Texas school districts received the news that ESSER III funds would be available immediately on April 28, 2021. The U.S. Department of Education’s (USDE) initial grant award notice to Texas makes immediately available two-thirds of the total federal appropriation. The remaining one-third of ARP (ESSER III) funds will be released to schools upon USDE approving the state plan. The state plan will be developed in consultation with educators and other stakeholders around the state, as required by federal law. Additional details on the state plan will be announced in the future. These funds must be used to respond to the pandemic and to address student learning loss, or unfinished learning, as a result of COVID-19.
While keeping in mind the purpose and requirements under ESSER related to accelerating student learning, TEA strongly encourages school systems to plan for how to use these one-time federal funds expeditiously over the entire covered period. ESSER III funds must be spent by September 2024.
Schools should facilitate a comprehensive long-term approach to learning acceleration that will be necessary to support all Texas students affected by COVID-19 while also avoiding a local fiscal cliff caused by the expiration of federal funds in September 2024. As part of the ESSER grant application process, superintendents must brief their boards on the one-time nature of these federal funds. School systems should not anticipate that ongoing, replacement funds will be provided at either the federal or state level.
There are many requirements that must be met before the application is submitted. There are also numerous guidelines that will be constantly monitored throughout the grant period (until 2024) which will involve random validation submissions.
Lexington ISD will utilize the plethora of input received from all stakeholders throughout 2020 and 2021. The DEIC committee meeting and the Next Year Planning Committee meeting will be used to solicit stakeholder input, review and revisions of the plan. The LISD June and July Board Meetings will serve as additional public meetings and public comment will be received before submitting the plan.
Two plans are required. One is the Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services (RIPICS) Plan. Although most Texas school districts safely returned to school in August of 2020, many states throughout the country did not. Therefore, we must continue to post and revise the plan every six months (with meaningful consultation from all stakeholders) throughout the entire grant period.
The second plan is the Use of Funds Plan. This is submitted in and with the application. Again, there are many requirements which must be met and it must be posted on the website.
Lexington ISD’s 2020-2023 (with one additional year of carryover allowed) ARP ESSER III Grant allocation is:
ESSER III Immediately available- $474,783
ESSER III Remaining 1/3- $237,391
ESSER Supplemental $85,236
ESSER II Funds $317,106
The Texas Education Agency recently announced the availability of $11.2 billion in federal funding made available to school districts through ESSER III under the American Rescue Plan. This is a substantial sum of money, though amounts vary significantly from district to district. This page on our website will be used to communicate with our staff, parents, and community members about the ESSER III funds (ESSER stands for Elementary and Secondary Emergency Education Relief). These are federal funds sent to the states to help cover costs associated with learning loss due to COVID-19 and the cost of online instruction, facilities improvements, and the pandemic.
Lexington ISD is proud to have offered the opportunity for in-person instruction for all students during the 2020-21 school year. Thanks to the support of our faculty, staff, students, and community, we developed this plan in the summer of 2020 and with full consideration of public comment and feedback. We have persevered throughout the year, despite the occasional setback, to keep students in school and to maintain open lines of communication with our entire school community. For the 2021-22 school year full in-person instruction will continue, along with expanded services, activities, and extracurricular programs. This statement is meant to satisfy the requirements for accepting additional funds through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
The top priorities of Lexington ISD are the safety and academic success of all students.
- Follow the Center for Disease and Control and the Texas Education Agency guidelines to keep our students and staff safe.
- Assess academic gaps and provide accelerated catch-up growth opportunities.
- Evaluate the social and emotional needs of our students and staff.
- Keep schools open all year without having to endure school closure.
All plans are subject to change based on regulations by the Texas Education Agency and the Office of the Governor of Texas. Parents will be notified if changes are necessary.
Back to School 2021-2022
Entering into the 2021-2022 school year Lexington ISD plans to continue the learning initiatives it had established and will provide new learning opportunities for our students.
Instructional Settings and Continuity of Services
- Lexington ISD after careful review of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the distribution of vaccinations, has made the decision to open our Campus doors to all students for face-to-face learning for the 2021-2022
- For the 2021-22 school year full In-Person or Face to Face Instruction will continue, along with expanded services, activities, and extracurricular programs.
- Alternative instructional settings may be needed in response to extenuating circumstances. Lexington ISD is awaiting further guidance from the Texas Education Agency regarding students who have a physician’s verification documenting a specific medical need and whose children meet the criteria established for a remote learning program.
- Local community transmission and situational changes may justify asynchronous instruction at various times during the school year.
Assessing and Address the Impact of Learning Loss
- Use of screeners and/or benchmark assessments to help identify student strengths, learning gaps and disabilities
- Provide learning interventions that lead toward student progress and growth.
- Incorporate Differentiated Learning Platforms that Continuously Adapt for Student Growth
- During the day tutoring
- After school tutoring
- Summer School
- Credit Recovery
- Friday Afternoon and Saturday School
Rigorous Instructional Materials and Teacher Supports
- Continuation of various Career Tech Courses at the Secondary Level
- Continuation of the Accelerated Reading at the Elementary Level
- Implementation of Accelerated Reading and Math at High School
- TEKS Resource System’s researched based curriculum
- ESC 13 Curriculum Mapping
- Increased use of technology in the classrooms
- Extracurricular Programs
Mental Health and Behavioral Supports
Lexington ISD will continue to utilize various programming, resources, and partnerships that
benefit the mental, social and emotional needs of the student.
