ARP ESSER: Pickerington Local Schools' 'Safe Return to In-Person Instruction' Plan and USDOE Required Components

Each LEA plan includes, or will be modified to include, the extent to which it has adopted policies and a description of any such policies on each of the following mitigation strategies:

○ Universal and correct wearing of masks;
○ Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding);
○ Handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
○ Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation;
○ Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial or tribal health departments;
○ Diagnostic and screening testing;
○ Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff and students, if eligible; and
○ Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies.

Any comments or feedback about the District's plan can be sent to ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

USDOE Required Components

Safety Precautions for In-Person Instruction

UPDATE:

For the Pickerington Schools Flexible Learning 2.0 Plan, please note that at the beginning of all of the Status Levels, including Status Level Green, the protocols note the following:

“PLSD will follow mandates/requirements required by the Governor, Ohio/Franklin Department of Health, and Ohio Department of Education. These mandates/requirements may affect any/all proposed courses of action.”

We are aware that the Governor has rescinded nearly all health orders, including the mask order, and today he ended the declared state of emergency on June 18.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the District will allow parents to make the optional choice for their students to wear masks, and we do not anticipate requiring them unless the Governor’s orders, or additional orders from the Department of Health, require us to do so. We also know that physical distancing of 6 feet or more is not possible with fully in-person instruction. But we will still encourage and use our protocols for frequent hand-washing, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and other mitigation protocols.

But please also be advised that we do not know to what extent the Franklin County Public Health will still be enforcing quarantine protocols for COVID exposure during the 2021-2022 school year. The District therefore urges families to consider this as decisions are made about whether to wear masks or get vaccinations for the 2021-2022 school year.

As a final note, the federal government provided the ARP ESSER funds to schools throughout the nation, many of which did not end the school year with in-person instructional models. While Pickerington Schools were open for fully in-person instruction (Status Level Green) beginning April 5, masks were a requirement for schools for the duration of the 2020-2021 school year. The federal guidance required that plans included, or could be modified to include, guidance on masks, physical distancing, handwashing, cleaning, etc. Based on the Governor’s action, we are able to modify our plans accordingly. Our Flexible Learning 2.0 model was a comprehensive plan written to accommodate many different instructional models, and the protocols provided were designed to flexibly adapt to what was required, or not required, by the State of Ohio, the Department of Health, or other authorities.

 

The PLSD Flexible Learning Plan 2.0 can be accessed by clicking this link.

On April 5, 2021, the District resumed the Status Level Green – Fully Back to School Model.  More information about that transition can be found by clicking on this link.

For the 2021-2022 school year, Pickerington Schools will operate in the Status Level Green – Fully Back to School Model.  Instruction will be in-person, five days per week.

The Status Level Green – Fully Back to School Model health and safety expectations can be found by clicking this link.

 

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

Continuity of Services: Academic, Social/Emotional, Mental Health and More

For the 2021-2022 school year, Pickerington Schools will be operating in the Status Level Green – Fully Back to School Model.  The educational experiences for all students will be returning to the more traditional and ‘normal’ instructional practices of 5 day per week face-to-face instruction and educational services.

Additionally, to provide additional supports for students due to potential learning loss during because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ensuing disruption to our traditional instructional models, Pickerington Schools is offering multiple Summer School opportunities to students during the summer of 2021.  For additional information about the available opportunities, click on this link.

In addition to academic services, the District is also providing many services to meet students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health and other needs.  As part of its services to students, the District is also providing many services to meet staff and students’ needs.

The District will also work with its families to extend multiple opportunities for students to eat nutritious meals, including a Summer 2021 Food Program at Tussing Elementary School.  Additionally, the District will receive waivers from the USDA that support a successful school reopening in the school year 2021-2022 and access to nutritious meals for program participants. One of the waivers will allow for free reimbursable meals to continue through the school year 2021-2022. The Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Integrated Student Supports is working closely with the US Department of Agriculture to clarify the requirements for exercising these waivers. We will continue to communicate additional information about the waivers in the upcoming weeks.  More information about these Food Service plan components can be found by clicking on this link.

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

Staff Vaccinations

Many Pickerington Schools Staff Members were vaccinated during the months of February and March, 2021.  The Fairfield County ESC, in conjunction with the Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster, operated a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic for any Pickerington School employee who wanted the vaccine.  The first does was administered between February 25 and 27; the second dose was administered between March 18-20.  In total, 989 staff members were completely vaccinated.

