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ESSER Funds

handprints painted on wall

Jeffco Public Schools' federal stimulus spending for the American Recovery Plan ESSER Fund

WHat are ESSER Funds?

Federal stimulus relief funds called “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER)” funds have been allocated by Congress to state education agencies and local school districts to help offset the unexpected expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ESSER funds by visiting the Colorado Department of Education CARES Act webpage.

How Is Jeffco Using ESSER Funds?

Jeffco Public Schools is strategically investing our ESSER funds to improve student performance outcomes and address impacts felt by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to using these monies on investments that directly impact our culture of instructional excellence and extraordinary student experiences.

ESSER FUND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Improve operational infrastructure
  • Address any gaps in learning that may have occurred for students who missed school during the pandemic
  • Purchase needed softwares, materials, resources, programmatic materials, and other needed supplies
  • Broaden community and stakeholder engagement
  • Transparency 

ESSER funding support

In December 2021, Jeffco Public Schools was awarded an additional $68M as part of ESSER III. The US Department of Education and Colorado Department of Education appropriated funding to local school districts based on the Title I formula. Through community and staff feedback and data analysis, Jeffco is implementing the following programs, resources and materials with these additional ESSER funds. The current list includes, but is not limited to, programs, resources and materials that may change with operational and student needs in response to current pandemic conditions. 

ESSER III priority investment areas

 

Our Learners.
Our Future.

Supporting academic and social-emotional growth
 

Our Community. Our Legacy.

Supporting family engagement
 

Our People.
Our Strength.

Supporting staffing and resources
As a result of ongoing determination of district needs, ESSER III investment areas have evolved. Each school received funds applied to any of the three priority investment areas based on specific needs. School allocations total over $7 million. Charter school allocations total $6.9 million.

Our Learners. Our Future.

Academic and social-emotional initiatives address the impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions as well as address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students.

Learning advancement programs in Jeffco include:

  • Jeffco Remote Learning program.
  • Jeffco Summer of Early Learning program.
  • Secondary summer enrichment programs.
  • Orton Gillingham reading intervention training and implementation.

New Initiatives

  • Math curriculum
  • Mental health - extra school supports
  • Social emotional learning screener
  • Data Dashboard to track academic and social emotional learning metrics.
  • High Dosage Tutoring 
  • Essential equipment for art, music and physical education.

Our Community. Our Legacy.

Family engagement and enrollment initiatives are used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are consistent with the most recent CDC guidance on continuous and safe school operation and address increased student enrollment and achievement through known family engagement strategies and tactics.

In Jeffco this includes:

  • Expanding the 1:1 TechForEd device program and software

New Initiatives

  • Telehealth services
  • Student and family survey resources
  • Family partnership and student outreach for students at-risk of dropout
  • School changes to respond to declining enrollment and to improve programming

Our People. Our Strength.

Staffing initiatives include talent recruitment initiatives, strategic resource allocation and program evaluation. 

In Jeffco, this includes:

  • Resources for moving paraprofessionals into teaching roles.
  • Increased base pay for substitutes and full-time substitutes at high-needs schools.
  • Campus safety supervisors to enhance safety at middle schools.
  • Temporary staff to address added workload for purchasing, grant accounting and evaluation.
  • Communications tasks related to ESSER.
  • Professional development for teachers on the district strategic plan.
  • Recruitment and retention initiative for special education staff.
  • Support for paraprofessionals.

Proposed and Reconsidered Initiatives

These initiatives have been reconsidered for ESSER funding due to timing, hiring challenges, and/or other emerging needs identified by our stakeholders. 

  • Outreach to exiting families 
  • Indoor air quality improvements
  • Increasing Human Resources recruiters
  • Variable-based planning and budgeting 
  • Reviewing Student Based Budgeting (SBB) for equity and impact 
 

Featured INITIATIVES

Hazel Health Physical and Mental Telehealth Services

Visit the Hazel Health webpage to learn more about this program!

High Dosage Tutoring

Why did Jeffco implement High Dosage Tutoring (HDT) programs?

  • Challenges during COVID-19 caused many students to fall behind in their learning, and Jeffco needed new efforts to accelerate learning. HDT programs provide instruction for groups of 1-6 students, 4-5 days a week.
  • Over 60 schools in Jeffco used HDT from November 2022-May 2023. Jeffco is implementing HDT because it is supported by strong research to effectively support:
    • Students who have had limited opportunities.
    • Students with disabilities.
    • English learners. 

