Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Examples from the Field: How the American Rescue Plan is Helping Schools, Students & Educators Grow Post-Pandemic

This week we are celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the passing of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The ARP has allowed schools and communities to secure funds to help combat the impacts COVID-19 has had on students, schools, and educators. It has also served as a catalyst for addressing preexisting gaps in the education system.

During the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Conference of Education in February we were able to catch up with some our nation’s superintendents whose school districts have directly benefited from ARP Funds. Here’s what they had to say about all the work ARP has allowed them to do for their schools, their teachers, and their students.

Michael Loughead—Hampton Township School District

“Frankly, being able to stay open, and to provide in person instruction and keep our students moving those funds were instrumental. We were able to provide more in person instruction than many of our neighbors, and frankly most of the school districts in our area, because we use those funds to support that type of programming.”

Michael Redmond—Shakopee Public Schools

“We’re really working to put resources as quickly as we can to serve kids and get kids back on track with their learning get kids reconnected in school. We’ve had opportunities to extend summer learning and learning after school, and so it’s been really important to have that money to do the right things for kids each and every day. “

Dr. John Vanwagoner—Traverse City Area Public Schools

“Our American Rescue Plan ESSER dollars were used to make sure all of our kids have a safe environment with personal protection equipment first and foremost to make sure our students are safe, but also we use it to lower class size… so the kids that maybe had learning last had more individual attention able to work with other students in an environment that just made it more feasible for them to have that individual attention they need to grow.”

Dr. Joris Ray— Memphis Shelby County Schools

“We’re so excited to use the American Rescue Plan dollars to provide a device for every child in our school district, that’s over 95,000 devices and we’re so proud to reduce our classes in grades K-2 from 26:1 to 13:1.”

Martha Group—Vernon Verona Sherrill Central School District

“We are using our ESSER funds for variety of purposes. The first thing we’ve done is to hire two additional social workers, and they’re helping to support our students and families as they return to school. We found that even as the year has gone on that our needs continue to increase as we feel more and more the effects that COVID has had on our on our students and our teachers.”

Harry Thomas III—Essex County Public Schools

“We’ve been able to utilize our COVID pandemic funds to acquire additional staff that have been able to provide 101 tutorial assistance for our students after school, and throughout the summer. We have been able to utilize our pandemic funds to provide Technical Support for our students in the way of personal computing devices and additional hotspots for our students have had academic challenges at home and don’t have the Internet access.”

Marci Catlett—Fredericksburg City Schools

“I’m so excited to be able to speak to how much we benefited from the American Rescue Plan fund with all that we’ve had to deal with in terms of COVID, learning loss, and the social emotional needs it’s been so helpful to have the funds available in terms of helping us with prepare our students to move forward in terms of their learning loss also been able to have more counselors, physicians, and social workers.”

Andrew Almos—East Central Public Schools

“We are using our American rescue funds to hire more teachers specifically to provide interventions for students that are behind in their learning so we’ve hired three additional teachers we also are putting the money into some facility projects so that we can social distance kids more and provide some safe classroom spaces.”

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