ESSER Newsletter - May 2022
- Wed, May 18 2022
At the beginning of this month, the Arizona Department of Education began to announce the awardees of our competitive grant process for the ADE set aside funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) passed by President Biden in 2021. The awardee applications went through the rigorous state procurement process and all funded projects share the goal of supporting schools, students, educators, and families as they recover from the effects of the pandemic.
These awardees known as the Arizona’s ARP School and Community Grantees comprise of local and national organizations with evidence-based programs that received a portion of our ARP set aside funding. ARP School and Community Grantees will be announced throughout the month. Thus far, we’ve funded programs that:
- Address students’ physical and mental wellbeing
- Support students with disabilities
- Fund STEM education
- Advance student literacy
- Support Native American students and families
- Support local education recovery efforts
You can view all the previously announced grantees on our new American Rescue Plan School and Community Grantee page.
For LEAs using ESSER Funds
Using ESSER funds as matching funds for AmeriCorps programs
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) recently issued a letter which states that grantees or subgrantees may use Federal funds, including annually appropriated funds and COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, as matching funds for AmeriCorps programs. The Department fully supports and encourages state and local partnerships with AmeriCorps programs, including many activities in support of student learning and success that are appropriate uses of education funds. For more information on how to use Federal funds for this purpose, please review the Department’s April 1, 2022 letter.
Arizona LEAs are encouraged to contact the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family to get more information on local AmeriCorps programs. Please contact: [email protected]
Summer Food Programs
If a summer school site is not area eligible for Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), can the school provide meals to the students at no cost to the student?
Sites operating both a summer school and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) will serve and claim meals following NSLP program regulations which includes counting and claiming the meals served based on the student’s eligibility. Students certified as free will receive meals at no cost. The costs of meals served to students who are eligible for a reduced-price or full-price meal would need to be covered by the student/family or through other district funding, where permitted by the funding source.
ESSER III funds available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides Federal resources to States, Tribal governments, and local partners with the intent of funds being used in the response and recovery from COVID-19. School Food Authorities (SFAs) are encouraged to work within their districts on opportunities with ARP ESSER funding that may be used to support Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).
If the state is giving funding for summer school, could that include money for feeding kids at sites that do not qualify?
ESSER funds may be used to provide meals at sites that do not qualify for summer meal operations. This allowable activity would need to be placed in the budget as a revision if not already included in the plan for expending funds. The normal approval process would follow. The guidance for such funding clearly includes food assistance and CNPs. Allowable use of other school funds should be addressed with the funding source
ESSER Updates and Deadlines
ESSER III Grant Revisions
LEAs who have applied for their allocation of ESSER III funding may have to submit grant revisions. The following training PowerPoint and video will help guide LEAs through ESSER III grant revisions. After watching the revision module, if you have questions or need additional support with ESSER grant revisions, please contact your assigned ESSER Specialist.
ESSER Grant Applications Due
FY21 ESSER l grant applications containing carryover funds from FY20 should be completed no later than 5/25/22. These funds must all be expended prior to 9/30/22 or funds will be forfeited.
FY21 ESSER ll and ESSER lll applications must be submitted no later than June 1, 2022. If you have not submitted your LEA application, please complete it as soon as possible.
If you have questions or need support contact Allison Barbor, ESSER Director @ 602-542-3068 or Devon Isherwood, Deputy Associate Superintendent @ 602-364-0379.
If you have questions or need support with an ESSER revision, please contact your assigned ESSER Specialist.
Accounting best practices require regular submission of reimbursement requests. Personnel costs should be reimbursed monthly and other items at least quarterly.
- ESSER l funds should be almost all expended.
- ESSER ll funds should be approximately 33% - 50% drawn down.
- ESSER lll funds should be approximately 20% - 25% drawn down.
If you have not submitted a reimbursement request in the last three months, please submit one immediately.
Safe Return to In-Person Learning
All Safe Return to In-Person Learning plans were due in EMAC by May 6, 2022. If you have not submitted your plan in EMAC, please do so immediately. After submitting your plan, please check EMAC weekly for communication from your specialist regarding your plan.
