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Texas News
YISD wins national equity award for bilingual program benefiting underserved students
The Ysleta ISD is one of 15 school districts across the nation to win an award for promoting equity for underserved students.

The school district won the National School Boards Association’s 2021 Magna Award for its academic language program, which largely benefits English Learners.

The Ysleta Independent School District’s language program has a higher passing rate than bilingual programs overall in the state of Texas, according to a YISD news release Tuesday.

Oregon school leader tapped as finalist for Lancaster superintendent job
Finalist previously worked as area superintendent in Houston ISD

Lancaster trustees are bringing in an outsider to lead the school district as a state investigation continues examining previous leadership.

At a meeting last week, the board named A. Katrise Lee-Perera, a school leader in Oregon with Texas ties, as the lone finalist for superintendent.

Retired Teachers and Dallas ISD Administrators Volunteer to Teach Migrant Teens From Border
Federal and local officials continue to assist approximately 1,500 unaccompanied minors from Central America being held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Reports from staff inside the building are that the group of 12-14-year-old boys were largely left to “entertain themselves” rotating through minimal to almost no activities to keep them occupied.

This week volunteers from Dallas ISD and catholic charities began teaching lessons to the boys. Groups of retired teachers, and central office staff, used leftover packets from the early days of the pandemic to give the students educational lessons.

Austin ISD will return to traditional, face-to-face instruction this fall, but there will still be a virtual option for families
There is still uncertainty about what COVID-19 health and safety precautions will have to be in place for the 2021-22 school year, but Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said the district is preparing for most students to return to a traditional classroom setting beginning in the fall.

Elizalde said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and local vaccination rates could determine masking and social distancing requirements in the district. However, she does not anticipate those health precautions will prevent the district from providing safe, in-person instruction that looks more like a pre-pandemic offering.

Will Texas seniors who failed STAAR tests be able to graduate on time during the pandemic? Lawmakers debate options that could allow them to walk
One temporary alternate path allowed more than 58,000 Texas students to graduate in recent years.

Seniors who failed the required end-of-course tests in high school could still graduate on time if the Legislature approves alternative paths for them.

One move could have Texas permanently adopting the individual graduation committee process that’s allowed more than 58,000 students to graduate since 2015. Another would be a short-term option waiving the high-stakes test requirements for a few years as students struggle with learning loss because of COVID-19.

Inside the Red-Hot Rise of Chilito Candy
Chile-coated Skittles, pickles doused in chamoy, and extra-spicy Gushers: Tejano dulceros are setting the internet on fire with new interpretations of the classic Mexican treats.

Mexican chilito candies, or dulces enchilados, have been making the mouths of Texans pucker for at least as long as we’ve been hitting piñatas. A colloquial catchall for a variety of sweets, chilito refers to the spice of chamoy, a traditional Mexican paste made from pickled fruits and spices. Chilito can come as a condiment, like on fruit bowls or elote; with the addition of powdered sugar, it can be thick and sticky, perfect for coating hard candy. Dulceros, or candymakers, also control the degree of spice—from a pleasant pop on the tastebuds to a fiery shock—by manipulating the amount and types of chiles in the chamoy. It’s as acidic as it is addictive, and a favorite amongst Tejano snackers.

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Supporting Your Career
15 Career Killers And How To Avoid Them
Scientists have ditched some of the outdated beliefs about job success that have been passed down over the years. Fading stars cling to dinosaur habits that stifle their careers while rock stars are open to the new normal in regard to memory, productivity and healthy living. To bring you up to speed, here are questions to ask yourself before you murder your career and don’t know it, along with tips on how to revive the success you seek before it’s too late.

National News
Last Week In School Reopenings: 6 Key Updates On Students’ Return To Classrooms
For the first time, the percentage of students in both virtual-only and hybrid learning models went down as schools transition to full-time in-person instruction, a response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s relaxation of social distancing guidelines in classrooms 10 days ago.

But with continued fear of new, more infectious variants of COVID-19, the debates over how to provide a safe, quality education are far from over.

3 takeaways from the Ed Department’s National Safe School Reopening Summit
Last Wednesday’s virtual event allowed educators to share pandemic experiences and key strategies amid the push to return to in-person learning.

As one of his first tasks as U.S. secretary of education, Miguel Cardona has been tasked with reopening the nation’s schools. To promote that effort, the U.S. Department of Education held a virtual National Safe School Reopening Summit last Wednesday for teachers, broader school and district staff, and education leaders to discuss COVID-19’s impact on K-12, and to share their experiences and best practices as schools nationwide phase back into in-person learning.

Sent home early: Lost learning in special education
Some students with disabilities have had their school days shortened for months or years, often with devastating consequences

Near the end of Delilah McBride’s second month of kindergarten in Taylor, Michigan, her family received jarring news from her principal: Delilah would be allowed to come to school only in the morning. Someone would need to pick her up before noon every day, even as the rest of her peers continued learning and playing together.

Buoyed by new funding, early childhood ed experts seek transformative change
After decades of frustration with the nation’s underfunded and limited childcare and early childhood education system and the past year of pandemic struggles, the working session’s participants said there’s new momentum to make long-term, impactful changes to programs supporting young children.

“We cannot return to the way things were,” said panelist Amy O’Leary, director of Early Education for All, a campaign of Strategies for Children in Massachusetts. For example, she said although childcare is considered essential for the economy, 37% of early educators in Massachusetts are eligible for public assistance.

Q&A: Meeting the Needs of Students of Color in a Time of Collective Trauma
The experience of living through a pandemic, and the immediate and long-term mental health needs resulting from the last year, may be quite different for some students of color than for their white peers, educators say.

For one thing, in communities across the country, Black, Latino, and Native American populations have had significantly higher death rates than white populations due to COVID-19.

Even as many haven’t stepped foot in a classroom for months, students also have participated in emotional protests over racial injustice in policing and witnessed a divisive presidential election. And Asian students, in particular, have seen surging reports of hate-related incidents in their communities in recent months.

Three Latina scientists at forefront of Covid testing are proud to be part of ‘history’
The scientists and medical technologists analyze Covid-19 samples every day to track the spread of the virus and, more recently, to identify mutations.

In the nation’s capital, three Latinas in lab coats are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monica Mann, 34; Elizabeth Zelaya, 36; and Connie Maza, 33, analyze Covid-19 samples every day to track the spread of the virus and, more recently, to identify mutations. The three scientists and medical technologists are part of a small team in the Washington, D.C., Department of Forensic Sciences’ Public Health Laboratory Division.

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
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Business/Educational Partnerships: Brian A. Peters – 414.418.2119