Pursuant to the Federal American Rescue Plan Act, Section 2001(i)
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
In March 2021 President Biden signed the Federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, Public Law 117-2, into law. The ARP Act provides an additional $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) to states and school districts to help safely reopen, sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s students. As with the previous ESSER funds available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), the purpose of the additional funding is to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in preparing for and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on educators, students, and families.
Section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act requires each LEA that receives ARP ESSER funds to develop and make publicly available on the LEA’s website, no later than 30 days after receiving ARP ESSER funds, a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools (Safe Return Plan). A Safe Return Plan is required of all fund recipients, including those that have already returned to in-person instruction. Section 2001(i)(2) of the ARP Act further requires that the LEA seek public comment on the Safe Return Plan and take those comments into account in the finalization of the Safe Return Plan. Under the interim final requirements published in Volume 86, No. 76 of the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), an LEA must periodically, but no less frequently than every six months through September 30, 2023, review and, as appropriate, revise its Safe Return Plan.
HEALTH & SAFETY
How our schools/district work to support the health and safety of staff, students, parents, and the community to help sustain an in-person learning environment so students can return to the classroom.
Face Masks: The District will continue to follow the State of Ohio and Franklin County Public Health guidelines which recommend but not require students and staff to wear face masks. The District will continue to have masks available for use in schools or school-related events for anyone wanting one. Signage will remain in place that explains and demonstrates how to appropriately wear face masks for maximum protection. Masks will be available at all buildings and on all buses.
Social Distancing: The requirement to maintain six-foot social distancing has been rescinded by local public health authorities. The District will, to the best of its abilities, maximize available space to increase the distance between students and staff. School buses will resume normal seating practices as allowable by Ohio law.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: The District will continue to promote handwashing and respiratory etiquette through in-class instruction, announcements, and signage. Sinks and touchless faucets are being installed over the summer to ensure safe hand washing in the fall. Schools are also updating HVAC systems to include filtration to ensure clean air is in our schools.
Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities: Daytime custodial crews will clean general-population areas on a regular schedule throughout the day, focusing on high-touch areas. Classrooms will be disinfected after each class change. Classrooms and office areas will be thoroughly cleaned nightly, focusing on disinfecting high-touch surfaces. A disinfectant spray mist will be used throughout the school building. Classrooms will be stocked with disinfectant supplies so that student desks can be cleaned as is appropriate; teachers will coordinate how this will occur in their classrooms. Custodial staff will conduct regular walk-throughs with their principal to identify areas that require additional cleaning. Custodians also are required to sign a posted checklist in each room affirming the room has been cleaned and disinfected according to the documented standards.
The District has already increased the percentage of outside air being drawn into buildings through our HVAC systems. HVAC improvements are also being made in all schools with equipment and systems that will disinfect the air by eradicating viruses, bacteria, germs, and mold.
Contract Tracing, Quarantine, and Notifications: All staff has been trained on the reporting procedures with respect to having direct contact and/or a confirmed case of COVID-19 within their immediate contacts. Reports are directed to the school’s principal. In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, the District will notify Franklin County Public Health, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with HIPAA privacy laws.
The District has a system in place to conduct contact tracing. Nurses and principals will consistently monitor students or staff – classroom or bus. The District will notify families of students or staff members who have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (or who has been confirmed as having COVID-19, themselves) so that contact tracing can begin.
The District will utilize the following process when notified of a potential COVID issue:
- Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms: Isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms. The individual can return to school 24 hours after being symptom-free.
- Exposed to COVID-19: The individual is to attend/work at school unless they are exhibiting symptoms. They can return to school/work 24 hours after being symptom-free.
- Confirmed COVID-19: Isolate for 10 days after the symptoms first appear or the date of the COVID-19 test. They can return to school/work 24 hours after being symptom-free.
Diagnostic Screening: The District maintains a supply of COVID testing kits that can be administered by the school’s nurse. The written permission of the parent is required for any student under the age of 18.
Vaccination Efforts: The District worked with the local Educational Service Center in the winter of 2021 to offer vaccines to all staff. We have partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to offer two separate vaccination opportunities, with the most recent being for anyone 12 or older. The District will continue to look for opportunities to offer COVID vaccines prior to the start of the school year and beyond.
Accommodation for Students with Disabilities: The district has and will continue to provide any and all accommodations necessary and required for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety requirements. The district shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of any disability.
