Sheldon prioritizes community’s needs for federal fund allocations

Earlier this spring, Sheldon ISD learned the district is eligible to receive money under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund. Sheldon will be able to use these funds to respond to the pandemic and to address student learning needs resulting from COVID-19. 

“We realize this has been a challenging two years,” said Superintendent Dr. King Davis. “I’m thankful for the government's prioritization of educational funding to help school districts safely reopen and sustain our schools, while addressing the pandemic’s impact on our student’s academic and emotional health.”

Over the course of three years, Sheldon ISD will receive approximately $15.22 million through ESSER III funds. This can be used as support for teachers, instructional materials like technology, more instructional time, ways to empower parents with partnerships and other support like digital tools. Sheldon ISD surveyed families, staff and students to determine their recommendations for funding. Survey results showed parents and staff wanted a focus on support for teachers, updated devices for all students, pay raises for teachers and staff, resources for mental health and counseling, and investment in early childhood which builds a solid foundation for learning. 

Sheldon ISD’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a 3% raise for all professional and paraprofessional staff. This raise will go into effect in the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, the school district will use funds to add personnel to focus on intervention for core subjects, bilingual literacy, as well as counseling and early childhood. There will be more mental health professionals staffed at each secondary campus at no cost to the district as well as new curriculum at all levels that focus on mental health. 

“It is equally important to us to include our parents as partners in education,” Dr. Davis said. “This year, we will begin a new Sheldon Ambassador Academy that includes monthly meetings that provide a behind the scenes look at operations in Sheldon ISD as well as encourage and empower our parents to become ambassadors for their child’s education in our community. I’m looking forward to the 2021-22 school year and all it will offer for our students and community.”

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 11.