Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds

January 26, 2022

Updated March 29, 2022

Final approved ESSER III LEA Plan Report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

View the document here: ESSER III LEA Plan Report 2022

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 26, 2022

At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, January 25, administration presented an overview of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III grant program. The grant funds are used to support school district's response to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2024. The Sheboygan Area School District's proposed plan for use of ESSER III funds are outlined in the presentation below:

    Members of the public are invited to share comments and feedback on the district's use of ESSER funds before the plan is finalized and presented at the February 8, 2023.

    Public Comment Form on use of ESSER Funds and Safe Return to School Plan

    View the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan below:

    Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan

    District Contact: Seth A. Harvatine, Superintendent of Schools
    Website: www.sheboygan.k12.wi.us
    Phone: 920-459-3500
    Address: 3330 Stahl Road Sheboygan, WI 53081

    Introduction

    On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plans (ARP) Act was signed into law. In it, the U.S. Department of Education is providing an additional $121.9 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund). This legislation will award grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for providing local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.

    Wisconsin will receive $1,540,784,854 in ESSER III funds from the Act, with 90 percent being awarded to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining funds will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19.

    This plan describes how the LEA or district will provide a safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services for all schools, including those that have already returned to in-person instruction.

    Maintaining Health and Safety

    Overview

    A district’s plan must include how it will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and LEA staff, and the extent to which it has adopted policies or practices and a description of any such policies or practices on each of the CDC's safety recommendations including the universal and correct wearing of masks; modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/podding); hand washing and respiratory etiquette; cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation; contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments; diagnostic and screening testing; efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible; appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies or practices; and coordination with state and local health officials.

    Description on maintaining the safety of staff and students

    The Sheboygan Area School District (SASD) began the 2021-22 school year with a five-day per week, face-to-face instructional model and adheres to the following health protocols. Accordingly, the District will:

    • publish the COVID-19 pre-screening checklist and strongly encourage students and staff members to utilize the checklist before entering a school facility,
    • encourage staff members and students to stay home or go home if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms or if they have tested positive for COVID-19,
    • strongly recommend that students, staff, and visitors wear facial coverings while inside school buildings,
    • provide sanitizing stations throughout the building, and
    • offer free COVID-19 antigen and PCR testing to all students, staff, and families.

    Description to continue to provide services regardless of the mode of instruction (for example, health and food services if the LEA must pivot to virtual or hybrid instruction)

    The SASD will offer in-person learning five days a week according to the Board adopted 2021-2022 Academic Year Calendar. The school district has also provided families the option to enroll their students in virtual learning across all grade levels (4K-12th grade). In the event of school closure due to the pandemic, the District has provided Chromebooks and/or iPads for all students to continue virtual learning.

    Regardless of the mode of instruction, the Sheboygan Area School District will continue to provide meals under the community provision as long as USDA continues the allowance. Meals will be provided for summer school attendees as well as all eligible youth during the school year. If school is closed due to a pandemic, the District will assess its ability to distribute meals utilizing the same process it used during the spring of 2020 and throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

    The District employs full-time school nurses who will continue to offer health services in-person or virtually. The school district will continue to provide school counseling services to support students and families and will also continue its community partnership to provide the PATH (Providing Access to Healing) program to further provide mental health support for families.



    Mitigation Measures

    Universal and correct wearing of masks

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    The Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education adopted a threshold to determine when students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear masks and when mask-wearing will be optional. The threshold is based on student COVID positivity levels within individual schools. Details about these thresholds can be found on the district website.

    Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (for example, the use of cohorts and podding)

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    Mitigation measures such as proper signage, touchless faucets, water bottle filling stations, and the promotion of social distancing have been implemented at each facility. Individual schools will determine the cafeteria service that best suits the needs of their students. Depending upon the COVID levels within a school, cafeterias and/or classrooms may be used as settings for student meals.

    Transportation will comply with CDC guidelines regarding facial coverings and capacities that are in effect during the 2021-22 school year.

    Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    Handwashing and respiratory etiquette is taught to students with high emphasis in the primary grade levels. Signage is posted throughout buildings as reminders of handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

    In addition, hand sanitizing stations/liquids are available in all classrooms, hallways, and common areas.




    Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    Cleaning has been moved from an A/B schedule to daily cleaning in all classrooms, rest rooms, locker rooms, offices and common areas. High touch points are cleaned throughout the day. The District uses cleaning solutions that are rated to kill the SARS virus. Hand sanitizer stations have been added to all classrooms, entrances and selected common areas.

    The District has increased the percentage of outdoor air being circulated within the building. Air exchange has been increased to the maximum amount that each unit can handle. District has replaced HVAC controls to better monitor and control indoor air quality.

    Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    The SASD will continue working with the Sheboygan County Health Department on contact tracing. To provide transparent reporting for our stakeholders, the District maintained a COVID-19 case dashboard throughout the 2020-21 school year and has made enhancements to the reporting system for the 2021-22 school year.

    The District will guide parents/students, employees, and contractors on screening protocols for the daily pre-screening process, which all parties should complete before entering the campus/building. Each school will continue to provide current health information to staff, students, and families about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, when they should stay home, and when they can return to school. Procedures and protocols for symptom monitoring, contact tracing, when individuals may return to school/work can be found on the district website.

