LEA Plan of Use Funds (Mountain Lakes)

Local Education Agency (LEA) Plan for Use Of Funds

  1. The extent to which and how the funds will be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent CDC guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning?

Our safe return to in-person instruction plan directly incorporates CDC recommended mitigation strategies for the safe reopening and operation of our schools with the use of funds focused on minimizing indoor air recirculation and maximizing fresh outdoor air as much as possible. Specifically, the LEA is seeking to inspect, 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. This will help to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs with the focus on updating unit ventilators.

  1. How the LEA will use the funds it reserves under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year?

Working with key stakeholder groups, and guided by educational priorities for our students, we plan to leverage ESSER funds to provide students with access to high-quality, evidence-based extended learning time programming. We will look for programs that have a proven track record of raising student outcomes and successfully addressing learning loss, particularly for communities that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This potentially includes summer and afterschool programs. A key part of our work will also include incorporating both formative and summative assessments to effectively progress monitor students.

  1. How will the LEA spend its remaining ARP ESSER funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act?

We will ensure that all ARP ESSER funds are utilized in accordance with allowability guidelines. This includes addressing learning loss; providing Tier II interventions; supporting staff professional development; ensuring continuity of key positions, as well as safe and healthy school environments.

  1. How the LEA will ensure that the interventions it implements, including but not limited to the interventions implemented under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID–19 pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students. Under this requirement, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its plan. Specifically, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with students; families; school and district administrators (including special education administrators); and teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions.

We recognize that the pandemic did not impact our students equally. Certain student groups experienced significant learning loss and increased the need for social-emotional support. Our emphasis on utilizing small-group, differentiated instruction for every student in the classroom allows us to identify at-risk students most significantly impacted by the pandemic, and target data-driven interventions to support their academic success. The data we gather from frequent year-round assessments will empower our educators to implement evidence-based interventions in real-time to address any learning gaps for each scholar throughout the school year. More specifically, we will implement the following data-driven instructional strategies to support students who are underserved or disparately impacted by COVID-related learning loss: maximized learning time on-task and on core subjects; differentiated, small-group instruction; data-driven instruction; targeted, evidence-based interventions to meet the learning needs of students with deficits  and those that need challenged beyond on-grade level including additional, Tier II, small-group tutoring; research-based and standards aligned curricula; and instructional tasks with higher-order, complex thinking.

  1. Additionally, an LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with each of the following, to the extent present in or served by the LEA: Tribes; civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations); and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.

The LEA used multiple means to solicit input including community wide meetings (e.g., Strategic Plan), feedback from public comment at School Board Meetings, and presentations to community groups such as the board's budget/finance committee and parent groups (HSA). Specifically,  during the summer of 2020 the district implemented e-opening teams and met regularly. All departments were represented. The purpose of the reopening teams was to: 1)  review the reopening framework as established by the District, 2) address individual building needs and tailor operations and planning to align with the District's framework, 3) identify student needs as a result of impacts of COVID-l9, 4) Develop actions plans to address student needs. Consultation with teachers took place during ScIP and DEAC meetings. ScIP committee solicited staff input in the form of surveys and/or emails. A committee of representation from all buildings was formed to determine best use of funds.

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