How will Northeast Ohio college districts spend $974 million in stimulus cash? Stimulus Watch

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Just as municipalities are receiving a once-in-a-generation injection of cash from the federal government, public K-12 schools and both private and public colleges are also receiving huge amounts of federal stimulus money through the American Rescue Plan.

Schools and colleges received money through previous coronavirus aid, including the CARES Act in March 2020 and the CRRSA Act in December 2020. But in most cases, they’re receiving considerably more from the American Rescue Plan – often about twice as much.

Public school districts and charter schools in Greater Cleveland – Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties – are receiving a total $974 million. By contrast, those schools received a combined $104 million under the CARES Act and $437 million from the CRRSA Act.

The money was divided based on enrollment and the number of students in low-income families, so large districts in urban areas are receiving the most. Cleveland Metropolitan School District is receiving $293 million. Akron Public Schools is getting $96 million.

How much is your district getting? A full list by county can be found at the bottom of this article.

Schools have until September 2024 to spend the money, which comes with few strings. The U.S. Department of Education wanted to give districts flexibility. So, the only restriction is that at least 20% of district funds should “address learning loss through the implementing evidence-based interventions and ensuring that those interventions respond to students’ social, emotional and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups.”

Administrators now face an unfamiliar problem: What should we do with all this money?

“This infusion of federal monies is historic in size,” said Ryan Pendleton, CFO and treasurer for Akron Public Schools. “There’s really no other comparison of an investment and public education that we’ve ever seen in this size and scope, but it comes with great responsibility.”

A balancing act between innovation and sustainability

The stimulus funds are one-time-only, so districts are wary of creating programs they’d have to figure out how to pay for afterward.

“The new money is incredibly welcomed, and also a little bit tricky,” said Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. “There are a lot of organizations across the country counseling school districts not to make long-term investments with one-time money because of the cliff that’s created.”

CMSD, for example, is considering expanding its art, music and physical education programs, so students can learn an instrument, make pottery or join a fitness class. But in a few years, when the money that’s paying for those teachers is gone, what happens to those programs?

“What we’re trying to do is make those investments now, bank our local dollars for as long as we can, but at some point, say to our community, ‘Here’s what we’ve been able to give you post-pandemic. Cleveland, are we willing to pay for it when the time comes?’”

Phillip Lovell, associate executive director at the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Alliance for Excellent Education, said making the best use of these funds is a challenge for education leaders, who are understandably exhausted after navigating the past year and a half.

“We’re not going to recover academically from the pandemic just this summer, or even just next school year,” Lovell said. “We have to see this as a long-term strategy where we are making different use of the school day, making different use of the school time, making different use of community resources, and seeing this as a multi-year recovery effort, not just an overnight effort.”

Lovell said schools should consider innovative approaches to traditional programs and methods of addressing learning loss. Instead of typical summer school, districts could partner with summer camps to offer more enticing and enriching experiences. Strategies for reengaging high schoolers, especially seniors, could include offering free childcare during the school day. And to encourage students to apply to college, high schools could hold campaigns for students to complete the FAFSA.

A major part of helping students recover academically is also taking care of their social and emotional needs, Lovell said.

“We have to meet the comprehensive needs of students. We want our young people to thrive, and in order to thrive, that means they need to be physically healthy, they need to be emotionally healthy, and then that contributes to being academically successful,” Lovell said. “It’s not one or the other.”

Similarly, the Brookings Institute published an article urging local leaders to use American Rescue Plan money to support “playful learning landscapes,” which allow school-age children to fill in achievement gaps in cognitive and social skills through interactive installations and activities.

The U.S. Department of Education agrees, with its requirements for districts to focus on addressing academic, social and emotional needs, with particular attention toward students in historically underrepresented groups.

“We need to need to emerge from the pandemic, with stronger systems than we have going into it. And that means, you know, we shouldn’t press pause,” Lovell said. “What can we do that will help to solve both the immediate problems that have arisen from COVID, as well as the problems that have already been that have always existed?”

How do some local districts want to spend the money? and The Plain Dealer reached out to a handful of district leaders in Northeast Ohio to learn how they want to spend their American Rescue Plan money. Here’s what they said:

Rocky River City Schools

Treasurer Greg Markus said the bulk of the district’s $1.5 million will go toward its tutoring staff, including hiring an additional full-time tutor, bringing the total to about 25 full-time and two part-time. The tutors were previously paid for with Title I dollars and out of the district’s general fund. But with the district’s failed tax increase in May, stimulus has bought the district time and allowed them to maintain and bolster its tutoring services, Markus said.

