TALAS E-newsletter – June 18

Posted on June 18th, 2020
How to Renew Your Membership Today!
TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to renew your membership. Simply log in using your username and password. If you forgot your password, retrieve it here. Once logged in, please click on the My Account tab to make any updates to your profile information. Then simply click on the Membership tab to access the Membership Signup button. Follow the instructions and your TASA membership will be renewed in no time! Questions?
Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Gregory-Portland ISD selects lone finalist for superintendent

The Gregory-Portland ISD board of trustees on Monday unanimously chose a lone finalist to succeed Paul Clore as superintendent.

Michelle Cavazos was chosen from 34 applicants in a statewide search that was narrowed down to nine candidates, according to a news release. Cavazos is currently the chief officer for school leadership, academics and social emotional learning in Austin ISD.

Michelle Cavazos is the lone finalist for the role of Gregory-Portland ISD superintendent. The board of trustees will officially hire her as soon as July 6.
Michelle Cavazos is the lone finalist for the role of Gregory-Portland ISD superintendent. The board of trustees will officially hire her as soon as July 6.

She will succeed Clore, who is retiring after 19 years with the district.

“When you think about putting a large puzzle together, like a school district, I think Dr. Cavazos is the piece that really fits what we were looking for as a school board,” board President Victor Hernandez said in the news release.

Cavazos earned a doctorate in education for school improvement from Texas State University, a Master of Education in school administration from the University of Houston, and bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa. 

Fort Worth ISD to offer in-person or online learning options for fall; Dallas ISD hopes to follow suit
The Fort Worth Independent School District is taking “school choice” to a new level as concerns for the coronavirus continue.

Parents will be offered two options for this coming school year: in-person classes or virtual learning.

Dallas ISD is exploring the same option but is awaiting guidance from the state.

Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner said feedback helped the district make the decision to provide options for every student and family.

Virtual learning in the fall will be much different than it was during stay-at-home orders in the spring. It will be more robust with higher expectations for students.

“All Fort Worth ISD teachers will report to work at a school,” Dr. Scribner continued. “Whether they are teaching in-person or online — or both –they will do so from a classroom setting and engage over the course of a usual school day.”

Peaceful protest supporting immigrants in ICE detention planned for June 20 in Houston

A peaceful protest is planned for this Saturday, June 20, in support of immigrants in ICE detention centers.

Melissa Andrea Sutton and Deyanira Rios are spearheading the protest, slated for 3 p.m.

The protest will begin in front of City Hall, and from there Sutton and Rios along with organizations such as Familias Inmigrantes y Estudiantes en la Lucha (FIEL) are planning to march to Emancipation Park and back to City Hall, according to Rios.

“So far we are expecting around 1,000 people going and 3.4k interested in attending, all within a week of starting up our group/protest “Justice for Immigrants,” said Rios.

Denton Couple Authors Bilingual Book to Help Kids Deal With Face Mask Fear
The COVID-19 pandemic turned face masks into a fashion accessory. For a Denton couple’s young daughter, it was confusing.

“My 7-year-old daughter, she’s very scared of anything covering faces, so she was really scared when she started to see people wearing masks,” Martha Samaniego Calderon said. “So we came up with the idea of the book.”

A bilingual children’s book titled, ‘Behind My Mask.’

“I don’t think we ever envisioned writing this book,” Dan Heiman said. “I think this was a good intersection between art education and bilingual education,” Samaniego Calderon said.

Heiman is an assistant education professor at the University of North Texas. His wife, Samaniego Calderon, is a graduate student at UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design. The husband and wife authored, illustrated, and published the book on their own to help their daughter, Natalia, and other children cope with the new normal.

El Paso ISD trustees revise school calendar, consider renaming elementary school
The El Paso Board of Trustees voted to adopt the intersession school calendar Tuesday.

The change brings students back to class August 3, which is earlier than previous years.

The new schedule gives students a Fall break in October, a Spring Break in mid-March, and a Winter break from December 18 through January 5.

San Marcos CISD board discusses classroom scenarios for 2020-21 school year
San Marcos CISD board members discussed three possible scenarios on how students could resume classroom instruction in the 2020-21 school year during a June 15 meeting.

The first back-to-school scenario proposed to trustees during the board meeting suggested a traditional classroom setting, focusing on safety precautions and designing schedules to support the impacts of COVID-19 while implementing social-emotional learning. Some of the possibilities for this scenario include:

  • small groups, identifying students in cohorts;
  • staggered classroom start times; and
  • redesigning classroom layouts, allowing only 22 desks in a classroom and 6 feet apart.

Socorro ISD to start first three weeks of 2020-21 school year with remote learning
Socorro ISD students will spend the first three weeks of the upcoming school year doing remote learning online, SISD Superintendent José Espinoza announced Thursday.

The 2020-21 school year begins July 27 for students, according to a revised academic calendar the Socorro Independent School District board of trustees adopted Thursday.

