ARP ESSER Plan

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Introduction

  • On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (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 (ARP ESSER Fund). This legislation awards grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for providing local educational agencies (LEAs, i.e., school districts) 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. South Carolina will receive $2,112,051,487 in ARP ESSER funds from the ARP Act, with 90 percent being awarded to LEAs with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in summer 2020. The remaining funds to South Carolina will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19. This plan describes how the LEA will use funds that it is awarded under the ARP ESSER program. This report template complies with all reporting requirements of the ARP Act (Public Law 117-2), the ARP ESSER grant terms, conditions, and assurances (CFDA Number 84.425U), and the interim final rule established by the U.S. Department of Education, 86 FR 21195.

ARP ESSER Budget Overview

  • Total Amount of LEA Award: $125,233,830.00

    Required 20 Percent for Learning Loss: $25,046,766.00

     

    Funds for Prevention and Mitigation Strategies:

    In the text field below, describe the extent to which and how the LEA will use funds to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning.

    Horry County Schools (HCS) will begin the 2021-22 school year with a five-day per week, face-to-face instructional model and will adhere 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 prior to entering an HCS 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,

    • limit visitors and activities for non-essential purposes,

    • provide sanitizing stations throughout the building,

    • provide opportunities for and promote frequent handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer,

    • utilize guidelines to minimize the number of students being sent to the office area and the health room/nurse's office (Health room protocols have been established.)

    • encourage each school to monitor students’ arrivals and dismissals to discourage students from congregating in groups,

    • encourage schools to keep students in cohorts within the classroom, on the school bus, and while participating in extracurricular activities, to the extent possible,

    • encourage individuals to maintain at least 3-feet of social distancing for students (at least 6-feet for adults) to the extent possible,

    • identify a room that is available to be used for the purpose of isolating students who exhibit symptoms of COIVD-19 during the school day. (Isolation is required for all cases of COVID-19.),

    • encourage schools to incorporate virtual events such as parent/family meetings, assemblies, etc., where possible,

    • follow all CDC, SCDHEC, and SCDE guidelines for mask wearing and social distancing (Based on a SCDE memo dated July 6, 2021, masks will not be required for any school facility or school bus; however, mask wearing is strongly recommended.),

    • encourage use of technology conferencing for District and school staff meetings,

    • monitor the spread of viruses or other contagious diseases, such as but not limited to, influenza and COVID-19,

    • notify Regional SCDHEC health authorities for any COVID-19 cases among children and staff who were contagious with COVID-19 while on campus or attending an official campus event using established reporting processes, and

    • maintain an HCS COVID-19 Dashboard and update daily.

     

ARP ESSER High Level Budget

  • Note: The total amounts below must match the LEA’s ARP ESSER Budget that details expenditures by allowable activity. A description of the ARP ESSER allowable activities is online on the ARP Act ESSER Spending Categories webpage.

     

     

Activities to Address Learning Loss

  • ARP ESSER Learning Loss Requirements

    The LEA must use 20 percent of the funds it receives under the ARP ESSER program to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year. The LEA should duplicate or align with the goals, strategies, and evidence-based interventions in its Academic Recovery Plan to minimize duplication of efforts.

     

    Academic Recovery Plan – English Language Arts

    Elementary

    Reading/Math Learning Loss Interventionist: One certified teacher at each elementary school including K-12 HCS Virtual to provide small-group reading and/or math intervention during the school day to students identified with reading and/or math learning gaps

    School-based allocations to provide literacy materials to enhance small-group literacy instruction at 28 elementary schools, during-the-day intervention, and tutorials before and/or after school.

    Middle

    ELA(Reading) Learning Loss Interventionist: Certified teacher to provide small-group targeted instruction in ELA classrooms that supports identified students who have learning gaps.

    ELA Digital Content - Quindew, Skill-Based Instruction: A reading program that supports improving essential reading skills. Each lesson engages students in rigorous reading practice that meets students at their current reading levels. The purpose is to help students catch up, improve, and excel as readers through explicit differentiated instruction with personalized support.

    High

    Learning Loss Interventionist: One additional certified teacher at each high school to provide small-group reading and/or math intervention that supports identified students who have learning gaps.

     

    Academic Recovery Plan – Mathematics

    Elementary

    NWEA Math Accelerator: A research-proven digital tool designed to enhance differentiation in math and support growth for all students in grades 3-5. Accelerator provides students with learning experiences that meet their specific learning needs.

    School-based allocations to provide math manipulatives and materials to enhance small-group math instruction at 28 elementary schools, during-the-day intervention, and tutorials before and/or after school.

