HLWW Public Schools is conducting a survey of parents, staff, and key school-based groups including the district advisory council, the COVID-19 council, the Title One committee, the Community Education council, the PTA, and the school board in regards to District plans for the use of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds (ESSER 3).

This is the 3rd round of funding schools have received to address the impact of COVID-19.  Much of HLWW's ESSER 1 and 2 funding was used to fund items such as additional staff, extra cleaning supplies and labor, fuel for double-routes, and Chromebooks, to name a few, during the 2020-21 school year.

However, the impact of COVID-19 on students, families and school funding, continues.  We know that many of our students were impacted greatly in terms of their learning due to changes in learning models for grades 7-12 and the changes in instruction that happened due to COVID-19 protocols.  School funding was greatly impacted due to lost state aid due to lost student enrollment, which for HLWW was over $350,000.

ESSER 3 funds must be spent on certain criteria during the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school year.  Those criteria are as follows:

- To address learning loss 
- To address social emotional needs (mental health)
- To collaborate with community groups to address student needs
- To expand services including tutoring and language access
- To address teacher mentorship 
- To offer out-of-school time learning opportunities
- To add staffing for smaller class sizes and/or for interventions

The following survey outlines some district plans for the ESSER 3 funds for HLWW Public Schools.  

We appreciate you taking the time to not only review our plans, but also for your input and recommendations which will help make our plans successful for HLWW students and staff.

This survey will close on August 4, 2021.

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* 1. Please rank the following items in terms of priority for HLWW students and staff.

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* 2. The impact that COVID-19 and the related cancellations, guidelines, and protocols has had on the social and emotional well-being of our students is a concern.

To address mental health and well-being, HLWW Schools implemented the Character Strong curriculum during advisory/homeroom in 2020-21 as well as an internal survey called PASS, to gauge students' feelings about school and their education.

In 2021-22, HLWW Schools is adding an additional school counseling position to the district.  This position will oversee the many facets of coordinating mental health programs including a mentorship program, the District wellness policy, and coordination of partnerships with community and county programs to expand offerings in the District and through Community Education.

An additional benefit to this added position is that the District will be able to re-assign some of the current counseling duties and workload in such a fashion that EACH HLWW School will now have a counselor/social worker dedicated to their school (in the past we had some staff moving between buildings each day -  in particular at the elementary and high school levels).

What other things should HLWW Schools consider in regards to mental health programming and assistance in using ESSER 3 funds?

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* 3. One of the most notable impacts on learning loss for students was in Grades 7 & 8.  With many changes to learning models in 2020-21, students in Grades 7 & 8 had the most difficult time in terms of work completion, remediation, and grade performance.  

HLWW's plan to address this going into 2021-22 is to do the following:
- Add teaching staff at these grade levels to be able to create a separate 7th and 8th grade team which will lower class size, allow for time during the school day for interventions, remediation, and more 1:1 student/teacher time.

In thinking about our middle school, what other things should HLWW Public Schools be considering for uses of the ESSER 3 funds?

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* 4. Keeping class sizes smaller to give our teachers the best opportunity they have to impact the learning of our students, has always been a district priority.

In 2020-21, HLWW Schools lost student enrollment due to COVID-19 (parents choosing homeschool, on-line, and private school options).  The subsequent loss in state funding has impacted our school district with a loss of over $350,000.  Without the ESSER 3 funds, our school district would have considered reductions to teaching staff in 2021-22 (approximately 5 teachers) in particular to the elementary levels, and thus greatly increasing our class sizes and potentially moving students between schools, to even out class size as much as possible.

In light of the ESSER 3 funds, HLWW Schools DID NOT make teacher reductions and thus will be able to use the funds to continue to keep teachers in the classroom and not increasing our class sizes for 2021-22 and 2022-23.

In thinking about our elementary schools, what other things should HLWW Public Schools be considering in the uses of ESSER 3 funds?


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* 5. HLWW High School students and staff had many challenges in 2020-21 including the use of distance learning for approximately 5 weeks in December/January, the use of a hybrid schedule which included blocks of time and alternating days for classes, and the cancellation and rescheduling of many activities, state and national level competitions, and sports seasons.  

Besides getting back to some sense of normalcy in 2021-22, HLWW Public Schools will continue to offer opportunities for high school students credit recovery and night school through the ALP, as well as exploring both mentorship opportunities for high school students to mentor elementary aged students, and using student and parent feedback to offer school and community-wide lyceums and programs on issues facing teens.

In thinking about our high school, what other things should HLWW Public Schools be considering in the uses of ESSER 3 funds?


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* 6. In review, are there any other items HLWW Schools should consider in the list of applicable funding uses?  Examples are as follows:
- To address learning loss
- To address social emotional needs (mental health)
- To collaborate with community groups to address student needs
- To expand services including tutoring and language access
- To address teacher mentorship
- To offer out-of-school time learning opportunities
- To add staffing for smaller class sizes and/or for interventions

Please share your ideas below.  Thank you.

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