The decision to start the year with three weeks of full-time remote learning was made “to make the start of the year easier and more manageable for our teachers, our students (and) our parents,” Espinoza said.

The  Assistant Principal Leadership Academy  (APL) provides assistant principals with valuable leadership training based on the principles of the TASA visioning document. APL not only prepares assistant principals to take on the role of principal but also to grow as transformational leaders. APL cohorts are regional, allowing assistant principals to learn alongside peers from neighboring districts.

The  Principals’ Institute  (PI) provides a unique opportunity for principals to understand why transformation of public education is necessary, and to develop the knowledge and skills required to lead and build the capacity to sustain transformation over time. In 2020-21, two cohorts of 40-60 principals each will join an elite group of 473 educational leaders from across Texas who have participated in PI over the past 10 years.

The  Executive Leadership Institute  is designed to build the capacity of district executive leaders for system-wide improvements in teaching and learning. The series provides opportunities for leaders to cultivate strategic approaches and actions in order to support district transformational efforts. Each participant will receive the support of an Executive Coach throughout the year.These professional learning offerings can strengthen your school district team with valuable leadership training for APs, principals, and central office administrators that is based on the principles of the TASA visioning document. We encourage you to register members of your district leadership team for this coming fall’s offerings.  Get the details on dates and locations and register today!

About N2 Learning
N2 Learning was established in 2011 by veteran Texas school leaders with the mission of helping school districts achieve their highest aspirations. They have worked with education entities across the state and beyond on projects related to assessment and accountability, leadership development, planning and facilitation, and search services.
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“From Neither Here Nor There”
Sociologist Roberto Gonzales on the predicament of undocumented young people

THE PENULTIMATE CHAPTER of sociologist Roberto Gonzales’s book Lives in Limbo—the chapter he calls the most painful and gripping to read, the one that would be its climax, if the book were a work of fiction—opens with a story about two factory workers on an auto-parts assembly line. The men are friends, both in their late twenties, and both undocumented immigrants. Like everyone else in Gonzales’s book, they’ve spent most of their lives in the United States. One of them, Jonathan, never finished high school, while the other, Ricardo, has a college degree in political science and a master’s in management. “He shouldn’t even be here,” Jonathan says, sitting at a lunch table in the factory’s crowded break room. But Ricardo disagrees. “You see, this right here is right where I’m supposed to be,” he tells Gonzales. “It’s probably where I’ll be in five years.” He has figured out what Gonzales’s research notes have inexorably begun to show: that no matter what his education, or talent, or work ethic—or intrinsic “Americanness”—the thing that defines his life is his illegality.

Study finds racial, gender gaps in principal hiring
  • Black and female assistant principals are less likely than their white and male counterparts to be promoted to principal. And when they are, it takes longer, according to a study published Monday.
  • Analyzing Texas Education Agency data on promotions for almost 4,700 assistant principals in the state from 2001 to 2017, Lauren Bailes at the University of Delaware and Sarah Guthery at Texas A&M University–Commerce found equally qualified black assistant principals were 18% percent less likely to be promoted than white candidates. In addition, when they did become principal, it took 5.27 years, compared to 4.67 for white candidates.
  • The researchers identified a gender gap specifically at the high school level, with women 5-7% less likely to be promoted to principal and waiting 5.62 years for the position, compared to 4.94 years for men. In a comment, Bailes noted that because serving as a high school principal is often a pathway toward top-level district positions, women who serve as elementary principals are “less likely to be tapped for superintendencies and other district leadership positions.”

Pisoni: Changing How Schools Draw Up Their Schedules Can Make Classes Fairer and More Equitable Next Fall. 4 Things to Consider
As educators across the country struggle to wrap up the current COVID-ravaged school year, administrators and schedulers are hard at work determining what the 2020-21 school day will look like for most students. 

As they do every year, they’re deciding what courses will be taught and who will teach them. And, as they are every year, they will be challenged to evaluate difficult trade-offs that can result in limited access to rigorous coursework for some students, or inexperienced teachers being paired with the neediest learners. 

But this year, a growing number of district leaders are looking to add courses and sections to accommodate instructional loss as students return to school with new needs and very different experiences. Some fear that the challenge of scheduling will be compounded by heightened concerns about health and safety — and the fact that some students and teachers won’t return to school at all.

Support for TALAS Members
Educating Beyond COVID-19: Forging A Path Forward in K-12

A Free Webinar and Resource Series

As states begin to reopen businesses, district leaders are mobilizing to develop return plans for the 2020-21 school year. Join this webinar and resource series to learn how to reimagine, revamp, and return to school. 

June 23, 2020 @ 11am PT/2pm ET: Rethinking Teams for Return To School(Part 3)

June 25, 2020 @ 10am PT/1pm ET: Leaders: How Do You Make Learning a Part of Your Organization’s DNA?
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