Pandemic relief aid flows to school: Special Ed and disadvantaged students to benefit

Shelter Island School will be applying $53,578 in money received through the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help pay for special education services at the elementary and secondary levels.

Director of Pupil Personnel, Data and Instruction Jennifer Rylott told the Board of Education at its Aug. 30 meeting the money represents the district’s share of $9 billion allocated by the law signed by President Joe Biden. The focus of the legislation is to:

• Support safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services

• Address the impact of lost instruction from the COVID by interventions, including summer learning and comprehensive after-school programs

• Address the disproportionate impacts the pandemic has had on disadvantaged students, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, migrant students, homeless students and youths in foster care.

Even though Shelter Island was able to provide mostly in-person school during the 2020-21 school year, the limits imposed by safety requirements affected some special education students whose needs can now be addressed using the federal money.

The district also received a $26,000 grant from the Anthony J. and Susan A. Schiano Fund to establish the Owen N. Dickson Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior athlete attending a trade school or college beginning in 2022.