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Texas News
Diana Sayavedra reflects on her first year as EPISD superintendent
Diana Sayavedra took the reins of El Paso Independent School District just over a year ago. In doing so, she made history, becoming not just the first permanent female superintendent in EPISD’s nearly 140 years, but also a relative rarity in Texas education, where less than one in five superintendents are women.

El Paso Matters met with Sayavedra to discuss her first year. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Arlington ISD superintendent announces retirement
“It has been a true joy to lead the Arlington ISD for 11 years,” Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said.

It’s official: Yet another superintendent has decided to retire from a North Texas school district.

On Thursday, Arlington Independent School District Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos announced he’s retiring after serving 11 years as the district’s top leader.

The four-day school week: Has Academy ISD sparked a trend in other Central Texas schools?
Academy ISD announced last week it would be switching to a four-day week in the upcoming school year

After Academy ISD’s recent announcement to move to a four-day school week in the 2023-2024 school year, other Central Texas schools are weighing in on whether they’ll make the same decision.

KWTX spoke with districts in Killeen, Temple, Copperas Cove, Waco, Salado and Jarrell. Each has its own reasons for wanting to either join the growing trend or stick with tradition.

West Oso ISD gives final farewell to former Superintendent Conrado Garcia
Garcia spent six years as the superintendent, and Thursday night, reflected on the many opportunities that the school district has been able to give its students.

The West Oso Independent School District said goodbye to their Superintendent Conrado Garcia.   

Garcia spent six years as the superintendent, and Thursday night, reflected on the many opportunities that the school district has been able to give its students. 

Mexican American students fought racism in a 1969 walkout. A play dredges the overlooked history.
Among the audience members watching “Crystal City 1969” were Latinos who lived through the experience in Texas — and urge vigilance against erasing history.

In five performances, a Latino theater company’s restaging of a play about historic but overlooked Mexican American student walkouts rekindled sorrow and pride among audiences, while triggering worries about the present.

The play “Crystal City 1969,” first staged in 2009 in Dallas, was performed for the first time in San Antonio last weekend at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

Affiliate Feature
AHSA, TALAS’ Houston affiliate, is a professional organization for education employees of TEA Service Region IV who are dedicated to developing and advancing school leaders that can help better the lives of students we serve. Additionally, AHSA has adopted philanthropy of supporting rising school leaders and donates upto $35,0000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in education. Since our inception, AHSA has given over a half-million dollars to this cause and continues to award more scholarships each year.
Upcoming Events
TALAS Midwinter Meet & Greet
January 30, 2023 | 5:30 pm–7 pm
Waterloo 5-6, 5th Floor, Austin Marriott Downtown
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National News
Leading a City School District Is Tough. A New Program Aims to Ease the Way
Turnover at the top of urban school districts threatens the consistency needed to ensure that struggling schools improve and that students get the best education possible, said Michael Hinojosa, superintendent in-residence at the Council of the Great City Schools. But the challenges unique to the big city superintendent job aren’t always apparent until they sit in the hot seat.

Now Hinojosa, the former superintendent of the Dallas school district, will lead a new program to ensure that promising leaders are equipped to lead large school systems.

Aguila named national bilingual Teacher of the Year
Canalino Elementary School second-grade teacher Sonia Aguila has been named Teacher of the Year by both California Association of Bilingual Education and – most recently – the National Association of Bilingual Educators (NABE), for her work advocating for bilingual students and their families. 

“My heart is full of joy,” Aguila said to CVN of her recognition. “I am very proud of my accomplishments. The path to where I am now was not easy.”

Teachers of color have better retention rates, report finds
A new study found that recruiting and retaining more teachers of color could help reduce teacher turnover, a problem that has been greatly exacerbated during the pandemic. 

Vacancies and high turnover is not a new issue, particularly for schools and school systems that predominantly educate students of color and students who are economically disadvantaged, the authors write. Part of the solution could be hiring more teachers of color, who are more likely to stay, according to the report. 

Pop quiz: What state just banned an AP African American studies course?
Answer: Florida, the ‘Stop WOKE Act’ state, where Gov. Ron DeSantis is solidifying his right-wing influence over education  

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stood before an audience at a private, Christian all-boys school, ostensibly to celebrate the life of slain civil rights hero Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. 

Not surprisingly, the Republican governor, who is pushing hard to overhaul education in the Sunshine State, had more than King’s legacy of fighting racial inequality on his agenda.

Experiential learning can help shrink early disparities in science and math
Differences in math and science skills between children can start as early as kindergarten, but educators can take steps with young students to try and counter these inequities through curriculum.

With young students, teachers can start building experiences into the school day through small field trips that can help motivate and spark interest in students by connecting them to the world around them, said Emily Adah Miller, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia’s Department of Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies Education and one of the co-authors of the Next Generation Science Standards. That may mean something as small as having students explore squirrels jumping in the neighborhood, and then measure their own jumps, integrating math into the activity.

Las Tienditas
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Founded in 1997, Kelly Education is the largest employer of pre-K – 12 substitute teachers nationwide. Kelly Education provides schools with quality substitute teacher staffing and management in addition to after-school program staffing, early childhood education staffing, special education staffing, and the staffing of non-instructional positions such as custodians, cafeteria employees, administrative assistants, and school nurses.