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    Section 1: Introduction

     

    The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Petersburg City Public School has been awarded $22,608,275.29 in ESSER III funds. This plan describes how the awarded funds will be used. Questions about this plan should be directed to April Blunt, Director of State and Federal Programs, at apblunt@petersburg.k12.va.us.

     

    The primary goal of Petersburg City Public Schools continues to be to safely offer in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible under the guidelines provided by the Governor’s Office, Virginia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Virginia Department of Education.

    Petersburg City Public Schools is planning for a return to in-person learning five days a week for all PreK-12 students beginning September 7, 2021. Our instructional staff will focus on the design and delivery of engaging, in-person instructional experiences that will mirror our instructional approach prior to the pandemic.

     

    We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. Petersburg City Public Schools has partnered with Virtual Virginia and had slots to provide a virtual learning option for the 2021-2022 school year to families who applied and met requirements. There is no virtual learning option for preschool students. Virtual Virginia is a program of the Virginia Department of Education and serves students in grades K-12 throughout the state of Virginia.

    Section 2: Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

     

    ARP Act ESSER III funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools funds from ESSER II funds to support prevention and mitigation strategies. ESSER II funds will be used to purchase sanitizing wipes, desk shields, disinfecting sprays/solutions, disposable gloves, masks, cleaning equipment, and costs that cover hiring additional custodians to support a safe environment with best health mitigation practices. Additional health care positions will also be hired using ESSER II funds.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use ESSER II and III to improve learning conditions by upgrading and repairing bathrooms, windows, doors, roofing, and air circulation systems in our buildings.

    Petersburg City Public Schools is allocating $9,555,000 using ESSER III funds and approximately

    $4,000,000 from ESSER II to support the upgrades of our schools to improve learning conditions for our students.

     

    Section 3: Addressing Unfinished Learning

     

    Section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act requires each LEA to use twenty percent of its formula funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time (learning loss) through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs. Petersburg City Public Schools will use approximately $7,758,275.29, more than 20% of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to address unfinished learning as described below.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools strongly believes the best educational opportunity is provided to our students through an in-person environment. We recognize and respect that some families may still be interested in a virtual learning option for the next school year. Petersburg City Public Schools will use grant funds to procure Virtual Virginia seats for students still in need of a virtual option. This will alleviate the need to have “blended” teachers, and allow our teachers to focus on in-person and small group instruction.

     

    To support and increase our teachers’ ability to effectively address the social and emotional needs of students, assess for learning loss, and plan and deliver individualized instruction to close achievement gaps, Petersburg City Public Schools will use ESSER III grant funds to hire a K-2 instructional coach to help support academics for our K-2 students. The division will also hire 12 elementary learning support assistants to assist core content teachers and provide push-in support.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use funds to support after-school targeted remediation and enrichment opportunities for students, as well as to provide a comprehensive summer school program focused on recovery, advancement, and enrichment support opportunities.

     

    Additionally, ESSER III funds will also be used to support the salaries and benefits of additional staffing to address COVID-related learning needs. Two additional Gifted teacher positions, along with one Extended Learning Specialist position, will provide direct services to students

     

    Section 4: Other Uses of Funds

     

    Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act permits school divisions to use the ARP Act ESSER III funding not reserved to address unfinished learning to address the impacts of COVID-19 in a variety of ways.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use approximately $2,050,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds in accordance with Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act as described below.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use ESSER II and III funds to purchase additional buses and GPS systems for our students and community. Purchasing these additional buses will help with our aging fleet to ensure students are safe. Also, it will allow us to hire additional drivers so more efficient routes can be developed. Additional buses will also allow for us to provide support to our schools after school ensuring transportation for after-school programs. Petersburg City Public Schools will use ESSER II and III funds to replace outdated technology that we have in the classrooms.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use approximately $3,245,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to Expand its Diplomas Plus Program by upgrading the Pitman Building and creating a Workforce Development Center for our students. This will provide learning opportunities and health science career pathways for Petersburg City Public students.

     

     

    Section 5: Addressing Students’ Academic, Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools will use ESSER II and III to add a Student Support Specialist. Adding this position will ensure all schools have a position that, will support students and families, including low- income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care by locating community resources for the purpose of promoting parent effectiveness and student achievement. This position will assist with the organization and implementation of events and activities for the purpose of enhancing parent involvement. They will convey parents’ questions and concerns to appropriate school/district staff for the purpose of supporting student success and further facilitating communications with parents.

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools also added a Residency Compliance and Support position, conduct home visits, and go out to homes of students who have not been in school, collect support information from parents in an effort to meet the educational objectives, and collaborate with other personnel to identify issues and concerns and work towards solutions.

     

     

    Section 6: Consultation with Stakeholders and Opportunity for Public Comment

     

    In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Petersburg City Public Schools sought public input and took such input into account. Staff and parent input was collected through surveys, Parent Advisory Committee meetings, public comment opportunities during school board meetings, and individual communications received at the school and division planning levels. Representation for the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and other

     

    underserved students were included in the development of Petersburg City Public Schools ARP ESSER III plan.

     

    Section 7: Making the Plan Available to the Public

     

    Petersburg City Public Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

    • The plan is posted at petersburg.k12.va.us
    • The plan was included in the April School meeting packet and an opportunity for public comment on the plan was provided
    • The plan may be orally translated for parents. Contact Nestor Llamas at nellamas@petersburg.k12.va.us to request translation; and
    • Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting Dr. Torrey Manson at tomanson@petersburg.k12.va.us