TALAS E-newsletter – February 20

Posted on February 20th, 2020
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Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz resigns
Austin district Superintendent Paul Cruz on Wednesday night announced he is leaving his post for a position with the University of Texas at Austin.

He has been in his position for six years.

“It has been an honor to have collaborated with such an amazing and dedicated team for whom I have the utmost respect,” he said.
These 3 Houston-area school districts are among the best in Texas, new survey reveals
Three Houston-area school districts were ranked among the top school districts in Texas according to a survey by niche.com.

The survey was based on factors such as college readiness, graduation rates, teacher quality, and test scores. Diversity, safety, and activities were also considered.

Katy ISD, Friendswood ISD and Tomball ISD came in at Nos. 14, 16, and 18 respectively.

Most of the schools in Katy, Friendswood, and Tomball received a grade of A+ in all levels of education and students from these districts have a higher chance of being admitted to top state universities like the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M.

The list also included Pearland ISD, Conroe ISD and Clear Creek ISD as honorable mentions.

Homework amounts now being limited for El Paso elementary school students
The El Paso Independent School District is adopting a new homework outline for elementary students, a school board trustee announced Tuesday evening.

The new outline is based on a total amount of time students are mandated to spend on homework per day.

“I’m pleased to announce that effective immediately homework will be reduced for elementary age EPISD students to a maximum of 10 minutes starting in 2nd grade and capping out at a maximum of 30 minutes in 5th grade,” said school board trustee Daniel Call in a social media post. “Any additional homework will be reading only.”

AISD trains 60 additional ambassadors to encourage families to fill out census
Members of the Austin Independent School District trained 60 more ambassadors on Saturday to encourage families in south Austin to fill out the United States 2020 census.

This is in addition to the 100 they trained at a previous meeting in north Austin.

“Our hope is that this would spark a conversation at home, at the grocery stores, at their schools, at PTA and just start talking about completing the census and why completing the census is important and how it impacts everyone’s families,” said Leonor Vargas, the administrative supervisor for Programs at AISD.

The training was held with grant funding given to AISD from United Way and other non-profits. District representatives announced the outreach effort in November 2019 to try to have every child and family counted in the 2020 U.S. Census in March.

Selena’s life and legacy, 25 years later, will be celebrated by Latino artists at big concert
The music of the late Tejana singer Selena, who 25 years after her death still gets fans belting out the words to her enduring songs, is being celebrated this spring with a lineup of Latino artists.

The family of Selena and its entertainment company Q Productions, announced plans Tuesday for a “Selena XXV – Veinticinco Años” tribute concert honoring her legacy, to be held May 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

The concert and lineup are intended to show the influence Selena had and continues to have on Latino artists.

“Over the past 25 years, her influence and relevance has only grown through the generations,” Suzette Quintanilla, Selena’s sister and CEO and president of Q Productions, said in a news release.

Available Leadership positions
  • Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Administration
  • Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Administration

Director of Human Resources

ESC Region 8 – Bilingual/ESL/ Dyslexia/504 Consultant

Houston ISD
Director, Elementary Curriculum & Development – ECH PK

Take a look at who’s hiring
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
How to Age-Proof Your Resume
Writing a resume can be difficult for everyone, but for those 50 years of age or older, it can be even more difficult. Maybe they’ve been out of the workforce for some time, or they haven’t been able to keep up with the latest processes and technologies. The good news is that  AARP  and  TopResume  have partnered to help those in that age group.

“Resume writing is crucial as more and more older workers stay in the workforce, often looking for new jobs, or even new careers,” said Susan Weinstock, AARP vice president for financial resilience programs, in a  press release  about the collaboration. AARP now offers a resume advice and professional writing service to help baby boomers feel more comfortable applying and interviewing for new jobs.

