ESSER 3 Summary
ESSER 3 was granted through the American Rescue Plan Act, which was signed into law on March 11, 2021, just shy of one year after the CARES Act that provided ESSER 1 and the national shutdown. The School District of Fort Atkinson was awarded $2,153,085 under the ESSER 3 program. These funds are available to cover costs during the timeframe between March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2024, or a year longer than ESSER 2 is available.
The focus of this third grant program was to aggressively address student learning loss and, as a result, it also comes with some additional requirements for use. For example, at least 20% of these funds are required to be used to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions. With the extended timeframe to utilize these funds to mitigate learning loss, the School District of Fort Atkinson has already determined to add positions to meet the needs of our students. These included the addition of 3.5 math interventionists and coaches to begin the 2021-22 school year. We knew by reviewing the data, and it has been widely reported nationally, that math was one of largest areas of learning loss during the closures, so the decision was made in Spring, 2021 to add these professionals to the resources available to our students by utilizing these federal relief funds.
Also required for these funds was consultation with stakeholders, which is an important component of this ESSER 3 webpage. In the spring of 2022 we conducted a community survey to gain feedback on our community’s desires on how to best leverage these remaining funds. See below for the results of that survey, which affirmed the direction our leadership team was considering, and further reinforced the decisions our team made and the Board approved in April, 2021. The most important use of these funds to the community, as well as our district team, was to offset operational deficits and provide mental health services and supports to our students. As a result, the remainder of these funds will be allocated to pay for one social worker at each of the high school, middle school, and elementary levels, as well as two elementary behavior interventionists.
Click on the chart below to learn more and to see examples of this funding in action.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how the School District of Fort Atkinson is leveraging these one-time federal funds to meet the needs of our 1Fort community.
In Spring, 2022 the District conducted a community survey regarding how to allocate the remaining ESSER 2 and ESSER 3 funds. Below are the results of that survey.
At the April 18, 2022 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved allocating the remaining funding towards expenses that would offset operating costs and provide mental health services and supports. The video of that meeting can be viewed below:
- WI Department of Public Instruction ESSER III Website
- Federal American Rescue Plan Act
- ESSER III Allocations (MS Excel)
- U.S. Department of Education ESSER Web Page
- WI Department of Public Instruction ESSER FAQ (Google Doc)
- WI Department of Public Instruction COVID Response & Relief Planning Recommendations
- WI Department of Public Instruction ESSER Guidance on Public Allowable Costs (Google Doc)