Strategies and recommendations to support effectively and equitably addressing the challenges of SY21-22 in PreK-2nd Grade


What is the purpose of this toolkit?

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide evidence-based and district-tested strategies for effectively and equitably addressing the unique and pressing challenges of SY21-22 for Texas’s early learners (PK-2), including recommendations on how pandemic relief federal funding (ESSER) may be strategically leveraged to strengthen PK-2 programs for the long-term.

Recommendations in this toolkit are influenced by the following considerations:

Recommendations in this toolkit focus on four categories of strategies for implementation:

Who is this toolkit for?

This toolkit is designed for district and campus leaders, as well as classroom teachers. While districts and students have experienced many common challenges, we also recognize the vast diversity of districts, students, and families across the state of Texas. With this in mind, we have included resources in the toolkit that can be tailored to each community and their locally identified priorities.

How can this toolkit be used?

This toolkit is designed to help districts, campus leadership, and classroom teachers reflect on existing systems and practices and plan for the upcoming school year. Throughout, we've included recommendations and resources that can be applied across a district, school, or in a single classroom.

District leaders, you can use this toolkit to identify strategic uses of ESSER funds; inform professional development for your school leadership, instructional coaches, and teachers; share strategies and tools with your campus leadership teams; as well as support in the rolling out of those strategies and purchasing of any necessary resources.

Campus leaders, you can use this toolkit to support your instructional leadership, to inform schoolwide policies and procedures, and to develop content for PD, PLCs, or grade-level team meetings.

Classroom Teachers, you can directly incorporate strategies and resources into existing curriculum units, lesson plans, assessments, or your own reflective practice.

For everyone, we’ve tried to make this toolkit as actionable as possible, so you can pull resources directly from the pages to implement right away!

Explore all of the different types of resources included in the toolkit here.

How was the toolkit developed?

This toolkit was created by Early Matters. Early Matters is a multi-regional collaborative connecting coalitions in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, and San Antonio of cross-sector partners, including business, civic, education, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations committed to increasing early childhood outcomes and awareness of the importance of early childhood education.

Please note that we recognize this toolkit is not all comprehensive. The resources and organizations highlighted throughout the toolkit are those that we collectively know about and have worked with in the past. If an organization or resource is not listed here, it is not a statement that they are not good or of high-quality. We know there are other resources and programs doing great work. We hope that this site will serve as an interactive, living platform that will be made better by everyone contributing their best practices. We therefore welcome other suggestions for resources.

Please submit additional suggestions, resources, or exemplars through this form or via email to kate.hoffman@commitpartnership.org and we will upload them so that they can be shared with districts across the state.

Thank you to our contributors!

We wish to thank all of the individuals from the following organizations who helped to develop this toolkit:

  • Child Care Associates


  • The Commit Partnership

  • Council for A Strong America

  • Dallas College

  • E3 Alliance

  • El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence

  • Good Reason Houston

  • North Texas Early Education Alliance

  • PK 4 SA

  • Read Fort Worth

  • Texans Care for Children