American Rescue Plan ESSER Funds Required Language

BACKGROUND
 

Francis Howell School District will receive a one-time allocation of COVID-relief money from the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds. To receive funds allocated under the ARP, school districts must publish information on their website that addresses mitigation and prevention strategies, continuity of services during interruptions to in-person learning, and periodic review and revision of the District’s plan.

It should be noted that FHSD successfully offered both in-person and virtual learning for the entire 2020-21 school year, with about 12,000 students opting for in-person instruction in August and 4,500 opting for virtual instruction. (Virtual enrollment grew smaller as the year progressed, and we ended the school year with approximately 81% of students in physical classrooms). See the District’s original Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP), also known as the Return to School Plan. Some of the health and safety protocols in place in the 2020-21 school year continued during the 2021-22 school year.

2020-21 Return to School Plan
2021-22 Return to School Plan
2022-23 Return to School Plan

Current mitigation and prevention strategies are below.


MITIGATION AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES

Reviewed and updated 8/19/22

  • Universal and correct wearing of masks - Masks are not required in the Francis Howel School District; however, they can be worn if desired by an individual. Current CDC recommendations for mask usage depending on the levels of community transmission can be found on the CDC website.
  • Physical distancingThere is no cohorting at this time beyond normal grade level and/or class groupings.
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette We continue to focus on proper health etiquette as we typically do via policies and procedures.
  • Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilitiesWe continue to focus on proper cleaning as we typically do via policies and procedures.
  • Contact tracing, isolation and quarantine – We are not continuing COVID-19 contract tracing for isolation and/or quarantine. We ask that parents and staff report positive COVID-19 cases to the school nurse so the District can monitor the number of cases within the District. Positive individuals are not allowed to attend school or participate in activities until 5 days after symptom onset as long as symptoms have improvedThe District has discontinued the use of the COVID-19 dashboard. If there is a surge in cases, we will communicate directly with the parents and staff of the impacted school.
  • Diagnostic and screening testingTesting for COVID-19 is not available in the District. We ask that staff and families continue to self-screen and monitor for illnesses per our policies and procedures. We will continue to publicize testing opportunities as we are made aware. Tests are available if needed, while supplies last.
  • Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff and eligible studentsThe District is not providing COVID-19 vaccinations at this time. We will continue to publicize vaccination opportunities as we are made aware.
  • Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilitiesWe continue to focus on appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities through current District policies and procedures.


CONTINUITY OF SERVICES - The District tended to students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years by teaching positive coping skills and referring students to the counseling or care teams as necessary. Technology resources such as the Canvas learning management system and Google Classroom were utilized to provide continuity of learning during quarantines. Many teachers provided links for quarantined students to participate in classroom instruction, and students were able to access lessons and assignments via their grade-level learning management system. We anticipate that these same supports and services will continue for the 2022-23 school year as appropriate. 

In-person instruction will begin August 22, 2022, for Francis Howell School District students. Virtual learning options with third-party course vendors are available to students for the 2022-23 school year. The District will continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 in the district and the community. Should in-person instruction ever be interrupted by a COVID-19 shutdown, students enrolled in virtual programming will continue with their platform. In-person students will shift to online instruction provided by FHSD teachers. FHSD provides a number of resources for students who are served through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies in this document will be made as necessary or as mandated by the IEP. If in-person instruction is interrupted by a COVID-19 shutdown, students' individualized plans will be implemented.

FHSD will continue to tend to students' social, emotional and mental health needs during the 2022-23 school year by teaching positive coping skills and referring students to the counseling or care teams as necessary. FHSD staff are eligible to take advantage of free services provided by the District's employee assistance program. Resources include health and wellness resources, financial support, and crisis tools.

PERIODIC REVISION – The District will periodically review and revise, if necessary, its plan, no less than every six months. Revisions will be made in consideration of current pandemic conditions, FHSD COVID data and consultation with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. The task forces convened in 2020 to work on re-opening plans will reconvene as necessary to consider revisions. The task forces included representatives from many stakeholder groups, including teachers, support staff, principals and District leaders.

PUBLIC INPUT - Guidance provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) states that return-to-school plans adopted as part of a public board meeting satisfy the ARP’s initial public input requirement. The Francis Howell School District successfully offered both in-person and virtual learning for the 2020-21 school year. The District’s original Return to School plan was adopted by the Board of Education on July 19, 2020 and posted on the District website. The most recent Return to School Plan for the 2022-23 school year was approved by the Board of Education on August 18, 2022. The District continues to hear from patrons at monthly Board meetings and other forums regarding COVID mitigation measures.

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