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2020-2021 Grant Application Deadlines

Applications Opened: December 1, 2020

Applications Due: January 31, 2021 for first consideration. Proposals received after this date, and before or on May 21, 2021 will be considered based on available funding, equitable statewide distribution of funds, and merit. Proposal applications will not be accepted after May 21, 2021.

Grant Program Summary

The Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program is committed to supporting equitable and inclusive outdoor school programs for Oregon’s youth.  The COVID-19 pandemic response has economically and systemically impacted all aspects of life, including the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s outdoor school students, districts/schools, programs, providers, and sites. To support these outdoor school communities, the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Outdoor School program has developed the following two grant opportunities to further invest in the overall improvement of outdoor school.

  • Grant 1: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Program Improvement Grant
  • Grant 2: Accessibility and Inclusion Site Improvement Grant

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program will seek applications from outdoor school providers1 and sites who wish to engage in projects that further the values of the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program – specifically those of equity, diversity, and inclusion. While applying organizations are permitted to apply for both grant types, there are very few organizations who would meet the requirements of both grant types.  In addition, the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program will strive to equitably distribute these awards to outdoor school community members across the state of Oregon, so we reserve the right to hold additional applications from a single organization until we can assure that other organizations were considered.

We believe these grant-based investments will help Oregon’s outdoor school programs emerge from this pandemic as stronger, more equitable and more accessible programs for the youth of our state:

  • with culturally responsive, inclusive and accessible instructional resources.
  • which take place at culturally responsive, safe, inclusive and accessible sites.

Eligibility

Applicants must be outdoor school programs, providers1 or sites:

  • located in Oregon.
  • contracted to host Measure 99-funded outdoor school programs in 2020-2021 or who have hosted Measure 99-funded outdoor school programs in one or more of the previous three academic years1 (2017-2018/2018-2019/2019-2020).

General Application Requirements

For both grant opportunities, on-line applications must:

Applications that include implementation of the IRSET, CRSET, or SEASET should follow each document’s “plan” and “how to implement” documents, and the proposed project should include one or both phases of implementation:

Phase 1 – Recommended prerequisites and primary evaluation using the CRSET or SEASET

Phase 2 – In-depth equity work

Please note: Applications proposing the use of EDI vendors/facilitators rather than the use of OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program self-evaluation tools will also be considered.

  • state how grant implementation and resulting program implementation will meet all Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) COVID-19 guidelines, and all applicable Executive Orders issued by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
  • include a timeline (applicant-generated Gantt-style task or milestone-based schedule) that demonstrates the organization’s capacity to complete most projects by September 1, 2021, but projects with longer timelines are to be completed no later than May 1, 2022.
  • include a clear budget (using the Excel spreadsheet provided in the application package) to complete all aspects of the proposed project, including details of any matching or local funds used to enhance or supplement the project.
  • be complete and submitted on time 3.

Applicants will also be required to provide (if using an outside EDI vendor/facilitator):

  1. a letter of intent from your EDI vendor/facilitator.
  2. the qualifications of employee(s) and/or contracted professional(s) directing/facilitating the development or implementation of the work.

Applicants are encouraged to implement their EDI work with qualified professional facilitation or consultation. The application must include appropriate documentation of the facilitator’s/consultant’s qualifications.

Grant Exclusions/Restrictions

Funds shall NOT be used:

  • To purchase property, real estate, or vehicles
  • For grants, funding, or loans to individuals; or to pay debts
  • For religious activities
  • For indirect administration costs4

GRANT 1 - Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Outdoor School Program Improvement

This grant is designated for outdoor school providers1 who strive to improve their outdoor school programming through organizational change focused on 1) building instructional resource responsiveness around EDI, or 2) actions moving outdoor school staff and programming toward an improved understanding/expression of EDI during the 2020-2021 academic year.  These improvements could include, but are not limited to:

  • curriculum creation, review or revision, such as generating curriculum that is:
    • responsive to and reflective of the background and cultures of all students attending outdoor school.
    • accessible and inclusive for students with cognitive disabilities.
  • programming review, revision, and/or EDI strategic planning.
  • mission, vision, and values statement creation, review, or revision through an EDI lens.
  • outdoor school staff professional development related to EDI.