    Middle

    Math Learning Loss Interventionist: Certified teacher to provide small-group targeted instruction in math classrooms that supports identified students who have learning gaps.

     

     

    Academic Recovery Plan – Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health

    High

    Work-Based Learning Coaches: A paraprofessional at each school to support students who plan to enter the workforce immediately after graduation by securing and monitoring work-based opportunities in the student’s chosen career pathway.

     

    Academic Recovery Plan – Other Activities

    Elementary

    Enhanced core-replacement instructional materials for students with disabilities in kindergarten and first grade.

    High

    Graduation Coaches: A certified teacher at each school to support and monitor student progress toward on-time graduation.

    Middle/ High STEM Coach: A certified STEM coach to work directly with middle and high school leadership teams, STEM contacts, and STEM teachers to support STEM-related instruction and student learning.

    Employability/Transition Curriculum: Specialized curriculum to be utilized in special education classrooms for students in the South Carolina High School Diploma and the South Carolina Credential.

Activities for other ARP ESSER Funds

  • The LEA must describe how it will expend its remaining ARP ESSER funds in the other allowable categories. Detailed categories are available on the ARP ESSER Spending Plan Categories webpage.

     

    Activities authorized under the ESEA, the IDEA, the AEFLA, and the Perkins Act

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Coordination, preparedness, and response efforts

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Activities to address unique needs of specific students

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Improving preparedness and response efforts

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Training and professional development on sanitation

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Supplies to sanitize and clean facilities

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Purchase of sanitation supplies and additional custodial staff for cleaning school facilities.  These staff members would provide assistance for short and long term openings, vacancies created by medical leaves of absence, and daily shortages for unscheduled absences. 

     

     

    Planning, coordinating, and implementing school closures

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Educational technology

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Refresh devices in the 1:1 personal digitized learning (PDL) program that are used in either a classroom or virtual setting. Also includes the purchase of educational software and mobile hot spot connectivity.

     

    Mental health services and supports 

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Additional Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services (RBHS) counselors and floating school nurses.

     

    Planning and implementing summer learning and afterschool programs (in addition to Learning Loss budgeted above)

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Summer School for grades 6-8 to provide academic assistance for students. Targeted support and improvement at several high schools. Summer reading programs offered at several elementary schools to address reading proficiency.

    In addition, funds are allocated for K-12 after-school tutorial programs.

     

    Addressing learning loss among students (in addition to Learning Loss budgeted above)

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    School facility repairs and improvements

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Roofing upgrades. The District has a comprehensive long-term facility plan as outlined on the following website: https://www.horrycountyschools.net/Page/1099.

    Replacing several of our aging roof systems that have been identified as either due or overdue for replacement and have a history of some water intrusion issues, will allow us to prevent additional water intrusion from incurring and because of this prevent the potential growth of mold or mildew that can affect indoor air quality. Unfortunately, funding is not available to fully fund all projects nor will the time constraints allow completion by 9/30/2024. As the projects are prioritized, we will work with the OSF to begin work.

     

    Improving indoor air quality

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Improve indoor air quality through the HVAC upgrades, installation of air purification devices, and window/door replacements. The District has a comprehensive long-term facility plan as outlined on the following website: https://www.horrycountyschools.net/Page/1099.

    Replacing a number of our aging Outdoor Air HVAC Units (also called Make-up Air Units) that provide clean, fresh air from outside into our classroom and other spaces will continue to allow us to dilute and circulate the air. Dilution (fresh air) is one of the key elements to maintain indoor air quality. A list was developed based on the age of the units and seeks to address units that are a)non-functional or failing at present and b)15 years old or older. Unfortunately, funding is not available to fully fund all projects nor will the time constraints allow completion by 9/30/2024. As the projects are prioritized, we will work with the OSF to begin work.

     

    Developing and implementing public health protocols

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Not Applicable

     

    Other activities to maintain operation and continuity of services

    Description of Planned Activities if applicable:

    Includes:
    Purchase of curriculum from the Florida Virtual School
    Purchase of Google Suite Enterprise for Education
    Staffing for HCS Virtual
    Staff development and additional resources for the delivery of virtual curriculum and distance education Provides additional interventions for virtual students
    SORA - Online library platform to support HCS Virtual
    Student scheduling
    Attendance interventions
    Family solutions program designed to establish positive family influences on at-risk youth behavior
    Additional teacher pay for instruction of quarantined students
    Payment for teaching during planning period
    School-level purchase of instructional supplies/materials and related PPE
    Bus driver retention bonus
    Charter School support
    And includes the retention of existing staff, unemployment benefits, and provides funds to ensure the continuance of operations in a constantly developing environment.

