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Texas News
Rep. Escobar secures $2.8M in funding for broadband access for Fabens, Tornillo students
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) announced the inclusion of $2.8 million in funding for the Cotton Valley Connect Project by Digital El Paso in the Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Subcommittee Appropriations bill.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the importance of broadband access for students, particularity students from low-income families and in rural communities,” said Congresswoman Escobar.

UISD announces two new staff positions
UISD saw new leadership positions filled Thursday that will ultimately help lead the district throughout the new 2021-22 school year.

The positions filled are the executive director for instructional accountability for curriculum and instruction, and the director of the Communications Department.

Christina Casanova takes the role of the former. A proud UISD educator for 28 years, she holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master Science Degree from TAMIU.

Round Rock ISD will offer virtual learning option for K-6 for fall 2021
The Round Rock Independent School District will offer a virtual learning option for students in kindergarten through sixth grade for just the fall 2021 semester.

The district made the announcement Thursday evening, saying it’s trying to accommodate those who are concerned about children under 12 years old who can’t get the vaccine yet.

“District leaders support the idea of continuing to provide a virtual option — particularly for students who may need it due to health concerns or who aren’t eligible for vaccinations — and were disappointed when the Texas Legislature did not pass a bill to fund virtual learning for the upcoming school year,” the RRISD announcement reads.

Midland ISD surprising students who qualify as homeless ahead of new school year
Midland ISD’s Family Service Center hit the road to surprise students who qualify as homeless with a gift before the new school year kicks off.

A brand new backpack is something every student looks forward to, but it’s something that wouldn’t be possible for some students without this program.

“This hot pink for Wesley?”

Students got backpacks filled with new school supplies, hygiene bags and even some lunch.

Your Voice Your Future Town Hall: Back-to-School
KFOX14 is hosting a roundtable on Wednesday, July 28 so the community can hear from education and health leaders before most area-school districts began the school year.

Most school districts have students returning for in-person learning on Monday, August 2.

The public is invited to join the roundtable and hear from our panelist about back-to-school guidance, and ask questions.

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Upcoming Events
MASBA 2021 Annual Conference!
September 9–12, 2021
Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk
¡Hola, MASBA Amigos! The MASBA 2021 Annual Conference is coming up soon! Spread the word & join us at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel San Antonio Riverwalk on September 9-12, 2021!

The conference schedule is available here.
Supporting Your Career
How To Quit Your Job With Class And Handle A Counteroffer
There is a lot of talk about the “great resignation.” It’s the latest, and highly questionable trend as some people feel its fine to abruptly quit without a new job lined up. The narrative, in part, is that people are quitting in alarmingly large numbers. The reasons range from they are fed up with their bosses, to concerns over the sudden surge in the Delta variant and the hunger to learn and do something new and different. 

If you are contemplating leaving your employer, and have already thought through this important decision, here is a classy way to tender your resignation without burning any bridges and maintain good relations with your former boss and coworkers. 

National News
The Week in COVID & Education Policy: Studying COVID Transmission on School Buses, Conflicting Recommendations About Student Masks & 13 More Key Updates
COVID-19 Transmission Risk During School Bus Transportation: “Universal testing and contact tracing revealed no transmission linked to bus transportation” in a new study in the Journal of School Health.

  • “An independent Virginia school monitored 1,154 students with asymptomatic PCR testing every 2 weeks initially and later every week from August 28, 2020-March 19, 2021, during highest community transmission.”
  • “Fifteen buses served 462 students while operating at near capacity of 2 students in every seat, using a physical distancing minimum of 2.5 feet, universal masking and simple ventilation techniques.”

NPC 2021: Principals share strategies for leading a culture of diversity, unity
During a virtual discussion, three school leaders covered topics ranging from the importance of vulnerability to the problem with saying, “But I’m not racist.”

In a Thursday afternoon virtual session during the National Association of Secondary School Principals’ annual National Principals Conference, principals discussed strategies for promoting and leading a school culture focused on diversity and unity, as well as how to overcome problematic stances that may persist within buildings.

Youth Vaccination Rates Plummet, Reigniting Debates Over Masks in School
When teens and adolescents first became eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-May, demand for shots was like a spigot turned on full blast.

Now, the once-steady stream has slowed to a feeble drip.

Last week, only 315,000 youth rolled up their sleeves for immunizations, down from a peak of 1.6 million in late May, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics review of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

5 top priorities to prepare for in-person learning this fall
COVID is a primary concern, but certainly not the only one that must be addressed

After announcing earlier this month that schools across the country should reopen for in-person learning regardless of whether they can implement all recommended COVID-19 mitigation efforts, the CDC has developed fresh guidance to help schools address the most important issues facing students and administrators after an unprecedented year spent learning remotely. COVID remains at the top of the list of concerns, but there are additional matters schools need to confront in order to transition successfully.

Personalized Learning’s Big Test Is Coming This School Year
After a year of disconnection and loss, schools like Odyssey STEM Academy in California must repair the damage caused by COVID-19 and racial injustice.

Last month, as her junior year of high school limped to an end, 17-year-old Gia Leon ventured back inside Odyssey STEM Academy in Lakewood, Calif., for the first time in months, hoping to find a better Wi-Fi signal than she could catch in her crowded home.

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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