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  • ESSER3


    Request for public comment on federal grant applications: 2021-2022

    In accordance with federal regulations, an entity planning to submit a federal grant application must afford a reasonable opportunity for public comment on the application that is submitted to the Texas Education Agency for approval. The following are the federal grants Rhodes School for the Performing Arts will submit for approval for the 2021-22 school year. RSPA welcomes comments or questions concerning any of the grants listed below. Please submit any comments or questions via the google form.

    The Google form can be accessed at the following URL:


    Title I, Part A provides supplemental resources to help schools with high concentrations of students from low-income families acquire the knowledge and skills in the state content standards and to meet the state student performance standards. (Amount awarded: $294,107.00)

    Title II, Part A is to increase student achievement through improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in classrooms and highly qualified principals in schools. (Amount Awarded: $29,818.00)

    Title IV, Part A is to improve students’ academic achievement by providing all students with access to a well-rounded education; improve school conditions for student learning, and improve the use of technology. (Amount Awarded: $23,438.00)

    ESSER III Use of Funds Plan

    ESSER III Use of Funds Plan – Spanish

    Rhodes School for the Performing Arts Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services Plan 2021-2022

    (a) An LEA must describe in its plan under section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services—

      1. How it will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the following safety recommendations established by the CDC:
        1. Universal and correct wearing of masks.
        2. Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/ podding).
        3. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
        4. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation.
        5. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments.
        6. Diagnostic and screening testing.
        7. Efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities.
        8. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies.
        9. Coordination with State and local health officials.
      2. How it will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services

    The Rhodes School for the Performing Arts Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services constitutes the district’s policies relative to the plan title. The Plan addresses each of the CDC’s safety recommendations (a)(i)(A)-(I) to the extent determined most beneficial by the RSPA Health and Safety Committee.

    (b) During the period of the ARP ESSER award established in section 2001(a) of the ARP Act, an LEA must regularly, but no less frequently than every six months (taking into consideration the timing of significant changes to CDC guidance on reopening schools), review and, as appropriate, revise its plan for the safe return to in- person instruction and continuity of services.

    Plan has been reviewed for changes each time that the CDC has updated its guidance, and the Plan will continue to be reviewed every semester (less than 6 months) for changes by RSPA’s Health & Safety Committee.

    In determining whether revisions are necessary, and in making any revisions, the LEA must seek public input and take such input into account.

    Public input will be sought via a district transparency webpage, where all plans and activities associated with ESSER III will be available for review and comment. The webpage address is https://rhodesschools.org/esser3/.

    If at the time the LEA revises its plan the CDC has updated its guidance on reopening schools, the revised plan must address the extent to which the LEA has adopted policies, and describe any such policies, for each of the updated safety recommendations.

    Once the LEA reviews its plan every 6 months and determines revisions are needed, the LEA will include stakeholder input, public notice, and public comment processes in the plan revision.

    District leaders will continue to review CDC guidance and the extent of RSPA implementation as part of the revision process.

    (c) If an LEA developed a plan prior to enactment of the ARP Act that meets the statutory requirements of section 2001(i)(1) and (2) of the ARP Act but does not address all the requirements in paragraph (a), the LEA must, pursuant to paragraph (b), revise and post its plan no later than six months after receiving its ARP ESSER funds to meet the requirements in paragraph (a).

    Plan will be revised and posted no later than six months after receiving funds.

    (d) An LEA’s plan under section 2001(i)(1) of the ARP Act for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services must be—

    1. In an understandable and uniform format;
      This easy-to-read plan will be posted on the district website.
    2. To the extent practicable, written in a language that parents can understand or, if it is not practicable to provide written translations to a parent with limited English proficiency, be orally translated for such parent; and
      This plan will be posted in English and Spanish.
    3. Upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA, provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent.
      We will provide audible format and other accessible alternative formats as they are requested.

        Health and Safety

    RSPA’s safety plan focuses on communicating clear expectations, implementing preventative measures, and responding quickly and consistently to cases. Our safety plan and protocols are following recommendations provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Education Agency, and local health authorities.

