PWCS releases ARPA summary plan to address unfinished learning efforts
Posted on 08/01/2021
Launching Thriving Futures Recovery and Re-Engagement. Dr. McDade and student in a lab.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides additional funding to school systems to support unfinished learning efforts. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) is eligible for approximately $88 million in ARPA funding with an additional $4.8 million in Title 6B ARPA funding. Within 90 days of receiving ESSER III formula funds, each school division must make publicly available on its website a plan for its use of funds.

The PWCS plan for recovery, acceleration, and re-engagement provides comprehensive academic, social-emotional, and mental health support in schools. This legislation requires PWCS to use at least 20% of formula funds from ARPA to address learning loss/unfinished learning. The PWCS plan utilizes approximately 78% of the PWCS formula funds to address learning loss/unfinished learning, or nearly $72 million of the total amount available to PWCS.

Aligned to the legislative requirement, the PWCS plan was developed in consultation with stakeholders, and public comments provided were taken into account. All PWCS stakeholders had the opportunity to provide input via a survey as well as public meetings and School Board hearings.

PWCS will provide a more detailed plan to the public as part of the final application to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) due by September 1, 2021. Once approved by the VDOE, funds will be available to use through September 30, 2024.

ARP Act ESSER III funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning. Prince William County Public Schools will use approximately $11.6 million of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to implement prevention and mitigation strategies as described below.

Prince William County Public Schools employs the following layered mitigation strategies to maintain the health and safety of its staff, students, and visitors.

  1. Universal and Correct Wearing of Masks
  2. Modifying Facilities to Allow for Physical Distancing
  3. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
  4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
  5. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments.
  6. Diagnostic and screening testing
  7. Efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities