American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Information
What is ARPA?
The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021. This act contains funding to help safely reopen schools for in-person instruction and maintain operations. Funds are also intended to address the impact of the pandemic on students by provided academic and emotional supports. The legislation requires school districts to set aside at least 20 percent of funds to "address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and ensure that those interventions respond to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care)."
Individual school districts are able to create a plan for the remaining funds that will help the district "...prevent, prepare for, and respond to" the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are intended to be used to for other programs with the school district that support at-risk student populations, sanitation and cleaning of facilities, distance or remote learning, school meals, mental health services and supports, education technology, facility repairs and improvements, and other operations needed to maintain the continuity of services.
For more information about the ARPA, please visit the Georgia Insights website.
How are funds being used to safely reopen schools?
The Wilkes County School District is using a portion of the ARPA funds to purchase supplies to clean and sanitize our school facilities. We believe that it is crucial for students to learn in an in-person environment to the maximum extent possible. Our Return to School Plan is reviewed frequent to ensure that we are utilizing guidelines provided by the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control while meeting the needs of our students, staff, and community. ARPA funds were used to purchase a virtual learning platform for students in grades 6-12.
How are funds being used in Wilkes County Schools?
After meeting with stakeholders, the Wilkes County School District developed our American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act ESSER III Application. This plan identified our priorities as: minimizing learning loss, creating a safe and healthy learning environment, and providing a system of supports and wraparound services for students. Our plan also addresses learning loss created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and includes both summer school and an afterschool program to support students in reading and mathematics. Please see our application and budget below for more details.
We will continue to monitor, evaluate, and update our plan based on the needs of our students and stakeholder feedback. If you would like to provide feedback on our system's plan, please click the survey link below: