ARP ESSER Plan
Bracken County Schools
Bracken County Schools has one goal for our school system: Putting the students first. We want our students to succeed even during these hard and uncharted times. Administrators have coordinated plans for summer school and after school programs to help the students who have fallen behind or just need a little extra help. The schools have expanded their ESS services and we plan to use ARP funds when ESS funds are exhausted.
We hope to be fiscally responsible with these funds while also providing the best services to our students. Those needs might change in the future, and we do not want to spend these funds too fast and not have resources if new needs arise.
Our administrators have put a lot of thought into how they would like to spend their ARP funds. We had a meeting on July 14, 2021, with all principals, DPP/Instructional Supervisor, Judge Executive, Special Education Coordinator, Finance Director, and Superintendent to present the learning loss funds and allowable codes, and to give our principals a chance to discuss how they might like to spend them. All their allocated amounts had to be spent to directly address learning loss that has been experienced during this pandemic. We have allocated all 20% of ARP learning loss fund directly to the schools based on their enrollment as of the last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year. Based on these enrollment numbers, the following allocations were made:
Taylor Elementary $190,148.37
The schools were told they had until 9/30/24 to spend this allotment. They could decide to spend it this year or split it out evenly between the 3 years. They were given the deadline of 7/26/21 to give the finance director their plans so that it could be compiled and entered into GMAP. They were encouraged to consult with their particular school’s stakeholders before completing their plans.
Bracken County is a small community and we do not have any Civil Rights groups to consult within our county. Any individuals that would like to address it in that scope were encouraged to voice their opinion directly to us.
As you will see in the next section and the attachment to the plan, Bracken County will address at-risk students in many ways. Over 50% of our enrollment is free/reduced lunch students. We have decided to purchase a bigger handicap bus using ARP funds as well as new playground equipment for our preschool population. We will address any needs to close the achievement gap as they arise. As the school year progresses, those needs will become more noticeable and we can better address them.
The remaining 80% of ARP ESSER funds will be held at the district level to address the district-wide needs that will arise to safely return to school in the fall. Again, we do not want to make any rash decisions as we might need these funds in different ways with the delta variant making changes to our plans each and every day. This does not mean that these funds will not be spent directly at the schools to address learning loss. It just means they have not been directly allocated the funds. We are open to any new suggestions that the public, student, staff, or families may have going forward. As things change each day, this spending plan can as well.
As of this date, a total of $740,264.22 or 37% of our total allocation of $2,022,856.00 has been spent. We are on track to spend all funds by September 2024. We spent our ESSER I and II funds before moving into our ARP ESSER funds this year. Purchases from these funds include nursing services and supplies, cleaning supplies, HVAC updates and other maintenance to address air quality, additional cleaning/maintenance staff to address added duties after COVID, SRO services, updated dishwasher at HS, wages/fringe of learning loss coach, tax collection fees to sheriff, legal services, bus purchases and other transportation costs.
The board has agreed to use ARP funds to implement and continue maintenance of operation services deemed necessary for services in our district. These expenses could include but are not limited to tax collection fees paid to the sheriff's office, drug screening and physicals to maintain bus drivers during an unprecedented shortage, legal services, nurses and supplies for each school, cell phone services, and student wages for the summer maintenance and cleaning crew.
$147,613 will be used to fund improvements to the old FRYSC building to get it set up to be our new school based health clinic.
The schools have spent their learning loss allocations on CERT test prep, ACT preparation, Chromebooks, additional Reading Intervention staff, educational supplies, Reading Mastery Books, TPT school access, technology to address remote and in-person learning, IXL diagnostic and intervention software for personalized learning, and textbooks.
Updates on ARP fund balances are sent out to administrators periodically.
Learning Loss Evidence
Evidence – Based Interventions Clarification:
how the local education agency (LEA) will use funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions.
