Please read through this webpage for information about ESSER and to find important next steps for providing feedback on RNESU's proposal for how to spend ESSER III funds.
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund is a federal formula grant managed by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Non-recurring, emergency aid subgrants are being allocated by the AOE to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) by formula based on Title I, Part A allocations - Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union is one of those LEAs. Funds are broken down into three parts: ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III. These grants are considered one-time funds.
Title I, Part A is a Consolidated Federal Program with the purpose of providing all children a significant opportunity to receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education, and to close educational achievement gaps. RNESU receives Title I funding each year.
Click the links to learn more about:
ESSER I, also known as Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) ESSER funds. RNESU's allocation: $614,775.
ESSER II, an expansion of CARES ESSER funds and with the addition of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRPSA) funds. RNESU's allocation: $2,205,527.
ESSER III, also known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER funds. RNESU's allocation: $4,957,235.
This U.S. Department of Education Fact Sheet further describes ESSER funds and the difference between each type.
RNESU Administrators carefully considered both the:
AOE 'Vermont’s Education Recovery' plan as it relates to how to spend ESSER funds.
And RNESU’s Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP) and Recovery Plan (found on the RNESU website https://www.rnesu.org/
RNESU sought input from teachers and the community:
RNESU Superintendent Jeanne Collins distributed a series of surveys to all RNESU staff and hosted several virtual input and Q&A sessions throughout the 2020-2021 school year
The RNESU Recovery Team also reached out to a variety of community organizations, family members, student organizations and staff groups throughout the 2020-2021 school year. The RNESU Equity Committee (made up of staff, parents, community members, community organizations, students, administrators) participated in a “Needs Assessment” and provided input in recovery planning
ESSER I: A major finding of the RNESU Needs Assessment suggested that technology infrastructure and programming was critical to the success of our schools, students, and families. A large part of the ESSER I was devoted to this need through the purchases of: 1:1 Chromebooks, wireless & data internet plans, technology supplies, cameras/microphones, and printers.
ESSER II: A proposal for how to spend these funds was presented to the Board of School Directors on March 24th, 2021. The discussion continued at subsequent meetings, and the Board authorized the RNESU Administrators to “make applications, accept and administer state and federal funds and programs for the 2021-2022 school year.” https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eZ_-_-UQcFu-kfuZ5BmYbYzxR6ZJLAv4/view
ESSER II may be discussed again at future Board meetings - agendas and minutes can be found here https://www.rnesu.org/page/rnesu-board-archived-meeting-documents-april-2016-june-2021. The application for ESSER II funds is due November 15, 2021 and funds can be used as early as March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2023.
A major component of how RNESU will spend ESSER III funds will depend on the feedback received on plans built by the administrative team. The administrative team will intentionally seek feedback from RNESU families of BIPOC students, students on IEPs, and English Language Learners (EL).
3) Provide feedback to RNESU Administrators by filling out this ESSER III Public Survey.
4) More ESSER and Recovery/Redesign events will be announced soon.
All events are open to all members of the RNESU community. BIPOC (black, indigenous, and other people of color), IEP (Individualized Educational Plan), and EL (English-language learners) families, as well as families participating in the Free and Reduced Price Meals program, will receive a direct invitation to events. They will also be advertised on our social media channels and through other RNESU communication networks
5) Attend and make public comment at an RNESU Board of School Directors Meeting.