LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services
The ARP ESSER III (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III) Grant Program was authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).
As a part of ESSER III, Wichita Falls ISD is allocated $33.5 million in funding to use through September 2024. At least 20% of those funds must be used to address learning loss.
ESSER III can fund academic supports, social/emotional supports, health/safety, and continuity of services.
Wichita Falls ISD plans to use ESSER funds in categories that align with TEA's guidelines: supported teachers, rigorous instructional materials, more time for learning, empowered parents, and other supports. The plan will be modified as needed to address student, staff and parent needs.
Maintaining Health and Safety
A. Universal and correct wearing of masks
On May 18, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order prohibiting governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing. In accordance with the Order, masks will be optional for all students, staff and visitors on Wichita Falls ISD campuses. However, masks are still encouraged for individuals who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine.
B. Physical distancing
Where possible, physical distancing will be implemented. Wichita Falls ISD will continue to abide by guidance provided by the Texas DSHS and CDC.
C. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
Wichita Falls ISD will continue to allow time in the school day for handwashing and will continue to provide direction on appropriate respiratory etiquette and hand sanitizing. Signage and reminders will be posted in school buildings. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available at all campuses for students, staff and visitors.
D. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
The Wichita Falls ISD custodial team will continue to ensure the cleanliness of district facilities by implementing cleaning protocols recommended by the CDC, WHO and OSHA. To the extent possible, extra measures will be taken to clean high touch and high traffic areas. We will be looking into ways to improve the current air purification system in our facilities.
E. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments
WFISD will follow current guidelines from CDC and the local health department regarding quarantining. Every campus has a designated isolation area that the nurse or trained campus staff will be able to safely maintain the health of any student pending parent/guardian pick up.
F. Diagnostic and screening test
During the 2020-2021 school year, any student or staff member who displayed COVID-like symptoms was provided the opportunity to receive a free non-invasive 15 minute rapid Binex antigen test at one WFISD testing location. For convenience, COVID testing will be available at all Wichita Falls ISD campuses during the 2021-2022 school year.
G. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible
During the 2020-2021 school year, WFISD collaborated with the Community Healthcare Center to offer numerous vaccine clinics. To accommodate the needs of students and staff, clinics were scheduled after school hours. Local pharmacies also traveled to campuses during the school year. Weekly clinics were scheduled over the summer. During the 2021-2022 school year, we will continue to work with local healthcare providers and pharmacies to schedule vaccine clinics.
H. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies
All children and adolescents with a disability are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Special services are provided based on an individualized education program (IEP) or a 504 Plan. In order to effectively address the appropriate health and safety guidelines and the needs of the individual child, the special education department will utilize creative solutions, on a case-by-case basis. Safety measures for teachers and staff working with students with disabilities will be considered to ensure optimal safety for all. Accommodations for students with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies, will follow the most current recommendations set forth by the local, county, state, and federal organizations and the student’s IEP or 504 team. These teams will determine individual plans to accommodate the needs of students such as social distancing, mask wearing, mask breaks and/or length of the school day.
Ensuring Continuity of Services
Describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff’s social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services:
Even though COVID-19 has been challenging, WFISD continues to move forward responding to the pandemic and addressing student learning loss. WFISD’s plan has been created to be flexible as governing authorities and/or health officials update us on present situations of the environmental conditions affecting our protocols for safety.
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
MORE INSTRUCTIONAL TIME TO ADDRESS THE IMPACT OF LEARNING LOSS Wichita Falls ISD will offer additional learning opportunities that may include
- Before school, during the school, and/or after school, acceleration time to recapture the learning loss.
- Development of High Impact Tutoring through various partnerships (including 24/7 remote synchronous tutors)
- Summer School
- Credit Recovery
ADDRESS THE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENT AND STAFF Wichita Falls ISD will offer additional professional development for staff to help with meeting the needs of the social and emotional needs of both themselves and students that may include
- Campus involvement in Capturing Kids Hearts program
- Teacher training on student engagement
- Mentoring programs for year 1 and year 2 teachers
- Social Skills programs for after school clubs
- Instructional Leadership training for district and campus administrators.
APPROPRIATE INTERVENTIONS FOR ACCELERATIONS
Key questions for WFISD staff when determining the most appropriate interventions for acceleration:
SKILL MASTERY - Where is each student in their mastery of critical skills and concepts?
MOST EFFECTIVE - What interventions are most effective?
WHEN - When will accelerated instruction and learning take place?
RIGOROUS INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND TEACHER SUPPORTS
- Implementation of reading skills for acceleration and remediation support from Early Learning grades to the Secondary Level.
- Implementation of math skills for acceleration and remediation support from Early Learning grades to the Secondary Level.
- Continuation of NWEA MAP Testing to assess student growth.
- Address additional learning loss through High Impact Tutoring for ALL students
- Incorporate 24/7 tutorial support
- Expose students to a well rounded education with an emphasis in Fine Arts and experiential field trips.
- A renewed emphasis on advanced academic students in preparation for college.
- Professional development throughout the year to address learning loss and the social emotional needs of both students and staff.
- Reading Academy
ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF ALL STUDENT POPULATIONS
In addition to general student needs, Wichita Falls ISD will also be ensuring special population students’ needs are being addressed.
- Additional inclusion training
- Sound amplifiers in classrooms
- Communication devices for centralized programs
- Refocus on Advanced Academics for the Gifted and Talented students
- Technology enhancements for bilingual students
Section 18006 of the CARES Act (ESSER I) and Section 315 of the CRSSA Act (ESSER II) require, to the greatest extent practicable, entities that receive funds to continue to pay their employees and contractors during the period of any disruptions or closures related to coronavirus. Further, Section 18003(d)(12) of the CARES Act, Section 313(d)(14) of the CRRSA Act, and Section 2001(e)(2)(R) of the ARP Act (ESSER III) allow ESSER funds to support “other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local education agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the LEA.”
- The LEA will use ESSER funds to pay teacher salaries, upgrade HVAC systems, and other activities that will be needed to maintain the operation of and continuity of services for our students and staff in WFISD.
WFISD will continue offering free lunches to all students for 2021-2022 school year.
*WFISD’s Plan is contingent upon CDC guidance, state and local updates as environmental conditions change.
A. Describe how the LEA sought public comment on its plan, and how it took those public comment into account in the development of its plan. Note, the ARP requires that LEAs seek public comment for each 60-day revision to the plan:
The plan was made available for public comment at the May 25, 2021 board meeting, as well as input at a June 1st stakeholder meeting, at the June 3rd District Advisory Meeting, and again at the June 15th board meeting. In addition, a public ThoughtExchange was developed for community at large input from May 10-17, district and curriculum leaders on May 5th, May 11th, May 13th, May 20th, and May 26th, campus administrators on May 13th-29th, and final board meeting on Jun 15, 2021. The plan will be reviewed every six months.
B. Describe how the LEA ensured that the plan is in an understandable and uniform format; is to the extent practicable written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable to provide written translations to a parent with limited English proficiency, will be orally translated for such a parent; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA, will be provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent:
The plan is available in Spanish at the bottom of this page.
The plan is available in other languages needed for this community in a written format.
The plan will be available in an accessible format for people with disabilities, upon request to Ashley Thomas (email@example.com).
The plan will be posted on the district website at www.wfisd.net/safereturn.