Board Approves SCSD ESSER Budget

On December 14th, the South Conejos School District Board of Education approved the ESSER III budget for how to spend federal pandemic response funds. The district used community feedback to develop the budget for using American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund dollars, under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The proposed budget will be submitted to the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) for review. The CDE will determine which expenditures are considered allowable.    

  • If expenses are approved, the CDE will reimburse SCSD for the funds. SCSD does NOT have the funds in hand, as of December 2021.

  • Approval of SCSD's budget by the CDE is not contingent upon its decision regarding response to COVID-19, including decisions about masks, testing or vaccinations.    

  • Staff created the budget using internal and external feedback from parents, students, staff members and community partners, as shared through a survey, a direct email address for input, virtual forums and feedback sessions.    

  • No outside agency made decisions or was directly involved in the budget-planning process. SCSD leadership used community feedback to craft the final budget that will be submitted to the CDE.

Once approved, SCSD will receive about $1.06 million in ARP ESSER funds in the 2022-2024 school years for the safe operation of schools and to address the impact of the pandemic on students.

Stakeholder Input on ESSER Funding

Staff, families, parents, and community members were given the opportunity to share their thoughts through a survey that was available from November 8th to December 9th, 2021. Through the survey, stakeholders communicated the number one priority for ESSER funds should be to address Learning Loss. The second priority chosen was Health & Safety Needs; the third priority was Social/Emotional/Mental Well-Being.


Of the survey, 65% of participants were staff members, 20% were parents/guardians, 10% were community members, and 5% were students.

Breakdown of ages of children for those who participated in survey.


Past COVID funding used for safety, student learning and social and emotional support

Throughout the pandemic, SCSD has prioritized its use of federal dollars for health and safety, continuation of operations, learning loss, and social and emotional/mental health supports. 

Examples of Past Spending:

  • Covid Supplies: Personal protective equipment, such as masks, shields, gowns, and gloves; sprayers and cleaning supplies; water bottle-filling stations; hand sanitizer; and equipment to facilitate social distancing (6-foot floor markers, plexiglass dividers, etc.

  • Remote Learning Technology: Laptops, internet hotspots and services, headsets, webcams, keyboards, mics

  • Summer Learning Loss: Summer school both virtual and in-person

  • Salaries: SCSD Virtual Staff, COVID Coordinators, Nurse