide you need to hire for a position, you will most often make the final decision regarding who gets hired. Human resources will act as a coordinator, helping you, the hiring leader, through each step. This is one of those areas where you will benefit from another department's expertise, allowing you to maintain focus on yours.

IC vs EE Form

There are distinct differences between employees (EE) and independent contractors (IC) in the areas of hiring, supervision, compensation, etc. Classification of independent contractor vs employee is not a choice made by the hiring party, nor is it the case that the worker can simply decide how he or she wants to be paid. It is, rather, a determination based on multiple factors set at both the federal and state levels.

An IC vs EE form must be completed by the hiring party (supervisor) of a worker if that worker or supervisor is expecting the worker to be classified as an independent contractor. Human Resources will make the final determination of whether or not the worker should be classified as an employee or as an independent contractor. This determination will affect, among other things, how each group is paid. Employees are paid through the payroll system. Independent contractors are paid through the accounts payable system.

In-Kind Funds

In-kind contributions are defined under federal guidelines as "contributions other than cash." While they usually add real value to a project, in-kind contributions do not require an actual cash outlay. Some examples of in-kind contributions are indirect costs not charged to the sponsor, third-party contributions, and donated labor, materials, and services.

Indirect Costs

Costs that benefit multiple federal and state awards and cannot easily be associated with one specific program. Salaries and expenses for data processing, accounting, procurement, human resources and yes, grants management are all examples of indirect costs.

Information Technology

The Saint Paul Public Schools Information Technology Department mission is to deliver the appropriate level of technology to all Saint Paul Schools staff, students and families, sufficient to the provision of a premier education to all.

The SPPS IT Department ensures that staff and students have accurate, current and timely information about IT services. The service catalog is designed to provide this information. The catalog is also an important internal tool used to enhance the accuracy and consistency of communications with the SPPS community.

Inspector General

An inspector general is an investigative official in a civil or military organization.  There are federal and state inspectors general.

Internal Controls

The methods an organization uses to identify and prevent or minimize its risk.  Internal controls are integrated into the management of a program so the organization can accomplish what it is supposed to and avoid what it should not do.

Common examples of internal controls include published policies and guidelines for all operational processes, employee performance evaluations, ledger account reconciliations, separation of duties, and protection of personally identifiable information.

Labor Agreements

A contract between labor and management governing wages and benefits and working conditions. SPPS has many different labor agreements available online. These are relevant to the grant manager as it is vital to understand the rules and limitations of compensation policies for district employees.

LEA (Local Education Agency)

Local educational agency or LEA means a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a state for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a state. SPPS is an LEA. Individual charter schools are often considered LEAs.

Liquidated Funds

Liquidated funds are those that have relieved the obligation (e.g. paid a bill). In the final months of a grant's life, remaining funds must be obligated. There is generally a 30 to 90 day period after the grant's end in which to liquidate those funds. This extended period is in recognition that some bills from vendors will not arrive until after the grant period ends for services provided within the grant period.

See also: budgeted funds, obligated funds

Matching Funds

It is common for grants to contain a matching funds requirement on the part of a grantee. Grants with a matching fund requirement obligate grantees to provide other sources of funding to either match or exceed the grant’s matching stipulation. Stipulations are normally expressed as a percentage: for example, a matching grant might cover 50% of the project cost, which means the grantee has to identify an additional source or sources to cover the remaining 50%. “1:1” match means every $1 of grant funding must be matched by $1 of SPPS funding.

Historically, matching funds violations have been the focus of grant audits. Federal auditors point out that it's important to remember that matching funds generally must meet the same requirements as the grant funds. It's easy to lose track of the matching component during the life of a grant, so during your budget meetings remember to track this component.  Also referred to as cost share or cost sharing.

MCA

The Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) are state tests in mathematics, reading and science that meet the requirements of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The MCAs are given every spring to measure student performance against the Minnesota Academic Standards, which specify what students in a particular grade should know and be able to do.

MCA - II

Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments-Series II, which measure student achievement with regard to the new Minnesota Academic Standards. The administration of these assessments began in the spring of 2006 in grades 3-8 (reading and math), 10 (reading only), and 11 (math only), replacing the original MCAs. One other difference from the MCA, besides the added grade levels being tested, is that there is no MCA-II test in writing.

Measurable Objective

Objectives are the things we can capture and measure on the way to the Goal's end-state. For example, if the goal is that all children will read by grade three, an objective could be “In kindergarten, children will be able to identify 20 letter sounds correctly.” It is a measurable moment that verifies whether the project is working to meet the goal. In most cases there will be multiple objectives for a goal.  Also referred to as objectives.

Measure of Academic Progress (MAP)

The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a computer adaptive achievement test in reading and mathematics. MAP dynamically adapts to students’ responses; when a student answers a question correctly, subsequent question become harder, miss a question and subsequent questions become easier. This individualization allows instructors to accurately identify where on the learning continuum each student resides. The purpose for administering the MAP is to use the results to inform instruction, narrowing in on each student's progress and current capabilities..

Micro-purchase

A purchase of supplies or services using simplified acquisition procedures, the aggregate amount of which does not exceed the micro-purchase threshold of $3,000. Micro-purchase procedures are intended to expedite the completion of small purchase transactions while minimizing the administrative burden and cost.

Minnesota Department of Education (MDE)

Minnesota Department of Education (formerly Department of Children, Families, and Learning or CFL). Federal grant dollars are often funneled through the state, and in these instances, MDE acts as the fiscal authority.

No Cost Extension

Under a no cost extension, a grantee can, with the approval of the funder, extend the grant period. This is done, however, at no cost to the funder...no additional funds are provided.

Noncompetitive Proposals

Procurement through solicitation of a proposal from only one source.  Also called