Category Archive: Schools

Another round of NY Hate Crimes grants

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the $10 million grant program to help protect New York’s non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions, against hate crimes is now accepting applications. Building upon the success of last year’s first round which provided $14.8 million in grants, the program provides funding to help strengthen security measures and help prevent hate crimes or attacks against these facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. Day care centers, including those that are housed in community centers, and non-profit cultural museums are also eligible to apply.

Related Documents

Frequently Asked Questions
Updated as of 10/30/2018
Eligibility:
Question: Is my organization eligible for this grant funding?
Answer: You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:

Have received a Recognition of Exempt Status Determination letter from the IRS pursuant to 26 USC §501(c)(3). Alternatively, the applicant may self-certify by providing a letter affirming that the organization qualifies as a §501(c)(3) organization and is exempt from tax pursuant to 26 USC §501(a); and meet at least one of the following:

  • are a non-profit nonpublic school recognized with the New York State Department of Education with a current Basic Educational Data System (BEDS code); or
  • are a non-profit day care center or school-age child care program licensed and/or registered, respectively, by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
  • are a group day care center permitted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; or
  • have enrolled group programs. that are legally-exempt from the requirement to be licensed or registered by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
  • are a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people;

AND

  • Be at a significant risk of a hate crime due to ideology, beliefs, or mission;

AND

  • Be registered, have recently applied for registration or be exempt from registering with the NYS Attorney General’s Office, Charities Bureau;

AND

  • Be prequalified, through the New York State Grants Gateway at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov prior to application submission.

Question: Is there a more specific definition as to what is considered a “museum”?

Answer: For purposes of this grant program, non-profit cultural museums are defined of the RFA as: “a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people.”
To be eligible for funding as a non-profit cultural museum, your application must demonstrate that you meet this requirement.

Question: What kind of proof do you require for non-profit cultural museums defined as a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people?
Answer: While there are no specific documents required for cultural museums to submit, when completing the Risk Evaluation Tool, your response to the Background Information section should include any relevant information to demonstrate that you are applying for a building or site for the exhibition or production of arts and culture of a particular region or people.

Question: Are non-profit colleges (i.e., a medical school), or institutions of higher education eligible?
Answer: Non-profit non-public schools (through grade 12) are eligible to apply. While institutions of higher education are not included as part of eligible applicant pool under this Request for Applications.

Application Requirements

Question: Do you require any quotes or information uploaded for the projects?
Answer: You should not provide vendor quotes with your application. You should gather estimated costs for your application budget but you should not be engaging in bidding or contracting with vendors until and unless you are awarded funding and have received an executed grant contract from DHSES. If you are awarded a grant you will need to comply with all State procurement guidelines and regulations in the grant contract.

Question: Are there matching requirements for the grant?
Answer: No, there are no matching funds required for this grant.
Question: Are there reporting requirements once an award has been made?
Answer: Yes, there are reporting requirements for successful applicants of this grant. Please visit our website at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/forms-egrants.cfm and scroll down to the section titled “Contract Certifications & Appendices” to review standard contract documents.

Question: If I do not have a completed risk/threat/vulnerability assessment on file, do I still need to fill out the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool?
Answer: Yes. The DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool is a required application submission.

Question: What must be submitted to consider the application complete?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via E-Grants and all required sections as shown in the tutorial must be answered. Applications must also include:

  • the completed DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool
  • a color, ground-level photo of the front façade of the facility, which is labeled with the name and address of facility
  • Status History Report from Grants Gateway website showing prequalification status
  • Documentation indicating your BEDS code and; a copy of the license and/or registration issued by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services or permit issues by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; if enrolled legally exempt, the Notice of Enrollment submitted as an attachment.

Question: What is the application due date for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications are due to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services by 5:00 pm on December 19, 2018. Applications submitted past this date will be disqualified. Individual extensions will not be given.

Question: What will happen if I fail to answer all the required sections of the application?
Answer: Applicants are required to answer all the required sections in E-Grants and attach all the required documents. Failure to answer all the required questions on the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool will lead to a reduction in your score for the section being reviewed and could lead to an unfavorable overall score by the review panel. Failure to attach all the required documents will disqualify you from the review process.

Question: Can I submit more than one application?
Answer: Applications will be accepted for up to $50,000 per facility. Eligible organizations may submit up to three applications for a maximum total request of up to $150,000 allowed per organization.

Allowable/Unallowable Costs

Question: We do not own our building, we rent space; can we still purchase equipment?
Answer: Permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Any applicant who proposes work on a leased property is exclusively responsible to ensure compliance with the landlord lease agreement and associated requirements, particularly with regard to structural alterations, equipment installations and any alterations made with grant funds. Additionally, applicant/grantee is solely responsible for compliance with any and all federal, state and local permitting or environmental compliance requirements. Security enhancements must be for the facility or facilities that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.

