Like other districts across the nation, the Berlin Central School District is scheduled to receive one-time federal funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) as follows:
- ARP $1,745,625 to be spent between March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2024
- CRRSA $672,290 to be spent between March 13, 2020 to September 30, 2023
That’s a total of $2,417,915 that must be budgeted appropriately over the next two to three years.
A comprehensive survey was conducted for students, parents/guardians, faculty/staff, and community members to provide input to help prioritize the categories in which the district will use its allocated federal funds. The survey asked stakeholders to prioritize potential uses of these funds in a variety of categories.
At the 2021 budget presentations during the Board of Education meetings, district administration presented their initial plans for the funding which included the following priority areas: improving academic achievement/closing the “gap”; improving district technology; enhancing the delivery of social-emotional supports; and, enhancing learning environments.
Incorporating the feedback from the community as gathered by the survey, the district has compiled the following plan for the use of American Rescue Plan (ARP) and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act (CRRSA) funds.
Action items include but are not limited to:
- Improving academic achievement/closing the “gap”
- Hire a 1.0 FTE literacy coach, 0.4 FTE work-based learning teacher, 0.6 FTE middle school tech teacher and additional support staff (TA);
- Adoption of a New Core Mathematics Program at the elementary level
- Extending school day supports, such as PM School, Trailblazers, Literacy Camp, Kinder Camp, Saturday School.
- Expand Career Opportunities/Exploration to All Students (K-12)
- Addition of Family Engagement Support/Wellness Liaison K-12
- Increasing staff professional development.
- Improving District Technology
- Continue 1:1 device distribution. Going 1:1 for the whole district.
- Supply teachers with advanced software to achieve effortless classroom management
- Adoption of a New Core Mathematics Program (software) at the elementary level
- Additional iPads, Chromebooks and Hotspots to ease access to Wi-Fi and corresponding learning
- Explore possibility of expanding broadband in the community utilizing Erate funds
- New Hardware/Software PreK-12, GenEd and ExEd
- Safety Equipment (Radios, Cameras, Panic Buttons, Software Upgrades, Keyless Entry)
- Improving Delivery of Social-Emotional Supports
- Hire 1.0 FTE social worker and additional support staff (TA)
- Continue/expand “Restorative Practices Liaisons” (looking at the data to identify and build upon what has been successful)
- Implementing an Emotional Screening System PreK – 12
- Embed more professional development for teachers, TA’s, food service and transportation staff (expanding TCI staff developers to provide intensive support for and feedback to our staff to accelerate their knowledge and skill development)
- Enhancing Learning Environments
- Develop new learning environments at both schools, such as an outdoor learning pavilion and a designated learning center
- Improve and enhance all learning spaces to include art, band, music, chorus and sports areas K-12
- Develop and support participation in eSports and intramural sports
- Continue to plan and install HVAC in more areas throughout both buildings
- Establish new furniture replacement plan to allow for increased student engagement
As part of the plan, the district will financially prepare for the expiration of this one-time funding so as not to create a drastic imbalance of revenues and expenditures. The district will submit our plans to NYSED through the grant application process.
We will continue to monitor, review and analyze our actions throughout the life of the grant period, and modify the plan depending on the needs of our students and the status of the grant.
Additionally, we will continue to plan and prepare for the expiration of these funds, and the continuation of services to meet our students’ needs.