Taylor Elementary (Grades k-5) has an on-going Needs Assessment protocol in place to address the needs of the students in reading and math. CASE 21 Math and Reading data, AIMSWEB reading and math data, KCCT Test information along with grade level common assessments are used. In order to address our needs identified through our needs assessment Taylor Elementary designates a 90-minute reading block where the 5 components of literacy will be addressed. Teachers are embedding Scientific Based Reading Research (SBRR) methods (5 components of reading instruction, which are comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, and phonics, phonemic awareness) that have been explicitly planned and delivered. A researched based reading program focused on phonemic awareness is utilized in grades K-2. All teachers at Taylor meet monthly to design lessons and assessments to help meet the needs of the students. They also meet another time each month to analyze the assessment data and design next steps after looking at the assessments. Taylor also offers supplemental and intervention services outside the core reading block. Taylor also has a comprehensive RTI program that is tiered to meet the students' individual needs. Students may move seamlessly from level to level depending on their data trends. Data team meetings are set to meet every 6 weeks. Supplemental is for students who did not master the core material presented. A certified staff member re-teaches the material. Intervention is for students who need more intensive instruction. Small group instruction is utilized in both intervention and supplemental. We have a screening process in place to ensure that all of our teachers are highly qualified. Transition programs are also part of our overall school wide program. Students who are in danger of not meeting state standards are enrolled in one of several intervention programs we have to offer. We use After School ESS for reading and math intervention, based on CASE 21 assessment data, as well as a full time reading interventionist during the school day, along with the 90 minutes of core reading and math instruction for all students. Web based, research-based instructional technology program called Lexia that provides an individualized learning plan for students in the areas of reading and language. Students take the CASE 21 assessment three times a year and that data is used to find gaps in which results in the creation of new lessons designed to meet the students' needs. Students may be receiving intervention/remediation in some skills and be accelerated in other skills based upon the testing results. Title I staff provide intensive training in the areas of math and reading, to ensure that the New Common Standards have been embedded in unit planning and pacing, and all assessments are aligned from grade to grade. All programs at Taylor Elementary including ESS, and Title I are geared toward a common goal...all students performing at the Proficient Level; all student reading at or above grade level by 3rd grade; and to improve higher order thinking.
Bracken County Middle School's Title I school-wide program utilizes Case 21 assessment 2-3 times during the school year in the areas of ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. After students take the Case 21 assessment, their individual test results will be used to guide remediation to meet the students' instructional needs. Students may receive intervention/remediation in some skills and acceleration in other skills based upon the testing results. Students have one-to-one access to Chrome books. We want to continue to provide up to date technology for our students use. Another intervention in place based upon Case 21 assessment data results is additional RTI interventions with a RTI teacher. Students not reaching benchmark are provided additional instructional time in the areas of Math and Reading. All of our students have designated staff working collaboratively in reading and math to embed learning and application of KY Core Academic Standards for the areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics. We will collaboratively work with our High School Language Arts program and cohesively determine a curriculum framework and resource materials that will allow a building block approach of learning for ELA. Teachers will receive foundational training related to the subject area, instructional tools, distance learning (NTI), standards-based assessments, and the alignment to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to ensure that all students are college and career ready. Our school has incorporated time into the master scheduled for Math and Reading Intervention along with dedicated classes for writing and reading. The continued increased instructional time will allow for core standards implementation, mastery, and gap analysis/building. We have increased our graphing calculator technology resources for our mathematics and science curriculum to bridge a transitional need from middle to high school math curriculum and continue to increase our instructional rigor/relevance. All of our classrooms have smartboard or whiteboard interactive technology to provide engaging and motivating classroom/student use for student learning. Teachers are provided document cameras, video clip resources/ KYVL, and projectors to display easily for students and enhance instruction. We meet regularly as a faculty and core content teams to discuss instructional methods and assessment results to improve instruction, student performance.
