American Rescue Plan
Required meaningful consultation with stakeholders:
Science Hill Independent School leaders including Superintendent Jimmy Dyehouse, Director of Special Education Mary Ann Parker, and Director of Pupil Personnel Kellie Wilson, has led the charge in discussing the use of ARP ESSER funds in the district to help students return safely to in-person instruction, reduce the impact of learning-loss, and increase attention to student social-emotional needs as a result of the pandemic. Our district is unique in the fact that our total enrollment is approximately 440 students all housed in a single building. Our superintendent is also our principal, our Director of Pupil Personnel is also our Dean of Students and still teaches an Algebra class, and our Director of Special Education is also in charge of all Federal Grants, ESS, Preschool and Kindergarten, as well as a plethora of other things. The problems that larger districts face are not the same as the problems we face and vice versa, therefore our strategies, plans, and efforts will look significantly different than a large district with multiple buildings and administrative teams. Our efforts include meetings with the school board members (who are all community members) monthly, consulting with Lou Ann Gore Flanagan KEA AE State Organizer and UniServ Director regarding our plan and gaining meaningful feedback, discussions with teachers on a weekly basis to address needs and concerns, on-going consultation with the custodial staff and daily face to face interactions with parents regarding concerns of safety and learning loss. These parent interactions spread the gamut of our entire enrollment and include the ethnic, racial, economic, religious, and political diversity that is reflected in our school. The district also created and distributed a survey to gather parent and community member input on policies and procedures impacting educational practices during the pandemic. There were 148 surveys completed by individuals that represented all of the stakeholder groups. While there are no civil rights organizations within our district or nearby communities, we feel we did seek input from stakeholders from all backgrounds and economic levels.
From the variety of discussions and survey results, the data shows that there is a need for the following activities:
- Adding staff to address both the social-emotional needs, as well as, the academic loss due to the pandemic (this was for both the student body as a whole and for students in special populations such as students with disabilities.)
- Extending the availability of tutoring for students including Summer School opportunities.
- Increasing the availability of instructional materials and technology.
All of the activities in the draft ARP ESSER District Plan are tied directly to the concerns and needs presented either through the surveys completed by stakeholders or in meetings with the Board of Education, school employees, and parents.
How will funds be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies consistent with the CDC guidance on reopening schools?
Universal Masking – Science Hill Independent School supports the wearing of masks for all students and staff members. We will have appropriate masks on hand for students and teachers who wish to wear a mask but forget/lose theirs. Information about CDC/KY Public Health mask guidance will be given to all parents requesting information about mask wearing. Science Hill Independent School will continue to monitor CDC/KY Public Health guidelines and will comply with mandates that may be issued.
Physical Distancing – All classrooms in Science Hill Independent Schools will maximize distance in classrooms and common areas. To aid in the ability to physical distance, the district will need to purchase student desks and chairs to replace some classroom furniture that does not easily facilitate the ability to maximize the distance between students. Teachers will submit seating charts in order to allow for contract tracing. Playground equipment that cannot be easily sanitized will be replaced and more equipment will be added so that students may socially distance while at play.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette – All Science Hill students will receive direct instruction in handwashing and respiratory etiquette that is appropriate to the age and grade level. The district will purchase additional hand sanitizer for students and staff to use in times when soap and water handwashing is not available. The district allows extra opportunities in the day for students and staff to wash hands. Each school will require additional handwashing soap and hand sanitizer to have enough supply for additional handwashing.
Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities – The district has a process in place to clean and sanitize each of the classrooms and common spaces daily including foggers that are used by evening custodial staff to sanitize whole classrooms. High touch surfaces and areas may be cleaned more often to help prevent transmission of germs from person to person. Between class changes, teachers will sanitize each student desk before the next class takes their seat. These funds will be used to purchase the needed cleaners, sanitizer, and other related equipment.
Improving Ventilation – Science Hill Independent School has installed a new, high-tech HVAC system that provides continuous fresh air return to the building. There are two ERV systems in place, one for each wing of our building.
Contact Tracing with Isolation and Quarantine – Our school nurse and office personnel will use data from teachers to complete contract tracing when needed. Our school nurse is responsible for communicating with the local health department to facilitate case investigation and contact tracing. The district and school level administrators will work together, with consultation of the local health department, to identify and communicate with students and families about the need for quarantine for individual students/groups. To aid work with contact tracing, seating charts will be kept in each classroom, bus, and cafeteria setting.