    Reporting of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

    • In line with TEA Guidance and in coordination with state and local health officials, RSPA will notify confirmed cases:
      • RSPA will report to Harris County Public Health on the same day that a case is discovered.
      • Cases will also be reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services on a weekly basis.

    Universal Wearing of Masks

    • In line with the executive order from Governor Abbott beginning 6/5/21, the wearing of masks will be optional, but strongly encouraged for student, staff, and visitors while on RSPA campuses and district facilities, participating in after school and outdoor activities, and while riding school buses.

    Isolation of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases

    • In line with recommendations from the CDC and local health authorities, RSPA will continue to quarantine positive confirmed cases and direct the confirmed cases to stay home and self-isolate for:
      • At least 10 days since symptoms first appearedand
      • At least 24 hours with no fever and without fever-reducing medicationand
      • With continued improvement of other symptoms of COVID-19

    Modifying Facilities to Allow for Physical Distancing (e.g., Use of Cohorts/Podding)

    RSPA has reviewed the applicable CDC guidelines and disease conditions in our local community. Given the sustained and significant reduction in COVID-19 rates in our community, we plan to enforce the protocols immediately below for the 2021-2022 school year. If COVID-19 rates worsen significantly or if the Texas Education Agency provides additional public health guidance for 2021-2022, we will revise protocols as needed.

    Physical Distancing

    • Schools should place student desks a minimum of three feet apart whenever and wherever possible.
    • If tables are used, seats should be placed a minimum of three feet apart and students will sit on the same side of the table, facing the same direction.
    • Campus leaders will utilize a variety of spaces on campus to support social distancing requirements.
    • Schools will promote more frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing when social distancing recommendations are not possible.
    • Schools will use non-classroom spaces when feasible and appropriate to comply with social distancing recommendations.
    • Handwashing stations, lavatories, and urinals less than three to six feet apart will be marked off with tape (to take out of operation to ensure social distancing).
    • Water fountains will not be in use, all students and staff will be provided bottled water upon request.


    • Pre-K and Kindergarten students will eat breakfast in the cafeteria, adhering to social distancing requirements. 1st-8th grade students will eat breakfast in their classroom.
    • All students who must line up for food pick-up will follow CDC guidelines by floor markings that outline a 3-foot distance between any two students.
      • Cafeteria tables/chairs must be marked to establish 3 feet of spacing.
      • Staff will monitor students in cafeteria/eating areas to ensure that students are not mingling and maintain a 3-foot distance between any two students.
      • To support social distancing, students should have an assigned seat for meals whenever feasible.
      • Campus leaders will create meal schedules that support social distancing.

    Buses and Student Transportation

    • In line with the executive order from Governor Abbott, beginning 6/5/21, the wearing of masks will be optional, but strongly encouraged for students and staff while riding school buses.
    • Hand sanitizer will be provided for students and staff who use school buses.
    • Students and staff are required to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the bus.
    • Whenever possible, students should sit two students per bench to enable social distancing. If this is impossible given the number of students on a route, students should be seated as far apart as possible.
    • Siblings may sit together during transport.
    • If weather permits, bus drivers will open windows to allow outside air to circulate.
    • The district will encourage families to use alternate modes of transportation (individual drop off and pick up) to reduce bus ridership and the possibility of COVID-19 exposure on buses.
    • Bus drivers will receive cleaning supplies to thoroughly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, knobs, door handles, steering wheels, and the driver’s area after each run.
    • Bus drivers will clean and disinfect the bus at the end of the school day.

    Transition and Movement in High-Risk Areas

    • Schools will receive adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene in transition areas, such as hand sanitizer. Contactless sanitizer stations will be used where available.
    • Signs and messaging will be posted in highly visible locations, entrances/exits, and restrooms to ensure social distancing.
    • Schools will install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions, when distancing is not feasible.
    • Schools will use visual aids to illustrate appropriate spacing and traffic flow throughout the school building.
    • Schools will designate hallways or entrances as one-way and post directional reminders on the walls and/or floors.
    • When possible, schools will divide entry points rather than funneling all students through the same entry space.
    • Schools will reconfigure common areas such as the library, cafeteria, foyer, gyms, and other areas previously used by larger groups by spacing out furniture to minimize crowding.
    • Schools will minimize having multiple groups in common areas and high-traffic areas at once.


