Student Wellness and Success Funding FAQ

Student Wellness and Success Funding FAQ

Use of Funds

Fiscal Logistics

Plan Development

Reporting Requirements


Use of Funds

    Who receives the funds?
    Traditional public school districts, community schools, joint vocational school districts, and STEM schools will receive these funds.

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    Can the district fund work it is already doing?

    Yes, however districts should be thoughtful about whether current programs are meeting the needs of their students or whether students could benefit from additional initiatives supported by these funds.

    Funds used to support an initiative must meet both of the following requirements:

    1. Funds must be spent on one of more of the following initiatives:

    • mental health services; services for homeless youth;
    • services for child welfare involved youth;
    • community liaisons;
    • physical health care services;
    • mentoring programs;
    • family engagement and support services;
    • City Connects programming;
    • professional development regarding the provision of trauma-informed care;
    • professional development regarding cultural competence;
    • or student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.
    2. A plan for spending funds must be developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:
    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.

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    Can the district use the funds to hire an additional school counselor, nurse, social worker or other personnel?
    Yes, but the position must be part of a plan developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:
    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.

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    Can the district use the funds for capital projects (infrastructure)?
    Yes, so long as the use supports one of the following initiatives:
    • mental health services; services for homeless youth;
    • services for child welfare involved youth;
    • community liaisons;
    • physical health care services;
    • mentoring programs;
    • family engagement and support services;
    • City Connects programming;
    • professional development regarding the provision of trauma-informed care;
    • professional development regarding cultural competence;
    • or student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.
    A plan for spending funds must be developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:
    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.

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    Our district has another idea for a project that isn’t reflected on the best practices page of the Ohio Department of Education’s website, can the district use the funds for this project?

    Yes, as long as the project meets both of the following requirements:

    1. Funds must be spent on one of more of the following initiatives:

    • mental health services; services for homeless youth;
    • services for child welfare involved youth;
    • community liaisons;
    • physical health care services;
    • mentoring programs;
    • family engagement and support services;
    • City Connects programming;
    • professional development regarding the provision of trauma-informed care;
    • professional development regarding cultural competence;
    • or student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.
    2. A plan for spending funds must be developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:
    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.

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    Where can I find more information about programs and best practices that might work for my district or school?
    The Department will be compiling a list of best practices and success stories that can be used as a starting point for districts and schools to think about how to best utilize these funds. This list will be available soon.

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    Can the district use these funds to conduct a needs assessment to determine what needs are in the school?
    These funds are intended to be used to support implementing initiatives to support student wellness and success. Resources such as the Ohio Improvement Process are available to districts and schools to assess needs.

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    Can my district partner with others on a joint initiative?
    Yes, all school districts, joint vocational school districts, community schools (except e-schools), and STEM schools are receiving funds and may work with others on joint initiatives to achieve greater impact.

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Fiscal Logistics

    How will districts receive funds?
    Funds will be distributed through the larger school foundation funding process. Funds will be provided in October and February. Unlike federal grants, where districts draw down funds when expenditures are incurred, Student Wellness and Success Funds will be disbursed with half of the annual amount provided in October and the remaining half provided in February.

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    How much will each district receive?
    Student Wellness and Success Funds will be distributed to schools on a per-pupil basis, with per-pupil funding scaled based on federal census poverty data. Every school district, community school and joint vocational school district will receive a minimum of $25,000 in Fiscal Year 2020 and $36,000 in FY21. This funding is paid directly to each entity based on where students are educated, without any transfers or deductions from students’ resident districts. Estimates based on the final version of the budget are available here. These estimates can be used during the initial planning phase. By October, the Department will post a detailed worksheet of the calculation with the school foundation payment reports. 

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    Where should funds be deposited?
    The Auditor of State’s Office is in the process of creating a new state fund for Student Wellness and Success Funds (Fund 467). This fund will be programed and available in USAS by October.

