ESSER Engagement

Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund 3.0

Community Engagement and Recommendations

Metro Nashville Public Schools has been allocated approximately $276 million in federal funding through the ESSER 3.0 program that is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

As a requirement for this third round of funding, we were asked to engage stakeholders during the grant planning process. We connected with the community to gather feedback and viewpoints in order to finalize our plan for this funding. This page highlights how we used engagement sessions and a public survey to gather the feedback for our final report, which will be shared with the Tennessee Department of Education.

Throughout the month of August 2021, we heard from teachers, school administration, parents/guardians, students and community organization members. Feedback collected is helping to drive the direction we will take to use these funds.

Our Process

  1. We created a survey for our stakeholders (K-12 public school families in Davidson County, community organizations and other Davidson County residents)
  2. Created messaging to help inform and invite our stakeholders to engage (social media, email and website)
  3. Hosted seven engagement sessions to capture feedback and input for the ESSER plan
  4. Used feedback from the engagement sessions and the survey to finalize our report


Focus Areas

We have four focus areas, which align with the required Tennessee Department of Education key priorities. Each of these helps us guide decisions that affect the whole district. For more information on the focus areas, visit the ESSER overview page.


Information-Gathering Sessions

Internal and external sessions were held during the weeks of July 26 and Aug. 2, 2021, via a virtual platform. Social media, MNPS newsletters, curated emails, earned media and collaboration with organizations such as Nashville NOW were leveraged to raise awareness about the sessions and extend the invitation to participate.


Top Priorities or Suggestions by Group


Online Survey

  • MNPS received 160 submissions on its short survey, which mimicked the questions asked in the engagement sessions.
  • Those who identified as parent/guardian made up the bulk of the survey participants (53 percent).
    • All grade tiers were represented, with “elementary” having the highest percentage of participants (41 percent).
    • With the exception of one (Whites Creek), every cluster had representation through the survey, including magnet/alternative and charter school; 4 percent selected “unsure.”
  • The following community organization groups were represented within the survey:
    • Civil Rights: 11%
    • Disability rights and students with disabilities: 4%
    • English language learners: 13%
    • Migratory students: 4%
    • Children in foster care: 7%
    • Children experiencing homelessness: 9%
    • Students who are incarcerated: 2%
    • Underserved students: 38%
    • None of the above: 11%


Survey Results


Next Steps and Recommendations

Feedback shows our stakeholders are receptive of the direction we are headed in. Key findings will help our team determine the best course of action for implementing the plan, including:

  • Continue the spiral funding to schools so they can utilize the funds to best serve the staff and student population.
  • Emphasis on the investments that have been identified, specifically around accelerating academics and how to further grow and sustain staff.
  • Continue to be transparent about the progress on how the funds are being used.