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Use of Funds

Colorado ESSER Report: Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

Mancos starts summer camp with ESSER III funds

A devastating tragedy rallied the small rural community of Mancos to offer a summer camp that gave students a needed outlet and teachers additional employment – thanks to $197,400 from ESSER III.

When two teenagers died by suicide in the summer of 2020 and 2021, the grief-stricken community came together with a sense of urgency for the summer months going forward. Teachers were burned out, and families didn’t have many care alternatives for their children.

St. Vrain Valley School District expands its P-Teach program to four rural districts

Thanks to a $2 million ESSER grant, St. Vrain Valley School District is expanding its P-Teach program that helps high schoolers get started on teaching careers in four rural school districts. 

St. Vrain’s program started in 2019 and now has 150 high school students enrolled, enabling them to earn University of Colorado Denver credits. The expansion provides the program in Montezuma-Cortez RE-1, Las Animas, Cheraw 31 and Estes Park school districts.

Fremont school district uses ESSER funds to fix a sick building

The Fremont School District Re-2 had a sick building. A transfusion of ESSER funds cured it.

Working to keep the schools open during the pandemic, it became increasingly clear that the district’s oldest school building, Fremont Elementary, built in 1967, was not the healthiest place.

Districts communicate about their ESSER funds with help from two nonprofits

Adam Hartman, superintendent of the Cañon City School District, wanted to provide financial transparency so everyone in his small community could find out how the district was spending the $331,335 it received in federal pandemic Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.  

ESSER III funding helps Center open child care for staff

Child care was already a problem for the teachers and staff in Center Consolidated School District that was made worse when the pandemic hit, but fortunately, the school district found a solution with the aid of ESSER funding.

Money from the ESSER Rural Program Development helps West Grand CTE program

A professional-grade espresso machine and an ice cream maker may not seem like educational tools, but with a $3,000 ESSER Rural Program Development grant, the West Grand School District has turned them into teaching machines.

West Grand’s money used the funding to bolster its Career and Technical Education classes, which were disrupted during the pandemic. Remote learning was no substitute for the hands-on learning the program provides.

Mapleton uses ESSER funds for transformative leadership program

One goal for ESSER was to help students get up to speed and improve learning once schools reopened. The partnership with UVA, Crawford said, gave teachers strategies to help students catch up.

“It's figuring out which kids are behind and why. Learning data planning for interventions,” he said

Edison School District uses ESSER funds to repurpose school bus

Students in Edison School District No. 54 are learning industrial arts skills to repurpose an old school bus into a habitable home using ESSER funds that were available to rural school districts for strengthening student engagement.

The tiny 112-student school district in Yoder was one of 47 Colorado rural school districts that applied for money from the $141,000 Rural Program Development grant.

A detailed look at the Donors Choose campaign

A high school teacher in Arvada replaced his 40-year-old generator, enabling students to deep-learn the concepts of electricity.

A Denver K-3 teacher received hands-on materials so his students could conduct magnetic field experiments.

Thornton high-schoolers now have phospholipid and membrane transport kits so they can study how cells organize.

Second round of DonorsChoose funding goes quickly

More than 9,800 teachers had their projects approved in the second round of funding of the DonorsChoose campaign that only lasted three days. 

On Thursday, Sept. 21, Gov. Jared Polis announced his office would contribute $6.7 million from the Governor's Emergency Education Relief fund to the DonorsChoose program, which provided $1,000 to teachers for classroom supplies and resources to improve students’ learning experiences. The Colorado Department of Education contributed an additional $440,000 to the second round of funding.