Data shows that the pandemic has had a significant impact on student learning, both across the country and in Cicero School District 99.

Cicero District 99 is launching a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process to help determine how it should potentially spend additional federal dollars to address COVID-19 recovery, including unfinished learning and COVID prevention and mitigation practices.

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law in March and included $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for school districts across the country, which is the single largest investment in federal elementary and secondary education in the nation's history. Cicero School District 99 is slated by ISBE to receive some of that additional funding.

All parents, district employees, and community members are urged to complete a survey to help the district determine what to prioritize with the potential ESSER funds. School districts are limited in what they can use ESSER funds to support.

Cicero District 99 received funding through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III grant program. The purpose of the ARP ESSER III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation's students by addressing students' academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.

This grant provides schools with funding to address the impact COVID-19 has had on services to students during school building closures. It also provides funding to develop and implement plans for the return to normal school operations. As part of this process, Cicero School District # 99 seeks stakeholder input on how this grant will support students, staff, and school operations. All members of the Cicero District 99 community are welcome to submit their input. 

D99 ARP/ESSER III Spending Plan

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation's students by addressing students' academic, social, emotional and mental health needs. 

Cicero District 99 has been awarded $40,880,936 in ESSER III funds. This plan describes how the awarded funds will be used. Questions about this plan should be directed to Anthony Grazzini, director of Grants and Accountability, at

Throughout the pandemic, both through remote and in-person instruction, Cicero District 99 has continued to provide engaging, equitable and inclusive learning experiences for all students. District 99 intends to utilize ARP-ESSER III funds to support these educational opportunities with students back to full in-person instruction to mitigate learning loss. Funds will be used to continue providing a safe, healthy and inclusive learning environment that addresses the unique needs of District 99’s students and schools.

District 99 has allocated funds to supplementary programs, resources and staff. Repairs and improvements to school facilities will reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards and support student, faculty and staff health needs. The District has prioritized indoor air quality improvement through filtering, purification and air cleaning. Finally, understanding that play has significant cognitive, emotional, and social benefits for elementary school children, the District intends to build playgrounds at schools to support the unstructured play requirement for school to help students to focus, build friendships, improve mood, work cooperatively and work through conflict without adult intervention.  

In District 99, curriculum coaches and instructional coaches provide job-embedded professional development to support teachers working with students who may have experienced challenges or interruptions in learning due to the pandemic. In addition, the District is allocating ESSER III funds to provide additional support staff to assist with health and safety protocols, student scaffolds, support and other supervision needed as part of our pandemic response. Moreover, District 99 will provide BASS (before and after school programs), targeted tutoring and summer programs for at-risk students in grades preK through eight to address unfinished learning with ESSER III funds. 

As part of District 99's approach to full in-person instruction and continuity of services, access to digital resources will also be enhanced with the support of ESSER III funds. These resources and targeted programming will respond to the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of all students, particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including, but not limited to, students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care and migratory students.  

District 99 will continue to engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders regarding our plans to support students, staff and families throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. If families have questions regarding the reopening plan or the use of federal ESSER III funds, they may complete the survey found on the reopening plan page on the District website. Families may also attend District board meetings and parent informational meetings to hear about continued plans to support in-person instruction and continuity of services for students. As noted in the presentation to the board of education, the District will continue to collect community input in an ongoing manner from the District Leadership Team, Bilingual Parent Advisory Council, quarterly face-to-face stakeholder meetings and through the use of web-based surveys.

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