Spending Plan for Federal Stimulus Funds
In response to the devastating economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed multiple stimulus packages. This information is about various funding incentives passed in the last several years, including the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
CRRSA was signed into law on December 27, 2020, and provides an additional $4 billion dollars to New York State (NYS) for the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. Additionally, NYS has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARPA-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90 percent) going to local education agencies, including public schools.
From this, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) Central School District has been allocated $2,886,000 as part of the ARPA and $1,764,373 as part CRRSA.
Please note that all plans are under review by the New York State Education Department, please check back for updates.
Reflecting on the impact of COVID 19 on students and learning
The Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk (RCS) Central School District is committed to providing all students with the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve success as contributing members of a complex, interconnected, and changing world. The COVID-19 pandemic has weighed heavy on the entire community and has taken away precious time and opportunities from our students. It is imperative that we as a community focus on preparing our students for the rigors of the workplace and the world once they leave our doors for the last time, starting from their first day at RCS. Our students need to be prepared for employment, enrollment, or enlistment upon graduation.
To support these efforts, stakeholder feedback was used to make decisions. Various school and district committees, surveys, and public comments at board meetings guided our plans. The district encourages the community to continue to provide ideas by reaching out to your building principal or contacting the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Mr. Engelhardt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Stimulus Funds Guidance
The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring each local education agency, or LEA receiving federal ARP-ESSER funding to post on its website a plan of how such funds will be expended and how the LEA will 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, and children and youth in foster care;
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.
The current plan indicates the ARPA funds will be mostly expended during the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The items listed below are how the district plans to spend the ARPA & CRRSA funds:
Health & Safety: RCS will continue to review incoming health and safety information as it is provided by government entities. RCS will utilize ARP funding for the following:
Continue with rigorous cleaning and sanitization of our school buildings;
Use additional nursing and clerical staff to assist in COVID-19 health and safety requirements;
Allowing for systematic approaches for quarantining students;
Added supervision of students to promote proper social distancing;
Increase the air quality in all of our school buildings through purchasing of materials and technology.
Social-Emotional Health (SEH) and Wellness: It is important that we support students, staff members, and our community with social-emotional health and wellness during this global pandemic. RCS will utilize ARP funding for the following:
Provide instructional check-ins to minimize the effects of transitions in-and-out of school due to quarantining by allowing meaningful interactions with teachers and peers;
Provide emotional and feeling-based check-ins with students to gain a better understanding of their social-emotional wellness with CloseGap (a daily questionnaire);
Increase summer enrichment and summer transition opportunities;
Support Therapeutic Crisis Intervention professional development;
Support of students’ social-emotional health and wellness in a timely manner with a focus on trauma-informed care;
Hiring of a district-wide social worker to support student SEH needs;
Academics - Learning Loss:
RCS will address the ongoing academic impact of lost instructional time by implementing the following interventions and supports:
Student academic, evidence-based interventions and support due to learning loss and to support continuity of learning due to COVID-related absences (ie. quarantine);
Additional highly-qualified teachers to support virtual instruction, to substitute for quarantined teachers, and to provide academic interventions;
Provide teachers opportunities to revise and adjust curriculum to target key content and skills;
Expansion of Afterschool Tutorial Programs implemented to target key skill deficits, and;
Implementation of “Instructional Check-In” Program, where teachers meet with students who are quarantined outside of the instructional day to “check in” academically and socially (see Reengaging and Supporting Students in their Learning, USED, p. 12).
Support mandated Individualized Education Plan (IEP) services for students who are learning remotely and/or need support due to COVID-Related absences and to support families of students with disabilities in making home-to-school connections;
Increase summer programming that maximizes student engagement and interdisciplinary connections while sustaining learning, mitigating learning loss.