May 27, 2021 -- Congress has authorized The American Rescue Plan Act that resulted in the supplemental funding of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). The purpose of this funding is to assist local districts, including ours, to address safety needs and recover student learning loss.
Whitehall City Schools has identified the district priorities that will best help our students to grow and prosper as we move toward a new post-pandemic school year. We are hopeful that our investments will accelerate learning in critical areas such as literacy and mathematics. Additionally, we have allocated funds that will address the social and emotional issues that surfaced during the pandemic along with the infrastructure and technical improvements necessary for providing our students with every opportunity for success.
The amount that was allocated to Whitehall City Schools: $12,835,938.98
- Must be spent by September 2024
- 20% of the funds must be spent on learning recovery strategies
Our district will invest in strategies supporting four priorities with its ESSER funds:
- Learning Recovery and Supports for Schools
- Infrastructure Improvements
- Development and Professional Learning
Learning Recovery and Supports for Schools:
- Robust Summer School
- Students in grades 2-12 have been invited to join our Summer Learning Academy. We will have a focus on math and literacy within problem -based learning structures which incorporate robotics, cyber security, and e-sports. Students invited in grades K-1 will receive intensive high-dosage early literacy intervention.
- Math Coaches
- Math Coaches will work as teachers on special assignment who provide support, professional development, and resources to math teachers K-12.
- Math Consultant
- WCS will have a math consultant from The Ohio State University who will support our math coaches in data and research-based best practices.
- New math, science, and ESL curriculum materials
- WCS will adopt a new math, science, and ESL curriculum to stay current with the latest standards and strategies for academic growth and success.
- Recovery Tutors
- Recovery Tutors will focus heavily on providing interventions in reading and mathematics for students who are performing below grade level.
- Literacy Specialist
- The Literacy Specialist will be a certified Orgon-Gillingham trainer who will provide literacy support to teachers K-12
- Youth Advocates
- WCS will provide youth advocates that will help students with de-escalation techniques, SEL, engagement, attendance, overall academic success, and preparation for college and/or employment.
Infrastructure & Operational Improvements
- WCS will invest in preventative maintenance in all five buildings
- HVAC will be upgraded
- Cleaning and sanitizing supplies will be purchased and re-stocked
- Transportation staff will be increased to support safe and reliable transportation
- Instructional Software
- WCS will provide instructional software that will support teachers and students in the areas of SEL, literacy, science, and mathematics.
Development and Professional Learning
- Teachers will have access to high quality and research based professional development during summer months, scheduled professional development days, regional and state trainings, and workshops.
Intended Strategies and Outcomes of ESSER Investments
- Data shows that we have experienced pockets of learning loss during the instability of the pandemic. Our goal is to not only recover all learning loss, but to make significant gains academically, socially, and emotionally. We hope to accomplish this goal by providing ample safety and learning supports to our staff and our students.
Regular Investment Updates
- WCS will provide regular updates on the investments made with ESSER funds.