Safe In-Person Return

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 returned to full in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year and full in-person learning continues during the 2022-23 school year. View the 2022-23 COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan


The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, Public Law 117-2, was enacted on March 11, 2021. The ARP Act provides additional funding for school districts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Education portion of ARP is known as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III or ARP ESSER) Fund. 

District 97 plans to apply for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III (ESSER III) federal grant for funding. These federal funds were appropriated to the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) public education under the ARP Act through the ESSER III Fund. District 97’s allotment is $2,934.859.00.


ARP ESSER III funds, which are available through September 30, 2024, are provided to address learning loss and support the safe reopening and sustaining safe operations of schools while meeting students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools. ARP ESSER III grant funds were issued for one-time or short-term types of expenditures to address the identified needs caused by the pandemic. 

Plan for ARP ESSER III Use of Funds

District 97 plans to use the funds to address learning recovery needs created by COVID-19 related school interruptions. Our primary focus will be on providing student academic support in the following ways:

  • Social- Emotional Supports
  • Academic Supports
  • Health and Safety Resources
  • Capital Improvements
  • Technology 

Stakeholder Input

District 97 launched an online survey on May 2-13, 2022, to gather input from parents, staff, community members. This was done in advance of the district developing the ESSER III application to help us determine how to prioritize spending of the SRP ESSER III funds. Click here to view a summary of the survey results.