Grant Specific Applicant/Application Requirements

While the general applicant/application requirements are listed above, an EDI Outdoor School Program Improvement grant application must include a description of the organization’s programmatic and curricular history.

Grant Deliverables and Reporting

Organizations who receive EDI Outdoor School Program Improvement grants will be required to submit a final report to the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office within one month of the scheduled end of the project.  The final report should include a project summary document that includes, as applicable:

  • A copy of developed, reviewed, and/or revised curriculum or programming.
  • A description of the grant-funded EDI professional development program and resulting personal or professional development of your staff.
    • What was learned from the grant-funded EDI work?
    • What measurable (SMART) goals did your organization establish through your grant-funded EDI work?
  • A description of how under-resourced2 students benefited or will benefit from the grant deliverables or outcomes.
  • A copy of fiscals (including details of any matching or local funds used to enhance or supplement this project) and invoice(s).

 

Outdoor school students at stream table.

Outdoor school students at stream table.

Application Scoring Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of OSU employees and volunteers.  Each committee member will have an area of expertise applicable to the grant topic.  Each application will be reviewed and scored based on the following categories and criteria in two phases.  First consideration applications (received before January 31, 2021) scoring 90% or higher will be awarded funding as they are reviewed until first consideration funding is allocated. Applications received after January 31, 2021 will be scored in a competitive nature until remaining funding is allocated or until May 31, 2021.

Overall Application Strength (25 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that:

  • Are complete upon submission.
  • Provide a detailed description of:
    • the organization’s programmatic or curricular history.
    • the organization's commitment to include their permanent and/or seasonal outdoor school staff in the proposed improvement process.
    • how the organization plans to improve the program/curriculum.
    • how that improvement will directly benefit the outdoor school students and/or staff.
  • State how grant implementation and resulting program implementation will meet all Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) COVID-19 guidelines, and all applicable Executive Orders issued by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
  • Provide a method for demonstrating that their programming or curriculum was improved per ORS 327.390.
  • Request an appropriate amount of funding based on the outdoor school vs. other programming ratio of usage associated with the site or program.
  • Demonstrate your organization's alignment with the values of the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program – specifically those of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (50 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that:

  • Demonstrate a willingness to examine, challenge, and change assumptions and practices that reinforce inequities in the outdoor school student experience through the appropriate application of the self-evaluation tools and/or work with appropriate consultants/facilitators.
  • Support creative partnerships and offer equitable distribution of funds to project partners to address disparities in the Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPoC) communities.
  • Be led by, informed by, and/or directly benefit BIPOC communities affected by current and historic outdoor school practices that resulted in disparities.
  • Provide a plan, program, or policy that demonstrates your organization’s commitment to making EDI improvement work an ongoing and everyday part of your organization's culture.

Project Feasibility and Fit (25 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that demonstrate:

  • A clear project schedule that aligns with the project goals and budget.
  • A clear project budget that demonstrates:
    • the use of appropriately compensated and qualified outdoor school employees or contracted professionals to direct or facilitate your EDI-focused work.
    • an effort on the part of the applying organization to provide a reasonable level of fiscal support (matching funds) to achieve the proposed goals.
  • Support from local BIPoC community organizations, or the leadership of the impacted districts or schools via at least one letter of support.

GRANT 2 - Accessibility and Inclusion Site Improvement

This grant is designated for outdoor school sites to implement physical site improvements focused on improving site and programming accessibility for outdoor school students (e.g. students with exceptional physical or cognitive needs).

These improvements could include, but are not limited to:

  • Site accessibility audits that would lead to physical improvements
  • Physical site improvements focused on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility, which may include support for in-progress projects only if the original project start date was July 1, 2020, or later
  • Training for appropriate use of accessibility features at the site
  • Modification or conversion of existing restroom facilities to gender inclusive restrooms
  • Inclusive signage or culturally responsive visual aids
  • Installation of broadband, Wi-Fi or power to remote instructional sites to permit students with disabilities to use necessary communication, instructional or mobility equipment
  • Safety-related improvements (guard rails, fencing, path improvements, etc.)

Grant Specific Applicant/Application Requirements

While the general applicant/application requirements are listed above, the requirements listed below apply specifically to an Accessibility and Inclusion Site or Program Improvement grant application.

