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Reopening Our Schools & Important Updates

For the latest COVID-19-related information and archives, visit our Important Updates webpageARP-ESSER Funding Plan

American Rescue Plan (ARP)-ESSER funding plan

Fort Plain Central School District’s ARP-ESSER funding plan

Introduction

The 2021-22 enacted state budget includes language requiring local education agencies, such as school districts, that receive funding from the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund allocated by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP-ESSER) to post on its website a plan of how these funds will be spent.

New York has been allocated nearly $9 billion in ARP-ESSER funds, with a minimum of $8.09 billion (90 percent) going to local education agencies, including public schools. The Fort Plain school district received 4.2 million dollars.

A portion, $840,000 must be allocated to address learning loss through the implementation of evidenced based interventions such as summer learning and enrichment programs, extended school day and after school programs or extended school year programs. Such interventions will respond to the academic, social and emotional needs of students.

Districts are also required to prioritize spending on non-recurring expenses in the following areas:

  • Safely returning students to in-person instruction;
    Maximizing in-person instruction time;
  • Operating schools and meeting the needs of students;
  • Purchasing educational technology;
  • Addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, including the impacts of interrupted instruction and learning loss and the impacts on low-income students, children with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness;
  • Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs;
  • Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs; and
    Supporting early childhood education.

Reflecting on the impact of COVID 19 on students and learning

The Fort Plain School District is committed to ensuring every student has the opportunity to develop intellectually, socially, emotionally and physically in a safe, orderly and positive environment. Our goal remains to prepare every student for success beyond graduation. For the purpose of developing this plan, stakeholder feedback was collected from parents and caregivers, faculty, department supervisors, technology leaders, athletics and administration.

Safely returning students to in-person instruction

Plan Summary: The health and safety of students, staff and their families remain the district’s top priorities for all in-person instruction and school-based activities. The district will follow recommendations and guidance from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Education Department (NYSED), Montgomery County Public Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Implement health screening protocols
  • Safely transport students
  • Provide food service and retrofit areas for eating
  • Ensure social distance
  • Cohort students according to guidance
  • Provide personal protective equipment

Maximizing in-person instruction time

Plan Summary: To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts. Upon reopening, class sizes will be reduced to ensure proper social distancing as directed by NYSED and the Departments of Health. Class sizes will reflect the need to ensure that students are positioned at an adequate social distance. To help support social distancing procedures, our schools will minimize the amount of travel throughout the school buildings to the greatest extent possible. Whenever possible, students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction.

  • Maintain low student to teacher contact ratios
  • Reduce class sizes as needed
  • Increase social emotional learning supports
  • Provide tutoring
  • Increase afterschool enrichment opportunities
  • Invest in supplies and materials

Operating schools and meeting the needs of students

Plan Summary: The district will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them. Fort Plain schools has adopted Google Classroom as a primary platform for students/families to access instructional materials and lessons. The district has also adopted Gmail as a universal communication system for both students and teachers. ParentSquare unifies all communication tools from the classroom to the district level, featuring texts, emails and a mobile app to reach families in their preferred method. The district will continue to use ParentSquare to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about school operations to best meet the needs of students. The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their children.

  • Enhance student to teacher connections
  • Purchase musical instruments for music program
  • Repurpose existing learning spaces
  • Improve ventilation (explore adding A/C units at high school)
  • Increase access to technology
  • Assistive technology
  • Update PE and fitness equipment

Addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all students, including low-income students, students with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness

Plan Summary: The needs of all learners including students from low-income households, students with disabilities, English language learners and students experiencing homelessness will be addressed to the extent possible by targeting funds to these areas. Every effort will be made to ensure all students have the necessary support and resources to meet with academic success and ensure social emotional support is provided. The district’s services to support English language learners will continue to be specific to their individual needs. More specifically, this will include outreach to families to ensure students and families have the necessary resources to ensure success. More specifically, we will ensure students have access to technology, a reliable and stable internet connection, supplies and materials and the necessary tutoring to facilitate success.

  • Purchase WiFis
  • Laptop and Chromebook replacement plan
  • Outdoor WiFi project (Wiles Park and Fields)
  • Expand academic coaching centers
  • Incorporate research based trauma skilled approaches
  • Expand learning labs
  • Offer afterschool tutoring

Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health and academic needs

Plan Summary: Fort Plain will work to become a Trauma Skilled School in order to reduce the effects of stress and trauma associated with the pandemic. The focus will be to train the entire workforce to provide the needed support and services to positively impact the daily lives and well being of our students. By helping students to develop personal connections in school and instilling a sense of belonging, regardless of circumstance, this effort is designed to:

  • Increase focus on meeting addressing the social emotional needs of students
  • Employ an Educational Technology Specialist
  • Increase outreach to families
  • Enrich curriculum and instructional materials
  • Support staff training and professional development

Offering evidence-based summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs

Plan Summary: Beginning in the summer of 2021, we are offering enrichment opportunities for students in kindergarten through grade 12. In future years, the Fort Plain School District will preserve equity through expansion of services and ensure access for all.

  • Offer summer learning opportunities
  • Expand Coaching Center at Jr./Sr. High School
  • Field trips
  • Assemblies
  • Guest speakers

Supporting early childhood education

Plan Summary: Our initial plan to support early childhood education is to provide a summer enrichment program to students in grade kindergarten through grade 2. The intensive summer enrichment program will address learning loss that resulted from uneven instructional opportunities resulting from the pandemic. Grade level teachers will provide standards-based remediation and targeted interventions. Beginning in September, targeted students in grades 3 through 6 will be provided with remediation and enrichment through an afterschool program.

  • Maintain lower class sizes
  • Benchmarking
  • K-6 ELA and Math remediation
  • K-6 Enrichment in Art, Music and World Languages