American Rescue Plan- ESSER Act Funds 2021-24

The 2021-22 enacted 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 percent) going to local education agencies, including public schools. Batavia City School District has been allocated $5,800,570 under ARP-ESSER. Please see the chart below for a more detailed breakdown.

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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 were required to seek public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders and take such comments into account in the development of the plan. Batavia did engage in public comment by holding school level meetings and also used a tool called ThoughtExchange to gather stakeholder input.

The following word cloud came from over 200 participants on ThoughtExchange.

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The following chart show meeting dates and attendees by campus and or division.

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The following items listed below come from various building level stakeholder meetings which discussed how to best maximize the American Rescue Plan Act Funds to support the students and staff of Batavia City Schools as we move forward and come out of the COVID-19 health pandemic.

Safely returning students to in-person instruction

Plan Summary: The District will facilitate the acquisition of such resources to continue to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent guidance established by the New York State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in person earning and ensuring the safety of students, staff and community members.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Additional staffing to allow for compliance with potential NYSDOH and CDC guidance and requirements.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • School Resource Officer

  • Facility upgrades including new furniture to maximize in-person instruction.

Maximizing in-person instruction time

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funds towards hiring additional educators to help close the learning gap created by COVID and support our students' increased social, emotional and mental health needs that have resulted from the pandemic. Additional staff will allow for small group instruction and intensive academic and social emotional interventions

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Academic intervention programs or software that assist teachers in focusing on reading and math support for struggling learners.  

  • Flexible Seating - 3 sets of math mats (1 per grade level)

     

  • Instructional Support Specialist (4 total, focus on Literacy, Numeracy, Science and Social Studies across all buildings)

  • Purchase a vehicle to support the work of Community Schools

  • Additional Social Worker(s) to support student district Chronic Absentee efforts and student attendance across the district.

  • Homeless Students - McKinney Vento - supply list - care package

Operating schools and meeting the needs of students

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funds to operate it’s schools through the continued employment of support staff in the areas of building and grounds, transportation, cafeteria, and technology.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Potential Air-Conditioning and or HVAC upgrades to school buildings 

  • Outdoor furniture and our the creation of concrete patios to create outdoor learning/ reading spaces at schools

  • Additional Administrative personnel and support for schools

  • District to purchases school supply kits for students to remove the additional barrier and costs on families.

  • Offer choice for special area classes (music v vocal v instrumental, tech v CTE, etc.)

  • Individual School Supplies - district purchases the supply list. 

  • Technology/ STEAM Labs across the district.

  • Upgraded Technology Classroom - Dust collection system for Technology Classrooms - potential Lego Wall

  • 3D printers

  • Alarms on bathroom windows

  • Additional Security Cameras - stairwells or bubble mirrors in hallways

  • Vaping alarm in bathrooms 

  • Art Supplies - Increased Art Department Supply budget to assist students and department.

  • Flexible furniture - Whiteboard tables

  • Flexible seating options for all students and particular focus on self-contained classrooms

  • Instructional Technology Support Specialist (2) K-6, 7-12

Purchase of educational technology

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funding to secure instructional technology to ensure all students have the devices and internet connectivity, both at school and at home.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • New updated Touch screen Chromebook with stylus for all kids in K and 1.

  • Voice recording headsets with microphones - Microphones and webcams system for online learning - for improved audio

  • Additional Recordex Board on Wheels

  • iPads for UPK

  • iPads for counselor & school psych for testing and assessing students 

  • Green screen corner newsroom for announcements/STEAM projects - one for each campus.

  • Extra Chromebook Chargers

  • Two computer monitors for each classroom

  • Splitter to allow for 2 monitors plus the Recordex to be used at same time - 

  • Extra loaner CBs available for students

  • Graphing, Scientific and 4-Function Calculators

  • Software memberships for tech tools (Decktoys, nearpods, explore learning for math, edpuzzle)

  • Touchscreen w/stylus and a library of enlarged devices for students' with disabilities to better access digital content.

  • Assistive Technology Library - resources. 

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.

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funding to purchase resources and equipment to ensure access to educational learning opportunities for our marginalized student populations.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Hire a bilingual social worker to work with the schools

    and with community schools initiative

  • School Social Worker for SEL to return from the pandemic to help students with coping skills. Address attendance after pandemic

  • Summer School - summer camps - programming for our smallest learners.