“We had used some of our previous [stimulus] money for technology and we’ve used it for additional counseling, but with this bucket of money, we’ve really shifted to direct learning loss support,” Markus said.

Parma City Schools

Superintendent Charles Smialek wants to spend most of the district’s $22 million on addressing students’ social and emotional needs. Parma added a guidance counselor at each high school, now up to five or six per school. They also added a new position of one “home liaison” to each middle school. The position is similar to a guidance counselor but more focused on social-emotional aspects, including running support groups and connecting parents with resources in the community. The district also added more board-certified behavioral analysts to the elementary schools, bringing the total to seven.

“Obviously, there’s learning loss, certainly, but you have to look at the whole child,” Smialek said. “There’s also a need to make sure that we have better resources and better supports in place for students who may have experienced quite a bit of trauma, or just family adversity throughout the pandemic.”

To address learning loss, Parma is seeking to hire more teachers to decrease the average class size. Classes used to range from 25 to 28 students – 28 in the older grades and 25 in the younger grades, “but quite frankly, it would often go above that,” Smialek said.

The stimulus money is allowing Parma – which has also faced failed tax requests recently — to set targets for student to teacher ratios, at 20:1 in kindergarten and first grade, 22:1 in second grade, 24:1 for grades three and four and 26:1 for grades five, six and seven.

The district also used stimulus money to offer free summer school this year; about 800 students are enrolled for either intervention or enrichment, Smialek said.

Akron Public Schools

Pendleton, the district’s CFO, said plans are still in flux given the large amounts of money and responsibility. Plus, the district just came under new leadership. Christine Fowler-Mack took over as superintendent on July 1, succeeding David James who led the district for 13 years.

“She (Fowler-Mack) completely understands the opportunity and responsibility of this money,” Pendleton said. “Not speaking for her, but she already has a clear vision around student achievement, equity, stakeholder engagement, how can we leverage our facilities, and then the human capital to support those initiatives. She’s made those clear, and I think over the next couple of board meetings, she will be sharing that vision and timeline.”

District officials have been consulting with employees, students and their families and some of the hundreds of organizations that partner with the district in brainstorming how best to spend the money.

“We’ll still use some of that $96 million to cover COVID-related expenses, increased social distancing requirements, increased bus routes, increased staff to create lower class sizes to accommodate for that,” Pendleton said. “So, there’s still be some day-to-day expenses that I think would qualify for those monies. But the future, innovative kind of response to COVID – those plans are ongoing.”

Cleveland Metropolitan School District

Gordon listed ways the district is seeking to spend its $293 million:

  • Offering additional summer programming. More than 8,400 students are in summer sessions this year, which provide opportunities to catch up on unfinished learning, to engage in enrichment projects and enjoy activities such as athletics, band, chess, climbing walls – “anything that gets kids reactivated with their friends and making new friends,” Gordon said.
  • Expanding art, music and physical education programs.
  • Extending the length of the school day by 50 minutes for pre-K through eighth grade. High schools are not formally extending the day, but since students ride RTA to and from school, the district is able to provide before- and after-school opportunities that fit in their flexible transportation schedule.
  • Running activity buses so students can stay after school or come early to engage in other out-of-school-time activities.
  • Providing a health professional in every building. Before the pandemic, the district had nurses that served multiple buildings.
  • Remaining a 1:1 district by providing each student with a computer device and internet connection at home.
  • Improving facilities that have aging HVAC systems or need doors or windows replaced.
  • Hiring students and parents to help locate students that “kind of dropped out during the pandemic” and get them reengaged in school.

On the last point, Gordon said it’s hard to estimate how many students have gone off the radar, but said it’s in the thousands.

“We think there’s probably 3,000 or 4,000 kids that- just like, pre-K and K students, just didn’t come. So we’ve got to go get those kids and get them engaged this year because the parents kept them home last year. High school students: while they were on the rolls, they got jobs, like Amazon, and so they weren’t actively engaged in our classes. Are they dropped out? We don’t know. When school starts, are they going to show up? We don’t know.”

High school students are being paid to reach out to their peers, and through a partnership with the teachers union, some of their members who were not working this summer were hired to make phone calls, knock on doors and make home visits.

