Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers

21st Century Community Learning Centers Programs and COVID-19 Questions and Answers

This Question and Answer document has been developed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to clarify 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) requirements during school closings due to COVID-19. This document will be updated as necessary as the situation evolves. Please refer to it before contacting MDE staff to see if your question has been answered.

Question: Can 21st CCLC programming occur during the school closure period (March 18-27)?

Answer: 21st CCLC grantees may provide distance enrichment programs. Distance enrichment programs may be offered online, by telephone, or through home delivery of program materials. To the extent possible, distance enrichment programming must align with the distance learning plans of the schools your students attend.

Question: When can distance enrichment programs be offered?

Answer: Grantees may deliver distance enrichment programs to students while schools are closed March 18 to March 27 for the planning period outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order 20-02.

During this planning period, grantees are encouraged to work with districts to develop distance learning plans that will include plans for when and how instruction will be provided to students. Grantees should work with the schools their students attend to identify what they have determined to be instructional time as part of their distance learning plan.

When districts begin implementing their distance learning plans, grantees may provide programming opportunities during non-instructional times.

Question: May 21st CCLC programs continue to pay staff during the school closure period?

Answer: Yes, all 21st CCLC program staff may continue to be paid with 21st CCLC grant funds for work aligned to their approved program goals, including remote work. Grantees must maintain records of the hours worked and the work performed. Hours should remain commensurate to program need. In addition, the federal “supplement, not supplant” provisions apply to all expenditures (i.e., 21st CCLC funds may only be used to supplement existing federal, state, and local sources of funds, and should not be used to supplant/replace them.)

Allowable work activities includes:

  • Attending virtual staff meetings (conference calls, Skype or Zoom meetings, etc.)
  • Program planning activities (for example, planning for summer programs)
  • Development of program materials, lesson plans, and curriculum development aligned to academic standards (must be specific to 21st CCLC program)
  • Delivery of distance enrichment programming for youth that may be reasonable and necessary to meet grant goals and objectives
  • Administrative tasks such as evaluation planning, data collection, reporting (state and federal)
  • Online professional development opportunities such as Y4Y courses
  • Other expectations and associated job tasks listed in job descriptions that are reasonable and necessary during the closure period.

Question: Will additional 21st CCLC funds be made available to support additional costs such as staffing, equipment, or materials?

Answer: No, additional funding is not available to increase grant awards. If you need to make modifications to your budget please work with 21st CCLC staff at MDE.

Question: Will grantees be required to meet grant requirements regarding program participation and program hours of operation?

Answer: MDE will make reasonable and fair accommodations if grantees are unable to meet program goals and requirements due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Question: What data should grantees collect during the school closure period?

Answer: Grantees should continue to collect information related to attendance and participation, hours of operation, and program activities implemented. Grantees should also be able to identify what programs and activities were included in their work plans that did not occur due to the school closure period. More information about the format and method of reporting that data will be provided at a later date.

Question: What if I have a question that hasn’t been answered?

Answer: Please send your questions to