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Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Information

Paris ISD is receiving federal stimulus dollars to help offset unexpected costs caused by the pandemic.  

The federal dollars are provided by the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund, which is distributed in three separate programs: ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III.  Information on this page pertains to ESSER II and ESSER III funds, since ESSER I funds have already been allocated and spent.  Please note that allocations are subject to change.

ESSER provides resources for

  • Critical one-time investments
  • Time-limited programming to respond to the pandemic; and
  • Innovation that can redefine student learning, acceleration, and development

ESSER III- American Rescue Plan Act (ARP)


ESSER III Required Plans

All visitors are asked to self-self screen before entering the building.



Paris Independent School District Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan


This plan was developed in consultation with stakeholders after soliciting public comment through an electronic survey, small group meetings, and a Stakeholder Committee meeting.  Public Comment was held during the Paris ISD School Board Meeting on July 19, 2021.  Every six months, Paris ISD will review the plan in accordance with the latest guidance from the CDC, state, and local governments.  If revisions are needed to the plan, public inpurt will be solicited and stakeholders will be meaningfully consulted.  The revised version of the plan will then be posted on the website.

General Information
This guidance document is being provided to inform Paris ISD parents, students, and staff of the guidelines and safety procedures that will be in effect for SY 21-22 to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and provide a safe return to school for all students. Please know that any rules or regulations established for the district are done under the guidance of the governor, the TEA, CDC, and local health care experts.  With the ever-changing dynamics of COVID-19, so are the protocols and measures to keep students and staff safe. Paris ISD may make adjustments to these plans as new regulations and mandates are added.


The Paris Independent School District will only hold on-campus instruction with safety and COVID 19 prevention measures.

*State requires students to attend a minimum of 90% of school days to earn promotion and  credits regardless if that is on-campus learning or via remote learning.

Social Emotional Needs

The Paris Independent School District is committed to the mental and physical health and well being of its students and employees.  ESSER III funds have been allocated to provide Social Workers within the district to address social-emotional needs to students, families, and employees.  Social workers will be available on campuses throughout the district to work closely with school counselors, provide additional counseling as specific needs arise, and assist students and families with school and community resources.  The Champions Mentor Program will also provide participating students with a mentor who will work with a small group of students and their families to provide academic assistance, enrichment, and social-emotional support.  Paris ISD will also host periodic social-emotional activities to be held after school with its employees and their families (i.e. Wildcat Wednesdays).


Per GA-38, school systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask.  Paris ISD highly recommends that students, staff, and visitors wear masks.


Screening Protocol for Students and Staff

All teachers and staff will self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day. Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms, lab-confirmed with COVID-19 or have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed. It is the parents’ responsibility to screen for symptoms and to keep them home if ill.

As provided in this Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Rule, school systems must exclude students from attending school in person who are actively sick with COVID-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19, and must immediately notify parents if this is determined while on campus. 

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. Any student or staff that test positive for Covid19 will be required to quarantine for 10 days.  Please see the “Student Sick Letter” below for more information on following guidelines for when your child may return to school.  Staff should follow the “PISD Close Contact” document for guidelines on returning to work.


Students Who Are Close Contacts
As a reference, close contact determinations are generally based on guidance outlined by the CDC, which notes that individuals who are fully vaccinated may not need to follow the stay-at-home period.  Public health authorities will be notified of all positive cases in schools. If school systems are made aware that a student is a close contact, the school system must notify the student’s parents. 

Students and staff will be required to stay at home during a household-based close contact.  This applies specifically to students and staff who are close contacts because an individual who lives in the same household is COVID-19 positive.

For individuals who are determined to be close contacts, there will be a stay-at-home period, and the stay-at-home period can end for students experiencing no symptoms on Day 10 after close contact exposure, if no subsequent COVID-19 testing is performed.

Please see the information below for guidelines on returning to school or work.


Staff Who Have COVID-19 or Who are Close Contacts
Staff members who are actively sick with COVID-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19 will not be permitted to attend school. Staff may return when the re-entry conditions have been met (see “PISD Staff COVID Protocol” document).

Staff who are not fully vaccinated who meet the close contact threshold with a COVID-19 positive individual, testing must be performed periodically for 5 days post-exposure.

All screening information will be kept confidential by Human Resource and the nurses.

Protocols for Disinfecting, Sanitizing, and Campus

Maintaining a safe and healthy environment is a top priority in our schools.  The district will continue the daily cleaning of all facilities, with special attention given to specific high-use areas such as door handles, knobs, and buttons.  Each campus will have hand sanitizer at each entrance. Visitors will need to sanitize their hands when they enter the building.  On the first day of school, students will be trained to sanitize and/or wash their hands  frequently. Students will be trained on good handwashing techniques, how to  properly cover coughs and sneezes with tissue or in their elbows.

All Paris ISD campuses will have more frequent deep cleaning. The janitorial staff will clean commonly touched surfaces throughout the day (doors, handles, desks, laptops  etc.) Paris ISD will electrostatically disinfect each campus daily.  Cleaning supplies will be provided for each classroom and common area to maximize  room-to-room cleanliness.  Students will be trained to disinfect their surface working areas, shared objects and  high-use areas after use and during breaks in instruction.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the building in  common areas.  

Visitor’s Protocol

Update:  February 8, 2022- Visitors on Campus

Paris ISD will allow visitors for SY 21-22.  Mask are highly encouraged.  Campuses will utilize meeting options to limit campus visitors when possible.  Visitors will be asked to socially distance when possible.  



