ESSER III Newsletter 

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Winter 2022 ESSER III Newsletter

4 Things You Should Know  

The beginning of 2022 is an important juncture in Oregon regarding the state and federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) has been working diligently with school districts and national partners to gather information that clarifies the Unites State Department of Education’s (USED) expectations of ODE and school districts regarding the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER III) Fund. Here are four things we want to make you aware of as we embark on the new year.  

1. ODE’s ESSER III Implementation Team is here and ready to serve. Below is a little information about each of the team members, their role on the team and their contact information:

  • Cynthia Stinson, Senior Manager of Federal Investments and Pandemic Renewal Effort,
    • Cynthia is providing leadership, oversight and coordination for ESSER III implementation ODE wide.   
  • Aurora Moore, Senior Strategic Advisor,
    • Aurora provides guidance on federal policy and project design and implementation advising for the state investments and for the ESSER program as a whole. 
  • Lindsay Trapp, Executive Support Specialist,
    • Lindsay provides administrative support for Cynthia Stinson and the ESSER III program as a whole, coordinating meetings and helping to communicate and track deadlines.
  • Joshua Halsey, Director of Data, Operations and Grants Management,
    • Joshua is leading ODE’s efforts to support school districts’ successful implementation of ESSER III.

2. Updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for ESSER III

School districts have been reaching out with questions regarding ESSER III implementation. ODE has updated its FAQ to address many of the questions we have received. Of note are the questions regarding the appropriate use of ESSER III funds. To access the updated FAQ, please click on the hyperlink above.  

3. ESSER III District Data Submission Requirements 

USED has provided ODE a template for the annual ESSER report. ODE, like all State Educational Agencies (SEA) across the nation, are required to annually report to USED on the status of the SEAs and their Local Educational Agencies (LEA) ESSER investments and outcomes. While the School Finance Unit will use reimbursement data and other data already submitted to ODE to complete most of the federal report, there will be some data that will need to be submitted by the districts. The School Finance Unit will be setting up an informal data collection for districts to complete, like what was done for last year’s annual ESSER report. Contained within the collection form will be an updated Integrated Planning Tool (IPT). Districts are requested to complete the updated IPT to include year 1 (2021-22) and 2 of the grant (2022-23). Including activities for year 3 of the grant is optional. The collection will open on March 21st and will close on April 15th.  

4. District Survey

District input is critical to the success of the ESSER III program and ODE has several areas that it is seeking input from school districts. This short survey is designed to solicit your feedback and input for how ODE’s facilitation of ESSER III can continue to be responsive to school district needs. To access the survey, please click here.  


About the Oregon Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER III) Fund: The American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARP Act or ARPA) provides an additional $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (ESSER III or ARP ESSER). $1.1 billion was awarded to Oregon. ESSER III grants were awarded to LEAs in the proportion they received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in fiscal year 2020. ESSER III Fund grants can be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred between March 13, 2020, and September 30, 2024. We are sending out newsletters on a quarterly basis, so keep an eye out to stay up to date on ESSER III information.