- Offer in school counseling
- Dial-Care for High School
- PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
- Social/Emotional Curriculum at all campuses
- Maintain Student Councils
- Ensure the continuity of Food service programs
- Continued development of specialized instructional spaces within buildings
- Addition of space as needed for the safety of staff and students
- Update as needed for improved technology use within the schools
- Building improvements as needed for the safety of staff and students
- Explore and Update older HVAC systems
- Explore and Update ventilation in classrooms and hallways
Proposed COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols
Face Coverings No Longer Required
- Face coverings will no longer be required for any student or staff member; however,
masks may be worn by those who feel more comfortable doing so.
- Face coverings will not be required in any educational space or activity including school
buses, athletics, etc.
- Face mask will be available for distribution upon request.
COVID Immunizations Not Mandatory
- Lexington ISD will continue to provide information to the community about COVID
immunization opportunities as a courtesy for those who wish to access the vaccine.
- However, the COVID immunization will not be required for staff or students.
- Lexington ISD staff will be encouraged to log their vaccination information with their
respective campus, however, that will not be mandatory.
- Lexington ISD will continue to encourage good hand hygiene, such as reminding
students to wash hands after using the restroom, before meals, etc., and provide access
to hand sanitizer stations.
- Add visual reminders.
- Touchpoints (i.e. doorknobs, light switches, etc.) will continue to be disinfected
throughout all buildings on a daily basis.
- School buses will continue to be disinfected twice daily.
- Teachers and staff will continue to have access to disinfectant supplies to clean
high-touch areas regularly if desired.
- Quarantines of healthy/non-symptomatic students and staff will be discontinued.
- Should a student or staff member test positive for COVID, they will be asked to isolate for 10 days.
- The person in isolation may return if they receive a negative COVID test after day 5 of isolation.
- Close contact tracing will be a courtesy.
- Physical distancing will no longer be implemented. LISD will adhere to the CDC guidelines to reduce transmission risk by layering a multiple of other prevention strategies, including but not limited to, voluntary indoor masking, providing information about location for voluntary screening, hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick with symptoms of infectious illnesses and regular cleaning.
Cafeterias & child nutrition
- Employees must adhere to Food Services Guidance
- Ensure that all non-disposable food service items are handled with gloves and washed.
Visitors in LISD Schools/Facilities Permitted
- In the 2021-2022 school year, visitors will be permitted in schools as they were
- Schools keep a log of visitors and where they visited, for potential contact tracing
- Face coverings will not be required for visitors, however, they may wear one if they are
more comfortable doing so.
Playgrounds and Recess
- Playground use is allowed with proper safeguards.
- Stagger groups using playgrounds and/or limit multiple group usage.
- Wash hands before and after recess.
Athletics and Activities Resume as Normal
- Athletics and activities will resume normal processes in 2021-2022 in partnership with
Field Trips Resume
Field trips will resume in 2021-2022.
ESSER III Expenditure Plans
Lexington ISD surveyed parents, staff, students and community members to determine the needs of our district to address the learning loss created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the survey and the needs of the district were taken to the District Educational Improvement Committee and the Next Year Planning Committee for discussion, review and approval. The committees both approved the attached plan for ESSER expenditures for LISD. The DEIC meeting was held on 7-12-21, and the NYPC meeting was held on 7-13-21.) Both committees consisted of parents, staff, community and students. After edits of the plan, the plan was submitted to the LISD Board of Trustees for approval. During the board meeting, the plan was discussed and a presentation of the plan was completed by the superintendent. Public comment was solicited from the audience, and no one commented or had any questions. The board approved the plan without edit or additions on July 13, 2021.
Teacher/Paraprofessional Salaries (Intervention for Learning Loss)
Computers – Devices for Students and Staff
Curriculum/Instruction/Progress Tracing/Intervention/Credit Recovery Software
Buses (Social distancing, extra transportation)
Student Support Services
Social Emotional Learning Software
Lexington ISD is asking stakeholders to share their thoughts on programs, resources, and systems they see as needs for the District. Stakeholders are encouraged to provide their input as we plan the use of ESSER III funds to improve learning and facilities in the district.
Below are some examples of how ESSER III funds can be used.
- Professional Development: Reading Academies, high-quality instructional materials, dyslexia training, professional development stipends, technology integration training
- Extended Instructional Time: extended day, extended year, high-dosage tutoring, summer learning
- Staffing: Tutors, reduced class sizes, small group instruction, staff retention and recruitment bonus pay, after-school enrichment programs, instructional coaching and leadership
- Facilities: ventilation, cleaning, HVAC systems, specialized instructional spaces
- Technology: devices, infrastructure upgrades, learning management systems, digital tools, educational application
- Mental Health and Behavioral Supports: social workers, at-risk coordinators, additional counseling services, teacher training and programming, wrap-around and community partnerships
The next public hearing with opportunity to comment will be held January 19, 2023 @ 6:25pm.