Greetings RPS Parents, Guardians and Caregivers,
COVID-19 has impacted students in many ways—both across the country and here in Richfield Public Schools. It is critical that we continue to support students academically as well as through increased social and emotional programs in this upcoming year.
The U.S. government is helping school districts in this effort by providing additional funding through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). Our district has been allocated $5,688,524 in ESSER III funds, and 20% of these funds must be used specifically to address learning loss due to COVID-19. This money is for one-time or short-term expenditures, so we must be strategic in how we use the funds to ensure that activities can be sustained once the money has been spent.
It is important to us that our families help identify priority areas for these funds. We have created a short survey where you can rank options based on what is most important to you. We will also be working with students in grades 6-12 during the first week of school to collect their priorities, and we will be attending school open house events, PTO meetings and advisory council meetings to ensure we have as much input as possible before the September 15 survey deadline.
The survey lists 10 possible priorities for funding, which you will rank from most to least important. These 10 priorities are based on ESSER guidelines and the community feedback we received when we were developing our 2021-26 strategic plan, Richfield Realized.
If you have any questions about ESSER funds in our District, please contact email@example.com. If you have technical difficulties with the survey or if you need the survey in an alternate format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and for letting us know what’s important to you and your family.
Richfield Public Schools
ESSER funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which has provided over $2 trillion in federal economic relief. The CARES Act includes an Education Stabilization Fund, which created two major sources of funding for schools: the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
ESSER funds have been issued in three phases so far.
ESSER I funds were allocated in December 2020, and we received $1,020,848 in combined ESSER I and GEER funding.
ESSER II funds were for expanded summer programming and we did not receive any ESSER II funds.
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was signed into federal law, which included the third round of ESSER funding.
To learn more about federal relief funds in Minnesota, please visit the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website.