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American Rescue Plan: District ESSER III Plan

On April 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER or ESSER III) interim final requirements related to district ESSER III plans and district plans for a safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. (ESSER III State and Local Plan Requirements)

Each district receiving ESSER III funds must:

  • Develop a plan regarding its proposed uses of ESSER III funds, including engaging in meaningful consultation with all required stakeholders and providing the public opportunity to provide comments during plan development.
  • Submit an ESSER III plan to the Department through the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA).
  • Make the plan publicly available on its website in an understandable and accessible format.

This plan is due in full by August 20, 2021.

The distributions of these funds are based on the Title I funding formula, which are the funds providing financial assistance to local educational agencies for children from low-income families.

For reference, Ames has and will receive the following from ESSER funds:

ESSER I: $411,567

ESSER II: $1,686,661

ESSER III: $3,792,492

ESSER III plans submitted to the state must include, at a minimum, a description of: 

  1. The extent to which and how the funds will be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning; 
  2. How the district will use the funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time. 
  3. How the district will spend its remaining ESSER III funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act; and 
  4. How the district will ensure that the interventions it implements will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2021-2022 Proposed Uses of Funds

Allowable Funding Expenditures

Plans for ESSER III expenditures from 2021-22 school year

Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

  • Hand sanitizer additional supplies
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • PPE
  • Staffing for building nurses
  • Staffing for emergency management coordinator

Extended Time 

  • Summer School (staffing, supplies, materials)
  • Before and After School tutoring staffing, supplies, materials)

Other uses of funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act

  • Edgenuity and Accelerate Education licenses to support remote learning settings

Interventions to address to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, including lost learning

  • Increased access to mental health supports for staff and students 
  • Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) 
  • Staff training materials to support reading and math interventions (formative assessment software, decodable texts, math intervention software)

The following presentations were used in meetings with a stakeholder group. It has many components requested of this group that are not asked of the general public. Use these for information regarding ideas/strategies for the user of ESSER funds in our District.  

Stakeholder Group Meeting, June 28, 2021

Stakeholder Group Meeting, July 12, 2021

Click the question to view answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the Ames CSD Esser III Plan. 

  1. The extent to which, and how, the funds will be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning.
  2. How the district will use the funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year.
  3. How the district will spend its remaining ESSER III funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act (link inserted below). 
  4. How the district will ensure that the interventions it implements will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students).
  1. Plan Development: Beginning in May of 2021, teams of ACSD staff began the process of providing input into suggested interventions based on their experience with student learning through the pandemic. Also in May of 2020, ACSD completed the state required assurances for accepting funds.  In June and July of 2021, the ESSER III planning team met to establish priority groups to be targeted with funds based on data.  In July of 2021, a plan will be developed and made available for public comment prior to final submission. 
  2. Plan Submission: A plan of how funds will be spent for the 2021-22 school year will be submitted to the state no later than August 23rd. 
  3. Plan review and possible adjustment: As per state requirements, this plan will be reviewed for progress every 6 months.
  4. Funding timeframe:  ESSER II funds must be spent prior to spending ESSER III funds.  At this time, ESSER III funds are available to spend until June 30 of 2023.

The ESSER III planning team will provide input as to which priority groups are targeted by funding.  This team will provide feedback on the strategies suggested by staff  to use funds.  The board must approve any staffing positions or curriculum adoptions used in the final plan.

A plan outlining how the district will address the required aspects of the ESSER III plan, including the prioritized student groups and the strategies to impact learning loss, will be published on the Ames CSD website with a form for submitting feedback. 

The ESSER III planning team will provide feedback on suggested data points used to monitor the impact of suggested interventions. At a minimum, these data points will be progress monitored every 6 months and adjustments will be made to the plan as needed to impact improved learning outcomes and the continued operation of in-person learning. 

Data used to identify priority groups for use of funding has included:

  • FAST Data
  • MAP Data
  • ELPA21 Data
  • Special Education Progress Monitoring Data
Formal intervention programming such as Success and ALP programming occurs throughout the system.  Additional time structures such as after school tutoring, WIN intervention time during the day, and summer school occur in the current system. Structures are used in each building to create and monitor individual student interventions based on student need. 

Ames staff, including teachers, EAs and admin have suggested the following ideas most frequently to address learning loss:

Staffing

  • Interventionists (academic and attendance)
  • Mental health support
  • Additional classroom teachers to lower class size

Training

  • Training on Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Training on current curriculum materials
  • Training on Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)

Programming

  • Before and After School Tutoring (including transportation)
  • Online Math Intervention programming
  • Social Emotional Learning curriculum (and training)

Materials

  • High Interest Decodable Texts
  • Multilingual Texts for classroom libraries
  • Go Formative Software
ESSER III funds are available to districts to spend until June 30, 2023.  Unspent funds will be returned to the state of Iowa Department of Education. 

 

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