Clark, Champaign Schools Using Federal Relief Funds to Help Student Learning

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Tecumseh Superintendent Paula Crew said part of the district funding supports their plan to restore learning.

“Kindergarten to Grade 12 students have been invited to participate in a six-week summer learning program this summer. We have also planned a six-week summer apprenticeship program for the next two summers, ”said Crew. “In addition, to support the Learning Recovery Plan, we have set aside a portion of this funding to purchase Chromebooks for the next two years, which will allow us to replace obsolete Chromebooks and maintain our one-to-one student relationship. device. report.”

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Rachel Brown unboxes some of the hundreds of Chromebooks that Tecumseh Schools bought with some of their relief money on Wednesday. BILL LACKEY / STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Crew said the district has also set aside funds to provide after-school tutoring, that they have purchased assessments to identify areas of academic deficit and specific interventions and program to address identified areas of deficit. , and to ensure school filters in air filtration systems in buildings meet the guidelines required to maximize air quality during the pandemic and into the future.

Urban officials are still planning the best way to use the funds, but that one of the required expenditures of ESSER funds is to address the loss of student learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, Superintendent Charles Thiel said.

“We don’t want to buy something or employ someone who will be a permanent drain on school funds. We have added specialist intervention staff to help students who have identified learning changes. We will add security cameras, modernize the doors and build access to our old facilities, ”he said.

“A portion of ESSER funds will be used, to the extent possible, to cover general fund expenses. Since these are ‘one-time’ funds, we are also looking to ensure that we limit the addition of programs that would require the addition of future spending, ”added Thiel.

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Clark-Shawnee is the only district to get $ 3 million, while Greenon, Northwestern, and Graham get $ 2 million, and Southeastern, Mechanicsburg, Triad, and West Liberty-Salem get $ 1 million.

Greenon also still working to allocate their funding. Superintendent Darrin Knapke said they are focusing on the areas of safety and security, educational needs, learning and recovery, tutors, teachers and assistants, and mental health therapists.

Most schools are using funds to fill the learning gap due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clark-Shawnee, which has $ 3,633,075, will use the money to support students and operations in the district. north-east $ 3,198,060 will be used for staffing and personnel to continue to help fill the learning gaps of the pandemic. According to district superintendents, Northwestern will use its $ 2,672,369 to hire people to provide interventions for late students and for training and any materials needed to help close the learning gap.

“We plan to use funds to support diagnostic assessments and program mapping to better serve students pedagogically,” said Kuhn.

Graham Assistant Superintendent Emily Smith said their $ 2,755,292 will be used for curriculum, professional development, HVAC, repairs and infrastructure upgrades across the district to support the learning environment. .

“All of these things have a direct impact on student success, which is why we have prioritized the need to update our teaching materials, continue to train and develop our staff, and ensure that our students have access to the safest and most reliable equipment, ”said Smith. .

Triad will use their funds to increase staff to focus on early literacy programs throughout the year, expand summer school programs, put more emphasis on data to inform teaching and intervention, and aim for the academic professional development of staff, according to Superintendent Vickie Hoffman.

Hoffman said they have added four additional title reading teachers to elementary to help fill in the gaps and support all students with their specific needs and have professional development and coaching. training for the three buildings to help support staff.

South East and Mechanicsburg use their funds to retain teachers and compensate for lost learning.

Southeastern will use its $ 1,350,149 for PPE, online education, additional staff for cleaning, cafeteria waste, staff for temperature checks and an additional teacher to reduce class sizes, according to the superintendent. David Shea.

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Mechanicsburg will use its $ 1,078,031 for summer school salaries, additional teaching staff, classroom supplies, safety measures, a new van to enable small-group transportation services, a new, larger school bus , to improve communication skills to improve emergency reception partners across the county, as well as professional development opportunities and supplies for teachers, according to Superintendent Danielle Prohaska.

Some schools have also already used up some of their available funding, including Tecumseh, Urbana, Northeastern, Northwestern, Triad, and Mechanicsburg.

“We have also used this funding to support the social, emotional and mental health of our students. Specifically, we have used and will use the funding to support the Hope Squad program in middle and high school. Hope Squad is a suicide prevention program, ”said Crew. “We also used the funding to continue to maintain two guidance counselors at the elementary level, two additional school nurses and three mental health therapists, providing school services.

Cassie Svisco, a mental health therapist with Clark and Madison Counties Mental Health Services, is now assigned to Tecumseh High School.  Tecumseh uses the relief money to contract with mental health services to place a therapist at the secondary, middle and elementary levels.  BILL LACKEY / STAFF
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Cassie Svisco, a mental health therapist with Clark and Madison Counties Mental Health Services, is now assigned to Tecumseh High School. Tecumseh uses the relief money to contract with mental health services to place a therapist at the secondary, middle and elementary levels. BILL LACKEY / STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Crew added that these are new positions made possible two years ago through the Student Wellbeing and Success funding, but that ESSER funding will support salaries in these positions for many years to come. She said funding will also be maintained to offset part of the annual salary costs, which reduces the salary cost from the general fund.

At Urbana, Thiel said he used funds to upgrade HVAC and security systems at older facilities.

“There will be facility upgrades with HVAC systems in some of our old facilities, increased and improved security cameras to allow easier contact tracing in buildings and on the school bus, additional technological devices for students , additional new computer programs for the reinforcement of key learnings taught in the classroom, and it will also cover some operational activities to reduce the pressure on our general fund, ”said Thiel.

Northwestern used some of its funding for equipment last year to help keep students safe during the pandemic; Triad used funds for the summer school program; and Mechanicsburg used some of them to purchase tech devices and student safety supplies to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

School district Federal funds ESSER II, III
Clark County
Clark shawnee $ 3,633,075
Greenon $ 2,521,572
Northeast $ 3,198,060
North West $ 2,672,369
South East $ 1,350,149
Springfield $ 44,263,160
Tecumseh $ 7,758,395
Champagne County
Graham $ 2,755,292
Mechanicsburg $ 1,078,031
Triad $ 1,540,064
Urban $ 5,768,762
West Liberty-Salem $ 1,225,596
Totals $ 77,764,525


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