Plan for Use of ESSER III Funds​​

Plan for Use of ESSER III Funds​

Lincoln Public Schools has the opportunity to make an application to the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) for funding through the American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, passed by Congress in March 2021. More commonly known as ESSER III, this funding is provided to State educational agencies and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nation’s students. LPS has engaged groups and individuals representing multiple stakeholders in the development of this plan. 

LPS has been allocated $61.5 million to support its efforts to safely maintain the operation of school and address the learning needs of students through September 30, 2024.

LPS proposes to invest funding in strategies that will provide learning acceleration to all students at all levels. Specialized strategies will also be implemented that are targeted to key subgroups of students, including low-income children, children with disabilities, English learners, and racial and ethnic minorities. Data on student achievement from the past two school years has been collected and used to determine priorities.

Broad Strategies

  • Implementation of reading, math and science curricula that will best respond to student need for learning acceleration including related teacher training,
  • Reading and math intervention programs,
  • Extended day academic support at all schools during the school year, to offer before and/or after school tutoring services with teachers in the building,
  • Summer school offered at all elementary and middle schools for students who could most benefit, including transportation, summer library programs and support for Community Learning Centers to provide complementary full-day programming,
  • Jump Start programming for students in kindergarten and first grade at all schools,
  • An expansion of high school summer school,
  • Additional professional development and planning time during summer and school year for teachers at all levels on best practices in learning acceleration,
  • Support for Professional Learning Communities to inform instructional practices at all schools, and
  • Revitalization of school library print and electronic resources.

Specialized Strategies

  • Utilization of interventionists at all schools to provide academic support for struggling students, as well as intervention classes in middle schools and academic support for students in rigorous high school courses,
  • Expanded support for specialized programs including Family Literacy, Graduation Pathways, and Pathfinder Education Program, as well as planning for a career coaching program for low-income high school students,
  • Implementation of AVID, (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a program designed to help students in middle and high school with high academic potential prepare for college,
  • Additional support for English learners and American Indian students through the work of teacher leaders, bilingual liaisons and student advocates, and
  • Support for student leadership development through equity focused scholar engagement and collaboration with community cultural non-profit organizations.
  • Early Childhood, Special Education, and Title I School support.

Mental Health Services and Supports

  • Partnerships with community behavioral health organizations to provide additional school-based therapy services for all students in need, including specific support for immigrant and refugee students,
  • Additional time for school counselors and social/emotional support liaisons,
  • Training on trauma-informed care for teachers and administrators,
  • Additional in-person and telehealth support services through the Employee Assistance Program provider.

Other School Supports

  • Indoor air quality improvements
  • Personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies
  • Substitute teachers assigned to be available every school day
  • Attendance support
  • Technology including Human Resources Claims tracking for COVID and other leave

ESSER I and II

Over the past year, LPS received three authorizations under Federal Relief Funding and planned use for the funding was detailed in the February 23 Board meeting. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER I) provided aid to reopen and operate school during the pandemic, including remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. ESSER II provided aid to focus on learning acceleration through the summer, while also providing interventions and supports.

For more information, please view this presentation from the February 23, 2021 Lincoln Board of Education Meeting: