Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Grant (ESSER III)
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The ESSER III Grant is federally funded through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The intent and purpose of ARP of 2021, ESSER III funding is to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students.
At least 20% of the district's ESSER III funds are dedicated to COVID learning loss, and the remaining funds will be spent on other allowable activities under the law to address the impact of COVID. Allowable activities include: sanitation, facilities, mental health services and supports, professional development, staffing, and technology.
2020-2023 Allocation: $5,641,096
Stakeholder engagement and consultation to develop and finalize our use of funds and safe return to in-person instruction plans consisted of gathering input from all required stakeholder groups through:
Community survey posted on the district website from May 24, 2021 through June 28, 2021.
Community survey was also emailed to all stakeholders with notice of posting on the MISD website.
A public presentation and public comment was made at the school board meeting on July 26, 2021.
Activities to address COVID Learning Loss (approximately $1,281,700 or 23% of the allocation)
Evidence-based intervention throughout the school year as well as after school tutoring and summer school.
Activities to address academic and social-emotional learning for all students and to help support and empower parents.
Quality progress monitoring and educational technology to support student groups disproportionately impacted by COVID.
Other Activities (remaining funds)
Maintain district services - focusing on continuing to employ existing staff and retaining staff.
Mexia ISD is proud to have offered the opportunity for in-person instruction for all students during the 2020-21 and 2022-23 school year. For the 2022-23 school year, instruction for all students will be in a face-to-face setting, 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.
RIPICS Plan - This plan was developed with the intent to provide a continuity of service in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mexia ISD ensures that the interventions to be implemented 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 language learners, children with with disabilities, students experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, and migratory students.
Consider 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 closing-the-gap growth opportunities
Evaluate the social and emotional needs of our students and staff.
Make every attempt to keep schools open all year without experiencing 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.
Campus Screening Protocols - Mexia ISD will adhere to, and implement, county guidelines and protocols as deemed appropriate by the county and or CDC. (Update and Board Approved 08/29/22.) Parents should continue to screen students for symptoms of illness (including Covid-19 symptoms) prior to sending students to school each day. Students exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms should remain home while parents communicate with campus nursing staff regarding appropriate actions.
Arrival/Dismissal - Campus arrival plans will address student traffic flow to allow for the practice of social distancing. Students requiring district transportation arrive on district busses and unload in designated areas. Campus plans identify where students are housed prior to the start of the school day. At the end of the school day, students will be released in accordance with campus release procedures. Parent pick up areas are established at the on each campus, with bus transportation provided in a separate area of the facility to reduce congestion as students exit the building.
Hallways/Common Areas – Mexia ISD campuses will continue to implement traffic flow patterns throughout district facilities to manage student congestion and allow for greater distance between students during transitions. This includes instruction for students to establish expectations. Campuses continue to use designators to mark appropriate spacing on the floors of hallways and in common areas. Water fountains/bottle refilling stations will be managed in accordance with local health guidance and best practices.
Classroom Procedures - District classrooms will maximize space to keep students socially distanced to the greatest extent possible, given the physical limitations of each room. Classroom desks will be placed in a way to create separation between students when possible, in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC. Mexia ISD will continue to revise protocols in accordance with information provided by the CDC, Limestone County Public Health District, and the Texas Education Agency. Hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and throughout facilities.
Food Service Protocols - Mexia ISD cafeterias will return to traditional food service models with the majority of students eating in the cafeteria. Lunch times will be adjusted to manage the number of students present during each lunch period. Additional seating areas and outdoor seating is available for some campuses. The adjusted times will also allow for additional cleaning/sanitizing between lunches. Hand sanitizer stations will be available for use at the beginning of each serving line. Every effort will be made to eliminate areas and systems that create contamination concerns.
Campus Visitors - All campus visitors must check in through the main office and are subject to health screenings. Any individual who exhibits symptoms of Covid-19 or has had direct contact with an individual confirmed to have Covid-19 will be denied entry. Campuses will minimize the presence of non-district personnel allowed to enter each facility. Masks are available upon request.
Instructional Delivery – Mexia ISD will return to 100% in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school year. The district will not institute a remote learning academy or provide remote instruction to students as an alternative to traditional, on-campus instruction. The district will continue to implement Google Classroom as a learning management system to facilitate instruction for students who must be quarantined or test positive for Covid-19. Assignments managed via the LMS are available to students who are absent from school, but students not present on campus will NOT be counted present for attendance purposes.
