On February 22nd, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) provided guidance to states emphasizing the importance of flexibility in administering assessments this year as a result of the pandemic and supporting the use of assessment data as a source of information for parents and educators to target resources and support, rather than for accountability purposes this year. The press release for this guidance can be found here. The Department’s letter to Chief State School Officers outlining its plans for the 2020-2021 school year can be found here.
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund). ESSER II Fund awards to SEAs are in the same proportion as each State received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, in fiscal year 2020. This ESSER II Fact Sheet outlines the primary differences between ESSER Fund under the CARES Act enacted on March 27, 2020, and the ESSER II Fund under the CRRSA, Public Law 116-260 enacted on December 27, 2020. This CRRSA ESSER II Methodology and Allocation Table shows State allocations for the ESSER II Fund. These allocations are based on the proportion of funds that each State received under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in fiscal year 2020.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the following guidance and information: Operating schools during COVID-19: CDC’s Considerations; Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open; Guidance for K-12 School Administrators on the Use of Masks in Schools; Strategies for Protecting K-12 School Staff from COVID-19; and Interim Guidance for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools
The Office of Educational Technology has published a Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide/Guía de Aprendizaje Digital para Padres y Familias for parents and caregivers offering resources for monitoring students’ progress as they access and use technology for learning. The guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools and those who are experts with these tools. The guide is available in two languages: English version and Spanish version.