If you need assistance with EMAC, please see the resources below:
To access EMAC, please follow the steps below:
- Sign into ADEConnect (adeconnect.azed.gov)
- Go to View Applications/Applications
- Click EMAC from your ADEConnect application menu
How to assign a user role:
- Assign Monitoring Cycle
- Select Organization Name from drop down menu
- Select Monitoring Program (Safe Return to In-Person Learning)
- Cycle (select group that is in the dropdown menu)
- There are two tabs ‘Assignment’ and ‘EdOrg Users”
- View the ‘EdOrg Users’ tab
- You must have the role ‘Organization EMAC Administrator’ to assign roles
- Who ever has ‘LEA User’ role next to their name may be assigned to complete the Safe Return to In-Person Learning task.
- View the ‘Assignment’ tab
- If you have the ‘Organization EMAC Administrator’ role there will be a gray dropdown menu under the ‘Assignment’ tab.
- Click on the dropdown menu and you will see a list of names that have the ‘LEA User’ role. Select the name of the person who you want to complete the Safe Return to In-Person Learning task
- Click the ‘Add’ button
- The person now has access to the task that needs to be completed
How to complete the task:
Please log into EMAC and complete the Safe Return to In-Person Learning task (online form). Once completed, please make sure to click the submit button. Your specialist will then be able to review your plan.
If you need additional assistance with EMAC, please reach out to your assigned specialist. LEA are assigned alphabetical by LEA name.
- A-Desert Sky: Kelly Curtin 602-642-9551
- Desert Star -Mes: Gina Tignini 602-364-0224
- Mex-Y: Teresa Morales 602-542-5711
If you need further assistance, please email [email protected] or call at 602-542-3068.
ESSER lll and Evidence-Based Interventions, Practices and Programs
ESSER lll places an emphasis on evidence-based practices, and it requires that funds are used to respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs, address disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented students’ groups and present an opportunity to build staff capacity. The initial selection of the best evidence-based strategies, practices and programs for your specific context was critical to the success of those programs implemented. Next step will be monitoring and evaluation those selected.
As you begin to examine the impact of ESSER funded evidence-based interventions, practices and programs on student outcomes, this resource from RELWEST and the Comprehensive Center Network will be very helpful. This resource walks you through process and outcome measures; setting targets or benchmarks, short, medium, and long-term; and identifying what data to collect and analyze.
Selecting and Measuring the Effectiveness of Evidence Based Interventions
More tools and resources will be available this summer. Visit our Addressing Disrupted Learning page to learn more about the resources available and how schools are meeting this requirement.
Upcoming ESSER Set-Aside Opportunities
The following opportunities are funded and supported by the Arizona Department of Education’s ESSER set aside investments:
Stay Cool for Summer School with Discovery Education
Make this summer one to remember with Discovery Education! Tune in to the Discovery Education Summer of Learning Webinar to hear more about the time-saving resources available for summer school. No matter what your summer school goals are, Discovery Education has you covered! From curated interactives and at-home activities to Virtual Field Trips and on-demand professional learning, these helpful resources will make summer learning memorable and fun.
May 25, 2022 – 1:00 pm- 1:30 pm
- Stay Cool for Summer School with Discovery Education
- Registration Link
May 26, 2022 - 08:30 am- 9:00 am
- Stay Cool for Summer School with Discovery Education
- Registration Link
Education Forward CAP Training
Education Forward College Access Professional (CAP) Training is being offered for free to help education professionals develop a college-going mission for all students. All courses are designed for anyone who provides direct service to students, no matter their role.
The curriculum includes readings, activities, and online discussions, allowing professionals from all over the state of Arizona to interact and learn from each other. Each module takes approximately 4-6 weeks and 20 hours to complete, consisting of 1-2 hours per day. Participants who successfully complete a module are eligible for 20 continuing education units. Those who complete the three core modules become an Arizona College Access Professional.