Evaluation and Review

  • The LEA must describe how it will ensure that the interventions it implements to address the academic impact of lost instructional time will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students. The LEA should use or align with its progress monitoring narrative from its Academic Recovery Plan in this section to avoid duplication.

     

    Academic Needs
    HCS will begin the 2021-22 school year with a five-day per week, face-to-face instruction for students in child development through twelfth grade. The District will also provide a full-time K-12 virtual program for students.

    Spring and fall 2021 data will be used as baseline measures to determine academic gaps in reading and math. This information will be used to identify learning loss and skill identification to employ additional interventions in reading and math including, but not limited to, tutorials before and after school, as well as reading and math interventions during the school day. Literacy academic growth and progress for students in K-2 will be assessed via the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) assessment in fall, winter, and spring.

    Literacy and math academic growth and progress for students in K-8 will be assessed via NWEA MAP assessments in fall, winter, and spring. In grades 6-8, iReady Math Diagnostic will also be utilized.

    In grades 9-12, schools will utilize state-provided strand data, as well as the state data review, to provide professional development for teachers who teach courses for which the state requires an end-of-course assessment (EOC). HCS common-assessment data will be utilized to monitor growth and progress in EOC courses throughout the year. Schools will provide ongoing support for academically at-risk students who have demonstrated learning loss, as a result of the pandemic, through small-group instruction, interventions, credit recovery, and tutoring. All high schools will continue to strive to increase the number of students who are deemed college- or career-ready and to increase the number of students who are on-time graduates. In addition, schools will continue to develop and implement strategies to improve all state report card measures.

    A continuum of interventions will be provided that supports Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS). Instructional staff will participate in professional learning opportunities to ensure compliance with Act 213, which requires all district and charter schools to report data on the implementation of MTSS and universal screening procedures for students in kindergarten through second grade.

    Family Connections
    HCS recognizes that families are equal partners in attaining educational goals for students. Educators view families and creating family-school relationships as essential for children's optimal academic, social, and emotional learning. Schools will provide opportunities for family engagement through events such as literacy nights, book fairs, family nights, open houses, musical performances, sports events, and parent-conference days/nights.

    Special Education Services and FAPE
    HCS is committed to the continued Child Find obligation and efforts under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The District will continue to work in collaboration with schools and parents, guardians, and adult students to provide a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those individuals providing education, specially designed instruction, and related services to these students. Specially designed instruction and related services will be provided as specified in student individualized education programs (IEPs) and Section 504 plans. Progress-monitoring data relevant to students’ IEP goals will be monitored to identify learning loss/gains and skill identification that may warrant revisions to these plans to meet the individual needs of students. Section 504 meetings and IEP meetings will be scheduled in accordance within the required timelines and processes and will be scheduled at mutually agreed upon times and locations between the school and the parent, guardian, or adult student.

    Multilingual Learners
    HCS will prioritize the scheduling of ESOL services for English learners in order to maximize service minutes. Schools will continue to schedule EL students with teachers trained in sheltered-instruction content strategies. Teachers will follow the students’ individualized learning plans to ensure accommodations are provided for EL students as identified. Essential information, at a minimum, will be provided in the top five languages of students in the District to include Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

    Gifted and Talented Students
    Existing screening tools used for the identification of gifted and talented students will be utilized. Schools will schedule gifted and talented students with thoughtful consideration to ensure that continuity of services is maintained. Schools will determine the master schedule and groupings, keeping in mind the needs of gifted and talented students.

    Grading Practices
    HCS will follow the S.C. Uniform Grading Policy and established HCS grading protocols.

    Professional Development
    Opportunities will be provided to facilitate collaboration and professional development that safely supports the professional growth and development of all staff. Educators will receive ongoing professional learning related to the pedagogy and strategies to promote student learning, social-emotional wellness, and success. New instructional personnel will be provided the opportunity to attend New Teacher Academy in August. Professional development support for the implementation of instructional standards and priorities and updated curriculum maps will be customized for educators based on their grade-level assignments and/or specific content areas such as special education, English as a Second Language, career and technical education, physical education, fine arts, foreign languages, etc. Professional learning communities within and across schools will be utilized in an ongoing manner for the exchange of resources, best practices, as well as discussion of challenges and needs.

