On Oct. 1, 2021 the Ventura Unified School District (Ventura Unified) school board met for a special study session regarding the federal ESSER III grant Ventura Unified applied for in June and the ESSER III Expenditure Plan.
Following regular parliamentary procedure, the school board went into a closed session where they had a conference between district and labor negotiators, including the Ventura Unified Education Association (VUEA). There was no action taken in the closed session.
Following the closed sessions was the pledge of allegiance, roll and public comments.
Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Rebecca Chandler then started the presentation on the ESSER III Expenditure Plan detailing the timeline of the grant and the plan for expenditure. Chandler stated, “our goal today is just to get input,” and, “bring back the final draft on the next board meeting.”
The plan must address two areas, the reduction of the spread of COVID-19 and impact of loss of instructional time due to the pandemic. Chandler then showed the planned expenditure on academic support from 2021 to 2024. Over eight million dollars are allocated in this section of the plan, in addition to the separate ELO and Title I funds. This includes personnel support, behavioral support teams, credit recovery options, additional learning opportunities and professional development.
The board then discussed the planned expenditure for Covid prevention from 2022 to 2024. Over thirteen million dollars are allocated in this section of the plan. This includes, among other things, testing sites, contact tracing, PPE, student technology and ventilation.
Following the outlined plan, Chandler then presented the results of a survey sent out to Ventura Unified parents, staff and teachers and students with regards to how the grant money should be spent. The results can be found at the link above or here. 1,500 people responded to the survey, including 741 parents, 335 teachers and staff and 457 students.
The board then held discussion on the plan, each weighing in on how the money should be allocated. The plan will be brought back in the future for official approval.
A recording of this special study session board meeting can be found here and the agenda for this meeting can be found here.