ESSER Funding | School Reopening Plans
Federal Funding to Support Pandemic Relief to Schools
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund provided federal funding to support reopening schools for in-person learning and assist with pandemic-related expenses. As of May 2021, the district was awarded funding in three installments totaling $577,735.
The funding helps offset costs of Personal Protection Equipment supplies, professional development, curricular supports and digital materials for both remote learning and in-person learning. The most recent grant was awarded in May 2021 and was the largest at $371,517. The grant is being used to fund a Getting Ready Camp in July-August 2021 to help targeted students prepare for the school year. Funds are also being used for classroom furniture needed to maximize social distancing, social and emotional learning, other curricular supports and PPE.
The district spent about $1.3 million in additional expenses to operate schools in the 2020-21 school year and preparing to open the 2021-22 school year. The majority of that cost was for additional staffing needs to operate remote learning and in-person learning in socially distanced environments.
Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato reported how the federal funds were used in the May 21, 2021, Financial Report to the Board of Education.
2020-21 Reopening Plans
As the district leadership began planning for the 2020-21 school year, parents were informed of the state-mandated health guidelines, surveyed on education choices for their children and invited to submit questions for public FAQs. Updates were also shared at monthly public Board of Education meetings, which were held virtually and available for public viewing on the district's YouTube Channel. Public comment was invited via an online form at the beginning of each public meeting. Key communications and opportunities for public input included:
- A survey to gather feedback on remote learning was conducted during the initial school shutdown March-June 2020.
- The District shared the Parent Guide to Reopening School on July 17, 2020, via video from Dr. Larry Hewitt, Superintendent and then conducted a survey for parents to choose between fully remote or fully in-person learning.
Parent guides were published for in-person learners at each school:
Additional information was published based on parent feedback, including:
Second Semester Updates
Updated guidance was shared with families before the start of the second semester.