The Cohoes City School District is expected to receive approximately $5.1 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). A portion of this funding must be allocated to address potential COVID related “learning loss.” These nonrecurring funds will be available to the school district over a period of three years, with the total amount expended by September 30, 2024.
The funds are intended to provide districts with resources to assist in recovering from the effects of the pandemic. Districts are required to prioritize spending and may use funds on one-time or short-term expenses in the following areas:
- Safely returning students to in-person instruction;
- Maximizing in-person instruction time;
- Operating schools and meeting the needs of students;
- Purchasing educational technology;
- Addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students, including the impacts of interrupted instruction and so-called “learning loss” and the impacts on low-income students, children with disabilities, English language learners, and students experiencing homelessness;
- Implementing evidence-based strategies to meet students’ social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs;
- Offering evidence-based summer, after school, and other extended learning and enrichment programs; and
- Supporting early childhood education.
A series of meetings to gather input were held with administrators, teacher leaders and building level teams. Needs were identified in four main categories: assessing and accelerating student learning, meeting students’ social emotional needs, ensuring health and safety, and technology connectivity and access.
Team recommendations included:
- Elementary and middle school summer enrichment programming
- Extended day opportunities for struggling students
- Additional intervention services to support student social emotional and learning needs
- Additional sections at the elementary level to lower class sizes
- Career readiness coordination and administrative supports
- Professional development offerings to assist staff in meeting student social emotional and learning needs
- Targeted instructional resources & supplies
- Classroom technology
- Assessment software
- Classroom furniture
- Ventilation improvements
- Bottle filling stations
As we continue to refine our plan we are seeking feedback from parents and guardians, additional faculty and staff, and community members. Please take a moment to let us know how you think these funds could best be utilized.
The survey will be open through Friday, July 9. Thank you in advance for your feedback.