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Fed’s approve AS-DOE’s plan for use of COVID funding

AS-DOE logo
compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The U.S. Department of Education announced approval this week of the American Samoa Department of Education’s (ASDOE) implementation plan for funding received through the American Rescue Plan. The plan details how American Rescue Plan funds will be used to sustain the safe operation of schools and equitably expand opportunity for students who need it most, particularly those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In support for the plan, the US-DOE released the Return to School Roadmap, which provides key resources and supports for students, parents, educators, and school communities to build excitement around returning to classrooms this school year and outlines how federal funding can support the safe and sustained return to in-person learning. American Rescue Plan funds can be used to support students and educators as they recover from lost instructional time, including in ways outlined in the Roadmap.

 “I am excited to announce approval of the American Samoa Department of Education plan,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “It is heartening to see, reflected in these plans, the ways in which education systems are thinking deeply about how to use American Rescue Plan funds to continue to provide critical support to schools and communities. The approval of these plans enables education systems to receive vital, additional American Rescue Plan funds to help keep schools open for full-time, in-person learning; meet students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs; and address disparities in access to educational opportunity that were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The plans that have been submitted to the Department lay the groundwork for the ways in which an unprecedented infusion of federal resources will be used to address the urgent needs of America’s children and build back better.”

“On behalf of the American Samoa Department of Education, I am honored to receive the approval of the American Rescue Plan Outlying Areas implementation plan by the U.S. Department of Education (USED) of $264 million,” said ASDOE Acting Director Dr. Teresa Leiato-Atuatasi.

“Our students deserve our best,” and we are hopeful that the ASDOE ARP reflects the continued partnership with the community and stakeholders to assist our students. By implementing the approved ARP-OA implementation plan, all public and non-public schools will be able to extend supportive learning opportunities, employ social-emotional learning to address the effects of the pandemic, and mitigate the threat of the spread of the disease. We extend our appreciation and gratitude to USED for their approval of the ASDOE plan to support our students.

“In moving forward, the ASDOE’s ARP action plan will empower our students to work collaboratively with school leaders and staff, community members, and their peers to address the challenges of the pandemic together. Lastly, I want to recognize our Federal Grants Office team for the tremendous work in diligently completing, revising, and finalizing the ASDOE’s implementation plan.”


The approved implementation plan outlines how federal pandemic funds are supporting safe, in-person instruction and the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of students—with a focus on the students most impacted by the pandemic. For example:

  • ¥          Returning to In-Person Learning in 2021: ASDOE will undertake several improvement projects to prepare school facilities to maximize the number of students schools are able to serve. Through the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Playground Center Project, ASDOE seeks to develop outdoor play areas/playgrounds for ECE centers to promote social distancing and encourage outdoor play and ensure the accessibility of playgrounds and/or outdoor play areas for children with special needs. The ECE and Elementary Libraries Projects will ensure that all ECE centers are equipped with mini libraries. All elementary school libraries will undergo renovations and improvements, which include updated books and resources. Through the School Cafeteria Infrastructure Implementation Project, ASDOE will improve the infrastructure of all school site cafeterias to accommodate the needs of students and to ensure the health and safety of all those in the school community. 
  • ¥          Addressing the Academic Impact of Lost Instructional Time:  ASDOE will invest in online and computer-based resources to support classroom instruction. Secondary school students will benefit from the use of math resources, through online programs, during the regular school day, after school, and summer school. Staff will receive training to support students in using these programs. 
  • ¥          Investing in Summer Learning and Expanded Afterschool Programs:ASDOE is committed to preparing its students for careers and education after high school. ASDOE will use a portion of ARP funding to support a number of career and technical trade programs for elementary through high school students. Programs will expose students to careers in fields such as robotics, electricity, woodworking, farming, drafting, auto body and welding, basic sewing, and basic cooking.

(Source: DOE press release)