Published on August 11th, 2020 📆 | 5624 Views ⚑0
King William School District receives $600,000 in county funds for technology, repair needs
The King William school division is set to receive more than $400,000 in county coronavirus relief funds, as well as $170,000 from the county’s restricted general funds in order to meet technology and repair needs ahead of school reopening in September.
After receiving roughly $1.4 million in federal CARES act funding, King William County is working to allocate funds to offer relief from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Issuing its reopening plans, the school division plans to begin Sept. 8 with a hybrid schedule. But, in order to remain on this trajectory, the school division requested additional funding to ensure folks’ safety, provide internet access and make needed school repairs.
According to Superintendent David White, in order for students to work on virtual instruction at home, they will need adequate internet access. Recognizing some families do not have adequate availability, the division will need to accommodate this.
“We have plans underway to make it easier on parents and students,” White said. “The plan is to equip buses with WiFi and plant them in strategic locations so they don’t have to come all the way to the schools to connect.”
Additionally, the division plans to set up hot spots at specific physical locations so residents at the opposite end of the county do not have to travel long distances to complete schoolwork. The division is looking into providing personal MiFi devices to qualifying households but nothing has been finalized.
The division is also receiving funds to develop online and blended learning software. Previously, the division planned to use Virtual Virginia, an online curriculum developer, as its online curriculum.
Partnering with the Virginia Department of Education, Virtual Virginia offers curriculum for little to no cost to school divisions. But, with limited spots available, White said several Northern Virginia schools have claimed the remaining spots.
As a result, the division will need to supplement its online curriculum for virtual learning. The division is currently working with its staff in order to develop a curriculum for each grade level.
Additionally, the division will use the funds to purchase various online-based programs in order to offer students resources throughout the year.
Conducting business in a virtual world, White said the division will use some of the allocated funds to expand its IT services for extra support.
Additionally, the county is allocating $40,500 to meet sanitation needs. The division will use the funds to purchase cleaning supplies to disinfect classrooms, buses and facilities as well as placing hand sanitizing stations around the schools.
While localities will not have to reimburse any of its CARES Act funding to the federal government, there are stipulations in place.
The funds must go toward direct COVID-19 relief and they must be distributed by the end of the year. The federal government reserves the right to audit the county. If at any point, it deems funds were not allocated properly then the county will have to pay back those funds.
To ensure this does not happen, County Administrator Bobbie Tassinari said any organization that receives funding must provide extensive documentation and purchase receipts.
In order to receive funding, the division will need to provide documentation and receipts for every purchase made with the funds, Tassinari said.
While the division is set to receive more than $400,000 in CARES Act relief, it has requested additional funding to meet needs that fall outside of the coronavirus relief fund parameters.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution to appropriate more than $170,000 from its restricted general funds for needed general repairs at the schools.
The division plans to use nearly $60,000 to purchase computers for students and faculty. In order to monitor social distancing and to ensure students wear their masks, the division plans to allocate $5,000 to install camera systems in its buses.
Additionally, the division plans to use roughly $85,000 for general repairs at the high school. The school’s parking lot is in need of resurfacing, the gymnasium needs new speakers and the division needs a lawnmower to maintain its fields.
The division plans to use $25,000 to fix a fire panel at Acquinton Elementary School.
The restricted funds are drawn from the county’s annual reconciliation of split levy funds.
In a split levy system, the county collects taxes at the beginning of the year. When the taxes are collected, a percentage automatically goes toward the school division’s annual budget.
Approving its annual budget in June, the county estimates how much it will collect and how much will be allocated to the schools. If its estimate is higher than expected, the remainder from the collected amount goes toward its restricted general funds reserved for both county and division capital needs.
Following the division’s allocated funds, the restricted general funds now total $172,000 to be reserved for later projects.
For more information, visit kingwilliamcounty.us.
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