The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as school districts, that receive funding from the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP-ESSER) to post on its website a draft plan by July 1, of how these funds will be spent.
New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARP-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90%) going to local education agencies, including public schools. HFCSD has been allocated $4,609,813.
Of this total, approximately $800,000 will be earmarked specifically for supports to address learning gaps due to interrupted learning.
Districts are also required to prioritize spending on non-recurring expenses in the following areas:
- Safely returning students to in-person instruction;
- Maximizing in-person instruction time;
- Operating schools and meeting the needs of students;
- Purchasing educational technology;
- Addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, including the impacts of interrupted instruction and learning loss and the impacts on low-income students, children with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness;
- Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs;
- Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs.
In addition, districts must identify programs and services that will continue beyond the availability of these federal funds and how local funds will be used moving forward in order to minimize disruption to core academic and other school programs.
Safely returning students to in-person instruction
Coordinating preparedness and response efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.
Plan summary: HFCSD will continue to use and provide personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves as well as sanitation equipment and supplies needed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. ARP ESSER funds will be used to purchase supplies to sanitize and clean buildings and classrooms, including repairing and improving school facilities to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, including improving air quality and HVAC systems.
Operating schools and meeting the needs of students
Plan summary: HFCSD has mainly divided the use of these funds into four main categories.
- Expenses to recover and improve academically in the wake of COVID. This will also include a more robust set of intramural and enrichment opportunities for our students.
- Expenses related to Social-Emotional Learning. This includes the addition of a full-time social worker.
- Expenses related to reconnecting HFCSD with the larger Tiger community. This includes funding Coordinator roles for Parent University and a “Tiger Community Connections.”
- Expenses related to professional learning for our faculty and staff.
Purchase of educational technology
Plan summary: HFCSD will allocate funds in the area in order to make sure our students and staff in grades 1-12 have 1-1 Chromebook devices.
Addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all students, including low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness
Plan summary: HFCSD will address the impacts of COVID on this subset of learners in the following ways:
- Possible availability of wifi hotspots for families without high-speed internet.
- Additional instructional time beyond the regular school day for our ESLs.
- Remedial services for students outside of the regular school day.
- Additional enrichment opportunities
Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs
Plan summary: HFCSD may use funds to support evidence-based strategies to support social, emotional, mental health and academic needs. The district will support initiatives to provide a positive school climate, such as No Place for Hate, Natural Helpers, and Zones of Regulation. Funds will also be used to support the hiring of a Social Work Associate for the next few years.
Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs
Plan summary: HFCSD may use funds to offer evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs. Additional learning opportunities for academics and enrichment programs, including clubs, sports, and fine arts will be supported through the use of ARP funding. New programs will be created to provide before and after-school ELA and math support. The district will plan for future summer enrichment camps for students.