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Texas News
Richardson ISD names new chief of staff
Mike Jasso formerly served as executive director of Richardson ISD’s Berkner learning community.

Richardson ISD has named Mike Jasso as the district’s new chief of staff, which fills district’s No. 2 position that has been vacant since December 2021.

Most recently, Jasso served in two assistant superintendent roles – leading personnel services and administrative services – for Mesquite ISD.

Video games being introduced into classrooms at Ysleta ISD, NMSU
For some people, video games have been around their entire lives.

You might remember playing some of the original games like super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Pacman, and even as far back as pong.

“When I was growing up, I play a lot of video games,” said Matheus Zezarotto, a game researcher at New Mexico State University.

Houston ISD class sizes are growing, but enrollment is declining. Here’s why.
About 1,080 elementary classrooms in the Houston Independent School District exceed the state’s limit of 22 students per teacher — a sign that the teachers shortage is erasing years of progress in reducing the number of waivers that the district must request from the Texas Education Agency, officials said.

The district filed 25 percent more class size waivers for prekindergarten- through fourth-grade classes, the only levels capped by state law, than in the 2018-19 school year, yet enrollment has been declined about 12 percent since 2016.

Santa Gertrudis ISD receives $1.5M donation from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
The Santa Gertrudis Independent School District was on the receiving end of a huge donation from an unlikely place; the MacKenzie Scott Foundation.

Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott — the ex-wife of Amazon owner Jeff Bezos — has been giving away a few billion dollars of her fortune to charities, organizations, and schools across the country.

Last Friday, Santa Gertrudis ISD officials announced they were one of the latest school districts to be impacted by her generosity, receiving $1.5 million from her foundation.

Clear Creek latest Texas school district to change class rank system, dropping electives penalties
Elaine Erdem spent last week helping her son, an eighth-grader in a gifted-and-talented program in Clear Creek ISD, map out the classes he will take over his four years of high school as an assignment for a current course.

After the district overhauled its class ranking policy on Monday to remove electives from the class ranking calculation, Erdem isn’t sure she helped him make the right selections.

Affiliate Feature
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National News
Battle against RSV in schools recalls COVID-19 fight
Schools are preparing for another winter marked by mass sickness, as the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continues to spike among children, prompting precautions that mirror those seen during COVID-19. 

Facilities with younger children such as day cares and pre-K programs face a potential “tripledemic” of RSV, COVID-19 and the flu this season.

For the majority of adults and older children, RSV causes cold and flu-like symptoms that resolve themselves in about a week. However, younger children, particularly infants and toddlers who have not been exposed to the virus, are at a high risk of developing severe illness.

Maryland’s Humble Mission: Build the Nation’s Best, Most Equitable School System
The “Blueprint” plan will take a decade to fully implement, eventually adding $3.8 billion per year to the state’s education system

It was March 2020 and the world was collapsing around Anne Kaiser as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the nation. But with the Maryland legislative session forced into an abrupt close, the state lawmaker knew there was one bill she and her colleagues needed to push over the finish line.

Once criticized, ‘Spanglish’ finds a place in the classroom
A New York City school has become a model for nurturing bilingual kids

In Elizabeth Menéndez’s kindergarten classroom, red time on the schedule means teachers and students should speak Spanish; blue time is reserved for English. Then, there’s purple time, a “safe language space”, where students use whichever words they prefer in the moment.  

Equity Scorecard: Assessing Equity in 4 Critical Areas
Equity work in school districts predates the pandemic, by decades. And the progress has been mostly uneven. What’s more, the pandemic added new challenges to the long slog toward making schooling more equitable.

Schools had to deal with the shifting demands of remote schooling and COVID-19 prevention, as well as the national racial reckoning, at the same time they continued to work toward lessening disparities among students from different races, language backgrounds, income levels, and abilities.

How’d they do?

3 ways to elevate more women to the superintendent’s post
The superintendent role remains elusive, with only 26% of these posts held by women.

Though women make up 76% of teachers in K-12 school settings, just a small percentage of women hold the most senior role in a district—the superintendent position. The imbalance of having male-led work environments for majority-female workforces places critical responsibility on district leaders to ensure that they do not overlook the unique needs and perspectives of women in the workplace.

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