Cuyahoga County district/school Type ARP funding
Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences-Ohio Community School $638,421.28
Apex Academy Community School $4,136,079.83
Bay Village City Traditional District $864,977.29
Beachwood City Traditional District $889,788.97
Bedford City Traditional District $9,928,542.89
Bella Academy of Excellence Community School $1,756,374.26
Berea City Traditional District $9,357,345.41
Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Traditional District $2,150,077.93
Broadway Academy Community School $4,050,552.42
Brooklyn City Traditional District $3,435,070.58
Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Traditional District $367,545.84
Citizens Academy Community School $2,442,233.49
Citizens Academy Southeast Community School $2,115,249.97
Citizens Leadership Academy Community School $1,262,666.08
Citizens Leadership Academy East Community School $3,455,371.42
Cleveland Academy for Scholarship Technology and Leadership Community School $1,295,961.78
Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy Community School $2,360,419.47
Cleveland College Preparatory School Community School $2,190,843.29
Cleveland Heights-University Heights City Traditional District $17,003,014.81
Cleveland Municipal Traditional District $293,152,902.47
Cleveland Preparatory Academy Community School $909,956.62
Constellation Schools: Eastside Arts Academy Community School $836,382.98
Constellation Schools: Madison Community Elementary Community School $2,082,898.47
Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Elementary Community School $1,373,244.82
Constellation Schools: Old Brooklyn Community Middle Community School $903,784.32
Constellation Schools: Parma Community Community School $3,083,666.44
Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Elementary Community School $1,070,494.12
Constellation Schools: Puritas Community Middle Community School $979,434.85
Constellation Schools: Stockyard Community Elementary Community School $1,709,912.99
Constellation Schools: Stockyard Community Middle Community School $427,072.20
Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Elementary Community School $1,500,282.05
Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Middle Community School $906,735.63
Constellation Schools: Westside Community School of the Arts Community School $2,113,600.15
Cuyahoga Heights Local Traditional District $649,532.72
East Academy Community School $2,264,842.54
East Cleveland City School District Traditional District $18,840,030.73
East Preparatory Academy Community School $1,641,665.41
Euclid City Traditional District $22,474,818.76
Euclid Preparatory School Community School $1,923,208.52
Fairview Park City Traditional District $1,929,992.85
Frederick Douglass High School Community School $588,866.31
Garfield Heights City Schools Traditional District $16,047,762.61
Global Ambassadors Language Academy Community School $1,069,386.48
Global Village Academy Community School $612,150.87
Green Inspiration Academy Community School $1,655,930.51
Harvard Avenue Performance Academy Community School $2,375,359.02
Hope Academy Northcoast Community School $2,149,700.49
Hope Academy Northwest Campus Community School $1,565,957.28
Horizon Science Acad Cleveland Community School $2,490,836.37
Horizon Science Academy-Cleveland Middle School Community School $2,458,642.73
Horizon Science Academy-Denison Middle School Community School $2,175,328.78
Huber Heights Preparatory Academy dba Parma Academy Community School $354,623.98
Independence Local Traditional District $608,307.51
Intergenerational School, The Community School $1,350,791.34
Invictus High School Community School $1,353,991.50
Lake Erie College Preparatory School Community School $2,040,029.26
Lake Erie International High School Community School $893,070.69
Lakeshore Intergenerational School Community School $833,958.60
Lakewood City Traditional District $10,651,949.25
Lincoln Park Academy Community School $2,812,672.06
Maple Heights City Traditional District $17,167,615.86
Mayfield City Traditional District $2,748,069.77
Menlo Park Academy Community School $928,682.55
Near West Intergenerational School Community School $1,111,592.34
Noble Academy-Cleveland Community School $2,006,311.09
North Olmsted City Traditional District $7,226,453.71
North Royalton City Traditional District $2,732,835.81
Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School Community School $3,412,502.21
Ohio College Preparatory School Community School $1,911,620.16
Ohio Connections Academy, Inc Community School $9,698,169.95
Old Brook High School Community School $936,327.98
Olmsted Falls City Traditional District $1,887,691.71
Orange City Traditional District $1,562,468.53
Orchard Park Academy Community School $1,260,538.57
Parma City Traditional District $22,143,701.98
Pinnacle Academy Community School $3,438,497.59
Promise Academy Community School $694,537.02
Regent High School Community School $839,278.62
Richmond Heights Local Traditional District $2,108,595.76
Rocky River City Traditional District $1,563,922.06
Shaker Heights City Traditional District $6,490,394.62
SMART Academy Community School $640,980.23
Solon City Traditional District $2,708,431.89
South Euclid-Lyndhurst City Traditional District $7,649,545.15
STEAM Academy of Warrensville Heights Community School $1,415,601.49
Stepstone Academy Community School $1,844,614.56
Strongsville City Traditional District $4,216,084.19
Summit Academy Community School-Parma Community School $1,107,631.72
T2 Honors Academy Community School $671,466.15
University of Cleveland Preparatory School Community School $2,236,165.52
Village Preparatory School Community School $4,495,506.07
Village Preparatory School Willard Community School $2,964,569.68
