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Updated (FY23) American Rescue Plan - ESSER (2021) for Taylor County Schools

To access the US Department of Education Fact Sheet for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, click here: 


Local Education Agency Use of Funds

In May of 2021, Taylor County Schools received a portion of the ARP ESSER funds granted by the federal government. This funding is to assist schools with potential learning gaps incurred due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our area faced high rates of community spread which required our students and staff to adjust the way we teach and learn to a distance learning platform from March 2020 - May 2020 and then off and on during the 2020-21 school year. We were able to return to in-person learning on January 25, 2021 for the remainder of the school year, aside from some inclement weather days in February and early March. For the school year 2021-22, students were in-person learning all year. ARP ESSER funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on reopening schools. 


Safety is our number one priority for both students and staff. Many efforts have been made in mitigating the spread of any viruses in addition to the CDC guidance and KDE’s Healthy at Schools guidance, including cleaning/disinfecting supplies in every classroom and every entrance, electrostatic spraying of all surfaces and buses, masking, and social distancing when possible. As of Spring 2022, the CDC dropped many of the guidelines due to the end of the Pandemic nearing and the mutation of the virus causing more cold-symptoms than a life-threatening illness. 


In planning for the 2022-23 school year, we have addressed many areas we feel necessary to accommodate for due to consequences from the pandemic, specifically the gaps in learning from a lack of in-person learning through the Pandemic. Although the guidance from ARP ESSER has some restrictive uses, we will have no problem meeting the requirements to spend these funds. 


Consultation was addressed with multiple groups having input, including district directors, administrators from central office and each school, teachers and students, and parents and community members. These stakeholder groups included representation from historically disadvantaged groups and/or minority groups in monthly meetings held from March - July 2021. Administrative meetings regarding funding have been monthly since ESSER II funds were allotted. In July 2021, a meeting with the local TCEA/KEA representatives was held at TCHS and input was gathered and information shared. Also in July 2021, a parent/student/community survey was issued and collected where input was gathered (via Google form or from in-person meetings) and used in determining next steps with our plan. Over 171 stakeholders gave input on the ARP ESSER Plan; 33% had children in TCPC, 37% had children in TCIS, 36% had children in TCMS, 43% had children in TCHS, and 1% did not have children currently in the school system. From the results, the main issues their child struggled with last year was: missing out on social interaction with other students (83%), keeping up with online assignments (46%), receiving assistance for assignments that were difficult (42%), and understanding how to use technology (20%). From this information, we were able to discern that distance learning was a challenge for many, and if we offer virtual learning for the upcoming year, we need to ensure the students that are learning from home have the capacity to succeed with resources. For the 2020-21 school year, parents indicated their children would benefit from the following:  interventions that allowed for more one-on-one assistance (55%), intervention programs that supplement math and reading content (47%), after school programs/tutoring (30%), and having a technology device to take home (30%). When asked how they would like to see money spent on the 2021-22 school year, the following were selected most often:  to continue with in-person learning (69%), additional teachers to help meet student needs (49%), enrichment programs to help meet student needs (43%), technology devices for students (29%), additional programs to help students master the KAS (24%), and 17% stated more counselors and continuing sanitizing protocols. It is evident that our families want schools to be as ‘normal’ as possible for the upcoming year. In taking all of this data into account, we have developed a plan to help meet the needs of our students. For the 2022-23 school year, we will continue to honor requests by providing in-person learning, providing additional staff to help meet the needs of all students, increase our technology support/devices, and provide programs to help students master the Kentucky Academic Standards.


Over the next few years, we hope to close the gap to address learning loss incurred during the pandemic by providing an intentional summer support program that serves students with both academic and enrichment opportunities, providing more staff to help deliver instruction in small groups or on-to-one settings - including reading and math interventionists in each school to help address learning loss during the pandemic, providing a technology device to each student in grades K-12, providing software programs to allow for more supplemental instruction in (and out of) the classrooms and virtual learning from home, specific professional learning for staff (Kagan and other structures to improve teaching and learning), and providing a safe and sanitized environment for staff and students. The district will ensure that interventions address the academic impact of lost instruction time by using evidence and research-based practices to help improve student achievement. 


In the event that cost fluctuations occur during the spending period of these funds, then adjustments may be made by any of the following:  non-renewal of any programs that are not showing any evidence of student improvement (assessment data will be reviewed), reduce the amount of technology devices as virtual learning dissipates, or reduce staff if numbers of students struggling academically declines significantly for RTI sessions. In the event that ARP ESSER funds are depleted prior to September 2023, then the district may use general funds to finish out any remaining contracts with vendors or personnel.


After conducting a district needs assessment, the following will be used with these federal dollars:

  1. A robust summer support program that will close some academic achievement gaps incurred from the Pandemic (approximately 12% will be spent here)

    1. Transportation will be provided

    2. Breakfast and lunch will be provided

    3. Small group settings will be provided so students can get more individualized attention using evidence-based interventions

    4. Activities for both remediation and enrichment will be provided

  2. An investment in educational technology to support student learning whether in-person or distance learning (approximately 20% will be spent here) - increase technology devices accessible to all students

    1. Student technology ratio goal 1:1

    2. Wireless devices to assist students whose families cannot afford internet services

    3. Teacher devices that allow for video conferencing/recording lessons

    4. Replacement parts/charger cords that are returned damaged or not returned

  3. Additional staff (approximately 54% will be spent here) - interventionists added for each school to help support students who have incurred academic loss due to the pandemic

    1. To help reduce class sizes

    2. To work with students in small group settings or one-to-one on reading and math skills

    3. To work with students on social-emotional well-being and mental health services

    4. To work with students on enrichment and essential skills necessary for a 21st century learner, worker, citizen

    5. To conduct activities to address the needs of students from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth

    6. To provide technological support to students and staff

  4. Software programs (approximately 10% will be spent here)

    1. To provide students with supplemental aids in reading, math, science, and social studies

    2. To provide students with enrichment opportunities 

    3. To help students achieve mastery of the Kentucky Academic Standards

    4. To provide virtual students an online platform in order to complete courses from home

  5. School facility repairs to reduce the risk of viral transmission and support student health (less than 2% will be spent here)

  6. Professional Learning opportunities for staff (less than 2% will be spent here)

    1. Kagan structures

    2. Professional Learning Communities 


If you would like to comment or add input to this plan, please click on the link below and complete the Google Form. Thank you.