Office of Community Schools - September 2020 Announcement and Reminders


Greetings community school leaders and sponsors, 

This year is an unprecedented time for our country and our educational system. As leaders in our community schools and staff with our sponsoring organizations, you have been working tirelessly to provide educational options to families in new ways. The dedication, innovation, and resilience you and your schools have shown during the last six months is something each person reading this email should be proud of. As a sector, we are doing all that we can to provide options to parents and families that are re-thinking education amid this crisis. Before providing a list of reminders and announcements we, in the Office of Community Schools, wish to send our sincere thanks to you and your staff for all you are doing on behalf of our students. Regardless of how you are educating your students this year, thank you for the steps you are taking to keep our children safe and continue their educational growth.

  • Quality Community School Support Funds – The Ohio Department of Education has updated several documents on this website regarding eligibility to receive the designation as a Community School of Quality and receive funding from the $30 million appropriation. If your schools received the designation last school year, you will be included in the schools receiving funding. The Department has updated the list of schools that qualify under Criteria 1 based on academic results from the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.
    • If you are a newly opening community school in SY 2020-2021, your school might be eligible under Criteria 2 or 3. We strongly encourage you to review this information and complete the appropriate Request for Information available on the website.
    • Payments will be made to eligible schools as part of the January payment.
  • Dropout Prevention and Recovery Assessments – The Department still is in the process of selecting a vendor to administer the assessments for community schools receiving the alternative Dropout Prevention and Recovery Report Cards. As soon as information is available on the selected vendor, information will be provided. We understand this impacts a school’s ability to plan on administration, and the Department is exploring options as we move into the 2020-2021 school year. 
  • Significant Expansion – If your community school added one or more grade levels or an educational program in core academic subject areas, your community school could potentially be eligible to be included in reallocation of federal funds under significant expansion. The deadline to submit the notification form for significant expansion is Sept. 17.
  • Quarterly Updates on Community School Closures – Due in Epicenter on Oct. 1.
  • Special Ed and Related Services Plan for E-Schools – The E-School Sponsor Certification forms for computer-based schools’ plans for services to disabled students are due in Epicenter on Oct. 1. The form is found here
Financial Reminders:
  • Community School Annual Budget – Reminder that the annual budget for community schools must be adopted by the governing authority by Oct. 31. The annual budget must be uploaded in Epicenter by Oct. 31 and the board resolution/minutes are due by Dec. 31. Click here for technical assistance on completing the budget and here for the annual budget template.
  • Five-Year Forecasts - Forecasts are required to be submitted by Nov. 30. Click here for more information.
    • Expenses Related to PPE and Cleaning Materials – Any funds projected to be expended on PPE or cleaning materials should be listed under supplies and materials. If the school is working with a vendor or service, please include that information in Purchase Service-Other.
  • General notes on the Five-Year Forecasts – Please look carefully at the projected enrollment number when planning. Previous enrollment trends are important to consider when forecasting; however, if your school is expecting a significant increase in enrollment, careful thought should be given as to why and should be discussed within the assumption’s narrative. 
  • Note on Annual Budget and Forecasts – Both required documents provide important information on the financial position of your school and outline the plan for using your resources to support students in the upcoming year. We strongly encourage you to use both tools to help guide decisions for the upcoming year.
  • Special Education Expenditure Reports – Sponsor annual reports for schools’ special education and related services to students with disabilities are due Nov 1. Please note: A report is expected for all schools in operation during the 2019-2020 school year, including schools that closed on or before June 30, 2020. 
  • Annual Reports – Sponsor annual reports are due Nov. 30. Our technical assistance guidance document has been updated to discuss the impact of not administering spring assessments in 2020.  
If you have additional questions, please contact your Office of Community Schools consultant or email for additional support.

Thank you for all you do for our students.

The Office of Community Schools