Federal Relief Funds
Newly Released Interim Guides Designed to Help Urban Districts Assess Progress of ARP Investments
- By Kristal Kuykendall
The Council of Great City Schools has released a set of guides tailored to each function of school leadership to help urban school districts evaluate their American Rescue Plan investments and implementations one year in, the nonprofit said in a news release.
Each of the eight Interim Progress Assessment Guides is specifically designed for a different district leadership function; the release comes 14 months after the Council published its Investing American Rescue Plan Funds Strategically and Effectively guide that aimed to help districts get the most out of their federal relief funds.
One year into districts’ relief and recovery efforts, education leaders should be assessing their progress, said Council Executive Director Ray Hart.
“These relief funds come with intense public scrutiny over the ways we choose to invest our time and resources,” Hart said. “One year later, we need to step back and make sure we are on the right track. We need to talk to our teams, talk to our peers. We need to refine our work where needed, and recommit ourselves, if necessary, to the overarching goals of supporting our most vulnerable students and advancing educational excellence and equity.”
The new assessment guides for public education leaders offer a framework for the assessment process, the nonprofit said; each is designed to help district leaders and staff assess their investments or activities in a specific area. The Council encouraged district leaders to use the Interim Progress Assessment guides as a checklist to review their current strategy.
Following are the new interim progress assessment guides and the target audience for each:
- Interim Progress Assessment: Investing in Instructional Resources and Student Support Services, designed for chief academic officers and instructional leaders across subject areas, as well as ELL leaders, special education leaders, equity teams, technology and procurement teams, and teachers and support staff
- Interim Progress Assessment: Investing in Facilities, Operations, and Equipment, designed for chief operating officers and teams involved in facilities, operations, and equipment decisions and planning
- Interim Progress Assessment: Investing in Information Technology, designed for IT leaders and their teams
- Interim Progress Assessment: Investing in Leadership and Human Capital Management, designed for human resources leaders and their teams
- Interim Progress Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Guidance, designed for researchers
- Interim Progress Assessment: School Board Monitoring of the Use of ARP Funds, designed for school board members
- Interim Progress Assessment: Managing and Evaluating the Use of Federal Relief Aid, designed for school district financial officers
- Interim Progress Assessment: Public Engagement and Communications Planning, designed for district communications leaders
After the American Rescue Plan was enacted, the Council sought input from urban education leaders and support staff across the country to help develop guidance for urban schools on how best to use the ARP funds to “protect student health and safety, address student learning needs and mental health services, and to maintain and upgrade school facilities,” the nonprofit said.
The guides are available for download on the Council's website.
Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can
be reached at [email protected].