Instructional Continuity - Implementation of technology devices (one-to-one) and the Learning Management System will provide the foundation for instructional continuity. This will allow the district to respond to a variety of circumstances and seamlessly provide instruction for students who are required to stay home. Should the need for campus or district closures arise, remote learning can be implemented at any time.
Transportation Services - Mexia ISD will follow local health guidelines and TEA recommendations for District transportation. Mexia ISD buses will continue to utilize seating charts to allow for contact tracing and appropriate student spacing. Hand sanitizer will be available on all buses. When possible, Mexia ISD buses will operate with open windows to allow for air circulation. Buses will be thoroughly cleaned after each bus trip, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles.
Extracurricular Participation - Mexia ISD extracurricular activities will operate in compliance with UIL and TEA guidance. The district will continue to communicate with the Limestone County Public Health District regarding any specific or unusual circumstances.
Masks/Face Coverings - In accordance with the latest guidance from the Texas Education Agency consistent with the Governor’s executive order (GA-38), Mexia ISD is prohibited from requiring students or staff to wear a mask. Masks are encouraged but not required. Mexia ISD will allow individuals to wear a mask if they choose to do so. Additionally, masks are available upon request.
Mitigation Practices - Mexia ISD will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC regarding the safe operations of schools and implement policies and practices to protect the health and safety of our students and employees. The district will follow the guidelines established by the Limestone County Public Health District and the Texas Education Agency.
Social Distancing – Mexia ISD will build systems and operations to maximize the ability of individuals within the schools to practice social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
Handwashing/Respiratory Etiquette – Mexia ISD campuses will provide guidance and instruction for students to practice effective handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
Enhanced Cleaning Protocols - The district will continue to follow enhanced cleaning protocols to sanitize surfaces within district facilities. Cleaning protocols include the use of chemicals designed to kill viruses and other pathogens on surfaces.
Ventilation - The district will continue to make efforts to improve ventilation and air circulation throughout facilities. All classrooms contain fans for additional circulation.
Covid Response – Parents and employees will be required to report test-positive cases of Covid-19 to the school nurse, campus administration or their supervisor. Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has Covid-19 symptoms or is test-confirmed with Covid-19, until the conditions for re-entry are met. If an individual who has been in a school is test-confirmed to have Covid-19, the school will notify the Limestone County Public Health District, in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Upon receipt of information that any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor at a school is test-confirmed to have Covid-19, Mexia ISD will submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Additionally, parents will be notified when there is a positive case in their student’s class/grade who has been on campus. Employees will be notified when there is a positive case in their department/campus.
Contact Tracing – School districts are not required to conduct Covid-19 contact tracing. The district will follow local guidance and TEA protocols regarding close contacts.
Isolation - Any individual who presents with Covid-19 symptoms in the school will be isolated immediately and evaluated by district nursing personnel. The district will follow local guidance and TEA protocols regarding symptomatic individuals.
Quarantine - Mexia ISD will follow the guidance of the Limestone County Public Health District regarding quarantine orders. Individuals who have had close contact with a test-positive person should quarantine as required by their healthcare provider or public health authority (LHA, Region 7 DSHS, Texas DSHS).
Return-to-Campus Protocol - District nursing personnel will evaluate circumstances and establish the timeline for which an individual may return to campus. This decision will be based on guidelines established by the local health authority and TEA.
Vaccinations - Mexia ISD has worked closely with area pharmacies and most recently with the National Guard to make Vaccines available to all district employees and the Mexia community. The district continues to work to make vaccines available to individuals within the district.
Students with Disabilities - Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Mexia ISD has coordinated services for students with disabilities. District staff and teachers have continued the process of evaluating students, providing appropriate accommodations and learning supports, and meeting the needs of students. This support was available, regardless of the learning environment, and continues to be available through any future scenarios that would involve continuity of services implementation due to the pandemic.
Social, Emotional, or Mental Health Needs – Mexia ISD counseling staff are prepared to respond to social, emotional, or mental health concerns. An additional SEL counselor has been added to provide additional support. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, counselors are available on each campus and work proactively to protect the mental health of students.
Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services (RIPICS) Plan Review - The Mexia ISD RIPICS plan will be reviewed every six months until September 30, 2023 or any time that additional guidance or information merits changes.