The 2021-22 enacted New York state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as 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 on its website a plan by school year of how these funds will be spent.
New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARP-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90%) going to local education agencies, including public schools. Jamesville-DeWitt has been allocated $2,799,817.
Districts are also 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 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. Families, staff, students, and community members were invited to participate in a ThoughtExchange to assist the district to identify priorities for spending.
Maximizing in-person instruction time
The district will purchase and implement a new English language arts program to be implemented in the 2021-22 school year. Staff working in kindergarten through sixth grade will receive ongoing training on the program and be compensated at the contractual rate. The district is adding two teachers on special assignment to support peers in planning for and delivering effective lessons. Approximately $551,000 will be allocated to these expenses.
Addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all students, including low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners and students experiencing homelessness
Jamesville-DeWitt will hire a consultant (WNY Education Council) to conduct an analysis of our special education analysis. This is a non-recurring expense. Approximately $11,000 will be allocated to these expenses.
Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs
Through a partnership with Onondaga County, the district will add additional staff at the elementary level, an access liaison to support families' access to social services and a school-based mental health clinic in the middle school. The federal funds will go towards the start-up costs and local funds are budgeted to sustain the clinic. Approximately $10,000 will be allocated to these expenses.
Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool and other extended learning and enrichment programs
The district is planning on providing students with extended learning opportunities throughout the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years. The federal funds will be used for extension of service for the teachers and teaching assistants, transportation, food, and supplies. Approximately $1,300,000 will be allocated to this initiative.
Safely returning students to in-person instruction
The district will install an emergency response and notification system district-wide. This system will allow for increased and improved communication in any emergency situation. This is a non-recurring expense. This system will cost approximately $875,000.