ESSER Newsletter - February 2022
- Wed, Feb 9 2022
Greetings, school leaders!
After a challenging start to the second half of this school year, we want to celebrate your continued participation in ESSER-supported activities. Schools across the state utilize professional development, supplementary curricula resources, and funding sources provided through the three federal relief packages.
In particular, we are celebrating that Arizona public charter and district schools have used over one million Discovery Education resources since our partnership began. Over one million resources have been used thanks to the nearly 12,000 teachers utilizing the Discovery Education platform – and the over 120,000 students who have downloaded resources outside of the classroom time.
If you are a teacher, team, or school leader interested in utilizing Discovery Education for free through our COVID recovery partnership, please visit our webpage to learn more and register.
The ESSER III Deadline has passed.
All ESSER lll Grant applications were due February 1, 2022. Our team has received close to 150 newly submitted grants which have all been assigned to a specialist for review and feedback or review and approval!
As you know, the approval process requires both specialist approval and director approval before funds can be expended. Our team consists of three full-time specialists and three temporary employees who are reviewing the grants. Two Directors are doing the Director approvals. Please be patient as we work diligently to complete processing them. All revisions are also processed by this same team. Therefore, the turnaround time may be a little longer than usual. We appreciate your understanding.
If you have questions or an urgent need, please contact Devon Isherwood @602-364-0379 or email [email protected].
ESSER Set Aside Update
The Arizona Department of Education received an incredible 130+ submissions for ESSER III Set-Aside dollars. These applications were for the Arizona Department of Education’s discretionary funds from the third federal COVID-19 recovery act, the American Rescue Plan, and are distinct from the ESSER III funds available only to LEAs through grant applications that were due this month.
Our team is reviewing submissions and plans to announce recipients by Spring 2022. To view recipients of previous ESSER set aside funding from the first and second COVID packages, please visit our ADE Set Aside Projects page.
Upcoming ESSER Set-Aside Opportunities for LEAs
The following professional development opportunities are funded and supported by the Arizona Department of Education’s ESSER set aside investments:
Ask Benji Chatbox
The Ask Benji Chatbot is a free FAFSA completion tool whose services are available statewide to teachers, students, and their families. For high school seniors, completing and submitting the FAFSA by April 1st is one of the requirements of the Arizona Promise Program, which provides free in-state tuition to qualifying Arizona high school seniors.
Arizona SEL Course for Educators & Administrators
The Arizona Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Course is a free online, self-paced, self-guided course that will focus on the development and understanding of the Arizona Department of Education adopted CASEL Competencies and how to develop a systemic implementation of the social emotional learning within their school or organization.
- Note: This course is designed to be taken as a school team, leadership team, or district teams but individual educators may choose to take this course on their own as well. Please choose the class that best fits your needs
AzCAN College Access Professional (CAP) Training
AzCAN’s College Access Professional (CAP) Training will help professionals develop an understanding of their role in developing a college-going mission for all students, particularly students in poverty or facing other barriers in postsecondary planning. All the courses are designed for anyone who provides direct service to students, no matter what their role may be. Cohorts of staff are encouraged to participate in the courses together as creating an action plan is a course component.
Courses are self-paced, with a one-hour commitment a day! Initial courses include:
- Building a College Going Future for All Students
- Financial Aid & College Applications
- College & Career Advising in the Middle Grades
- College & Career Advising for Non-School Counselors
*See the full course list here.
PAX Good Behavior Game
PAXIS Institute is providing virtual PAX Good Behavior Game trainings at no cost to Arizona Educators. These fully funded trainings provide teachers with effective, evidence-based strategies to support the social emotional needs of their students and result in improved behavioral and academic performance.
In a recent survey, 94% of Arizona Educators trained in the PAX Good Behavior Game reported that PAX improved student focus, organization, and confidence. And Winters’ Well Elementary School Principal Jason Bourne shared this:
“In my career, there have been a handful of trainings that really change your life, and for me, PAX was one of those. It’s been literally life-changing for our students.”
To register for training, visit: https://www.paxis.org/pax-arizona/. To book a training for your large group or school, email: [email protected].
The Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plans
All Safe Return to In-Person Learning Plans for the first submission was due November 24, 2021/ If you have not turned in a plan or the plan was returned for edits, please submit the plan immediately. If you are unsure if your Fall 2022 LEA plan was approved, please check to see if it is posted. If it is posted then it has been approved. Please make sure the plan is also posted on your LEA website as well.
The second submission for the Safe Return to In-Person Learning plans has begun in EMAC. Each LEA has been placed in a cycle 1-4 with due dates of February 1, March 1, April 1 and May 6. Please check in EMAC for your submission date and you may only submit one month prior to your LEA’s due date or your plan will be returned to you. Each LEA has been assigned to a specialist for review and feedback or review and approval in the EMAC system.
We appreciate your patience while our team of three works dilligently to review these plans, in addition to LEAs' ESSER III Grants.