Parma city schools use ESSER money to fund the arts and update scientific equipment

PARMA, Ohio – As part of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) award, Parma City schools received approximately $ 22.9 million from the third round of emergency funding for primary and secondary schools (ESSER III).

Given that the money can be applied to needs dating from March 2020 to September 2024, the district is focusing not only on upgrading its art offering for all students, but also on purchasing much-needed brand new high school science equipment.

“We are excited to advance our art programs using ESSER funding,” said Parma City School Superintendent Charles Smialek. “We consider ourselves a dormant giant in this area because we simply did not have the income to offer our children the opportunities they deserve.

“This temporary increase in funding helps us showcase the talents of our students and broaden their perspectives by addressing this all-too-forgotten arena.”

Assistant Director for Curriculum and Teaching at Parma City Schools Tiffany M. Stropko said the district is spending more than $ 98,000 on updating its laboratory equipment for biology, physics and chemistry.

“Individual buildings and departments have given priority to needs related to current inventory, key science labs in their standards, or the current curriculum adopted by the board,” Stropko said. “Common scientific laboratory equipment to be ordered includes microscopes, scales, hot plates with stirrers, laboratory drying ovens and pH meters.”

In addition, Parma City Schools is allocating $ 1.5 million for physical education, music and the arts.

In an effort to give students access to music, the district has earmarked $ 500,000 for new musical instruments.

“There are a lot of children who choose not to play music because they can’t afford an instrument, so now children have access to all those instruments,” said Stropko.

In addition, each high school received $ 50,000 to restart drama programs. Stropko said the recent production of “The Wizard of Oz” at Valley Forge High School was a big hit.

“We had a full house,” Stropko said. “We have teamed up with our cosmetology program. We had elementary students in production like munchkins. We haven’t had such a play in a drama production for a long time.

“The shows were full, so I would say they are satisfied, happy. In general, we are in the process of developing our art, which will make our children marketable when they graduate. ”

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