ARP-ESSER Funding Plan

Introduction 

The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as school districts, that 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 South Colonie Central School District has been allocated $4,717,365 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and $4,598,205 from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA- ESSER). 

The CRRSAA-ESSER funding must be “obligated” by September 30, 2023 and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) must be “obligated” by September 30, 2024.

A portion of the ARPA funds (20%) or $803,473 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 legislations 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, afterschool, 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 in order to minimize disruption to core academic and other school programs. 


Reflecting on the Impact of COVID-19 on Students & Learning 

The South Colonie Central School District’s commitment to improving opportunities for all students will continue to be our mission. The district strives to meet and realize the high aspirations our community has for its children. We expect all students to achieve their full potential for personal development, educational success, and lifelong learning. Doing so requires a steadfast focus on evolving as a learning community. 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.

COVID-19 has further reinforced: 

    • The need for prioritization of skills and content students should know, understand, and master. 
    • Grading for learning and not for scoring 
    • Culturally responsive, equitable approaches and classrooms that foster engagement 
    • Authentic learning experiences that address multiple intelligences and learning styles 
    • Integration of technology to support independent learning and solution building 
    • The importance of using evidence to understand the impact of instructional decisions, making on-demand adjustments 
    • Social-emotional learning and the critical nature of relationships…peers, teacher-student and staff 
    • Safety is valued and fosters a further sense of normalcy 

To that end, with a keen focus on realizing the district goals and objectives, this plan is posted to get public feedback and take such comments into account in the finalization of the plan for submission of information into the NYSED Portal. Some key reminders to consider as you review the information below: 

    1. This is a multi-year plan, thus it is fluid, recognizing the changing needs of our students. Specific utilization or expenditures may change, but the major categories will remain the same
    2. Spending will be prioritized based on non-recurring expenditures
    3. 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 potential funding cliff


Safely returning students to in-person instruction & maximizing in-person instruction time

Plan Summary

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 

Targeted Personnel 

    • Virtual remote options as needed per regulations 
    • Additional intervention for K-6 to support reading and math 
    • Tier-2 Interventions at Middle Schools 
    • Community Re-engagement (addressing challenges to attendance and participation, ENL)

Professional Development 

    • Social-Emotional Learning- Students and Adults 
    • Literacy and Numeracy (Fundations, ReadyMath) 
    • Restorative Practices

Purchase of educational technology & operating schools and meeting the needs of students

Plan Summary

Enriching learning experience and closing the “learning loss” gap while adhering to EdLaw-2D compliance

    • Instructional Technology- Project Based Equipment (ex. mobile devices, 3D printers)

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

Plan Summary

Preserving equity in opportunities through expansion and access 

    • High School Study Skills and Credit Recovery (ASPIRE)
    • MS/HS Summer School 
    • Elementary extended school day tutoring for students struggling in reading and math 
    • Homework help to overcome learning disruption (could be in-person and/or virtual but live/synchronous)

Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs

Plan Summary

Learning enhancement, improve engagement, bridging learning opportunities 

    • SEL, Equity, Mental Health, Restorative Practices 
    • Potential contractual services for added mental health supports

Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs

Plan Summary 

Preserving equity in opportunities through expansion and access 

    • Summer Academy for targeted elementary students to address potential “learning loss” 
    • MS/HS Summer School- course to ensure adequate progress is being made
    • Enriched MS Program – expansion and new (Ex. Alternative Program, Revamped STEM & Computer Ed) 
    • Late buses at MS & HS- “tenth” period opportunity for students after school 
    • Students virtual participation in national level conferences and competitions

Supporting early childhood education

Plan Summary

Preserving equity in opportunities through expansion and access 

    • Maintaining lower classes for K-4 
    • K-6 ELA, Math enhanced resources
    • K-6 Summer Enrichment in STEAM