As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, school systems across the country have been receiving funding from the federal government to combat the pandemic and the many negative impacts the COVID virus has had upon the education of children. This federal COVID-19 Relief funding has been labeled as Cares Act Funding and ESSERF. All federal grants arrive with specific regulations for what, how, and when the money must be spent. Summers County School Board has documented exactly how all COVID Relief Funds have been spent as per the federal guidelines. All of our spending of these federal funds has been approved by the Summers County School Board’s five members and the WV State Department of Education.
Your school system spends these federal dollars to buy products to clean the schools and buses as per guidelines mandating cleansing of student and employee environments for the covid virus. School staff completes this task proficiently as per the cleaning guidelines.
These federal guidelines also allow for money to be spent for renovations of existing buildings to provide for more spacing for students, educational programs to help students who have fallen behind as a result of COVID, and air quality of HVAC systems specifically.
The projects funded by this federal money and approved by the WV State Department of Education are as follows:
1. Renovation of the Summers County Board Office at Hinton Area Elementary for an annex to the elementary school to relieve overcrowding;
2. Additional air quality systems (ionic cleaners) added to existing HVAC systems in our buildings to filter out the COVID-19 virus;
3. Renovation and completion of the multi-purpose athletic facility building behind the end-zone at SCHS. That building has been unused for years and will now provide a place for our baseball and softball batting cages, archery, golf, and football during both good and inclement weather;
4. New air-conditioning units at Jumping Branch Elementary;
5. After school tutoring;
6. Hiring extra staff, both professional and service;
7. School materials and computers;
8. Summer school program that also fed students;
9. Internet on-line schooling for stay-at-home students during COVID-19;
10. Air-conditioning splits for three high school locker rooms.
This money is providing for immediate needs as well as renovation of existing infrastructure that will serve our students for decades to come. Additional information will be provided in articles that are upcoming in this paper.
Summers County School Board President
Summers County School Board Vice-President