In response to the devastating economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) stimulus package. The Guilderland Central School District is slated to receive $2,800,722 as part of the ARPA funding. Below is the district’s plan for the federal stimulus money.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Spending Plan
Public comment was sought from parents/guardians, teachers and other stakeholders on the plan and taken into account in the finalization and submission of the plan to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in fall 2021.
The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as school districts, which receive funding from the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA-ESSER), to post a plan by school year on their website of how these funds will be spent. New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARPA-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90 percent) going to local education agencies, including public schools. The Guilderland Central School District has been allocated $2,800,722.
A portion must be allocated to address “Learning Loss” through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after-school programs or extended school year programs. It must also ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the student subgroups. Pursuant to applicable legislation and corresponding regulations, school 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, after-school, 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 to minimize disruption to core academic and other school programs. Reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 on students and learning, the Guilderland Central School District’s commitment to excellence for all students is steadfast and proven, as represented in the district priorities.
Our school community will ensure that students have the physical, social and emotional competencies that enable them to be resilient, self-aware, and esteemed members of our local and global communities.
Our school community will ensure that students have the knowledge and skills necessary to participate constructively and productively in local and global communities.
Our school community will create an exceptional learning environment that engages, challenges, and supports all students so that they thrive and achieve their academic potential, while preparing them to pursue opportunities to be global citizens.
Although the efforts and endeavors of the district were complicated, to say the least, by the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain true to our mission, which is:
- To inspire all students to be active life-long learners, able to achieve their highest potential in a demanding and ever-changing global community.
- Schools will ensure that all students have meaningful and sustained connections to at least one adult.
- Strong and supportive school cultures will promote a sense of participation, safety and security for all students.
- Schools will embrace partnerships with parents and community to provide meaningful connections to support social and emotional development.
- Teachers will promote intellectual risk-taking, exploration and problem-solving in a variety of learning contexts and applications.
- Schools will ensure that students understand constructive and positive behaviors in ways that motivate them to be physically fit, emotionally healthy and socially aware.
- Students and staff will develop competencies to enable all to understand and effectively address matters of conflict, intolerance, diversity and bias in the context of the communities (both global and local) in which they live.
- Students will develop the language, cultural, technological and civic skills necessary to adapt and respond to a rapidly changing 21st Century world.
- Schools will provide opportunity for students to engage in service activities that enable them to contribute to or act on local or global social needs and that provide them opportunities to develop social, civic and academic skills through reflection and self-assessment.
- Leaders will foster a professional learning community with the primary focus on student achievement through long-term, intensive staff development and high quality instruction.
- Students will be prepared to meet or exceed the requirements for a New York State Regents diploma.
- Students will receive a broad-based education that includes the visual and performing arts, music, physical education, world languages and technology.
- Students will be supported early and systematically via coordinated and specialized intervention systems and specialists.
- Students will acquire and utilize basic English literacy, language proficiency and numeracy to achieve goals and communicate effectively in the digital age.
With a focus on realizing the district goals and objectives, this plan is posted to inform and get public feedback and take such comments into account as we implement and adjust the plan. Some factors to consider as you review the information below:
- This is a multi-year plan, therefore, it is fluid, recognizing the changing facts and factors. Specific utilization or expenditures may change, but the major categories are not negotiable due to the design of the grant.
- Spending will be prioritized based on non-recurring expenditures.
- Equitability of expenditures shall be applied as much as practicable.
- Sustainability of expenditures, meaning the capacity to use local resources beyond the availability of federal dollars, hence avoiding a potential funding cliff.
Categories and Proposed Use of Funds
1. Safely returning students to in-person instruction and maximizing in-person instruction time.
The Guilderland Central School will focus on accelerating students’ learning by meeting them where they are and providing them with the right tools and content to ensure success in the coming years.
- Additional intervention for K-5 to support reading and math
- Teachers for HS PM school
- Teachers and counselors for summer transition program for returning remote learners
- Academic intervention teachers for WLC/ELA/math
- Floating Nurse
- Comprehensive after school for Focus program
- Consistent building substitutes
- School Counselors
- Additional teaching staff: to reduce class sizes to provide richer instruction and more intervention services.
- Tutoring for learning loss (ALL LEVELS)
- Social-Emotional Learning: students and adults
- Literacy coaching
- Equity and culturally responsive proficiency
- Progressive/equity/standards-based grading
- Promethean board training
- Internet connection for redundancy and backup
- Project-based equipment
- Devices to assure one to one student needs
2. 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.
Preserving equity in opportunities through expansion and access:
- High school study skills and credit recovery
- Middle and high school-level summer school
- Homework help to overcome learning disruption (could be in-person and/or virtual but live/synchronous)
- Bilingual and/or co-taught ENL/core courses
3. Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs.
Learning enhancement, improve engagement, bridging learning opportunities:
- SEL, equity, mental health focus
- Potential contractual services for added mental health supports
4. Offering evidence-based summer, after-school, and other extended learning and enrichment programs
Preserving equity in opportunities through expansion and access:
- Summer literacy for targeted elementary students to address potential “learning loss” with just-right book selection
Middle and high school-level summer school bridge course.
- Seven 24′ x 48′ outdoor learning pavilions; one pavilion will be constructed at each of the district’s seven school buildings.
Materials to support student learning
- Musical instruments to allow for all students to participate in an equitable manner and instruments to be sanitized in between classes
- Additional tools in technology classes to allow for all students to participate and materials to be cleaned in between classes
- Enhance technology to planetarium at middle school level
- Replace books lost due to the pandemic
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