Greetings, school leaders!
The ESSER team is excited to share the newly updated Safe Return to In-Person Learning webpage, which includes new features that make it easier for our partners at LEAs to find and edit their submitted plans and view their assigned group and corresponding due dates and resources for submitting plans within EMAC. As a reminder, all LEAs receiving ESSER III funds must develop and make a plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services publicly available on their LEA website.
There will be two submission windows during the 2022-2023 school year – one in Fall 2022 and the other in Spring 2023. LEAs have been placed into groups with different due dates for this year. Please view the Safe Return to In-Person learning page for information on which group your LEA falls into and the due dates for that group. For example, the due date for the Fall submission for Group Two is September 1, 2022, while the due date for Group Three is October 1, 2022.
Our ESSER team will host monthly office hours to help LEAs submit their Safe Return to In-Person Learning plans through our EMAC system. All Office Hours will be from 8:00-9:00 and 2:00-3:00 on the following dates:
ESSER Set Aside Opportunities
The following opportunities are funded and supported by the Arizona Department of Education’s ESSER I, II, and III (ARP) set aside investments:
PAXIS Institute: PAX Good Behavior Game
Through ESSER set-aside funding, the Arizona Department of Education is partnering with PAXIS to provide PAX Good Behavior Game training to all Arizona educators at no cost.
Training is offered in virtual and self-paced online formats and includes materials and certificates for six contact hours of professional development. Thousands of educators have already received this training, and over 90% of participants shared that not only did PAX take away no instructional time, but it also integrates well with their other programs and curricula in the classroom.
Contact [email protected] to schedule a training for your staff. Individuals may also visit www.paxis.org/pax-arizona to sign up for training already on the calendar.
City of Tempe: College Connect Tempe
In May, the City of Tempe’s Human Services Department received ARP School and Community Grant funding to support the college and career-going services for underrepresented middle and high school students who live or attend school in Tempe and the surrounding area. Those services are offered through College Connect Tempe to help students and parents through the process of exploring and applying to college and other post-secondary educational opportunities. Services include educational workshops, individual advising assistance (available in-person or virtually), and access to college experts from schools across the state. Get answers about school options, career paths, financial aid, class choice, and more. Visit http://www.tempe.gov/CollegeConnect to make an advising appointment or learn more about upcoming workshops.
Mindfulness First: Mental Health Teacher Training Scholarships
Mindfulness First, another ARP School and Community Grantee, launched a scholarship program for Arizona K-12 teachers and administrators to receive training in trauma sensitivity, mindful awareness, and Social Emotional Learning to help build mentally healthy schools. Awardees will be given convenient online training that offers expert guidance while being self-paced in style, with a minimum 20-minute per week commitment. The course includes stress reduction training for teachers and all the K-12 resources and curriculums needed to have mentally healthy, trauma-sensitive, and calm classrooms. Awardees will have lifetime access to their course and curriculums. Click here to learn more and apply: m1st.app/scholarship-esser.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) School and Community Grantee Spotlight
The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent’s Office and its partners were able to use ESSER III (ARP) funding from the Arizona Department of Education to cosponsor a diverse and intense series of summer camps and programs for the County’s children and youth. The activities launched the Invest in Our Youth Project, which represents a comprehensive initiative for our children and youth that addresses the considerable loss of learning and the social and emotional stress placed on our children and youth caused by the COVID Pandemic.
Over 500 Santa Cruz County students in grades K-12 participated in the fifteen Summer Camps. Some camps targeted youth in need of social-emotional learning supports. Other camps used robotics, fitness, the sciences, cybersecurity, and/or the arts in project-based programs. Plus, we were able to offer programs to our youth related to college and career planning (e.g. admissions, scholarships), career exploration through internships and leadership and entrepreneurship projects.
Students from elementary and middle school experienced ESSER III funded La Linea’s Art Fest, which featured projects that involved recycled materials, papier-mâché, painting, sculpture, and more. Elementary students also had the opportunity to create their own theater plays in the camp titled “Act Your Hat”; in this camp students’ characters were based on paper hats that they learned to make from scratch.
Students who participated in the Santa Cruz County Arts for Learning Camps had a fun summer exploring many inspiring visual and performing artforms at the 1904 Courthouse, La Linea Art Studio, and the Santa Cruz Center. Read the full spotlight and view pictures here.