TALAS E-newsletter – June 8

Posted on June 8th, 2020
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Tomball ISD’s Martha Salazar-Zamora nominated as superintendent of the year

Tomball ISD Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora has been elected to the Texas Association of School Administrators Executive Committee, a decision-making body for the professional association of Texas school superintendents and administrators, to represent the Region 4 education service center, a seven-county area, according to Region 4 information and a June 1 release from the district. Members of the committee are elected by TASA members throughout the state to represent each of the 20 education service center regions, according to the release.

According to a late May statement, the TISD board of trustees also nominated Salazar-Zamora as the Texas Association of School Boards Superintendent of the Year for 2020, which could be submitted by Region 4 in late June to the state selection committee to move forward in the process.

“The Board believes in Dr. Salazar-Zamora as she brings leadership, accomplishments, relationships in our district, and most importantly, heart to her role,” board President Michael Pratt said in a May 22 statement regarding Salazar-Zamora’s nomination as superintendent of the year.

Congratulations to TALAS Member Dr. Nicole Taguinod for Earning her Doctorate
Dr. Nicole Taguinod, director of accountability and assessment at Judson Independent School District, has recently earned her Doctor of Education (EdD) degree through Walden University’s tuition reduction program with the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS). She will be graduating from Walden’s prestigious Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership.

Her dissertation explores the important issue of “Elementary and Middle School Administrators’ Perceptions on Implementing Change Toward Inclusion Practices.” It examines the processes administrators undertake to implement inclusive classrooms and provide equitable education opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities. Dr. Taguinod recommends district personnel provide principals with relevant and reflective learning opportunities to develop skills to support change initiatives and lead staff in inclusion efforts.

Dr. Taguinod was part of the first cohort of TALAS to start at Walden University. Members of TALAS have the opportunity to receive a tuition reduction on Walden’s rigorous EdD program with a specialization in Educational Administration and Leadership. This enables them to build an effective and collaborative environment to enhance the experience for K-12 students. Students also gain:
• Access to master teachers, researchers and nationally recognized education experts
• Practical, research-based strategies for improving student outcomes
• Opportunities to enhance their degree with a Texas-based residency to build competencies and broaden networks

For 50 years, Walden University has provided a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar practitioners to apply what they’ve learned to effect positive social change. For more information, please visit partner.waldenu.edu/talas.
Budgeting Challenge Simulation
Join our free, remote professional development seminar with Dr. David De Jong, Professor in the Division of Education Leadership at the University of South Dakota. In this session, Dr. De Jong will facilitate our Budgeting Challenge simulated experience with colleagues and peers from across the country. At each decision point, you will break into a small groups, with peers from around the country, and determine a consensus course of action. Upon returning to the larger group, the risks and potential outcomes of the various options and the reason for each group’s decision will be discussed.

Invite your staff and colleagues, this is a free session

Host: Dr. David DeJong
Title: Budgeting Challenge
When: Thursday, June 11th at 2 PM EST

About the Budgeting Challenge Simulation:

This simulation involves a school principal responding to a request from the superintendent for a 15% budget cut in two weeks. The principal must determine the process for arriving at the cuts, who to involve in the process, and how to drive alignment around priorities. How will various stakeholder groups be managed to arrive at an optimal result? How will you communicate with your broad constituency with maximum transparency, while controlling the inevitable rumor mill? How will you make time for listening to and considering each stakeholder, while adhering to a tight deadline?

PSEL Standards Covered Include: Mission, Vision & Core Values; Equity & Cultural Responsiveness; Professional Capacity of School Personnel; School Improvement

NELP Standards Covered Include: Mission, Vision, and Improvement; Ethics and Professional Norms; Equity, Inclusiveness, and Cultural Responsiveness; Learning and Instruction (4.2, 4.3); Community and External Leadership; Operations and Management; Building Professional Capacity (7.2, 7.3, 7.4)
Superintendents’ Statements
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Says Schools Must Play Role In Race Relations Discussion
One North Texas school superintendent says it’s time for schools to take an active role in combating race relations, and right the wrongs their students face.

Many of the protestors to George Floyd’s death are young people, some students in public schools.