    • Schools will designate separate entry points for different groups of students in order to spread out arrivals (e.g. day care, car riders, bus riders, walkers). Entry points will be staffed with appropriate numbers of adults to communicate expectations and ensure social distancing
    • Parents will not be allowed to enter the campus for morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up
    • Schools will schedule/station staff to support distancing upon entry and immediate transition to classrooms. Schools will stagger arrival times of staff to assist in early morning duty.


    • Schools will designate exit points for students and implement contactless exit and delivery to cars. When that is not possible, schools will provide gloves to staff.
    • Schools will station staff members to support social distancing and monitoring of students’ exit.
    • Schools will utilize the public announcement system and/or video delivery system to communicate dismissal expectations and to call for students’ exit to day care, cars, and buses (staggered dismissals).
    • Staff hours may need to be adjusted to accommodate dismissal start time.


    • Traffic in hallways will flow in one direction where permitted.
    • Hall/restroom monitors will help ensure distancing and bathroom capacity.

    Staff Workroom and Lounge

    • Campuses will minimize the number of staff members in lounge areas and staff work rooms to enable social distancing.


    • All parents will be asked to enroll online instead of in-person
    • Parents will be contacted via phone or email for any clarifications and notification of completion.
    • Parents unable to register online or upload documents should call the campus for assistance. Exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

    • Students, staff, and visitors will be encouraged to sanitize and wash hands frequently.
    • Schools will provide hand sanitizer in every classroom and office area. Sanitizer stations will be placed in high-traffic areas such as school entrances, gymnasiums, and cafeterias.
    • Schools will provide signage throughout the building promoting proper handwashing techniques, social distancing practices, and mask requirements.
    • Schools will teach students and staff proper hygiene practices continuously regarding the following: proper handwashing techniques, how to cover coughs and sneezes appropriately, and other prevention and mitigation strategies that are part of the district’s health and safety protocol.

    Cleaning and Maintaining Healthy Facilities, Including Improving Ventilation

    • Custodial services will conduct more frequent cleanings and provide cleaning supplies for teachers to clean high-touch surfaces in their classrooms during the day. Custodial services will use supplies that are EPA approvedfor use against SARS-CoV-2
    • Custodial staff schedules will be arranged for additional cleaning and disinfecting of common space high-touch areas such as door handles, stair handrails, tables, desks, computers, and laptops.
    • Custodial staff will be trained to ensure safe and appropriate use of cleaning supplies
    • Custodial staff will use personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed
    • Custodial staff will disinfect restrooms and other common-use spaces more frequently throughout the day.
    • Custodial staff will conduct routine cleaning/sanitizing at the end of every school day.
    • The maintenance department will continue to maintain air filters and change out as needed to ensure better air quality. Additionally, maintenance will work to ensure fresh air supply units are working properly.
    • Classrooms will be provided cleaning supplies so that teachers and other school staff can disinfect high-touch areas (e.g. door knobs and desks) during breaks throughout the day.
    • Barrier shields will be installed at receptionist and high-traffic office areas across all campuses and support buildings. Additional barrier shields will be provided in specific workspaces to maintain social distancing requirements.
    • As a general rule, water fountains will be non-operational. A few pre-determined water fountains, near cafeterias, will be available for students to refill their own water bottles. Use of these water fountains must be supervised by staff.

    Contact Tracing, Isolation, and Quarantine, in Collaboration with State and Local Health Departments

    Identifying and Isolating Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campus:

    • Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
    • Schools will close-off and clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school (student, teacher, or staff).
    • Students who report feeling feverish will be assessed by the nurse assistant to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.
    • 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.

