TALAS E-newsletter – June 1

Posted on June 1st, 2020
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Smarter Together
Leadership, Innovation, and the Science of Motivation

Anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad were the five most frequently mentioned emotions by more than 5,000 teachers who responded to a recent survey from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Collaborative for Social Emotional and Academic Learning.

As leaders, how do we balance the mental and physical well-being of our staff while motivating them to innovate and address the needs of our students when they return from extended school closures? Now more than ever, we’ll need to develop new strategies to engage students and teachers and help them develop resilient mindsets to face the challenges ahead.

Daniel Pink is the author of six provocative, best-selling books about business, work, and behavior—including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, which spent four months on the New York Times Bestseller list and was named a “Best Book of 2018” by Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads, and several more outlets. This book unlocks the scientific secrets to good timing to help readers flourish at work, at school, and at home. His TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 20 million views.

Join us on Tuesday, June 2, 2020
11:00 a.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. CDT / 9:00 a.m. MDT / 8:00 a.m. PDT
If you have questions, please contact: CurriculumAssociatesEvents@cainc.com

During this session, Daniel and Curriculum Associates CEO, Rob Waldron, will take questions from attendees and discuss leadership moves that motivate people to do their best work.
A Letter from TALAS President
Ricardo Lopez
May 31, 2020

Dear TALAS Community:

These have been dark and heart-breaking times for our nation and our state. People are reacting out of fear, grief, and even rage to the injustices that have been highlighted in recent days. This grief is carried by the stories of George Floyd, Ahmaud Aubrey, Breonna Taylor, and countless more. Each name touches us in a deep and personal way and highlights the palpable injustices our brothers and sisters of color continue to face.

In these troubled times, I remind us all of our mission to provide leadership development, collective impact, advocacy, and a proactive voice for Latino and non-Latino leaders who have a passion for serving the fastest growing student population in our state.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words underscore the need for action and advocacy in the midst of injustice, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

In these times of challenge and controversy, I want you to know that your TALAS leadership continues to stand in support of those who have been marginalized, victimized, or threatened. Our voice, indeed our passion, lies in our commitment to eliciting the best for the diverse communities we serve.

The bonds of the TALAS community are as strong as our commitment to one another. We cannot back away from our pursuit of equity. We must continue to overcome injustice and suffering together, casting out the dark with light at every turn.

Our prayers are with all those affected by social injustice. We will lock arms and continue to march forward as advocates for every child in our great state of Texas.

Para sevirle,

Dr. Ricardo Lopez
TALAS President
Return to Work Playbook
This playbook is the Dallas Independent School District’s (District’s) guidance on re-entry into the workplace. Guidance concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19) is regularly updated. The information in this playbook outlines the current best practices provided by federal, state and local health officials for removing or preventing COVID-19 in the work environment.

School districts in Borderland plan how to safely return to school in fall
Public schools across the Borderland have been empty since COVID-19 began.

Students and teachers were forced to adjust to remote learning.

Parents are wondering if students will return to school in the fall.

“We are creating three solid options, that way when coronavirus does whatever it is going to do, we are able to pivot on a dime,” said Marivel Macias with the Socorro Independent School District.

Just like the Socorro ISD every single school district in the borderland is presently facing the predicament of having to plan for multiple pandemic scenarios and be ready to put those plans in place overnight.

Complicating the situation are conflicting messages about how to reopen from El Paso county and city leaders who are often at odds with the direction from state officials.

COVID-19 Strength & Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction
UIL schools may, but are not required to, begin UIL Summer Strength and Conditioning and Sport Specific Instruction beginning June 8, 2020 under the requirements described in the link below. UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any potential modifications. Schools should take their local context into account when deciding whether to offer summer strength and conditioning on campus by monitoring the situation on the Texas Department of State Health Services dashboard. Schools should follow all local and state requirements when considering strength and conditioning activities.

Rebuilding America: South Texas schools weigh steps for reopening in fall
To Jennifer Mahan, Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent approval of in-person summer school is a sign that schools will reopen for good in the fall.

