In Mississippi, our FY22 plan has been released in MCAPS. The plan format has changed substantially; however, the prompts are similar to what have been used in the past. Rather than a number of dimensions with required data and prompts, there are sections to address each of the Title programs a district receives – Title I, Title II, Title III, Title III Immigrant Children and Youth, Title IV, Part A – Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant, Title V, and Parent and Family Engagement. The number of questions vary depending upon the grant and all questions may not be applicable for all districts. As you consider how to complete the application, I offer two ways to go about the process.
One way the Federal Programs Director can proceed is to start completely fresh and meet with a small committee composed of individuals who work on the district level and have knowledge of district activities. Review the questions and determine your team. Share the questions ahead of time and ask that each member come prepared with drafts of responses. These responses can even be emailed in advance and a planning document created that can be shared and discussed at the meeting.
Another approach in completing the plan is to read and familiarize yourself with the FY22 grants’ prompts. Next, review the FY20 plan in MCAPS. If you recall, districts did not have to complete all sections of the FY21 plan since it was the third year of the grant; so, the FY2o grant has the most complete responses. As you go through the grant, you will see the prompts that are similar. Review the information and see if it is still applicable and/or if portions can be used or revised for the current grant. Cut and paste into a document that can be easily edited. Gather a a small team with knowledge of the district’s supports for the schools, share the draft with the team, and then meet to review and revise the plan.
As you write your plan responses, I suggest you use the language of the prompt and highlight key words similar to those in the prompt. If you include the prompt in your response, you will better ensure the reader understands your response and gives you credit for what is being asked. Highlighted words in the response call the reader’s eyes to that section and allows him/her to check your response answers against the prompt. Answer the prompt but don’t be verbose. Be clear and succinct. Remember your reader has to read many plans. They want to ensure you answered the question, but they don’t want to read a dissertation.
However you choose to complete the plan, be sure to maintain evidence of planning and meeting with stakeholders. Keep an agenda, sign-in sheet, and minutes of the meeting. This will be helpful documentation for monitoring purposes.
Speaking of monitoring, you may find it helpful to match the prompts in the plan to the monitoring instrument. By doing so, you will be able to make note of documentation that will need to be kept as the plan is implemented. This documentation will be useful for monitoring purposes.
Good luck in completing your plan. Remember, both the plan and the funding portion of the FY22 plan in MCAPS must be submitted at the same time.