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ESSER Funds Approved to Boost Student Reading, Provide Signage for Headstart


HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Sheila Berridge, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, along with Tonya Neville, a teacher at Morgan Elementary School, presented to the board a request to fund a new reading program. This program, called Amplify BOOST reading and mCLASS, was piloted by a group of teachers at Morgan during the spring of 2023. The pilot program involved multiple teachers and classrooms. All students saw improvements during the pilot.

Berridge stated, “We know that we have a lot of tier 3 students, especially Kindergarten through second. This is really our effort to reduce that number and to unify us across the district in what we’re doing and how we’re approaching it. When kids are Kindergarten through second, they are learning to read, but when they are third through twelfth, they are reading to learn. So, we really want to make sure that by the time they get to third grade, they are fluid and comprehensive readers.”

The amount of funding requested came to $57,469.50 from ESSER-III funds. The measure was passed unanimously.

Headstart requested $61,225.86 to fund a project encompassing two digital signs. One is replacing an existing sign at Early Head Start, while the second is a new one at the Grand View building on East 4th Ave. The measure was passed in a 5-1 vote.

Other business in front of the board included approval of funds to bus former Lincoln students during the 23-34 school year.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Included Elementary Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. These funds must be used to address the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on elementary and secondary schools in our country. There were three phases of funding: ESSER, ESSER II, and ESSER III.