Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund

UnboundEd is dedicated to empowering teachers and leaders to meet the challenges set by higher standards, unfinished instruction, and institutional racism by providing immersive instructional equity professional development and free high-quality standards-aligned resources.

Overview of ESSER funds

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, Congress has allocated $122.8 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Ninety percent of funding  (109.8 billion) will be distributed to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) based on their relative share of Title I, Part A funding.

All American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funds must be allocated by September 30, 2024 and spent by December 31, 2024.  

Using ESSER funds & UnboundEd

Districts have the flexibility to use the ESSER funds on any “activity authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act,” which includes UnboundEd’s entire range of virtual and in-person learning experiences. Listed below, all of our programs are grounded in the intersection of standards, content, aligned curriculum, and equitable instructional practices that are essential for closing the opportunity gap caused by systemic bias and racism. 

We encourage our partners to use purposeful language when determining the actions they will take using ESSER funds. We are gratified that schools will receive financial support to accelerate student learning and believe that taking an asset-based approach is crucial. Read our blog to learn more: Why Unfinished Instruction is More Accurate and Equitable than Learning Loss.

Virtual Summit

With an emphasis on grade-level curriculum, strategic supports, and equitable instruction, over two days, the UnboundEd Virtual Summit moves educators through planning processes that can produce meaningful and engaging in-person and virtual classroom experiences. Teachers & coaches leave the Virtual Summit better prepared to make informed decisions that address unfinished instruction while remaining in grade-level curriculum, and leaders leave the Virtual Summit better prepared to make decisions that ensure students have equitable access to grade-level instruction.

Educators choose a pathway organized by ELA or math and by K-5 or 6-12 grade-bands. Leadership pathways are also available, as well as our new UnboundEd Planning Process (UPP) Pathway for teachers using an aligned curriculum (meets all Meets Expectations in all EdReports Gateways). You can purchase seats to our national Virtual Summits or you can host a Virtual Summit for your group of educators to grow and learn together.

Learn more about the Virtual Summit 

Standards Institute (Resuming biannually in January 2022)

The Standards Institute is a unique, immersive, transformative five-day professional development experience for teachers, leaders, coaches, and school and system leaders that encourages a greater understanding of the research behind the standards, aligned curriculum, and practical, day-to-day strategies that can improve instructional practice and leadership. It allows educators to have conversations about race, examine bias and its role in instruction and learning, and commit to adaptive change within themselves as practitioners while providing practical strategies that can improve instructional practice and leadership in schools and systems.

Participants can choose ELA, math, or Leadership pathways in K-5, 6-8, or 9-12 grade band-specific sessions.

Online Modules - UnboundEd Planning Process (UPP)

The UnboundEd Planning Process guides teachers through identifying the prioritized learning goal and associated learning steps so that they can develop an instructional plan that leads to meaningful, engaging, and affirming grade-level learning for all students.Experience the UnboundEd Planning Process as a pathway at our 2-day Virtual Summit or through our self-paced online modules.

Learn more about the online modules

Cohort Program (Summer 2022 - Spring 2023)

Our cohort program includes the System Leader AcademyTM and the Equity Influencer ResidencyTM. They work in tandem to build a system’s capacity by training cohorts of leaders who become change agents for supporting effective, equity-focused instructional practices. Throughout the program, participants will experience 40 hours of learning with the goal of developing, implementing, and then assessing their strategies for change.

System Leader AcademyTM

For sitting, highly qualified instructional leaders who have the authority to implement significant changes in system-level district policies and structures. This includes Chief Academic Officers and executive-level district administrators.

Equity Influencer ResidencyTM

For educators who can impact the quality of curriculum and instruction across multiple classrooms and/or schools. This includes instructional coaches, curriculum specialists, assistant principals, and department chairs who coach teachers.

Learn more about the cohort program

We encourage district leaders to get in touch with UnboundEd to discuss the many ways we can work together to support teaching and learning, build systemic capacity, and close the opportunity gap over the next several years. 

Contact us about how you can use your ESSER funds for UnboundEd programming.