Bracken County High School will be using College Equipped Readiness Tool (CERT) again this year to assist in identifying student achievement area, guiding and informing classroom instruction, and determining intervention needs. CERT provides assessments that are closely aligned with ACT content standards, questioning, timing, and given 2-3 times during the school year (fall, winter, spring) in the areas of Reading, Math, English, and Science. After the student completes the CERT assessment, their individual test results will be used to guide remediation to meet the students’ instructional needs. CERT also provides targeted quizzes and instructional tutorial videos for students based on their individual test scores for review of content and remediation as needed. Student scores will inform intervention in all core content areas, but specifically targeted groups in English and Math. Math teachers will provide additional intervention support by using ALEKS in small and whole group instruction. The data we get from the assessments regarding benchmark scores will also assist us in targeted instruction in preparation for the ACT as the CERT scoring system is aligned to the same score benchmarks as the ACT. This allows students and teachers a good gauge on student understanding and achievement in those tested content areas.
As an additional resource for preparing for the ACT for grades 10 and 11, we will be utilizing TorchPrep curriculum / boot camp materials. This partnership with TorchPrep will support students in better preparing for improving their individual performance on the ACT and overall transition readiness.
One -to-one technology using Chromebooks allows students to access reviews, tutorial videos, and other resources provided by CERT and Torch Prep. As the need for remote and personal access to internet and instruction delivery, we want to continue to provide up-to-date technology for our students. Along with our efforts in providing technology to meet student needs, we also strive to maintain student safety. Lightspeed Classroom Management is software that will monitor student usage to ensure that the school-issued devices are being used appropriately and as directed by teachers and school officials. Inappropriate usage such as navigating to inappropriate sites during or outside of school hours will be flagged and school personnel will be notified.
Academic and Mental Health needs Clarification:
how the LEA will ensure that interventions address the academic impact of lost instructional time and respond to the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of all students.
The Bracken County School District has a structured a strong response to assist with mental health issues of students. The following intervention pieces are in place to support student mental health: BCHS Social Worker, Comprehend School Based Counseling Services, FRYSC services, full time School Guidance Counselors, Mental Health Professional Counselor on staff for all schools.
Meaningful Consultation Clarification:
- Pursuant to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), districts are required to conduct meaningful consultation in the development of their ARP ESSER plans. When drafting their plans, districts must include a description of how they performed meaningful consultation and how the information generated from the consultation was taken into account when developing the plan. Districts must make a good-faith effort to consult with students, families, school and district administrators, educators and their unions, civil rights organizations, and stakeholders representing the groups of children from historically disadvantaged groups. (Each group must be mentioned in order for the plan to be found sufficient.)
- The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recognizes that not every district will have external advocacy organizations for each of the aforementioned groups. Districts should make an effort to ensure that they have actively sought feedback from a broad representation of community stakeholders. Districts should make it a priority to receive feedback and consult with any organization that seeks to provide input on the ARP ESSER planning process.
- Additionally, districts must consult with their collective bargaining units, or in lieu of a collective bargaining unit, the professional association representing the largest share of educators in the district. Districts may include past and ongoing consultative efforts related to their COVID-19 response in their discussion, but must describe how targeted consultation was performed specifically for the purposes of ARP ESSER planning.
- KDE will review all ARP ESSER plans for completion. Plans that do not sufficiently describe how they performed meaningful consultation with the aforementioned groups and took that consultation into account will be returned for revision.
Evidence-based Practices Clarification:
• All evidence citations will be accepted under this program.
• Districts may include links, in-text citations, or reference list citations.
• In-text: (Courtney, 2021)
• Reference list: Courtney, M.B. (2021). Exploratory Data Analysis in Schools: A Logic Model to Guide Implementation. International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership, 17(4).
Reading Plus: https://www.readingplus.com/about-us/story/
CERT info: https://certforschools.com/about
Case 21 (See Attachment)
**November 2022 Update**
Bracken County Schools will use ARP ESSER funds to implement prevention and mitigation strategies consistent with the CDC and Prevention guidance on reopening schools. A large portion of these funds will be used for air purification systems and HVAC improvements designed to improve the indoor air quality of our schools. If funds allow, improvements to the HVAC system at The high school will be made. Funds will also be made to purchase cleaning materials and supplies necessary for the district to follow all state and federal guidelines pertaining to the safe return and continuation of in-person learning.