The federally-funded ARP ESSER III program allocated $163 million to CCSD to assist with students’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, six areas were identified as priorities: activities to address low income students, learning loss among students, mental health services and supports, summer learning and afterschool programs, educational technology for students, and improved indoor air quality. Additionally, CCSD identified a visionary goal to ensure that the focus for ESSER III funds will be to reduce the number of students reading below grade level and the negative impact that the pandemic has had on these students. The visionary goal and supporting pillars for success are:
Vision: By the Spring of 2027, all students will read on grade level by fifth grade.
In order to achieve this goal, there are three support pillars:
- Rigorous grade-level instruction in reading and associated content
- High-quality teachers and leaders to deliver instructional expertise in improving reading
- Wraparound services are needed to ensure students can succeed in the classroom
All ESSER III plans or programs will be in support of the visionary goal and supporting pillars. The grade-level reading focus for the ESSER funds will have the greatest impact in schools largely made up of disadvantaged and minority students, with a disproportionate number of them reading below grade level.