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Preston to hold virtual public forum on uses for federal COVID-19 relief school grant

Preston — Residents will get a chance on Thursday to hear the school district’s full reopening plan for fall and to offer suggestions on how the town schools should use the latest $589,000 federal COVID-19 relief grant.

A virtual community forum will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday for both topics, through either an online Zoom session or telephone participation. The link and teleconference number are listed on the meeting notice posted on the calendar at www.preston-ct.org. There is no in-person option for the meeting.

Superintendent Roy Seitsinger said the town must have its fall reopening plan completed and posted on the district’s website by June 23.

Following an outline of the fall reopening plan, discussion Thursday will turn to uses for the anticipated $589,000 the school district will receive in the federal American Rescue Plan. The funding comes with a requirement for public input on how the district will use the grant money, Seitsinger said.

The grant must be spent in five specific categories, with an overarching requirement that equity apply to all spending decisions, Seitsinger said. The five major categories are:

  • Learning acceleration, academic renewal and student enrichment.
  • Family and community connections.
  • Social emotional and mental health of students and school staff
  • Strategic use of technology, staff development and the digital divide.
  • Building safe and healthy schools.

The spending plan must be completed and posted on the district's website by Aug. 16.

“We’ll have an open discussion and dialogue, brainstorming on some of the priorities the public might have in mind,” Seitsinger said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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