The Hartley Sentinel-The Everly/Royal News - Serving O'Brien & Clay Counties

By Nick Pedley
News Editor 

CC/E mulls ESSER funds

Money earmarked for COVID-19 mitigation in school


May 6, 2021


New playground equipment will be installed this summer at CC/E Elementary.

Clay Central/Everly has a money problem, but nobody's complaining.

District officials are trying to figure out how to spend approximately $398,000 in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The money was allocated by Congress to address the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in America's school districts with the goal of mitigating the effects of the pandemic.

Superintendent Kevin Wood on April 28 provided an ESSER update to the school board. He is investigating spending the money on summer school and additional curriculum to close the learning gap, as well as new HVAC mini splits, water filling stations, and a new floor scrubber and carpet cleaner. CC/E is also hoping

to offer a full-day preschool program thanks to the additional cash.

"We have quite a bit of money to spend," said Wood. "We have a lot of money left."

As of now, the deadline to spend all ESSER funds is Sept. 30, 2023. Wood said the money comes with spending guidelines, and some requests need to be approved.

"We're looking at how to spend it and spend it wisely," he said. "We need to use it on what's best for CC/E."

The board was particularly excited about offering full-day preschool.

"We'd be shooting ourselves in the foot if we didn't have it at this point," said Board President Allison Goyette.

"I think it's a great idea," said Board Member Allyn Heikens.

CC/E Superintendent Kevin Wood

More information about preschool will be provided to parents in the coming weeks. According to discussion, the program will be re-evaluated in two years.

• New playground equipment coming

A big addition was slated to arrive in Royal this week.

According to Wood, the elementary school's new playground equipment was slated to show up May 4. The obstacle course-style set cost $67,408, including the price of installation.

Volunteers are needed to remove the old equipment and pea rock. Wood said a date will be set after the school year comes to a close, with removal taking place as soon as possible.

The new equipment will be stored in the bus barn in the meantime for safekeeping.

"It'll be exciting," Wood said of the new gear.


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