SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — In this segment of Making the Grade, Salem City Schools receives millions of dollars in ESSER funds. ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds. It’s part of the Cares Act package to help schools get back on track because of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many schools used the money for different support efforts. Salem used much of the money to support teachers. English and Math teachers received help from secondary instructional coaches.

“Naturally with all that lost instructional time, students were behind, so a lot of the ESSER funds were provided to help schools put stop gaps in place to help catch those kids back up,” shares Superintendent of Salem City Schools Dr. Curtis Hicks.

Andrea John was hired to fill the Secondary English Instructional Coach position.

“We’ve seen first hand when you plug in these dedicated professionals to come alongside teachers in the classroom, it has a huge impact on student success,” she says.

The school division is helping students reach their academic goals while sticking with the mission to love, engage, and inspire students. WFXR’s Good Day Virginia Anchor Charmayne Brown files this report.