TALAS E-newsletter – April 15

Posted on April 15th, 2020
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Garland ISD’s eLearning model educates nationally, globally
Garland ISD’s at-home learning site debuted on March 16. Since then, the comprehensive site full of multilingual activities, resources and services has been singled out as a prime example for districts across the state, nation and globe, and is even helping educate more than 80,000 students worldwide.

During a special Garland ISD virtual board meeting on March 31, Chief Academic Officer Jovan Wells gave the board an update on the district’s at-home learning site.

The site includes resources listed by grade level/content area and were recommended for initial use during the week of March 16-20. Families can also access an extensive list of free online academic programs and supports to supplement district virtual curriculum.

“The At-Home Learning website was developed to provide our families with resources that will support the learning of their child while at home,” Wells said.

TASA Mid-Winter Conference – Look Who’s Featured on the page click here and wait for our outstanding Latina Superintendents to appear!
In One Month: Deadline to Submit Session Proposals for the 2021 TASA Midwinter Conference 

If you’re interested in presenting a session at the 2021 TASA Midwinter Conference, January 24-27 in Austin, it’s time to submit your proposal! TASA will again use the Session Selector process.

How does it work? Potential presenters will submit proposals for sessions through May 15. Attendees will review the proposals June 15-30 and provide feedback as to which sessions they’re interested in attending at the 2021 conference. This process allows you to help create your own learning experience at the next Midwinter Conference. Submit your session proposal. 
CDC, FEMA have created a plan to reopen America. Here’s what it says.
A team of government officials – led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – has created a public health strategy to combat the coronavirus and reopen parts of the country.

Their strategy, obtained by The Washington Post, is part of a larger White House effort to draft a national plan to get Americans out of their homes and back to work. It gives guidance to state and local governments on how they can ease mitigation efforts, moving from drastic restrictions such as stay-at-home orders in a phased way to support a safe reopening.

CDC and FEMA officials have worked on the public health response for at least the past week, and the resulting document by the two agencies has been discussed at the White House including by members of the coronavirus task force, according to two administration officials speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

EPISD sets grading guidelines for Spring 2020

The El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees held a virtual meeting Tuesday to discuss the grading system for EPISD students forced into a digital learning environment mid-way through the Spring semester.

The new procedures use guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and best practices from other local and state education experts dealing with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

The grading system will affect each grade level differently to ensure students who need calculated grade point averages for college admissions and scholarships will be able to accumulate those scores.

Canutillo ISD’s Rodriguez tapped for National education board
Canutillo ISD Trustee Armando Rodriguez was elected to serve on the National School Boards Action Center (NSBAC) Board.

The NSBAC mission is to advocate at the federal and national levels for the advancement of public education, local school board leadership, and excellence and equity in our nation’s public schools.

“In an ever changing environment, NSBAC is leading with public policy to provide equity and quality public education to all students,” said Trustee Rodriguez. “Two of our top priorities during this unprecedented time is the E-rate program to help connect students and teachers displaced by the pandemic, in addition to leading the grassroots effort to reauthorize and fully fund IDEA.”

Mark Soto leaves San Marcos for coaching position in San Antonio
After eight seasons in San Marcos, Mark Soto has left the school to become head football coach at Johnson High in San Antonio.

Soto, hired by the Rattlers in 2012, went 36-50 in San Marcos. That included three straight playoff appearances from 2015-17. San Marcos won the district championship in 2017.

“On behalf of Rattler nation, we thank Coach Soto for his service and commitment to the students of San Marcos,” superintendent Michael Cardona said in a statement. “We wish him well on his new journey.”

Soto announced his decision to his players in San Marcos on a Zoom conference call.

District On-Line Learning Sites
Supporting Your Career

Your Source for Opportunities
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
How The Coronavirus Outbreak Will Change Careers And Lives For The Foreseeable Future
The coronavirus started out as a health pandemic, but the outbreak will create long-lasting changes to the way we live and work. 

Non-essential businesses were closed and government officials—at federal and state levels—told citizens to stay home. Schools were closed, forcing elementary to college students to remain housebound too. With nearly everyone working and studying at home, online video calls became the go-to medium to stay in touch with co-workers and friends. Prior to newly learned security breaches, Zoom became an overnight household name in video conferencing. 

Now that companies recognize that employees can relatively easily work from home, executives are likely to encourage this behavior. The chief financial officer will tell her CEO about how much money will be saved by ditching pricey New York City offices and allowing employees to work at home. Human resources professionals will echo this sentiment and cite how much happier their workers are since they don’t have to endure a brutal two-to-three-hour round trip commute to and from work. They’ll also point out that employees can now watch over their young children, take care of older or sick family members, attend important events and enjoy a higher quality of life. It will be hard to bring everyone back from home once they’ve tasted freedom from the shackles of a commute and sitting in a cubicle for eight hours each day.  

