South Carolina schools received additional federal coronavirus relief funds from the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus package signed into law in March 2021. This is the third round of funding schools across the country will receive from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program.
School districts in South Carolina will receive a portion of the funds based on the number of Title I students, or students in poverty, they have. The School District of Pickens County’s ESSER III allocation is $26,287,619 to address students’ academic, social, and emotional needs resulting from the impact of COVID-19 for the three-year period through September 2024.
Based on public feedback beginning in July 2021 from more than 1,700 stakeholders, the district developed a plan addressing these needs specifically focused on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented, vulnerable student subgroups, including each major racial and ethnic group, gender, low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.
In exploring best ways to meet the needs of our students and meet the requirements of the ARP-ESSER allocation, the School District of Pickens County focused on adopting the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework. Here are some details about MTSS:
MTSS stands for Multi-Tiered System of Supports, and it's an educational framework designed to help all students succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. MTSS is based on the idea that every student is unique and may require different levels of support to meet their individual needs. It involves a tiered approach, which means that support is provided in different levels or tiers based on the intensity of a student's needs.
The key components of MTSS include:
Data-based decision-making: Teachers and educators collect and analyze data to identify students who may need additional support and to measure the effectiveness of interventions.
Collaboration: Teachers, school staff, and parents work together as a team to support the child's progress. Parents are considered valuable partners in the MTSS process, and their input is essential.
Progress monitoring: Regular assessment and progress monitoring are used to evaluate the effectiveness of the support provided. Adjustments are made based on the student's response to the interventions.
MTSS requires additional resources, including personnel, time, and materials, to provide targeted and intensive support to students at different tiers.
Request for Feedback
The following survey was shared with SDPC Stakeholders in July 2021 to gather feedback:
This survey remained open throughout the 2021-22 school year.
You may view all responses to the ESSER - Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund Public Input Questionnaire for SDPC here:
ESSER Feedback - 1,723 Responses
Request for Feedback - Summer 2022
In July 2022, SDPC asked stakeholders for feedback as we looked to maximize the use of ESSER III funds by amending our approved plan to best serve the needs of our students in the following ways:
Adjust the classroom camera system allocation to purchase additional student use technology to include Chromebooks and educational software resources.
The district will reallocate funds from purchasing Math 180 and will focus on strengthening Tier 1 mathematics instruction in grades 6-8 and in Algebra 1 by working with Southern Regional Education Board to provide professional development and coaching to support High School Ready Mathematics. Also the district will fund training and access for ALEKS and Bridges Math.
Funds will be redirected from READ 180 intervention into resources and professional development to improve students' written communication skills. Instructional materials, resources, and professional learning expenses related to these areas will be based on research-based practices from literacy leaders such as, Jennifer Servallo, Carl Anderson, and/or Ruth Cullam.
The district will continue using the allocated budget to address students’ needs by hiring teachers to provide extended learning time opportunities.
The district will also use these funds to support the development of effective intervention through research-based Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) practices using Solution Tree's RTI at Work or PLC at Work Institutes.
Please provide us your feedback through the following survey:
This survey remained open throughout the 2022-23 school year.
You may view all responses to the ESSER III Funding - Public Input - Summer 2022 here:
Request for Feedback - Summer 2023
In July 2023, SDPC is again seeking feedback as we look to maximize the use of ESSER III funds by amending our approved plan to best serve the needs of our students in the following ways:
Instead of purchasing the Read 180 and Math 180 curriculums, the district plans to move this money to be used to provide training through RTI at Work and PLC at Work, and other professional development opportunities that will provide faculty with the tools necessary to implement MTSS.
Any remaining funds that were allocated for Bridges Math and other planned math interventions should be moved to be used to purchase IXL, or similar math intervention programs.
Funds allocated for the GAP Analysis should be moved to be able to purchase Instructure materials (formative assessments) or other programs that provide formative assessment tools and resources.
SDPC plans to implement common formative assessments to gauge student learning and progress in 23-24, to implement strong formative assessments, SDPC would like to purchase the KDS Item Bank within the Instructure platform. The KDS Item Bank provides rigorous questions in each of the core areas that can be tracked throughout the year.
Any funds not used in purchases or training will be utilized to support the MTSS initiative in SDPC.
These funds will be budgeted for and spent by September 30th, 2024.
Please provide us your feedback through the following survey:
Survey - ESSER III Funding - Public Input - Summer 2023 (click to provide input on survey)