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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Based on input from the Outdoor School Advisory Committee, outdoor school is defined as:

  • A minimum 3-day and maximum 6-day, 5-night outdoor learning experience that:
    • Does not require, but can include, overnight
    • Must be consecutive days
    • Must occur during the school year and during school hours

No. OSU can only award grants to a School District, an Education Service District (ESD) (“district”), or to the four state-sponsored charter schools. Individual schools and local charter schools will need to coordinate activities with their district or ESD.

No, the district will need to request an IGA from OSU.

The IGA is for five years with a possible extension of an additional term of five years. Districts will apply for annual funding, and an annual Work Order will be issued to commit the funds for that specific school year.

No. Applications should only include schools within the boundaries of the district.

OSU is committed to providing an outdoor school experience to Oregon 5th and 6th graders within the funding allocations and requirements of the law. Measure 99 funds are limited to students who reside in Oregon and are enrolled in a public or charter school.  Families of homeschool and/or private school students can access Measure 99 funding by temporarily enrolling their 5th and/or 6th grade students in their public school for the duration of and attendance in the public school’s outdoor school program. Please see the Private School Policy for further detail.

As public schools, charter schools are eligible for Outdoor School program funding. A charter school interested in applying for funds should contact their sponsoring district or ESD to request inclusion in the district’s application. Funding will flow through the district to any applicable charter schools. All districts should ensure they include in their application any eligible charter schools who wish to participate in outdoor school. As indicated above, the four state-sponsored charter schools can enter into an IGA with OSU and apply for funds directly.

Funding is legislatively allowed once for each Oregon 5th or 6th grade student. Districts (or their schools) decide which grade will participate in their program. Some schools (due to the size of their classes or for convenience) chose to apply for funding biennially, thus permitting both 5th and 6th grade classes to attend outdoor school in the same year.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program establishes annual threshold values for the various standard outdoor school program lengths.  The application process permits each district/school to either accept the pre-assigned threshold value for the length of program they will attend, or (if necessary) any school or district can apply for an amount of funding in excess of threshold.  Funding requests exceeding threshold can have a variety of justifications, and will be reviewed and, if acceptable, approved by the Outdoor School program team.

2019-2020 Outdoor School Thresholds

3 Days 0 Nights

$135.00 per student

4 Days 0 Nights

$300.00 per student

5 Days 0 Nights

$330.00 per student

6 Days 0 Nights

$360.00 per student

3 Days 2 Nights

$350.00 per student

4 Days 3 Nights

$380.00 per student

5 Days 4 Nights

$475.00 per student

6 Days 5 Nights

$550.00 per student

 

Full funding will be dispersed from OSU upon:

  • Completion of all outdoor programs within your district
  • Submittal of required documentation and reports to OSU
  • Acceptance of required documentation and reports by OSU

Districts can contract with (and use Measure 99 funds to pay) other districts to provide goods or services related to providing outdoor school. These contracts and transactions would be between the districts, therefore, payment of the contracted district (outdoor school provider) and reporting of outdoor school outcomes to OSU would be the responsibility of the contracting district.

The IGA is between OSU and either the ESD or the district, so funds will be dispersed to the district rather than the individual school. Districts are responsible for reporting to OSU and distributing funds to schools.

While this decision ultimately lies with the district, the Outdoor School program encourages each district to authorize the person within your district who is taking the lead in organizing your outdoor school program. This “outdoor school lead” will be responsible for correct completion and timely submission of the district’s outdoor school application and reports. It should be noted that the authorized person will have the option to delegate completion of portions of the application or report to individuals who can better supply answers. However, the authorized person will be responsible for reviewing and approving the final and complete documents before submitting them to OSU.

Our current program will only recognize one login and password for each district. We can include more than one individual from your district in our email notification list, so more than one designated individual is notified of important deadlines and happenings.

Yes. If Saturday or Sunday are part the continuous period of an outdoor school program, that program qualifies for funding. For example, if students stay Friday evening and return Saturday or depart for outdoor school on Sunday, these days would fall within the outdoor school criteria.

No. At this time, Measure 99 funds cannot be used for overhead or administration costs.

Funding can be spent for direct costs incurred during the approved school year. Deposits to providers or facilities can be invoiced/paid outside of the approved school year, as long as the service occurs within the approved school year.

Please see the Budget Categories and Fiscal Policies document for details on the four cost categories and expenditures approved for reimbursement. All outdoor school programs funded with Measure 99 funds must adhere to Oregon Department of Education, state, and federal law, policy and regulations governing public schools.

The actual amount awarded to each district will depend on the amount of funds issued to the Outdoor School program in the State’s biennial budget, and the number and size of funding requests received from districts. OSU’s goal is to continue to fully fund all award requests.

Please see the 2018-2019 Reporting Requirements page or the 2019-2020 Reporting Requirements page (as appropriate) for details regarding the requirements of your next annual report.

As with other grant awards, Outdoor School funds are limited. Once a district is notified of their award, costs that exceed those originally budgeted are not allowed, with the following exceptions:

  • The total number of students attending changes
  • The district must book with a different provider/facility after an unforeseen emergency or event (fire or camp closure)

When a school/district discovers their costs will exceed their award amount, they are encouraged to contact OSU (outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu) to request a change order. Reimbursable changes will be limited by the amount of funds available in OSU’s annual Outdoor School reserve account.

Individual Outdoor School team members are listed here. Our general email address is outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu, where your question/concern will be directed to the correct person in a timely fashion.

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!