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Marengo County BOE discusses ESSER Funds for school district

During the most recent Marengo County Board of Education meeting on May 25, 2021, the Instructional Leader Cathy Seale provided the board with updates from the dual enrollment program with Coastal Alabama Community College and ESSER funds.

Seale began by discussing a recent meeting with Coastal Alabama Community College to expand Mr. Justin Tate’s welding program at Marengo High School for the spring semester of 2022. The school system wants to add dual enrollment with Tate’s program to allow him to teach classes that will afford students the opportunity to get their welding certification.

The expansion plan would include renovations to the current shop and band room, adding ten welding stations, and Tate will do summer and fall training with Coastal to ensure all qualifications are met.

Under the ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds topic, Seale reported that ESSER II is nearly complete, and plans for its use will be shared at the next meeting. Seale said she had attended webinars on the ESSER III specifications and guidelines. She also said there will be district meetings in early June to conduct a needs assessment and get the county’s plan written and submitted.

There are two parts to the ESSER III. Part one is the In-Person Instruction Plan that the system will be revising the re-opening plan from fall 2020. Part two is the Written Plan that describes how the needs of students will be met in the district. Specific guidelines state that 20 percent of the funding has to be used for addressing learning loss.

Seale also spoke about finding an Elementary Math Coach. With the new math curriculum, EnVision in K-5, and implementation of the new course study standards, the coach would work closely with Seale to support all K-5 teachers with improving teaching and learning in mathematics.

The math coach will receive support from AMSTI with content knowledge across all grade levels and the state coaching framework. The coach will also work closely with the data, support teachers, and support RtI (Response to Instruction).

The last topic Seale reported on was the Summer Academy or Summer Learning Program in the county. She said that all teachers are in place at three schools: eight at AL Johnson, eight at Marengo, and ten at Sweet Water.

Students are continuing to register for the program, and current numbers are: 65 at ALJ, 88 at Marengo, 122 at Sweet Water.