Question: Are costs associated with conducting a risk assessment reimbursable under this grant?
Answer: No, since a risk assessment is not a requirement, costs associated with a risk assessment are not reimbursable under this grant.

Question: What are the consequences of requesting budget items that are not allowable?
Answer: If you request budgetary items that are not allowed under the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program, those items will not be considered.

Question: Can the grant be used for security installations during the construction of a facility?
Answer: No. Security enhancements must be for the facility(ies) that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.

Question: What equipment can be purchased with this grant?
Answer: For purposes of this grant, permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Allowable equipment consists of, but is not limited to:

  • Perimeter lighting;
  • Door hardening;
  • Alarm systems;
  • Camera-based security systems;
  • Access control systems;
  • Perimeter fencing; barriers;
  • bollards;
  • Blast resistant film for windows/shatter resistant glass.

Question: Can organizations ask for a combination of exterior hardening and security training, or is only one type of cost category allowed to be requested.
Answer: Organizations may request a combination of allowable costs listed in the RFA on Page 5 but must stay within the cap as noted on Page 1 of the RFA.

Question: We plan to add cameras to the facility’s exterior. Improvements to the interior network will be required to handle the camera’s essential recording and monitoring functions. Are those network improvements eligible costs?
Answer: Improvements or upgrades to a current CCTV system would be an eligible cost as long as you are installing/upgrading cameras to the exterior of the facility.

Question: Are fire alarm systems eligible?
Answer: Per the RFA under Section F. Authorized Program Expenditures; applications must be for projects to protect against hate crime activity by: Hardening the organization’s facility or facilities including recreational areas adjacent to the facility through exterior physical security enhancements; and/or providing security training that will advance the knowledge of security personnel and staff. Fire alarm systems do not meet the requirements under this RFA.

Question: Can we apply for Management and Administration (M&A) costs to have someone manage the installation of the equipment and/or oversee the grant project?
Answer: No, M&A costs are not allowable under this grant funding.

Technical

Question: How do I submit my application for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via DHSES’s E-Grants system. If you are not registered to use the E-Grants system, your agency will need to register and be assigned a user name and password. Please refer to: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm for detailed instructions.

Question: Why can’t I find the link to go directly to E-Grants?
Answer: E-Grants is a secure system. Once you have been registered and issued a username and password, you will be sent the link to the E-Grants sign in page. You should bookmark this link.

Question: If I am already registered as a user of E-Grants, can I just use my existing username and password to create a new application?
Answer: Yes, you may. However, if you have not used E-Grants recently you may find your username and password have been disabled. In that case, send an e-mail to: grant.info@dhses.ny.gov and identify your name, agency and current username and password (if known).

Question: Is there a specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool being uploaded using E Grants?
Answer: No, there is no specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool, however, it would be helpful it you identified if by the name of the organization or address of the facility.

Question: Attachment B DHSES Risk Assessment Tool (pg. 19 of RFA) asks about a previous risk/security/threat assessment, is this assessment necessary in order to apply for this grant funding?
Answer: No. We do not require that you have an assessment as part of the grant application process. If you do have an assessment you should use it to help you complete the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool.

Question: What will happen if I am late to register on E-Grants?
Answer: If you do not register on time for E-Grants you risk missing your overall deadline for the application. You should register as soon as you know that you intend to submit an application to avoid any issues.

Question: What will happen if I select the wrong funding program in E-Grants?
Answer: Please ensure you select the correct funding program for your application. If you select the wrong funding program in E-Grants, your application will be disqualified. The funding program for this grant is called “Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes.”
Question: How do I upload documents to my E-Grants Application?
Answer: See the E-Grants tutorial page 54 through 58 at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm

K-12 School Security Guide (2nd Edition) and School Security Survey

Posted on August 08, 2018

K-12 School Security: A Guide for Preventing and Protecting against Gun Violence (2nd ed., 2018) provides preventive (i.e., spotting potentially problematic individuals) and protective measures (i.e., policies and procedures) to address the threat of gun violence in schools.

The Guide is delivered in two parts:

  1. a PDF with general security best practices and considerations in narrative format;
  2. a Microsoft Excel-based security survey.

Together, these documents outline action-oriented security practices and options for consideration based on the results of the individual school’s responses to the survey. While the primary audience for the Guide is the K-12 community, houses of worship, nonprofits, camps, institutions of higher education or pre-K schools may also benefit from the information presented.

