Today we’ll start with a little warm up to wake us up then we’ll start broad to give us perspective. Following this we’ll zoom in on topics.
Today we’ll start with a little warm up to wake us up then we’ll start broad to give us perspective. Following this we’ll zoom in on topics.
A theme you may notice today is an emphasis on reporting and evaluation. At the heart of all of this is a desire to pull out ways to demonstrate the positive impact of the dollars to the board members of C/CAG and the county at large. So if you find yourself frustrated, yes, you can be mad at me, but it would be awesome if there was also a little thought floating in the background that the paperwork you are completing is for a greater good-secured funding for our kids.Outlined in the MOU agreement between SMCOE and your individual district are a few expectations. I will touch upon each of these expectations as the meeting unfolds, but what I wanted to draw your attention to is the evaluation form. At the end of the year, I will evaluate every districts’ performance to help me infer what kind of support different districts would benefit from. For instance, if district a is always late with their budget reports, that tells me they need some extra help. So, if district a is awarded another grant, it would be really good for me to have a conversation with the coordinator and the business office to figure out where we are hitting bumps in the road.In your packets, I have included the evaluation form so you all know exactly what the expectations are. This form was developed with input from the Policy Committee, C/CAG, and SMCOE.Let’s take 5 minutes and read the form. Please highlight and write questions.WAIT…Now, this may seem a little counter-intuitive, but you’re going to hold your questions. As I touch upon the topics during this orientation, if your question isn’t answered, please ask it then. This way when you ask your question, we’re all on the same page.
This handout highlights Safe Routes to School activities such as workshops, events, meetings, the evaluation window, and when reports are due. Just like the evaluation form helps us look at Safe Routes as a whole, essentially all the things we need to do, the calendar helps us get an idea of the the flow of the program. I will covering evaluation and the reports in more detail, so I’ll table that for now. What I would like to highlight at this moment are the three countywide events, IWTSD (Oct), Earth Day (April) and Bike to School Day (May). Below each of these events are two web addresses. The first web address is a sign up form. If your district or even just one of your schools would like to participate in any of the events, please sign up on the website so I order enough incentives and posters.You may find it helpful to keep this handout handy as I cover some of the deadlines.Also, if you rely on reminders from your phone or computer, you may find it helpful to put these dates into your calendars.
Share vendor menu.Note that only two engineering firms were retained based on the projected volume of work (from the grant applications). The two firms we brought on were Parisi Transportation Consultants and Kimley-Horn. Because the engineering firms were assigned, their services are not highlighted in the menu.Highlight education firms-mention Parisi is the only one of all of the providers who is National Safe Routes to School certified for providing Safe Routes Workshops.The menu starts with an overview and then provides additional detail as regarding the services provided and the average cost.Contact information for the providers is listed on the last page.If you contact all of the vendors and none of them are able to accommodate the dates you are interested, please let me know. We have retained a couple additional independent contractors just in case.If a vendor you would like to provide services is not on the menu, such as Perfection on Wheels (a stunt and safety message bike performer), you’ll need to gather a quote from the vendor you are interested in and then two other similar providers who charge more or are similar, but don’t provide the exact service you are looking for. Please submit all three quotes to me and then you may go ahead with booking. Essentially, if you are going to use a different vendor, I need some sort of justification on file because we are spending federal dollars.Another important note, please, book early. Chat with you school site administration and pick dates as soon as you can and then book with vendors. While we brought on additional vendors to help alleviate the booking challenges some districts faced last year, April, May and June are insanely busy times for Safe Routes. Booking early allows vendors to bring on temporary staffing to accommodate our needs in advance.
Once you book your services/events, please complete the booked services form. This form is included in your packet and can also be completed online. Our funder would like to equally distribute the grant funds. So, there is a removable cap of 100K per vendor. Based on our experience with the provider’s capacity and feedback from schools and districts, the caps will be customized-so some will be lowered and some will be raised.Which brings me to another important form. Feedback is essential. After services are provided, please have schools/parents/volunteers fill out the survey monkey form. The feedback helps us determine which vendors to bring back and which vendors need their caps adjusted.
