The spring of 2020 brought unprecedented changes to our society and educational system. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law bringing $1.3 billion to school districts across Minnesota. These funds, also known as ESSER funds, are provided to help districts safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in our students. South St. Paul Public Schools (SSPPS) was allocated a one-time ESSER funding of $3.8 million to be spent over a 3-year period. In order to prioritize investments that will not occur ongoing costs beyond the 3-year period, the SSPPS is engaging with students, staff, families and the SSP community to help develop a plan for utilizing these one-time funds to support the greatest academic, behavioral and social/emotional needs of our students as a result of the COVID pandemic. Before winter break, SSPPS Families were invited to take a few minutes and answer questions in this brief survey to help us understand how the COVID pandemic has affected your child/children and how we can best support them. We also want to hear directly from our students. During the week of January 24, we will be asking students in grades 5-12 to complete a similar and short, age appropriate survey as well. You are welcome to preview the survey. Please contact your school’s assistant principal for a link to view the student survey questions. Similarly, you can opt your student out of completing this brief survey by sending a message to the school assistant principal. For more information on the American Rescue Plan Act/ESSER Funding as well as additional engagement opportunities, please visit the ESSER III Funding page on our website.