It’s been a rough two years for education in the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Because of the pandemic, the U.S. Government has given money to school districts to support kindergarten through grade 12 schools to open and sustain their safe operations.
USD 234 will receive over $4 million in school funding and is seeking input to identify needs for the school district from the community.
The district is offering meetings to the community to gain ideas in moving forward in the education of their students.
“The expected outcome of these meetings is to gather information from our community stakeholders that will be used to compile our ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary School Relief) plan and application,” USD234 Business Manager and Board Clerk Gina Shelton said. “Part of the ESSER III plan calls for informed decisions based upon a variety of stakeholder input.”
“We have surveyed and held several meetings with our staff to gather their input,” she said. “Our community is another key factor in the success of our schools. We seek information from our parents on needs they see to help their child(ren) be successful with their education.”
“We seek information from our community members even if they do not currently or previously have had students in our district,” Shelton said. “Education is all about providing opportunities for kids. I firmly believe our future as a community is impacted greatly by our students. They are our future workforce, our future community leaders, and our future parents. These conversations will allow us to develop a plan to hopefully address as many needs as we can.”
The first batch of ESSER funds allowed them to continue providing education during the shutdown, she said.
“The second batch was a key part of us being able to remain in person,” Shelton said.
“This last batch is all about providing services to help provide a quality education for our students,” she said. “Ten years down the road, we want to be able to say that those funds made a big impact on our students’ successes.”
Five Sessions for the Community Input
The info gathering sessions will be in the different buildings in the school district, for the community to see where the learning happens, she said. And the different time sessions are to give parents options to attend.
There are evening sessions and a Saturday morning session for parents to find one time period that fits with the family’s schedule.
“One is scheduled at the high school during parent/teacher conferences, we hope they find this convenient for them,” she said
Another of the meetings is at the school board meeting.
“We’ve had ESSER III funds as a recurring item at our board meetings for several months now, but we know sometimes it is hard for people to attend,” Shelton said. “Our hope is that even if they can’t attend in person, they are able to watch the streamed board meeting. Then if they have questions or ideas, they can reach out to us if they would like more information.”
“We really want this to be an active conversation that leads to some very positive results,” she said.
The district encourages the community to take it feedback survey:
More information can be found at this website,
The district has divided the input sessions into groups at five different scheduled times: the Fort Scott Preschool is the first session on Thursday, Feb. 10 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the preschool center at 409 S. Judson.
The next is at Winfield Scott Elementary School, 316 W. 10th, on Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19 is the next one at 8 a.m. at the Fort Scott Middle School, 1105 E. 12th as is the next one on Monday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. at the middle school as well.
The last session is on Tuesday, March 8 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Fort Scott High School Auditorium, 1005 S. Main.