Village Preparatory School:: Woodland Hills Campus Community School $4,399,394.78
Warrensville Heights City Traditional District $10,160,409.87
Washington Park Community School Community School $1,420,595.92
West Park Academy Community School $1,940,528.41
West Preparatory Academy Community School $1,591,903.80
Westlake City Traditional District $3,316,048.49
Wings Academy 1 Community School $1,717,641.90
Geauga County district Type ARP funding
Berkshire Local Traditional District $1,392,573.21
Cardinal Local Traditional District $3,402,474.14
Chardon Local Traditional District $1,754,178.89
Kenston Local Traditional District $945,618.11
West Geauga Local Traditional District $1,094,193.18
Lake County district/school Type ARP funding
Fairport Harbor Exempted Village Traditional District $800,456.42
Kirtland Local Traditional District $580,215.64
Madison Local Traditional District $3,133,574.34
Mentor Exempted Village Traditional District $4,958,850.33
Painesville City Local Traditional District $8,656,906.52
Perry Local Traditional District $1,247,724.39
Riverside Local Traditional District $955,699.94
Summit Academy Community School – Painesville Community School $260,117.39
Wickliffe City Traditional District $1,863,469.01
Willoughby-Eastlake City Traditional District $7,786,596.36
Lorain County district/school Type ARP funding
Amherst Exempted Village Traditional District $2,643,995.66
Avon Lake City Traditional District $1,194,406.40
Avon Local Traditional District $1,387,011.09
Clearview Local Traditional District $3,486,571.62
Columbia Local Traditional District $959,318.20
Constellation Schools: Elyria Community Community School $1,638,427.64
Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Elementary Community School $840,122.64
Constellation Schools: Lorain Community Middle Community School $558,603.65
Elyria City Schools Traditional District $23,906,529.10
Firelands Local Traditional District $1,519,603.92
Horizon Science Academy Lorain Community School $4,922,307.91
Keystone Local Traditional District $1,517,237.45
Life Skills Center of Elyria Community School $566,173.95
Lorain Bilingual Preparatory Academy Community School $1,039,699.39
Lorain City Traditional District $37,387,126.37
Lorain Preparatory Academy Community School $3,391,217.65
Midview Local Traditional District $3,039,361.86
North Ridgeville City Traditional District $2,390,918.49
Oberlin City Schools Traditional District $1,959,747.49
Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Traditional District $2,761,913.48
Summit Academy Community School Alternative Learners-Lorain Community School $637,502.97
Summit Academy School – Lorain Community School $753,111.91
Wellington Exempted Village Traditional District $1,250,786.83
Medina County district Type ARP funding
Black River Local Traditional District $1,913,275.34
Brunswick City Traditional District $4,204,911.33
Buckeye Local Traditional District $1,330,576.66
Cloverleaf Local Traditional District $2,237,551.11
Highland Local Traditional District $1,121,104.19
Medina City SD Traditional District $3,590,101.95
Wadsworth City Traditional District $2,614,850.98
Portage County district/school Type ARP funding
Aurora City Traditional District $926,189.62
Bio-Med Science Academy STEM School STEM $437,429.30
Crestwood Local Traditional District $1,557,179.92
Field Local Traditional District $1,934,001.57
James A Garfield Local Traditional District $1,556,813.52
Kent City Traditional District $5,498,556.80
Ravenna City Traditional District $6,036,986.90
Rootstown Local Traditional District $848,173.46
Southeast Local Traditional District $2,130,983.22
Streetsboro City Traditional District $1,941,783.72
Waterloo Local Traditional District $1,180,183.50
Windham Exempted Village Traditional District $1,564,477.72
Summit County district/school Type ARP funding
Akron City Traditional District $95,287,195.94
Akron Preparatory School Community School $1,445,528.77
Akros Middle School Community School $732,833.05
Alternative Education Academy Community School $6,199,781.35
Barberton City Traditional District $9,765,763.68
Case Preparatory Academy Community School $1,049,375.30
Copley-Fairlawn City Traditional District $1,934,049.51
Coventry Local Traditional District $2,247,620.07
Cuyahoga Falls City Traditional District $5,004,698.58
Edge Academy, The Community School $1,182,640.81
Greater Summit County Early Learning Center Community School $220,561.92
Green Local Traditional District $3,995,549.91
Hudson City Traditional District $1,280,941.89
Imagine Akron Academy Community School $17,426.12
Imagine Leadership Academy Community School $1,129,859.72
Life Skills Center of North Akron Community School $223,154.88
Main Preparatory Academy Community School $1,018,979.52
Manchester Local Traditional District $2,305,809.94
Middlebury Academy Community School $1,623,327.10
Mogadore Local Traditional District $763,297.22
Nordonia Hills City Traditional District $2,211,507.01
Norton City Traditional District $1,808,709.60
Revere Local Traditional District $869,086.03
Schnee Learning Center Community School $209,953.84
Springfield Local Traditional District $4,004,768.12
STEAM Academy of Akron Community School $1,173,099.47
Steel Academy Community School $464,291.91
Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Traditional District $3,098,711.38
Summit Academy Akron Elementary School Community School $730,866.91
Summit Academy Akron Middle School Community School $401,072.77
Summit Academy Secondary – Akron Community School $373,583.50
Tallmadge City Traditional District $2,596,678.03
Towpath Trail High School Community School $1,016,757.19
Twinsburg City Traditional District $2,607,312.85
Woodridge Local Traditional District $3,009,864.26