Current Vaccination Locations in Central Ohio:

COLUMBUS

Location: Drive-thru clinic at the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211.

Schedule: Vaccinations (Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson) are available by appointment or without an appointment Mondays through Saturdays.

How to schedule an appointment:  

No appointment vaccines

No appointment required drive-thru COVID-19 vaccines are available at the Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.:

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The Pfizer two-dose vaccine (12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (18 and older) are available.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for people younger than 18.

No appointment required walk-in COVID-19 vaccines are available at Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave.:

  • Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for people younger than 18.

Transportation: Franklin County residents can call 614-259-7391 for transportation assistance. Those 60 or older can call the Franklin County Office on Aging at 614-525-6200.

Managed by: Columbus Public Health, with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

Learn more: Visit https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/ or call 614-645-1519.

 

Link to COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics, Aged 12+, Statewide from Ohio Department of Health 

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

Student Vaccinations

Pickerington Schools provided vaccination clinics for students aged 16 and older on April 16 and May 7.  252 students completed both courses of the vaccine.

Current Vaccination Locations in Central Ohio:

Link to COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Pfizer Vaccination, Aged 12+

Link to COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics, Aged 12+, Statewide from Ohio Department of Health 

COLUMBUS

Location: Drive-thru clinic at the Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211.

Schedule: Vaccinations (Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson) are available by appointment or without an appointment Mondays through Saturdays.

How to schedule an appointment:  

No appointment vaccines

No appointment required drive-thru COVID-19 vaccines are available at the Celeste Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.:

  • Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The Pfizer two-dose vaccine (12 and older) and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (18 and older) are available.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for people younger than 18.

No appointment required walk-in COVID-19 vaccines are available at Columbus Public Health, 240 Parsons Ave.:

  • Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines available.
  • A parent or guardian must be present for people younger than 18.

Transportation: Franklin County residents can call 614-259-7391 for transportation assistance. Those 60 or older can call the Franklin County Office on Aging at 614-525-6200.

Managed by: Columbus Public Health, with support from the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

Learn more: Visit https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/ or call 614-645-1519.

 

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

Contact Tracing

Pickerington Schools Contact Tracing Protocols as of the end of the 2020-2021 school year are listed below.  Please note that these protocols are continuously reviewed with the Franklin County Public Health, and may be modified or changed at the start of the 2021-2022 school year accordingly.

 

Click on this link to access the contact tracing protocols.

Click on this link to access the COVID-19 checklist for Principals and Buildings.

 

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

ARP ESSER Budgetary Details

The Pickerington Schools will receive a total of $6,183,229.20 in ARP ESSER funding.   The funding will come in 2 installments.  The first, or interim installment, has been allocated to the District, and totals $4,122,152.80.

The Pickerington Schools ARP ESSER Budget shows how the District proposes to budget $4,122,152.80 in funding it has been allocated in its interim installment from the Ohio Department of Education.

The Pickerington School ARP ESSER Budgetary Details provide additional in-depth information about how the District proposes to use its interim ARP ESSER allocation from the Ohio Department of Education.

Pickerington Schools will receive its remaining ARP ESSER allocation when the United States Department of Education awards the balance of Ohio’s total ARP award to the Ohio Department of Education.

Comments or feedback about this portion of the plan?  Please email ARPESSERFeedback@plsd.us.

ARP Updates and Resources

Assisting Families through the ARP Act

Assisting Families With Access to Benefits, Expanded Tax Credits, and Supports Through the ARP Act

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act provides many sources of direct and indirect financial relief for families with low incomes. This factsheet provides information for child care programs and partner organizations about different ARP Act financial sources and the steps that providers and families can take to access each source. State child care administrators can share this factsheet with their partners who provide direct supports to child care programs.

These payments and tax credits do not affect family income in determining eligibility for child care subsidies and do not count toward adjusted gross income for tax filers.

Stimulus Checks

What’s New?

Single adults earning up to $75,000 and head-of-household filers (e.g., single parents with children) earning up to $112,500 should have received a one-time payment of $1,400, plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. Married couples earning up to $150,000 should have received a one-time payment of $2,800, plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. This round of payments included dependents who were included on the filer’s tax return but who were excluded from previous stimulus payments—college students and adult dependents. For example, a single mother with two children claimed on her tax return should have received $4,200.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Track the status of payments using the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Get My Payment tool. If a family didn’t get a first or second stimulus payment or got less than the full amount, they may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit and must have filed a 2020 tax return even if they don’t usually file a return. Payments should have been included in 2020 IRS refunds.

