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File #: 20-580    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 7/20/2020 Departments: BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 5
On agenda: 8/4/2020 Final action: 8/4/2020
Title: Measure K: Adopt a resolution authorizing a one-time grant of district-discretionary Measure K funds, not to exceed $75,000, to Jefferson Elementary School District (JESD) to expand digital access, practical supports, and services for JESD students and families as a response to COVID-19 pandemic effects, and authorizing the County Manager, or his designee, to execute the grant agreement.
Sponsors: David J. Canepa
Attachments: 1. 20200804_r_JESD Reso.pdf, 2. 20200804_a_JESD Measure K Grant Agreement

Special Notice / Hearing:    None__

Vote Required:    Majority

 

To:                      Honorable Board of Supervisors

From:                      Michael P. Callagy, County Manager

Subject:                      Use of District-Discretionary Measure K Funds - Supervisorial District 5

 

RECOMMENDATION:

title

Measure K: Adopt a resolution authorizing a one-time grant of district-discretionary Measure K funds, not to exceed $75,000, to Jefferson Elementary School District (JESD) to expand digital access, practical supports, and services for JESD students and families as a response to COVID-19 pandemic effects, and authorizing the County Manager, or his designee, to execute the grant agreement.

 

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BACKGROUND:

Measure K is the half-cent general sales tax initially approved by San Mateo County voters in November 2012 and extended in November 2016 for a total of thirty years.

 

On February 12, 2019, the Board of Supervisors (Board) held a study session on Measure K expenditures and anticipated revenue for fiscal years (FY) 2019-21. The Board-appointed Measure K sub-committee, consisting of Supervisor Pine and Supervisor Canepa, convened the study session to, among other things, work with staff to facilitate the Board’s development of Measure K priorities and continuing initiatives for FY 2019-21. The Board approved $3.75 million in one-time loans or grants each fiscal year for FY 2019-21, divided equally among the five supervisorial districts, for district-discretionary needs and projects. District Five has submitted a request to use its district-discretionary Measure K funds as shown below and described in the Project Summary section of this memorandum:

District/Project

Amount

District 5 (Supervisor David J. Canepa) - Jefferson Elementary School District to expand digital access, practical supports, and services for students and families as a response to COVID-19 pandemic effects

$75,000

 

This item is consistent with the criteria for district-discretionary Measure K funds approved by the Board in December 2018.

PROJECT SUMMARY:

This is a request to authorize a grant to Jefferson Elementary School District (JESD or District) and resulting grant agreement in an amount not to exceed $75,000 to provide expanded digital access, practical supports, and services for JESD students and families as a response to COVID-19 pandemic effects. The County Manager’s Office will administer and manage the proposed agreement.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shelter-in-place orders are having a significant impact on the District and its ability to continue to educate and provide needed nutritional, mental health, and other supports to students and their families. The District has faced and will continue to face unprecedented challenges including:

                     implementing distance learning for all learners, including students with special needs and dual language learners,

                     meeting the strained social emotional health and wellness needs of students, families, and staff,

                     providing continued access to essential nutrition services, and

                     sustaining meaningful engagement with families.

 

The driving purpose of this request is to support District children across diverse domains during this time of multiple crises in their families, educational experience, and personal development.  School districts are oriented to primarily support educational outcomes, and this crisis has required the District to explore and find ways to support its core mission by providing the most under resourced students necessary, unconventional supports in other areas of their lives, utilizing and developing expanded partnerships to do so. This proposed grant would contribute toward District activities that attempt to address the areas of equitable academic access by providing technological, mental health, and practical supports to students and families who are most in need.

 

This grant would increase student access to curriculum and classroom community during distance learning by allowing the District to provide additional Chromebooks and internet connectivity. This will provide more students in the elementary grades access to learning resources online along with their classroom peers - such as online curriculum, class meetings and lessons.  The neediest families have been made aware of the availability of devices and hot spot connections to support their child's education through internet access from home, and many have requested this support.  By increasing students’ connectivity, the proposed grant would support student emotional health by providing access to opportunities to interact in real time with their teachers, counselors, and classmates.  Being part of the classroom community is an important component of an elementary student's identity.  Missing out on that opportunity, and knowing that other classmates are enjoying that experience, is detrimental to their feeling of belonging during this time of isolation.

