As part of the federal government’s multiple pandemic aid and relief acts, Lakewood City Schools will receive a total of $17.1 million spread over four years to address learning and operational needs directly impacted by the pandemic.
While the pandemic created hardships across all areas of education for both students and staff, we are fortunate to be receiving this additional funding to be able to bolster our learning opportunities, technology and STEM resources, and staff support for all of our students. Our 2021 summer programming is an excellent example of how the federal funds have directly benefited our students as more than 1,000 students took advantage of free class offerings and transportation service. Programming included instrumental, makerspace and STEM camps, traditional summer school, and August Academies.
In the classrooms, federal pandemic funds have enabled the District to boost classroom reading libraries, provide equipment for elementary Makerspaces, purchase Chromebooks for younger grades, and hire additional intervention specialists and tutors for a two-year period to help address learning loss suffered during the pandemic. Some of the funds will also go to improving air filtration systems in our buildings, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety supplies.
The District has received its first round of relief funding, and part of the second round. A third allotment is yet to come. Once received, funds must be spent by 2024. Between now and then, the administration will be looking at ways to further support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs in a way that elevates student achievement and well being.
“We know that this money is a one-time infusion so we must be very targeted with spending it. We want to impact as many students as possible and in a way that moves us forward in areas we have been emphasizing, such as STEM and social emotional well being, without impacting the long term financial stability of the District” said Superintendent Maggie Niedzwiecki. “We are grateful to receive this additional funding to help us bridge some gaps we have been wanting to address.”