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ESSER Guidance for School Staffing, Spending, and Scheduling

Blueprints for COVID Recovery and Redesign

The three-year infusion of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds from the federal government provided a unique opportuntiy for districts to support school recovery and redesign. But with districts busy putting out fires, ESSER guidance for school staffing, spending, and scheduling was needed to implement meaningful strategies and programming.

These detailed guides provide a blueprint for how to organize resources with a "Do Now, Build Toward" mindset — addressing urgent student needs now by choosing doable starting points, and designing changes with a sustainable long-term vision in mind.

Each guide details relevant research, highlights opportunities for sustainable investments, makes priority recommendations, and provides concrete examples.

 

HOW ELEMENTARY NEEDS TO LOOK DIFFERENT how High School needs to look different

 

Elementary & High School Staffing, Spending, & Scheduling Guides

High-Dosage Tutoring

 Elementary & HS 

Many districts are positioning tutoring as a key investment in their COVID-relief plans to combat learning loss. Research shows that effective tutoring programs have a high ROI and can move the needle quickly on student outcomes. See how to implement high-dosage tutoring in your district.

See the Guide

Prof. Learning & Collaboration

professional learning & collaboration

 Elementary & HS 

Professional learning and collaboration for educators is foundational to successfully and sustainably implementing most other improvement strategies. This school year and beyond will be shaped by the capacity of educators. See how you can build capacity in your district. 

See the Guide

Social-Emotional Supports

building strong relationships and supports

 Elementary Guide 

Building Strong Relationships and Supports is more important now than ever with many students returning to school with trauma caused by the pandemic. Stimulus funds give districts and schools the opportunity to respond to these intensified needs. See how to build strong relationships and supports in the guide.

SEE THE GUIDE

Small Group Instruction

 Elementary Guide 

Pre-COVID, small group instruction was often used to provide Tier 2 & 3 supports, but right now it's an important component in supporting all students to access grade-level Tier 1 instruction. This guide will support districts in investing for both traditional intervention for some AND small group instruction for all.

SEE THE GUIDE

Credit Recovery


 High School Guide 

The impact of COVID-19 on high school students and their families has led to high rates of absenteeism and course failure. Districts must rethink the way they approach credit recovery models to account for these acute and widespread needs. See how this can work in your district.

SEE THE GUIDE

Academic Supports


 High School Guide 

An increasing number of high school students need more academic supports. This guide will reveal how to provide additional instructional time and targeted attention for students who require more targeted and intensive support to address gaps in foundational skills needed for accessing Tier 1 instruction.

SEE THE GUIDE

Early Warning Systems


 High School Guide 

Districts across the country are implementing a growing practice called Early Warning Systems that can predict high school students who need additional supports toward graduation.  With intensified needs caused by COVID, systems are more important now than ever. See how to use these systems in your district.

SEE THE GUIDE

Strong Relationships


 High School Guide 

Students are returning to school with unprecented social and emotional needs due to the pandemic. Schools will need to strengthen relationships through advisory and scheduling for lower teacher loads to build capacity for educators to connect with students who need additional attention. See how.

SEE THE GUIDE

Postsecondary Opportunities


 High School Guide 

NEW GUIDE: Districts across the country are implementing unique pathways and opportunities that respond to their students’ and community’s  needs, resulting in meaningful and relevant college and career opportunities for students' current and future success. See how in our new Postsecondary Guide.

SEE THE GUIDE

 

 Learn More About Our Process for Creating These ESSER Guides

To create this series, we first identified eight (and recently a ninth) priority topics based on feedback from districts across the country about the fall reopening challenges they are grappling with. Then, by drawing on decades of research, takeaways from our work in districts, and insights from other organizations and experts in the field, we worked to develop concrete guidance for organizing resources in the context of ESSER funding. We kept three main criteria in mind: 

  1. Building from research on strong district and school practices. 
  2. Advancing equity by understanding and addressing students’ most pressing needs. 
  3. Planning implementation through both near-term next steps and a longer-term vision. 

 Get Direct Support

As your team uses these guides to weigh the possible tradeoffs associated with different approaches, facilitate decision-making about how to organize resources, and plan for how to evolve and scale your approaches over time, we encourage you to adapt these guides to meet your district or school’s own unique needs and context. For help navigating your “Do Now, Build Toward” approach, contact us

 

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