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Schools get $1.7 million in grant funds

Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) has received a federal grant for $1.7 million that will go a long way in helping the school system addressing learning loss and facility repairs and improvements.

“This far exceeds anything that we’ve received so far,” Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations James Abernathy said during a Jan. 14 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The $1.7 million grant is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) that was signed into law Dec. 27.

The CRRSA Act includes $54.3 billion for an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

According to Abernathy, LCPS has not determined precisely what the school system will use the funds for, but it can be used to addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care.

Items such as school facility repairs and improvements to enable LCPS to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards and to support student health needs can be completed with the funding.

Abernathy said inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification, and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement are things LCPS will be considering.

The school system is currently using CARES funding to install air filtration systems on its 32 buses.