The BikeMobile is a mobile bike repair shop that is free and available to all San Mateo County Schools. The BikeMobile generally works as a great addition to bike rodeos, family bike events, after school bike clubs and weekend events.We have been approved for 26 visits per guidelines provided by the BikeMobile’s funder. The number of visits has the potential to increase based on our demand. Tommy will be checking interest on September 15 and October 15. On September 15 he will be checking to see if we have at least two sign ups and October 15, he will be checking to confirm that we have at least 5 sign ups. If we have more than this then he has clear evidence to decrease the number of visits at another county and increase the number of San Mateo County visits. So I would really like to emphasize book early.
To schedule a visit, go to www.bike-mobile.orgCheck the calendar for availabilityClick Sign up for a VisitFill out the online form (you can find this at the bottom of the page)Tommy will call you to confirm shortly after you submit your requestThen about 2-3 weeks, Tommy will call again to confirm that the visit is still in fact confirmed.
Last year I wrote a lot of third party contracts. We put contracts in place with vendors on behalf of districts because while we all would like to call someone up and say, “Hey, I would like this done and I’ll pay you for it,” Without a contract, one, what the vendor is supposed to provide and at what cost is not transparent, so if you have expectations and they are not met, without the contract, you have no recourse.Now, this all said, every district handles contracting differently. At the end of 2012-2013, I discovered some districts just use a PO as a contract because a purchase order outlines the services to be provided and at what cost. Other districts use the SMCOE template. Some have their own contract template and still others do not have a defined policy.So, as you begin planning your year, please make an appointment or send over an e-mail to someone in your district office and find out how they handle contracts.If and I would like to emphasize the if because far be it from me to tell a district how they should manage contracts, a district does not have a defined contract policy or if a district does not have a template on file and would like to use contracts for services you book, I have included a template and e-mailed out this template to everyone last week so you have a soft copy. If you are unable to locate your soft copy, please let me know and I will e-mail you a new one. In addition to the template, I have included a sample scope to help you get an idea of what a complete scope looks like and what kind of language is included. Vendors will provide a scope once you book things and this will help you with writing your scope. When you put together your scope, you want to be clear, but not so rigid in your language that any small change means you need to amend the entire agreement.But, really, your first step is to ask what your district would like to do.
In order to front the money to districts, we revised the reporting procedures. The new reporting involves two interim reports and one year end report. All reports are two part reports. Page one of all reports should be completed by the coordinator. Page one is a summary highlighting Safe Routes activities the district/schools have engaged in as they relate to their goals. Page two of all reports gets completed by the business office for your district. Business offices should attach the district’s Safe Routes Account report and/or invoices. The only different between the interium reports and the year end report is on page one, a coordinator page. On the year end, there is a space for year end reflections.In your packets is a sample report with page one completed to help you get an idea of what you will need to do.Reports are due by 5:00 pm on the dates listed above. Reports may be turned in early.Reports must be submitted and approved in order to receive the next third of the grant award-reference reporting review form
There are three pieces of data that we need to collect over the course of the year; parent survey data, student travel data, and student participation in events.Parent surveys gather information about how parents feel, their default choices, and opinions about program features and benefits.Student travel tallies gather two days worth of travel data. We have posters to help teachers who teach students in younger grades and ELLs collect the data by providing a visual.Event participation data gives us an idea of how encouragement events are received by students.The parent surveys and student travel data, I’m going to chat about first. This data will be collected in the fall in a window of your choosing. I have provided copies of all of the forms in your packets. We are only accepting a paperless data entry process. Links to all of the surveys are provided on each of the individual forms (so student travel data is at the bottom, and each of the parent surveys has a different web address for the different languages). To help provide parents access to the online form, I would like to recommend that you align your data collection window with Fall Conferences. This way while parents are waiting for their conference, they can go to the school library or computer lab or some other designated space to fill out the online survey. It’ll take them 5 minutes and save all of us hundreds of hours of data entry time.Event participation data is collected on event days. As events near, I’ll provide some tools and ideas for gathering this data. The short of it is you want to know how many kids rolled, walked, carpooled, and took transit to school. Collecting this information allows us to track progress over time (i.e. Westlake) and demonstrate that yes, in fact, there are days in which hundreds of kids walk to school. Online forms have been created for the three big events and monthly events as well. Links to event data entry is on the Safe Routes website under the meetings and events tab.
