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Summer Programs under SSA

The Student Success Act directs the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to make summer program grants available to schools that:

  • Are considered high poverty under Title I-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act;
  • Have significant achievement gaps; and
  • Have been determined by ODE to require additional supports and interventions based on school performance.

The Student Success Act requires that programs funded by this grant to provide at least 60 hours of direct academic instruction by a teacher licensed under ORS 342.125 or by an instructional assistant, as defined in ORS 342.120.

If you have questions not covered by the FAQ below, please email Sophie Hilton or Raquel Gwynn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the link to the SSA Summer Program Website?  
https://www.oregon.gov/ode/StudentSuccess/Pages/Summer-Programs.aspx

Q: When are SSA Summer Program grants available?  
For the initial cohort, identified schools will be awarded a 3 year grant with annual disbursements (Summer of 2021, 2022, 2023). An additional cohort was selected in fall of 2021 to receive the SSA summer grant for summers 2022 and 2023.​ Starting in 2024, ODE will identify future cohorts to be eligible for two summers of funding. 

Q: When can we hold a summer program?
SSA Summer programs may be held any time between the close of the regular school term and the beginning of the next regular term.

Q: Who should attend SSA Summer Programs?
SSA Summer Programs may serve students in kindergarten through grade 8. This includes students entering kindergarten in the fall following the summer program and students exiting 8th grade going into 9th grade.

Q: May a school focus on a specific grade span or group of students?
Yes. SSA Summer Programs may focus services on certain grade bands (e.g., incoming kindergartners, key grade level transitions, etc.) based on the unique strengths and needs of the students and families served by the school. SSA Summer Programs must enroll students that reflect the demographics of the school’s student population, to the extent practicable, with a focus on supporting student groups that have been historically underserved within the school’s community and that are experiencing a significant opportunity and acheivement gaps within the school.

Q: May students from schools not identified as eligible attend SSA Summer Programs?
SSA Summer Program grant funds must only be used to serve students from eligible schools that have accepted funds. Schools and districts may braid funds with other state and/or federal grants to serve students outside of the eligible school.

Q: What is meant by Direct Academic Instruction?
Direct Academic Instruction means scheduled time during which students are engaged in evidence-based, planned learning activities or assessments that are: (a) Culturally responsive; (b) Designed to meet academic content standards; and (c) Under the direction and supervision of a teacher licensed under ORS 342.125​ or an appropriately supervised instructional assistant as defined in ORS 342.120​.

Q: Is there a minimum time requirement for SSA Summer Program?
Yes. Schools are required to provide at least 60 hours of Direct Academic Instruction scheduled over at least 3 weeks. Please note there are other program requirements in OAR 581-017-0620 – OAR 581-017-0635​.

Q: Can the 60 hours of Direct Academic Instruction be broken up into two separate chunks of time (e.g., two weeks in June and 3 weeks in August)?
The 60 hours of Direct Academic Instruction is intended for a consistent cohort of the same students. To the extent practicable, if there is a gap of time between sessions, both sessions must include the same group of students with one session occuring for at least 3 consecutive weeks.

Q: My school district operates four days per week. Does a four day week meet the three week requirement?
Yes. SSA Summer Programs must operate at least 3 consecutive weeks and provide at least 60 hours of Direct Academic Instruction. A program may be four days a week as long as the program meets the 60 hour requirement.

Q: What kinds of activities are allowable during summer programming?
We encourage schools to design programs that build upon student strengths and align with overall school and district improvement efforts. SSA Summer Programs must provide a broad array of focused, well-rounded, culturally responsive, and when appropriate culturally specific, educational activities targeted to meet the needs of students to advance academic achievement and support student success, including, but not limited to, activities that support: (A) Inquiry-based, hands-on instruction; (B) Healthy and active lifestyle, including physical activity; or (C) Students’ social and emotional well-being.

Q: Are SSA Summer Programs required to provide transportation?
Yes. The goal is to reduce barriers in preventing student participation. SSA Summer Programs must offer students a means of transport if they participate in summer learning if they are unable to attend without it. SSA Summer Program grant funds may be used to pay for transportation.

Q: Are programs required to provide a meal?
SSA Summer Programs are required to offer a child nutrition program if the summer program is eligible for the nutrition program and is required to provide meals under state or federal law.

Q: What are the different options for summer food service?
The Child Nutrition program available to grantees will depend on the type of programming they plan to offer.
Grantees offering educational activities that are meant for credit recovery or credit advancement (i.e. summer school) can provide meals through our School Nutrition Programs. Grantees offering educational activities for growth and enrichment (no credit recovery/advancement) can provide meals through the Summer Food Service Program. Grantees should work with their Nutrition Services department to determine next steps. 

