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Denison ISD 2022-2023 Return to School Plan

The Denison ISD District Plan was developed by a variety of stakeholders including administrators, teachers, nurses, counselors, and custodial, maintenance and transportation staff.  We wish to thank all of the individuals who contributed time and perspective to the development of this school year's plan. To view the Safe Return to School plan, CLICK HERE.

ESSER Funding for Texas School Districts

The U.S. Congress has provided financial support for districts and schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas received $1.3 billion in ESSER I funding, an additional $5.5 billion in ESSER II, and $12.4 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds (also referred to as ESSER III). To view the Denison ISD ESSER Use of Funds Plan, CLICK HERE.

2022-2023 COVID-19 Response Plan



The conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic are continually evolving, and Denison Independent School District’s COVID-19 Response Plan will be regularly evaluated to adapt to the continuing trends of the COVID-19 virus, especially in Denison and Grayson County. The details in this document are subject to change as directives are provided by governing authorities and/or health officials or as transmission levels increase.

Denison ISD is committed to ensuring that all students, staff, and community members remain healthy and safe by adhering to best practices in the following areas:

  • Virus Prevention Strategies

  • Virus Response Protocols

  • Virus Mitigation Tactics


NOTE: Student and Staff Exclusion and Re-Entry Criteria is listed at the conclusion of this section.

Employee, Student, and Visitor Screening Procedures:

Parents/guardians are expected to screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms each day prior to sending their student to school. Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if they suspect the student is infected with COVID-19. Student must remain off campus until he/she meets the criteria for re-entry.


All visitors will be screened for COVID-19 (symptoms and close contact). Visitors that fail the screening must remain off-campus until the criteria for re-entry is met.

The list below details possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Sore throat

  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering

  • Significant muscle pain or ache

  • Diarrhea

  • Nausea/Vomiting

  • Runny Nose/Congestion


COVID-19 Positive Cases and Symptoms for Students:

The school nurse will provide a clinical assessment for students that display symptoms of COVID-19 while at school.


Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes of the parents being contacted. Student must remain off campus until the criteria for re-entry is met.


Any student that is test-confirmed with COVID-19, must remain off campus until the criteria for re-entry is met.


Close Contact for Students:

Denison ISD staff will not conduct close contact investigations. However, parents will be notified if the district has been made aware that their student has had potential exposure to COVID-19. 


​Denison ISD will not require student exclusion for close contact exposure. However, any student who has had close contact with an individual who is test-confirmed with COVID-19 may report this information to the school system, and may remain off campus until the recommended criteria for re-entry is met. Students who choose to remain on campus are encouraged to wear a mask and closely monitor for symptoms for 14 days from exposure.  Additionally, per CDC guidance, it is recommended individuals be tested 5 days after potential exposure. 

Close contact is defined as:

  • Being directly exposed to infectious secretions, or

  • Being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes to an individual who is test confirmed to have COVID-19. Factors like social distancing, masks (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers, and case symptomology may affect this determination;

  • Either scenario above defines close contact if it occurred during the infectious period of the case, defined as two days prior to symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset. In the case of asymptomatic individuals who are test confirmed with COVID-19, the infectious period is defined as two days prior to the confirming test and continuing for 10 days following the test.


COVID-19 Screening, Positive Cases and Symptoms for Staff:

  • Denison ISD will require all employees to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school each day. Staff must ensure they do not come to campus if they have symptoms causing suspicion that they are infected with COVID-19.

  • Similar to students, any employee who has received a positive test for COVID-19, or who is suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, must adhere to district protocols and remain off campus until the criteria for re-entry is met.

Denison Independent School District

Required Exclusion and Re-Entry Criteria with Attendance Protocol


  • Positive COVID-19 test (symptomatic or asymptomatic) Students – contact campus nurse


  • Exclude for 5 days. May return at the end of 5-day period if there is improvement of symptoms and individual has been fever free for 24 hours. (No option to return sooner)


In order for absences to be excused the student must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. COVID positive lab report provided

  2. Picture of positive at-home COVID test provided. Test unit must be labeled with the student’s name and test date using a permanent marker.

  3. Physician note stating COVID positive diagnosis provided.


If excused absence criteria is not met, exclusion will still be enforced, and absences will be marked as unexcused.


  • COVID-like symptom(s) (experienced in a way that is not normal) Students – contact campus nurse


  • Exclude for 5 days. May return at the end of 5-day period if there is improvement of symptoms and individual has been fever free for 24 hours.

  • To return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual may either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis, or (b) obtain an acute infection test that comes back negative for COVID-19, and have symptom improvement. At home tests must be labeled with the student’s name and test date using a permanent marker.


In order for absences to be excused the student must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Clinical assessment provided by campus nurse. This option is only available to students who become symptomatic while at school.

  2. COVID negative lab report provided.

  3. Picture of negative at-home COVID test provided. Test unit must be labeled with the student’s name and test date using a permanent marker.

  4. Physician note stating alternative diagnosis provided.


If excused absence criteria is not met, exclusion will still be enforced, and absences will be marked as unexcused.



Denison ISD Action Protocols


  • Upon learning that a test-confirmed case (teacher, staff member, student, or visitor) has been in a school, Denison ISD will:

  • Notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


  • Submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services via an online form. The report must be submitted each Monday for the prior seven days (Monday-Sunday).


  • Notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a classroom, extracurricular activity, or after-school program cohort if a test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers, or staff who participated in those classrooms or cohorts.


COVID-19 Tests


  • Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order 3 rounds of free at-home tests. Order yours today at Each order now includes 8 rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. Shipping is free.





Health and Hygiene Practices - General

  • Denison ISD will have hand sanitizer stations at the entrance of each campus and in every classroom.

