Dear Editor:

This letter serves to share good news with the community regarding the West Carroll School District receiving Illinois State Board of Education grant approval for Covid relief expenses.

Covid relief expenses will be covered under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grant, also known as ESSER I, during FY 2021 in the amount of $271,739 and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief II Grant, also known as ESSER II, in the amount of $1,064,047 to be spent in FY 22 and FY 23.

ESSER I expenditures approved by the Illinois State Board of Education on June 11, 2020, for FY 21 consisted of the following:

One additional part-time instructional aide, computer software and Google meets licensing, 440 student Chromebooks with laptop sleeves, document cameras and webcams, blue tooth headsets, 80 staff HP computers, additional pay for school nurses to conduct contact tracing, medical supplies including hand-held thermometers for teachers and coaches along with three temperature kiosk stations for building check-ins, one additional part-time technology assistant, Covid-19 safety and cleaning supplies including masks, plexiglass, gloves, hand sanitizer stations, soaps, floor cleaning and disinfectant machines, and professional development to support teaching staff.

ESSER II expenditures approved by the Illinois State Board of Education on June 2, 2021, consisted of the following:

Student summer programming for remedial, jumpstart and advancement instruction with K-8 educators (8 part-time positions with TRS and THIS benefits) for the summers of FY 22 and FY 23, digital refresh curriculum for high school mathematics (grade 8 advanced and 9th-12th grade students), cabling for classrooms to access new phone system for individual phones (one per classroom), instructional manipulatives for kindergarten, first grade and second grade, 462 student touchscreen chromebooks with laptop sleeves and google management licensing, 50 ukuleles plus five storage racks, 15 café tables and stack chair sets, classroom individual supplies including individual dry erase boards, pens, spot markers, number lines and book bins, six storage and charging solutions for kindergarten and first grade, six Tech Tub 2 charging carts each with four removable six chromebook charging blocks, outdoor shed, blood pressure cuffs (three adult size and three child size), three pulse oximeters, body fluid exposure prevention supplies including vomit bags, gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, spray sanitizer, spray bottles, and paper towels, one additional part-time district-wide technician with benefits for FY 22 and FY 23 to assist with closing the digital divide, one additional full-time district-wide multi-tiered systems of support coordinator with benefits to address COVID student learning loss for FY 22 and FY 23, ESGI software for progress monitoring in kindergarten, Software Smart Suite renewal (64 seats), five vacuum cleaners, carpet cleaning supplies including carpet cleaner, spartaguard carpet protectant, mops, containers, dollies, roll towels, facial tissues, three 26" walk behind auto scrubbers, ionization to nine air handlers and two air conditioning units, 18 tables for cafeterias and 12 convertible benches to allow for social distancing.

Thank you to the WCESPA support staff, WCEA teaching staff, PreK-12 Wellness Committee members, PreK-12 Learning Council members, PreK-12 administrative staff, district office staff, the district's Finance and Facilities committee, Board of Education members and all other individuals involved in assessing the needs of the district, planning for future needs in an unprecedented time, working to address Covid learning loss for students and submitting requisitions for Covid relief funds to be used during FY 21, FY 22 and FY 23.

If anyone should have any questions, please call Supt. Katzenberger at 815-734-3374.

With Thunder Pride,

Julie Katzenberger