The Cares Act defined parameters for what is considered allowable expenses in all three ESSER relief funds. School administrators have certainly been made aware of what these funds can be used for and perhaps, have even made decisions on how to distribute the first round of funding at this point.
Some schools have made long awaited upgrades to make buildings safer and more compliant. A cleaner, healthier environment may now be in place with new HVAC systems, HEPA filters, water bottle filling stations and rigorous sanitizing measures. More mental health counselors have been added to help students make sense of the world they are living in and are helping them adjust to the “new normal” they keep hearing about. And while all of these initiatives are important and quantifiable, there still seems to be more that can be done to address learning loss and offer more student support in the form of enrichment programs.
Academic Coaching Specialists can provide one-on-one support for student learning throughout the school year and is compliant with CARES Act and ESSER allowable usage.
ARP ESSER Mandates 20% of Funds Used for Addressing Learning Loss
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act directed that districts “shall reserve not less than 20 percent of such funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs, and ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on the student subgroups described.”
Providing Relief for More Than Just Students
Teachers and administrators are exhausted. They are taking on more mentally, physically and emotionally, and have been since the beginning of the pandemic. Being asked to change the way they do their job, deal with the constant influx of new information, reimagining ways of how they can continue to educate and run schools, all while being criticized from outsiders – it is almost more than anyone could endure.
But, they persevered. They have shown great resilience and strength through it all and for what? Or rather- for who? The students. The students are their reason and the continuation of their formation and growth is not something they were willing to pause.
It was expected that after the craziness of the past 2 years the standardized test scores would trend downward. And those scores indeed rang true. But other, less quantifiable things were pushed to the front, and rightfully so. Student safety and care needed to be paramount, and it was. Now, we can start to focus on their academic needs and help them to focus on their learning for the future.
But what can be done to directly address the multiple levels of student need? How can the needs of so many students be quickly assessed and determined what remediation or acceleration is needed? And how can the already overworked staff add even one more initiative to their day?
Academic Coaching Specialists Offers Turnkey Solutions
Academic Coaching Specialists have developed resources to help support unfinished learning efforts in individual students, and schools. We have specific programs to work with student populations including those:
- being retained/in danger of being retained
- on academic probation
- in need of learning remediation or acceleration
- ineligible athletes/athletes in danger of losing athletic eligibility
- college bound seniors
- gifted students
How Our Academic Programs Work
How does it work? Simply identify the students and the program that would best suit their needs, select a time of day that will be optimal for working one-on-one with them (before, during, or after your school day), ensure that they have access to a computer or iPad with camera, a Zoom account, and a quiet or reduced-distraction environment for their assigned times each week. Each program utilizes two meetings per week which are each one hour in length.
Each student will be assigned an academic coach, who they will meet with virtually every week. Our coaches are seasoned educators who have a vast experience of working with a diverse learning population. They come to us looking to make a difference. Most are currently teaching at the high school or college levels.
The coach will review a key concept such as a study strategy, note-taking technique, or executive function skill. They work with the student to then apply it directly to what they are working on in their classes. Each week they will build on the previous skill and add more, leading the student to become more proactive and self-driven.
We match each student to their coach using the VARK learning style inventory and the Myers-Briggs personality assessment. These two instruments allow us a peek into how the student learns best and what type of personality they will be most likely to respond or relate to. Once the student is assigned to a coach, they will begin virtual meetings at the scheduled times each week. Because it is virtual and individual, you can have students meeting during study halls, at designated times after school, even in the evenings as an enrichment program. These are all options that comply with the allowable usage of CARES and ESSER funds.
At the end of each week, the coach will produce a snapshot report that goes to the student, their parents, and any interested party such as teachers or administrators. The report breaks down what was covered at each session, the challenges and the successes of the week, and what actions or steps the student should be taking or working on before their next session. Any recommendations or direction to other schools resources may be contained in these reports as well.
Our mission is to help students succeed in school and in life by connecting them with a caring and experienced educator who will inspire and encourage them on their journey. Mentorship is an important part of what they need to become lifelong learners, develop self-efficacy, and build and sustain confidence.
Academic Coaching Specialists can provide high schools with individual academic coaches so that every student who needs a helping hand will have it.
A Transformational Approach
The Academic Coaching programs were created with your students in mind, and our coaches are ready to go! We can work with entire schools or just a handful of students. Because we match students one-on-one with coaches, there is no limit on the number or scale we can work with. This really is a turnkey solution that will start to turn test scores and attitudes around immediately. Teachers will notice a difference in their students’ engagement and responsiveness. Students will feel more confident and less stressed. Administrators will appreciate happier staff, students, and parents.
With all the other programs that have been implemented, now is the time to give your students the one-on-one support they need. Having an academic coach will have a profound and direct impact on student learning, both in an outside the classroom. The best part? We are fully compliant and considered an allowable program under CARES act and ESSER funding guidelines, so there may be no direct cost to the school.
Schedule a free consultation to see which program would work best for your high school.