American Rescue Plan Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

Last Updated: 12/13/2021 3:46 PM

American Rescue Plan Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The Dallas County School District has been awarded American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funds this school year. This is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to address student learning recovery.


Public Feedback

The Dallas County School District encourages all of its stakeholders to comment on the plan via the email address established for this purpose. Our stakeholders include parents, teachers, and others. Public comments on this plan will be considered as the Elizabeth Public Schools finalizes this plan.

Public Comment Email:

The Dallas County School District encourages its students, families, teachers, school administrators, support staff, District staff and community members to complete a survey that takes fewer than five minutes to submit and lets your voice be heard. All survey responses are anonymous. 

Complete the survey today at American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Funds Stakeholder Survey 2020-2021.  The ARP ESSER survey is open through Thursday, June 17. Responses to the survey will be reviewed for inclusion into the district’s ARP ESSER plan and grant application.  

Your feedback will be an invaluable resource to the district as we move forward with the planning process for how ARP ESSER funds will be used to make the most impact for our students.  

Over the next four summers and three full fiscal years, the District will use the more than _______________ in one-time/short-term federal funds to address student learning recovery and the ongoing impact of the pandemic using four major strategies:

  • Teacher support
  • Rigorous instructional materials
  • Creating more time for learning
  • Facility Upgrades

 The final ARP plan for the Dallas County School District will be posted on the district website on or before June 30, 2021.


If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the pdf document.

The approved DCSS ARP ESSER III Approved Budget


If you are having trouble viewing the document, you may download the pdf document.

Any participation in the Program requires the Student to agree to the Dallas County Acceptable Use Policy


You can download the policy here.






  • American Rescue Plan Forum Presentation

  • Letter to DCS Community- American Rescue
  • Plan Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Emergency Relief Info and Survey
  • Flyer June 7, 2021
  • ESSER II & ARP-ESSER Research-Based
  • Programs English Language


Stakeholder Forums

Each stakeholder forum will offer a brief presentation on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Kindly complete the registration form with the required information: Name, Email address, and Affiliation. Prior to the meeting, an email will be sent to those persons with a Zoom link to participate.

To register, please complete the Registration Form below Student Government, DCS Team Member and their Unions, and Central Office/Principal Forums will be closed to the public and login is required to sign up and participate.

Central Office and Principal Forum |Zoom Invitation
Monday, June 7, 2021, 10:00 a.m.

Parent Forums 
Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 6:00 p.m.| Register 
Friday, June 11, 2021, 10:00 a.m.| Register

DCS Team Members and their Unions Forum | TEAMS Invitation
Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Community Organization Forum |Register
Monday, June 14, 2021, 10:00 a.m.

Student Government Forum| TEAMS Invitation                                  
Monday, June 14, 2021, 1:41p.m.- 2:14 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much funding is available to New Jersey LEAs?

A total of $2,764,587,703 is available to the state. Ninety percent, or $2,488,128,933 will be awarded to eligible LEAs. Note that only two-thirds of the total state allocation is available at this time.


The purpose of ARP ESSER is to award subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) such as the Dallas County Schools (DCS) to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools.


  • Start Period: Funds may be used for allowable costs incurred on or after March 13, 2020;
  • Obligated through: September 30, 2024, which includes the Tydings period (General Education Provisions Act §421(b)(1)); and
  • Liquidated by: October 13, 2024.

The LEA must engage in meaningful consultation with stakeholders and give the public an opportunity to provide input in the development of its plan for the uses of ARP ESSER funds.

The LEA must provide its plan for the uses of ARP ESSER funds in an understandable and uniform format.

The LEA’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction plan will be posted to the LEA’s website within 30 days of receiving its ARP ESSER Notice of Grant Award. The final Safe Return to In-Person Instruction plan will be posted on the district website on June 24, 2021.

Yes, LEAs must expend a minimum of 20 percent of their grant funds to:

  1. Address learning loss activities through the implementation of evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year programs, and
  2. Ensure that such interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on underrepresented student subgroups.

Yes, the NJDOE has identified recommended uses for LEAs to consider when writing their plans.  It should be noted that ARP ESSER funding is a one-time appropriation from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). In developing local plans, the NJDOE strongly encourages LEAs to consider how ARP ESSER funding might interact with other federal funding to promote sustainable use.

ARP ESSER funds are designated to be used in any or all of 16 buckets, which include addressing learning loss, providing professional development, improving indoor air quality, providing social and emotional supports, updating and providing technology. NJDOE allowable uses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Activities authorized under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, or the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act.
  • Coordination of preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies with State, local, Tribal, and territorial public health departments, and other relevant agencies, to improve coordinated responses among such entities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
  • Providing principals and others school leaders with the resources necessary to address the needs of their individual schools.
  • Activities to address the unique needs of low-income children or students, children 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.
  • Developing and implementing procedures and systems to improve the preparedness and response efforts of local educational agencies.
  • Training and professional development for staff of the local educational agency on sanitation and minimizing the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Purchasing supplies to sanitize and clean the facilities of a local educational agency, including buildings operated by such agency.
  • Planning for and coordinating during long-term closures, including for how to provide meals to eligible students, how to provide technology for online learning to all students, how to provide guidance for carrying out requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1401 et seq.) and how to ensure other educational services can continue to be provided consistent with all Federal, State, and local requirements.
  • Purchasing educational technology (including hardware, software, and connectivity) for students who are served by the local educational agency that aids in regular and substantive educational interaction between students and their classroom instructors, including low-income students and students with disabilities, which may include assistive technology or adaptive equipment.
  • Providing mental health services and supports.
  • Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care.
  • Addressing learning loss among students, including low-income students, children with disabilities, English learners, racial and ethnic minorities, students experiencing homelessness, and children and youth in foster care, of the local educational agency, including by—
  1. Administering and using high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable, to accurately assess students’ academic progress and assist educators in meeting students’ academic needs, including through differentiating instruction.
  2. Implementing evidence-based activities to meet the comprehensive needs of students.
  3. Providing information and assistance to parents and families on how they can effectively support students, including in a distance learning environment.
  4. Tracking student attendance and improving student engagement in distance education.
  • School facility repairs and improvements to enable operation of schools to reduce risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards, and to support student health needs.
  • Inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects to improve the indoor air quality in school facilities, including mechanical and non-mechanical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, filtering, purification and other air cleaning, fans, control systems, and window and door repair and replacement.
  • Other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in local educational agencies and continuing to employ existing staff of the local educational agency.
  • Develop strategies and implement public health protocols including, to the greatest extent practicable, policies in line with guidance from the CDC for the reopening and operation of school facilities to effectively maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff.

Since the large influx of ARP ESSER funding into LEAs can result in funding deficits when it ends, the LEA must plan for how to effectively and efficiently use the ARP ESSER funds. It is recommended to use the ARP ESSER grant funds for one-time or short-term expenditures to address the identified needs caused by the pandemic.