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Needs Assessment for ESSER 3.0 Federal Relief Spending 

Community Engagement Checklist Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan 

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) provides an economic stimulus
to individuals, businesses, and schools. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has identified key focus
areas for CARES funding, as well as reporting and data collection aligned with these areas. While these are
one-time funds, they should continue to align with your district plan. The majority of the funds (80–85%)
should be used to plan for re-opening in the fall and addressing student learning gaps. Allowable uses of
funds for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) include but are not limited to*:

  1. Purchasing Education Technology: such as purchasing hardware and/or software and addressing
    connectivity issues to support online/distance learning
  2. Providing Summer Learning and Supplemental After School Programs: such as providing
    opportunities for learning acceleration based on student need/learning gaps, including online/distance
  3. Planning for Long-Term Closures: such as providing meals to eligible students, conducting
    professional development opportunities to provide education services during closures, and providing
    guidance for carrying out requirements under IDEA; and/or planning to ensure other educational
    services can continue to be provided consistent with all federal, state, and local requirements
  4. Addressing the Unique Needs of Special Populations: such as providing guidance for carrying out
    requirements under IDEA, providing teletherapy service for students, and providing virtual instructional
    tools and resources designed to support English language development
  5. Providing Mental Health Supports: such as conducting wellness checks, providing professional
    development for teachers, conducting teletherapy sessions with students, counseling and mental
    health supports, and conducting training for school personnel on suicide prevention, trauma, and
    related topics.
  6. Conducting Other Necessary Activities: such as taking necessary steps to maintain the operation of
    services, continuing to employ staff, coordinating activities, or providing principals and school leaders
    necessary resources. Note: Items in this category will require a more detailed rationale/support.

* Including allowable uses of funds authorized under ESEA, CTE, IDEA, Adult Education, and McKinney-Vento.

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