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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). 


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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