 

Families appreciate the opportunity for their students to receive "live" instruction from their classroom teacher in addition to the self-directed learning that a packet or online activities afford.  School-provided devices and connectivity facilitate that.  Providing devices and connectivity allows families to rely on regular instruction, feedback, and support from their child's teacher regardless of their economic situation.  This connectivity also allows a family to support their child's learning through a host of other learning resources available online and through community organizations like the Daly City Public Library.

 

Many families are hit hard by this prolonged health and economic crisis.  Jobs were lost, and families are struggling to make ends meet.  District student nutrition programs help, but not enough.  District assessments of families indicate that students have been unable to access instruction because families are overwhelmed by the need to meet their basic needs for food and housing. The District is seeking funding to provide some relief by forgiving lunch debt for families that were unable to pay for their child’s lunch in the course of the 2019-20 school year.

 

The District also intends to expand its collaboration with Daly City Partnership to provide practical, life-saving supports to District families ineligible for other public supports. District staff will identify and refer families in need of assistance to Daly City Partnership. To identify families needing assistance, the District has invited families in need to submit a brief survey identifying family size, current income, stimulus money received, rental payments, and information on how COVID-19 has affected their family. The District forwards those families that indicate their rent exceeds 50 percent of their gross monthly income to Daly City Partnership. Daly City Partnership verifies that the family has demonstrated economic need, based on their household size, income, stimulus money received, and rental costs. Eligible families will then receive short-term relief funds of up to $200 per eligible family for food and household needs. Daly City Partnership will also make referrals and support enrollment to a variety of relief programs, including rental assistance programs. Daly City Partnership will then invoice the District for the cost of the relief funds provided to District families. There would be no overhead or other organizational costs.

 

The District also seeks to ensure that some of the neediest students will be able to continue to access mental health support through the summer months, by using the grant to pay for school counselors and mental health contractors during this period.

 

The District anticipates the following project impacts:

1.                     Greater access to devices and connectivity will support student learning as they receive direct instruction, small group support, and feedback from a qualified educator.

2.                     Greater access to devices and connectivity will also support students' feelings of connectedness to their classroom community, by allowing the students to see and interact with their teacher and classmates on a regular basis for instruction, class meetings, and social interactions with peers.  Knowing the school is also supporting their practical needs also strengthens this connection.

3.                     The “Digital Divide” in the community is lessened as access inequities are eliminated and students have the same opportunities to use and explore the internet resources similar to their greater resourced peers.

4.                     The "Life Necessity Divide" in the community is lessened as some relief is provided to families ineligible for other forms of government aid to meet basic needs; and strengthened partnership and kinship with the school and community organizations is developed that can be built upon in coming months as support will continue to be needed.

5.                     The "Wellness Divide" is lessened as some of our neediest students will benefit from continued mental health support over the summer weeks as they continue their wellness struggle during this time.

 

Itemized Budget

$20,000                     Sixty Chromebook tablets to ensure students have a device to use during distance learning.

$20,000                     Subscription fees to ensure connectivity for 100 devices for the 2020-21 school year.

$20,000                     Support for families ineligible for public benefits to help cover some life saving needs like food and household needs, facilitated through Daly City Partnership.

$5,000                      Support for foster youth and homeless students to receive necessary mental health support over the summer months with school counselors and Star Vista.

$10,000                     Forgiveness of unpaid, accrued lunch debt to support families in the midst of this financial and health crisis in our community.

Total Measure K Request: Not to Exceed $75,000

The release of funds will be contingent on the execution of an agreement providing for the County’s confirmation of the expenditure of funds during FY 2020-21 for the purposes stated herein. The County will disburse the funds to the following organization for the purposes described above:

Bernardo Vidales, Superintendent

Jefferson Elementary School District

101 Lincoln Avenue

Daly City 94015

650-746-2400

 

PERFORMANCE MEASURES:

Description

Target

Provide 60 Chromebooks during distance learning and connectivity for 100 devices during the 2020-21 school year

Complete

20-30 families, not eligible for public benefits, will receive tangible support for food and other practical needs

20 families minimum supported

At least 10 students (homeless, foster youth and other struggling youth) will continue receiving summer mental health services during summer weeks

10 students minimum receive services

 

County Counsel has reviewed and approved the agreement and resolution as to form.

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

There are sufficient Measure K funds for this specific FY 2020-21 Measure K request. These funds are budgeted in the Non-Departmental Services FY 2020-21 Recommended Budget.