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Frequently Asked Questions

PROGRAM FAQS

Below is a list of common questions relating to general Outdoor School Program policies.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program establishes annual threshold values for the various standard outdoor school program lengths. These threshold values are in per-student dollars and they cover all outdoor school costs included in the four permissible categories (Provider Fees, Stipends-Personnel Expenses, Program Costs Incurred by School, and Unreimbursed Transportation Costs). 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 the threshold. Funding requests exceeding the threshold can have a variety of justifications, and will be reviewed and, if acceptable, approved by the Outdoor School program team. PLEASE NOTE: 2020-2021 COVID-19 Response Strategies will apply to Fall 2021 (through December 31st). [CDL = Comprehensive Distance Learning]

2021-2022 Outdoor School Funding Thresholds
Program Type/Length Threshold Amount
Minimum number of CDL-only or hybrid (combination of in-person and CDL program) hours of Outdoor School Programming (COVID Response Strategy C for Fall 2021)   Length of In-Person Program (as Ready Schools Safe Learners Guidance Permits) Threshold Amount IF Your District Meets the Minimum Number of CDL and/or In-person Hours of Outdoor School Programming
CDL-only program (minimum requirement: 18 hours)* or 3 Days 0 Nights $163.00 per student
    4 Days 0 Nights $318.00 per student
   

5 Days 0 Nights

$349.00 per student
    6 Days 0 Nights $419.00 per student

18 Hours (hybrid)*

or 3 Days 2 Nights $408.00 per student
24 Hours (hybrid)* or 4 Days 3 Nights $463.00 per student
30 Hours (hybrid)* or 5 Days 4 Nights $578.00 per student
36 Hours (hybrid)* or

6 Days 5 Nights

$669.00 per student

*FUNDING APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: If you are planning to apply for funding for a CDL-only or Hybrid program, please select the corresponding threshold amount in the online application as seen above:

  • For a CDL-only program, select the 3 days/0 Nights option. The threshold for all CDL-only programs is $163.00. CDL programs must be at least 18 hours.
  • For an 18-hour hybrid program, select 3 days/2 nights on application.
  • For a 24-hour hybrid program, select 4 days/3 nights on application.
  • For a 30-hour hybrid program, select 5 days/4 nights on application.
  • For a 36-hour hybrid program, select 6 days/5 nights on application.

 

Measure 99 defines outdoor school 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

Outdoor school programs are required (by Senate Bill 439) to:

  • Feature opportunities for students to learn about:
    • The importance of the state’s environment and natural resources, such as soil, water, plants, animals, etc.
    • The interrelationship of the state’s natural resources with the economy, working lands (agriculture, forestry), growth and development needs, and career opportunities.
    • Interdependence of urban and rural areas in Oregon.
  • Integrate with school curricula and state learning standards.
  • Provide students with opportunities to develop leadership, critical thinking, and decision-making skills.
  • Address the inequity of outdoor educational opportunities for Oregon’s students.

To learn more about Senate Bill 439 and outdoor school curriculum, visit our Curriculum webpage.

As with most everything in our lives, the COVID-19 Pandemic has changed the meaning of outdoor school too. An outdoor school experience impacted by COVID-19 is defined as:

  • A minimum of 18-hours and a maximum of 36-hours to be experienced outdoors (as possible) that:
    • May be, but is not required to be, consecutive
    • Must occur during the school year and during the school hours

No. OSU can only award grants to Oregon School Districts, Education Service Districts (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, districts need to request an IGA from OSU at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu.

The IGA is for five years with a possible extension of an additional term of five years. Districts will apply for annual funding and receive a Work Order 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 details.

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 that wish to participate in outdoor school.

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. Because of the impact of COVID-19, the OSU Outdoor School program has given 6th graders who missed outdoor school in the spring of 2019-2020 a waiver to attend outdoor school in the 2020-2021 academic year (as 7th graders).

Full funding will be dispersed from OSU upon:

  • Completion of all outdoor programs approved in work order
  • Submittal of required documentation and reports to OSU
  • Approval of required documentation and reports by OSU

Details on the reporting process can be reviewed at the Program Information page.

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.

Funds are dispersed to the district rather than the individual school. Contracts, reports, and applications are the responsibility of Districts as the grantee.

This is a district decision. OSU encourages each district to designate the person within your district who is taking the lead in organizing your outdoor school program. The designate will be responsible for completion and timely submission of the district’s outdoor school application and reports. 