    Contact Tracing and Case Reporting (response to confirmed case):

    Each time a confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs on campus (among students or staff), the school will do the following (Per TEA, “on campus includes the bus and any school facilities”):

    1. Direct the confirmed case to stay home and self-isolate for 10 days. If the case is a student, they will be required to stay home. Students will receive remote instruction via remote conferencing during this 10-day period. If teachers and/or staff are too ill to report to work, they will follow the absence/leave policy laid out by the district and the FFCRA.
    2. Direct all close contacts to stay home and quarantine for 10 days, with the specific exceptions listed in #3 below.
    3. Staff who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are notrequired to quarantine if:
      1. They have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered, as long as they do not develop new symptoms, OR
      2. They have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms. “Fully vaccinated” means:
        1. Person has received both doses of the two-dose vaccines (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna) or one dose of the one-dose vaccine(s) (e.g., Johnson and Johnson), AND he/she has waited at least two weeks after the second inoculation.
      3. Notify district administrators. District administrators will notify the local health department.
      4. Notify families and staff via letter.
      5. Begin contact tracing. Contact tracing within the school will be conducted by the school’s COVID Response Team. RSPA’s expectation is that Harris County Public Health will trace contacts outside of the school.

    COVID Response Team:

    • Each campus will have a COVID Response Team that consists of one of each of the following roles:
      • Administrator; Head Custodian; Counselor; Nurse; Attendance Clerk
    • Larger campuses may assign multiple people in each role (i.e., two administrators, two counselors, etc.).
    • Each person on the COVID Response Team will be required to attend contact tracing training through John Hopkins University

    Diagnostic and Screening Testing

    • Staff will take a health screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day.
    • Students will take a health screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day.
    • Students, staff, or visitors may not enter a district facility if any of the following apply:
      • Diagnosed with COVID-19
      • Exhibiting one major or two minor COVID-19 symptoms
        • Major symptoms of COVID-19 (1 symptom)
            • Fever (100.0 or greater) and/or chills
            • Persistent cough
            • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
            • New loss of taste or smell
    • Minor symptoms of COVID-19 (2 or more symptoms)
            • Sore throat
            • Congestion or runny nose
            • Diarrhea/nausea/vomiting
            • Sudden onset of persistent headache
    • Waiting for results from a COVID-19 test
    • Parents and/or guardians must screen their students’ health condition daily using the criteria listed above.
      • A “yes” response to any of the above criteria requires the individual to remain at home. The parent/guardian should contact the campus nurse for further guidance on the student’s return to school.
    • Teachers will monitor students and refer to the nurse if symptoms are present.
    • Visitors, including parents, are required to take a health screening for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus.
    • An individual diagnosed with COVID-19 may return to school when all three of the CDC symptom-based criteria are met:
      • 10 days since the start of symptoms
      • 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications
      • Improved symptoms
    • Efforts to Provide Vaccinations to School Communities

    In partnership with Harris County and CVS, RSPA has hosted vaccination clinics for eligible students and community members. The district plans to host additional clinics (in partnership with a healthcare partner) throughout the 2021-2022 school year. RSPA has communicated regularly with the community regarding vaccination opportunities through website notifications, automated calls, emails, and social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram).

    • Appropriate Accommodations for Children with Disabilities with Respect to Health and Safety Policies
    • Students with disabilities in Pre-K through grade 8 that are at high risk due to health and safety concerns may benefit from homebound instruction to meet their long-term needs. This change of placement decision will be made by the student’s 504/ARD committee following district protocol
    • Students with disabilities will also have equal access to learning loss assessments and all remediation intervention activities and supports in addition to their provision of FAPE. The students with disabilities ARD committee will make an individualized determination as to whether additional compensatory services are needed.
    • Coordination with State and Local Health Officials
      • If a significant number of confirmed cases occurs at a school, RSPA will contact HCPH for advice on modified operations or the potential need for a temporary closure of the school.
      • The Superintendent communicates with local officials regularly (including Harris County Public Health and local hospital leaders) to remain informed on health trends and to ensure that Alief’s policies/procedures are in line with best practices across the region.
    • Continuity of Services
    • The Rhodes School for the Performing Arts Charter School will continue to take appropriate actions to ensure continuity of services to students. These actions will focus on addressing students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. Proposed plans to provide a continuity of services are as follows: with state
    • Increased Response to Intervention Staff
    • Professional Development for Teachers and Administrators
    • Chromebooks and Interactive Smart Boards
    • Summer School
    • Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Support Staff
    • Instructional Materials and Resources
    • Increased Special Education Staff
    • Increased Counseling Support
    • Continued Nurse Consultation Services
    • Increased Instructional Hours
    • Tutoring Support Services
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