Accommodations have and will include remote learning opportunities with students with compromised health issues, teletherapy, and devices and equipment to support learning as decided by the student’s IEP team.
Budget: ESSER II and III funds
FACILITIES & OPERATIONS
How our schools/district will work to support the health and safety of staff, students, parents, and community to help sustain an in-person learning environment so students can return to the classroom.
The District has or is in the process of implementing many school facility repairs and improvements to facilitate the continued operation of schools during a pandemic by reducing environmental and health hazards.
- The District is constructing Extended Learning Areas by expanding playground asphalt.
- Additional cafeteria tables are to be purchased to increase the distance between students in the lunchrooms.
- A modular building unit is being purchased and installed summer of 2021 to space out children by reducing class sizes.
- Purchasing custodial cleaning equipment and supplies
- Installing 36 Vape detectors in school restrooms
- Purchasing walkie-talkies
- Building Repairs/Improvements to Improve Indoor Air Quality
- Upgrading (partial) HVAC systems
- Installing bi-polar ion/UV-C systems
- Enhancing lighting with the installation of LED fixtures
- Replacing roofs to mitigate water intrusion and mold growth
- Replacing sinks and installing no-touch faucets
Technology: The District has increased its inventory of devices to ensure that all staff and students have the equipment necessary to accommodate all students, ensure single-touch access to a single device, and provide touch tablets for our preschool students. The District also invested in hot spots and internet support for families who may need access to digital learning platforms to encourage and support the school/home connection.
Food Services: Free lunches and breakfasts have been and will continue to be provided to students. Per federal guidelines, all students eat at no cost. Breakfast and lunch are made available to all students who are attending in person or remotely. The District is investing in more cafeteria tables and outside eating areas to promote good social distancing at meals, as well as the opportunity to eat outside in a fresh-air setting.
Transportation: Supplies have been purchased to ensure masking on buses for students and families who choose to mask. Cleaning supplies have been placed on each bus for cleaning that is to take place after the completion of each route.
GPS systems were updated to ensure effective routing and the shortest distance possible for students. Families also have access to an app on their personal devices to see where the bus is during its route to ensure a safe and informed ride to and from school.
Budget: ESSER II and III funds
ADDRESSING ACADEMIC NEEDS
How our schools/district will identify which students have been most impacted by the pandemic in terms of their learning progress (with a focus on the most vulnerable student populations including but not limited to disengaged students).
Spring of 2021: We have used multiple data points to identify students that are in need of academic support. Using our middle of year (MOY) Universal Screener data (NWEA MAP), we have identified the threshold of 35th percentile to service students for academic needs in Reading and Math. At the K-5 level, we are also using the Next Step Guided Reading Assessment to identify students that are two years below grade level benchmarks. We have also used our 3rd grade Fall OST data to identify third graders that need additional intervention in reading. At the 6-12 level, we are also using classwork and progress performance. We have identified students that have earned a failing grade in English Language Arts and Math. In addition to Reading and Math at the high school level, we have identified students that are earning a failing grade in social studies, science, and PE/Health. Using these data points, we have identified students in Reading and/or Math for each grade level K-8. At the high school, we have pulled our academic grading data to analyze it for students that are at risk of being credit deficient for graduation. We have also analyzed our EOC data from the last year--retakes. We have identified students that need intervention or credit recovery in English 1,2, & 3, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra 2, US History, US Government, Physical Science, Biology, Physical Education, and Health. Through this process, we have identified 165 seniors that need intensive remediation immediately for graduation. We have identified 436 9th-11th graders that meet the criteria above. In our middle schools' grades 6-8, we have identified 734 students. In our elementary schools' grades K-5, we have identified 1,175 students. The teachers and building administrators are reviewing the identified students in TBT and/or BLT meetings to add or delete additional students based on family or staff referral or extenuating circumstances.
Budget: Universal Screener Program $160,000 annually - General Fund
Summer of 2021: In late April, each building BLT and/or TBT teams will review the identified list of students in need of academic support to update based on new progress monitoring data. Students will be invited to attend our extended learning program, Cruiser Connect, planned for June 14-July 16th.
During Summer 2021, we will be progress monitoring our students who attend our Cruiser Connection extended learning program through small-group reading and hands-on math activities. We have identified critical focus skills and the teachers will progress monitor these skills through performance tasks and classwork. Each student will receive the success criteria for each critical focus skill and will be able to self-evaluate their mastery of each skill at the end of the summer program.
