ARP ESSER Plan

American Rescue Plan - ESSER (2021) for Taylor County Schools

 

To access the US Department of Education Fact Sheet for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, click here: https://oese.ed.gov/files/2021/03/FINAL_ARP-ESSER-FACT-SHEET.pdf 

 

Local Education Agency Use of Funds

In May of 2021, Taylor County Schools received a portion of the ARP ESSER funds granted by the federal government. This funding is to assist schools with potential learning gaps incurred due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our area faced high rates of community spread which required our students and staff to adjust the way we teach and learn to a distance learning platform from March 2020 - May 2020 and then off and on during the 2020-21 school year. We were able to return to in-person learning on January 25, 2021 for the remainder of the school year, aside from some inclement weather days in February and early March. ARP ESSER funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reopening schools. 

 

Safety is our number one priority for both students and staff. Many efforts have been made in mitigating the spread of any viruses in addition to the CDC guidance and KDE’s Healthy at Schools guidance, including cleaning/disinfecting supplies in every classroom and every entrance, electrostatic spraying of all surfaces and buses, masking, and social distancing when possible.  

 

In planning for the 2021-22 school year, we have addressed many areas we feel necessary to accommodate for due to consequences from the pandemic. Although the guidance from ARP ESSER has some restrictive uses, we will have no problem meeting the requirements to spend these funds. 

 

Consultation was addressed with multiple groups having input, including district directors, administrators from central office and each school, teachers and students, and parents and community members. Input was gathered (via Google form or from in-person meetings) from all stakeholders and used in determining next steps with our plan. Over 171 stakeholders gave input on the ARP ESSER Plan; 33% had children in TCPC, 37% had children in TCIS, 36% had children in TCMS, 43% had children in TCHS, and 1% did not have children currently in the school system. From the results, the main issues their child struggled with last year was: missing out on social interaction with other students (83%), keeping up with online assignments (46%), receiving assistance for assignments that were difficult (42%), and understanding how to use technology (20%). From this information, we were able to discern that distance learning was a challenge for many, and if we offer virtual learning for the upcoming year, we need to ensure the students that are learning from home have the capacity to succeed with resources. For the upcoming school year, parents indicated their children would benefit from the following:  interventions that allowed for more one-on-one assistance (55%), intervention programs that supplement math and reading content (47%), after school programs/tutoring (30%), and having a technology device to take home (30%). When asked how they would like to see money spent on the 2021-22 school year, the following were selected most often:  to continue with in-person learning (69%), additional teachers to help meet student needs (49%), enrichment programs to help meet student needs (43%), technology devices for students (29%), additional programs to help students master the KAS (24%), and 17% stated more counselors and continuing sanitizing protocols. It is evident that our families want schools to be as ‘normal’ as possible for the upcoming year. In taking all of this data into account, we have developed a plan to help meet the needs of our students.

 

Over the next few years, we hope to close the gap to address learning loss incurred during the pandemic by providing an intentional summer support program that serves students with both academic and enrichment opportunities, providing more staff to help deliver instruction in small groups or on-to-one settings - including reading and math interventionists in each school to help address learning loss during the pandemic, providing a technology device to each student in grades K-12, providing software programs to allow for more supplemental instruction in (and out of) the classrooms and virtual learning from home, specific professional learning for staff (Kagan structures to improve teaching and learning), and providing a safe and sanitized environment for staff and students. The district will ensure that interventions address the academic impact of lost instruction time by using evidence and research-based practices to help improve student achievement. 

 

After conducting a district needs assessment, the following will be used with these federal dollars:

  1. A robust summer support program that will close some academic achievement gaps incurred from this past year (approximately 12% will be spent here)

    1. Transportation will be provided

    2. Breakfast and lunch will be provided

    3. Small group settings will be provided so students can get more individualized attention using evidence-based interventions

    4. Activities for both remediation and enrichment will be provided

  2. An investment in educational technology to support student learning whether in-person or distance learning (approximately 20% will be spent here) - increase technology devices accessible to all students

    1. Student technology ratio goal 1:1

    2. Wireless devices to assist students whose families cannot afford internet services

    3. Teacher devices that allow for video conferencing/recording lessons

    4. Replacement parts/charger cords that are returned damaged or not returned

  3. Additional staff (approximately 54% will be spent here) - interventionists added for each school to help support students who have incurred academic loss due to the pandemic

    1. To help reduce class sizes

    2. To work with students in small group settings or one-to-one on reading and math skills

    3. To work with students on social-emotional well-being and mental health services

    4. To work with students on enrichment and essential skills necessary for a 21st century learner, worker, citizen

    5. To conduct activities to address the needs of students from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth

    6. To provide technological support to students and staff

  4. Software programs (approximately 10% will be spent here)

    1. To provide students with supplemental aids in reading, math, science, and social studies

    2. To provide students with enrichment opportunities 

    3. To help students achieve mastery of the Kentucky Academic Standards

    4. To provide virtual students an online platform in order to complete courses from home

  5. School facility repairs to reduce the risk of viral transmission and support student health (less than 2% will be spent here)

  6. Professional Learning opportunities for staff (less than 2% will be spent here)

    1. Kagan structures

    2. Professional Learning Communities 

 

If you would like to comment or add input to this plan, please click on the link below and complete the Google Form. Thank you.


https://forms.gle/TKUnbp6eiDVx8cuZ6