TALAS E-newsletter – August 20

Posted on August 20th, 2020
Become a member today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS.
Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
We invite you to join Education Elements along with The Association of Black School Educators and The Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education for a Virtual Symposium this Saturday, August 22nd, Critical Conversations for P-20 Educators.

This symposium will bring together prominent Texas educational leaders from school districts and higher education to build a stronger future for all learners.

There will be self-selected breakout sessions on topics including higher education and social emotional learning. Followed by the breakout sessions, Dr. Lavelle Hendricks will lead a panel discussion on mental health.

Texas News
Mexican American and African American studies courses coming to San Marcos CISD

During the Aug. 17 San Marcos CISD board meeting, officials gave a rundown of two new social studies courses that will be offered starting fall 2020.

The Mexican American and African American Studies classes will focus on the local history of each group, according to information from the district, which also states the courses will seek to “incorporate area organizations, individuals, and points of interest.”

The district will begin examining ideal candidates to teach each class based on certifications and experience. District information states each class will count for half of a credit.
Socorro ISD superintendent addresses technology needs, student safety

Few school districts in Texas understand growing pains better than Socorro Independent School District.

Its 47,500 students packed into 49 schools already makes it the 22nd largest school district in the entire state.

With the new school year now underway and operating exclusively online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS4 On Your Side asked Socorro ISD superintendent Dr. Jose Espinoza about the difficulties of ensuring all students have the technology they need.

Reentry Plans – COVID-19

Reimagining Education – Round Rock ISD

Garland ISD launches new mobile app to keep parents and students informed
Garland Independent School District has launched its first-ever mobile phone app, which the district hopes will help students and parents keep up to date with their schools.

In a quarterly newsletter, the district said it is “proud to announce the launch of its new mobile app,” which provides access to information about school-related news, student information systems, district events and more.

The Garland ISD app, which the district says can be downloaded in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, allows families to select as many campuses as they prefer.

‘We Wanted To Make Sure It Was Easy’: Dallas ISD Distributes Devices Without A Hitch On Day 1
Day one of Dallas ISD’s massive technology distribution effort appears to have gone well.

Staffers are working to get some 60,000 devices into the hands of students before the start of the new school year, now scheduled for Tuesday, September 8.

“Everything moving quite along,” says a relieved Vette Kennard, snapping her fingers for emphasis.

“After lunch? Maybe about 5 minutes–it wasn’t even that–maybe because I was at the front,” she adds with a laugh. “It turned out great. Quick. Easy.”

It’s just the kind of review staffers were hoping to hear.

In Escobar town hall, El Paso education leaders lay out concerns after first day of school
With school starting for many students in El Paso Monday, some families are already struggling to make virtual learning work.

El Paso Representative Veronica Escobar is bringing together learning experts and local leaders to shine a light on the issues El Pasoans are having with the transition with a Keeping Children Safe Virtual Town Hall.

“Anyone who tells you that we’re going to do this as well as we’ve always done, none of that is going to happen,” Xavier De La Torre, superintendent for the Ysleta Independent School District, said.

Advance your career today
Career Advice
Five Strategies for Navigating a New Job in a Crisis
Navigating a new job at any point in a professional career can often be intimidating or overwhelming. Doing so in the midst of a campus, community or even global crisis only further compounds those feelings.

On January 27, I started my first day at a new institution, after spending the previous week moving across the country in the middle of a snowstorm. Less than two months later, the world would be facing a pandemic that has infected millions, killed thousands and devastated the nation’s economy. Navigating this crisis has been incredibly daunting and anxiety-inducing for both seasoned professionals and newly hired individuals who are still trying to get a solid understanding of their positions and the new people around them.

While many institutions have implemented a hiring freeze to mitigate the unforeseen and damaging financial consequences of this pandemic, I hope to pass on some lessons I’ve learned to those people who are able to transition to new jobs either during or soon after this global crisis. Below are five key elements that have significantly helped me to not only learn and succeed in my new role, but also to grow in my personal and professional health during a time of extreme uncertainty.

TEXANA READS: ‘A Guide to Hispanic Texas’ is a book for every Texan
In this age of Internet, Google searches and interactive websites, sometimes it’s good to reach back to a good ol’ book that provides a well-written and well-described analysis of what you are looking for. Such is the case of “A Guide to Hispanic Texas,” printed in 1992 and again in 1996 under the guidance of the Texas Historical Commission after much research and time ensuring that the impact of the Hispanic Culture in Texas was finally recognized.

The book is a gem and when first published filled a void too long neglected. The editors and contributors have taken time to ensure that coverage of the Hispanic contribution to Texas was presented in its totality. From mission-style architecture, to Tex-Mex cuisine, ranching traditions and the impact of the Catholic church, it’s there. Its material speaks volumes and says that the Hispanic culture in Texas has been with us for centuries, is with us today and will be a part of Texas for a long, long time.

National News
‘A national crisis’: As coronavirus forces many schools online this fall, millions of disconnected students are being left behind

Before the pandemic, it was called “the homework gap,” because of the growing number of teachers who assigned homework that required Internet access. Now, as the pandemic forces many schools to switch to remote learning, disconnected students will miss more than homework. They’ll miss all of school.

For all the talk of Generation Z’s Internet savvy, a stunning number of young people are locked out of virtual classes because they lack high-speed Internet service at home. In 2018, nearly 17 million children lived in homes without high-speed Internet, and more than 7 million did not have computers at home, according to a report prepared by a coalition of civil rights and education groups that analyzed census data for that year.

The issue affects a disproportionately high percentage of Black, Latino and Native American households — with nearly one-third of students lacking high-speed Internet at home. Students in Southern states and in rural communities also were particularly overrepresented. In Mississippi and Arkansas, about 40 percent of students lacked high-speed Internet.

Effects of school resource officers on school crime and responses to school crime
Research Summary: We examined the effects of an increase in school resource officer (SRO) staffing on schools in a sample of 33 public schools that enhanced SRO staffing through funding from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services Hiring Program and a matched sample of 72 schools that did not increase SRO staffing at the same time. In longitudinal analyses of monthly school-level administrative data, we compared the treatment and comparison schools on disciplinary offenses and actions. We found that increased SROs increased the number of drug- and weapon-related offenses and exclusionary disciplinary actions for treatment schools relative to comparison schools. These negative effects were more frequently found for students without special needs.

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
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter
and other TALAS activities possible.
Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
Build better writers,
in-person or remotely.
Engage your students.
Boost their skills.
Guide them through the writing process.

Copyright 2022 © TALAS. All Rights Reserved.