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Section 1: Introduction

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School EmergencyRelief (ESSER) III Fund is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impacts of COVID-19 on the nation’s students by addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. NORTON CITY SCHOOLS  has been awarded $1,890,141.75 in ESSER III funds. This plan describes how the awarded funds will be used.

Questions about this plan should be directed to Dr. Gina Wohlford, Superintendent or Virginia Roberts, Director of Federal Programs, Norton City School Board Office 276-679-2330. 


Norton City Schools has been open with in-person learning since August 5, 2020.  The division began with students attending 4 days a week in-person with a virtual day on Fridays. Also, the division offered a remote learning option for students, as requested by parents. Mitigation strategies of handwashing, wearing masks, and social distancing have remained in place since August 2020 and will be utilized as deemed necessary throughout the next school year in accordance with CDC and VDOE guidelines and for K-12 Public Schools.  

It is the belief of Norton City Schools that students benefit from in-person learning and  safely returning to in-person instruction 5 days a week in the fall of 2022 is a priority. 


Section 2: Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

ARP Act ESSER III funds may be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance  and Virginia Department of Education guidelines on opening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in-person learning. Norton City Schools will use approximately $1,449,959.19 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to implement prevention and mitigation strategies as described below.



Mitigation Strategies

  • NCS will provide opportunities for vaccination clinics through the Virginia Department of Health at school sites throughout the year as a public health strategy for ending COVID-19. Promoting vaccination can help our schools safely return to in-person learning, as well as participating in extracurricular activities and sports. 

  • Norton City Schools will consider the CDC guidelines of six feet social distancing in classrooms to the greatest extent possible when transmission rates are high in our community.

  • Ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested will be encouraged, and information about symptoms of COVID-19 and daily self screening information will be made available to parents on the Division website, social media outlets, School Messenger and electronic school signage as deemed necessary. 

  • Cleaning and disinfecting school buildings and buses will be a priority. Sanitizing stations and other necessary supplies will be available in each classroom and throughout the school buildings for use. 

  • Students, teachers and staff will be made aware that they should stay home when they have signs of infectious illness and to visit their healthcare provider for testing and care. 

  • NCS will monitor community transmission and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the extent of layered prevention strategies necessary at any given time. 


Norton City Schools will replace a section of roofing at NEMS to improve ventilation in the cafeteria area, to help with better air quality and to correct a leaking issue. 


Electronic signs have been installed at both schools within the Division to prevent viral spread and will give the schools the ability to communicate with parents in real time, remotely from their vehicles. This will enhance communication with the community and families. These signs are touchless, which helps decrease community spread of COVID-19.


Norton City Schools will modernize the current bathrooms at both schools to improve ventilation, improve air quality, respond to a need for greater hot water access, touch-free facilities, prepare for greater sanitization, increase social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19.


In order to respond to the need for greater air quality and ventilation, NCS will be replacing windows at John I. Burton.


  • Roofing (NEMS)

  • Electronic /digital signs

  • Bathrooms

  • Window replacements


Section 3: Addressing Unfinished Learning


Section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act requires each LEA to use twenty percent of its formula funds to address the academic impact of lost instructional time (learning loss) through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs. Norton City Schools will use approximately $416,182.56 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds to address unfinished learning as described below.


Norton City Schools will address the academic impact of learning loss and target students with learning gaps in the primary grades by providing an additional teacher and paraprofessionals for greater individualized instruction as well as providing a year long comprehensive after school program for all grade levels. Math and reading critical skills will be the key focus for addressing learning gaps.  Additionally, an extensive summer school program with a focus on core areas of reading and math remediation was held during the summer of 2022 for all grade levels and high school courses. 

Learnig loss will continue to be addressed during the 2022-23 school year in the same manner with the addition of project based learning and enrichment activities. 



  • Learning loss teacher  2022/23  

  • Learning loss paraprofessionals 2022/23 

  • 2022-23 Summer School  30 teachers 

  • 2022023 After School Program teachers  

  • Benefits 22/23 learning loss teachers and staff


Section 4: Other Uses of Funds


Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act permits school divisions to use the ARP Act ESSER III funding not reserved to address unfinished learning to address the impacts of COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Norton City Schools will use approximately $24,000 of its ARP Act ESSER III funds in accordance with Section 2001(e) of the ARP Act as described below.


Norton City Schools will focus on technology needs of our students by having agreements for technology support in general education and for virtual instruction as students meet eligibility requirements for Norton City Schools. 



  • Technology Support:

    • Consultation 2022-2023

    • Virtual Learning Support 2022-2023  


Section 5: Addressing Students’ Academic, Social, Emotional, and Mental Health Needs


Social, Emotional, and Mental Health- 


Norton City Schools will contine the partnership with United Way- Trauma Informed Initiative for our entire division. All employees will receive mental health awareness training as employees return in the fall 2022. Teachers and staff will be better prepared to respond to the warning signs and social/emotional needs of our students during this learning process. School Counselors and Administration will support this partnership and work with students on an individual basis as needed. 


Norton City Schools will prepare for supporting social/emotional/mental health needs of our students by partnering with Community in Schools with an on-site coordinator for this program during the 2022-23 schol year.. 


Norton City Schools will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for all students. All schools in the division are CEP schools, which means all students receive breakfast and lunch at no cost. Norton City Schools will focus on meeting the additional needs of students and families that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care. These sub groups will be a focus when identifying students and families that may need additional services and responding to their needs through community organizations and other support systems. 


  • United Way- Trauma Informed Initiative 

  • Community in Schools 


Section 6: Consultation with Stakeholders and Opportunity for Public Comment


In developing the ARP ESSER Plan, Norton City Schools sought public input and took such input into account as described below.  

  • Planning Committee Meetings  

  • Leadership Meetings  

  • Board Meetings  

  • Parent/Community Surveys  

  • Advisory Committee Meetings 


Committee meetings were held with the following stakeholders, including: students, families, school and district administrators (including special education administrators), teachers, principals, school leaders, other educators, and school staff. 


Committee meetings and surveys  conducted during the summer of 2020-2021, and the committees additionally have met throughout the school year, specifically during the spring of 2021 to revisit and revise elements of the ARP ESSER plan. 


Committee meetings and surveys will be conducted during the fall of 2022-2023, and the committees will meet throughout the school year, specifically during the fall of 2022 to revisit and revise elements of the ARP ESSER plan. 


There is a division email account,, that is accessible to community members, stakeholders, civil rights organizations (including disability rights organizations),

and stakeholders representing the interests of children with disabilities, English learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migratory students, children who are incarcerated, and all other families for input on division plans. 


This is monitored by the Superintendent and the designee for information that needs to be considered by the committees and shared at Board meetings. 


Monthly School Board meetings are held and public comment is an agenda item at each Board meeting.


Section 7: Making the Plan Available to the Public


Norton City Schools has taken the following steps to make this plan available to the public:

  • The plan is posted at;

  • The plan will be accessible to the public on BoardDocs at Scheduled Board Meetings;

  • The plan is available in multiple languages: 108 languages;

  • The plan may be orally translated for parents. Contact Becke Elkins, Norton City School Board Office 276-679-2330 to request translation; 

  • Upon request, a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA may be provided with the plan in an alternative format accessible by contacting Becke Elkins, Norton City School Board Office 276-679-2330.