  • Employees and students will be encouraged to sanitize hands frequently.

  • Students will be taught to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.  Used tissues will be thrown in the trash, and hands will be washed immediately, or hand sanitizer will be used.

  • Denison ISD will employ cleaning staff who will be responsible for frequent cleaning practices.


Health and Hygiene Practice – Face Coverings

  • In compliance with Governor Abbott’s Executive Order GA-36, students, staff, and visitors may wear face coverings if they choose, but they are not required while on campus or at school activities.

  • The CDC encourages universal use of face masks for all teachers, staff, and students regardless of vaccination status.

  • Face masks will be provided upon request to individuals who choose to wear a mask.


Promoting Vaccination

  • CDC guidance states (Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools) that vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at low risk of symptomatic or severe infection (Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools).

  • Denison ISD will promote vaccination among teachers, staff, families, and eligible students by providing information about COVID-19 vaccination. CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone 6 months and older and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.

  • When possible, Denison ISD will partner with local health authorities and providers to offer vaccination opportunities.


Denison ISD Staggered Start/End Times

  • In an effort to maintain safer transportation for our bus students, Denison ISD will provide staggered start and end times.  The following chart outlines campus start and end times for the 2022-23 school year.

All Elementary Campuses
7:45 a.m.
8:15 a.m.
3:15 p.m.
B. McDaniel Intermediate
7:45 a.m.
8:15 a.m.
3:15 p.m.
Scott Middle School
8:25 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
4:00 p.m.
Denison High School
8:20 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
4:00 p.m.
  • All campuses will still accept students beginning at 7:30 a.m. for Kindergarten – 12th Grade.

  • Pre-Kindergarten/Head Start will accept students at 7:45 a.m


Transportation Procedures

  • For those using bus transportation, students and staff will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus.

  • Buses will be thoroughly cleaned after each bus trip.  Great attention will be given to cleaning high-touch surfaces such as seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles.


Off-Campus Student Activities

  • Denison ISD will adhere to all COVID-19 policies and procedures required for student participation by off-campus businesses and organizations.


COVID-19 Risk Levels

  • This COVID-19 Response Plan will be evaluated on a continual basis and adjustments to the plan will be made based upon current COVID-19 transmission levels within the county and community.

  • Denison ISD will continue to keep all stakeholders updated with the latest guidelines necessary to keep our students and staff safe.


Parent Communication

  • Communication throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will be extremely important.  Denison ISD will use the following channels for parent communication:

  • District Website

  • Parent letters/notes

  • Schoology

  • Email

  • Campus Newsletters

  • Social Media – District Twitter Account (@denisonisd) and Campus Facebook Pages

  • All Calls


2022-2023 ESSER

The intent and purpose of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) ESSER Federal Grant of 2021, is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students.  Denison ISD applied for the 2020-2023 ARP ESSER III Federal Grant in the amount of $8,271,974.00 and the 2020-2023 CRRSA ESSER II Federal Grant in the amount of $3,682,024.00.  A survey of needs was conducted in June, 2021, with responses from students, family members of a student, school personnel, and community members to determine the priorities for expenditures of these funds.

A meeting of school employees was conducted July 21, 2022, to evaluate the plan and make any recommendations for changes. 

Denison ISD ensures that the ARP Funds meet all the required elements and are spent in an allowable manner.

Academic Interventions

To respond to the academic needs to address the impact of the coronavirus on students’ loss of instructional time, Denison ISD will purchase the AMIRA reading program for students in grades K-4, the ALEK math program for grades 6-8, and the Reading Plus Program for special education classes.  Additional tutoring will be provided.  Math Interventionist will be employed for two years to provide additional math remediation.  Summer school programs will be expanded for the next three summers.  The Schoology contract for all campuses will be included in school years 2021-2023, since it will be the primary method of lesson delivery for future quarantined students.

Mental Health

To address the social and emotional needs of students, particularly those students disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic, Denison ISD will contract for one social worker to provide services to seventy-five to a hundred students at Denison High School.  These individuals will be employed by Communities In Schools Dallas Region, Inc.  The mission of this organization is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.  Working with school administrators and counselors, the six components of their activities include counseling/supportive guidance, health and human services, parent and family engagement, college and career readiness, enrichment and academic support.


Educational technology for students was one of the highest needs reported. A three-year proposal has been submitted from the technology department to purchase iPads, Chromebooks, licenses, and Hot Spots to support the goal of one-to-one technology access.

Safe Operation of Schools for In-Person Learning

Per CDC and ASHRAE Guidelines, a study was conducted to determine the air quality and air purifications needs of each building.  HVAC improvements are being proposed over the next three years to insure the safety of teachers and students. The purchase of additional school buses with upgraded ventilation systems to reduce student capacity and improve exposure to the COVID virus, is planned.

Retention Bonuses

To maintain our continuity of services and address the learning loss of students, retention bonuses are being proposed to insure the highest quality of staff.  Retention bonuses will be appropriated for the 2022-2023 school year.

The district has developed and posted a plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services.  This plan will be reviewed a minimum of every six months, or as appropriate due to changes in virus conditions, and CDC or Health Department guidelines.


In addition, Denison ISD provides the following assurances:

  • The District engaged in meaningful consultation with students, families, school and district administrators, teachers, and other school staff.

  • The District has created its plan in an understandable and uniform format.

  • The District’s plan is, to the extent practicable, written in a language that parents can understand, or if not practicable, orally translated.

  • The District will, upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability, provide the plan in an alternative format accessible to that parent.

  • The District ensures that interventions 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 the public an opportunity to provide input on its plan and took such input into account.

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