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    Is there a requirement to spend funds in the same year they are received?
    No. It’s critical that schools are purposeful in planning how to use Student Wellness and Success Funds. While funds are restricted, there is no requirement to spend the funds in the year in which they are received.

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    Do I need to issue an RFP or RFI to procure services using these funds?
    Districts and schools should follow their normal procurement processes.

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    Does “supplement, not supplant” apply to these Student Wellness and Support Funds?

    Student Wellness and Success Funds are not supplement, not supplant funds. Supplement, not supplant is a federal requirement, and the state is not imposing that requirement with these new funds. If your local school district already is spending funds within the restricted uses of the Student Wellness and Success Funds, you may shift those expenses to this new funding source.

    A plan for spending funds must be developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:

    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.

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    Can the district use other funds to supplement the Student Wellness and Success Funds to support initiatives?
    Yes. Districts may choose to use other funds (state, local, federal, private) to support initiatives identified in their Student Wellness and Success implementation plans. Districts should be mindful of any restrictions placed on these funds but should not feel limited to supporting the non-academic barriers to student success with the Student Wellness and Success Funds.

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    If our community partner provides services that can be paid for with other funds (that is, it is a Medicaid provider), should we use Student Wellness and Success Funds to pay for those services?
    No, districts should maximize other sources of funding where possible, including billing Medicaid for eligible services before expending Student Wellness and Success Funds.

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    Is the district required to purchase services from or provide Student Wellness and Success Funds to the community partner I develop my implementation plan with?
    No. While districts may choose to purchase services or provide funds to identified community partners, there is no requirement that schools provide Student Wellness and Success Funds to their community partners. Each district should, through its implementation plan, coordinate the provision of services. One of the purposes of identifying a community partner is to eliminate duplication of services. Reaching out and partnering with a local hospital, health department or ADAMH board may help a school identify services already available through that agency and allow the school to complement or expand these services with the use of Student Wellness and Success Funds.

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Plan Development

    What resources are available to help identify the district’s needs to inform how our school uses these funds?
    Your community partners are great resources to help you identify the needs in your community and how these funds may be spent to address those needs. The Department also will be compiling a number of resources on the Student Wellness and Success website that may be helpful to districts as they do this work.

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    Does my plan need to be approved by the Department?
    No. A plan for spending funds must be developed in coordination with one of the following community partners:
    • board of alcohol, drug and mental health services;
    • educational service center;
    • county board of developmental disabilities;
    • community-based mental health treatment provider;
    • board of health of a city or general health district;
    • county department of job and family services;
    • nonprofit organization with experience serving children;
    • or a public hospital agency.
    However, districts do not need to submit plans to the Department nor does the Department approve plans. Districts will be required to report how funds were used at the end of the fiscal year.

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    How frequently does the school need to—or should it—update the plan?
    There is no statutory requirement that districts update their plans at any regular intervals. Districts and community partners should periodically review the plans to ensure they still meet the needs of their students.

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    Is there a template I can use to guide development of my plan?
    The Department encourages districts to use the five-step process, as outlined in the Ohio Improvement Process; however, this is not required. The Department is developing a template districts can use for their plans.

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Reporting Requirements

    What does the district need to report to the Department regarding the use of the Student Wellness and Success Funds?
    The Department is in the process of developing a reporting mechanism for these funds. Districts should keep adequate records to demonstrate how funds are being used. Funds must be spent on one of more of the following initiatives: mental health services; services for homeless youth; services for child welfare involved youth; community liaisons; physical health care services; mentoring programs; family engagement and support services; City Connects programming; professional development regarding the provision of trauma-informed care; professional development regarding cultural competence; or student services provided prior to or after the regularly scheduled school day or any time school is not in session.

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    When is the report due to the Department?
    Ohio Revised Code requires districts to submit a report after June 30. The Department is developing the process by which reports will be collected and the deadline for submission.

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Last Modified: 8/22/2019 4:23:57 PM