Purpose The purpose of this webinar is to educate 21 st CCLC and SAC programs of the expectations of the DESE monitoring team when conducting on-site monitoring visits. For specific information on the selection process please see the following links as found on the DESE Afterschool Portal: Monitoring Instructions: %20Instructions.pdfhttp://portal.kidscarecenter.com/sites/DESEPortal/Monitoring/1/Monitoring%20- %20Instructions.pdf Monitoring tiered cohort groups: Tiered monitoring instructions: %20Instructions.pdf %20Instructions.pdf Risk Assessment process:
Monitoring Logistics Read the monitoring letter from DESE carefully: the letter will contain specifics regarding site to be monitored, grant year for evidence collected, and specific RFRs for fiscal review. What you will need to provide to the monitoring team: Tabbed binder or file folders with supporting evidence; Designated workspace for monitoring team Please note: program staff are not present while monitoring team is reviewing evidence, although we may contact you during the review for areas of clarification. Financial monitoring may require more interaction with your school /organizations accounting personnel.
Expectations: Binder/File Folders As a review team we take the same philosophy as our grant readers during competitions: we assume nothing. It is the job of the program to prove you are meeting each standard outlined in the monitoring tool; Monitoring is not done to get you in any trouble. Most issues we find while monitoring can be fairly easily resolved over time if not right away. Site specific evidence- when you receive your monitoring notification letter we will specify which site, and what grant year we will be focusing on. The evidence collected in your binder or file folders must be from this specified site. Please note that in some cases on the monitoring tool you will be expected to provide evidence for all sites;
Expectations: Binder/File Folders Have the monitoring tool completed when we arrive on-site including it with your binder/file folders; Have your binder/file folder in order. The monitoring tool has sections A-F, with section G being dedicated to finance. Within each section the monitoring indicators are numbered chronologically for example: A-1, A-2, and A-3. It is extremely important that you place the collected evidence in this order;
Expectations: Binder/File Folders There are instances where evidence may not have been collected due to the timing of the monitoring visit. If this is the case simply provide a brief narrative explaining to the review team why the evidence is not presented under the specified tab; If the grantee is not prepared for the on-site visit the monitoring team will not wait for evidence to be collected rather we will depart and the program will be subject to corrective actions and/or held payments until review of evidence can take place.
Failure to be Prepared We will leave the site. - Depending on time of arrival, we may still observe program in operation. - We may still conduct the inventory verification review. We will not wait for evidence to be collected. Program will have to ship/deliver all information to DESE office. Will be included in final report. Program will be subject to corrective actions and/or held payments until review of evidence can take place.
Preparation The monitoring process can be a very smooth process for both the program and review team if you prepare early; Programs are notified well in advance on: the monitoring dates, times, and specific sites for review; All evidence and data on the monitoring tool should be found within your program so it is more about collecting and organizing. In other words you should not have to create evidence for your binder/file folder. It is obvious very early in the review if a program has prepared. During the review if something is missing, the review team will wait until reviewing all evidence before asking for clarification so make sure your evidence is in the proper order.
Example Preparation For example if your program is a 21 st CCLC program with four sites: Jimmy Elementary site; Cindy Middle School site; Erika High School site; and Kim Elementary site. You are notified that DESE is coming on-site to monitor Kim Elementary for the programming year and the financial year. All of your evidence in your binder/file folders should come from Kim Elementary from the grant year. The monitoring team should not see schedules or sign- in/out sheets from Jimmy Elementary or Erika High School or any evidence from the grant year.
Example Preparation Specifically from the monitoring tool: A-1. Program is providing the number of hours per week of programming as described in the original grant application (or approved amendments) and meets the state requirement. For Kim elementary only you will want schedules, flyers (showing starting and ending times), sign- in/out sheets, newsletters etc specifically for the grant year. Remember we are looking for site and grant year specific information so if you include a newsletter for the entire CCLC/SAC program you will want site specific included. Keep in mind that the examples given for A-1 on the monitoring tool is suggested evidence. You may use other forms of evidence to meet the standard for compliance.
Financial Preparation The financial monitoring process is the same as the program process in that your program must be prepared! In the initial letter we will specify which RFRs we will be monitoring. This will require you to collaborate with your accounting department to ensure all documentation is available for the team. General overview of required for financial monitoring (may differ depending on budgets): – General ledger; – Time & effort (timesheets) and/or semi-annual certifications; – Equipment inventory which may not be included in the two requested payments; – All purchase orders, MOUs, contracts, receipts or any other documentation related to the selected RFRs; – Your district or organizations procurement policy (in writing) – If applicable A-133 audits Financial monitoring comes down to two principles: – Does everything reconcile with the RFRs; – Are purchases allowable and have they been approved by DESE according to original budget, renewals, and budget amendments.
Recommendations and Corrective Actions Following the review of evidence the monitoring team will conduct an exit interview with the program director. At this time the monitoring team will outline strengths (best practices), make recommendations, or corrective actions. Everything mentioned in the exit interview will be included in the follow-up correspondence, in other words there will be no surprises: Best practices- a strength of the program. When a best practice is identified we will ask for the documentation so that we can share it with other programs. Additionally, the programs leadership will be asked to present at the grantee workshop. Recommendations- are made when a program may be in compliance with a particular standard, however DESE is making a recommendation to alter a practice to strengthen the area in question.
Recommendations and Corrective Actions Corrective Action- are made when a grantee is found to be out of compliance with one or more standards as outlined in the monitoring tool. DESE will issue the final report and completed copy of the monitoring tool within 60 days. Upon receipt, if corrective action is required, the grantee will have 45 days to respond with an action plan to address any corrective actions with regular DESE follow-up until the corrective action has been resolved; grantees who have substantial areas of non-compliance will be subject to non-renewal and potential risk of non-award in future grant competitions ; Not being prepared for the monitoring visit is automatically considered a corrective action. As previously stated if the grantee is not prepared the review team will depart; Remember that if a school district is the fiscal agent contracting out programming to a CBO/FBO the district is responsible for the grant both for program and financial concerns.
In conclusion Remember as a monitoring team we assume nothing about your program, we come on-site with a blank slate. It is up to you to prove that you have met the monitoring indicators through the evidence you provide. Being prepared and proactive will go a long way in towards the outcome of your on-site monitoring visit; Nearly every on-site visit will have some recommendations, which isnt a bad thing; If you have questions on your preparation contact your DESE supervisor; Remember to collect and organize documentation for the specific site(s) identified by DESE in your initial letter. Information from sites not-requested will result in an incomplete score for the monitoring indicator in question; Please note that while DESE is transitioning to a tiered monitoring system that the report and letter you receive from our office is the official final report.