New DHS action guides for soft targets and crowded places

Posted on June 21, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently posted new resources for soft targets (virtually all nonprofits are considered soft targets) and crowded places. These are clear and concise (two page) action guides:

All of these guides offer excellent suggestions and can be used for training purposes. We urge you to take a look and to put them to good use.

Are you prepared? 5 steps to make your facility safer and more secure

Posted on August 30, 2017

(Click here to download a PDF of this webpage)

Organizational leaders should work to strike a balance: to offer a warm and welcoming facility, while at the same time ensuring that their members, students, staffs, clients and building are safe and secure. Leaders concerned with everybody’s safety and security should prepare to deal with emergencies, because “on the fly” reflexes might not be as effective as a pre-determined and rehearsed plan. While your “to-do” list at the beginning of the academic and program year is long, consider these tips to help you prepare for emergencies and ensure you can protect your constituencies.

1.  Control access to your facility

No unauthorized person should be allowed to enter your facility. Every person entering your facility should be screened by security (or other) staff.

  • Limit entrances and exits. Limit access to your facility to monitored entrances.
  • Don’t slow down regular users. Create a system to identify regulars (e.g., staff, members).
  • Screen irregular visitors. g., people with appointments, contractors, etc. See more at Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures.
  • Divide your building into sectors. Should people authorized to use one part of the building be able to wander into another? If you have an access control system, take advantage of its capabilities to allow specific access. Alternatively, use color-coded badges, wristbands or ID cards as a low-tech solution.

2. Plan your emergency response

Stuff happens. Emergencies are not events that you can handle on the fly. Consider having plans, procedures and designated teams empowered to make decisions during emergencies, and trained and prepared to respond to events.

  • Develop and train an emergency response team. Designate someone to be in charge during an emergency and someone else as backup. Build a support team. Have the team work together on your response plans.
  • Build a relationship with your local police.Work with your local police throughout the year and give them the opportunity to get to know your programs, your rhythms, your people and your building. Ask them for suggestions as to how to make your people safer.
  • Know what to do if you receive a threat. Get some ideas about preparing for phone, email or social media threats and evacuations and sheltering at: http://www.jcrcny.org/2017/02/to-evacuate-or-not-to-evacuate-that-is-the-question/.
  • Have an “active shooter” Do the people in your facility know what to do if a person with a gun or sharp-edged weapon shows up? Find more information at: www.jcrcny.org/activeshooter.
  • Be ready to tell people what’s happening. Don’t let your stakeholders learn about an emergency at your facility from the media. Be prepared to communicate. Have some pre-written messages: be first; be right; be credible. Consider options including hardware and web-based emergency notification systems that will simultaneously email, text and phone pre-prepared lists, dedicated social media groups or free apps such as WhatsApp or GroupMe that will send texts (including a link to your website with more info and updates). Now is the time to collect the cell numbers of your stakeholders.
  • Involve your board in the security and preparedness process.

3. Develop a routine

Security, done well, must be done daily and involve everybody.

  • Create a culture of security. Everyone should feel responsible to report suspicious activity. “If you see something, say something” should be part of your culture of security.
  • Be aware of hostile surveillance. If you see something, say something. If it is not an emergency, call the NYPD at (888) NYC-SAFE, outside NYC (866) SAFE-NYS. For more information download Indicators of Terrorist Activity from the NYPD, Guide to Detecting Surveillance of Jewish Institutions from the ADL at adl.org/security and Security Awarenessby Paul DeMatties at Global Security Risk Management,  LLC.
  • Schedule regular walkarounds. Designate an employee to complete a “walkaround” of your building and your perimeter on a daily basis, if not more often. They should be looking for suspicious objects, items blocking evacuation routes and anything else that “Just Doesn’t Look Right.”
  • Make sure you’re getting the right information. Sign up for alerts to learn when the local and/or global security threats conditions change. Sources: JCRC-NY Security Alerts at jcrcny.org/security, https://www.nypdshield.org/public/signup.aspx, emergency alerts from Notify NYC or your local emergency management office and have a weather app on your smartphone to warn you about severe weather.
  • Work with your security provider and your staff to write, “post orders”. Your guards should not merely decorate your entrance. They should know what you expect them to do daily and in emergencies.

4. Don’t forget to train

Major leaguers take batting practice before every game. True, they started batting in the Little Leagues, but drills help people to know, instinctively, what to do. Emergencies that turn to chaos become crises. People know what to do during a fire drill, because they have participated in fire drills since grade school.

Use tabletop exercises involving a wide swath of stakeholders to help you to determine policies and procedures. Once you have determined your plans and procedures, schedule evacuation and lockdown drills. And remember … once is not enough.