Please note: The designate will have the option to delegate completion of portions of the application or report to individuals who can better supply answers. However, the designate will be responsible for reviewing and approving the final and complete documents before submitting them to OSU. Details on the reporting process can be reviewed at the Program Information page.

Our current program will only recognize one login and password for each district. OSU suggests a grantee include more than one individual in the email notification list, to ensure notifications of important deadlines and happenings are received.

Yes. If Saturday or Sunday is part of the continuous period of an outdoor school program, then a day beyond the normal school day is allowed. For example, if students stay Friday evening and return Saturday or depart for outdoor school on Sunday, a weekend day would qualify..

No. Districts should not include overhead or administration costs in their outdoor school funding requests. In 2021-2022, the implementation of supporting schools and districts with indirect costs goes into effect. Please see the Budget Categories and Fiscal Policies document for details.

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.

OSU encourages that no funds be spent or contracts signed until the approved work order has been signed and executed.

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 is determined by the application and available funding. OSU’s goal is to continue to fully fund all award requests.

Yes, please visit the Columbia Pro Purchase Program page for information about available discounts.

Reporting is essential to tell the outdoor school story, continue support and funding, and to improve the program. Please see the Program Information page for details regarding the requirements of your next annual report.

As with other grant awards, Outdoor School funds are limited. When a grantee discovers costs will exceed the awarded amount, they must contact OSU (outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu) to request a Change Order. Change Orders are determined based on the reason and funds available.

Individual Outdoor School team members are listed here and the general team email address is outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu.

Yes, a 30-day cancellation policy would be acceptable, as long as the site’s costs are reasonable and justified.

You will need to work with your local school district and local health authority to determine best practices when dealing with air quality issues.

Note that if you are unable to visit your usual location due to wildfires and incur additional costs due to traveling farther than expected, please reach out to us and we are willing to listen to and work with you. 

The outdoor school programming rules require the outdoor school program to occur within the academic year. If the school year ends in May, an outdoor school experience in June would not qualify for funding because it did not occur during the academic year.

Dates for these and all other Outdoor School program trainings, workshops, and COVID-related events can be found here.

Yes - but please contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu, as we'll need more information to make sure we process this change appropriately.

Outdoor school programming can happen at any time during the school year. As long as the programming meets Measure 99 requirements, we can fund it.

Providers are welcome to use the Cost Model Report. Some aspects will be helpful, but some may require a fair amount of modification. Our hope is to generate a document specific to providers, so if you have ideas for how we could modify this model, please don't hesitate to let us know.

Yes.  This deposit payment should be included in the District costs provided to the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program in the District's Outdoor School Report.

COVID-19 FAQS

The following questions are related to COVID-19 recommendations and processes.

The following questions are those we received as part of our September 7, 2021 COVID-19 Outdoor School Statewide Update webinar. If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or call Rita at (760) 735-8474.

If the item/material purchased will be used in the future (outside of COVID), that’s a cost you’ll build into your rental fees. That entire cost would not go into this year’s cost. Instead, you should attempt to amortize that cost over the predicted lifetime of the purchased item. 

Additionally, it is important to consider the percentage use of the item/material that will be dedicated specifically for outdoor school and factor that into your cost calculation. For example, if you are a provider and 80% of your business is dedicated to outdoor school, but the remaining 20% of the time your shelter is used for a summer camp, make sure the cost is appropriately charged to outdoor school versus the overall business model. 

The other key consideration (for audit reasons) is that if the item/material is built into what you’re charging, make sure you are accurately accounting for the cost for each school that you are working with.

However, if you choose to rent that item instead, you would report the entire cost of the rented item in that year’s costs.  

As always, feel free to reach out to us if your cost calculation is challenging to determine and we are happy to work with you. 

Yes, there are state ordinances that restrict the use of masks while sleeping statewide. We do not recommend wearing a mask while sleeping, nor does the state recommend that. 

Vaccination is highly recommended, but it is up to your school to interpret that guidance from the state. If your school is not firm on requiring vaccination of your contractors and you are still a little unclear, you can reach out to ODE for clarification on what their guidance says. 

The OSU Outdoor School program cannot recommend contract language to sites or providers. Feel free to contact Friends of Outdoor School, who might have some resources that would help you in this area.