  • The application must include, as applicable:
    • the percentage of use of the proposed improvement by outdoor school programming vs. other site programming.
    • photos of the area proposed for physical site improvement.

Please note: The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office (or their designated representatives) reserves the right to request a tour of the project site as part of the application report approval process, allowing OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program to use pictures in demonstrating the successes of projects.

Grant Deliverables and Reporting

Organizations who receive Accessibility and Inclusion Site or Program Improvement grants will be required to submit a final report to the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office within one month of the scheduled end of project.  The final report should include a project summary document with, as applicable:

  • A description of the grant funded site or program improvement work completed.
  • Photographs of completed physical site improvement project(s)
  • Documentation or certification of an accessibility audit (if one was performed).
  • A copy of all improved programming documents/documentation.
  • A description of the grant-funded professional development program and resulting personal or professional development of your staff.
    • What was learned from the grant-funded work?
    • What (SMART) goals did your organization establish through your grant-funded work?
  • A description of how under-resourced2 students are or will benefit from the grant deliverables or outcomes.
  • Backup documentation including a copy of fiscals (with details of matching or local funds used to enhance or supplement this project) and invoice(s).

Please note: The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office (or their designated representative) reserves the right to request a tour of the project site as part of the report review/grant closure process.

Outdoor school student in wheel chair having his wood cookie signed.

Outdoor school student in wheel chair having his wood cookie signed.

Application Scoring Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a committee of OSU employees and volunteers.  Each committee member will have an area of expertise applicable to the grant topic.  Each application will be reviewed and scored based on the following categories and criteria in two phases.  First consideration applications (received before January 31, 2021) scoring 90% or higher will be awarded funding as they are reviewed until first consideration funding is allocated. Applications received after January 31, 2021 will be scored in a competitive nature until remaining funding is allocated or until May 31, 2021.  

Overall Application Strength (25 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that:

  • Are complete upon submission.
  • Provide a detailed description of:
    • the organization’s outdoor school programmatic or curricular history.
    • the organization's commitment to change.
    • how the organization plans to improve their outdoor school site.
    • how that improvement will directly benefit the outdoor school students and/or staff.
  • State how grant implementation and resulting facility improvement will meet all Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) COVID-19 guidelines, and all applicable Executive Orders issued by Oregon Governor Kate Brown.
  • Provide a method for demonstrating that their site was improved per ORS 327.390.
  • Request an appropriate amount of funding based on the outdoor school vs. other programming ratio of usage associated with the site or program.
  • Demonstrate your organization’s alignment with the values of the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program – specifically those of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (50 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that:

  • Demonstrate a willingness to examine and change access and practices that reinforce inequities in the outdoor school student and family experience through physical changes, and/or work with appropriate consultants. This could, but is not required to include use of the OSU Self-Evaluation Tools (CRSET or SEASET).
  • Support creative partnerships, consultation with, and equitable distribution of funds to project partners to address disparities in the Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) communities and/or other marginalized communities.
  • Provide a plan, program, or policy that demonstrates your organization’s commitment to making EDI improvement work an ongoing and everyday part of your organization's culture.

Project Feasibility and Fit (25 Points)

Points will be awarded to applications that demonstrate:

  • A clear project schedule that aligns with the project goals and budget.
  • A clear project budget that demonstrates:
    • the use of appropriately compensated and qualified employees or contracted professionals to direct or facilitate the work.
    • an effort on the part of the applying organization to provide a reasonable level of fiscal support (matching funds) to achieve the proposed goals.
  • Support from local BIPOC communities or community organizations that serve marginalized individuals, the leadership of districts or schools whose students will benefit from the improvements via at least one letter of support. 

1 As verified by the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program.

2 Under-resourced refers to a lack of resources including leadership, physical assets, money, power, political will, institutions, community cohesion, and services.

3 Duplicate applications (more than one application submitted from an organization for the same grant program) may not be reviewed or approved. Please see grant application deadlines at the start of this document.

Both grant opportunities are technical assistance grants, not emergency operations grants.  While direct and itemized associated administrative costs will be considered, award percentage assessments (i.e. “overhead” or indirect costs) will not be considered.

Would you like to have a copy of this information?

To download and/or print a copy of the application guidance

Questions?

Please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-4391 if you have any questions about the Outdoor School Program!