Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program
Title IV, Part B, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
On-Site and Remote Program Monitoring
2021-2022 Monitoring Update
Given the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than visiting 21st CCLC programs in-person this fall, DPI staff will carry out remote program monitoring. See below for a description of the remote monitoring process and guidance materials.
All documentation required for program monitoring must now be submitted via DPI’s online monitoring portal. If you have been contacted by DPI and are scheduled to be monitored, you can access the online monitoring portal here.
Purpose of Remote and On-Site Program Monitoring
As a part of administering Title IV, Part B of the Early and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the DPI is charged with monitoring and evaluating all funded Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant Program (21st CCLC) programs in the state. One way in which DPI accomplishes this is via in-person program monitoring.
The primary purpose of program monitoring is to ensure that programs are meeting grant requirements. Additionally, program monitoring is intended to do the following:
- Assess the current functioning of the program
- Provide technical help where needed to enable the program to meet the requirements of the grant and offer high quality out-of-school time programming to students
- Identify CLC program needs to inform training and technical assistance programming for the state
- Identify possible exemplary program models and/or practices that might be shared with other CLCs for possible replication
- Gather information about the program in order to make more informed decisions about future funding
Selection of Sites
In a typical year, DPI selects approximately 40 CLC sites to receive a monitoring visit. Sites are primarily chosen for a visit according to where they are in their funding cycle. In general, DPI focuses on programs that are in year three of their cycle, although there are cases when programs are visited earlier or later in their cycles. Additional factors that inform DPI’s selection of sites for monitoring visits include the geographic location of the program, the number of other programs that are administered by the same fiscal agent, and past findings from desktop monitoring or previous in-person monitoring visits.
DPI has developed the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Monitoring Tool, for use in preparing the required documentation for a site monitoring review. The Monitoring Tool lists all of the federal and state requirements for 21st CCLC programs, along with examples of documents that serve as evidence of compliance with those requirements. The Monitoring Tool must be completed by grantees undergoing the monitoring process, however it may also serve as a resource for other 21st CCLC programs that want to ensure they are meeting grant requirements.
A PDF version of the tool, which is intended for reference only - 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Monitoring Tool. Grantees undergoing the monitoring process must complete the tool via DPI’s online monitoring portal
Components of Remote Program Monitoring
For remote program monitoring, 21st CCLC programs will be asked to complete the 21st CCLC Monitoring Survey Tool, and submit supporting documentation, via DPI’s online Monitoring Portal, for review. Department staff will examine the documentation to verify compliance with grant requirements and use of promising practices. After the document review, a virtual interview with 21st CCLC staff, building principal, and any other key district or school staff members will be held to discuss the documentation and share preliminary findings in the form of areas of strength, areas for improvement, and items that require corrective action.
Guidance for Remote Program Monitoring
For more information about the remote monitoring process, including a description of each of the monitoring components, the people responsible for completing them, and a timeline for completion, please review the 21st CCLC Remote Monitoring Guidance document.
On September 22, 2021, DPI held a webinar for grantees that provided an overview of the remote monitoring process. Access the 21st CCLC Remote Monitoring Webinar Slides and view the Webinar Recording.
Components of On-Site Monitoring Visits
Each monitoring visit consists of an entrance interview with key program staff, an observation of program operations, a review of documentation that provides evidence of compliance with grant requirements, and an exit interview.
Guidance for On-Site Monitoring Visits
DPI has developed two additional guidance documents that are meant to support grantees as they prepare for an on-site monitoring visit. They include:
- Timeline for Monitoring Visits: A timeline of the different components of an on-site monitoring visit, including a detailed description of each component.
- Site Visit Preparation Checklist: A list of steps that it is recommended that program staff complete in preparation for a scheduled on-site monitoring visit. This checklist is for the convenience and benefit of local CLC staff and does not need to be submitted to DPI.