As some of you may be aware, an addendum to the original agreement was mailed out to districts just a couple weeks ago. The short of it is that our funders would like information to be easily accessible to parents. At bare minimum, website should include one page that lists event dates, contact information for the coordinator, suggested route information and it should note C/CAG is the source of funding. This can be a static page, meaning that this information goes up once and is never changed or it can be a page that it updated frequently. I would like to take a moment to chat about route information. The addendum to the agreement specifically notes that route information shall be posted to the extent possible. From what I understand, some districts are concerned about the liability with posting route information, so route information can be hidden behind a password protected portal or a district may deem that it simply isn’t possible because one of the parents of the children is a registered sex offender. So, posting route information is up to the discretion of the district, but at the very least, there should be a conversation to explore the feasibility.Ideally each school will have its own Safe Routes page, but I also recognize that may not be realistic. So, at bare minimum, every district should have a Safe Routes Page and if schools are up to it, it would be great if school web pages could direct parents to the district page.
To be honest with all of you…the short of it is, I know amazing things happened in 2012-13 and you all know amazing things happened in 2012-13. Events were organized, vendors provided fun education, parents voiced concerns, parents celebrated the efforts and we all worked really, really hard. So, you can all imagine my surprise when the C/CAG board had 45 minutes of questions when it came time to decide if they were going to approve the use of Measure M funds to leverage the $300,000 for the 2.7 million federal Safe Routes dollars. At the end of it all, the board agreed to the three year agreement, BUT it was very clear that they want to know if the program is working (hence all of the evaluation measures and data collection) and they were also very clear that there is a 60 day termination clause in the agreement.One board member was positive above all others-Karyl Masumoto of City of SSF was very supportive of Safe Routes and it’s activities because Tim and Kelli work for the city so their activities are frequently on Karly’s radar.So, I left the meeting realizing that one, we need hard data to show the board that in fact some amazing things are happening and two, it would be really good if the members of the C/CAG board knew what was happening with the money before I walk in and present to the boards. Essentially, we have a bit of a PR problem.So, rather than single out just the members of the C/CAG board, SMCOE felt that it would be good to engage all members of Town and City Councils. I have reached out to everyone of your towns and cities to find out what is the appropriate method for contacting your Town and City Council Members. In some cities you can contact the members directly and in others, you go through another party who filters everything. In your packets, you will find a list of your cities and contact information for either your Councils or the person responsible for communicating to your councils. So, we want councils to be informed, but not overwhelmed. I will be sharing our bi-monthly newsletter and invitations to our three county-wide events. You’ll want to decide what will work best for your-invitations to monthly events, sharing your newsletters and press releases would all be appropriate. Council members do get a lot to read, so keep in mind the old adage-a picture is worth a thousand words.
1. Safe Routes to School Orientation
Daina Lujan, Safe Routes to School Coordinator
Safe Routes at a Glance
Receive Program Overview
Awareness of Approved Vendors
Understanding of Contract Process
Understanding of Project Finance Requirements
Awareness of Evaluation Procedures
Knowledge of Key City Contacts
Understanding of Website Expectations
Engage in Respectful Communication
Agree on the Process and Outcomes
4. Meet and Greet
Find a partner
Work together to come up
with one word to describe Safe
5. Safe Routes at a Glance
Project Evaluation Criteria
6. Safe Routes at a Glance
Budget and Activity Report Deadlines
• Engineering Firms
• Education Firms
Vendors Who are not on the Menu
Mobile Bike Repair Shop
Available to all San Mateo County Schools
Approved for 26 visits; potentially more
10. Booking the BikeMobile
Check the calendar
Click sign up for a visit
Fill Out Online Form
11. Quiz Time
Name the five firms that are approved to provide education
services to San Mateo County schools.
What form should be filled out after services are booked?
What form should be filled out after services are provided?
How much does the BikeMobile cost?
Purpose of Contracts
13. Budget Reporting
2 Part Report
• November 15, February 15, and July 15
• August 1, December 1, and March 1
Fall Program Evaluation
Student Travel Tallies
Online Data Entry
Event Participation Data
15. Quiz Time
True or False: Every district handles contracting with vendors the
How many budget and activities reports will be submitted to
When is the first budget and activity report due?
How can a coordinator help ensure parents respond online to
the Safe Routes parent survey?
Information to include
Suggested Route Information
Cite C/CAG as the Source of Funding
San Mateo-Foster City
17. Public Relations
Engaging City and Town Councils
18. Meeting Evaluation
What information was most useful to you?
What topics would you like to know more about?
As you consider the 2013-2014 Safe Routes program
implementation, what would you like support with?
19. Daina Lujan