ESSER III Spending Plan

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SOUTH CAROLINA

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL EMERGENCY RELIEF (ARP ESSER) SUBGRANT

SPENDING PLAN FORM (DETAIL)

 

LEA NAME:                DARLINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

USES OF FUNDS

A local educational agency that receives funds under this section shall reserve not less than 20 percent of such funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, extended school year programs, or other evidence-based interventions, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the student subgroups described in section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(B)(xi)), students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.

A local educational agency that receives funds under this title may use the remaining funds for any of the following:

  1. Any activity authorized by
    1. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    2. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.) (“IDEA”)
    3. Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)
    4. Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq.) (“The Perkins Act”)
  2. Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with state, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
  3. Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population.
  4. Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
  5. Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
  6. Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such agency.
  7. Planning for and coordination and implementing activities during long-term closures, including providing meals to eligible students, providing technology for online learning to all students, providing guidance for carrying out requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401et seq.) and ensuring other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all Federal, State, and local requirements.
  8. Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and children with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
  9. Providing mental health services and support, including through the implementation of evidenced-based full-service community schools.
  10. Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
  11. Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the local educational agency, including by
    1. Administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction.
    2. Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.
    3. Providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment.
    4. Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
  12. School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
  13. Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.
  14. Developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff.
  1. Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.

Addressing Learning Loss  

A local educational agency that receives funds under this section shall reserve not less than 20 percent of such funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, extended school year programs, or other evidence-based interventions, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the student subgroups described in section 1111(b)(2)(B)(xi) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 6311(b)(2)(B)(xi)), students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.

 

Total Allocation Amount:

$38,737,912.00

20% Reserved minimum for Learning Loss:

$7,747,582.40

 

The District has allocated $19,879,010 (well above the 20% required amount) to address the learning losses suffered by students.    

By June 2022, all schools within Darlington County School District will use a common, district-wide set of pacing guides and curriculum guides for both ELA and Math that provide pathways with shared priority goals and objectives during daily Tier 1 Instruction, so that all students will follow the same course structures while providing subject-specific content with the intent to increase student performance reading and math skill levels.  District-written pacing guides and curriculum guides will ensure common scope-in-sequence, content presentation, and instructional resources district-wide so that all students have similar/equitable learning experiences. This scope-in-sequence will include common unit assessments that provide consistent means of benchmarking student achievement.  Common district-wide instructional frameworks with an emphasis on small-group and individualized instruction will be established for each grade-span level and content area in an effort to create a personalized pathway for each student.  Common instructional technology tools will be provided district-wide for both ELA and Math.  Students will be administered MAP Testing 3 times during the school year to monitor progress and growth.  

As outlined in Category 10 (Summer Learning and Supplemental Afterschool Programs) and Category 11 (Addressing Learning Loss Among Students) the District has established an Academic Enhancement Program that will continue for the next three years to provide additional instructional time for students to recover the learning loss that they experienced during school closures.  The District has added additional full-time and part-time positions at all schools to provide the needed support for students.  These positions include Reading and Math recovery teachers, Reading and Math interventionists, Part-time classroom assistants to help with small group learning, Technology coaches to provide guidance and professional development as needed to ensure accurate use of daily programs and equipment.  

The District has put together a comprehensive plan to both enhance and monitor our students’ achievement.  More details can be found under each category where allocations have been made below.  Funds from previous Federal allocations (CRF, ESSER I, ESSER II) were used to address the needs of the District that fall under many of the other Categories.

1a. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

1b. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

1c. Adult Education and Family Literacy Act

1d. Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

2. Coordination of Preparedness and Response Efforts

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

3. Activities to Address the Unique Needs of Students

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

4. Development and Implementation of Procedures

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

5. Training and Professional Development – Applicable costs included in Category 11 figures

Schools will create a culture that provides consistent times that support professional learning and communication through the processes of weekly Professional Learning Communities.

Educational consultants have been contracted to assist principals with developing and monitoring the effectiveness of the Professional Learning Communities in their buildings.

The District will create additional technological support for students by adding 5 Instructional Technology Coaches that will rotate to all schools and provide guidance and professional development as needed to ensure accurate use of daily programs and equipment.  The District will partner with Clemson University to provide middle science school teachers with professional development at no cost while possibly obtaining a Master’s Degree and/or STEM Endorsement.  The Members of the Division of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment with school-level leadership team members will conduct bi-monthly learning walks through all schools in the district.  This collaborative effort allows for schools to self-assess and identify their own needs, then trust the observing team to conduct objective instructional observations with the intent to confirm and enhance the processes of improvement through conversations and short-term goal-setting.  Reading and Math Recovery Trainings will be offered to Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers with the intention of developing the skill-sets for effective teaching in the early grades in reading and math.  The district will provide a district-wide, common set of pacing and curriculum guides, along with common unit assessments for all teachers.  

Educational consultants have been contracted (district-wide) to work primarily with the reading and math interventionists and train them in providing quality instructional practices with targeted Tier 2 Instruction.  The District will provide all school-level Literacy Coaches with 5 additional workdays that will allow for additional teacher support and planning.  

6. Sanitation Services and Supplies

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

7. Planning and Coordination during Long-term Closures

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

8. Purchase of Educational Technology - $4,691,128

Funds will be used to purchase technology equipment and software to enable our students and staff to continue online learning when necessary and to utilize software tools to assist in day-to-day instruction.  Our technology refresh program includes the purchase of devices for incoming pre-school students, 3rd grade, 6th grade, and incoming freshmen in high school, along with any new student additions.  Annual allocations are calculated based on an estimate of 900 MacBooks and 900 IPads with Apple care and licenses.  (Cost has been spread between the ESSER funds for a three year period - average cost of $1,700,000 per year)  ($2,903,204 is included in this budget)  Common instructional technology tools will be provided District-wide:  Edmentum Tools (Exact Path / Study Island / Reading Eggs), Dreambox, USA TestPrep, ALEK, Math/Algebra Nation, APEX, Math 180, Read 180, Fountas and Pinnel Digital Classroom.  Included in this plan are software costs for Math 180 and Read 180 for all students grades 3rd - 12th for a three-year period ($1,578,428) and Exact Path & Study Island renewals ($209,496).  

