The Usefulness of ESSER Funding for Classical Charter Schools in Supporting Scholars’ Excellence in a Post-Covid-19 World

In 2020 and 2021, Congress passed three stimulus bills to provide funding to the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief (ESSER) Fund. NYS must distribute Funds to local education agencies (LEAs) based on their proportional share of ESSA Title I-A funds. On March 11, 2021, The American Rescue Plan Act passed providing supplemental ESSER funding, known as ESSER III. ESSER funds are a one-time emergency relief payment. Funding will expire after September 2024.

The ESSER funds have been an important contribution to Classical Charter Schools (CCS) by injecting resources toward education recovery during and after the COVID-19 school closure and reopening process, to ensure that every scholar can reach their educational potential. Specifically, the funds have helped CCS to implement long-term strategies and contingencies to support the school’s operational continuity. These funds were allocated to follow the health protocols required by the State and Federal agencies: hiring of additional staff, enhancing health and safety measures, meeting scholars’ academic, social, and emotional needs by establishing learning support programs, mental health support for students and staff, and enhancing technology and infrastructure upgrades.

Enhancing Physical Health and Safety

CCS used ESSER funding to intensify our efforts in maintaining a clean and safe environment for scholars and staff. This includes the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature detection devices, social distancing, deep cleaning services, improving and maintaining ventilation systems, and implementing regular COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. These measures helped the CCS community prevent the spread of the virus within school buildings and ensured a safe and healthy environment for all stakeholders.

Meeting Scholars’ Academic, Social, and Emotional Needs

The interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a significant learning gap for scholars. CCS utilized ESSER funds to develop initiatives to support scholars’ academic and emotional well-being, which may have emerged during remote learning periods by providing technology devices to scholars, hiring additional staff, funding the Tutoring Program, Summer Program, curriculum upgrades, Hotspots services, and academic interventions.

Mental Health Support for Students and Staff

ESSER funding has facilitated the resources to hire Counselors and School Psychologists, introduce counseling services, allowing the staff to access professional mental health support safely and privately. CCS encourages the use of mental health resources and ensures that the staff are aware of the available support resources.

Enhancing Technology and Infrastructure Upgrades

CCS uses ESSER funding to invest in technology and infrastructure upgrades necessary to accommodate the needs of our scholars in remote or in-person instructional environments. This includes purchasing Chromebooks, laptops, tablets, scanners, projectors, printers, Wi-Fi upgrades, Firewall Upgrades, Cybersecurity and Go Guardian Services. These funds equipped the school with the necessary tools and resources to enable operational continuity even during times of crisis.

Thanks to the ESSER funding, the resilience and dedication of our entire community Classical Charter Schools emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger and improved educational institution. ESSER funds help us successfully navigate through these difficulties and continue to provide a supportive and enriching environment for scholars and staff.

See How Classical Charter Schools Allocated ESSER Funding

Accountability, financial transparency, and commitment to governance practices and policies are the core of Classical Charter School culture. We are utilizing ESSER funds with financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness. See approved budgets for ESSER I, II & III below:

ESSER Funding



This post was contributed by Ms. Grisleyda Ramirez, CCS Business Manager. As a non-CMO charter network, we rely on the thoughts, opinions, and innovations of our staff to move our mission forward and provide an excellent academic option to families in the South Bronx. To hear more from our staff, check out the next post! Or, click here to learn more.


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