  • Before/After School Program to close gaps from pandemic 

  • Big Brother/Sister Program Culturally Inclusive Content

  • Purchase decodable readers for K and 1 to use to assist in instruction of phonics and phonemic awareness lessons.

  • Purchase books for children to take home in reading bags daily for parents to read to children and return for the new books the next day!

  • Purchasing sound walls for all teachers to use with the new SOR Foundations and Haggerty curriculum!

  • Purchase a Culturally Relevant Education library for teachers to take books out from both in guided reading and for read a-louds.

    • Flexible seating in library, cafeteria - get a design idea 

    • Whiteboard table tops - tables/desks - for classrooms

  • Curriculum Time for Social Emotional Learning (SEL) explore purchasing a designed program - such as Character Counts, Leader In Me or any others that align to the district's goals.

  • Professional learning with a particular focus on special education teachers in teaching students elements of foundational literacy and math skills that may have resulted in unfinished learning the last 2 years

Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs.

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funds to purchase evidence-based social-emotional, mental health and academic resources. The funds will also be used to provide professional development to educators in the proper implementation of evidence based strategies and materials.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Researched based SEL Curriculum

  • SEL Books for Classrooms & Counselor-For students to learn skills post pandemic and address SEL areas that have been magnified by the pandemic

  • Turn a classroom into a sensory room: Sensory walk, Lighting, variety of objects to use, touch, hit, squeeze

  • Outdoor classroom: concrete slab, pavilion, electricity, picnic tables, built in benches, lockable garage doors, whiteboards, solar panels

  • Transition School Counselor - to work with the special education population in the building for intervention and IEP counseling

  • Social Worker - to help with chronic absenteeism at the MS level. Additional support for families and acts as a liaison to outside agencies.

  • Create Calming Room in Counseling Center - need manipulatives, furniture, flexible seating, lighting

  • iPad for counselors to use for apps/calming

  • Consumable books - provide books for students to keep for personal enjoyment, additional social worker support, 6th assignments to do enrichment work with at-risk students during school day

  • Early interventions in math and reading

  • Establish a school-based mental health satellite at each school OR Establish a school-based health clinic at each school or Robert Morris Campus

Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs.

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funds to increase programming capacity for summer school to address learning loss and to provide enrichment opportunities over the next four school years for all students in K-12. During the school year the District will be offering extended school day opportunities for students to receive academic support and/or participate in enrichment activities after school and, potentially, Saturday morning. These learning opportunities will be structured to allow students to voluntarily attend as well as being recommended by their teachers to obtain additional help to meet their learning standards and course outcomes.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Indoor play space as students cannot use the playground for many months.

  • Yoga class for afterschool for the kids to attend or a cooking class, music or chorus or bell choir, arts and crafts etc.

  • Teach students a new language. In the classrooms and hallways kids love interacting and learning along with their classmates.

  • 2 Week Music Camp

  • One Book One School two times a year

  • Summer learning opportunities, morning and afternoon extended day programing (AFS) - for all core contents including Spanish

  • The establishment and creation of Student Support Center at each of the four school campus

  • Purchase storage bins, hangers and covered garment racks for athletic, dance, art, instrument , equipment and clothing for students to borrow from Community Schools 

  • Summer Blast Athletic Training Program  

  • Saturday Intramurals for Athletics

Supporting early childhood education.

Plan Summary: The District will utilize ARP funds to support all aspects of early childhood development.

ARPA funds may be used to fund expenditures including, but not limited to:

  • Related Services for students

  • An Evaluation Team to support additional student needs

  • Phonics Program for our youngest learners that is also accessible via the web for home use.

  • A pilot preschool program with 3 year old's - potentially at RM

  • Sensory tools (Seat wedges, crash mat, weight blanket, toys, chewy, fidgets)

  • Additional Floater Aide Support 1:1 in classrooms

  • make the multi into a large “play”/sensory-based center where

  • children explore and learn with hands-on, interactive activities

  • Classroom library, decodable books

  • Professional Development for staff on reading and writing

  • Pilot self-contained and integrated preschool programming

  • Sensory tools for preschoolers

  • Provide a book to every child B-3 through the Dolly Parton Imagination Station ($5 for 15 books x600 children) - Richmond Memorial Library does this?

  • continued use of aides in every classroom

  • continued AIS services for ALL children who are in need

  • Junior Achievement program for grades 1-8                                                                                              

  • Provide dental services to students a part of UB's School Based Health Center-Dental designation through NYSDOH