TALAS E-newsletter – August 13

Posted on August 13th, 2020
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Texas News
Garland ISD announces new administrator assignments for
2020-21 school year – Congratulations to these new leaders!
Victoria Sanchez-Acevedo
Caldwell Elementary School
Erin Pacheo
Montclair Elementary School
Lucas Pizana
Williams Elementary School
Angie Ariza
Assistant Principal
Montclair Elementary School
Natali Legernos
Assistant Principal
Caldwell Elementary School
Antonio Martinez
Assistant Principal
Webb Middle School
New Deputy Chief in Dallas ISD

Mark Ramirez has been named deputy chief of School Leadership and will oversee School Leadership B. Ramirez has served as executive director in School Leadership. Prior to that, Ramirez was principal at Moisés E. Molina High School after a year as science coordinator at Harlingen CISD. Ramirez has served in a variety of roles in Dallas ISD since 1999, including as a bilingual teacher, science coach and associate principal. He is also an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. Ramirez has published two science books—Force and Motion and Energy All Around. He earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in education from Dallas Baptist University.
Rural school districts facing unique challenges amid coronavirus pandemic

Rural school districts are facing unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic as students start the fall semester.

About 90% of students ride the bus at Somerset Independent School District, which is about 87 square miles and crosses into Atascosa County. Of the total 4,300 students enrolled in the district, 10% do not have internet access for online learning.

Schools are redesigning their buildings to reduce spread of COVID-19

Last year, district bus drivers were able to deliver meals to students, but once face-to-face learning begins, Somerset ISD Superintendent Saul Hinojosa says they will not have the ability to do that.

Socorro ISD educator named Region 19 Elementary Teacher of the Year

Vista Del Sol Elementary teacher and Socorro Independent School District 2020 Elementary Teacher of the Year Pedro Gurrola was named the 2021 ESC Region 19 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

Gurrola is a fifth-grade teacher with 23 years of teaching experience. He was honored for his unwavering commitment to the teaching craft, providing high-quality and innovative instruction, and his dedication to serve all students in the region, especially at Vista Del Sol and in Team SISD.

Virtual learning flexibility may be advantageous for students, ECISD superintendent says
East Central Independent School District Superintendent Roland Toscano says he’s confident every student within his district will have the enough technology to get every student prepared for the start of the school year.

East Central ISD Superintendent Roland Toscano speaks with News 4 SA’s David Chancellor about the district’s plans for the start of the 2020-2021 school year (SBG San Antonio)

Distribution of chromebooks and hot spots is currently underway within ECISD. Toscano said thousands more chromebooks are on back order as families with multiple students may be in need of several devices.

Dallas ISD’s Fight to Fix the Most Racist Map of Dallas
Come November, Dallas voters will decide on a bond proposal that is a record-breaking mammoth. If authorized, the $3.7 billion package will be the biggest borrowing ever for any local unit of government in state history, according to data from the Texas Bond Review Board. It goes to voters at a totally crazy time, when nobody knows how we will vote. And buried in the proposal is an explosive concept: reparations. The word alone elicits responses ranging from inappropriate behavior to brain aneurysm. This will be exciting to watch.

It may also be an ingenious response to this moment in time and maybe the smartest move we’ve ever made. For one thing, the system we have used for years for spending school bond money was always junk. In the past, the bond money has been divvied up according to two schemes, one fake and the other regrettably real. The fake one, based mainly on student population, supposedly allotted bond money where needed for building new facilities or fixing old ones. The other scheme, the real one, was a system of straight-up political patronage. It handed out bond money according to where it was needed to get activist parents off the school board’s back and get the school board reelected.

Port Neches-Groves ISD prepares for next week’s opening – “People are ready to be back.
The Port Neches-Groves Independent School District will be the first district in the Golden Triangle to return to in-person classes on Aug. 19.

Educators, administrators and school board members are preparing the final steps for student arrival.

Superintendent Mike Gonzales visited two campuses Monday including Taft Elementary and the Early Childhood Education Center.

Taft Elementary Principal Staci Gary said she is ready to see some normalcy.

“It really was a great day,” she said. “It was super positive. People are ready for normalcy. People are ready to be back. We know there are kiddos who need us, so we are ready for that.”

New Opportunities
  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
  • Executive Director of Communications & Public Relations
  • Executive Director of Special Education
  • Executive Director of Literacy, K-12
  • Executive Director of Math & Science, K-12
Career Advice
10 Tips to Promote Engagement on Zoom While Working Form Home
EMAIL, TEXTS, AND EVEN VIDEO CALLS LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF INFORMATION WE CONVEY when communicating with our co-workers. Misunderstandings can come easily, potentially leading to conflict.

To get a better sense of how we can communicate more effectively remotely, Inverse reached out to two communication experts. Working from the Netherlands, Spencer Waldron is [Prezi](https://prezi.com/)’s head of remote communications, a presentation software company with offices in San Francisco, Budapest, and Riga. Dr. Kate Stewart is CEO of Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Services and a faculty member at the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Montana State University. Here are their tips.

National News
‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latino,’ Or ‘Latinx’? Survey Says …
We’ve been using the term “Latinx” on NPR’s Code Switch podcast regularly. But new research shows it hasn’t really caught on among Latino adults in the U.S.: While one in four have heard of the term, only 3% use it.

The Pew Research Center’s national survey of Latinos queried more than 3,000 respondents about the term Latinx, and I spoke with their director of global migration and demography research, Mark Hugo Lopez, about their findings. Our conversation has been condensed and edited for clarity.

In Pew’s latest survey of Latinx adults living in the United States, you found that only three percent self-identify as Latinx. What’s being used instead?

Remote learning a major challenge for students learning English as a second language
Roberto Gomez, 14, moved with his family to San Antonio from Mexico less than two years ago. He’s been working hard to learn English since then — a task made even more difficult now that all of his classes are taught virtually.

Roberto is one of more than 5 million students in the United States learning English as a second language, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Now with many schools relying on remote learning to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in schools, the ability to stay on top of classes has become even more difficult for those without fluent English speakers in their household.

Roberto’s mother says he’s been losing some of the English he’s already learned since the pandemic. “It’s difficult to find ways to practice,” he told NBC News and Telemundo.

CARES Act Funding: Your Partner Staymobile Will Help You Save and Protect Your Technology Device Investment

The moment that a student’s laptop or tablet breaks or malfunctions, remote learning grinds to a halt. Having the right partner in place to help your tech team deploy, protect, and service these devices can be the difference between success and failure.

Staymobile has been supporting the needs of districts like yours for over a decade. Our comprehensive suite of solutions can be tailored to meet your specific needs. No matter what devices you have invested in or whether they are new or used, Staymobile can craft a maintenance and support plan that solves your challenges efficiently and affordably.

Since the TEA bulk purchase program is utilizing the $200M CARES Act funding, you may already have a financial solution at your fingertips.

Learn more about the value of a Staymobile partnership in 2½ minutes: https://vimeo.com/446493265
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