Who is eligible to use it?

  • To identify schools with the greatest need for HDT, Jeffco’s internal assessment and research team identified 61 schools whose students’ median achievement scores were below or near the 50th percentile on English language acquisition or math. Each selected school identified students who could benefit based on their individual strengths and needs.

When and how will it be implemented?

  • School leaders began designing programs in September 2022 with a goal to begin supporting students from November 2022 through the end of May 2023. All programs were expanded by January 2023. 
  • In year two of HDT, schools will begin HDT programs in early September 2023. An additional 38 schools, mostly elementary schools, will be funded with ESSER 3 dollars through May 2024. 

Is there a cost for people receiving services or is this paid for by the district?

  • There is no cost to students, families, or schools. District funds support this program. The total amount of money being invested in this program is $10.6 million over two years.
  • Jeffco provided ESSER 3 dollars and partnered with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Rose Community Foundation to create this program. 
  • Qualifying schools received funding to create a two-year program to meet the learning acceleration needs of students. Schools can also use the funds to purchase instructional materials from NCS Pearson, Center for Collaborative Classroom, Institute for Multi-Sensory Education, Wilson Language Training and IXL Learning. 
 

Program Evaluation for Key Investments

Ongoing program evaluation is critical to ensure the success of ESSER-funded projects. A comprehensive process and outcome evaluation will be conducted for our curricular investments including early literacy, secondary math, contextual learning, summer school and High Dosage tutoring.

In addition, Jeffco Public Schools will conduct a detailed analysis of data related to telehealth and Social Emotional Learning assessments. Program evaluation will be conducted by external evaluators in partnership with internal research staff support.  All final reports will be posted on our Research & Evaluation Publications webpage.  

 

Current Proposed Spending by Initiative

Proposed Spending by Initiative Table

Initiative

Proposed Spending 

Academic & Social Emotional Growth 

School Allocations
 $6,505,700
High Dosage Tutoring - Literacy & Math*  $9,250,800
Math Contextual Learning - Geometry In Construction and AMPED on Algebra*  $3,067,700
Jeffco Remote Learning Program*  $4,032,100
Jeffco Summer of Early Learning*   $1,710,800
Secondary Summer Enrichment Program*  $1,159,400
Orton Gillingham Reading Intervention Training for Paraprofessionals
 $541,300
Math Curriculum*
 $4,519,900
Mental Health - extra school supports  $988,100
Social Emotional Learning Screener  $196,000
Data Dashboard  $4,0204,500

Student & Family Engagement/Enrollment

Expanded Family Engagement Programs  $834,100
Expanded 1:1 TechForEd Devices/software Program*  $5,255,700
Hazel Health Physical & Mental Telehealth Services  $1,576,700
Student and Family Survey Resources  $543,700
Family Partnership and Student Outreach for students at-risk of dropout  $726,700
School changes to respond to declining enrollment and to improve programming
 $1,098,400

Staffing Resources

Communications tasks related to ESSER  $80,600
Resources for moving Paraprofessionals into Teaching Roles  $320,600
Increased base pay for Substitutes and full time Substitutes at high needs schools  $7,133,400
Campus Safety Supervisors to enhance safety at middle schools  $845,200
Temporary/contracted staff to address added workload for Purchasing, Grant Accounting and Evaluation  $664,100
Art, Music and Physical Education Equipment  $3,153,400
Strategic Planning Leadership Training  $96,400
Special Education Staff Recruitment/Retention Initiative  $788,300
Behavior Action Team support for Paraprofessionals  $84,100
 Expansion of Instructional Time for Universal Preschool $1,576,700

Charters

Charters Passthrough*

($2,702,412 is for lost learning)

 $7,312,754
Total   $68,267,154.00

 

* Initiatives that address learning loss.


ESSER Funds graph

Data is updated quarterly. Last updated: December 6, 2023


Note: For each round of requested funds, Jeffco Public Schools is allocating 10% of total monies to charter schools because about 10% of enrolled students attend a Jeffco charter school. The numbers below reflect the total amounts received and requested with a 10% allowance and pass-through set aside for charter schools.
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