ESSER III Update and Preview of Information to Release on July 22

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Dear School and District Leaders,

The aim of this communication is to share an update on ESSER III implementation, including plan requirements and a key August 23 deadline, and highlight key template releases coming later this month.

We acknowledge that it is difficult to track several moving priorities over a summer that benefits from as much rest as possible. Thank you for your attention to this and future messages.

ODE’s ESSER III Plan is approved by the US Department of Education

Yesterday, July 15, we were excited to celebrate USED’s announcement formally approving Oregon's  ESSER III Plan. Given that many of the federal guidelines and requirements, such as data collection requirements have not yet been decided by USED, and the funds extend until September 2024, we expect district plans for the use of ESSER III funds to necessarily be updated and evolve over time.

ODE will release significant information pertaining to ESSER III and RSSL on July 22

On July 22, ODE will release 1) The updated RSSL Resiliency Framework and aligned resources, 2) The “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan Template’’, and 3) The “District ESSER III Plan Template’’. Each resource is briefly described here to scaffold what is coming in support of your planning and meeting key deadline. 

    1. The RSSL Resilience Framework and aligned resources: Building on what was released on June 25, 2021, this more polished final framework is aimed at providing districts and schools the information related to state guidance in responding to COVID-19.
    2. The “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan Template”: This document replaces the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Operational Blueprint required under Executive Order 21-06. Districts and public charter schools will submit  their Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services plan to ODE by August 23, 2021. For districts, this will fulfill the requirements of American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III) State plan. For districts and public charter schools, this will fulfill the requirements of the Oregon State Board of Education requirement. ( OAR 581-022-0105).
    3. The “District ESSER III Plan Template’’: This template is also required to be completed by August 23, 2021 and meets the federal requirements around the planned use of ESSER III funding. The template will include: 
      • Self-certification that the district is using the information from the SIA planning process, including learnings from community engagement, to inform plans for the use of ESSER III funds.
      • Identification of  evidence-based interventions that the district is planning or considering to invest in to address the academic impact of lost instructional time. This will include a description of how the district is planning to address students disproportionately impacted by COVID 19.
      • Initial information on current and planned engagement activities to inform the use of ESSER III funds to support migrant students and students who are incarcerated. 

Additional Context

USED requires that LEAs develop high-quality plans for the use of ESSER III funds to provide a safe return to in-person instruction along with a focus on meeting student’s academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. The planning requirements include meaningful consultation with key partners and community members to help inform the investment of ESSER III funds, especially focused on supporting students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

Almost all districts across Oregon are conducting ongoing community engagement as part of their Student Investment Account (SIA) planning process. In Oregon’s ESSER III Plan, ODE asserted that most of the planning requirements for district’s use of funds are met by districts that submitted an SIA Plan and an SIA Plan Year Two Update. ODE is only collecting supplementary information for ESSER III. (Please note: If your district did not submit an SIA Plan or an SIA Plan Year Two Update, ODE will connect directly with you to meet the requirements.) Additionally, districts signed the LEA Assurances for the ARP ESSER Fund, issued by ODE in June 2021, that assures the use of funds in accordance with the ARP Act.


RSSL Resilience Framework and Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan Template: 

District ESSER III Plan Template: