COVID Updates

Updated: August 10, 2023

ESSER III - Effingham U40 Background / Plans

Proposal for ESSER III Funds Background In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law. ARP included $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for school districts across the country. We anticipate that District 40 would receive $4,527,576 in ESSER III funding. 

The District 40 usage of ESSER III plan identifies our priorities through 2025-26. In addition, prior to the start of utilizing the resources, the District sought survey feedback from school and community stakeholders. 

Priorities identified include: 

1) advancing student academic achievement and social-emotional growth

2) continued support for the health and safety of students, staff, and educators in response to the COVID-19 health crisis

Below is information regarding our proposed / executed plans for ESSER III funding. A portion of ESSER III funds (20%) must be allocated to address learning loss associated with COVID-19.

The Board of Education approved the following areas to be enhanced to support student learning in this area. 

Additional personnel: 
ESS PreK teachers
Math Interventionists
English as Second Language (ESL) Teachers

Provide additional opportunities for students due to learning loss during COVID:
Summer School Staff
After School Tutoring Programs Staff
Summer Enrichment Programs such as Summer Bridget Staff

Provide additional technology / curriculum
One to one devices for all students
Replacement of desktop devices
Software programs 
Textbooks for students

Provide upgrades to HVAC / air quality in buildings
Southside Remodel project
Provide upgrades to Library’s 
New furniture for several libraries
New bookshelves
Enhanced atmosphere with new paint, new flooring, etc

Estimated usage of resources from FY22 - FY24:

Salaries and benefits  = $1, 939,331 
Contractual expenses  = $2,000,000
Supplies  = $390,000
= $198,245
 Total  = $ 4,527,576

To date the district has been able to utilize $1,966,535.57 of the ESSER III resources to help fill the gaps created by the COVID CRISIS.  The district plans to utilize the remaining resources over the next several months to continue the mission of filling learning loss gaps for students throughout the district.  The district also plans to utilize a portion of the grant to complete the upgrades in the HVAC, etc at the Southside Building (which should be completed prior to the start of the 2023 - 2024 school year).

The district will budget the remaining resources into the grant application when the application for FY24 becomes available in August / September of 2023 (pre the ISBE reps information).

Thank you for your continued support Effingham Residents!!

Andrew D. Johnson




ARP ESSER III – Use of Funds Plan

This plan will be updated through the grant period depending on routine evaluations.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in major changes to all aspects of life, including unprecedented school closure in the spring of 2020 and revised schedules and protocols in the fall of 2020. The ARP ESSER III - The American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) fund provides states and school districts financial assistance to safely reopen to sustain the safe operations of schools. In addition, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon the nation’s students will be addressed through ARP ESSER.

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) fund is to provide states and school districts with assistance to safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s students.

Safe Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services
The Effingham Unit #40 Back-to-School/Return to Learn Plan is aligned with the guidance provide by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). School strategies in this plan may be removed based upon local conditions, levels of community transmission (low, moderate, substantial, and high), local vaccine coverage, and consultation with local public health officials to determine the prevention strategies needed. School officials will communicate any changes in plans to staff members, students, and parents through the district communications platforms.

The full Back-to School/Return to Learn Plan can be found on the Unit #40’s website ( The plan includes a description of how Effingham Unit #40 will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff. It will explain the extent to which it has adopted policies, and it will provide a description of policies and each of the prevention and mitigation strategies that will be implemented for the safety of all staff and students.

Community Input in regard to ESSER III Funds
Our monthly board meetings have agenda items for public comment. Community members are welcome to attend monthly meetings to share their concerns, ideas, etc. In addition, information will be solicited through stakeholder feedback as needed regarding COVID related issues.

Effingham Unit #40 will engage in consultation with students, families, school administrators, teachers, support staff and local unions. Funds will address student learning loss from the pandemic, as well as curriculum, air quality, transportation, and sanitation. Additional steps will be taken to ensure proper social distancing.
∙ Evidence based curriculum and related professional development to address learning loss and accelerate early literacy skills
∙ District wide online learning curriculum
∙ Additional teachers for classroom reduction (student to teacher ratio of physical distancing)
∙ Social and emotional learning programs
∙ Supplies to help district clean effectively
∙ Bring district into compliance with fire and safety codes to create more space
∙ Academic support through after-school and summer bride programs

Learning Loss
Effingham Unit #40 will allocate no less than 20% of its ESSER funds to address learning loss through implementation of evidence-based interventions. Interventions will be based on students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19.

Additional Funds
All activities are approvable and are listed in Section 18003(d) of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Section 313(d) of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, and Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act that an LEA may support with ESSER Funds.

Effingham Unit #40 will submit all necessary reporting to ISBE. The district will report on funds spent and provide detail on specific interventions addressed. Examples are: specific interventions, after-school tutoring programs; additional staff to provide SEL assistance.

Maintenance of Equity
Effingham Unit #40 will not disproportionately reduce state and local per-pupil funding. The District will also not reduce the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) staff per pupil.


Effingham School District #40 has updated it’s COVID mitigation measures and instructional continuity learning plan using the updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning and related CDC FAQ (updated as of May 27, 2022).

This updated plan supersedes all prior COVID-19 plans adopted by Effingham School District #40. The District will continue to collaborate with the Effingham County Department of Public Health (SCDPH) to address all infectious disease cases among students and staff.

On February 25, 2022, the CDC released a new framework to monitor the level of COVID-19 in communities that includes hospitalizations, hospital capacity, and cases, which is currently in use.
COVID-19 Community Level Prevention Strategy for Masking Prevention Strategy for Testing
Low Support those who choose to continue 
to mask.
Information and/or assistance provided to aid with access to diagnostic testing for symptomatic persons and those exposed.
Medium Persons who are immunocompromised, at high risk for severe disease or have household or social contacts at high risk for severe disease, are encouraged to talk to
their healthcare providers about whether they need to
wear a mask.
Information and/or assistance provided to aid with access to diagnostic testing for symptomatic persons and those exposed. 
High  Universal masking indoors in public, regardless of
vaccination status is encouraged but not required.
Persons who are immunocompromised are encouraged to wear a mask or respirator that provides greater protection.
Information and/or assistance provided to aid with access to diagnostic testing for symptomatic persons and those exposed. 

 **Masks continue to be federally required in healthcare settings and for healthcare personnel, including school nurse offices.

The Effingham School District #40 is taking the following actions to help prevent the spread of infectious disease, including the virus that causes COVID-19:
Promote staying up to date with all routine vaccinations.
Encourage students and staff to stay home when sick.
Reinforce proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, including maintaining distances of at least three feet from others when feasible.
Utilize proper cleaning and disinfection procedures.

COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Positive
Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 shall isolate at home for at least five (5) calendar days from the onset of symptoms; return after the five calendars days AND if 24 hours with no fever (without fever-reducing medication), diarrhea and vomiting ceased for 24 hours AND improvement of symptoms. Upon return consistent masking through day 10 is strongly encouraged. The local health department may supply dates as to when a student or staff member can return to school; however a letter from the local health department releasing the student or staff member from isolation or quarantine is not required.

Remote Learning
Schools must continue to provide remote learning to any student who is under isolation or quarantine for COVID-19 based on the State Superintendent’s Remote Learning Declaration. Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to prevent adverse outcomes related to COVID-19.