In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress approved a number of emergency support measures, including the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. About $30 million in ESSER grants have been set aside for North Dakota schools. Below is information about how the money has been allocated and how it may be spent.

Non-Public Requirements & Information
Non-Public ESSER Equitable Share
City School Amount
Belcourt St. Ann's Catholic School $21,487
Bismarck Martin Luther School $2,209
Bismarck The Innovation School $0
Bismarck Brentwood Adventist Christian School $0
Bismarck Shiloh Christian School $12,832
Bismarck Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Elementary School $19,883
Bismarck St. Anne Elementary School $15,042
Bismarck St. Mary's Central High School $8,414
Bismarck St. Mary's Elementary School $0
Bismarck St. Mary's Academy $0
Bismarck Missouri Valley Montessori $0
Devils Lake St. Joseph Elementary School $7,339
Dickinson Dickinson Catholic Schools $15,171
Dickinson Invitation Hill Adventist School $0
Dickinson Hope Christian Academy $0
Fargo Grace Lutheran Elementary School $0
Fargo Holy Spirit Elementary & Nativity Elementary $73,558
Fargo Sullivan Middle/Shanley High School $0
Fargo Oak Grove Lutheran Schools $0
Fort Yates St. Bernard Mission School $37,753
Grand Forks Holy Family Elementary School $9,568
Grand Forks St. Michaels Elementary School $33,488
Jamestown Anne Carlsen Center $0
Jamestown St. Johns Academy $36,273
Langdon St. Alphonsus Elementary School $7,294
Mandan Christ the King Montessori and Elementary School $23,127
Mandan St. Joseph Elementary School $13,773
Minot Bishop Ryan Catholic School $7,037
Minot Our Redeemers Christian $0
Rugby Little Flower Elementary $3,399
Valley City St. Catherine Elementary School $4,695
Wahpeton St. Johns Catholic Elementary School $3,694
West Fargo Trinity Elementary $16,914
Williston St. Josephs Elementary School $17,338
Williston Trinity Christian School $0


Capital Expenses

Capital Expenditures Guidance

Recipients of federal funds must get prior written approval before spending funds on capital expenditures. (2 CFR § 200.439(b)(1)). Capital expenditures include the funds an entity spends to buy, maintain, or improve its fixed assets, such as buildings, vehicles, equipment, or land.

Please note:

  • The standard threshold for getting prior approval is $5,000. Capital expenditures exceeding $5,000 must be justified as COVID-related and receive written prior approval.
  • Considerations regarding
    • Procurement – 2 CFR § 200.317-327
    • Construction – 34 CFR § 75.600-617
    • Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rules – 20 U.S. Code § 1232b
    • Uniform Grant Guidance Rules – 2 CFR § 200.310-316
      • Prior approval rules – 2 CFR § 200.439
      • Rules on real property – 2 CFR § 200.311
      • Rules on financing costs – 2 CFR § 200.449
    • EDGAR construction rules – 34 CFR § 76.660, 34 CFR §§ 75.600-75.617
    • Construction projects are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The NDDPI revised the form to obtain approval on capital expenses funded with ESSER dollars. 
  • Districts will also need to submit SFN 52304 (School Construction Approval Request) for any requests in excess of $150,000 to Adam Tescher.
  • The form can be submitted to Lisa Johnson.
  • This new process is effective March 4, 2021.

Information on Construction Designs

School districts requesting to use ESSER funding for construction must request prior approval by submitting the “Capital Expenses – Prior Approval” form. Before construction is advertised or placed on the market for bidding, the grantee shall get approval of the final working drawings and specifications using the guide below:

Final Working Drawings:

Architectural and engineering drawings which consist of acceptable reproducibles. These drawings provide information about various aspects of the construction of the building including architectural (floor plans, interior and exterior elevations, and sections), ornamental, structural, mechanical, electrical, and air-conditional details, as well as site and landscaping plans. This is probably the most important class of records since they provide not only detailed instructions for the erection of the building but also present a comprehensive and detailed picture of its design.

Project Specifications:

Guides for individual construction projects which outline material requirements and explain the materials and manufactured items depicted or related drawings.

Questions on this requirement can be directed to Jamie Mertz, Department of Public Instruction Fiscal Director, at 328-2176.