K-12 School-Based COVID-19 Response Grant Program

Please read this document in its entirety.   The end of the document instruction that you need to respond to in order to submit a proposal

K-12 School-Based COVID-19 Response Grant Program

1. Introduction

The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and the Utah Department of Health (UDOH), with the support of Utah’s Local Health Departments, are collaboratively forming a grant program to meet individual jurisdictional and local needs of clinical support in Utah’s K-12 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to establish, expand, train, and sustain the school-based health workforce for Utah’s K-12 LEAs to support jurisdictional COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives.

This grant opportunity invites prioritized LEAs to increase their school nursing staff by funding up to two full-time equivalent (FTE) nurses for those districts that have been identified as having a higher COVID-19 burden based on the data sets described below. If there are remaining grant funds after the priority districts have been able to apply, the state will run a second application round for additional LEAs to be considered for award. Funding is available through June 30, 2023. 

2. Focus and Mission

To establish, expand, train, and sustain the school-based health workforce for Utah’s K-12 LEAs to support jurisdictional COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives.

2.1 Federal Award Compliance

The total budget for this grant program to support LEA school-based health programs, including nurses or other personnel, as outlined within the grant program, is $6,677,323 or 33.81% of the Utah Department of Health’s CDC Crisis Workforce total award. This funding is available through June 30, 2023.

3. Eligibility Screening

This grant may be fully awarded within the first round. If remaining funds exist after this round, a second round will open, as described. 

3.1 Round One Eligibility

The CDC’s general intent is to fund K-12 community public schools. In this first round, K-12 LEAs within the determined school districts with the highest COVID-19 burden are defined and will be prioritized within the School District Awarding Priority section below. A second application round may occur at a later date, based on the outcome of the first round of applications. 

3.2 Round Two Eligibility

Based on the outcome a secondary application round may be necessary and will allow for all public and non-public schools to apply for any remaining funds. In this competitive round, the Grant Committee will take into consideration how private and parochial schools are supported by the State of Utah in determining awards of this grant, and how each award will meet the State’s jurisdictional and local needs. Additionally, the Grant Committee may take into consideration the CDC/ATSDR Social Vulnerability Index (CDC/ATSDR SVI) data for prioritization on county levels of social vulnerability.  

4. School District Awarding Priority

Applications will first receive prioritization by their school district region as listed below using the existing total COVID-19 case count by district and Title I, Part A Allocation as a proxy for serving students who are traditionally underserved. Any unclaimed funds from the first round of priority applicants will be available for the remaining LEAs in a competitive second round application window. 

4.1 COVID-19 Case Counts: 30 out of 100 possible points

As Utah’s COVID-19 case counts differ substantially throughout the state, using COVID-19 case counts within each school district, as reported by UDOH, will prioritize awards within districts that have higher than average COVID-19 case counts will need more public health resources than school districts with fewer reported cases. 

4.2 School Nurse Ratio for LEAs: 20 out of 100 possible points

In addition to the COVID-19 case counts, the state of Utah is also considering the existing infrastructure and human capital allocation of existing school nurses in K-12. Utah assigned up to 20 points for schools that had the highest students served ratio per school nurse to identify needs for additional professional personnel. 

4.3 Title I, Part A Allocation: 50 out of 100 possible points

This number refers to the percentage of overall federal funding that the district receives related to serving Title I eligible schools. Title I, Part A (Title I) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families. The funding ensures that all children meet challenging state academic standards. This data allows for resources to go to schools that serve traditionally underserved populations that may have greater COVID-19 needs to be met through the school setting. 

Based on the current data set and model, below is a priority list of school districts.

LEA NameCOVID-19 Percentage of Burden in K-12
Salt Lake24%
Box Elder19%
San Juan9%
North Sanpete8%
North Summit3%
Park City2%
South Sanpete2%
South Summit1%
*Grand School District is added to this list based on the recent mask mandate and spikes they have seen in the general population. Their current K-12 numbers do not reflect the recent increases they have seen in the county, and are added as a proactive precaution.

5. Funding Opportunity

This funding opportunity for prioritized LEAs includes the following award opportunities within listed allowable costs and activities.

5.1 Awards

This grant opportunity is on a reimbursement basis. Upfront distribution of funds is not permitted. Instructions on reimbursement are provided in the section on Awardee Reporting Requirements in this document. Awardees will receive a contract from the Department of Health.

5.2 33 awards totalling up to $202,343 to include:

  1. $100,000/FTE for each registered school nurse, for up to 2FTEs with full benefits per LEA award. We recommend that an LEA hire a school nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree when possible. 
    1. Funding will be available through June 30, 2023.
  2. Registered nurses acquired with these funds must be supervised by a registered nurse or higher clinical level.
  3. Up to 10% of the total award may be used for eligible administrative costs, see allowable costs below.
  1. Awarded applicants will receive a grant award acceptance letter, and have 30 days to sign and return the letter, or forfeit the award.
  2. Awarded applicants who return the acceptance letter will be sent a contract and will have 30 days to sign and return the contract, or forfeit the award.
  3. Any unclaimed funds from the priority round would be available to the remaining LEAs in a competitive round as a “round two” application window.
  4. Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESA’s) are allowed to apply on behalf of their LEAs for FTEs in the prioritized round.