We recommend the sites have costs (such as hiring employees, cost to clear winter brush for the spring, etc.) built into their contracts so that, in case of a cancellation, the site will be reimbursed for those costs.

In terms of loss of business, that is not something that we have authority over with Measure 99 funding. 

The OSU Outdoor School Program cannot recommend contract language to sites or providers. Feel free to contact Friends of Outdoor School, who might have some resources that would help you in this area.

In terms of being evaluated by legislators, that kind of practice would likely not be deemed reasonable and prudent. If the facility reservation is canceled with reasonable notice, it would be difficult to justify this type of funding practice to legislators. 

The following questions are those we received as part of our June 3, 2021 COVID-19 Outdoor School Statewide Update webinar. If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or call Rita at (760) 735-8474. 

This year’s application will allow current 7th graders to apply who missed this past year (2020-21) for this year’s fall 2021 and spring 2022 applications. 

In the fall, you will still have the flexibility of not going to outdoor school programming consecutively. After the fall term ends, you will need to go in consecutive days to qualify for funding.

When you apply for funding, it does not matter if it is residential or non-residential. Funding is dependent upon the length of programming per day. 

If you have to reduce capacity and that incurs a cost of providing the service to the district, that is the cost you would charge per student for the district.

The threshold is not a cap — it’s a guide. If your costs are above the threshold, it means you will need to provide more explanation or detail behind those costs (e.g., the outdoor school programming is a combination of in-person and CDL).

The following questions are those we received as part of our September 15, 2020 COVID-19 Outdoor School Statewide Update webinar. If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or call Rita at (760) 735-8474.

If our process is similar to the process implemented in 2019-2020, the strategy implemented is declared as part of the outdoor school reporting process.  And while the reports are submitted by the district or ESD and for all of the schools participating within their purview, the district or ESD must complete a report for each school, so the response strategy can differ for each school in the districts or ESD's purview.  If a single school implements multiple response strategies, please contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu, so that we can modify your report as necessary.

Yes. There is a lot of flexibility in how districts and providers want to make outdoor school happen. Outdoor school programming and content must still meet Measure 99 requirements, so please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu should you have questions regarding your COVID-modified CDL or in-person/non-residential programming.

The content and structure of outdoor school is defined by Measure 99 and providers and districts are accountable for holding to these requirements regardless of the format of outdoor school. The Outdoor School Advisory Committee recommends to the Extension Service Director the minimum number of hours required for an outdoor school program to be funded using Measure 99 funds.

Seventh graders are eligible for all of these response strategies. If you have yet to apply, you'll see a place to include your count of 7th graders on the application form.

The lessons/activities put together to comprise a COVID response strategy outdoor school program must meet the requirements of the Measure 99 outdoor school legislation, AND it should include as much of the typical outdoor school character as possible.

For the zoom example specifically, the answer is no. We cannot share the OSU license.  However, the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program will do what we can to assist districts and providers in their quest to develop COVID-responsive outdoor school programming.  We strongly advise that all providers/sites and districts plan your programs thoroughly and in advance of your expenditures, contact the outdoor school program staff with an estimate of costs for which you plan to request reimbursement, so we might review and approve them.

The following questions are those we received as part of our August 4, 2020 COVID-19 Outdoor School Update webinar. If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or call Rita at (760) 735-8474. 

Absolutely! Please work with the Outdoor School program team when you have this sort of question/request moving forward. As more districts move to a distance or virtual learning platform for outdoor school, then those types of costs would be necessary to deliver that type of programming. Again, we'll be seeking recommendations from our Advisory Committee to clear a path to issue funding for that type of expenditure (outside of our current norm).

The following questions are those we've received to date regarding our COVID-19 Response Strategy letter (dated March 13, 2020 and updated March 26, 2020 and May 14, 2020). If your question isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu or call Rita at (760) 735-8474. 

Districts have ultimate authority to decide on the needs of and what is best for their students.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program will reimburse districts per the terms of their contract/agreement with their provider.  So, if the provider's contract requires cancellation 30-days prior to attendance to reduce the originally estimated headcount, and the district/school calls to reduce their headcount two weeks prior to attendance (because of COVID-19 directives or just general lowered attendance per family concerns), then the provider should bill the district for the originally estimated headcount (full headcount), regardless of how many students attend. If the provider needs to change the originally contracted program, the provider will need to work with their contracted districts to come up with an alternate plan that works for both the district and the provider. We know there will be a lot of compromises and adaptations between districts and providers to get through this season, and we encourage this as much as it can fall in line with the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program's response strategy options.

