Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)
“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted on March 27, 2020, and included Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds for K-12 schools. These ESSER grants will provide school districts with emergency relief funds to address the impact COVID-19 has had elementary and secondary schools.” (KSDE School Finance)
Below is a breakdown of the amount of ESSER funds Douglass USD 396 is eligible to receive. ESSER investments are made under the guidance and review of the Kansas State Department of Education, which has authorized specific uses for the ESSER funds.
ESSER I Allocation and Expenses
ESSER I funds were released to Douglass USD 396 in the summer of 2020. As the District navigated the change to remote instruction and the necessary changes to facilities to keep everyone safe, supplies and technology were purchased with the help of federal disaster funds. Of the $63,849 in ESSER I allocation, 20% was spent on the purchase of personal protection equipment (PPE). Some items that were purchased included masks for staff and students, thermometers for monitoring entrances, disinfectants, foggers and solution, sanitizing materials as well as numerous other safeguards to ensure a safe return of staff and students. 13% of ESSER I funds were spent on internet access to staff and students to facilitate remote instruction. The biggest piece to the pie of ESSER I allocation was spent on the software and technology needed to provide the most effective remote instruction possible. As the classroom transitioned into the home, additional computers, iPads, chargers, as well as software was necessary to attempt to provide our kids with the best instruction possible.
ESSER II Allocation and Expenses
ESSER II funds have given Douglass USD 396 the opportunity to expand successful Multi-Tiered Systems (or MTSS) to our Middle School and Secondary educational level, add staff at our Elementary level to reduce classroom sizes, and also to support the school in coverage of classrooms due to COVID-related absences. The cumulative total spent to date as of June 30th, 2023 is $255,440.00. This concludes the funds for ESSER II.
Positions that were added:
Additional Elementary Counselor
Elementary MTSS Paraeducator (2)
MS/HS MTSS Coordinator
Middle School Social/Emotional Counselor
ESSER III Allocation and Expenses
A survey was deployed in May of 2022 to collect the opinions of stakeholders on how best the opportunities of ESSER funds should be spent and targeted within our school district. Of the 187 participants, 65% were parents/guardians, 33% were school staff members and the remaining included students, local tribe members, as well as other organizations within our district boundaries.
It is through these results that we are assured our goals with the utilization of the additional federal funds match up to goals of our stakeholders. The district has utilized ESSER III funds to provide summer school for the summer of 2022 and 2023 as well as continue to fund the plan that ESSER II funds supported. Below is a expense graph depicting the expenditures of ESSER III funds as of June 30th, 2023, totaling $188,847.
Social/ Emotional: $107,763
Learning Loss: $28,752
Safer Facilities: $20,470