How PreK-12 Districts and Schools Can Use Technology to Report Program Impact
What is ESSER?
The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER I) Fund was launched in March 2020 in response to the impact of COVID-19 on school districts and eligible charter schools across the country. The initial round of funding in March was followed by another round of funding (ESSER II) in December 2020 and a third round in March 2021 known as the American Rescue Plan, or ARP ESSER. The purpose of the ARP ESSER funding is to “help safely reopen and sustain the same operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Nation’s students,” according to the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.
How can ESSER funds be used?
ESSER funds can be used in a number of ways. They were initially intended to support the impacts of learning loss during the pandemic. Now, they are being used to support the safe return of students to schools. This can include anything from adding a new HVAC system to a school to implementing a social and emotional learning curriculum to broadening programming to ensure equitable access to educational opportunities throughout a district.
Is there a reporting requirement for how ESSER funds are used?
State Education Agencies (SEAs) will work with Local Education Agencies (LEAs) like districts and charter schools on reporting appropriate information relevant to ESSER funds and the impact of LEA programming. In addition to how agencies are implementing public health protocols and creating physically safe environments for students and staff, reporting may also include measures on students' return to school, including:
- “How funds will support a return to and maximize in-person instruction time, and advance equity and inclusivity in participation in in-person instruction”
- “Data on each school’s mode of instruction”
- “How they advance equity for underserved students”
- “Access to early childhood education programs”
“Student data (disaggregated by student subgroup) related to how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected instruction and learning” (Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 2021)
How can districts use Scribbles products to measure program success when it comes to ESSER?
Scribbles Software can support a number of these initiatives at the beginning and end of the student lifecycle. ScribPreK, ScribEnroll, and ScribChoice can help districts and schools ensure that they are providing equitable access to their district schools and programs. At Prince William County Public Schools, staff can now able to focus less on processing paperwork and more on reporting and program improvement. Said Karima Wesselhoft,
“Because of ScribChoice, we can learn about these other things that we were supposed to be focusing on, but we never had time for, because we spent so much time approving our applications. Like now that I know how to approve and pull transcripts and do all those things really fast, can we start talking about some of the in-depth reports that I can use to improve this program in my building?”
ScribTransfer provides a record of where students are transferring, so districts and schools have a clear view of student whereabouts, which can have a large impact on graduation and dropout rates, which subsequently have an impact on funding. ScribTransfer can also provide insight into what types of programs or schools students are transferring to. This may result in identifying program gaps at a district or perhaps the opportunity to hold on to a student who was not aware of available resources like an in-district virtual academy or specialty program. According to Shyla Lewis of Kansas City Public Schools,
“Just being able to use ScribTransfer to track where our students are going is helping us a lot because it's helping us to be able to reach out to students to find out why they are leaving. And surprisingly, a lot of them are leaving because of something that can actually be changed. And because we're able to track them, we're able to bring them back.”
Interested in learning more about Scribbles Software solutions for your PreK-12 District or School? Fill out the form below to contact our team today.