Providers and districts expect parents to sign specific forms prior to their children participating in outdoor school. Can or will districts do this while school is closed? This is a question between providers and districts, so we encourage providers and districts to add this to your list of items requiring clear and frequent communication.

Archived Program FAQs

The following program-related questions are date-specific and no longer applicable (but might be handy for reference).

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program establishes annual threshold values for the various standard outdoor school program lengths.  These threshold values are in per-student dollars and they cover all outdoor school costs included in the four permissible categories (Provider Fees, Stipends-Personnel Expenses, Program Costs Incurred by School, and Unreimbursed Transportation Costs). 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 the threshold.  Funding requests exceeding the threshold can have a variety of justifications, and will be reviewed and, if acceptable, approved by the Outdoor School program team.  PLEASE NOTE: 2020-2021 COVID-19 Response Strategies will be reviewed in 2021. These strategies assume there will be NO RESIDENTIAL outdoor school this academic year - and the traditional thresholds based on the length of the outdoor school program have been converted to the number of hours of CDL and/or in-person of outdoor school activities.

2020-2021 Outdoor School CDL and In-Person Thresholds
Minimum Number of CDL and/or In-person Hours of Outdoor School Programming Required to Receive this Threshold Amount Length of Program for Which Your District Originally Applied Threshold Amount IF Your District Meets the Minimum Number of CDL and/or In-person Hours of Outdoor School Programming
See 18 Hours Below 3 Days 0 Nights $154.00 per student
See 24 Hours Below 4 Days 0 Nights $300.00 per student
See 30 Hours Below 5 Days 0 Nights $330.00 per student
See 36 Hours Below 6 Days 0 Nights $396.00 per student
18 Hours 3 Days 2 Nights $385.00 per student
24 Hours 4 Days 3 Nights $437.00 per student
30 Hours 5 Days 4 Nights $546.00 per student
36 Hours 6 Days 5 Nights $632.00 per student

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 the threshold.  Funding requests exceeding the 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

Yes.  In fact, we strongly encourage all interested districts to apply as soon as possible.  While the first consideration deadline for 2020-2021 applications was June 26, 2020, qualifying school districts, state-sponsored charter schools, or ESDs can still apply for 2020-2021 Measure 99 funds until we determine that our funds are depleted. Please note that if your district was approved for 2019-2020 funds, you cannot access your 2020-2021 application until your 2019-2020 report has been submitted and approved. All applications and reports are submitted through our online system.

No.  As of August 4, 2020, the 2020-2021 applications submitted to date have not been approved.  We will approve these applications after we have received all 2019-2020 reports and have an accurate accounting for the funds expended in that year.  With the cooperation of the nine districts whose reports are outstanding, we hope to have all reports approved by the end of August 2020.  All 2020-2021 applications received by the first consideration deadline (June 26, 2020) will be approved for the amount requested.  All applications received after that date will be approved in order of receipt and as available funds permit.

Because there is so much uncertainty, we'll give our best hypothesis (until we know more). Because our number one priority is to make sure that every Oregon 5th or 6th-grade student in every school district has some form of outdoor school, we don't want to see funding cuts have any impact on participation.  Realistically, though, there may be districts that have already decided that they will not attend a traditional/residential outdoor school in 2020-2021. We sincerely hope those districts will consider implementing a different type of outdoor school programming (at school, a local venue, etc.) and we hope to support them in their efforts. Because some of these non-traditional programs will likely to cost less, we'll see some budget savings that could help our reduced budget fund the same number of students as in previous years.  However, if we reach a point where our funding is insufficient to cover the programming applied for, we could reduce the length of the programs funded or reduce full funding for higher-cost programs. But at this point, based on our projections, we don't anticipate having to implement either of these actions.

We don't actually know that, and won't until the legislature passes the next biennium budget (by June 30, 2021). The biennium funding process will begin in January-February 2021, and it's going to be a challenging fiscal biennium for Oregon. The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program is hoping that outdoor school will be fully funded again, which is why it's critically important that we do all that we can to shift to modified programming; to do everything we can to assure every 5th or 6th-grade student has some sort of outdoor school experience. To demonstrate that, even during these trying times, we're doing the work and giving students transformative outdoor school experiences. We need to be optimistic and we need to continually tell our story and why outdoor school is important.

