How are we using our Federal Grants?

Leveraging Federal Grant Resources

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about the grants provided to our public schools in order to mitigate the impact of COVID.  We thought it would be a good idea to provide a perspective of our intention and whether our plan has been working.



There is a more detailed explanation below, but in the simplest terms, these are the themes we either have been or plan to address over the next two years with the federal resources


Our key objectives with these resources:

  • Use the data that we have available to provide relevant services to our students and families.

  • Focus on better instructional and academic services both within and beyond our classrooms.

  • Expand the understanding and practical/real-world opportunities that our students are able to engage in as a result of their educational experience.

  • Empower our families to easily engage at home as a partner in the academic growth of their children.

  • Ensure a financial structure that provides a stable tax rate and creates a sustainable financial path into the foreseeable future.



The grants that have been made available through the State of Illinois that were uniquely offered to respond to the impact of COVID are ESSER & ARP.  Much has been made in the news about these resources being left unspent.  Our process has been based on a responsible fiscal approach to the use of these resources.  The grants, in general, have a September 2024 deadline to be fully spent.  We have chosen to develop a 3-year spending plan so that we are providing both sustainable services for our students and sustainable stability to our budget.  Our academic goals were pretty simple:  1) ensure that we could be open and have students in our classrooms, and 2) address the relevant gaps in learning that were made worse by the pandemic and the associated mitigations.  Our financial goals were also pretty simple.  The grants allowed us to offset current spending, meaning there was no expectation for the creation of new programming.  Every year, we work to close academic gaps and these resources have allowed us to offset some of that spending.  We have had a deficit in our Education Fund for the past few years.  The grants have allowed us to effectively build a bridge between our current fiscal year and the year in which we expect a significant increase in EAV due to the windmill development East of LeRoy.  As a result of the development of this 3-year plan, we have both closed academic gaps and the fiscal gap in our Education Fund.  Our COGNIA student assessment data was very good this year.  We are expecting to have a balanced Education fund to end this fiscal year, and are projecting a modest surplus in the next fiscal year budget.  We feel strongly that these decisions were both academically and fiscally responsible.


After the first of the year, another grant became available.  A “Community Partnership Grant” was released to all the schools in the State of Illinois.  We made a successful application and have been provided additional resources for FY2023 and FY2024.  There are three core goals for this grant:  1) close learning gaps, 2) address mental health challenges faced by children and adults with specific attention given to the affirming behaviors in our Habits of Success, and 3) create opportunities for real world authentic learning opportunities.  Unlike ESSER, which was leveraged to support existing services, the CPG will allow us to implement some unique strategic services and build additional comprehensive services for our students, staff, and families.  Much of the CPG initiative is intended to address critical issues over a two-year period and then settle into sustainable programs from that point forward.


What are some of the specific strategies supported by these resources over the next 2-years?


ESSER will support…

  • Paraprofessionals working in our classrooms to support instruction.

  • Tutoring beyond the school day for students who are struggling in Reading or Math.

  • Summer enrichment activities that support learning and closing academic gaps.

  • At-home interventions through technology: Renaissance/Freckle

  • Chromebooks to embed our 1:1 initiative (also supported by LEAF, LeRoy Education Advancement Foundation).

  • Professional Development for our Certified Staff in the areas of Reading and Math.

  • Nursing and Counseling Services.


CPG will support…

  • Tutoring and academic support beyond the normal school day.

  • Development and implementation of a Mentor and Coaching model with the goal of building our staff to more effectively support one another in their effort of continuous improvement.

  • Our Guidance Counselor in the efforts to create clear college/career access points for our students.

  • Access to an online Employee Assistance Program.

  • A partnership with the Replex for student and staff wellness.

  • An effort to clearly define the Profile of a LeRoy Graduate, where the path is more actively directed by the student.

  • Our Bloomington Area Career Center where our students gain practical real-world work-related learning experiences.

  • Increasing counseling and therapy services for our students and families.

  • Family engagement events with a focus on some of the challenges our students face either academically, socially, or in the pursuit of their post graduate plans.


Supporting Artifacts (PDF)

  • COGNIA Student Assessment Data Summary (under construction)