9. Provision of Mental Health Services and Supports

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

10. Summer Learning and Supplemental Afterschool Programs - $8,089,007

DCSD began a program called the Academic Enhancement Program during the Winter of 2021 that will continue to assist with the daily Tier 1 (general education of all students) instructional process.  Students will attend face-to-face instructional sessions after regular school hours (after school during the academic school year and during the summer break) which will provide additional time to receive small-group and individualized instruction.  Teachers will be very intentional in analyzing student performance data and participate in PLC conversations that will be used to support and guide next instructional steps.  Students will be monitored closely through the use of weekly formative assessments and adaptive instructional software.  

These funds will cover our Afterschool Academic Enhancement Program (AEP) and our Summer Academic Enhancement Program (Summer AEP).  Included are staff salaries and fringes, supplies and transportation costs.  We implemented programs in all of our schools during the 2020-2021 school year and these programs will continue, including sites for our virtual students, to give them the extra support they need.  Our Afterschool Program staff includes approximately 340 employees (19 Administrators / 190 Teachers / 19 Nurses / 57 TAs/ 19 Custodians / 19 SROs / Bus Drivers) covering the 19 schools we are conducting programs in.  Our Summer Enrichment Program in three of our High Schools and four of our Middle Schools this past summer included staff of approximately 100 including Directors / Teachers / TAs / Nurses/ SROs / Custodians and Bus Drivers.  This program will continue for the next three years and costs are included in this plan.  We also conducted Summer Academic Enhancement Programs in our elementary schools which included staff of approximately 150.  Those programs will also continue for the next three years and the costs have been estimated using the actual costs from this past year as our baseline.  These two programs have been budgeted in multiple ESSER funds.  The portion included in ESSER III for the AEP salaries, fringes and supplies for the next three years is $6,741,188 and the portion included for the Summer AEP salaries, fringes and supplies for the next three years is $1,032,819.  Transportation costs associated with both programs are estimated at $315,000 for the next three years.  These costs are based on actual costs incurred this past year.


11. Addressing Learning Loss Among Students - $9,458,188

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) structures will be established with a set of district-wide expectations.  All students identified as needing targeted interventions and support will have a personalized academic or behavioral plan that will be electronically documented and stored in the district-wide data warehouse.   A Multi-Tiered Systems of Support District Level Coordinator position created to provide school level guidance and support with wrap-around services.   The MTSS Coordinator will also conduct periodic school level reviews/audits to ensure that appropriate processes are in place to support struggling students.  A Math Recovery District Level Lead will be created to provide instructional support to Math Recovery School Level Teachers and instruct identified students with the intent of developing foundational math skills and recovery learning loss.  All schools will receive additional interventionists to provide targeting instruction with prescribed interventions to recover learning loss (Reading Recovery Teacher, Reading Interventionist, Math Recovery Teacher, Math Interventionist, MTSS School Level Coordinator).  All students identified for targeted Tier 2 reading or math instruction will be provided additional instructional support through the use of computer adaptive instructional software (System 44/Read 180/Math 180).  The district will establish a district-wide SEL Leadership Team, and each school will create a school-wide SEL Team that will meet to analyze data, assess needed concerns/issues, develop individual plans, and monitor growth and progress.  Students will be administered Reading Inventory, Math Inventory, xSEL, and Panorama SEL Survey at least 2 times during the servicing period to progress monitor students’ performance and determine growth levels.

The District has added additional full time and part time positions at all schools to provide the needed support for students.  These positions include Reading and Math recovery teachers, Reading and Math interventionists, Part-time classroom assistants to help with small group learning, Technology coaches to provide guidance and professional development as needed to ensure accurate use of daily programs and equipment.

12. School Facility Repairs and Improvements - $7,850,757

The District will use funds to make additions of classrooms and improvements to current facilities based on recommendations in our Capital projects plan that was updated in 2019.  The Board will decide which of those projects will best benefit the District in providing a safer environment for our students.

13. Improve Indoor Air Quality in School Facilities

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

14. Strategies and Public Health Protocols

These items were prioritized and already funded through ESSER I or ESSER II funds.

15. Other Activities - $5,028,235

Items budgeted here are: 1) Salaries/Fringes and Supplies at our Virtual Academy that is open due to COVID.   The District provides those students who choose to learn remotely with the same curriculum and class options that are provided to our Face to Face students.   2) Salaries/Fringes for 4K classes are partially budgeted here due to the reduction in funding because of lower numbers.  Even with a drop in the number of students, the same staffing is needed to allow for social distancing.  The additional funding is needed to cover the loss in revenue and retain our staff.   3) Salaries for substitutes to cover school staff that must be out due to COVID or other illness.  The District contracts with Kelly services to provide our substitute teachers.  We now have at least one permanent building substitute in each of our schools (two in larger schools) daily to ensure that teacher absences are covered quickly and classrooms are covered with Certified personnel   4) Travel for District Technology and Math coaches.  These coaches will be traveling between schools offering technology support and training where needed.   5) Purchase of Transport coolers for Food Services to enable schools to serve students in the classroom to assist with social distancing.

Indirect Costs are included in Category 15 - $3,620,595



Click here to provide feedback on our ESSER III Spending Plan

Click the image above to provide feedback on our ESSER III Spending Plan.