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West Ottawa Public Schools announces plans for federal COVID-relief funding

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 13:56:38-04

HOLLAND, Mich. — West Ottawa Public Schools says it plans to use its one-time federal COVID-19 relief funds to address continued student growth, family engagement and critical needs for the upcoming school year.

“Each and every dollar we received from the one-time federal COVID-relief funds will be dedicated toward providing what’s best for our students,” said Superintendent Tim Bearden. “We are working to develop and implement high-impact, robust programming for our students. Our goal is to ensure that students have the resources to continue to grow in the years to come, and that no student is left behind as a result of pandemic-related program interruptions.”

The district plans to use some of the funding for eight weeks of 2021 summer programming, which benefits more than 1,000 students and is the only area program offering a five-day per week program including breakfast, lunch and transportation.

The district says it will hire 16 interventionists for the 2021-22 school year to address COVID-19 learning loss and aid in social and emotional needs. According to the district, the interventionists will be funded through at least the next two school years and will meet students where they are.

The money will also be used to provide after-school one-on-one tutoring. The school will also use some of the funds to update the building which will house staff at the district's new virtual school, finalize curriculum development and hire teachers for the program.

The rest of the money will go towards purchasing personal protective equipment, technology to aid student learning and additional staff to support cleaning protocols.

“These programs are key to keeping students on track,” Bearden continued. “Children across Ottawa County and the state have been through a lot over the past couple of years and we are committed to doing everything possible to set them up for success in college, career and life by offering many avenues to grow and learn. These additional resources will augment and support the incredible work already being done by our committed staff.”