Note: Some readers on mobile devices may not be able to view the table of school funding.

Council discusses including cultural, leisure districts

Midland City Council spoke favorably in a meeting last week about designating areas in downtown Midland as cultural or entertainment districts.

Establishing these districts would help the city revitalize parts of downtown, stimulate economic development and attract tourists, said Chuck Harrington, director of development services, last Tuesday. Cultural districts are areas with a high number of cultural or artistic facilities, while entertainment districts are areas where entertainment is the main attraction.

A cultural district would be more difficult to create as an application would need to be filed with the state and approved by the state, Harrington said. However, an entertainment district only needs an amendment to the zoning ordinance by the council, he said.

The benefits of an entertainment district include better venue signage such as neon signs, the ability for bars and other venues to play louder music than outside of the suburb, and the ability to transport alcoholic beverages on the street when leaving a venue councilors said to the next.

The city would also have the option to create a public improvement district within the entertainment district to fund revitalization and other projects like improving alleyways, Harrington said. A public improvement district would levy a tax on property owners within the area for improvements and maintenance.

According to Harrington, a public improvement district would require approval from 50 percent of property owners. An entertainment district could be created without establishing the public improvement district and property tax.

According to Harrington, city officials felt that the boundaries for the Downtown Midland Management District, which extends from Front Avenue to Kansas Street, could be applied to an entertainment district, although the area may be too large. Staff also suggested that a district could be created around Centennial Park, with boundaries two or three blocks from the park in each direction.

If either district was created, the city would also set up separate agencies to oversee each district. Any groups wishing to hold events or festivals in the area would then contact the appropriate agency instead of seeking city council approval, Harrington said.

Mayor Patrick Payton and Councilor Lori Blong said they would like to build an entertainment district soon and possibly apply for the cultural district designation later. Councilor John Norman said a cultural district could also be an opportunity to highlight Midland’s Hispanic communities.

“The city is now almost 60 percent Spanish,” he said. “I think that should be more of a big deal … bring in that culture.”

Plans to create an entertainment district were originally considered decades ago, but delayed until a downtown park and convention center were completed, councilors said.

GVCA Gallery showcases pupil artwork from 10 college districts | Leisure

MOUNT MORRIS – The Genesee Valley Council on the Arts brought back their Scholastic Art Show this spring.

The show, which was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, can be seen in the GVCA Galleries on 4 Murray Hill Drive until April 24th.

Art by students from 10 different school districts in Livingston County will be featured.

The winners of the exhibition include Mady Marzec of Avon, who received a Best-in-Show in the drawing category, and Michelle Jefferson of Dansville, who won first prize for the director’s choice.

The Director’s Choice Award is given to a play that the director believes is very skilled and different from the rest of the plays, said Deborah Bump, Executive Director of GVCA.

The detail in Michelle’s portrait “was extremely impressive and showed a clear understanding of the artistic elements,” said Bump.

Michelle’s portrait includes individual strands of hair that snake on the forehead of the portrait and extend from the top of the head. The drawing also includes a sticky note that covers part of the face and contains a message encouraging the viewer to do what they want.

Gallery visitors are asked to vote for a People’s Choice Award.

“These students have worked very hard and the quality of their work is excellent,” said Bump.

The annual Scholastic Art Show demonstrates the variety of materials, methods, and topics that students deal with in their art class. The Scholastic Art Show 2021 features a wide variety of digital and traditional media, including drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, jewelry and textiles.

Participating high schools include Avon, Dansville, Geneseo, Keshequa, Lima Christian School, Livonia, Mount Morris, Pavillon, Wayland-Cohocton, and York.

This year’s show has seen some adjustments to present the event.

