AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN – ESSER III USE OF FUNDS
Sussex County Charter School for Technology has been allocated funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) – ESSER III as follows:
ARP ESSER III: $143,325
Accelerate Learning Coach & Educator Support: $ 50,000
Evidence Based Summer Learning & Enrichment: $ 40,000
Evidence Based Comprehensive Beyond the School Day: $ 40,000
NJTSS Mental Health Support Staffing: $ 45,000
These funds can be used over a multiple of years from March 11, 2021 to September 30, 2024.
Sussex County Charter School for Technology shared the plan outlined below at the November 8, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting and a resolution was unanimously approved by the Board. No public comments were made during the meeting. The Charter School will monitor this grant funding closely and if necessary, will make formal requests to the NJDOE to modify or adjust any fund allocations as needed.
ARP ESSER III – $143,325
The Sussex County Charter School for Technology have appropriated the ARP – ESSER III funds to enhance the educational experience as well as make improvements for the health and safety for students and staff return. Funds will be used towards:
- New student Chromebooks to replace those Chromebooks no longer working due to heavy use from remote/hybrid learning.
- Using LinkIt software program to track student benchmark assessments and identify areas of student strengths and weaknesses which will allow teachers to more quickly identify and target specific skills.
- Replace water fountains with water bottle filling stations which will eliminate the spread of germs and viruses’.
- Replace several air conditioning systems within the two buildings to improve room temperature and air circulation.
Accelerated Learning Coach and Educator Support – $50,000
The Sussex County Charter School for Technology has appropriated the Accelerated Learning Coach and Educator Support funds to develop professional development opportunities for the teaching staff. Professional development will be delivered to all academic departments and will focus on identifying student learning needs based on benchmark data and instructional strategies directed towards learning loss.
Evidence Based Summer Learning and Enrichment – $40,000
Sussex County Charter School for Technology has developed a summer program which integrates STEM learning opportunities. The STEM program will integrate skills and topics to fill in learning loss gaps as a result of the pandemic. The money allocated in this grant will be used to offset teacher salaries and supplies.
Evidence Based Comprehensive Beyond the School Day – $40,000
Sussex County Charter School continues to provide students with the additional support they need via tutoring and extra help outside of the regular school day. Students needing additional assistance are identified by their teachers, guidance, administrators or by parent request. Teachers can meet with students either at the school or via an online platform. The funds allocated will be used to support teacher salaries outside of the regular school day.
NJTSS Mental Health Support Staffing – $45,000
The Sussex County Charter School for Technology is in the process of expanding our guidance department to meet the needs of the student population. This year due to receiving ESSER II funds, we were able to hire an additional part-time guidance counselor. The additional counselor has been instrumental in providing additional student support and allows the counselors to check in more regularly with students; run small groups and provide more intensive one-to-one counseling for students as needed. The ESSER III funds will be used to continue this level of support with the funding allocation being used towards the counselors salary.
- The extent to which and how the funds will be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are to the greatest extent practicable consistent with the most recent CDC guidance on reopening schools in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning;
The funds will be used to continue to prepare our school and learners for in-person learning. The purchasing of Chromebooks will help with students’ current Chromebooks which are not performing as well as they should (volume, battery not holding charges, etc…) We are also considering student health for them to return by using outdoor tents for eating and replacing an air conditioner to make the air circulation better in the classroom.
- How the LEA will use the funds it reserves under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions such as summer learning or summer enrichment extended day comprehensive after school programs or extended school year;
We have looked into programs which will help us identify through benchmark assessments and data collection students strengths and needs as a whole student across multiple academic fields. Link It will help us achieve this through their online data driven platform. This will use teachers time better and create stronger, more informed decision making for teachers and administrators. In addition, we are going to use Achieve 3000 Math as an online tool to help bridge the gap in mathematics. We have used Achieve 3000 in Reading/Language Arts for several years and have had great student success. Finally, we would like to have a summer program again to assist students who through Link It and teacher observations still have gaps in their learning as a result of the pandemic for the summer of 2022 instruction.
- How the LEA will spend its remaining ARP ESSER funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act;
The Charter School will continue to observe and survey the needs of the staff and students to ensure good health practices are taking place. We will monitor student achievement through benchmark assessments to identify the need for additional tutoring and student support. We will also continue to monitor the current rate of infection and make sure the school has the necessary supplies (ie. masks, cleaning, etc…) to combat and reduce the possibility of spread.
- How the LEA will ensure that the interventions it implements, including but not limited to the interventions implemented under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students. Under this requirement, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its plan. Specifically, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with students; families; school and district administrators (including special education administrators); and teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions.
The Charter school communicates regularly with parents through a weekly parent communication email blast. This keeps parents informed about what is going on at the school, lunch programs, and curriculum. We encourage parents to email the administration if they have concerns about their children. We have hired an additional part time counselor this year and moved a part time School Psychologist full time. The counselors are checking in with students regularly regarding grades and mental health. Teachers and counselors maintain open communication lines to ensure no children are falling “between the cracks.” We continue to utilize benchmark assessments which will be given throughout the school year to monitor students’ growth. Our teachers meet in departments regularly to discuss student progress, students who are struggling and how to meet those students’ needs. We have started to use LinkIt which will assist in monitoring student growth.
- Additionally, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with each of the following, to the extent present in or served by the LEA: Tribes; civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.
We will share updates with the community through monthly Board of Trustee meetings. The Safe Return was shared at a Board Meeting where parents shared concerns about students wearing masks.