Step-by-Step Guide For ESSER Grant Application

CARES Act ESSER Funding aims to help K-12 schools "rethink the way students access education." If you haven't done so already, we highly encourage you to fill out an application to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools, like yours.

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to apply for these funds and others:


STEP 1: Look up your allocation amount.

Click here to find out how much your district is allocated. These are relief funds and cannot pay for salaries or regular expenses that are typically provided by states or local funding.


STEP 2: Fill out and submit your application. 

All eligible applicants must create and submit an application through the ISBE IWAS system. Sign up/Log in

Watch a webinar from the ISBE on how to fill out your application. 


STEP 3: Build out your program and allocate the use of grant funds.

Some areas for allowable use of funds include technology for online learning, summer learning, supplemental after-school programs, including classroom instruction or online learning, meals to eligible students, guidance for meeting the requirements under the IDEA, and other education services, and mental health services and support.


NextWaveSTEM can help build a plan that includes summer, afterschool, and professional development programming for your district (remote or in-class), which you will detail in Section C of the IWAS form (Line 11 and/or Line 12). Our curricula is designed to help K-12 students develop the 21st Century skills needed to master problem-solving and critical thinking and be prepared for the influx of STEM-related careers. And our professional development helps teachers master the facilitation of STEM education whether they have experience or not.


Once the district application approval is received, districts may submit expenses in IWAS for reimbursement. Sign up/Log in.


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