Usually the Scholastic Art Show takes place at a local school and art teachers are invited to submit as many items as they would like for their students. With the COVID-19 restrictions this year, this plan had to be changed and all entries were electronically submitted to GVCA.

Nearly 600 works of art were received and these entries were reviewed and narrowed down to 10 entries per district that are on display at GVCA.

“Last year was different in many ways for students across Livingston County,” said Katelyn Costello, Scholastic Art Show coordinator for GVCA. “While our show has changed a bit, we are very excited to have this incredible work showcased in our galleries and online. It’s easy to see how hard these students work and how passionate they are with the things they create . “

The exhibition at GVCA was judged by three community members active in the arts, and the first and second place ribbons were awarded in 14 different categories.

The Scholastic Art Show can be seen until April 24th.

At the end of the show, the Alexandria Mae Gleason Scholarship will be awarded to two high-ranking artists who wish to continue their art studies in college. High school graduates are nominated for the award by their art teachers.

The Gleason Scholarship was an integral part of GVCA’s High School Art Show, named in honor of the fallen aviator who was active in her high school arts program at Dansville Central School and who will become a high school art teacher after completing her service wanted . The scholarships are each $ 350.

All visitors must wear a mask when visiting the galleries and observe the guidelines on social distance. GVCA will provide hand disinfectants and masks on request.

The Genesee Valley Council on the Arts is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The list of first and second prizes for the Genesee Valley Council 2021 on the Arts Scholastic Art Show:

Best of Show: Mady Marzec, Avon.

Director’s Choice: Michelle Jefferson, Dansville.

Drawing: Josephine Vanky, Avon, first place; Isabelle Settle, Lima Christian, second place.

Painting: Emily Schleyer, Dansville, first; Hannah Fairbrother, Wayland-Cohocton, second.

AP College Level: Abbey Young, Dansville, first; McKayla Bugbee, Geneseo, runner-up.

Mixed media: Kenda Stewart, Wayland-Cohocton, first; Emily Sullivan, Geneseo, second.

Studio Art: Ayden Taylor, Pavilion, First; Gabbie Koehler, Avon, runner-up.

Ceramics: Hannah Nobles, Pavilion, first; Megan Bailey, Livonia, second.

Sculpture: Lana Bogue, Livonia, first.

Digital Photography: Evelyn Miller, Dansville, first; Alyssa Stout, Pavilion, Second.

Printmaking: Paige Phillips, Avon, first; Kelsey Davis, Keshequa, runner-up.

Film Photography: Haylie Dixon, York, first; Michelle Gates, York, second.

Digital illustration: Michelle Jefferson, Dansville, first; Jolin Qiu, Dansville, runner-up.

Computer Art and Graphics: Emma Heiman, Dansville, first; Lindsey Berling, York, runner-up.

2D design: Louis Keisling, Livonia, first.

Glass: Grace Hanggi, Wayland-Cohocton, first.

This artwork by Mady Marzec of Avon received a Best-in-Show in the Drawing category at the Genesee Valley Council at the Arts’ Scholastic Art Show.

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Mountain Brook might get three leisure districts beneath new laws

A bill passed by the Alabama House of Representatives would create three entertainment districts in Mountain Brook.

The Senate had its first reading of the law on March 30th. It’s now before the Jefferson County Local Legislation Committee.

The bill would give Mountain Brook City Council power to set boundaries for three boroughs – English Village, Mountain Brook Village and Crestline Village.

State MP David Faulkner (R-Mountain Brook) is the sponsor. Mountain Brook Council moved to legislate last December.

Under Alabama law, the entertainment district’s designation allows participating businesses with alcohol permits to sell alcohol that is consumed within the district’s boundaries and during its off-site hours.

Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Hoover and Mobile are among the cities with them.

Seven Midcoast faculties, districts obtain extra COVID-19 support; 4 return cash to the federal government

AUGUSTA – Several schools and school districts across the state appear to have returned some of the COVID-19 aid made available to them by the Maine Department of Education, while several other schools and school districts received additional aid thanks to a reallocation of funds.

In late November, reported that 34 midcoast schools and school districts combined are receiving a total of $ 23,360,144.66 in educational aid going to Counties of Knox, Lincoln and Waldo.

Originally, three regional educational institutions appeared on the list of award winners and no longer on the list, indicating their award amounts have been returned: Damariscotta Montessori ($ 5,153.00), Jefferson ($ 486,919.42), and Riley School (527.16 USD).

In addition, Nobleboro previously received two awards: a first round award for $ 168,001.97 and a second round award for $ 177,949.03. The latter award no longer appears in the list of allocated funds.

Seven educational institutions in the region received reallocated funds that were distributed after funds were returned by other educational institutions.

