The United States Department of Education is requiring school districts that will receive ARP-ESSER money to engage with their communities and, by July 1, post a plan on their websites that explains how they will spend the money.
We have already started our public engagement this past month. We have met with members of the Board of Education and we hosted a meeting that included all of our Building Teams which include parent representatives so we could get feedback. Now, we’re asking the broader community for your input as well. This letter serves as our initial plan framework.
Our plan will have us using the money to continue our work in critical areas. First and foremost we want to regain the time lost due to COVID. Secondly, we are in the foundational stage of improving our academic outcomes long-term. This money was finalized in late spring and we are given three years to make the best use of it. With this timeline in mind, we are not going to overspend or overcommit right away. We will however be deliberate on how this fits in with our District Mission and Vision, as well as the improvements we need to make.
There are three main areas where this money will be allocated. The areas are Gap Closing, Extending School, and One-Time Purchases.
When thinking about Gap Closing, the goal is to recover from the schooling loss due to COVID. We plan to offer various academic interventions and enrichment activities. Additional reading and math support, added credit recovery programs, early high school credit options at the middle school, and Social-Emotional (SEL) supports are the areas to which this money will be devoted.
When thinking about Extending School we are talking about activities that happen beyond the traditional school day. We plan to offer tutoring, after-school activities, and summer activities. The intent here is to extend our support to all students and to offer a more enriching environment. Things beyond the core content areas go here as well- additional/supplemental physical education activities, additional art, music, and languages.
And One-Time Purchases are things that would make our schools better but don’t naturally fit into the regular budget- additional technology and the like.
We’d appreciate your thinking about these three areas in regards to things that might fit within so that we don’t overlook any good ideas.
Dan Ward, Superintendent
Michael DeCaprio, Assistant Superintendent for Education and Accountability
Kevin Polunci, Executive Director of Business and Human Resources