Elementary & Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds
The purpose of the ESSER II and American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds are to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In response to receiving the funding and the requirement to develop a plan for use of funds, Lee County Schools created an American Response Plan committee. Our committee includes teachers, counselors, parents, and administrators. We met as a group and will continue to meet periodically to assess the students’ progress and the District’s use of ESSER funds. We surveyed teachers, students, and the public (posted to our district homepage for feedback). All recommendations were prioritized and we used data to show the largest learning gaps in the district. Our goal was to make critical investments and not just to recover, but to also implement and improve effective approaches for teaching and learning that accelerate student learning outcomes. Additional guiding principles our committee followed were: identifying and addressing students’ needs, addressing learning loss, avoiding fiscal cliffs two and three years out, building on existing programs, and improving and innovating. Together the committee created the Lee County Schools ESSER II and ARP ESSER plans. The approved applications are included below.