Q: How do I find out more information about summer food service?
Grantees are encouraged to reach out to their Nutrition Services department to discuss options for summer meal service. For information about how to apply for the Summer Food Service Program visit ODE Child Nutrition Programs “Becoming a Summer Food Service Sponsor​” webpage. Please contact ode.communitynutrition@ode.state.or.us with any questions. 

Q: Are grant recipients allowed to use grant funds to contract with Community Based Organizations (CBO)?
Yes. With ODE’s prior written consent, grant recipients may use grant funds to contract for the provision of SSA Summer Program services. Contracts may be established with federally-recognized Tribal governments, Education Service Districts (ESDs), education-focused non-profit organizations, and other qualified entities. Consent to any contract will not relieve the grant recipient of its duties or obligations under the grant agreement.

Q. In the definition of Direct Academic Instruction the law states programs have to be under the direction and supervision of a licensed teacher. Under Eligibility (2) it says schools can contract out for services; does this mean that a contractor (like a CBO program) has to have a certified teacher in charge or involved in the delivery of programming? 
Yes. Instructional activities must be delivered by a licensed teacher or appropriately supervised instructional assistant for at least 60 hours of Direct Academic Instruction. Any programming outside of the 60 hours must still meet program requirements, and may or may not be delivered by a licensed teacher or instructional assistant.

Q: In general, is it sufficient that the school has some kind of teacher oversight of the summer program to meet the Direct Academic Instruction requirement?
No. The intention of the law is that students would be engaged in learning designed and delivered by a licensed teacher and/or appropriately supervised instructional assistant.

Q: Is it allowable to charge a fee to families for additional supplies used during summer learning?
No. Grant recipients may not charge fees in order for students to participate in SSA Summer Programs. 

Q: Can sites share SSA Summer Program Plans with each other?
Yes. ODE encourages grantees to collaborate and share ideas. ODE will post program abstracts to the SSA Summer Program webpage.  Office hours are held on the 4th Thursday of the month which is a place where SSA Summer programs can ask questions, collaborate with other programs, and surface any problems of practice.

Q: Will there be an update to RSSL to guidelines for summer programming or should we use the version currently posted to guide our safety planning? 
Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance is periodically updated. Please see the Ready Schools, Safe Learners page for the most recent guidance.

Q: Who is eligible for SSA Summer Program grant funds?
The Student Success Act directs the Oregon Department of Education to make SSA Summer Program grants available to schools that: (A) Are considered high poverty under Title I-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act; (B) Have significant achievement gaps; and (C) Have been determined by ODE to require additional supports and interventions based on school performance.

Q: Are charter schools eligible for SSA Summer Program grants?
Yes. Since charter schools are considered public schools in Oregon, charter schools are included in the selection criteria used by ODE to determine eligibility.

Q: Are Education Service Districts (ESDs) eligible to receive SSA Summer Program grants?
No. According to state statute, only public school districts on behalf of a public school are eligible to receive SSA Summer Program grants. However, grant recipients may contract with ESDs to provide services, with ODE’s prior written consent.

​Q: Does my school need to take attendance during summer programming?
Yes. Grant recipients must maintain student attendance records in order to qualify for continued grant funding. Attendance records for individual students are subject to audit by ODE. At the conclusion of each SSA Summer Program grant performance period, grant recipients must summarize and submit the attendance data for all students using an ODE-provided form in accordance with the grant agreement. 

Q: Are SSA Summer Programs a drop-in program?
No. SSA Summer Programs are not drop-in programs. Programs should prioritize regular attendance of students for the duration of the program. 



Q: What happens if we decide to decline SSA Summer Program grant funds?
The funds will be redistributed to all identified eligible schools that accept funds. 

Q: If my school declines SSA Summer Program grant funds the first year, may we receive funds the second or third year?
No. By declining this award for summer 2021, the school will also be declining funds for the remaining two years of the cohort.

Q: My school already has a summer school program. Does this mean we cannot accept funds for SSA Summer Programs?
No. ODE encourages schools to use SSA Summer Program grant funds for summer learning and either braid with other state and/or federal funds or use the previous funds in another manner. ODE will provide technical support to help individual schools with options.

Q: Can we use SSA grant funds and the ODE Summer School Enrichment funds concurrently? 
Yes. ODE encourages you to braid funds with other local, state or federal funding sources to best expand the number of students served and leverage funds to create inclusive and robust summer programs.