Though Mahan’s 7-year-old son, Connor, breezed through most of his at-home assignments from Stephen F. Austin Elementary in Gregory-Portland ISD, time away from his friends and teachers was starting to take a toll. And Mahan has been home-schooling her 4-year-old daughter, Keeley, in preparation for kindergarten.

Mahan, the community engagement coordinator for the Corpus Christi Moms Blog, was able to stay home full time and give Connor the help he needed with schoolwork. Other families aren’t so lucky, she said.

Reopening schools in the fall would be “a good thing,” she said, “and I am glad to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Salazar-Zamora to Represent Region 4 on TASA Executive Committee
Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora won the recent election for the Region 4 position on the Executive Committee. Her two year term will begin June 1. Congratulations!

Aldine ISD Return Planning 
Last week we led the Aldine ISD Return to School Planning Council through a design sprint to help them develop a framework for their Return to School Plan. Borrowing from the recommendations in Forging a Path Forward: How to Design a Responsive Return Plan, we identified key decisions related to Teaching and Learning, Operations, Family and Student Support, and Staffing and Employment. We also discussed the information needed before those decisions could be made and reasonable timelines for each.

Next, we’ll prototype solutions for each decision, gather more stakeholder feedback, and determine which solutions are safest to try. The success criteria we defined during our first design sprint will help us make hard decisions and determine which trade offs best align with Aldine ISD’s Core Beliefs.

Need help with your return plan? Let us know! We’re happy to send you resources and/or talk through any challenges you’re facing.

Why School Districts Need to Build Their Brands
Branding may be the last thing on your mind as you grapple with this disruptive, industry-altering pandemic that promises no clear path forward. But when it comes to recruiting top teaching candidates, you can’t afford to ignore your school or district’s image.

Not convinced? Put yourself in the place of a teaching candidate.

If you were researching school districts this hiring season, wouldn’t you be attracted to those that demonstrated how they pivoted quickly and continued to deliver instruction effectively in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, or those that made it a priority to provide regular updates and resources to their school communities.

Supporting Your Career
Your Source for Opportunities
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
McPherson & Jacobson LLC. https://macnjake.com/openings/
Four Tools to Engage ELs in Math, for both the Classroom and Distance Learning

Teachers and administrators, your effort during Covid-19 has been exemplary. Now, let’s get ready for the fall and learn strategies that are effective both in the classroom and remotely.
Presenteer: Jim Ewing
Jun 2, 2020 01:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Rethink Ed, the pioneer Ed Tech company delivering innovative K-12 tools and resources, announced today that Rethink SEL was named the Best Social Learning Platform for Students of 2020 as part of the annual SIIA CODiE Awards. The prestigious CODiE Awards recognize the companies producing the most innovative education technology products across the country and around the world.

“We’re thrilled that Rethink SEL has been named as the 2020 Edtech CODiE winner for Best Social Learning Platform for Students,” says Diana Frezza, Senior Vice President for Rethink Ed. “Now more than ever it is critical to focus on our social emotional and mental health as we navigate through unprecedented times.”

Rethink SEL is a comprehensive K-12 online platform that provides many opportunities for students of all ages and abilities, teachers, staff, and parents to develop social emotional skills. Rethink SEL’s on-demand professional development videos, K-12 grade level videos, lessons and activities promote well-being, connectedness and success for all students and adults.

Las Tienditas
Support for TALAS Members
Walden has been offering individual courses for nondegree students since 2010. Until recently, doing that meant finding a course in the catalog, calling enrollment, submitting a transcript, and more of the full application for admission process.
With increasing demand for continuing education and professional development, we are  Upping Our Play  in how we make individual courses accessible to working professionals.
We recently launched a  Lifelong Learning  section of the WaldenU.edu website with a selection of more than 200 popular courses available to take individually. Powered by an e-commerce engine, the site makes it easy for prospective students to filter and sort courses, add them to their cart, upload supporting documents, pay with a credit card, and register for a course all in one visit!
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