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Texas News
La Joya ISD will sue Gov. Abbott over executive order that banned mask mandates
The La Joya Independent School District will challenge Texas Gov. Greg Abbott — and his executive order that prohibited school districts from requiring people to wear face masks — in court.

During an emergency meeting on Wednesday night, trustees authorized the La Joya ISD legal team to sue Abbott over the executive order.

La Joya ISD, though, isn’t waiting for a judge to make a decision. With support from the school board, Superintendent Gisela Saenz announced Wednesday that students, teachers and staff will be required to wear face masks on campus.

Garland ISD to ‘intervene’ in Jenkins, Abbott COVID-19 mask mandate lawsuit, district says
For now, masks are required in facilities and buses, but the district is seeking clarification on whether it should follow state or county orders.

Garland ISD announced plans to intervene in the lawsuit challenging Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ decision to order a mask mandate in response to the most recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

In a letter to Garland ISD families and staff Wednesday, Superintendent Ricardo Lopez said the decision is not for political reasons or to “push one agenda over another,” but to help the district clarify its COVID-19 policies and which order it is supposed to follow.

Judson ISD prepares for school year with mask mandate
The Judson Independent School District plans to open the school year Monday with its staff and students wearing masks, as mandated by Bexar County and the city of San Antonio.

Judson’s board of trustees met Aug. 12 to consider “school health and safety plans” for the Aug. 16 district-wide opening of school — although its year-round school program at Converse Elementary School opened July 26, and its Judson Early College Academy launched its academic year Aug. 10.

UTSA hires leader to build bilingual education partnership with San Antonio ISD
The UTSA College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) has named Juanita Santos as executive director of the Dual Language Community Lab Schools, a partnership between the COEHD and the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD).

Senate Bill 1882 was signed into law in 2017 to create a model dual-language lab school network that will advance the preparation of teachers, principals, counselors, school psychologists and others dedicated to educating bilingual students in San Antonio.

They were forced to repeat first grade three times in the 1950s. Soon, Texas students might not even know about them
Decades after Lupe Alemán was forced to repeat the first grade three times, her son is making it his life’s work to reverse racial inequity in schools.

Enrique Alemán Jr., 50, has spent the past few years talking with numerous students in Texas and across the United States about how his mother and other Mexican American children in Driscoll, Texas, were treated in the 1950s by school officials who claimed they couldn’t speak or understand English.

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Supporting Your Career
Never ask these 5 questions during job interviews — ask these 4 alternatives instead
The famous adage “you only get one chance to make a good first impression” rings especially true to job interviews.

The first impression a potential candidate makes is critical, especially during that moment when the interviewer asks if they have any questions. This gives the candidate the chance to shine by asking thoughtful questions or flub it by asking seriously poor questions.

National News
Last Week in COVID, Schools & Education Policy: California First State to Mandate Vaccine for Teachers, Pediatricians Urge Faster Vax Approval for Youngest Kids and More
State and National Leaders Call for Teacher Vaccine Mandates:

  • California became the first state to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or agree to weekly testing.
  • Education Secretary Miguel Cardona also said today he supports requiring vaccines for teachers and other school staff.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says teachers should be required to be vaccinated.
  • American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said on Meet the Press that the union’s leadership should consider implementing a vaccine mandate for teachers in schools.
  • The National Education Association, America’s largest teachers union, will support policies that require teachers to either get vaccinated or submit to regular testing, President Becky Pringle said Thursday.

Masks. Vaccines. Anti-Racism. Expert Advice for Schools Caught Up in Conflict
To resolve education’s biggest fights, pursue the counterintuitive

A superstorm is bearing down on school districts across America this fall. Relationships between teachers, families, unions, and school leaders were already threadbare after a year and a half of uncertainty. Now, schools in at least seven states are not allowed to require masks, regardless of the local infection rate. Eleven states, meanwhile, have enacted new restrictions governing what teachers can teach when it comes to racism and American history. The Tennessee education department is considering fines for school districts starting at $1 million if a teacher knowingly violates such restrictions.

In a California district, Latinx students with Latinx teachers attend more school
While the teaching workforce continues to be heavily dominated by white teachers, in particular white women, the academic and social-emotional benefits for students of color of having a teacher who is their same race have been widely documented. Less studied is the impact that having a same-race teacher has on attendance.

In new research published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Penn Graduate School of Education’s Michael Gottfried, a professor in the Education Policy division, sets out to explore this question along with J. Jacob Kirksey from Texas Tech University and Tina L. Fletcher, a doctoral student at Penn GSE.

For undocumented students, a community to help them build health careers
When Denisse Rojas entered college, her path to becoming a doctor started with a lot of uncertainty — and loneliness.

While her peers were able to get a driver’s license, passports to study abroad, and financial aid to help pay for school, Rojas’ undocumented status — where no official record of her being in the U.S. existed — meant that she was also shut out from getting government-issued documents and benefiting from federal programs.

In ‘Homeroom,’ an unprecedented school year caught on film
Oakland filmmaker Peter Nicks had already made two well-regarded documentaries capturing the flawed institutions of his city and their role in shaping local lives: 2012’s “The Waiting Room,” about a public hospital, and 2017’s “The Force,” about the Oakland Police Department during a wave of shootings and protests.

To complete his Oakland trilogy, Nicks turned to Oakland High, a public school with a diverse student body of mostly Asian American, Black and Latino children. Nicks’ interest wasn’t just in rounding out his city-surveying series. It was personal. His teenage daughter, Karina, had been going through a difficult time. In making a movie about the hardships of growing up as a teenager of color in Oakland, he was, in a way, making a movie about her.

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