American Rescue Plan (ARP)-ESSER funding plan

Dear BKW Staff and Community,

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 (ARP-ESSER) to post on their website a plan by school year of how these funds will be spent. This is that plan.

New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARP-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90 percent) going to local education agencies, including public schools.

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.

Before posting this plan, districts were required to seek public comment from parents, teachers and other stakeholders and take such comments into account in the development of the plan.

The following plan includes information regarding the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District’s allocation of $1,584,695 in federal stimulus funds through the American Rescue Plan. Of the ARP-ESSER total allocation of $1,584,695, 20 percent of the total funding or $316,939 must be earmarked to address student learning losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. A specified amount must also go toward summer enrichment and after school programming. The remaining portion of the allocation can be used to support our district, particularly in areas most impacted by the pandemic.

Our administrative team and district stakeholders have reviewed the plan components, suggested revisions and determined that the plan meets the charge to “prioritize spending on non-recurring expenses.” The funds allow for us to:

  • Safely return students to in-person instruction
  • Maximize in-person instruction time
  • Operate schools and meet the needs of students
  • Purchase educational technology
  • Address 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
  • Implement evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs
  • Offer evidence-based summer, after school, and other extended learning and enrichment programs
  • Support early childhood education

Please note, the plan covers a three-year funded time span through September, 2024. The three-year plan is meant to be fluid and amendments are allowed every six months. As such, we anticipate that amendments will likely occur as we implement programs, review each program’s impact on student learning and engagement and revise as necessary.

These funds are separate and distinct from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) total allocation of $730,699.

If you have any questions about the ARP-ESSER funding plan, please contact me at timothy.mundell@bwkschools.org or by phone at (518) 872-1293.

Sincerely,
Dr. Timothy Mundell
BKW Superintendent of Schools

rescue plan logo

All programs listed here are to address loss of instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as new enrichment opportunities and advancement of existing programs that were slowed due to the pandemic, will be funded for each of the next three years with federal stimulus funding.

Safely returning students to in-person instruction

Plan Summary

Our plan includes needs for the safe return to school for all students through the following non-recurring expenditures:

  • Air filtration system improvements – univent replacement at the Secondary School
  • Masonry work at the Elementary School
  • New bus routing software
  • Playground and basketball court improvements
  • PPE supplies for ongoing mitigation of the transmission of the virus
  • Sanitation products and labor for completing nightly cleaning and maintenance
  • The health and safety of students, staff and their families remain the district’s top priorities for all in-person instruction and school-based activities. To prevent and mitigate virus transmission and promote a healthy learning environment, the district will follow recommendations and guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Education Department (NYSED), Albany County Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding:
  1. Cleaning and disinfection
  2. Personal protective equipment
  3. Health screening protocols
  4. Safely transporting students
  5. Food service and meals
  6. Social Distancing
  7. Student cohorts and schedules

Operating schools and meeting the needs of students

Plan Summary

  • Increasing Internet accessibility and connectivity for students where needed
  • Increase the number of meal opportunities for all students and related services

Purchase of educational technology

Plan Summary

Our plan includes needs in the area of educational technology:

  • Chromebooks for enhanced instruction and to replace outdated units
  • Technology maintenance and upgrades
  • Increased internet hotspots where needed for online instruction
  • New software programs and platforms to enhance existing learning

Addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all students, including low-income students, students with disabilities and students experiencing homelessness by offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs

Plan Summary

  • Elementary School summer Academic Intervention Services (AIS) and extended learning opportunities
  • Secondary School summer remediation programs
  • Elementary Afterschool program
  • Evidence-based assessment and intervention services
  • Pupil Personnel Services support to meet students’ social/emotional needs
  • CTE career programming

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

Plan Summary

  • Addition of a College and Career Readiness Coordinator to help create career pathways for grade 5-12 students after high school.
  • Addition of a new teacher in the Technology Education Department. This position will work on redesigning grade 5-8 Technology Education instruction to focus on gaming, coding, and robotics.
  • Additional Social Emotional learning opportunities and support as some students transition back to a traditional in-person model

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

Plan Summary

  • Elementary School summer Academic Intervention Services (AIS) and extended learning opportunities
  • Secondary School summer remediation programs
  • Elementary Afterschool Program
  • Elementary School STEAM Camp
  • Elementary School Music, Movement/Dance program
  • Elementary and Secondary School CCR Pathway- personnel, plan, action
  • Middle School program redesign- Technology, curriculum, etc.
  • Research skills and internship experiences
  • Digital portfolio
  • Integrated programming
  • Focus on specialized programs – curriculum
  • Professional development/new curriculum development

Supporting early childhood education

Plan Summary

  • Academic Intervention Services at the elementary level
  • Hands-on materials and manipulatives
  • Professional development targeted to enhance early literacy and play based learning