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Dunlap To Expand After-School Learning Opportunities With American Rescue Plan Funding

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Dunlap School District #323

Dunlap School District #323 will be offering additional after-school learning opportunities thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan.

In the most recent iteration of the American Rescue Plan, also known as ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief), Dunlap was awarded nearly $2.8 million to aid in addressing “learning loss” from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Director of Curriculum and Instruction Matt Andrews presented an overview of funding usage to the Board of Education Wednesday night, with the highlight being community feedback to guide the utilization of the newly-available funds.

“One of the contingents of the American Rescue Plan was to make sure that you were seeking stakeholder input for at least the use of that 20% to target learning loss,” said Andrews.

Dunlap parents accounted for 84% of survey respondents. Top priorities for funding included ongoing support for core subjects, expanding social-emotional learning opportunities, and providing access to “high-quality instructional materials.”

Board President Dr. Abby Humbles reiterated that the goal of the funding is to improve the lives of students after a difficult year.

“Basically all of the money is something to benefit the children, the environment they're in, assist with providing more services—that is the criteria for the money and how it’s spent,” said Humbles.

According to Andrews, next steps for the District include adding new tutoring positions and creating a “needs assessment” to further pinpoint the use of the $2.8 million.

The Board also approved the District budget for fiscal year 2022 at Wednesday night’s meeting.

Mike Rundle is a correspondent at WCBU. He joined the station in 2020.