7 Ways ESSER II & ARP Funds Can Be Used to Address Learning Loss, Engagement & More
by Horacio Ochoa, on Mar 25, 2021 6:03:33 PM
In the past 3 months, we have seen billions of dollars in funding assigned to public education. Between the ESSER II (supplement to the original Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund in the CARES act) from December of 2020 and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) signed into law in March, there are over 170 Billion included billions of dollars to support education and the transition from remote to in-person learning. This means a great deal for schools as they are getting much needed help now and during the imminent transition.
To help with making sense of all this, we've taken a look at the information available and assessed the opportunity that these funds open to better parent and school communication. We hope with this we can help school administrators identify how specifically these funds support the implementation of a communication platform like Bloomz. Thus, below we take specific extracts from the legislation and give you the context of how they apply to Bloomz.
1. Educational Technology
Purchasing educational technology, which could include hardware, software, and connectivity, for students served by the LEA that aids in regular, substantive educational interaction between students and educators, including low-income students and students with disabilities. This could also include assistive technology or adaptive equipment. CRRSA Act Section 313(d)(9)." ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(K).
With remote learning, Bloomz demonstrated its value as a complete platform for all school and classroom communication, not only between teachers and parents, but students too. Thanks to features like activities and assignments, teachers were able to stay in close contact with their students and the work they did at home. These features will continue to be instrumental even as we move to an in-person environment.
2. Summer Instruction
Planning and implementing summer learning and supplemental afterschool program activities, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care." CRRSA Act Section 313(d)(11). ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(M).
Over the years, Bloomz has been used by schools and summer programs to maintain communication with parents, keeping them informed of schedules, and daily happenings through different classes and groups within the same community. As more schools look into summer to continue education, Bloomz is still the best tool to communicate.
3. Addressing Learning Loss
Addressing learning loss among all students in all subgroups, including by:
· Administering high-quality, reliable assessments that can assess student academic progress and assist educators in meeting student needs, including by using differentiated instruction.
· Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.
· Providing information and assistance to parents and families on ways to support students.
· Tracking student performance and engagement in distance learning environments." CRRSA Act Section 313(d)(12). ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(N).
Bloomz provides an open communication channel between educators and families (parents and students included) and as such, it proves o be an important factor in combating learning loss. As instruction moves back to the classroom, Bloomz will continue to be a powerful tool to close the gap created by distance learning.
4. Public Health Protocols
Development of strategies and implementation of public health protocols that align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reopening and operating school facilities to maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff." ARPA Section 2001(e)(2)(Q).
The COVID pandemic accelerated innovation in education. Such was the case of our Health Checks feature, which we launched soon after the pandemic started to help schools track students health and anticipate new outbreaks. Because the Health Checks forms are customizable, they are ready for continued use even after the pandemic (fingers crossed) is over.
5. Coordination with other agencies
Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of LEAs with state, local, tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus." CRRSA Act Section313(d)(2). ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(E).
Bloomz' ability to be implemented at the classroom, school and even district level, gives administrators a powerful tool to maintain all members informed and up-to-date, including all staff. Creating subgroups at the district or school level, can keep specific task forces in each level to maintain close coordination as it relates to health or any other issues.
6. Preparedness & Response
Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of LEAs." CRRSA Act Section 313(d)(5). ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(G).
When the pandemic hit, we heard from many customers how lucky they felt they could count with Bloomz to send urgent communications and changes in schedules when it was clear they were needed. Having a robust communication platform in every school and district is not a luxury, it's a basic need that emergencies like this make more evident.
7. English Learners & Ethnic Minorities
Activities that address unique needs of low-income children or students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youths, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population. CRRSA Act Section 313(d)(4). ARP Act Section 2001(e)(2)(F).
Throughout the ESSR II and ARP it is clear that English learners and minorities are of special interest, particularly as they've been hit by the pandemic the most. And with Bloomz, you make sure you're not leaving anyone behind. Thanks to it's wide array of notification features that include text messages, email, in-app and robo-calling, enhanced by a powerful translation engine, everyone stays informed and up-to-date.
- Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.
- DOE Press Office. Department of Education Announces American Rescue Plan Funds for All 50 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia to Help Schools Reopen.
- District Administration - Side-by-side: ESSER, ESSER II, and ARP ESSER allowable activities
- Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash