ESSER Federal Grants

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the United States Department of Education has released three grants for which local education agencies (LEAs) can apply through the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). 

These grants, known as ESSER I, ESSER II, and ESSER III, were authorized by the:

  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act),
  • Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA), and the
  • American Rescue Plan (ARP).
Purpose of ESSER
  • Support K-12 schools response to COVID-19.
  • Address local relief, prevention, preparation, and recovery efforts relative to responding to COVID-19.
  • Provide resources to address the needs of individual schools.
  • Improve preparedness and response efforts.
  • Supplies to sanitize and clean facilities.
  • Technology needs to maintain educational opportunities.
  • Mental health support.
  • Summer learning and afterschool programs.
  • Maintain the operation of and continuity of services and continuing to employ existing staff.


In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act dedicated $13.2 billion for K-12 schools through ESSER I. The intent and purpose of ESSER I funding are to provide emergency relief funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. ESSER I funds can be used to cover expenses incurred from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2022.

The Paradise Valley Unified School District applied to receive its ESSER I allocation in June 2020. PVSchools received $4,513,659.06. This funding was used to purchase sanitizing supplies for all sites and to increase funding for the PVOnline model to support students moving to an online model for learning. These efforts were made to provide continuity of academic services during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In December 2020, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) was signed into law. CRRSA dedicated an additional $54.3 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER II. The Arizona Department of Education released the grant application in April 2021, and PVSchools ESSER II allocation was $18,581,882,84. ESSER II funds are being used to cover expenses incurred from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2023.

PVSchools has been using ESSER II funds to offer free extended learning opportunities during the school year as well as providing free summer school. ESSER funding also paid for Hotspots in an effort to give all students the same opportunity during remote learning. All PV schools were fitted with outside handwashing stations and water bottle filling stations. Additional custodial workers were hired to work throughout the day sanitizing surface areas such as door handles, classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas.

Where ESSER II Funds Were Spent

Department or School  Expenditure Description Cost Estimate
Assessment AZM2 AP Test Proctors (Pinnacle HS, Paradise Valley HS, Horizon HS, Shadow Mountain HS) $7,411.25
Assessment SchoolCity cost for writing 6th-12th grade common final exams for SS and Science $85,000.00
Business Operations Indirect Costs at 8.18% = 1,405,063.79 $1,405,063.79
Business Operations Enrollment Stabilization
Continued predicted enrollment loss for 2021-2022 (enrollment stabilization is spent)
Community Education Instructional Material Costs for Community Education Classes $14,445.96
Community Education Custodial Costs for Community Education Classes $257,555.76
Community Education Transportation for Community Education Extended Learning Opportunities for High School Program $9,984.50
Community Education Free Community Education classes for all students; salaries and benefits for staff $2,279,593.13
Curriculum Math Manipulatives to support our Math Curriculum $307,559.41
Curriculum Position: Home Instruction Specialist .25 (SPED request, under PVOnline) $22,861.00
Curriculum Position: PVOnline Gifted Teacher .5 FTE $68,236.00
Curriculum PVHS Gifted Case Manager .33 FTE $19,836.00
Curriculum Network Security Instructor .67 Teacher - Career and Technical Education $61,121.20
Curriculum Software & App Design Instructor .33 Teacher - Career and Technical Education combined with Network Security $34,036.56
Curriculum Explorer MS - Keys to Literacy Training for English Language Acquisitions and SS teachers = $6,000
Substitute Teachers for 4 days x 11 teachers x $115 per day = $5,060
Curriculum Reading Specialist Training for Acadience - Aug. 4 - training fees only - teacher - professional growth $3,500.00
Curriculum Literacy Plan with Keys to Literacy Guidance - Writing District Literacy Plan $14,400.00
Curriculum Gizmos software for Science instrument for virtual labs $73,587.80
Curriculum Funding for K-3 Literacy - Really Great Reading $116,207.55
ELA (English Language Acquisitions) Keys to Adolescent Literacy Intervention for SEI training; ELD Coaching and Support; Virtual Planning and Consulting $8,600.00
Facilities Infrastructure cost related to COVID-19 (bottle filling stations, outside handwashing sinks) $1,003,270.40
Facilities Summer Custodial Services - Day Porters $249,780.00
Food and Nutrition Salaries and Benefits for Nutrition employees $2,235,520.00
HR and Finance $1,000 Return to Work Stipend (plus benefits) $4,101,900.00
PVConnect Set up of the PVConnect Model – the furniture and electronics $326,893.63
PVOnline Creation of PVConnect standalone model
30-40 teachers, clerical staff, coordinator, admin, EL Teachers
After the 2021-2022 school year, if this model continues, we will need to adjust school staff to accommodate families who want a remote model.
PVOnline Edgenuity subscription $90,386.40
School Level Remediation Plans - Spring 2021, Summer 2021
Transportation for Extended Learning Opportunities included in School Plans
School Level - Remediation Plans Transportation for Extended Learning Opportunities $64,400.00
School Level - Remediation Plans Food Services for Extended Learning Opportunities $129,179.60
School Levels Supplies for Summer School $1,000.00
Total Total expenditures $18,581,882.84