Budget: Built into our Cruiser Connect Budget ($1.5 million) using ESSER funds
2021-2022 School Year: As we begin the 2021-2022 school year, we will continue to use multiple data points to identify students in need of academic support. We will be launching the iReady Universal Screener and progress monitoring assessment system for students K-10. This new system will allow us to identify students after we administer our beginning of the year (BOY) universal screener and continue to monitor skill development aligned to Ohio standards. We will administer a middle of the year (MOY) and end of the year (EOY) universal screener. In addition, our students that have Response to intervention plans, reading improvement and monitoring plans, and student success plans will be monitored monthly to measure progress on aligned student intervention goals. At the elementary level, we will additionally administer the Next Step Guided Reading Assessment to assess reading levels and monitor progress through reading conferences four times a year.
At the middle and high school level, we will also be administering Pre-AP College Board common assessments and teacher-created common assessments to monitor the progress of students in 6-8 ELA, English1, English 2, Biology, Chemistry, World History, 6-8 Math, Algebra, and Geometry. Throughout the school year our DLT, BLT, and TBT teams will use this high-quality student data to guide instruction--either enrichment or intervention for students.
In addition, we plan on joining with our community partners--Columbus Metro Library, AWU Charities (ACES program), and/or Capital City kids to offer after school academic and SEL intervention programs with wrap-around services in conjunction with our SEL partners, offer reading buddies to our K-5 struggling readers and have requested AmeriCorps volunteer support with the ESC of Central Ohio. We plan on having one reading and one math volunteer per elementary school and one attendance/SEL mentor at each middle school and high school throughout the 21-22 school year. We will disaggregate our data based on the programs students are participating in to measure the effectiveness of the program and the growth of our students.
If our data shows that our Cruiser Connect (extended learning opportunity) was impactful in stopping the summer slide and recouping learning from the 20-21 school year, we will implement the same strategies as described above with tweaks and modifications as the data guides us.
Budget: Universal Screener program: $160,000 - General Fund
Pre-AP: $50,000 common assessment system - Expanding Opportunities Grant
NSGRA: $6,000 for data system, kits were already purchased using Title 1 funds
2022-2023 School Year: The District will continue with the iReady Universal Screener and progress monitoring assessment system. We will administer BOY, MOY, and EOY universal screeners grades K-10. We will continue with our K-5 NSGRA assessments to monitor reading progress and our common assessments at the secondary level in 6-8 ELA, English1, English 2, Biology, Chemistry, World History, 6-8 Math, Algebra, and Geometry.
Throughout the school year our DLT, BLT, and TBT teams will use this high-quality student data to guide instruction--either enrichment or intervention for students.
We will continue with the community partnerships to provide additional academic support as described in the 2021-2022 school year as long as our students are growing and benefiting from these services.
It is our intent to offer Cruiser Connect or a summer learning experience for our students that are still in need of academic support as the data guides us.
Budget: Universal Screener program: $160,000 - General Fund
Pre-AP: $50,000 common assessment system - Expanding Opportunities Grant
NSGRA: $6,000 for data system, kits were already purchased using Title 1 funds
APPROACHES TO ACADEMIC GAP FILLING
What approaches our schools/districts will use to fill the learning needs identified above. What steps will be taken to remove/overcome barriers that may be associated with the “Gap Filling Approaches."
Spring of 2021: The District is using our community partners--Columbus Metro Library for reading buddy support at each of our elementary schools at this time. In addition, we are working with the AWU Charities (ACES Program) to offer an extended learning option during the days our students are in the blended learning program to ensure students are engaged in their school work and attending classes at Dunloe Elementary. We are hoping to extend the ACES program to Madison Elementary in April. We are purchasing Tutor Me services to assist our secondary students that are struggling to complete graduation requirements and make progress in course work. We have also purchased additional Courseware licenses to provide credit recovery instruction/intervention to students that have failed a high school course this year. Our counselors are working with students to align on their student success plans and ensure that students that need credit recovery are offered summer extended learning at Cruiser Connect. In addition, we have purchased several instructional programs that assist our teachers in providing engaging, interactive lessons. This includes Screencastify, Plt4m, Soundtrap, Pear Deck, EdPuzzle, & Noteflight.
We have purchased grab-and-go take-home book packs for our Title students and ELL students for summer reading to increase family engagement and encourage summer reading.
Our March DLT meeting will provide collaboration and planning time for each building team to review and analyze data and plan for intervention for the last nine weeks of school.