    Diagnostic and screening testing

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    The SASD recommends students and staff get tested for COVID by their medical provider or a local pharmacy. The District also worked with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to coordinate COVID testing sites at schools. There are 19 schools within the Sheboygan Area School District that have on-site testing. Students, staff, and family members have the option to be tested at any time, including routine testing, when they are identified as close contacts, or become symptomatic. The turnaround time for test results is 20-30 minutes for antigen testing and 24-48 hours for PCR testing.




    Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    All staff members were provided multiple opportunities to be vaccinated. SASD partnered with Aurora and our employees were given priority at their vaccination clinics. Our InHealth Clinic (SASD Employee Clinic) had several weeks of vaccination slots available for our employees and their family members. We also communicated all of the vaccine opportunities in our community and the surrounding communities. Students ages 16 and older were provided access to vaccination clinics at two of our high schools. Students ages 12 and older were provided access to a vaccination clinic on May 17, 2021 at Horace Mann Middle School. In partnership with a local healthcare provider, additional onsite vaccination clinics were held for 5-11 year olds in December/January. Additional clinics may be held later in the year.

    New staff and unvaccinated staff have been given vaccination information through local health care partners and County Public Health.

    Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies and practices

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    When circumstances require specific policies or procedures designed to protect the health and safety of students, 504 and IEP teams will determine if modifications and/or reasonable accommodations are needed for individual students with disability-related issues. The SASD teams consisting of case managers, school nurses, teaching staff, etc. and work collaboratively with students and parents to ensure proper accommodations.

    Coordination with state and local health officials

    Description of Policies or Practices, if applicable

    The CDC recommends that all decisions about implementing school-based strategies should be made locally, collaborating with local health officials who can help determine the level of transmission in the community. The SASD continues to work with County Public Health to implement mitigating strategies for the safety of students and staff.





    Continuity of Services

    Overview

    Districts must describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students' academic needs and students' and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services.

    District response on continuity of services

    The District will provide for continuity of services as follows:

    Student Academic Needs

    The Sheboygan Area School District has implemented the following to ensure continuity of services:

    • K-12 summer school program to assist with academic recovery.
    • Full-time, in-person instruction beginning the fall of 2021, with limited exception.
    • Additional instructional personnel has been added to staffing to implement further academic recovery efforts in core curriculum areas.
    • Optional virtual instruction model for all levels.
    • Adopted Lexia and ALEKs for skill gap remediation and acceleration.
    • Free before and after school care for elementary families.

    Student Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs

    The District implemented the b.e.s.t screener for all elementary students and Panorama survey for grades 3-12 to identify needs. The students have access to professional therapy services through the district's PATH program.

    Other Student Needs (which may include student health and food services)

    Food services will continue to provide meals under the community provision as long as USDA continues the allowance. Meals will be provided for summer school attendees as well as all eligible youth during the school year. Summer meals will be provided for summer school and all children age 18 and under through July 2, 2021. It is assumed that the USDA will continue community eligibility provision under the new school meal application.

    Staff Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs

    The District has provided staff with opportunities for social and emotional support through providing a speaker in 2020 from Mental Health of America speaking about Resiliency, bringing in a representative from the Employee Assistance Program during 2020 and 2021 giving an overview about the available support and services. We also offered Self Care Challenges in 2020 and 2021 where employees could earn points for their Wellness program by taking care of themselves. The staff’s social, emotional, and mental health needs may also be addressed through the direct services of the Employee Assistance Program provided through the District. The District’s Wellness Office provided 24/7 on-call COVID support during the 2020-2021 school year to help people navigate through their COVID situation. This helped with staff’s emotional well-being because they were not getting that support from the County Health Department.

    Other Staff Needs

    The District followed the Federal law of Families First Coronavirus Response Act and offered Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Expansion Act (EFMLA). The District extended the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) through June, 2021 which was beyond the Federal Law requirement. This allows our employees to continue to get paid for being away from work due to COVID and not have to use their own sick leave. The District enacted COVID pay for 2021-2022 school year again. The District also hired a full-time sub for each of our buildings to provide continuity of coverage when staff members are out due to COVID.

    Periodic Review

    Overview

    Districts are required to review and, as appropriate, revise their Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan at least every six months through September 30, 2023, including seeking public input and taking such input into account in determining whether to revise the plan and, if revisions are determined necessary, on the revisions it makes to its plan.

    District response on ensuring periodic updates to its plan

    The Sheboygan Area School District will periodically review and, as needed, revise the plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services. The plan will be reviewed at least every six months, and the school system will seek and take into account public input during the review process. Plan revisions will address updated CDC and County Public Health guidance on safely reopening schools if any are issued.

    Public Input

    Overview

    The ARP Act requires that school districts make their Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan available to the public online and that the plans be in an understandable and uniform format; to the extent practicable, are written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable, orally translated; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability, provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent. Before making its plan publicly available, school districts must seek public comment on the plan and develop the plan after taking into account public comment.

    District response on public input in the development of its plan

    The Sheboygan Area School District has taken the following steps to make its plan available to the public:

    • The plan is posted at http://www.sheboygan.k12.wi.us.
    • A feedback form is available on the district website (located below the draft plan). A direct link to the feedback form is below.
    • The plan is available in multiple languages through the use of our web provider powered by Google Translate. The plan is available in more than ten languages.
    • The plan was shared at the Sheboygan Area School District Board of Education meetings on January 25th and February 8th, 2022. An opportunity for public comment was available during the January 25th, 2022 Board meeting.
    • Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting our district office.

    Public Comment - ESSER III and Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plans


    SHARE:

    Explore upcoming events in the Sheboygan Area School District! 

    Calendar