TALAS E-newsletter – April 22

Posted on April 22nd, 2020
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TALAS wants to share your ideas, tools, and resources with your colleagues.
If you have an idea or resource to share,
please email it (include any links, etc.) to talasnews@gmail.com .
We’ll also include resources on the TALAS webpage.
Distributed Decision-Making in an Online World
Now that most school buildings have been shuttered for the remainder of the school year, there are lessons to be learned with respect to leadership, maintaining a positive school climate and student achievement from accredited cyber schools as well as rural school districts who have always worked, led and taught in a distributed format and through online access.
Please join our discussion led by Dr. Chandra Walker of Gwinnett County Public Schools along with panelists Dr. Jan Miller of the University of West Alabama and Mr. Erik Hanson of Appleton eSchool at Appleton Area School District. You will hear lessons from their experiences in working, leading and teaching in distributed/virtual school settings. Click HERE to register.

Title: Distributed decision-making in an online world
When: Thursday, April 23rd at 2:00 PM EST
Simulation: Decision Making in a Crisis  
What’s happening in Texas
Munoz named vice president of SRSU Middle Rio Grande campuses ISD’s eLearning model educates nationally, globally
Robert Munoz has been selected as the new vice president of Sul Ross State University Middle Rio Grande Campuses in an announcement April 13.

Munoz will begin his new position on June 1.

President Bill Kibler said Munoz will lead the three MRGC campuses in Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde.

Since 2008, Munoz has served as vice president for community and industry education and executive director of community education and engagement at the Trinity River Campus (TRC) of Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.

Austin DJ plays for high school seniors online after COVID-19 prom cancellation
A local DJ is stepping in to celebrate the class of 2020.

DJ Joe Louis Rodriguez is using his turntables to spark some joy and mark a big milestone for the high school seniors.

“I wanted to give back and make them feel happy and lift spirits up with their families,” said DJ Joe Louis.

Over the weekend, DJ Joe Louis played for four hours on  Facebook Live for local high school seniors.

“We went live and it went wild. We had tons of families joining us,” said DJ Joe Louis.

School districts finding ways to empty their schools

Gov. Greg Abbott made it official last week closing school campuses across Texas for the rest of the school year.

Now, as students finish out the semester at home, there is another question that school districts will have to address: what are students going to do about retrieving personal items left at their schools.

Most students have not been back on campuses since spring break in March. And when they left, individual supplies and items were left behind in lockers and athletes left their equipment behind in locker rooms.

Now. all of that equipment needs to be returned.

El Paso ISD’s Virtual gallery showcases quarantine art from students, staff
Isolation does not mean a lack of inspiration. And for visual-arts students and art-minded employees in EPISD there is now a new space to showcase the work they are doing while respecting the Stay Home, Work Safe city order.
EPISD’s Fine Arts Department launched a new Virtual Art Gallery this week to display students and employees’ creative expressions during the COVID-19 related campus closures.

“During these trying times, we recognize that the creative process is intimately connected to the healing process,” said visual arts facilitator Rosa Aguilar. “The arts allow for reflection and, most importantly serves as a catalyst to alleviate feelings of anxiety and loneliness during this time of social distancing.”

Socorro ISD approves temporary grading policy revisions
The Socorro Independent School District administration recommended and Board of Trustees approved temporary adjustments to local policies for the 2019-2020 school year to provide a new grading system while students are participating in remote learning.

“Team SISD is committed to ensuring that students, teachers and families are not experiencing undue pressure during an already challenging time for everyone in the community,” said SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D
“We are grateful that the Board of Trustees supports this sentiment and has adjusted the grading policy to reduce the stress level for our teachers, parents, and students while we diligently continue to deliver remote instruction and monitor academic progress.”

Mission CISD families first in state to receive food shipments
Families have received the first shipments of food from the national Meals-To-You program through the Mission Consolidated Independent School District.

In addition to being the first to provide families in the state their meals, Mission ISD was the first school district in the state to gain approval of the program through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Baylor University.

Families enrolled through the program are receiving shipments every two weeks during the duration of the COVID-19 school closure.

For each qualifying child in a household, shipments contain 10 meals a week: five breakfasts and 5 lunches.

As mentioned in a previous newsletter TALAS has decided to cancel the TALAS mentoring program summer meeting originally scheduled for June 27, 2020. TALAS will move the graduation of cohort 5 and induction of cohort 7 to October 3, 2020, as part of the TASA/TASB conference to be held in Dallas, Texas. Additional details will follow.
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. 
District On-Line Learning Sites
Supporting Your Career

Your Source for Opportunities
McPherson & Jacobson LLC. https://macnjake.com/openings/
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
The cover letter format example you need to get the job
First impressions matter. That’s why a cover letter exists. It’s often the first thing a potential employer sees after they check your name, email, and possibly where you’re from, which is why it’s important to get your cover letter format just right.