Budget: $45,000 - Student Wellness and Success funds, ADAMH grant funds, Title 4 and ESSER funds
Summer of 2021: The District is offering an extended learning summer experience called Cruiser Connect. We know our students need time to reconnect with their friends, their coursework, and their community. We will be offering Cruiser Connect from June 14 through July 16. This program is being held in person. It is an engaging, hands-on experience that intertwines Reading and Math academic intervention and social-emotional learning supports. We are purchasing a new research-based literacy program called Lit Camp through Scholastic. Our students are participating in literature circles, small groups, and guided reading groups as they engage with all-new fiction and non-fiction material. We will also incorporate critical focus writing skills. In addition to the Lit Camp program, we will be implementing the 7 Strengths literature that focuses on the social-emotional skills of belonging, friendship, kindness, curiosity, confidence, courage, and hope.
For Math, we are taking a gaming approach to intervention. We will be purchasing board games that build and remediate real-world math skills as well as building SEL skills including cooperation, friendship, sportsmanship, and perseverance. We will also be purchasing outdoor games and resources to support math skills.
We are providing transportation for all students to and from the program, as well as free breakfast and lunch, daily.
Budget: Built into Cruiser Connect budget with ESSER Funds
(12 counselors, 1 SEL coordinator, and 1 stipended clinician)
2021-2022 School Year: We plan on joining with our community partners--Columbus Metro Library, AWU Charities (ACES program), and/or Capital City kids to offer after-school academic and SEL intervention programs with wrap-around services in conjunction with our SEL partners. We will offer reading buddies to our K-5 struggling readers and have requested AmeriCorps volunteer support from the ESC of Central Ohio. We plan to have one reading and one math volunteer per elementary school and one attendance/ SEL mentor at each middle school and high school throughout the 2021-2022 school year.
We will also continue our purchases of Screencastify, Plt4m, Soundtrap, Pear Deck, EdPuzzle, & Noteflight to incorporate into our daily instruction. Our new iReady program also will have supplemental reading and math instructional software. This will provide students and teachers with additional resources to independently practice and fill academic standard mastery gaps.
During the school year, we are anticipating a greater need than ever for our teachers to differentiate instruction, provide small group instruction, and increase the use of success criteria and feedback loops. Our teachers will need to become efficient in using data to guide their instruction on a daily basis. To provide support to our teachers and raise their collective efficacy, we will be investing in professional development specialist/instructional coaches for K-2 literacy, 3-5 literacy, 6-8 literacy, 6-8 Math, 9-12 Math, and 9-12 literacy. These specialists will provide teachers daily support in data-driven instructional decision making, instructional strategies for differentiation and personalized learning, and classroom management skills.
If our data shows that our Cruiser Connect was impactful in stopping the summer slide and recouping learning from the 20-21 school year, we will implement the same strategies as described above with tweaks and modification as the data guides us.
Budget: $35,000 for Student Success Hub - General Fund, $13,000 for SEL surveys - Title 4 Funds
2022-2023 School Year: If our data from the 2021-2022 school year indicates that the SEL measures are identifying students for interventions and services effectively and consistently, we will continue to administer the same metrics and processes to identify students with SEL needs.
APPROACHES TO ADDRESS SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS
The steps our schools/districts will take to remove/overcome barriers that may be associated with students' social/emotional needs.
Spring 2021: The District will use multiple data points to identify students that have been most impacted by the pandemic in terms of social/emotional needs.
We administer the Panorama Social-Emotional Survey with three main variables twice a year to students. These variables--Social Awareness, Emotional Regulation, and Self Efficacy provide us insight into the student's perception of how they are handling the social-emotional toll the pandemic has had on them. We have analyzed our data to identify students in need of intervention in all three areas of social-emotional needs.
Through our partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we are providing Signs of Suicide education to all 7th graders in the district. Through this course, we are identifying students in need of counseling and additional mental health services.
Our counselors, teachers, and administrators are identifying students with attendance issues and working with juvenile court truancy officers to identify students in need of attendance intervention plans and resources such as hot spots, clocks, assistance with setting a daily routine, etc.
Through our partnership with Concord Counseling, we are identifying students for small group counseling based on behavior concerns and self-report from families and students.
Counselors, teachers, and administrators are referring students to our district social worker as they identify needs from families--such as food needs, clothing, housing, etc.
In mid-May, we will administer the Panorama SEL student and staff survey. This survey provides us data on student perception of their own emotional regulation, social awareness, and self-efficacy.
