• Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds

    ESSER Funds Updates - September 2022


    The pandemic exposed the social and emotional needs of students in collaboration with maintaining grade-level curriculum. Investing in staff and the technical support to connect students to opportunities and resources is key to ensure equitable outcomes for all current and future students. Columbus City Schools cannot return to instructional methods prior to the pandemic but will look to maximize technical resources for transformational educational opportunities for students, teachers, and staff.

    Overarching Goals: High-level outcomes for ESSER investments

    • Safely reopen schools for all students.
    • Address pre- and post-pandemic unfinished learning.
    • Build lasting, equitable systems of teaching and learning.

    Emerging High-Level Strategies For Achieving These Goals:

    • Attend to the immediate health and safety requirements as well as the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students and adults.
    • Ensure grade-level, standards-aligned instruction with just-in-time academic and social-emotional support.
    • Invest in staff capacity and lasting infrastructure that closes the opportunity, resource, and digital divides and ensures equitable outcomes for all current and future students

    ESSER Funds Feedback Form: Provided to CCS community in May 2021 with over 80% community approval of established priorities.


    Columbus City Schools ESSER Allocations and Spending


    Updated ESSER Funds Chart as of September 2, 2022



    ESSER Priority 1: Learning Recovery and Supports for Schools

    Social-Emotional Learning and Support:

    • Hire additional school counselors to allow for a dedicated full-time school counselor in every school by Fall 2022.
      • Planned cost - $42 million, $90 per student.
    • Program Supports to improve student attendance which has been impacted by the pandemic.
    • Whole-Child supports to focus on Restorative Practices in schools.

    Curriculum and Accelerated Learning:

    • Career Technical Education classes for middle school: two more CTE classes - Family Consumer Science and Small Engine Repair - will be added to the curriculum at Hilltonia MS next year.
      • One of the priorities in the CCS Strategic Plan is strong learning communities in every region. By expanding CTE programs districtwide at middle schools like Hilltonia, the District is providing more flexible course offerings that improve student learning experiences.
    • Columbus Online Academy is reaching multiple stakeholders through our unique online learning process. We are able to provide quality teacher-driven instruction across multiple virtual platforms and materials.
      • Enrollment for 2021-2022 = 600.
      • Enrollment expected for 2022-2023 = more than 800.
      • Planned cost $4.7 million, $101 per student, with a plan to continue after ESSER funds are exhausted.
    • LETRS Reading and Training for Elementary teachers, administrators
      • $19 million planned cost, $409 per student.
    • Literacy Specialists and Support - Teachers trained to provide evidence-based interventions to support literacy instruction.
    • Instructional coach in every building supports strong instruction in classrooms

    Family and Student Engagement:

    • Family Ambassadors for every school. We currently have 120, including 12 bilingual ambassadors, with a goal of 130 Family Ambassadors.
      • Planned cost - $7 million, $151 per student.
    • Bilingual Engagement Liaisons - Trained bilingual liaisons will support the work done in our schools by Family Ambassadors, focusing on the needs of English learners and their families.
      • We have 11 liaisons to date, who speak Spanish, Somali, Arabic, Nepali, Somali Mai Mai, or French/Kinyarwanda with a plan to add another who speaks Pashto/Dari and can assist with Afghan refugees.
    • Vulnerable Youth Advocates - Increase services and supports provided to homeless and vulnerable youth.


    ESSER Priority 2: Infrastructure Improvements and Operations

    Ventilation Upgrades:

    • ESSER funds have been allocated to upgrade HVAC systems in the remaining schools without building-wide air conditioning.
      • 13 HVAC building projects are ongoing this summer:
        • Broadleigh ES, Colerain ES, Como ES, Fairwood ES, Johnson Park MS, Maize ES, North Linden ES, Valleyview ES, Woodward Park at Walden MS, West Broad ES, Westgate ES, Westmoor MS, and Yorktown MS
      • 2 HVAC building projects have been delayed to Summer 2023 due to supply chain issues:
        • CAHS and Hubbard ES
      • 1 HVAC building project is included in Phase 4 of the FMP:
        • Mifflin MS

    Auditorium Upgrades

    • Updates of enhanced audio-visual equipment and technology for socially-distanced and blended learning environments.

    Additional Custodians

    • 52 custodians hired with a goal of 68 this year and another 45 next year.
    • Investment to date $1,881,394 - planned through summer 2022 - $3,559,101


    ESSER Priority 3: Technology

    Laptops, Chromebooks, and Computing Devices

    • Every student to have their own device, and all staff to have the technology needed to carry out their work.
    • Currently more than 46,000 active student Chromebooks.
    • Planned cost $18 million, $387 per student.

    Hot Spots and Broadband Access

    • Additional internet hot spots and broadband technology to ensure all students are able to access online resources at school and at home.
    • CCS has distributed hot spots to more than 4,000 families to date.


    ESSER Priority 4: Development and Professional Learning

    Learning Technology

    • A new team of learning designers and educational specialists will roll out a PK-12 curriculum repository that will ensure teachers, students, and families can benefit from high-quality curriculum and resources in a one-stop-shop.
    • Canvas course writing has begun, and the platform is being piloted.
    • Canvas will be implemented for the 2022-2023 school year for all core content areas.
    • Planned cost $5 million, $108 per student.

    Staff Development 

    • Training specialists will provide professional development for all 9,000 teachers and staff across the district.
    • Training for Classified staff has begun with nearly 1,000 participants.
    • Planned cost $1 million, $22 per student.