Q: When will SSA Summer Program funds become available?
Grant recipients will be able to request an initial disbursement for summer 2021 in ODE’s Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS) once a fully executed grant agreement has been received. Expenses for SSA Summer Programs may begin based on the dates below for each performance year. The full award must be claimed by June 30, of each performance period. New grantees’ (for the 2021-2023 biennium) performance period window for 2021-2022 summer will be April 1, 2022 - September 30, 2022​
  • Summer 2021 performance period: April 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2021 (All disbursements requested by June 30, 2021)
  • Second performance period: Oct 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2022 (All disbursements requested by June 30, 2022) 
  • Third performance period: Oct 1, 2022 to Sept 30, 2023 (All disbursements requested by June 30, 2023) 
Q: I have a grant agreement stating that the grant ends 9/30/2023 but the Subgrant award notification paperwork is saying that the end date is 6/30/2021. Would you be able to tell me which end date is correct? 
The overall term of the SSA Summer Program Grant is April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2023. Within this term, there are 3 summer grant cycles. Each summer has a performance period identified in the table below: 
​Program Year​
​Performance Period​Claim by Date
​Summer 2021​April 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021​June 30, 2021
​Summer 2022​October 1, 2021 - September 30, 2022​June 30, 2022
​Summer 2023​October 1, 2022 - September 30, 2023

​June 30, 2023
The Subgrant Award Notification (SAN) generated by the Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS) indicates the date disbursement requests must be made by. Each summer, EGMS will generate a new SAN which will identify the date disbursement requests must be made by.  The funds must be disbursed to the grantees before the end of the performance period due to the biennium funding cycle.​

Q: Can we draw down funds before we spend funds?
Yes, the SSA Summer Program Grant is not like traditional cost reimbursement grants where grant funds are provided to recipients after expenses have been incurred. For each performance period, grant recipients are to claim the grant funds for the respective performance period by June 30th of each year. Any unexpended funds are to be returned to ODE within 45 days from September 30th, annually (by November 15th). The grant funds must be used for summer program activities conducted during each performance period and may not be carried forward to a subsequent performance period. For example, grant funds disbursed for Summer 2021, not expended between April 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021 must be returned to ODE. Grant funds disbursed for Summer 2022, not expended between October 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022, must be returned to ODE.

Q: What rules are in place for carry-over funds?
This program does not allow grantees to carryover funds between performance periods. As a result, any unexpended funds must be returned to ODE 45 days after the end of each period of performance (September 30th).
  • Summer 2021 performance period: April 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2021 (unexpended funds returned to ODE by November 15, 2021)
  • Summer 2022 performance period: Oct 1, 2021 to Sept 30, 2022 (unexpended funds returned to ODE by November 15, 2022)
  • Summer 2023 performance period: Oct 1, 2022 to Sept 30, 2023 (unexpended funds returned to ODE by November 15, 2023)
Q: Are SSA Summer Program funds related to SIA funds?
These grant programs are part of the Student Success Act​. SSA Summer Program grant funds are a part of the Statewide Education Initiatives Account which is separate from the Student Investment Account.


Q: Does the 5% cap on administrative costs include programmatic administrators?
No. Administrators who work directly on programmatic aspects of the grant are not included in the 5%. This includes the school principal for the portion of work spent on SSA Summer Program activities and supervision.

Q: How do I find out what is an allowable use of funds under this program?
SSA Summer Program grant funds must only be used to cover costs that: (A) Comply with the purpose of the grant and program requirements; (B) Comply with the approved planned program and budget; and (C) Are reasonable and necessary for the proper and efficient performance and administration of the grant.
ODE will collaborate with grant recipients to ensure the proposed Summer Program Plan and budget are reasonable, necessary and directly related to the implementation of the summer program.

Q: Where can I find the specifics on allowable expenses within the summer program itself?

When making a purchase, ask yourself: Does the expense support the goals and purpose of the program? Also consider if the cost is *reasonable and necessary to achieve the purpose/goals of the SSA Summer Program. The following examples of allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following: 
  • Teachers and Support Personnel: All personnel related costs to staffing summer academic programs.
  • Curriculum, supplies, and technology: All expenses related to providing curriculum, technology, and other supplies related to a summer program.
  • COVID-19 related expenses: All expenses related to meeting COVID-19 safety standards for providing on-site, in-person summer academic programs.
  • Third-Party Contracts: All expenses related to contracting with third parties to provide summer academic programs with ODE consent.
  • Student Expenses: All expenses related to providing incentives and removing barriers to student participation in summer academic programs.
  • Facility related expenses: All expenses related to providing facilities that will support and house summer academic programs.
  • Transportation Expenses: All expenses for transportation related to providing summer academic programs.
  • Administrative Expenses: Recipients may use up to 5% of the grant funds for administrative expenses related to providing summer academic programs.
  • Capital Assets: Contact ODE to discuss expenditures in this area.
*A cost is reasonable if, in its nature and amount, it does not exceed that which would be incurred by a prudent person under the circumstances prevailing at the time the decision was made to incur the cost. This definition reflects the standard based on ODE’s Federal Funds Guide.