Edgecomb received $ 137,217.42 in reallocated funds, in addition to the $ 132,977.40 in round one and $ 140,861.55 in round two for a newly updated total of $ 411,056.37.

Monhegan received $ 6,243.37 in reallocated funds on top of the $ 6,610.91 received in the second round of funding for a newly updated total of $ 12,854.28.

MSAD 40 received $ 483,186.00 in reallocated funds, in addition to $ 1,615,465.22 in round one, $ 1,697,448.42 in round two, $ 2,995.99 for adult education, and $ 51,800 for day programs for a newly updated Sum of $ 3,850,895.63.

RSU 12 received $ 125,000 in reallocated funds, in addition to $ 834,625.89 in round one, $ 877,223.97 in round two, and $ 413.24 in adult education for a newly updated amount of 1,837 $ 263.10.

RSU 53 received $ 25,000 in reallocated funds, in addition to $ 557,002.36 in round one and $ 585,183.72 in round two for a newly updated total of $ 1,167,186.08.

Watershed received $ 1,510.33 in reallocated funds, in addition to the $ 1,581.47 received in round two for a newly updated sum of $ 3,091.80.

Wayfinder received $ 3,500 in reallocated funds, in addition to the $ 12,219.07 in round one and $ 12,918.60 in round two for a newly updated amount of $ 28,637.68.

The Maine Department of Education’s Safe Return to School Funding Program was established to help Maine schools ensure a safe and healthy return to face-to-face teaching for the 2020-2021 school year.

Appropriate schools and school districts had to develop three different lesson plans (remote, hybrid, and face-to-face) in order to be adequately prepared for the uncertain evolution of COVID-19.

Educational institutions are facing unprecedented and therefore not budgeted expenses and logistical hurdles, according to a DOE memo.

As such, education allowances can cover expenses such as:

• Changes to transportation and facilities to enable social distancing and to comply with health and safety guidelines

• Increased need for cleaning agents

• Additional classroom and hand washing stations

• Contracted services to meet additional custody needs, tutoring, intervention services, grant administration and medical staff

• Increased need for replacement, technology, connectivity, student learning assessments, COVID-19 communications, student resources, and signage

• Professional development for educators and staff who need to be fluent in hybrid and distance learning models to accommodate all students

These funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund have “provided immediate and critical funding for the time-sensitive procurement of specific resources that enabled eligible entities to plan and implement thoughtful strategies and support to ensure the safe and timely reopening of Maine schools,” reads a letter from the Maine Department of Education.

The funds allocated for each educational institution must be used when the necessary expenses have been incurred due to COVID-19. not included in the budget last approved on March 27; and were created between March 1st and December 30th.

In order to promote both efficiency and equity, the Ministry of Education, according to the letter, has developed a funding distribution formula that is based on the number of students and is adjusted to a variety of factors (e.g. special education, English learners and number of homeless students, small / rural) school adaptation etc.).

Educational institutions could also receive funding for their adult education programs and day programs for school-age children.

For the latter, districts or schools used day program funds either to establish their own programs or to work with local community organizations such as a local YMCA, boys and girls club, or parks and recreation department to mentor students in the area.

Newsom’s $2 Billion College Reopening Fund Might Truly Price Districts Cash

By Richard Cano, CalMatters

Read this article below español.

In an effort to reopen school grounds in California, Governor Gavin Newsom suggested giving extra money to schools that could open by a certain date.

But the $ 2 billion in grants would come with terms that some districts say would mean paying more than if they didn’t get the money at all. That’s because of Newsom’s suggestion – and new government guidance, the first since last summer, calls for greatly increased exams for school staff and students that schools would have to pay for.

The governor “Planning Safe Schools for All” Initial release December 30th, aims Create incentives for schools to offer personal learning by sponsoring between $ 450 and $ 700 per student when schools reopen to their youngest students by February 16.

In order to receive additional government funding, the districts would have to regularly test employees and students for coronavirus. according to trailer bill language. The frequency of the tests depends on which of the state’s four color-coded reopening levels the schools are in.

For example, schools in the state’s purple and red plains are now being suggested to test their staff and students every two weeks. For schools in particularly affected counties with a case rate of more than 14 positive cases per 100,000 – most schools at this point – the guide calls for weekly staff and student testing, as per the California Department of Health. The guidelines do not suggest a specific test time for schools in the orange or yellow level.

Schools are not required to follow state testing guidelines if they do not plan to receive financial assistance from Newsom’s proposed $ 2 billion school reopening fund. However, the testing conditions associated with government support have drawn criticism from school officials and proponents of a reopening plan that has already been pushed back by major city counties and teacher unions.