Diagnostic Screening and Vaccination Efforts – As we are a Preschool – 8th grade facility, many of our students are not yet eligible for the vaccine. However, we are advertising local free vaccine clinic events to appropriate age groups. A staff vaccination event had been held so that any staff member could receive the vaccine in January/February 2021.
Appropriate Accommodations for Children with Disabilities – The district Director of Special Education, Special Education Teachers, and parents will discuss the specific needs of students with identified disabilities and identify adjustments of accommodations needed for each child. Special materials will be purchased to address the needs, for example, if there is a need for clear masks or face shields for teachers who work with students in speech therapy.
Other additional items that relate to the Guidance for K-12 School Operations for In-
- Non-essential visitors will be reviewed by the school administrator before being invited/allowed into the school building to reduce the number of outside persons into the school building.
- The district will follow the KHSAA guidance for athletic groups and events.
- The district will consult with the Lake Cumberland District Health Department to monitor local transmission and make necessary adjustments to implementation of additional transmission reducing strategies.
How will the district use funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions?
As required, the district will reserve 20% of ARP ESSER funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based activities/interventions. Activities to be included to address learning loss in the district include:
- Intervention Teachers for elementary students. After looking at diagnostic data, the elementary has a greater need in the areas of mathematics and reading. Intervention teachers will be hired for each content to assist in addressing learning loss.
- Additional instructional assistants were hired to assist in high need areas, working directly with students in the classroom setting.
- Professional Development for all teachers. The professional development coordinator and district supervisor of instruction will collaborate to provide professional development for teachers that address the three main areas of ARP ESSER including safety of in-person instruction, addressing learning loss and accelerating achievement, and social-emotional needs of students.
- Parent information for parent involvement in their child’s education and addressing learning at home. Communication with parents will be key to a smooth transition back to in-person instruction. We will provide updates to back to school and any changes to plans during the year.
- Increase the availability of devices to reach a 1:1 ratio for all grades, kindergarten through eighth grade. There will also be device maintenance and upkeep through these funds. Supplemental devices such as earphones, earbuds and wireless mouse will be needed to enhance and streamline the use of these devices.
- Assessments to determine the amount of student learning loss. Digital assessments will allow each grade/content to determine the level of achievement of each student, as well as, monitor student achievement throughout the year.
- Additional software and supplemental high-quality instructional materials to address areas with the most significant learning loss. Classroom teachers as well as our instructional supervisors and our technology coordinator will research various software and supplemental materials that will aid in reducing learning loss and accelerating learning.
- Additional textbooks and high quality instructional basal curriculum with online options. Currently, we have classroom sets of print textbooks. To make sure that all students have access to high quality instructional materials, we will purchase curriculum that have both individual student printed options, as well as, digital solutions for content.
- Extended tutoring options for students. By offering more tutoring sessions during different times, we will provide additional opportunities for students to gain skills and return to grade level.
How will the district ensure that interventions address the academic impact of list instructional time and response to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students?
- Lessons and activities addressing social-emotional learning at age appropriate levels for students. Materials will allow the school counselors to work with small group and individuals to address their mental health.
- Professional development for teachers. Training provided to teachers will help them use a trauma-informed approach to dealing with student needs as we return from the pandemic.
How the district will spend the remainder of its funds?
- Technology materials and supplies. In addition to devices, there is protective equipment and individual student use equipment related to technology that will be provided to students and staff.
- Resources for principals necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.
- In order for our new Dyken HVAC system, which offers ion-exchange, to continue to operate at an optimal level it may be necessary to replace or repair the school roof which is currently suffering from leaks that create a situation with mold and mildew in several areas of the building.
This plan will be reviewed quarterly by the district ILT (Instructional Leadership Team), in consultation with the local health department, for implementation and any adjustments needed based on current state of transmission in our area.
The Science Hill Independent School District ARP ESSER Plan is to be posted on the district website and will be available at the central office and each school for parents or community members who request a copy.
Citations of Evidence
- Savvas Learning Company – MyView Literacy Program for grades K-4
- Savvas Learning Company – enVisionmath2.0 for grades K-4
- McGraw-Hill Publishing – Reveal Math Series for grades 5-8 including ALEKS
- Simple Solutions-Daily Practice for K-8 in various core subjects
- i-Ready Diagnostic and Intervention System
- Purchase of 170 Lenovo Chromebooks from Byte Speed
- Purchase of 27 Ipads from Apple
- Safe Schools Online Training for all district employees