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ESSER III: D65 ARP Esser III Use of Funds Plan

During the transition period from online learning to a return to in person instruction, multiple efforts were made to gain insights into the needs of students and families including surveys, online focus group discussions and public meetings as well as a review of student academic data. District leadership engaged in meaningful consultation with each of the following to the extent present in or served by the LEA: civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children and youth in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.

One striking data point was the decline in academic achievement especially with students of color and those from low income households. To reverse this trend much of the resources from ESSER III were focused on tutoring and teacher recruitment as well as supports for students with learning disabilities to help make up for learning loss and to close achievement gaps and as directed under Section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time.

Additionally, sanitization and Covid safety measures are implemented in a comprehensive and systematic manner to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the extent practicable, consistent with CDC guidance. The need for parents and students to feel safe and secure was paramount for the successful reentry to school buildings, therefore all measures were taken to ensure this safe reentry. The funds remaining will be used to continue these efforts listed above as well as ongoing costs for technological needs, cleaning services and building maintenance and supplies to ensure a safe learning environment.

In the 2022, 2023 and part of the 2024 school year, District 65 remaining ARP ESSER funds to funds school-based teaching and learning needs aligned with the community's needs outlined above, as well as innovative programs to increase equitable teaching practices including the ongoing requirement of a diverse pool of highly qualified new teachers for the district through its CREATE 65 initiative. Additionally, funds will be used to support student learning loss through summer programming as well as increased 1 on 1 tutoring and other academic supports. District 65 also dedicated a significant portion of this funding to its interventions that respond to the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of all students and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic implementing restorative practices, mental health services, and increasing the district capacity for the mental health needs of its students.