Yet, it’s surprising how many job-seekers don’t customize the cover letter for the job. Without a customized cover letter for a specific job, you might as well use a stock photo for your picture, call yourself John or Jane Doe, and list your location as Anytown, USA. Your cover letter format won’t matter if the content doesn’t impress the hiring manager.

In fact, the more specific you can be in a cover letter, the better.

Latinx Entertainment
4 TV shows starring Latinxs to watch that premiere in April
This month we have five additional television series to add to our watch list.

With COVID-19 keeping us home, there’s not much more for us to do as we social distance then streaming TV series and movies. To help you continue to cope with these challenging days ahead, we compiled our monthly list of television series premiering this month starring Latinxs.

The Baker and the Beauty
Series premieres April 13 at 10 PM EST on ABC

La Casa de las Flores
Season 3 Premieres April 23 on Netflix

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels
Series premieres April 26 at 10 PM EST on Showtime

Third and final season premieres April 26 on Starz

Beloved Tíos Rubén Blades & Carlos Vives Bring Sweet Comfort With “No Estás Solo”

On Sunday evening, Rubén Blades and dozens of other singers from across Latin America (including Los Rabanes, Sech, Olga Tañón, Carlos Vives and others) had a virtual concert called Panamá Solidario to raise funds for the lovely isthmus. Panama is reportedly currently the most impacted country in Central America. At the end of the night, Blades and Vives debuted a track they’ve had up their sleeve for quite some time now.

The comforting track is dedicated to those who are ill and/or alone. Though it may sound as if it was created for such a time as this, Blades informed viewers that the theme of the track was actually something he wanted to make before coronavirus, and he approached Vives about it after the Colombian – star mentioned wanting to make a song in the Panamanian legend’s honor. Blades thought that was great and all, but immediately thought of how to use their union for the greater good. Releasing “No Estás Solo” now was a no brainer.

National News
Idaho coronavirus school closures mean more teens now work essential agriculture jobs
While many of their classmates are doing school work at home, three teens walk miles across desolate brown fields in East Idaho, picking up rocks.

The American Falls High School students spend six days a week scouring the dirt, hauling out stones up to 100 pounds so farmers can plant seeds.

Rafael Villa, 17, plays rap and reggaeton on his portable speaker as they go. It was his idea that the boys take on the agriculture job while their schools are closed due to the novel coronavirus. He’d worked picking rock the summer before.

Support for TALAS Members
The Parent Toolkit for School Closures
(It’s also available in Spanish!)
The unprecedented events caused by COVID-19 have launched many parents throughout the country into truly uncharted territory. Nearly overnight, you all have become educators! We understand the thought of managing a homeschool environment for most is a daunting task, even as local districts are providing excellent resources. Our hope for this resource is to simply help parents focus their attention on the specific area of concern that is most important to them in the moment.

engage2learn (e2L) is a company of educators that has been supporting school districts since 2011 and, for that entire time, has operated as a virtual company. Because we are completely virtual and all have families, we have a lot of personal experience managing work from home along with our own kiddos, especially during the summer months and holiday breaks! The team who built this resource is comprised of the best of the best and has taken great care in providing the most actionable information to help you, individually, provide the best possible environment for your own kids. We know you’ll find this useful. There are three distinct sections of this resource, each with three problems or challenges that you may be experiencing or with which you identify. Along with each of the identified problems, we’ve provided a bulleted list of suggestions and resources.

Education Elements
As we talk with leaders across education and our district partners, we are learning that their most challenging and immediate needs are changing daily. Luckily our team is well versed in being responsive. We have learned over the last few weeks that our approaches, practices, and habits around doing work are helping not only our team but your teams to adjust to this constant state of change. In addition to holding webinars, our team is actively creating resources and building innovative spaces for conversations across states, roles and lived experiences. Our goal has been to build cohesiveness in the conversation, connecting leaders to learn from each other as they face similar unprecedented challenges.
In our next set of virtual learning and sharing experiences, we will expand our offerings to include complimentary webinars, blog posts, downloadable guides, and even 1:1 office hours and coffee chats for K-12 leaders to “talk it out” should you need it. We’ve organized this into the following focus areas: Virtual Learning + Virtual Work, Leadership, Communication, and Culture.

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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Your Virtual Financial Consultant through the Financial Shock
Our team of Financial Consultants is here to help with your questions around managing your money and taking care of your family during these difficult times—all without leaving your home.
Las Tienditas

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