Critics of the governor’s reopening plan say that requiring more frequent testing – and involving students – adds more to reopening costs than the $ 2 billion fund would reimburse. School officials have also raised Concerns about tight deadlines To qualify for the full amounts per student, as well as the fact that the money came from the Proposition 98 pot of funds already earmarked for K-12 schools and community colleges.

“I don’t know if this scholarship would be enough for everything that would be required, including the testing plan,” said Al Mijares, the superintendent of Orange County. “It made it difficult for people to jump on it with enthusiasm right away and to grab it and run with enthusiasm.”

State advocacy groups representing school boards, as well as district and district leaders, wrote a letter to the governor Tuesday asking him to make significant changes to his reopening proposal, including setting more “workable” testing requirements in order to receive funding.

“The difficulty of implementing the proposed test cadence before the proposed deadlines cannot be underestimated,” said the letter from school attorneys that included the California School Boards Association and the California County School Superintendents Educational Services Association.

“Since COVID-19 tests for students and staff are central to the reopening plan, it is important that schools are actually able to operationalize and pay for the new test requirements,” the letter reads. “Right now, the vast majority of (school districts) don’t believe there is such a path.”

Jesse Melgar, a Newsom spokesman, said in a statement Tuesday that the governor intended “to continue working with lawmakers and stakeholders in the coming weeks to move this proposal forward”.

“We appreciate that the letter recognizes the importance of our plan for safe schools for all and the value of returning to face-to-face teaching in a way that is safe for students and staff – even if they have questions about the proposed 2 billion budget US dollars. ” Said Melgar.

Most public schools that reopened last fall did not include students in their surveillance testing strategies, and some have reopened with minimal or no surveillance testing. Had the test problem angered many local districts Addressing questions about costs, availability and how often employees need to be tested. Previous government guidelines on school reopening suggested that districts should test their employees every two months. No recommendations for student testing were made.

As part of the governor’s efforts to reopen schools, the state allows schools to use the state’s contract with the Valencia Branch Laboratory for discounted testing. In addition, the state has promised to provide more technical support to schools by assembling a new team to help schools develop safety plans and implement a program new website to resolve their issues.

However, in some school districts, the costs associated with the weekly or bi-weekly testing required for staff and students outweigh the benefit of tracking the $ 450 per student grants.

Marian Kim-Phelps, superintendent of Poway Unified in San Diego County, said Newsom’s reopening plan could actually cost the district of 36,000 students money if it chose to apply for the scholarships.

In a school board meeting Thursday, hours after the state released its new guidelines, Phelps explained to her board of directors why it would not be worth continuing grant funding for Poway, one of the largest counties in California offer personal lessons. San Diego County’s superintendents had estimated it cost about $ 40 million to test all teachers in the county once. By that estimate, Phelps said, the grant funding they would receive would only pay out eight rounds of testing for all teachers with no students.

“The math doesn’t even work. So with that bill, districts would be stuck at the back of something that no one could afford, ”Phelps said.

The Impartial Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in a short published Wednesday Newsom’s proposal was “unlikely to result in earlier personal instruction,” in part because it addressed “more complex logistical challenges in reopening” such as enhanced testing.

Chris Hoffman, superintendent of Elk Grove Unified, said the state should instead focus on prioritizing vaccinations for educators and staff to ensure that reopened sites don’t close again.

“The governor’s plan to come out and focus on testing was really disappointing,” Hoffman said. “We took that kind of effort into testing six or eight months ago.”

The state guidelines, an update to the recommendations first published in July, set new rules for reopening schools.

All K-12 students who attend school in person are now required to wear masks. While campus may reopen to kindergarten students through sixth grade as long as their county has fewer than 25 positive cases per 100,000, California schools for grades 7-12 cannot physically reopen until their county has five days long pulled out of the purple step.

The state will now track and publish data on school cases and reopened locations. The school districts must indicate from next week whether and in what capacity they personally offer lessons.

Sara Noguchi, superintendent of Modesto City Schools in the Central Valley, said she plans to continue government grants to reopen, but said she has requested more clarity from public health officials about how often staff and students need to be tested.

Noguchi said the largest school system in Stanislaus County will be able to meet the February 1 deadline for full funding of the grant, as it has been offering face-to-face learning to elementary school students since November after filing a non-existent reopening waiver. Many of the requirements for elementary waiver overlap with those for obtaining grants.

“It took us weeks and weeks to work on a letter of intent that we negotiated to open our elementary schools,” said Noguchi.

“If you weren’t in a district that requested the waiver, it would be very difficult to put all of this together by February 1st.”