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Have you used your ESSER funds yet?


According to an EdWeek Research Center Survey, nearly 80% of district and school leaders say they’ve spent three-quarters or more of their funds.


If you’re not part of that percentage, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to utilize your ESSER III funds before they expire in September 2024.


If you’re not familiar with ESSER III funds and how they can be used, let’s break it down for you.


What are ESSER III funds?

ESSER III funds are federal funding provided to K-12 schools in the United States as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) of 2021. These funds are intended to help schools safely reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic and address the impact of the pandemic on student learning. Schools can use these funds for a variety of purposes, including:


1. Creating flexible and adaptable learning spaces.


ESSER funds can be utilized to create adaptable learning spaces that cater to a range of teaching and learning styles. By embracing flexible furniture options, schools can easily rearrange their classrooms to accommodate different activities and group sizes. At WB, we offer a wide range of flexible furniture solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of educational environments. Recently, Yuba City Unified School District utilized its ESSER funding to prioritize the safety of teachers and students while addressing their unique learning needs, which included investing in our flexible furniture. This investment allowed them to create dynamic and versatile learning environments that promote engagement and collaboration. Learn more about how Yuba City Unified School District used its ESSER funding.


2. Investing in an esports program.


Using ESSER funding to invest in an esports program is an excellent strategy to address social-emotional well-being. Esports programs promote social interaction and teamwork, which are essential for students’ social and emotional development. To start, schools should consider purchasing specialized esports furniture like our LEET™ Esports collection, which is designed for students with different needs and improve the overall gameplay. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out these design factors to consider when creating an esports lab.


esports lab rendering


3. Re-engaging students through career and technical education.


There are many school districts using ESSER funds to expand their career and technical education (CTE) programs. These programs can play a crucial role in re-engaging students, addressing learning loss and promoting on-time graduation. Recent research even suggests that students enrolled in CTE programs are 7% more likely to graduate from high school on time compared to students not enrolled in CTE programs.


But what is career and technical education?


Career and technical education equips students with the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the workforce. By offering hands-on experiences in various fields, CTE programs enable students to develop practical skills that are applicable to real-world situations. These programs foster career readiness and provide students with a head start in their chosen professions.


If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to incorporating CTE in your school, you’ve come to the right place. At WB, we’re experts at designing spaces that support CTE programs. Take a look at our CTE Spotlight packet and discover how our team can help you leverage your funds to create a functional CTE environment.


career and technical education classroom


4. Incorporating technology-enhanced environments.


Technology plays an increasingly integral role in education, and ESSER funds can be allocated to equip learning spaces with the necessary tools. Invest in interactive whiteboards, projectors, digital displays and audio systems to foster multimedia-rich learning experiences. Create dedicated spaces for students to collaborate virtually and access digital resources. Furthermore, consider furniture that makes technology integration easy. Our experienced design team can work with you to understand your requirements and create customized furniture solutions that seamlessly integrate technology while maintaining functionality and aesthetics.


5. Enhancing safety measures.


As schools navigate the post-pandemic era, safety remains a top priority. Because of this, many schools are using ESSER funding to improve ventilation systems, install air purifiers and upgrade HVAC systems to ensure optimal indoor air quality. As you look to enhance your own school’s safety measures, you should also consider touchless technologies, automatic hand sanitizing stations and hygiene-friendly surfaces to mitigate the spread of germs. At WB, our experienced design team understands the significance of creating safe learning environments in today’s world. We can collaborate with your school to design classroom layouts that prioritize safety without compromising functionality. By carefully arranging furniture and optimizing space utilization, we can help ensure adequate physical distancing between students and create an environment that supports their well-being.


Leverage your ESSER funds before it’s too late!

The clock is ticking … make sure you use your ESSER III funds before they expire in September 2024. These funds provide an incredible opportunity for K-12 schools to enhance their educational offerings and create environments that foster student success. By partnering with us, we can assist you in maximizing your funding and transforming your classrooms into dynamic and engaging spaces that inspire learning. Reach out today to get started.