The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local 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 a plan on its website identifying proposed yearly expenditures.
New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARP-ESSER funds, with 90 percent going to local education agencies, including public schools. The Churchville-Chili Central School District has been allocated $4,555,172.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act requires the district to reserve at least 20% of their 90% ARP-ESSER allocation to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on economically disadvantaged students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.
The Plan will be re-evaluated and updated continuously by administration based on changing needs of our student population and budget expenditures in future years.
Annual ARP Budget (Based on July-June School Fiscal Year)
2021-22 (July-June): $1,518,391
2022-23 (July-June): $1,518,391
2023-24 (July-June): $1,518,390
Districts are 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; and
Supporting early childhood education.
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.
Before finalizing and posting this plan, districts are required to seek public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders and take such comments into account in the development of the plan. The Churchville-Chili District collaborated with district staff, union leadership, and conducted an online survey seeking input and feedback surrounding the use of the newly allotted federal funds. Top themes of use identified a focus on allocating funds to address learning loss especially in the areas of ELA and math. Further, overwhelming support and advocacy was received to assess, develop and coordinate social-emotional support for students, staff and families. Finally, stakeholder input emphasized the need for continued 1:1 technology and related professional development, along with assessing and addressing HVAC in school buildings across the district.
Safely returning students to in-person instruction
The District plans to allocate funds to the purchase of custodial/maintenance equipment and supplies, student desks, personal protective equipment, and other protective measures to support in-person instruction. Such purchases are intended to be non-recurring expenses. Replacement costs of any purchases will be allocated within the General Fund once the federal funds are no longer available.
Dedicated time will be allocated for teachers to engage in curriculum writing to assess vertical articulation, and re-alignment of course learning objectives in an effort to recover learning loss and accelerate future learning.
Maximizing in-person instruction time
The District plans to utilize the funds to maintain lower class sizes and provide instructional support such as additional ESL staffing, as well as enrichment and math specialists to support both students and staff with curriculum alignment, co-planning and teaching, and support in classroom settings. Funding will be allocated accordingly on a year to year basis and reviewed annually to minimize recurring costs.
Funds have been allocated to pay for SAT, ACT, and IB exams to help students and families with associated costs. This will also eliminate a potential financial barrier of students enrolling in more rigorous coursework.
Operating schools and meeting the needs of students
Social emotional and academic needs of students and staff will be prioritized through the dedicated role of a coordinator of social-emotional wellness. In addition, a social worker will be added at the elementary level to increase support for students and families. At the high school level, a mentoring program will be implemented to assist students in ninth grade as they begin high school (transitioning from eighth grade). Training will be provided for mentors and weekly meetings will take place to provide a variety of social emotional supports and resources, including the development of individual adult mentor-student relationships. The coordinator will implement a needs assessment across the district and work collaboratively with appropriate staff to implement a comprehensive plan aligned with district goals.
Purchase of educational technology
The district will allocate a portion of funds to continue to assess and improve wireless access throughout the District. Purchase and replacement of instructional and classroom technology to support student learning will align with the district technology plan. Future technology replacement costs will be prioritized within the General Fund once the federal funds are no longer available.
The district will provide portable internet access (MiFi) for all students who do not have substantial and consistent quality internet access. This includes low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness.
Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs
The District will utilize funds to support students and their families through mental health services, health education, psychology, counseling services, and social work support. Additionally, the coordinator of social-emotional wellness will provide wellness awareness and related activities and supports for students and staff across the district. Professional development and training opportunities will include Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, restorative practices and behavioral intervention supports and plans, as well as safety plans and threat assessments. Regular mental health team meetings will occur and focus upon the data obtained from the social, emotional, mental health and wellness assessment.
Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs
Summer programming will be offered and designed to target learning loss and opportunities for students to accelerate learning, especially in ELA and math at the elementary and middle levels. Opportunities for science, along with multiple course offerings will be provided in the summer for students in grades 7-12. Students with disabilities will also be provided with summer learning opportunities along with related services to address learning loss. The District will provide transportation support for students enrolled in summer programs.
Credit recovery programs at the secondary level were offered in 2020-21 and will continue to be available. Each building principal will identify research-based opportunities for students for extended learning, enrichment, and social-emotional support in an extended day format. The district will provide transportation to encourage participation in the programs offered. Further, students will have opportunities to engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in an extended day format and/or Saturdays.
Supporting early childhood education
The District is prepared to implement a Universal Prekindergarten classroom at each of the elementary schools, along with a setting in a community childcare agency (RFP process) utilizing NYS grant funding. Once funding is no longer available, the District anticipates supplementing the program through local dollars pending community enrollment and participation.