We could also share examples from this group (the folks on this call - the entire outdoor school network) to show legislators that we're leaders; stepping up in difficult times.  That we're one of the state resources that really deserves continued funding, so we can continue our work and be a model for other programs in the state.

Districts should opt for the Response Strategy that most closely meets their needs. Outdoor school providers should work closely with their districts to settle upon a reimbursement/payment "as contracted" or an "up to 60% of original per-student fees" (if the "as contracted" payment is less than 60% of the original per-student fee") that includes at-home activity support or instruction - not as an equivalent or replacement of the 2019-2020 outdoor school experience - but as an alternative to keep your students enthused about the outdoors and their 2020-2021 outdoor school experience.

Archived COVID-19 FAQs

The following COVID-19 related questions are date-specific and no longer applicable (but might be handy for reference).

Yes. Our current COVID strategy allows for CDL and in-person, so different schools can still do those different options in the fall. 

Not yet. We're still waiting for an Outdoor School guidance from the Governor's Office.

As written, Measure 99 permits the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program to fund each student for only one outdoor school experience.  

No. We've associated our existing thresholds with varying levels of CDL programming.  You can find our latest threshold values on the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for Applications and Reporting

That is an option, but it would be up to the district to coordinate it.

You do not need to re-apply. Work orders for your spring application should be going out very soon. 

Thanks for asking!  We're still working that one out ourselves!  We'll update this response when we have an answer, but it might be a while!

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program office team would be very surprised if the OHA doesn't issue some sort of guidance for the reopening of outdoor schools, specifically given the Governor's forwarding of those guidance documents to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE). The recommendations drafted by Friends of Outdoor School (with the assistance of a statewide network of supporters), combined with ODE's understanding of school districts and their operations, should produce a solid set of guidelines. However, if the OHA chooses to not release an outdoor school reopening guidance, the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program would place the responsibility for safe attendance of outdoor school at the district level.  Each district would decide upon the outdoor school format they feel is safe and prudent for their students.  Assuming all districts select outdoor school formats that meet state and federal COVID safety guidelines, OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program would do our best to support those districts in whatever programming format they feel is best.

If districts move to all remote programming, that's when the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program (with recommendations from our Advisory Committee) will consider modifications to our funding model, in particular, the definition of "outdoor school". While we know that traditional, residential outdoor school is extraordinarily important and transformational. We're willing to accept that some form of outdoor school is better than no outdoor school, so we accept that it might look different for a year, and we'll support other options for districts to pursue, including but not limited to the remote learning opportunities that we worked on last spring. And there's a lot more we can do if this is going to be the normal for this year. Given the potential for this change, if there are specific needs that you have, at the provider, site, or district level, to navigate these potential changes, please add your needs and ideas to our google document so we might be prepared to support your need. 

Because the Governor has not yet issued guidance regarding the reopening of outdoor schools, we strongly encourage all outdoor school stakeholders to provide us with your ideas and needs on this document.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program thinks it's wise for districts and providers to plan for both on-site and distance learning outdoor school experiences. While there's still a chance of traditional outdoor school programming at some point in the 2020-2021 academic year, some families might still choose to keep their students at home. Districts and providers who are creating alternative outdoor school experiences, as well as our Outdoor School program team, are going to have to be very innovative and really think outside the box on how we're going to reach every student. Please use the link in the question above to let us how we can help and support you in developing these innovative programs. The outdoor school community can share a lot of the resources that were created this past spring, and we're all going to need to be incredibly flexible and creative in what we develop for this coming academic year. We're certain this is something that the community is able to do and do well, particularly with the pending guidance.

If you are considering modified outdoor school programming (e.g., virtual programming), we recommend that you start by visiting our Modified Programming for 2020-2021 page, which provides information about program implementation logistics and instruction/pedagogy.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program website has outdoor school resources for use by formal and non-formal educators at standard, in-person outdoor school experiences, and we gathered and created resources for use by formal and non-formal educators and parents (in English and Spanish) during and after the COVID-19 spring 2020 school closures.  We've also started gathering outdoor school resources created districts and providers across Oregon (with a form at the bottom for contributing your materials), and finally, we've begun collecting resources for parents and educators related to Social Justice.  We intend to continue to add to each of those collections. In addition, Friends of Outdoor School is also gathering resources through their provider/site network. Please join the Friends of Outdoor School google group (linked through their COVID resources web page) where you can share ideas, information, and resources: https://www.friendsofoutdoorschool.org/spring-2020-ods-updates. There are all sorts of good stuff in this google group, so please join and contribute.

