Three Okmulgee County schools, Morris,Okmulgee and Wilson, have been awarded incentive grants from the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE).
The grants are to help mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on student learning and ensure students are able to access learning opportunities in the new school year. The OSDE awards come from $8 million set aside in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund and $8 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. Both ESSER and GEER are components of the federal Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under the CARES Act, the OSDE funds must meet “emergency needs” of districts in response to COVID-19, while GEER dollars expended to schools must be to those “most significantly impacted by coronavirus.”
Morris will receive $100,000, Okmulgee gets $200,000 and Wilson will receive $46,000.
That money has be be spent in five priority areas in which students were impacted by COVID-19 – expanding connectivity for students, purchasing a content management system (CMS) or learning management system (LMS), providing mental health supports for students, compensatory services to at-risk students and training in the science of reading for teachers of pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.
A total of 360 districts applied for the Incentive Grants. Applications were reviewed and awarded within five categories based on student enrollment of up to 500; 501-1,000; 1,001-2,500; 2,501-7,500 and 7,501 and up.