Future Investment Detailed at Board Meeting

Scholars, Schools and Family
Posted on 05/24/2022
Image of ESSER III logoAkron Public Schools (APS) is presenting to its board plans for investing in its scholars and schools the balance of ESSER III funds over the next two years. The federal government created the funding known as ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools. The emergency funding’s mission is also to address the impact of the COVID pandemic on America’s students.

“We can’t overstate just how significant the monies received, to date, have been in assisting our mission of safely reopening and then accelerating learning for our students,” said Supt. Christine Fowler Mack. The district is focusing its energies on investing ESSER funds to emerge stronger, in the wake of the pandemic.

“Our scholars, schools and families will thrive by the investment in resources to enhance our scholars’ life skills and mental health, accelerate learning, provide expanded college and career opportunities, provide safe facilities, and invest in high quality diverse faculty and staff,” the superintendent said.

We want to see the impact on our scholars and their learning experience by investing ESSER funds to emerge stronger and future focused post pandemic.
Investment in scholars
ESSER III will enable us to accelerate learning through the use of additional tutors, intervention materials and equity in higher-level course offerings. We will invest in whole-child supports by providing additional elementary school counselors and positive behavior support and restorative programs to ensure our scholars' social and mental health needs are addressed. To extend learning time, we will expand summer programs and scholar leadership opportunities.

Knowing the pandemic widened pre-existing opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest, we invested more than a million dollars toward equity-based services to ensure we identify and address all student needs.

Investment in schools
Equity is at the heart of all strategic investments, but ESSER III will uniquely fund interpreters for diverse English learners and reviews of our current district practices to eliminate systemic barriers. Grow Your Own strategies and minority recruitment activities will be supported to ensure our faculty and staff better reflect the students we serve.

ESSER III will be used to ensure our older facilities are warm, safe and dry and all schools continue to have the technology and 1:1 devices needed for today’s digital information age.

Student and educator innovation and learning accelerator grants will be provided to try new ideas to improve learning and climate.

Investment in families
We will be enhancing family engagement opportunities including the expansion of our successful family resource centers.

Learning from the pandemic allowed us to grow in understanding family communication needs. We saw gaps and will invest in filling those gaps, in order to create an atmosphere that allows families to express themselves and receive timely and family-friendly information.


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