Isolation Protocol

If a student exhibits signs of COVID-19 while at school, the student will immediately be sent to the nurse and placed in isolation from other students until a parent or guardian can pick them up.  Students should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the  time the campus has contacted the parent/guardian.  Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus so that the classroom can be disinfected.  Teachers will monitor students and refer to nurse if symptoms are present.

Campus Safety Supplies/PPE

Paris ISD will provide each school with the following safety supplies to support prevention and safety:

  • Posters and other graphics providing proper step by step instruction on safety protocols.
  • Disinfectant wipes, disinfectant spray, and hand sanitizer
  • Disposable masks will be available upon request
  • EPA backpack sprayers for campuses and buses
  • Additional protective equipment will be provided to school nurses for use in the  nurse’s office.
  • Students and staff will be provided with a reusable face covering. Families will be  responsible for daily cleaning and requested to supply a student face covering should  the one provided by the school become unusable or lost.

Arrival, Dismissal, & Transition

  • Parents are asked to assist campus staff in the implementation of arrival and dismissal plans.
  • Each group of students will be directed to a designated location prior to the start of school.
  • Water fountains will be accessible only for water bottle refills. Students should bring water bottles to school.
  • Dismissal exit points will be established.
  • Campuses will implement staggered release procedures. Staggering the groups of walkers, car riders, bus riders, or grade level will help manage student movement in  the building and decrease the risk of potential overcrowding.
  • In spaces that allow it, student desks will be placed at a minimum of six feet apart  when possible. When not possible, students and teachers will wear a face covering.


Paris ISD encourages all families to transport their children to and from school.   Bus transportation will be offered; however, the standard number of transported students compromises the ability to socially distance.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available when boarding the bus.
  • When boarding the bus, seating should start from the back seats, then toward the  front. When unloading, exiting should start from the front to the back.
  • Buses will be cleaned/disinfected between at the end of  the day.
  • Transportation staff will be trained in proper cleaning/disinfecting procedure.
  • When possible, students in the same family should sit together on the bus.
  • In order to help with ventilation, and if weather permits, windows may be open.

Lunch and Breakfast Protocol


Based on building capacity and student enrollment, campus administration will determine areas that may be utilized for lunch. These areas could include classrooms, the library, or other large areas within the school building.  Cafeteria and serving areas will be cleaned between uses.  Grab and Go Breakfast, Breakfast in the Classroom and Staggered Lunches are all  options to helping with social distancing.  Cafeteria, serving, and eating areas will be cleaned between uses.


Extracurricular/Physical Education and Student Organization Activities Protocol

Extracurricular/Cocurricular activities, practices and competitions will be conducted  following safety protocols provided by PISD, UIL, and TEA.  All coaches, sponsors, and directors will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.  Hand sanitizer will be available in gym areas and equipment will be sanitized on a  regular basis.  Locker room use will be determined by TEA/UIL. If utilized, social distancing  procedures will be followed.  Spectator attendance at games and contest may be limited based on TEA and UIL guidelines.  Elementary Physical Education is required. Campuses will limit the number of  classes if possible attending P.E. and will practice social distancing.


COVID-19 Symptoms

In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the  following questions:


Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?


  • Feeling feverish or a measure temperature greater than or equal to 100.4 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
  • Vomiting or Abdominal pain

Close Contact Definition:

This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have  COVID-19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:

  1. Being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing  a mask or face shield); or 
  2. Being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield. Additional factors like case/contact masking (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 (1) or (2) 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 confirming test


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the ESSER III- ARP funds?
In general, the purpose of ESSER is to award subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs), such as Paris ISD, to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools.

Over what timeline may ESSER III funds be spent?
Funds may be used for allowable activities from March 13, 2020 (with approved pre-award) through September 30, 2023.  Districts will then have the standard 12-month carryover available through September 30, 2024.

What is Paris ISD’s ESSER III allocation?
Paris ISD’s entitlement is $10,665,313 to be spent over the course of the grant period of availability.  

What requirements must districts follow?
Of the total amount allocated to an LEA from the State’s ARP ESSER award, the LEA must reserve at least 20 percent of funds to address learning loss through the implementation of evidence-based interventions and ensure that those interventions respond to students’ social, emotional, and academic needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups (each major racial and ethnic group, children from low-income families, children with disabilities, English learners, gender, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care).

Districts must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders —including students, families, district administrators (including special education administrators), teachers, principals, school staff, and other stakeholders/members of the public (in particular organizations that represent children with disabilities, English Language Learners, children experiencing homelessness, children in foster care, migrant students, children who are incarcerated, and other underserved students).  Stakeholders must have the opportunity to provide input on the ESSER III Use of Funds Plan.

District plans must be provided in an understandable, uniform format.  These plans must be available to parents by request (and available in a format and language assessable to that parent).  Plans are to be posted to the district’s website.

In addition to/along with the plan about the use of funds, districts must post a “Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan” within 30 days of the receipt of funds.  Before posting this plan to the website, districts must make the proposed plan available for public comment and consider those comments before finalizing the plan.  Existing plans may also be used to meet this requirement, and the plan must be reviewed every 6 months and revised for any necessary updates to ensure compliance with evolving requirements and recommendations from the state and federal level.


ESSER II- Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA)

In December 2020, CRRSA was signed into law.  With CRRSA, $54.3 billion was dedicated to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.  The intent and purpose of CRRSA ESSER II is to provide funding to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Funding is available March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2023.

Paris ISD applied to receive CRRSA funding, and it is expected that our allocation will be $4,748,881.  These funds are not additional to Paris ISD.  Instead, they are being used to offset the loss of average daily attendance (ADA) through the Foundation School Program under Texas school finance.