How ARP Funds Are Driving Student Achievement and Well-Being in Washoe

  • Nevada’s Washoe County School District in Reno received more than $70 million in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. The district is using more than $40 million of those funds to hire additional staff, including preschool teachers and classroom aides, teaching assistants, attendance clerks, and family graduation advocates in secondary schools.

    Learning facilitators also have been hired so that every elementary school has an experienced instructional leader working directly with teachers and students to improve learning outcomes. Further, a partnership with PBS Reno, the local PBS affiliate, will enable the hiring of retired educators to lead STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) literacy workshops in all elementary schools.  

    ARP funds also have been used by the district to support before- and after-school tutoring programs, voluntary Saturday School programs, and 2022 summer school for students in grades K-12 who were achieving below grade-level.

    The district also has utilized Paper Online tutoring to provide students with 24/7 on-demand, chat-based tutoring in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin, as well as SAT/ACT prep.

    In addition to enabling academic support, federal funding in the amount of several million dollars were allocated to mental health supports and systems, both at the school level and the district level. These supports include:

    • a dedicated mental health administrator who works closely with all school psychologists and counselors to develop robust procedures for threat assessment and intervention;
    • a substance misuse prevention specialist who provides evidence-based prevention programs for students, notably, anti-vaping education at the middle-school level; and
    • a Student Voice Facilitator, who leads student groups at the school and district levels in expressing and addressing concerns from students’ perspectives.