RCN Frequently Asked Questions

*This page will be updated as additional questions arise.


Use of START RCN Contract Funds

Yes! RCN can move funds between budget categories with the approval of the START Project manager. If you have funds budgeted for events or activities that are no longer taking place due to the school closure, we encourage you to reallocate those funds as appropriate to support your districts/staff/students/families during this time of remote learning. The START RCN Spending Guidelines have been updated to reflect additional types of expenses that are allowable during this time. If you have any questions about whether an expense is allowable, please contact Jana Benjamin.

Send a brief email to Jana Benjamin indicating the budget category that you wish to move funds from, the amount to be moved and the reason (e.g., “we would like to reallocate $1,000 from START Conference/Leadership Day due to cancellation”) and the budget category you wish to move it to and the purpose for which the funds will be used (e.g., “to Coaching to support the creation/provision of learning support toolkits for staff/students to facilitate remote learning.”). 

No, START RCN contract funds may not be used to purchase materials for use next year. The regulations governing the START Project grant prohibit the advance purchase of materials for use beyond the current grant year. Consequently, we cannot permit the use of our funds by RCN beyond the end of the current year.

Of course, this year’s funds may be used to create training or demonstration videos, training materials, sample toolkits, etc. for use next year and beyond.

If you purchased materials for an event or activity that was planned for this year and cannot now be held/conducted due to the school closure, you are welcome to use those materials at the next available opportunity. The materials need not be returned and the expense for any such materials is reimbursable from 2019-2020 START RCN contract funds. (The key factor is whether the materials were bought in good faith and with the reasonable expectation that they would be used during the current contract period. If so, they remain allowable expenses under the contract.)

If you paid a venue deposit for an event you have had to cancel due to COVID-19, any refund of that deposit from the venue should be credited back to the 2019-2020 RCN contract budget category from which it was paid. If the venue is not refunding the deposit, or is rolling the deposit forward to a rescheduled date, then the deposit payment remains chargeable to the START RCN Contract.   

If your district has put measures in place that limit your ability to purchase allowable materials or incur allowable expenses under your START RCN Contract, we are happy to work with RCN Leadership to explore ways in which we might be able to facilitate your continued support of staff/students/families for the balance of the school year. Please contact Jana Benjamin if you wish to explore ways START may be able to be of assistance.


Data

We understand that the collection of data, particularly end-of-year data, has been disrupted by COVID-19 and the suspension of in-person learning for the balance of the current school year. Because of the school closure, it is likely that many teams will not have the opportunity or ability to collect certain end-of-year data. No one will be penalized for an inability to meet data requirements due to the impacts of COVID-19. That said, all contract data that was to be collected before the school closure must be submitted to fulfill RCN Contract requirements. We also ask any data that has been collected or you are able to collect be submitted so we may report as much impact data to the state as we are able to collect.

Because end of year Target Student data was to be collected after April 13, we do not anticipate RCN will be able to report this data.

Those classrooms completing the CETA, and those buildings completing the USAPT, were to complete those assessments and set goals by January 1. We encourage you to report on the progress on those goals to the extent possible as of the date of the school closure.

Peer to Peer Program Logs: It has been a point of emphasis this year, and remains crucially important, that the START Project get from each RCN updated Peer to Peer Program Logs so we have an accurate accounting of the Peer to Peer programs across the state. Updated Peer to Peer Program Logs were due at mid-year. Thus, it is our expectation that all RCN will meet this contract requirement. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact Jana Benjamin.

Peer to Peer Fidelity Tools: These were to be completed by January 1, with goals set thereafter. Thus, START anticipates those programs selected to complete the Peer to Peer Fidelity Tools will have done so well in advance of the school closure. START expects these completed tools, along with any progress on goals made before the school closure, will be submitted as part of RCN end of year reporting.


As always, please reach out to the START office if you have any concerns or questions.