In response to COVID-19, the U.S. Congress passed several pieces of legislation that sent billions of dollars in relief funds to states. Tennessee received, in total, $4.2 billion to be spent on schools across the state in three phases. This is known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and for the third phase that was included in the American Rescue Plan, FSSD has been granted $2,974,297.
This funding will help FSSD schools address the impact that the pandemic has had – and continues to have – on our schools and students. Districts across the state identified approaches to lessen the effect of the pandemic, as well as how to provide relief from the lasting effects of COVID-19. FSSD has identified areas of focus for student success within the parameters set forth by Congress and the Department of Education at the federal and state level.
The legislation that created ESSER 3.0 outlines several requirements that districts must meet or follow to allocate and spend the funding, which includes reserving at least 20 percent of funds to accelerate learning progress for students.
With input from district staff, parents, and key stakeholders, the FSSD has identified priorities areas for these funds that are aligned with Tennessee's Best For All strategic plan.
- Addressing early literacy (K-2 phonics)
- Learning recovery through after-school tutorials
- Enhancing basic math skills
- Improving social emotional and mental health supports
- Accelerating learning for K-2 students
- Heightening focus on students with disabilities (through ARP IDEA grant)
- Adding interventionist positions
- Piloting a K-2 accelerated learning position
- Recruiting and retaining qualified educators
- Improving technology and communication infrastructure in buildings
- Enhancing safety measures in all buildings
- Adding school buses to reduce the number of students on each bus
- ESSER 3.0 Public Plan
- ESSER 3.0 Community Engagement Checklist
- ESSER 3.0 Health and Safety Plan
- ESSER 3.0 Needs Assessment
- ESSER Spending Plans (1.0, 2.0, and 3.0)
- ESSER 3.0 Public Plan-Federal Relief Spending (Addendums)
- Safe Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (Addendums)