5.3 Allowable Costs and Activities

  1. CDC guidance provides that allowable costs can include the following:
    1. These administrative costs may be related to recruiting, hiring, and training of individuals that provide COVID-19 related services of those who serve as a registered school nurse who is school-based, converting current nurses from part-time to full-time work, increasing hours, increasing nursing salaries or otherwise supporting retention efforts to reach a total of 2 new FTE registered nurses.
    2. These individuals may be employed by schools, school boards, school districts, local health departments, regional educational service agencies. or appropriate entities for providing school-based health care.
    3. Administrative costs including the purchase of equipment and supplies necessary to support the expanded workforce including personal protective equipment, equipment needed to perform the duties of the position, computers, computer accessories and software, cell phones, internet costs, cybersecurity software, and other costs to implement activities funded, including travel and training associated with support of the expanded workforce.
  2. CDC guidance provides that allowable activities can include:
    1. Making subawards or contracts to local schools or school districts to support school nurses and school-based health services.
    2. Awarding funds to schools of public health or private or public organizations with demonstrated expertise in implementing public health programs in medically underserved communities.
    3. Improving school-based health programs and campaigns, to rebuild and augment the school health workforce, which includes registered nurses. 
      1. Individual clinical treatment is not allowed. However, activities such as contact tracing, vaccination, and screening tests are components of a public health campaign and are not considered clinical care within CDC definitions.

6. Funding Restrictions

6.1 Providing individual clinical treatment.

6.2 Duplicative or supplanting of existing state or federal funding resources.

7. Application Requirements

Applications must include all information as provided below, as included within the grant package. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Sections within the application include:

  1. LEA facility information and points of contact.
  2. Project Description and Scope, requesting information on the requested and existing registered school nurses within the LEA.
  3. A detailed budget of the registered school nurses, including:
    1. A description of proposed activities.
    2. The approach in addressing the allowable activities.
    3. A recruitment strategy to hire individuals with the necessary skill set to address community needs in public health.
  4. The hiring and diversity goals, including the approach to meet jurisdictional response needs for the COVID-19 pandemic, prioritizing hard-to-reach communities, focusing efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring and recruiting workers from the local communities they serve. 
  5. The criteria for acceptance of funding.

8. Awardee Reporting Requirements

8.1 Post-Award Reporting and Invoicing

  1. Throughout the award, signatory and business administrator contact information must be kept current. Updates are to be sent to the Utah Department of Health point of contact, as identified within the awardee contract.
  2. Monthly reimbursement invoice to include personnel hours and related costs documented with time and effort documentation, signed off by LEA authorized signer or designee:
    1. LEAs not submitting regular and complete monthly invoices must provide communication with the Utah Department of Health point of contact explaining the situation.
    2. Those LEAs that have not submitted reimbursement requests within six months of the contract beginning date will receive a notice to terminate the contract early. These funds will then be available for second round applicants.
  3. Bi-annual fiscal report and progress report from the previous six months, each report is due within the following schedule:
Activity PeriodDeadline
July 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021January 15, 2022
January 1, 2022 – June 30, 2022July 15, 2022
July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022January 15, 2023
January 1, 2023 – June 30, 2023July 15, 2023
  1. Bi-annual Progress Report will include a status update of meeting hiring goals and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) metrics, using a template provided by the Utah Department of Health.
  2. Bi-annual Fiscal Report will include actual expenses and fiscal commitments, using a template provided by the Utah Department of Health. 
  1. End of contract report of activities will be due on July 15, 2023, using a template provided by the Utah Department of Health, and includes the final Fiscal Report, the final Progress Report, and a Performance Progress and Evaluation Report.
  2. School health workload report, within the June 30 due date as provided by  the Utah Department of Health.

9. Decision Making Scoring Matrix

Grant applications will be considered within a weighted average scoring matrix, earning points for criteria which are grouped into five categories.

  1. School District Prioritization – 10 points possible, weighted score of 65%
  2. Project description and Scope – 10 points possible, weighted score of 10%
  3. Budget – 10 points possible, weighted score of 5%
  4. Hiring and Diversity Goals – 10 points possible, weighted score of 5%
  5. Criteria for Acceptance of Funding – 10 points possible, weighted score of 15% 

10. Application Instructions

The application for this grant can be found by clicking here, or at the URL: https://forms.gle/BS68YhC7viFS4bm1A. Application submissions will open on October 1, 2021 and will close on October 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified via email the status of their application, within two weeks from the date of the application closure.