Relief Funding and Alma

Now is the perfect opportunity to invest in future-proof edtech

In the last year, the entire education landscape has shifted, adapting to uncertainty like never before. It’s been a rough year, but in working together to keep each other safe, we’re finally all seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, with over $180 billion dollars dedicated to aid in the recovery from the pandemic and accelerating learning recovery (AKA “learning loss”), the time to reshape the future of your school or district is right now. You’ve always had reasons to replace your legacy SIS, and now is the perfect opportunity to invest in the future-proof platform your learning community wants and deserves.

Just the facts:

Current available relief funds:

FundAmountDeadlines

ESSER I (via CARES Act)

$13.4 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/21*

ESSER II (via CRRSA Act)

$54.3 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/22*

ESSR III (via ARP Act)

$122.7 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/23*

* May be used for pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national emergency was declared. For more detailed deadline information, see download section below.

What can these funds be used for?

Begin hiring additional educators, developing curriculum, and administering necessary technology to address “learning loss”

Resources to implement CDC’s K-12 guidelines for safe in-person learning , including improving ventilation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional space to ensure social distancing in classrooms.

Providing additional support to students and existing staff

Implementing strategies to meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students hit hardest by the pandemic through evidence-based interventions and community services

Funding summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs.

Hiring additional personnel, such as nurses and custodial staff, to facilitate social distancing and keep schools safe and healthy.

Providing measures for social distancing and safety protocols on buses.

Funding for Wi-Fi access and devices for all students for remote learning, particularly in low income and rural communities

Supporting teachers’ use of effective technology that aids in the regular and substantive educational interaction between all students and their classroom instructors

Providing assistive or adaptive technology for students with disabilities

Just the facts:

FundAmountDeadlines

ESSER I (via CARES Act)

$13.4 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/21*

ESSER II (via CRRSA Act)

$54.3 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/22*

ESSR III (via ARP Act)

$122.7 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/23*

* May be used for pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national emergency was declared. For more detailed deadline information, see download section below.

Current available relief funds:

FundAmountDeadlines

ESSER I (via CARES Act)

$13.4 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/21*

ESSER II (via CRRSA Act)

$54.3 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/22*

ESSR III (via ARP Act)

$122.7 billion

LEAs must obligate their share by 10/30/23*

* May be used for pre-award costs dating back to March 13, 2020, when the national emergency was declared. For more detailed deadline information, see download section below.

What can these funds be used for?

Begin hiring additional educators, developing curriculum, and administering necessary technology to address “learning loss”

Resources to implement CDC’s K-12 guidelines for safe in-person learning , including improving ventilation, personal protective equipment (PPE), and additional space to ensure social distancing in classrooms.

Providing additional support to students and existing staff

Implementing strategies to meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students hit hardest by the pandemic through evidence-based interventions and community services

Funding summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs.

Hiring additional personnel, such as nurses and custodial staff, to facilitate social distancing and keep schools safe and healthy.

Providing measures for social distancing and safety protocols on buses.

Funding for Wi-Fi access and devices for all students for remote learning, particularly in low income and rural communities

Supporting teachers’ use of effective technology that aids in the regular and substantive educational interaction between all students and their classroom instructors

Providing assistive or adaptive technology for students with disabilities

5 Ways to include Alma in your plan:

Focusing on accelerated learning recovery
(AKA learning loss)

Districts will look to address “learning loss” and should include administrative software with tools & systems supporting educational programming.

This is why Alma can be included in your funding:

Alma’s flexible platform allows teachers to create and differentiate assignments for students in both traditional and standards-based grade books. Grade level units and lessons can be shared across classes and teachers to support curriculum development and multiple learning levels.

Alma’s communication tools can be used to increase family engagement and support outside school hours. For students seeking additional learning opportunities, Roles Based Permission allows non school-based tutors or educators to be listed as Associated Contacts and can input student performance data from supplemental summer programs. Competency tracking to support evidence-based activities and track student performance.

Let’s get physical.
Space planning and safety protocols.

Schools will need to plan and expand space to accommodate social distancing, and can use relief funding to obtain the necessary desks, barriers, signage, ventilation systems, and window repairs needed to ensure a safe classroom environment.

This is why Alma can be included in your funding:

Multiple Alma features help document each classroom’s physical learning environment. Alma’s wellness checks, Surveys, gives admins the power to create health guidelines, to gauge and minimize risk within in-person learning environments. Parents and students respond to daily customizable screening survey questions while staff quickly views results in a data summary of the complete school population.

In the classroom, Alma’s Seating Charts allow teachers to easily create and save seating layouts based on hybrid learning, cohort scheduling, learning groups, and social distancing. Flexible scheduling tools and data allow for every type of school schedule, including calendar adjustments due to closures and pivoting schedules due to unforeseen circumstances.

Hindsight is 2020.
Future-proof your technology now

Using the lessons learned from a year of adapting to gaps in legacy SIS functionality, now is the perfect time to invest in a system that best serves the needs of all staff, students, and families.

This is why Alma can be included in your funding:

Alma’s unique classroom tools provide an all-in-one place for communication, online assignment turn-in, LMS integration, seating charts, and attendance. AlmaNow, our mobile-optimized SIS solution, is a multilingual parent and student portal for registration, payments, grade tracking, and assignment submission, with embedded communication tools that ensure students and families can take action on information from teachers and administrators as soon as it is sent out.

Pivot Power.
Strategize for the potentially bumpy road ahead

Investing in future-ready tech means you’re preparing your school or district for whatever the future brings. Alma SIS is built to grow, shift, and change with your learning community, empowering staff and students to confidently move forward with reliable and mission-critical systems.

This is why Alma can be included in your funding:

Built on a robust and flexible platform, K-12 schools that were already using Alma SIS by the time they had to switch to fully remote learning found out how easily Alma pivoted to multiple different learning scenarios. Planning is easier and consistent with flexible grading, visual scheduling, and configurable attendance models, whether earning is happening in-person, remote, or somewhere in between.

Establishing support systems, maintaining engagement, and communication.

Engaging families was one of the most important ways to show strength in your learning community this past year. Continue the strides you’ve made in community communication with tools that fit your school’s unique needs.

This is why Alma can be included in your funding:

Alma’s robust messaging tools makes effective communication with families easier than ever. Encourage family engagement with direct messaging about important assignments and announcements. Families with young students can also submit assignments on their behalf, and log any additional learning hours. Schools offering post-academic year learning can offer flexible scheduling to adapt to additional learning opportunities.

Helpful downloads

Allowable Uses

Quick overview of ESSER Allowable Uses of Funds – from Dr. Paula Love, President, RFPMatch.com

State Allocations

Department of Education’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund per state.

D.O.E. Fact Sheet

Department of Education’s official overview of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and comparison to previous ESSER funding.

Schedule a chat with your regional Alma representative to go over your strategy to maximize available relief funding.