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ARP ESSER Guide for Learning Loss Project

20%--Focus on Learning Loss
1%--After School Programs
1%--Summer Learning Programs

Focus on Learning Loss 

Act 24 of 2021 appropriated approximately $250 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) State Reserve funds to school districts and charter schools to address gaps in students' learning and social and emotional wellness through the implementation of evidence-based interventions. Under the ARP ESSER plan, twenty percent (20%) of each local education agency's (LEA) allocation must be used to address student learning, one percent (1%) for after school programs, and one percent (1%) for summer learning programs. LEAs are to implement evidence-based interventions that address the needs of students and subgroups of students most impacted by COVID-19. 

When planning ARP ESSER spending to address specific student needs, it is important that LEAs adopt a systematic approach to examine all components of the LEA's assessment cycle, after school programs, and opportunities for summer learning.  To support LEAs in their decisions, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has provided a Decision Tree that connects directly with the resources and tools in the Accelerated Learning toolkit. This Decision Tree is focused on the following components: Focus on Quality Assessment, Focus on Quality Instruction, After School Programs, and Summer Learning Programs.   


​Focus on Quality Assessment



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Step 1: Set the Direction

Does your LEA have an assessment plan and is it accessible to all?

​Step 2: Assess Needs

Does your LEA have assessments that are high quality, rigorous, and implemented with fidelity? 

Does your LEA have assessments that are equitable, accessible, and inclusive?  

​Step 3: Establish Goals/Priorities and Plan/Allocate Resources

Does your LEA have established goals and priorities for an assessment plan?
Does your LEA have a plan for allocating resources?


​Focus on Quality Instruction



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​Step 1: Set the Direction

Does your LEA allot appropriate time for instruction of content/standards, and how can the K-12 articulated curriculum be modified for efficiency?

​Step 2: Assess Needs

Does your LEA use a variety of instructional methods to maximize student learning while differentiating to meet all student needs?

Does your LEA ensure alignment of performance expectations (standards), curricular emphasis, and instruction across all classrooms and grade levels? 

​Step 3: Establish Goals/Priorities and Plan/Allocate Resources

Does your LEA have established goals and priorities related to instruction?
Does your LEA have a plan for allocating resources?


​After School Programs



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​Step 1: Set the Direction

Does your LEA have/utilize an After School Program (ASP)?

​Step 2: Assess Needs

Does your LEA have a process for including students in the ASP?

Does your LEA have a plan to establish and sustain an ASP?

Does your LEA have an ASP curriculum to meet the learners' needs?

Does your LEA have the appropriate resources to support the ASP curriculum?

​Step 3: Establish Goals/Priorities and Plan/Allocate Resources

Does your LEA have established goals and priorities for after school programs?
Does your LEA have a plan for allocating resources?


​Summer Learning



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​Step 1: Set the Direction

Does your LEA have/utilize a summer learning program?

​Step 2: Assess Needs

Does your LEA have a process for including students in the summer learning program?

Does your LEA have a plan to establish and sustain a summer learning program?

Does your LEA have a summer learning program curriculum and resources to meet the learners' needs?

​Step 3: Establish Goals/Priorities and Plan/Allocate Resources

Does your LEA have established goals and priorities for a summer learning program?
Does your LEA have a plan for allocating resources?