Incepted in July 2020, the Office of Grants and Program Accountability consists of seven (7) staff members, who coordinate efforts cross-departmentally to identify programmatic need, seek and align supplemental funding appropriately, and facilitate monitoring to maximize use of funds and determine the impact of funding on program improvement and student achievement.
In recent years, the District’s goals around the pursuit and administration of supplemental funding have not been fully realized, resulting in inconsistent alignment of funds with District and school priority, and inadequate maximization of funding. The newly established Office of Grants and Program Accountability was created to address these shortcomings and aligns departmental work with the following ideals:
A Theory of Action
In the Office of Grants and Program Accountability, our work is organized around a theory of action to which our goals, strategies, and tactics are aligned:
Maximize Current Funding and Increase Supplemental Revenue
Maximizing the use of grant funding is critical in supporting the District’s goal of financial stability and to providing staff and students the resources they need to be successful. OGPA will engage in the following activities related to this priority:
- Research and implement budget-based best practices for effective grant pursuit and spend-down as identified from the Council of Great City Schools, WestEd, and Brustein and Manasevit, PLLC.
- Develop new, and maintain existing, budget reports and include fiscal monitoring in quarterly program implementation and monitoring processes.
- Research new funding opportunities and cultivate relationships with external funders to support district goals.
Create and Maintain Systems to Effectively Administer Grant Programs
A comprehensive process for project planning, implementation, monitoring and closure will support out goals of financial stewardship and return on investment. OGPA will engage in the following activities related to this priority:
- Develop a departmental strategic plan and progress monitoring tool to support District and Department goals in collaboration with district stakeholders.
- Create a comprehensive inventory of District grants.
- Design and implement a Project Lifecyle Portfolio process to document the implementation, progress, and efficacy of grant projects.
Increase Capacity for Effective Leadership of Grant-Funded Programs
To be truly effective, systems must work in collaboration with each other. In order to reach our goals, OGPA will work to build capacities for continuous improvement within the district and enlist the support of community stakeholders. OGPA will engage in the following activities related to this priority:
- Conduct quarterly Professional Learning Community sessions to build capacity for internal stakeholders to plan, implement, and monitor projects effectively and efficiently.
- Create resources and structures to support internal and external stakeholder engagement including a Grants Manual, an ESSA-Funded Programs Manual for Nonpublic Partners, and a public-facing OGPA website.
- Establish and convene quarterly meetings of an ESSA-Funded Programs Task Force to increase community stakeholder understanding of District initiatives.