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) signed into law on March 11, 2021 provided nearly $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief (ESSER) Fund. This grant is known as ESSER III. ARP ESSER funds are provided to State educational agencies in the same proportion as each State received under Title Ia of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in fiscal year (FY) 2020. The intent and purpose of ESSER III funding are to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus on students.

PVSchools will apply to receive its allocation of ESSER III funds before November 2021, based on feedback from stakeholder groups. PVSchools ESSER III allocation is $41,495,828.58. These funds will be used to address the impact COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on our schools. Based on guidance from ADE, the PVSchools plan for ESSER III funds will focus on evidence-based practices to support student needs in the areas of academics and social-emotional wellness. Funds will be set aside to provide high-quality instruction, create more time for learning, and provide student enrichment experiences to support academic acceleration.

PVSchools will utilize ESSER III funds to address issues that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. PVSchools is required by statute to set aside 20 percent of its total ESSER III allocation to address learning loss. ESSER III funds can be used to cover expenses incurred from March 13, 2020, through September 30, 2024.

Fall 2021 Committee Meeting Dates

ESSER III Committee Meeting Members

Name Group Representing
Kathleen Alexander  PVP
Shawn Bell PVEA
Lori Berman UPC
Jon Bowen SEL Specialist
Deanna Cabrera ESSER Technician & Committee Recorder 
Angelina Clipper PVEA
Michelle Courtright PVSEA
Ryan DeAustin TOA
Samantha Doyle IT Assistant Director
Matthew Droge Marketing Director
Shelly Edgar K-6 ELA Specialist
Paul Ferrero PVP
Holly Gorman PVEA
Tammy Hall McKinney Vento/COA
Victoria Jones PVSEA
Jean Koeppen Assessment Director
Steve Lee PVP
Missy Martin PVP
Kaylen Miller K-6 Math Specialist
Karen Moe PVEA
Melissa Molzhon PVP
Rachel Muth PVEA
Kari Neegele PVEA
Michelle Pavlik ESSER Grant Coordinator
Sarah Platten PVEA
Kelly Romm PVEA
Susie Seep PVEA President
Aubrey Singer PVEA
Amber Strang 7-12 Math Specialist
Rita Tantillo English Learners
Linda Taylor Special Education
Georgine Vega Finance
Shawn Webster PVSEA
Linda Williamson PVEA
Jennifer Young 7-12 ELA Specialist


COA – Central Office Administrators
ELA – English Language Arts
IT – Information Technology
PVSEA – Paradise Valley Education Association
PVP – Paradise Valley Principals
PVSEA – Paradise Valley Support Employees Association
SEL – Social-Emotional Learning
TOA – Teachers on Assignment (Assistant Principals)
UPC – United Parent Council

Desired Committee Outcomes

  • Ensure the committee has a basic understanding of what ESSER is and how it can be utilized to benefit our students and community in our district.

  • Enable committee members to elicit feedback from stakeholders, provide feedback to all stakeholders and allow for effective, collaborative conversations.

  • Develop a prioritized list of items that can be utilized through ESSER funding.  These recommendations will be presented to Executive Cabinet.

ESSER Contact

For questions regarding ESSER, please contact Michelle Pavlik, ESSER Coordinator, at