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Parents, Students, and Staff,

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) Fund was enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, Public Law 117-2.ARP ESSER provides a total of nearly $122 billion to States and school districts.   These funds can be used for limited purposes over the next three school years to address learning loss and for the safe reopening and operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  River Valley Schools will receive an initial allocation of $1.25 million for the ARP ESSER allocation.  Again, these funds can only be used for areas listed above.

Any school district receiving ARP ESSER Funds must develop a “Safe Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan.”  River Valley Local Schools developed a “Return to Learn”  Plan prior to the 2020-21 school year.  Although this plan meets a significant amount of the ARP ESSER requirements, it is important to note:  the “Return to Learn” plan will change before the start of the 2021-22 school year as we adjust to the current situation and guidance from state and local education and health agencies.  

One of the major changes we anticipate is allowing parents to make a decision on whether or not their child(ren) wear masks/facial coverings while at school or on the bus, unless the Governor’s orders, or additional orders from the Department of Health require us to do so.   However, it is important to note that the ARP ESSER federal guidance required that plans include, or could be modified to include guidance on masks, physical distancing, handwashing , cleaning, etc.  While our “Return to Learn” plan addresses many of these areas, River Valley will continue to make changes in response to the current situation and based on feedback from parents, students, and staff.

In regards to the ARP ESSER Funds, each district must have a plan that includes, or will be modified to include how it will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other school and LEA staff, and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the CDC’s safety recommendations including: 

  • Universal and correct wearing of masks;
  • Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding);
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
  • Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation;
  • Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial or tribal health departments;
  • Diagnostic and screening testing;
  • Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff and students, if eligible; and
  • Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies.
  • Ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health and other needs, which may include student health and food services.
  • Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies. 

Any input or feedback regarding the District's plan related to the above bullet points can be sent to  Please remember to include pertinent contact information (phone number, address, etc.) in the email so that the District can contact you if we require additional information or have questions. Thank you!

Local Use of Funds

First page of the PDF file: LocalUseofFunds