American Rescue Plan Act -- Elementary and Secondary Emergency School Relief Fund

Benton Community School District - ESSER III Plan

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) PLAN



VAN HORNE, IA  52346



 Federal funds allocated to schools  (one-time grant funds) - June 1, 2021 - June 30, 2023


The school district will engage in professional learning and Iowa Department of Education Academy sessions to plan and deliver evidence-based instructional activities to and with our students.  The school district will work in our Collaborative Learning Data Teams (CLDT) to review and analyze student learning data from the past 1.5 school years using ISASP (Iowa scores, Conditions of Learning survey data from students, staff, & parents, FAST data (Literacy screening and progress monitoring data), math screening and progress monitoring data, behavioral referral data, Social-emotional behavioral health (SEBH) referral and progress data, and subgroup data.  The results and triangulation of our student data will be used to inform our practices, assist with making decisions about helping our students and staff, and to establish action plans for interventions.  

By using our assessment data to help direct our decisions regarding student and small group instruction, our teachers, interventionists, and support staff will use evidence-based approaches to address learning and skill loss.  Acceleration approaches and progress monitoring will be utilized. 

Key Strategies

A summer (grades K - 6th) program will be implemented to accelerate learning and address learning loss.  Instructional interventionists will be hired to directly teach and instruct students who need acceleration or assistance.  A social worker will be hired to assist our students with mental health needs or the stressors/anxiety that comes from the current state of our local, state, and national situation surrounding the pandemic and family challenges.  We will contract with Tanager Place to secure mental health therapists who will work with our students,  in all of our school buildings on a regular basis (with parent permission). 

A virtual high school Academy will be established to work with our students who are not returning to in-person school or have other needs that prevent them from attending in person full time.  Students in our virtual high school Academy will be expected to have one-on-one contact and work with our certified teacher(s) throughout the school year.  Regular monitoring of achievement will take place as well as grading/assessment.  

Implementation of:  Evidence-based activities to address learning loss, summer learning and enrichment

2021-2022 and 2022-2023 Summer literacy and reading program K-6

Hiring and securing teachers and assistants to implement our summer acceleration literacy and reading program

Learning loss / acceleration of learning

Hiring of K-12 teachers/interventionists and assistants to teach/work/support our students in learning lab settings to deploy acceleration strategies.  Students may be involved in group work,  independent learning time, and/or partner work with teachers and support staff.  

Professional Development  for teachers, administrators, and support staff - teachers and support staff will engage in professional learning on the topics of acceleration, IDOE Academy modules, Iowa Youth Mental Health First Aid, using assessments to monitor and guide decision making for students’ academic needs, and Leadership approaches for leading and coaching this work 

Parent communication - using our new App, website, alert and notification communication system---parents will receive updated information about their child’s academic progress.  Parents will be provided with tools and strategies for effectively supporting their children’s learning.  

See Saw and Schoology will be our LMS system to share instructional approaches, parent approaches, and student progress/updates.  

Benton Community High School Online Virtual Academy - Success Center

Hiring of a High School teacher and Associate to plan, coordinate, and instruction our new Online Virtual Academy, approved by the Iowa Department of Education 

APEX online curriculum

Student Emotional needs

Tanager - added a therapist to serve students (spring 2021).  2 mental health therapists will sere our student population.  

Contracted a service agreement with Tanager for a 1.0 FTE professional to work with our students daily in the area of social work and psychological assistance.  

Train our counselors on Youth Mental Health First Aid - they will train staff and conduct follow-up

Youth Mental Health First Aid training provided to all staff. 

Underrepresented student subgroups (lower income, racial and ethnic groups, diversity, disabilities, ELL, foster care, etc...) 

Student learning data will be used to determine intervention approaches.  Teachers, interventionists, and support personnel will work directly with students in the areas identified.  

School Facilities  

HVAC and air filtration systems

Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement and upgrade to systems -- as part of our Facilities Study and OPN engineers who recently inspected our systems.  Will determine next steps when this work is completed.  

Air and surface equipment has been purchased for disinfecting.  Additional staff have been hired for clearing and disinfecting.  

Telephone system - a newer telephone system installed to improve access and communication to all of our buildings.  Messages and alerts can be deployed through this system.  

Food Service improvements for deploying mobile meals.  

New mobile App, website, and notification system:  Parent/Community Communication system and notifications - Apptegy - mobile App, phone, email and text 

Bus attendance and communication system installed on all of our school buses.  Student attendance and transportation is taken at the point of entry and exit.  Student attendance and parent communication improvement.  

Professional development

Staff - sanitizing, reducing spread of viruses and infectious diseases

Coaching PD - administration and teacher leaders -- analysis of our student assessments, student assistance teams, PBIS approaches, acceleration strategies 

Iowa Youth Mental Health Training

Social services support for our students, training and development with Tanager


Chromebooks, iPads for all students

Audio systems, document cameras, interactive screens, monitors in all buildings to improve communications to all students, parents, staff

Online software, LMS, apps, hotspots

Using our website and app to deploy messages, news, communication 



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