    Social, Emotional, Mental Health of Students and Staff (Could also include health and food services)
    Schools are equipped to address social, emotional, and mental health needs through counseling services and integration of social-emotional learning utilizing the following resources: Caring School Community (CD-5), Second Steps (6-8), and School Connect (9-12).

    Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services (RBHS) are available to all students. RBHS counselors are present in the schools five days a week during the school hours and beyond, if needed. Staff members are an integral part of the school community and are involved in meetings regarding students, crisis situations that may involve children not involved with the program (as school administration expresses the need), and other non-academic programs (assemblies, special teams). HCS is fortunate to work collaboratively with Waccamaw Mental Health (WMH) and have seven WMH counselors assigned to District schools. HCS will continue to provide professional development and resources for school guidance and RBHS counselors in an effort to assist students better.

    Each HCS campus has a nurse on site to assist students.

Consultation and Public Input

  • The LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its plan. Specifically, the LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with students; families; school and district administrators (including special education administrators); and teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, school staff, and their unions. Additionally, the LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with each of the following, to the extent that they are present in or served by the LEA: Tribes, civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations), and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students.

    Description of how public input was obtained

    HCS has taken the following steps to make its plan available to the public:

    On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Horry County Schools (HCS) requested public input on the spending of the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) allocation. Survey links were provided to parents, students, staff, and the community by email, posting on the District's website, and by release to local media outlets. The survey results were received on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

    HCS received a total of 3,707 responses indicating that addressing learning loss among students, improving indoor air quality within school facilities, and summer learning and supplemental after-school programs were the most important categories to fund.

     

     

Assurances


  • As a requirement for ARP ESSER funds, the LEA must agree to all of the following terms, conditions, and assurances included, but not limited to the following. All assurances and terms and conditions are included in the LEA’s Subgrant Award Notification and accompanying attachments.This LEA will use American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School EmergencyRelief Fund (ARP ESSER) funds for activities allowable under section 2001(e) of the ARP.This LEA will comply with the maintenance of equity provision in section 2004(c) of the ARP.


    As a requirement for ARP ESSER funds, the LEA must agree to all of the following terms, conditions, and assurances included, but not limited to the following. All assurances and terms and conditions are included in the LEA’s Subgrant Award Notification and accompanying attachments.


    1.  This LEA will use American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School EmergencyRelief Fund (ARP ESSER) funds for activities allowable under section 2001(e) of the ARP.
    2.  This LEA will comply with the maintenance of equity provision in section 2004(c) of the ARP.
    3.  This LEA will reserve not less than 20 percent of its total ARP ESSER allocation to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as

                    a.  summer learning or summer enrichment,
                    b.  extended day,
                    c.  comprehensive afterschool programs,
                    d.  extended school year programs, or
                    e.  other evidence-based interventions, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income                                   families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care).

    4. This LEA will either:

                    a.  within 30 days of receipt of ARP ESSER funds, develop and make publicly available on the LEA’s website a plan for the safe return of in-person instruction and continuity of services as required in section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP, or
                    b.  develop and make publicly available on the LEA’s website such a plan that meets statutory requirements before the enactment of the ARP. This LEA will, as required in section 2001(i)(2) of the ARP, before making the plan publicly available, have sought public comment on the plan                     and took such comments into account in the development of the plan.


    5.  This LEA will comply with all reporting requirements at such time and in such manner and containing such information as the U.S. Secretary of Education may reasonably require, including on matters such as:

                    a.  how the LEA is developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies and plans in line with the CDC guidance related to addressing COVID-19 in schools;
                    b.  overall plans and policies related to the LEA’s support for return to in-person instruction and maximizing in-person instruction time, including how funds will support a return to and maximize in-person instruction time, and advance equity and inclusivity in participation in in-                               person instruction;
                    c.  data on each LEA’s mode of instruction (remote, hybrid, in-person) and conditions;
                    d.  LEA uses of funds to meet students’ social, emotional, and academic needs, including through summer enrichment programming and other evidence-based interventions, and how they advance equity for underserved students;
                    e.  LEA uses of funds to sustain and support access to early childhood education programs;
                    f.   impacts and outcomes (disaggregated by student subgroup) through use of ARPESSER funding (e.g., quantitative and qualitative results of ARP ESSER funding, including on personnel, student learning, and budgeting at the school and district level);
                    g.  student data (disaggregated by student subgroup) related to how the COVID-19pandemic has affected instruction and learning;
                    h.  requirements under the Federal Financial Accountability Transparency Act(FFATA); and
                    i.  additional reporting requirements as may be necessary to ensure accountability and transparency of ARP ESSER funds.