U.S. Department of Education Approves the U.S. Virgin Islands Implementation Plan for Use of American Rescue Plan Funds to Support K-12 Schools and Students

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In the present day, the U.S. Division of Schooling (Division) introduced the approval of the U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Schooling’s (VIDE) American Rescue Plan Outlying Areas State Academic Company (ARP-OA SEA) implementation plan. VIDE’s plan particulars how American Rescue Plan funds might be used to maintain the protected operation of colleges and equitably develop alternative for college students who want it most, significantly these most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Division launched the Return To School Roadmap, which supplies key assets and helps for college students, dad and mom, educators, and college communities to construct pleasure round returning to school rooms this college 12 months and descriptions how federal funding can assist the protected and sustained return to in-person studying. American Rescue Plan funds can be utilized to assist the roadmap’s efforts.

“I’m excited to announce approval of the Virgin Islands Division of Schooling plan,” stated U.S. Secretary of Schooling Miguel Cardona. “It’s heartening to see, mirrored in these plans, the methods wherein training programs are pondering deeply about use American Rescue Plan funds to proceed to offer important assist to varsities and communities. The approval of those plans allows training programs to obtain very important, further American Rescue Plan funds to assist hold colleges open full-time, in-person studying; meet college students’ educational, social, emotional, and psychological well being wants; and handle disparities in entry to academic alternative that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The plans which were submitted to the Division lay the groundwork for the methods wherein an unprecedented infusion of federal assets might be used to handle the pressing wants of America’s youngsters and construct again higher.”

“The Virgin Islands Division of Schooling is deeply appreciative to our companions in Congress and the U.S. Division of Schooling for generously making obtainable funding that has allowed us to soundly proceed educating and studying throughout the pandemic,” stated Racquel Berry-Benjamin, Virgin Island Commissioner of Schooling.“The funds have been appropriately used to outfit our colleges and school rooms with the mandatory instruments to make sure the protection of scholars and employees. Moreover, the funds have been central to us closing the digital divide by establishing and increasing our technological infrastructure, permitting for the acquisition of laptops and web entry for all Virgin Islands college students. Whereas these occasions have undoubtedly been difficult, they’ve additionally led to nice alternative. We stay grateful for the assist U.S. Division of Schooling continues to offer.”

“The American Rescue Plan supplies $138 million to the Virgin Islands to assist Ok-12 colleges take the steps really helpful by the CDC to make sure college students and educators can return to the classroom safely,” stated Rep. Stacey E. Plaskett. “The success of our academic system is vital to the success of our college students and to the power of our group. The American Rescue Plan makes a historic funding that may safe the way forward for academic establishments and supplies struggling college students with pressing reduction that may enable them to remain on observe and full their training. I’m proud that we have been in a position to ship this assist for our academic system and I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for its relentless concentrate on defeating the pandemic and constructing again a greater economic system.”

The implementation plan accredited by the Division in the present day outlines how federal pandemic funds are supporting protected, in-person instruction and the social, emotional, psychological well being, and educational wants of scholars—with a concentrate on the scholars most impacted by the pandemic. For instance:

Returning to In-Individual Studying in 2021: The St. Thomas/St. John Faculty District of the U.S. Virgin Islands seeks to implement a multi-tiered complete program that positively impacts the social and emotional improvement, and educational studying, in addition to the bodily and psychological well-being, of scholars in all subgroups. Employees might be skilled to handle the social-emotional want of scholars and employees within the college setting.
Addressing the Tutorial Influence of Misplaced Tutorial Time:The St. Croix Faculty District of the U.S. Virgin Islands seeks to concentrate on constructing scholar morale, rekindling the passions for returning to high school in-person by addressing college spirit, growing scholar participation in supplemental programs, and offering alternatives for scholar athletes with ARP funding. The objective of this program is to reconnect college students and educators socially, emotionally, and academically to the varsity atmosphere; scale back studying loss by way of athletics, navy sciences, and supplemental applications; and improve studying features by way of scholar participation in afterschool applications, college occasions, and supplemental applications.
Investing in Summer season Studying and Expanded Afterschool Packages:VIDE will provide afterschool and Saturday educational applications that present quite a lot of educational and enrichment alternatives for college students, together with the Pathways to Success After-Faculty Program, an prolonged college day program the place college students will obtain small group or particular person tutoring, and Homework Hotline, which is able to present college students further educational assist and alternatives to interact in dialogue and questioning to encourage a deeper and extra sturdy understanding of assorted topic issues. 

The ARP-OA Fund, approved underneath Part 2005 of the ARP Act of 2021, supplies $850 million for the Secretary of Schooling to allocate to the Outlying Areas (American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) primarily based on their respective wants. The Secretary allotted these funds to assist safely reopening and sustaining protected operations of colleges whereas assembly the educational, social, emotional, and psychological well being wants of scholars ensuing from the pandemic.

In the present day’s approval of the implementation plan is a part of the Division’s broader effort to assist academics and different educators as they work to reengage college students impacted by the pandemic, handle inequities exacerbated by COVID-19, and construct our training system again higher than earlier than. Along with offering $130 billion for Ok-12 training within the American Rescue Plan to assist the protected reopening of Ok-12 colleges and meet the wants of all college students, the Biden-Harris Administration additionally has:

Held the Return To School Road Trip, a bus tour that visited colleges throughout 5 states in 5 days to have fun the protected return to high school.
Introduced new mental health resources to offer info and assets to boost the promotion of psychological well being and the social and emotional well-being amongst youngsters and college students
Launched the Return To School Roadmap to offer key assets and helps for college students, dad and mom, educators, and college communities and description how federal funding can assist the protected and sustained return to in-person studying.
Launched three volumes of the COVID-19 Handbook.
Hosted a National Safe School Reopening Summit.
Prioritized the vaccination of educators, college employees, and childcare employees.
Supplied $10 billion in funding for COVID-19 testing for preK-12 educators, employees, and college students.
Launched a sequence of fairness summits centered on addressing inequities that existed earlier than however have been made worse by the pandemic.
Launched a report on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on underserved communities.
Developed a Safer Schools and Campuses Best Practices Clearinghouse elevating a whole lot of finest practices to assist colleges’ efforts to reopen safely and handle the impacts of COVID-19 on college students, educators, and communities.

Along with the actions the Biden Administration has taken to reopen colleges, the President has proposed important investments by way of his Construct Again Higher Agenda. The Construct Again Higher laws will provide common and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds and, make training past highschool extra reasonably priced—together with providing extra trainings and apprenticeships, by growing the utmost Pell Grant, increasing entry to DREAMers. It should additionally make historic investments in Traditionally Black Schools and Universities, Tribal Schools and Universities, and minority-serving establishments.



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