Budget: $50,000 ADAMH grant funds and Student Wellness Budget, $1.8 million for all school counselors
Summer of 2021: Concord Counseling clinicians and school counselors will utilize the Second Step and Zones of Regulation curriculum to provide Tier I and II interventions to students participating in Cruiser Connect extended learning. Grief-specific counseling services will be provided through a partnership with Ohio Health Bereavement. Growth and skills acquisition will be monitored continuously throughout the five weeks of intervention. We also are incorporating SEL skills throughout the academic intervention programming. Our Lit Camp Literacy materials will also have the 7 Strengths book collection that focuses on belonging, friendship, kindness, curiosity, confidence, courage, and hope. And our hands-on math intervention will incorporate SEL skills including cooperation, sportsmanship, emotional regulation, and perseverance.
Budget: ADAMH funds, ESSER funds for Cruiser Connect
2021-2022 School Year: We will be extending our SEL curriculum by purchasing the online version of the Second Step program for elementary to supplement our kits and renewing our online version for our secondary students. In addition, we are purchasing the NEWSELA SEL collection for our grades 6-12 students.
We will continue and expand our ROX programming for students and provide Zone of Regulation resources for our K-5 students. We are strengthening our support and resources for dating violence with the Safe Date program for our 9th graders. We are purchasing additional resources for counselors to address equity and race relations and Little Spot Emotional Support Book Sets, and our counselors and/or Social Workers will attend Trauma-Informed Care and Collaborative Problem Solving.
We are also restructuring our enrollment department to become a Welcome Center for all new students and families. The goal of the restructuring is to identify services and supports at the point of entry to our district. Our Welcome Center team will be trained to review enrollment documents and identify current services and possible additional services the families may need. Working with our district social workers, each family will be provided resources for community partners and /or district services to meet the social-emotional needs, and/or mental health needs of the family. We also will be hiring three additional social workers to support our families and students across the district.
Additional SEL approaches we will be imploring in the 2021-2022 school year.
- Green Dot personal violence prevention and bystander intervention program initial roll-out (Tier I) for grades 9-12.
- Safe Dates curriculum to be used in 9th grade Freshman advisory courses.
- Prime for Life substance abuse prevention curriculum to be used as an intervention when substance abuse has been identified.
- Safer, Smarter Kids initial roll-out (Tier I) with First grade throughout the district.
- All 7th graders will receive prevention education on safe virtual practices and relationships and healthy relationships and boundaries through a new partnership with the Center for Family Safety and Healing at NCH.
- Based on the outcomes of the Signs of Suicide prevention and screening effort, there will be ongoing support, follow-up, and referrals by school counselors and school social workers.
- School counselors and school social workers will collaborate with teachers and administrators in the formation of appropriate small group interventions (i.e. anxiety, social skills, emotional regulation), responsive to Panorama survey data and student presentation.
- Through an ongoing partnership with Concord counseling prevention clinicians will provide individual and small group counseling based on staff recommendations, student presentations, and Panorama data.
- School social workers will respond to referrals provided by building admin, special ed, school counselors for students identified as having barriers related to school engagement and will complete outreach and facilitate wrap-around support.
- Grief specific counseling services will be provided through a partnership with Ohio Health Bereavement
Budget: $2.1 million for school counselors and three additional social workers - Student Wellness fund,
$4,000 in Title 4 funds, and ADAMH grant funds identified above.
2022-2023 School Year: If our student SEL survey, attendance, and behavior data shows significant impact from the learning recovery and extended learning plan strategies in 2021-2022 school, it is our intent to continue the plan from the 2021-2022 school year into the 2022-2023 school year. We will take time every quarter in our DLT, BLT, and TBT meetings to monitor student progress and ensure our intervention strategies are providing results. If they do not provide the results we are expecting, we will modify our plan and provide additional or more intense versions of the strategies from the 2020-2022 school year.
TIMELINE FOR REVIEW
The plan will be reviewed by the District Leadership Team and/or Executive Cabinet as follows: June 2021,
July 2021, August 2021, December 2021, May 2022, November 2022, April 2023, and September 2023. We anticipate an ongoing review of our continuity of service plan. However, at a minimum, we will review every six months.
Board of Education Meeting Presentation: Reviewed at the June 22, 2021 Board meeting. Future review/input dates will occur on July 14 and August 11, 2021.
Media and Outreach:
FOR QUESTIONS OR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Feel free to contact the District's Office of Communications and Community Relations, at 614-492-2520, or email us at [email protected]