How K-12 School Districts Can Take Advantage of ESSER Funds

Established as part of the Education Stabilization Fund in the CARES Act, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) is aimed at helping K-12 schools address the impact of COVID-19 on education, and to implement new models of virtual teaching and learning while addressing learning loss.

These funds can be used for technology that aids interactions between students and their instructors, including summer learning and after-school programs, as well as for the development of resources to address individual school needs.

As we head into back-to-school season, many schools will be conducting student needs assessments for prioritized spending allocations, as well as developing overall plans for returning to school safely. 

Many schools have had to adjust to a hybrid remote model by transitioning from paper to digital for key processes like special education forms, new hire onboarding and purchase order forms. 

Based on a series of interviews with school district leaders, we discovered several key areas where schools will be using ESSER funds and ramping up processes that DocuSign can help streamline.

  • Streamlining admission and enrollment forms. With K-12 schools focused on getting students back into their classrooms, many education leaders are focused on streamlining all admission and enrollment forms, as well as reducing the traditional administrative burden in this arena. 
  • Collecting parent consent for assessments or IEPs. As learning loss is a key focus, overall student needs and special education assessments have become vital, and schools are looking to streamline parent consent forms, as well as the signing of IEPs. 
  • End-to-end HR hiring and on-boarding processes: Once overall student needs are assessed, schools will be focused on hiring learning specialists – with some of the largest school districts looking to onboard more than 600 new staff members this year. The streamlining of these HR and onboarding processes will be critical to meeting these goals. 

With contingency plans in place in case of spikes in COVID cases, and potential hybrid learning models continuing, DocuSign eSignature can play a vital role in not only helping school districts to streamline many core processes to advance learning, but also to best take advantage of ESSER funds. 

Learn how K-12 school districts were able to transition from paper to digital agreements to adjust to the new learning realities during the early days of the pandemic.

Learn more about the DocuSign Agreement Cloud for Education.