Unemployment Benefits

What’s New?

The first $10,200 of unemployment benefit payments received in 2020 are no longer taxable. For families currently receiving unemployment payments, there is a $300 per week Federal increase in payments until September 6, 2021. The ARP Act also extends the special pandemic Unemployment Insurance (UI) program for people who do not usually qualify for UI (e.g., self-employed and gig workers) through September 6, 2021. Not all states have accepted the extension, however, so it is important to check on the status of your UI payment.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Families who received unemployment benefits in 2020 and already filed a 2020 tax return should file an amendment to receive the money they are owed. Families who are not receiving UI but may be eligible can find information about eligibility and filing through their state unemployment office.

Monthly Child Allowance

What’s New?

The ARP Act created a monthly child allowance to replace the current Child Tax Credit (CTC). Beginning in July 2021, families who qualified for this year’s CTC on their tax return will receive monthly payments of $300 per child younger than age 6 and $250 per child ages 6–17. This 1-year program will end on December 31, 2021. Individual Taxpayer Income Number (ITIN) holders, including immigrant families with children who have Social Security numbers, are eligible to receive this credit. The IRS has launched a simplified online tool that will allow families not automatically enrolled in the program to receive the CTC.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Families should start receiving monthly payments in July 2021. The payment amount is based on the number of children claimed as dependents on a family’s most recent tax return (i.e., 2019 or 2020). To ensure that they receive the monthly payments starting in July 2021, families should file a 2020 tax return as soon as possible. Families will retroactively claim this allowance from January to June 2021 on next year’s tax returns. For more information, visit ChildTaxCredit.gov.

Child Care Expenses

What’s New?

The ARP Act expands the size of the Child and Dependent Care Credit. Families are eligible for this tax credit if they needed care for any child younger than age 13 or for a disabled dependent of any age while working or looking for work. This benefit includes any amount paid (full or co-pay) for center-based child care, babysitter care, summer camp, or care by adult relatives outside the tax household. ITIN holders, including families who are immigrants with children born in the United States with a Social Security number, are eligible to receive this credit.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Families should keep records of their child care expenses to report on next year’s tax return. Even those who do not owe taxes should file because the credit will be fully refundable and could result in a refund.

Food and Nutrition

What’s New?

The ARP Act extends the current 15-percent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increase until September 30, 2021. States can choose to increase Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits for 4 months, specifically to provide more fruits and vegetables to mothers and children. Through at least the summer, Pandemic–Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) assistance is extended. Like SNAP benefits, P-EBT can be used to replace the free or reduced-price meals that children miss when they do not attend a school or child care program in person.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Families who are already enrolled in SNAP and WIC do not need to do anything. Most changes keep benefits at their current levels, and any adjustments will be automatic. Newly eligible families can enroll via their local SNAP or WIC office. Participating states will issue their own P-EBT guidance for summer 2021.

Rental Assistance

What’s New?

The ARP Act extends the eviction moratorium and makes more funding available for more people with overdue rent. Families are now eligible for renter’s assistance if at least one person in the household meets any of these criteria:

·        Qualifies for unemployment

·        Has had a decrease in income

·        Has experienced some kind of financial hardship because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Families can also qualify if they are at risk of experiencing homeless or if household income is at or below 80 percent of the median income for the area in which they live.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Families who owe rent should contact their landlord about applying for assistance. A renter or landlord can apply for assistance, and the money is paid directly to the landlord or utility on the renter’s behalf. Find more information in this factsheet and on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website. In addition, as of April 1, 2021, there is a temporary Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) eviction protection declaration. This is a temporary halt in residential evictions to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Emergency housing vouchers are also available for eligible families. Local public housing authorities and continuum of care programs will be distributing these vouchers. If your child care program doesn’t have existing partnerships with your local housing authority, state-level information is available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. You can also connect with continuum of care programs in your state to obtain more information on how you can help families access these resources.

Energy and Water Assistance

What’s New?

The ARP Act makes additional funds available for energy assistance.

What Can Providers and Families Do?

Reach out to the local community action agency to find out whether energy-related emergency assistance funds are available.

Tax Help

To learn more about helping families understand and access available tax credits, please contact EITCOutreach.org. In addition, free tax preparation services may be available for eligible families at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in your area.

Questions

To get answers to your questions and/or to learn more information, please contact the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement at pfce@ecetta.info or (855) 208-0909 (toll-free).

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