PUTNAM COUNTY – The Putnam County School System (PCSS) has been named a Tennessee Department of Education Best for All district for prioritizing academic gains for students while designated historic federal COVID-19 relief funds (ESSER).
Learning loss from the pandemic is top-of-mind for school districts in the state of Tennessee as each district, like Putnam County, made strategic investments in essential initiatives that are most likely to benefit students and accelerate achievement to close the gaps.
“Our main focus is and has always been our students, and the ESSER 3.0 funds (a little over $20 million) were given to us to make sure our students continue to learn, grow and achieve academically as well as social and emotionally,” said Corby King, PCSS Director of Schools. “It takes a team of people to sit down at the table and navigate how these historic funds are to be spent within the guidelines, but we have a fantastic team of people and a great community who care about our students, staff and education as a whole and we can celebrate this day because of them.”
To be considered a Best for All district means a district spent 50% or more of its ESSER 3.0 funds on proven, research-based strategies to raise student academic achievement and is participating in the TN ALL Corps tutoring program to provide students with a high dosage, low ratio tutoring opportunity.
“The ESSER 3.0 funds we received have been used mainly for curriculum/academic inventions, RTI interventionists, and the TN All Corps tutoring program. The tutoring program has been wonderful because we have partnered with Tennessee Technological University’s College of Education to launch the program successfully. All of these efforts were strategically planned to help us close achievement gaps felt by the pandemic,” said Jason Stickler, ESSER Supervisor at PCSS. “It is exciting to be one of the 68 districts to receive statewide recognition for our efforts.”
Putnam County School System will join the other 67 districts across the state today in the Tennessee Department of Education’s first Best for All Recognition Day in the state.