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ARP ESSER 2021-22 Re-Entry Plan

As a recipient American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds, the Roane County Board of Education is required to present a plan for the "safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services."

As full-time in-person instruction returned to our schools on September 8, 2020, our plan focuses primarily on the continuity of existing services and additional of various re-engagement and recovery strategies to help our students, teachers, staff, and communities resume "normal" school interactions.

School Safety Protocols

At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, the Roane County Board of Education implemented the following protocols to address the safe return to in-person instruction and maintained these through the end of that school year. It is expected that these will remain in place through the 2021-22 school year as well:

  • Social distancing through smaller-than-normal class sizes, scheduling use of common areas when appropriate (hallways, bathrooms, etc.), and breakfast service in classrooms and meal service outdoors when appropriate

  • Improved air handling through filtration and purification systems

  • Increased cleaning and sanitization efforts, especially when a suspected infection or exposure is identified

  • Universal mask wearing on school buses

  • Cohort-driven scheduling for elementary and middle schools (i.e., students remain with the same group of peers throughout the day or most of the day)

  • Strict quarantine and isolation protocols for suspected exposures and/or infections per CDC and WV DHHR guidelines

Additional safety protocols implemented during 2020-21 school year may not be necessary at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, but may be implemented as needed if indicated by local public health indicators and/or the advice of health care professionals:

  • Universal mask wearing inside school buildings

  • Lunch service in classrooms

  • In-school clinic partnership with Roane General Hospital

  • Full-time Distance Learning program for grades K - 12

ARP ESSER Plan Components

Roane County Schools has been allocated nearly $4 million in previous rounds of ESSER funding under the CARES Act in April 2020 and its re-authorization in December 2020. These funds have been or will be used to purchase and install air purification systems, provide improved individual technology for students and teachers (iPads), support Distance Learning, purchase cleaning supplies, and facilitate the in-school clinic partnership with Roane General Hospital.

For the ARP ESSER round, Roane County Schools has been allocated approximately $7.7 million. Here are the proposed uses of these funds (PDF version):

SUPPORT INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION AND ENHANCED STUDENT-TEACHER RELATIONSHIPS  ($3,972,126.09)

COMPONENT 1 - Maintain Small Class Sizes and Enhanced Services ($2,724,564.90)

  • Employ 16 classroom teachers and 10 service personnel above State Aid formula

  • Enroll no more than 20 students in classrooms K - 8

  • Maintain enhanced cleaning protocols and expanded child nutrition program

COMPONENT 2 - Student and Classroom Technology Refresh ($398,930.00)

  • Provide all students with an Apple iPad

  • Provide all classrooms with a MacBook Air, Promethean display, and mobile document camera

  • Provide teachers and students with necessary professional learning opportunities

COMPONENT 3 - Expanded Summer Program ($636,295.19)

  • Expand summer learning opportunities to include all 3 attendance areas and provide enrichment and academic opportunities

  • Ensure that transportation and meals are provided for all sites

COMPONENT 4 - Expanded Before / After Program ($212,336.00)

  • Expand before / after school learning opportunities to include all 5 schools and provide enrichment and academic opportunities

  • Ensure that transportation and meals are provided for all sites

REVITALIZE CAMPUSES TO SUPPORT COMMUNITY GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT    ($3,424,356.11)

COMPONENT 5 - Middle / Elementary STEAM Labs ($1,500,000.00)

  • Renovate classrooms at Geary, Walton, and Spencer Elementary to support hands-on learning experiences in technology-driven fields (space included in design of new Spencer Middle School)

COMPONENT 6 - Career & Technical Education Renovations ($750,000.00)

  • Renovate classrooms and lab spaces at Roane County High School to support existing (Agriculture, Business) and expanded (Graphic Design, Biomedical, Cybersecurity) career programs 

COMPONENT 7 - Outdoor Classrooms ($400,000.00)

  • Construct outdoor learning spaces at Geary, Walton, Spencer Elementary, and Roane County High School (space included in design of new Spencer Middle School)

COMPONENT 8 - HVAC Replacements ($774,356.11)

  • Replace aging HVAC equipment in classrooms and common spaces at Roane County High School

FINANCIAL SUPPORT ($221,712.72)

COMPONENT 9 - Employ additional accountant for project & grant accounting ($221,712.72)

Public Comment

The public is invited to comment on this plan by using our ARP ESSER Plan Public Comment Form.

This plan is presented in more detail here.