Community Connectors: Lots of Great Changes for Round 4

This week the Ohio Department of Education is hosting the first set of regional meetings to share information about the next (and possibly final) round of Community Connector grants. Many thanks to Kimberlee Clark, Community Connectors’ Program Administrator for facilitating a great session. 

My greatest ‘aha’ moment was when Kimberlee said that this grant program has funded mentorship projects in more than 50 Ohio counties, but that the northwest and southeast parts of the state have been underrepresented. The Department would love to see strong grants from these regions. If you haven’t applied in the past, or have applied and not been funded, now is the time to apply!

This blog will highlight the key changes for potential applicants and partners. However, I highly recommend attending one of the regional meetings being held this week and then again in early January. The session is worthwhile to strengthen your understanding of the expectations, to hear strategies for success from past grantees, and to get to know the ODE staff who will support awardees in implementation. Click HERE for a list of all ODE Regional Meetings for Community Connectors.

Please note: The Community Connectors website ( right now only shows information for last year’s competition. ODE is working on revisions currently and anticipates that the revisions, including documents provided at the regional meetings, will be live early next week. At that time, ODE should also have the list of eligible schools available for review. In the meantime, keep an eye out on the Community Connectors Facebook page for updates.
So What’s New for Community Connectors in FY2019?
  • The program now will fund initiatives serving students in grades K-12. (In previous rounds, programs could only serve grades 5-12.)
  • The state budget allocated a total of $8 million for the biennium (FY2019 and FY2020), a reduction from the last two rounds which were about $10 million per year.
    • ODE is only holding one round this biennium, so all $8 million will be available in this round.
    • ODE has increased the maximum grant award from $100,000 to $150,000. (Grants will still have to have 3:1 match and will fund one fiscal year of programming. )
  • In addition to all previous questions from Round 3, applicants will have to respond to a new prompt about fostering financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurship skills in classroom settings. Priority will be given to programs that include these activities.
  • There are several new Applicant Certification requirements. These changes are being made to give ODE a stronger understanding of an applicant’s capacity to manage funds and comply with state and federal laws. In addition to the forms and assurances previously required, all lead applicants must include each of the following items as uploads with their application:
    • A signed Certification Form;
    • A list of board members, with term dates and acknowledgement that they serve without compensation;
    • An IRS Form 990 or a pro forma IRS Form 990 that includes June 30, 2016, or more recent;
    • A year-end internal financial statement to include June 30, 2016, or more recent; and
    • A copy of the organization’s non-discrimination/equal opportunity policy.
FY 2019 Timeline

ODE is extending both the Intent to Apply and Application periods in hopes of increasing the number and quality of applications.

  • Regional meetings: December 11 – January 18
  • Intent to Apply (required): December 18 – February 2
  • Application Open in CCIP: February 5 (8am) – March 16 (4pm)
  • Award Notification: By June 15
  • Grant Implementation: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019

As noted in our recent blog “Upcoming ODE Grants: To Write or Not to Write?”, the Community Connectors competition will be open during the same time period as competitions for Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy Grants and 21st Century Community Learning Center Grants. It is very important to determine quickly if this grant is a good fit for your organization. If your organization moves forward with more than one of these grants, Community Connectors can be written as soon as the application is available online and then dropped into CCIP in early February. That strategy would leave plenty of time to work on the other, more complex applications.

Last, but certainly not least, only 61% of the applications submitted in Round 3 were funded because there were almost double the number of applications as in the previous year. We anticipate the same competitiveness this round. The EnvisionEdPlus team is available to assist you in writing any of these applications.  If you have questions, need a quote for services or just want to brainstorm, please contact Tricia Moore, director of Partnership and Outreach, by email or phone (614-357-4439).

Happy Holidays!

~Michele Timmons, President ( or 614-893-7341)


Our Courses

Image Course Description Price Created On Last Updated On categories_ID
Supporting Families (Level 1) Consider the differences between engaging and supporting eight types of parents or family members you might encounter. Reflect on your past experiences with each of those types. Create and implement an action plan to improve your support for families who need it. 0.00 2020/07/17 2022/03/24 6
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 1) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of STEAM integration (design thinking) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. Two “office hours” will be available to chat with the instructor and others enrolled in this course. 0.00 2021/01/09 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 1) The brain is constantly changing and molding in response to the environment. These changes impact student learning. This is especially true in terms of trauma. This training is designed to help participants learn what goes on in the brain and how they can set up a learning environment for each of the students in their class. 0.00 2021/01/30 2022/03/24 4
STEAMing Up Literacy (Level 2) The content in this course is designed to begin your understanding of Problem Based Learning(PBL) and apply this knowledge to your own classroom. You will have the opportunity to implement a mini lesson and receive feedback about your lesson. 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
High Quality Literacy Instruction (Level 1 & 2) Core content includes an overview of Ohio’s Plan to Raise Literacy Achievement, evidence-based literacy practices, and resources and tools for literacy instruction. Participants will create, implement and improve two classroom-based literacy strategies (in-person, blended or remote). 0.00 2021/02/23 2022/03/24 5
Supporting Families (Level 2) In Engaging Families Through Support - Level 1, you learned about eight types of parents/caregivers and reflected on your past experiences with each type, culminating in a plan to better engage specific types as partners in their children's education. During this 8-hour asynchronous course you will delve deeper in your understanding of the eight types of parents/caregivers by speaking with individual family members you work with, discovering what they need from you and your program, and implementing an action plan informed by the actual families you serve. Doing so will give you sustainable skills and strategies to build stronger family engagement year after year. 0.00 2021/03/07 2022/03/30 6
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 1) Differentiation is effective instruction that is responsive to the learner’s preferences, interests and their readiness. It could be explained as a framework for thinking about your teaching and your student’s learning. This course discusses differentiation as an effective teaching tool. Included are many resources and strategies to help meet the learning needs of each student. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies and resources to adapt lessons to meet the needs of each student in their classrooms. 0.00 2021/03/18 2022/03/24 5
Trauma Brain (Level 2) This course gives an advanced understanding of the brain. including differences between “active” and “relational” based brains, trauma-related behaviors, and strategies to reach and teach trauma-impacted students so that they can re-engage in learning. Participants will learn about the range of thinking that a brain does, explore how students fit into the range of thinking, and discover healthy ways of engaging the full range of thinking. 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 4
Differentiated & Engaged Instruction (Level 2) This 8-hour, self-paced course is facilitated by Laurie Trotter, an EnvisionEdPlus Instructional Specialist. The course explores advanced differentiation as an effective instructional method that is responsive to the learner’s preferences and interests. Create, implement, and improve a lesson plan to engage all learners. Participants will learn through various articles, videos, examples, strategies, and resources to be able to be proficient in starting to adapt lessons to meet all needs of students in their classroom. Prerequisite: Differentiated and Engaged Instruction (Bronze Badge). 0.00 2021/05/31 2022/03/24 5
Creativity Belongs in the Classroom (Level 1) Encourage lifelong learning, improve focus, reduce anxiety and enhance thinking in your classroom or program. Creativity is a learned and trained process for getting the most out of higher level thinking and problem solving of your students. Learn how to embed creativity easily into your lessons, using strategies that will help unlock your students ability to be innovative thinkers and problem solvers. This course is appropriate for anyone who works with youth and also satisfies the HQPD Gifted competencies of A, B, and D. 0.00 2022/01/14 2022/04/10 5

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