Overview on Return 2021 and Federal Stimulus Funds
Posted on 06/22/2021
PPI logo

Overview on Return 2021 and Federal Stimulus 
Safe Return/Continuity of Services and ESSER III

The following is posted June 22, 2021, as a requirement of the American Rescue Plan Act for the Fort Zumwalt School District to qualify for federal stimulus funds that are a part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III).

During the 2020-2021 school year Fort Zumwalt School District provided uninterrupted instruction in-person for more than 15,000 students and online for as many as 3,500 students. (This number grew smaller as the school year went on, eventually below 2,500.)  See the district’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP), also known as the Return to School 2020-2021 plan The district also provided, and will continue to provide, social emotional support for students and technology support (in the form of hardware and a help desk) that allows instruction to continue even if a student is quarantined. Weekly meal pick-up for virtual and quarantined students continues at no charge.

The district’s primary objective for the 2021-2022 school year is to resume normal school operations.

Our goals are:

  • --Prepare for students and staff to return for the 2021-2022 school year in a “masks optional” environment where those who choose to wear masks are comfortable and those who don’t are safe.
  • --Prepare students, transportation staff and parents/guardians for the federal requirement that masks be worn on school buses. (See Executive Order 13998)
  • --Implement and revise the Return to School 2020 plan (SRCSP), including health protocols, sanitization protocols and quarantining practices. Revisions will be made in consideration of current pandemic conditions and in collaboration with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health.
  • --Continue to review the SRCSP at least every six months and revise as necessary.
  • --Continue to provide high quality in-person instruction for our students 5 days a week.
  • --Continue to provide high quality virtual instruction where it has been determined to be in the best interest of the student. This determination is made through an application process and through consultation between educators, parents/guardians and students.
  • --Continue to provide accommodations as necessary or as mandated by a student’s Individualized Education Plan.

With multiple vaccine resources in the community, the district has no plans at this time to coordinate or provide vaccinations. However, individuals who choose to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to quarantine when exposed to a positive case. This helps ensure continuity of instruction. Similarly, there are many community resources for screening and testing services. The district has no plans to provide these services in our schools. 

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance states that return-to-school plans adopted as part of a public board meeting meet federal stimulus funding requirements for public input. The Fort Zumwalt Board of Education adopted the Return to School 2020 plan by consensus at it’s July 20, 2020 meeting. It can be found on the district’s website at Dialogue with our community has continued at public meetings and through other forums. In the interest of clarity and transparency, the district will seek input throughout the summer as the plan for Return 2021 is finalized. The Superintendent will continue to provide updates at upcoming Board of Education meetings, on the district website, via his regular monthly email updates to staff and parents/guardians and on the FORTiTUDE podcast.

Complete the stimulus funds survey now