ESSER Funded Safety Plan
Like school districts across the country, Highline Public Schools has received funding through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Recovery Act (ESSER) to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.
As ESSER 3 recipients, we are pleased to share our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan, also known as a Health and Safety Plan.
This plan addresses how Highline Public Schools will use ESSER funding to maintain the health and safety of students, families, and staff upon returning to in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. Certain sections of this plan can serve as guidelines. Schools will develop more detailed school safety plans applicable to each building's unique needs.
We will also maintain our robust safety plan formulated at the start of hybrid learning.
We want all staff to be briefed on how we are using federal COVID relief funds to maintain safety measures for the 2021-22 school year. Please watch this staff webinar to earn about ESSER-funded strategies to mitigate the impacts of COVID and ESSER investments.
In a standard fiscal year, revenue is typically more than what we spend, and that helps us create a balanced budget.
In extraordinary circumstances, such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, districts experienced state and local revenue shortages.
At the same time, the pandemic brought unexpected costs, including:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Instructional technology and materials
- New HVAC and air filtration systems
- Increased staffing for facility and maintenance needs
- Constructing temporary classroom spaces to maintain social distancing
These unexpected costs created millions in expenditure increases that federal, state, and local revenue sources weren’t enough to cover. Highline initially used ESSER funds to fill the gap.
Camp Waskowitz typically generates its own revenue through rentals and events. That revenue is used to maintain operations, facilities and staff salaries. Due to the pandemic, the camp was closed and the revenue source that supports those programs was lost; while the cost of operation, maintenance and staff remained.
At Camp Waskowitz, we used some of our ESSER dollars to pay staff salaries and keep the camp open. We used additional ESSER funding to support camp reopening efforts. This included purchasing PPE, filtration systems and creating an outdoor instructional space.
We are required to use ESSER funds toward initiatives that align with OSPI’s key themes:
- Student Well-Being
- Student and Family Voice
- Professional Learning
- Recovery and Acceleration
- Diagnostic Assessments
- Community Partnerships
Committee on Allocating Resources Equitable (CARE) is a community and family led-committee in Highline. CARE is tasked with providing guidance on how to spend roughly $4 Million in ESSER funds in alignment with these themes.
Data show that transmission in schools is the same or lower than in the community. Our experience in Highline is consistent with this. Since November when we began serving students with special needs in person, we have had no COVID transmission from classroom contacts.
Our COVID Dashboard shows all reported staff and student cases, starting January 1, 2021.