Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER)
Background on ESSER
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) signed into law on March 11, 2021 provided nearly $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund (ESSER), ARP ESSER funds are provided to State educational agencies in the same proportion as each State received under Title 1-A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in fiscal year (FY) 2020. A State Education Agency (SEA) must allocate at least 90 percent of its ARP ESSER grant funds to its local educational agencies.
Local Education Agency’s (LEAs) in the same proportion that the LEAs received under Title 1-A of ESEA in FY 2020. LEAs must reserve at least 20 percent of their total ARP ESSER allocation to address the academic impact of lost instructional time on all students through the implementation of evidence-based interventions.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) published interim Final Requirements (FR) on April 22, 2021 requiring LEAs receiving ARP ESSER funds to submit an LEA ARP ESSER Plan and an LEA Plan for the Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services. If an LEA has already developed a plan for safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services prior to the enactment of ARP that meets the statutory requirements of section 200(i) but did not address all of the requirements in the IFR, the LEA must revise and post its plan no later than six months after receiving its ARP ESSER funds. This applies even if an LEA has been operating full-time-in-person instruction but does not apply to fully virtual schools and LEAs.
The IFR and ARP statute, along with other helpful resources, are located here:
*April 2021 Interim Final Requirements: American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund
*ED Fact Sheet American Result Plan Act: https://oese.ed.gov/files/
*The American Rescue Plan Act: https://www.congress.gov/117/
*CDC COVID-19 School Operation Guidance (August 5, 2021 update): Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools | CDC
*ED COVID-19 Handbook Volume I & Vol. II: https://www2.ed.gov/documents/
*ESEA Evidence-Based Guidance: https://oese.ed.gov/files/
TEA ARP ESSER III Guidance: https://tea.texas.gov/finance-
LEA ESSER Use of Funds Plan Guide
The Granger ISD will ensure that its ARP Funds meet all the required elements and are spent in an allowable manner.
1. ARP ESSER funds will be used to implement prevention and mitigation strategies that are, to the greatest extent practicable, consistent with the most recent CDC guidance on reopening schools, in order to continuously and safely open and operate schools for in person learning. Granger Return to School Plan.
Granger ISD plans to use our ESSER III funds to convert current water fountains to container filling fountains, purchase protective gear such as masks to be used by students and staff who opt to use, sanitizing stations, sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes and cleaner. Additional instructional aides will be added to staff to provide coverage due to COVID quarantine of staff or to assist in monitoring high traffic areas for COVID safety protocols.
Teacher stipends will be covered using ESSER funds for increased time to prepare virtual lessons. Virtual teaching assistants will be utilized at the secondary campuses to assist with virtual learner’s needs. (2020-2021 funds)
2. The District will address the academic impact of lost instructional time through the implementation of evidence-based interventions such as small group tutoring, built in accelerated learning blocks, online programs to support student’s learning loss, and diagnostic assessments to pinpoint areas of academic need.
One full time reading interventionist is being added to the elementary campus and an instructional aide is being added to the middle school. Student devices will be purchased to assist with home learning, in-class learning and providing of accelerated instruction. Credit recovery opportunities will be provided for secondary students who suffered credit issues during COVID-19 Closure, or attendance issues during initial COVID-19 virtual implementation
3. Granger ISD will spend remaining ARP ESSER funds consistent with section 2001(e)(2) of the ARP Act. Cleaning and disinfectant supplies will be purchased to accommodate the needs of each campus. Additional instructional support for summer tutoring will be utilized based on student need and student learning loss.
4. Granger ISD will ensure that the interventions it implements, including but not limited to the interventions implemented under section 2001(e)(1) of the ARP Act to address the academic impact of lost instructional time, will respond to the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of all students, and particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including students from low-income families, students of color, English learners, children with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students.
The District provided internet accessibility to students who did not have access to internet through the issuing of hotspots during initial closure. The district will support students in a similar way with the district looking to contract with local providers to provide a feasible internet option for families without access during closure. Students will be able to access online lessons and resources. Devices will be purchased and provided to students who do not have a device to access online learning and resources.
Granger ISD will provide an additional high school counselor to provide emotional and academic support to students.
LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services
Granger ISD has a compliant plan for safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of service posted in English at GISD Return to School Plan 2021-2022 and in Spanish at GISD Return to School Plan 2021-2022. The updated guidance titled Back to School 2021-2022 includes guidance for the 2021-2022 school year. The District will review and revise guidance periodically, at least every six months.