Photos by Mike Alzamora/Arp ISD

A pretty good day for every Arp ISD employee.

Thursday morning our superintendent, campus principals, and school board members went around the district and handed each staff member a thank you card.

Inside those notes of appreciation was a $750 check.

"Please keep in mind that what you find inside is not near enough recognition for being an Arp Tiger," Arp ISD superintendent Shannon Arrington told all employees.

He added that the COVID-19 global pandemic has placed a significant strain on employees.  But "Fortunately, our Arp ISD family has persevered through these unprecedented times."

Thanks to additional federal funds being available from the American Rescue Plan known as ESSER III COVID relief funds, the Arp ISD administration presented the district's board of trustees with a plan to use a small percentage of that money for the Arp ISD retention incentive program this year.

The board gladly approved.

Arrington explained that for the past few years the district has successfully budgeted additional incentive pay for all Arp ISD employees, which is traditionally given out in November.

But normally, those checks are considerably smaller than what was received Thursday.

And the reaction expressed their gratitude.

"What a generous gift!  With all my heart, I am sending a big hug and a big THANK YOU!  The gift is so appreciated and so are the givers," said an Arp Elementary School teacher.

"Thank you for the generosity of a giving heart. It is very much appreciated," added a fellow staff member.

"Thank you so very much for the generous COVID incentive.  What a Blessing," said another district educator.

The retention pay promotes the herculean effort made by Arp ISD staff members during the pandemic.

The Arp ISD Esser III funds plan can be found on our website as it reads below. 

"Arp ISD, in consultation with community stakeholders, plans to use the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds known as ESSER III, to maintain operations and continue to employ existing staff. The district will address the needs of students who may have experienced learning loss due to an interruption in educational services through supplemental staff providing targeted intervention to English Learners, at-risk students and any student identified as needing additional support .  Also included are software and supplies directed to meet curriculum needs of campuses.  These funds will be used from 2020 through the end of September 2024."