Follow these tips when updating your resume
There are also things you can do on your own to boost your chances of landing a new job. Amanda Augustine, career expert for TopResume, offered 13 tips to help older job seekers with their resume:

Survey: Superintendents still overwhelmingly white, male
  • While the racial and ethnic diversity of districts in which superintendents work has increased in recent decades, new numbers from AASA, The School Superintendents Association, suggest the nation’s superintendents are still overwhelmingly white and male despite gradual shifts in demographics. 

  • The percentage of female superintendents increased slightly in the past decade, from 24.1% in 2010 to 26.68% in 2020 — more than double the percentage of female superintendents documented in 2000 (13.1%). 

  • The number of superintendents of color is increasing much more slowly, with 8.6% of respondents identifying as superintendents of color in 2020, compared to 6% in 2010 and 5% in 2000. Of the relatively small percentage who are African American, Latinx or other minority group, nearly 42% are women. ​

National News
“Cleo & Cuquin: Explore + Learn” Is Recognized as the Best Digital Educational App for Preschoolers

HITN Learning  announced today that its app  Cleo & Cuquin: Explore + Learn , inspired by the popular Netflix and YouTube series Cleo & Cuquin, has won a 2020 Kidscreen Award. The application, which competed with high-quality educational products, among which were Amazon and Homer children’s products, took home the prize as the best educational application in the preschool category, winning the award for ‘Best Learning App–Branded in the Digital Preschool’ category.

The  Cleo & Cuquin: Explore + Learn  application is the result of a government-funded study and is inspired by the popular YouTube and Netflix series Cleo & Cuquin and includes games, videos, and educational activities with augmented reality effects. Among the outstanding features of this educational app is how it motivates the development of bilingual English-Spanish skills in preschoolers.

Can bilingualism protect the brain even with early stages of dementia?
A study led by York University researchers provides new evidence that bilingualism can delay symptoms of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, making up 60 to 70 per cent of dementia cases. Of all activities with neuroplastic benefits, language use is the most sustained, consuming the largest proportion of time within a day. It also activates regions across the entire brain. Ellen Bialystok, Distinguished Research Professor in York’s Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, and her team tested the theory that bilingualism can increase cognitive reserve and thus delay the age of onset of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms in elderly patients. Bialystok’s team collaborated with researchers at Baycrest Health Sciences’ Rotman Research Institute, where Bialystok is an associate scientist.

The study is believed to be the first to investigate conversion times from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease in monolingual and bilingual patients. Although bilingualism delays the onset of symptoms, Bialystok says, once diagnosed, the decline to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease is much faster in bilingual people than in monolingual people because the disease is actually more severe.

Report: Diversifying teacher workforce, linking preservice to later performance among ‘high-priority issues’

Teachers are expected to have strong content knowledge, to create deeper learning experiences for their students and to understand their social-emotional development — demands that weren’t placed on educators 20 years ago, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine.

But teacher preparation programs generally don’t have ways of tracking how their graduates perform in the classroom, and there is little evidence newer preservice models, such as residencies and online programs, are effective at preparing students for increasingly diverse classrooms, the authors conclude.

“Teaching has always been complicated and difficult, but it’s gotten even more so in a number of ways,” said Robert Floden, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University and chair of the 13-member ad hoc committee that wrote the report.

A collaboration between the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the Board on Science Education, the 15-month project looked at how the teacher workforce has changed over the past two decades and what it means for teacher training programs and those providing professional development once they are in the classroom.

Is Your School Affirming Institutional Racism During Black History Month?

In West Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Kimberly Eckert felt like she had been beating the same drum for years: Teaching is a challenging profession. Being a person of color in the United States is challenging, in a whole different way. Put them together, and, for many, the obstacles are insurmountable.

Eckert had been tasked with strengthening teacher recruitment, including Educators Rising, a pre-service organization for high school students interested in teaching. She recruits high performers, and ensures that at least half are students of color. She’s up front with those students that it is not an easy profession, and will likely be more difficult for those who are placed in high-need schools. She wants them “going in eyes wide open,” she said, because disillusionment doesn’t help anyone.

At the same time, she said, there are ways to improve the experience for teachers of color.

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