5. Explore your security hardware options

Your security hardware should support your security procedures. There are federal and New York State grants available for many organizations (see: www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants for more details). Consider obtaining the funding for:

  • Your main and secondary doors should lock securely and be able to withstand an attack by a determined intruder.
  • Do your windows lock securely? Reduce the risk of break-ins, vandalism and even mitigate the extent of injuries from bomb blasts by properly installing security/blast-mitigation film on your current windows or replacing them with windows with those properties built-in.
  • Access control systems. The electronic possibilities are endless: access cards, biometrics, alarms and more. Get professional advice (see JCRC-NY’s guidance on Security vendors), figure out a hardware plan that is expandable and adaptable.
  • Video monitoring. Deploy CCTV systems in various ways. First, as part of a video intercom system to identify people seeking to enter your facility. Second, to monitor secondary entrances (you can add alarms that warn you that a door was opened, alerting someone to check the monitor), and finally, to help to detect hostile surveillance.
 David Pollock and Paul DeMatteis
security@jcrcny.org | August 30, 2017

School security guards: How to register

Posted on July 20, 2016

Security Guard Reimbursement for Nonpublic Schools

Local Law 2 of 2016 authorizes the City of New York to reimburse qualifying nonpublic elementary and secondary schools for the cost of certain security guard services. New York City released its Final Adopted Rules for the program. Each nonpublic school with an enrollment of more than 300 will receive a letter directing them to “prequalify” online using the HHS Accelerator. If you need assistance using HHS Accelerator, you can register for training or contact the HHS Accelerator Helpdesk once you have logged into the system.

Do not delay. After completing the HHS Accelerator you will be contacted about signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). A qualified nonpublic school will not be eligible to apply for reimbursement for any security services until an MOU has been signed by the school and registered with the Comptroller. Only expenses incurred after the signing of the MOU will be reimburseable.

If you are currently using a security guard provider they will have to register with the city in order to be an approved company. Click to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

 Training: AcceleratorAssist

To sign up for training, select a date below based on the status of your organization’s account with HHS Accelerator. Registration is required to attend trainings.

If you can’t make a training, you can watch a video or read a guide. Or if you would like individualized assistance, contact us.

Upcoming Trainings

Getting Prequalified in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This session is designed for organizations that are getting started in HHS Accelerator.

The session covers an overview of the system, how to upload and share documents, guidance on completing the HHS Accelerator Application to become prequalified.

Friday, August 12, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Friday, August 26, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Getting Prequalified in HHS Accelerator with On Site Support
AcceleratorAssist creates a space for providers to receive individual attention on the HHS Accelerator System and the process to get prequalified.

The session begins with an overview of the Prequalification Application and then providers are allotted a generous amount of time to work in the system with guidance from Accelerator staff. Registration is required.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 3, 206 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Competing for Funding Using HHS Accelerator System (webinar)

This session is primarily designed for pre-qualified organizations. Users whose organizations have applications which are nearly complete and are interested in specific upcoming procurements may also participate.

The session covers how to find Request for Proposals and submit proposals.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Managing Financials, Budgets, Invoices and Payments in HHS Accelerator (on site)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

The HHS Accelerator Financials module allows you to electronically submit budgets and invoices for review, start budget modifications, request advances and assignments, and track payments. This comprehensive session will provide you with an overview of each of the system’s capabilities. Please note this training is only for Providers who have been selected by their Agency to use HHS Accelerator Financials. Registration is required.

Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Submitting Budgets in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

This shorter session is designed for organizations who will be submitting budgets in HHS Accelerator for fiscal year 2017. This session covers how to submit budgets, advances and budget modifications in HHS Accelerator.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Submitting Invoices in HHS Accelerator (webinar)
This training is only for organizations that use HHS Accelerator Financials.

This shorter session is designed for organizations with Approved budgets in HHS Accelerator that are ready to use HHS Accelerator Financials to invoice. This session covers how to submit invoices in HHS Accelerator and track payments.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

  • Prevailing wage. People have inquired how to determine the “prevailing wage” in the HHS Accelerator. Prevailing wages are set by the New York City Comptroller and can be found on p. 19 in this document. For those who want the 2016-2017 answer instantly:

SECURITY GUARD (UNARMED)

For the period: 7/1/2016 – 12/31/2016: $14.30 (hourly wages) + $5.04 (supplemental benefit rate per hour)
For the period: 1/1/2017 – 6/30/2017:   $14.40 (hourly wages) + $5.22 (supplemental benefit rate per hour)

  • Guidelines for hiring a security contractor. This ADL publication raises a number of important issues. Remember, security guard companies on the NYC approved list are required to submit information on their financial resources, technical qualifications,experience, record of performance and record of business integrity. They also must comply with NYS requirements such as licensing and background checks.