Kathy Behrendsen

Director of Federal and State Programs



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the United State Department of Education (USDE) released three grants for school districts to apply for through the Texas Education Agency (TEA) known as CARES ESSER I; CRRSA ESSER II; and ARP ESSER III. Dickinson ISD applied for and received the CARES ESSER I; ARP ESSER III grant and is in the application process for the CRRSA ESSER II grant.  


ESSER III requires that each district receiving these funds create a Use of Funds Plan and a Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Click the links below to access our plans.


Use of Funds Plan


Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan



ESSER III and RSSP board presentation from the July 12 Board Meeting:

Dickinson ISD Actions: 


  • Stakeholder meetings held in May 2021
  • Email and surveys sent to all stakeholders: May 24-June 2, 2021
  • Public notice in local newspaper and on district website
  • Board resolution approved: Resolution from the DISD Board regarding Public Notice, June 7, 2021
  • A public meeting held to present the ESSER III plan: July 12, 2021 Board Meeting 


ARP, ESSER III Grant Application Notice


The Dickinson Independent School district is providing public notice to the community and stakeholders of its intent to submit an application for the 2020-2023 ARP ESSER III Federal Grant.

The intent and purpose of ARP 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.

Dickinson ISD is soliciting input from stakeholders for the development of the Uses of Funds Plan for ARP, ESSER III funds. Please email Kathy Behrendsen at kbehrendsen@dickinsonisd.org by Friday, June 11, 2021 to share suggestions or comments. Upon completion, the district will maintain a copy of the grant application on file for stakeholder review.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on the ESSER III funds?


For more information, visit the Texas Education Agency FAQ Website


What is the purpose of the ARP ESSER III funds?

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.


Are the ESSER III funds required to be used for specific purposes?

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

  • Evidence-based interventions, such as summer learning, extended day comprehensive after school programs, or extended school year programs; and
  • Ensure interventions respond to students’ academic, social, and emotional needs and address the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on student populations as defined in ESEA, Title I, Part A, students experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care.


Are there recommended uses of ESSER III funds that will assist LEAs in addressing the impact of the COVID pandemic and disruptions leading to learning loss? (TEA FAQ AU-Q3)

While keeping in mind the purpose and requirements under ESSER III related to accelerating student learning, TEA strongly encourages school systems to plan for how to use these one-time federal funds expeditiously over the entire covered period to facilitate a more comprehensive long-term approach to learning acceleration. This may include aligned strategies that are currently part of a district’s current plans and strategies. A qualitative review of draft local learning acceleration plans revealed the following trends and suggestions, including but not limited to:

  • Professional Development: comprehensive Reading Academies, high-quality instructional materials, dyslexia training, professional development stipends, technology integration training;
  • Extended Instructional Time: extended day, extended year, high-dosage tutoring, summer learning;
  • Staffing: tutors, reduced class sizes, small group instruction, staff retention and recruitment incentive pay, after school enrichment programs, instructional coaching and leadership;
  • Facilities: ventilation, cleaning, HVAC systems, specialized instructional spaces;
  • Technology: devices, infrastructure upgrades, learning management systems, digital tools, educational application;
  • Mental Health and Behavioral Supports: social workers, at-risk coordinators, additional counseling services, teacher training and programming, wrap-around and community partnerships.


The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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