ESSER III -- American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Use of Funds Plan
Meaningful Consultation with All Required Stakeholders
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plans (ARP) Act was signed into law. In it, the U.S. Department of Education provides an additional $121.9 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund). This legislation will award grants to state educational agencies designed to provide local educational agencies with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
South Carolina will receive $2.1 billion in ESSER III funds from the Act. Ninety percent will be awarded to school districts. The amount of each district’s award is based on the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining funds will be used for state-level activities that address issues caused by COVID-19.
The following plan describes how Lexington County School District One will safely return to in-person instruction and provide a continuity of services for all our schools. This report complies with all ARP Act (Public Law 117-2), the ESSER III grant terms, conditions and assurances (CFDA Number 84.425U), and the interim final rule established by the United States Department of Education’s 86 FR 21195.
Before the district finalized its plan, it conducted focus groups of students, teachers, administrators and parents/guardians. It also invited all parents/guardians, staff and board members to read the plan and provide feedback through surveys. In addition, the district reached out to the district’s Educational Foundation and Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center members and invited them to also provide feedback.
The feedback from those focus groups and surveys helped district administrators clarify, refine and more clearly communicate the plan presented below. We thank everyone who participated for taking the time to help the district hone its plan.
|Required Stakeholder||Date(s) of Input|
|School and district administrators||6/15/2021, 6/24/2021, 6/30/2021, 7/12/2021, 7/15/2021, 7/19/2021|
|Teachers||6/15/2021, 6/16/2021, 7/26/2021|
|Principals and school leaders||6/15/2021, 6/24/2021, 7/20/2021, 8/17/2021|
|Other educators, school staff||6/15/2021, 6/16/2021, 7/26/2021|
|Other stakeholders representing key student subgroups||5/21/2021, 6/30/2021|
American Rescue Plan Secondary School Emergency Relief Allowable Activities
The following categories are allowable uses of the American Rescue Plan. The district is required to reserve not less than 20 percent of the funds to address learning loss.
- Any activity authorized by the following:
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 ("ESEA")
- Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)
- Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.),
- Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.) (‘‘the Perkins Act’’), and
- Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
- Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
- Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
- Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
- Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such an agency.
- Planning for and coordinating and implementing activities during long-term closures, including providing meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, providing guidance for carrying out requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) and providing other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all federal, state, and local requirements.
- Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and children with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
- Providing mental health services and support, including through the implementation of evidenced based full-service community schools.
- Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
- Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the local educational agency, including by —
- Administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction;
- Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students;
- Providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment; and
- Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
- School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
- Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.
- Developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff.
- Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.
- Any activity authorized by the following:
The following activities will be implemented using the American Rescue Plan Secondary School Emergency Relief funds.
Instructional Staff - $8,122,102.35
Instructional Programs, Materials and Outreach - $3,947,497
Social Emotional Wellness — Projects and Staff - $1,956,470
Professional Learning - $99,500
Instructional Time Outside of School Day - $5,125,238.84
Technology, Infrastructure, and Connectivity - $1,541,300
Building, Construction and Maintenance Projects - $1,940,000
Safety Efforts $3,066,000