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Esser Funding Explained

Did You Know ESSER Relief Funds Will Support Students in Areas the Current Budget Couldn’t Predict Pre-COVID?

May 13, 2021

This school year, MTSD was one of the first K-12 Public Schools in the state and country to return students to the classroom full capacity, full time, largely due to the strategic use of the ESSER I emergency funding received. Our commitment to the academic and socio-emotional health of students within Millcreek has remained paramount to the Executive Leadership Team and All School Leaders throughout the pandemic.

While the COVID Relief Funding provided to public school districts enhances their ability to afford additional resources, the government’s guidance states that these funds may not be used for non-covid related costs such as balancing budgets year to year or traditional operational expenses. As part of the commitment and mission of the District to provide students with a world-class education, the approx. $14 million in COVID funding will focus on five initiatives. Districts are continuing to be strategic in their use of funds by acquiring student support personnel, however, these positions will only be funded for three years (2024).

These areas of focus were identified based on the criteria defined by the U.S. Department of Education and through careful planning and evaluation of student needs through 2024 when funding will conclude.

MTSD is preparing and planning for the ESSER II - COVID Relief Funding to support all K-12 Students in the following 5 Key Areas.

1. Social Emotional Learning and Mental health support for all students K-12.

  • 4 Mental Health Counselors

  • 10 Interventionalists - one for every building

2. Programs aimed to mitigate learning loss and accelerate learning growth for all students K-12.

  • 2021 K-8 Summer Learning Lab

  • K- 5 Virtual Learning Academy

  • Software to better identify student achievement and growth opportunities

3. Develop a research-based, robust curriculum and instruction personnel structure that will evaluate and implement a learning environment to deliver academic success for all students.

  • Director of Alternative Learning & Assessment

  • Math/Science Supervisors

  • English Language Arts /Social Studies Supervisors

4. A strong technology plan to meet the needs of 100% of students.

  • Educational IT Software to enhance education delivery

  • Maintaining education hardware and software

5. Targeted and differentiated Professional Growth Opportunities for all teachers, staff, and school leaders that provide services to build instructional and technological skills in an ever-growing learning environment.

  • Professional Development/Instructional Technology Coordinator

  • Advanced training on instructional delivery utilizing technology in the classroom

Millcreek Township School District ESSER I Funding was allocated to the following initiatives:

  • 100% Cyber School provider (Caola)

  • Approx. 6,500 Desk Shields

  • 10 K-5 Full-time virtual teachers

  • Full-Time certified Pandemic Coordinator

  • Sanitization supplies and processes in all school building

  • Thermal cameras at all school building entrances

  • Student and teacher education tech and software

  • Recreational recess staffing

To learn more about the PA Department of Education and ESSER Funding, visit PA Dept. of Ed. FAQs for ESSER


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