We continue to encourage all districts to apply for funding now, and then it will be easy for us, after the guidance comes out, to make modifications to your application/work order to reflect a program that will meet the district's needs and keep their students safe. In addition, following receipt of an outdoor school reopening guidance from the Governor's office, the Outdoor School program office will work to establish reasonable options for outdoor school and present these options to our Advisory Committee to receive their recommendations for temporary changes to the definition of outdoor school, as well as the outdoor school funding structure. Obviously, an in-person, three-consecutive-day experience will not work for those districts that implement remote-only learning, so we need to make these modifications and make them very clear to our districts and providers. 

Yes.  The purpose of the "up to 60%" reimbursement strategy is to encourage districts to work with providers to find a mutually agreeable solution on programming that will keep the provider's staff engaged, and give the district programming/lessons/supplies that can be used in lieu of the canceled outdoor school experience.

Start-up dates (the dates by which you will be ready to resume programming) can and should be communicated effectively and frequently by providers to districts. We understand that every program and district has different needs, which is why the OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program cannot communicate a statewide message regarding when or how outdoor schools will restart.

As indicated in our Response Strategy Letter, providers can work with their contracted district to charge "UP TO 60%" of their originally invoiced price If they provide curriculum, lessons, kits, or run a day program at the schools in lieu of an overnight option. Providers should charge less if they are sending activities to the school rather than providing an at-school visit. The 60% provides the district, as well as the provider with room to work out the best solution for you both, understanding the district's needs and the resources or capabilities of the provider.

Yes, but these 7th graders will be the lowest priority for funding in 2020-2021 and will only be funded AS FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE.  If there are 5th graders who cannot attend outdoor school in 2019-2020 because of COVID-19 related cancellations, their funding (as 6th graders) will be prioritized in 2020-2021. Following Measure 99's intent will be our first priority, but remaining funding (if there is any) would be utilized for the 2020-2021 7th graders impacted as 6th graders by COVID-19 2019-2020 cancellations. We won’t know where we stand fiscally until all 2019-2020 reports and all 2020-2021 applications are complete. We know this is not ideal but we cannot over-commit the limited funds (or overall outdoor school capacity of the state) until we have the 2020-2021 5th and 6th-grade attendance numbers and total available budget.

Yes.  If your 2020-2021 Application requests funds for 7th graders (only those for whom their 6th grade outdoor school experience was canceled due to COVID-19), the outdoor school experience that the 7th graders receive must fall within the minimum of 3 consecutive days, and the maximum of 6 days, 5 nights.

It’s very possible that high schools will no longer allow high school volunteers to participate in outdoor school this spring. Districts and providers might attempt to use parent chaperones, but we understand how difficult it can be to recruit working adults on such short notice.  If you are unable to recruit parent chaperones, you may not have enough supervision to actually run your outdoor school program. The OSU Outdoor School program understands this challenge, unfortunately, we really can’t predict what high schools will do, nor do we have the resources to support districts or providers in solving this problem.  If your program finds a unique solution, please contact us at outdoorschool@oregonstate.edu to let us know how it worked, and we can share your creative ideas with other districts/programs in need.

The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program can only ask that you make a decision that is best for your organization and we encourage you to work with your districts. District/providers would be guaranteed any cancelation rates as listed in your contract or up to 60% as negotiated with the district.

No.  That should be the goal, but there are many options the District and provider could work out that would be appropriate for reimbursement of up to 60% of the originally estimated costs.

Yes - but 2020-2021 funding is not guaranteed for those students who will be 7th graders in 2020-2021. The OSU Extension Service Outdoor School program will prioritize funding to 2020-2021 5th and 6th-grade students.  If, after funding the 2020-2021 5th and 6th-grade students, funds remain, we will do what we can to fund (partially, or ideally fully) an outdoor school experience for those 7th-grade students who were not able to attend outdoor school as 6th graders because of COVID-19 cancellations.

Yes.  Under Response Strategy 2, Districts can submit invoices for costs that are non-recoverable and included in our Budget Categories and Fiscal Policies document.

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