National News
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance
Dual language teachers try to ‘stay the course’ separated from classrooms
Students are missing the normal “inputs” that support biliteracy, but experts say there are ways to amplify the second language at home.
In late February, Holbrook Language Academy in Concord, California, a two-way, Spanish and English dual immersion magnet school, held a workshop to educate parents about the domains of language learning — reading, writing, speaking, listening and thinking.

Principal Marga Marshall had no idea that a month later, schools would be closed because of the coronavirus, and parents would be supporting their children’s learning at home.
“The kids already have enough of a foundation. They can continue to work on that fluency,” Marshall says. But she recognizes while some parents are arranging video play dates for interaction, students will still miss out on opportunities to practice the “partner,” or non-native, language. 

A normal schedule, in which students would learn half of the day in English and half in Spanish, has now been reduced to an hour or so through Zoom and as many bilingual videos and resources Marshall can find. 

When California schools reopen, Gov. Newsom envisages major changes in how they are run
Newsom describes changes like staggered classes and no assemblies. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom says it is too soon to ease up on restrictions keeping millions of students out of school, but when they do return, possibly in the fall, they would likely come back to schools organized in radically different ways in order to protect students, staff and families.

Currently over 6 million students in California are out of school, and school districts are struggling to provide them with “distance learning” that will hold their attention for weeks or months.

Newsom said the main challenge in reopening schools is how to ensure physical distancing among students and adults. That, he said, might require schools implementing staggered schedules, with some students coming in the morning and others in the afternoon. Students would not be able to congregate during mealtimes. Other school activities that involve larger groups, such as assemblies, physical education and recess would have to be reformed.

The fascinating story of Mari-Luci Jaramillo, the first Latina ambassador to the United States
She moved from poverty in New Mexico to a life of diplomacy and advocacy for the civil rights of Latinos.
The day she received a call from the U.S. State Department saying that President Carter was very impressed with her credentials and wanted to offer her the post of U.S. ambassador to Honduras, Mari-Luci Jaramillo, an ESL professor at New Mexico Highlands University, was so surprised that it took her some time to process the news. 

Until that moment, she had always thought to be a diplomat, you needed two things: political connections and money. She lacked both. She didn’t even know very well, as she admitted years later in an interview, what the tasks of an ambassador were. Of course, she had done a lot of work as a civil rights activist for Hispanics, but did Carter really consider her?

It was 1977, and President Carter was rushing to have a new ambassador in Honduras because the post had been vacant for several months and chaos was beginning to emerge at the embassy. If she accepted the post, Mari-Luci was told, it would not be an easy process; she would have to appear in court, be investigated by the FBI and, above all, keep it secret until Carter made the announcement. The only person she could reveal the future nomination to was her husband.

Support for TALAS Members
Governance in Crisis
We pause to salute the many heroes in our districts who have stepped up to meet the challenges of this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Many districts are scrambling to meet the human needs of our students & their families, to formulate plans for instruction during a time of physical distancing, and to respond to myriad questions, including the implications of this pandemic for advancement and graduation.

Are you looking for guidance and/or a forum in which to speak with other superintendents & school board members throughout the state? MASBA is partnering with Leadership ISD to offer a weekly Monday noon COVID-19 conversation for trustees & superintendents throughout Texas. Register today!

Fear and anxiety about the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to increased stress levels in both children and adults. School closure, abrupt changes in routine and a heightened sense of uncertainty can also have a detrimental effect on the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of students, educators and school staff. As educators work diligently to prepare and implement virtual academic learning plans, it is equally important to have a contingency plan and resources in place for social emotional learning as well. As our nation faces unprecedented school closings due to COVID-19, Rethink Ed is committed to keeping our students learning and providing schools with resources and tools that extend beyond the classroom.
Free Printable A-Home Activity Packs
At Curriculum Associates we will stand by educators every step of the way as we navigate through this pandemic. 

Our Printable At Home Activity Packs are available for Reading and Math, in English and Spanish for grades K-8. Districts/schools are allowed to print resources should they wish to provide to students in a print format. Otherwise, districts can post via their LMS site or Google Drive for their students. These resources are absolutely free! 

Printable At-Home Activity Packs:
Printable at-home activity packs are designed to provide students with valuable self-directed exercises and practice during extended absences from school. Each pack is designed to reinforce key concepts for a given grade and are available now on our public site.
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