If you require this information in an alternative, accessible format, or if you need this translated into another language, please contact Stephanie Norris, Director of Federal Programs at

    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) of 2021 established the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) III, a fund dedicated to providing a total of nearly $122 billion to States and school districts to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s students.

    Planning and Stakeholder Input:  

    In May 2021, prior to submitting an application to the TEA for the ESSER III grant program, Hays CISD began engaging in meaningful consultation with stakeholders to provide input in the development of its ESSER plans (Use of Funds Plan and Return to In-person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan).  

    Teachers, Campus Administrators, and other district staff were invited to give input with regard to their top funding priorities through a Google Form format and through campus team meetings.  Input was solicited from the District Leadership Team (a committee comprised of District Staff, Parents, Business Owners, and Community Organization leaders) during the May 2021 meeting regarding district needs and priorities for ESSER III Funding.  Parent input was solicited through the annual K-12 Survey (May 2021) regarding the perceived COVID-related needs of the district.  The district also consulted with the local school board to determine needs.  A survey soliciting community input was also placed on the district’s Coronavirus webpage in May 2021.  

    The input was then prioritized, in consultation with the local school board, based on the following criteria:

    • Serving the largest number of students,
    • Student groups that would be served (Students identified as Economically Disadvantaged, At-risk, English Learners, Homeless, In Substitute Care,
    • Campus needs,
    • Health and Well-being needs,
    • Instructional continuity needs,
    • Post-secondary needs for seniors,
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),
    • School Operation needs, and 
    • Technology needs.

    Since the initial grant application, input has continued to be solicited from stakeholders.  As issues and needs have arisen, including the rise of the Delta Variant in the fall of the 2021-2022 school year, the district has received input from the local school board, local health department, parents and community members through the public forum portion of School Board meetings, through campus site-based decision committee meetings, and through the District Leadership Team (October 2021).  The district reviews this additional input as it is received and uses it to revise its priorities for funding.

    Anyone wishing to provide input on the ESSER III use of funds plan should contact Stephanie Norris, Director of Federal Programs at to provide input.  

    Initial Priorities Identified in May 2021 and through the ongoing consultation process:  

    Below are the identified funding priority areas.  Following each priority and year are the activities that Hays CISD has undertaken or plans to undertake using ESSER funds.  Also listed are the years in which the funds have been authorized for use in relation to the priority areas.  [PA (Pre-award – March 2020-July 2021), 2021(2020-2021), 2022 (2021-2022), 2023 (2022-2023), 2024 (2023-2024)]

    • Any activity authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, (ESEA); (PA, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
      • Supplemental Afterschool and Saturday Tutoring 
      • Supplemental Tutoring during the school day  (Additional Staffing)
    • Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of the LEA with public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses; (PA, 2022)
    • Activities to address the unique needs of low-income students, Student with Disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and foster care youth, including how outreach and service delivery will meet the needs of each population; (2022, 2023, 2024)
      • Dyslexia Teacher (New Position) to support the needs of students with dyslexia through the use of evidence-based dyslexia intervention program
    • Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of the LEA; (PA, 2022)
    • Purchasing educational technology for students; (2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
    • Providing mental health services and supports; (2022,20 23,20 24)
      • District Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Specialist (New Position) to support  the social and emotional needs of students across the district through direct student support as well as through support to Campus Counselors in providing high-quality SEL instruction and mental health support 
    • Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning; (21, 22, 23, 24)
      • Summer school (Summer 2021 & 2022)
    • Planning and implementing activities related to supplemental afterschool programs; (2022, 2023, 2024)
      • Supplemental Afterschool and Saturday Tutoring to address learning loss
      • Supplemental Tutoring during the school day to address learning loss
    • Addressing learning loss among LEA students – Administering and using high-quality assessments; (PA, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
    • Addressing learning loss among LEA students – Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students; (PA, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024)
      • Additional staffing to support a Virtual Academy  (Remote Instruction to support parent concerns and student health needs due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic) 
      • Purchase of Reading and Math remediation programs and materials (Computer-based & Teacher-directed)
      • Supplemental Intervention staff for each campus to support learning loss
      • Math Specialist Positions - Elementary and Secondary Focused to support teachers in bridging the gap between the TEKS and student learning needs due to COVID-19 (New Positions)
    • Addressing learning loss among LEA students – Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education; (2022, 2023, 2024)
      • Additional staffing to support Remote Conferencing during periods of student quarantine related to COVID-19  (2021-2022)
      • Blended Learning Coach (New Position) to support teachers in providing high-quality blended learning opportunities that effectively enhance student learning
    • School facility repairs and improvements to enable the operation of schools to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to health hazards, and to support student health needs;  (PA, 2022, 2023, 2024)
      • SMART TAG IDs  
      • Water Bottle Filling Stations
    • Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including filtering, purification, and other air cleaning; 
      • Purchase and installation of air purification units for campus and district spaces where groups congregate in order to support prevention and mitigation strategies  (2022)
    • Developing strategies and implementing public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from CDC for the reopening and operation of school facilities; 
      • Additional Nursing staff to provide Contact Tracing for students and staff in order to support prevention and mitigation strategies (Pre-award, 2022)
      • Paid Leave during quarantine for staff in accordance with District policy in order to support prevention and mitigation strategies (Pre-award, 2022)
      • Purchasing PPE for staff and student use in order to support prevention and mitigation strategies (2022)
    • Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in the LEA.  
      • Nurse Floating Position to support prevention and mitigation strategies across the district  (New Position - 2022)

    Total Anticipated ESSER III Grant Award:  $17,403,888

    Total Award Reserved at TEA level (not released to HCISD):  $5,801,296

    Award Amount Released for District use to Date (10/13/21):  $11,602,592

    Pre-Award Request for expenses incurred during 2020-2021: $1,160,259

    20% Minimum Required Set-Aside for Learning Loss:  $2,900,548 (e.g., Summer School, Interventionists, Learning Coaches, Tutors)

    Use of Funds Plan Originally Posted: August 23, 2021 
    Dates of Revision:  October 14, 2021