“Students are at the front lines and they’re doing the right thing and it’s our responsibility to prepare them with everything a high-quality education provides,” said Dr. Kent Scribner, superintendent of the Fort Worth ISD.

While the district is planning what school will look like with COVID in the fall, he says all school districts need to look at the protests happening across the country and address race relations in our country with our children.

“It’s not enough to believe or state that one is non-racist, it’s not about being non-racist it’s about being anti-racist, taking on those comments and behaviors head-on to be silent about this is to be complacent with the challenges we have in our society,” said Scribner.

Mayor of San Marcos, school districts respond to death of George Floyd
As protests spark around the world to demand justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others who have died in police custody, San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson, San Marcos CISD Superintendent Michael Cardona and Hays CISD Superintendent Eric Wright issued statements earlier this week addressing their stances on the matter.

“The turmoil, pain, emotional unrest and racial tension in our country and our community are troubling and unsettling. In San Marcos CISD, we unequivocally condemn racism, discrimination and exclusion of all kinds. The killing of George Floyd and other black lives has profoundly impacted our nation and reminded us we live in a world where racism undeniably exists. Although SMCISD takes pride in its sense of unity and community, we are not oblivious or detached from what is happening around us. We know it is time for action.

As the Superintendent for SMCISD, I believe that schools have a responsibility to address race relations, systemic racism and social justice. I believe our students need to see their teachers, administrators, staff and school board members take leading roles against: racism, anti-blackness, anti-religious groups, anti-immigrants, bullying, disparity, evil, and hate. You can count on one actionable item from us – we will not remain silent. As part of that, you as parents must encourage our students to vote and to participate in the U.S. Census to ensure our community is heard.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa shares statement on the killing of George Floyd
“The nation and our community are reeling in the aftermath of the killing of yet another unarmed black man. The video that showed a white policeman kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until his death is beyond shocking. These images continue to reverberate across the nation, sparking protests and unrest. This clear display of racial hatred has enraged people young and old, black, brown and white. It has led to protests everywhere, including here in Dallas, even amid a global pandemic.

Conscience requires that those in power speak out against racism and prejudice and act to redress them. Our students and families are among those who have taken to the streets of Dallas to protest these ills. We join with them in declaring that the status quo of indiscriminate and violent over policing of minority communities is an affront to human rights that can no longer be accepted.

EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera releases statement on the death of George Floyd
The El Paso Independent School District condemns the murder of Mr. George Floyd last week in Minneapolis and joins the millions of Americans who call for a speedy and full investigation into the action that lead to his death. While Mr. Floyd’s death happened hundreds of miles away, its impact is strongly felt in communities like ours. Hundreds of El Pasoans have rightfully exercised their right to protest the racial inequities that for generations have affected People of Color and other minorities in our country.

The tragic events that have unfolded in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death remind us that while our society has made significant strides in creating equity in rights and access to our most vulnerable populations, much work is left to be done in guaranteeing that all future generations of Americans can enjoy fairness in the systems we expect to be in place to protect us. El Paso has been a beacon of progress in racial progress throughout its history, with many instances of political and social decisions aimed at providing rights and access to African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and the LGBTQ communities. And while not perfect, our community can fall back on our history of diversity to lead the way nationally in creating systems that seek to eliminate the divisiveness that today makes our country suffer.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Update
In collaboration with the Governor’s Strike Force and the Texas Department of Emergency Management, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was procured to help school systems reopen for the 2019-2021 school year.Place article copy here. Be sure to make the articles short and concise as people tend not to read much more than a couple of paragraphs. Place article copy here.
PPE allotments were calculated by using 2019-2020 student and on-campus staff counts and were allotted on a per pupil, district basis. On-campus staff includes teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and auxiliary staff. PPE is expected to arrive between mid-July and early August.

Districts maintain the discretion and responsibility for distributing the PPE according to their local context.

Immediate Next Steps for School Systems
1. Review the 20-21 PPE District Allotments spreadsheet posted on the
tea.texas.gov/coronavirus website with district allotments and estimated square footage needs to receive the PPE, which will be packaged on pallets.
2. In the coming days, a Qualtrics survey will be sent via the Superintendent Listserv. The Qualtrics survey will include an opportunity to adjust your districts allotment (only to decrease the amount allotted), assign a point of contact to communicate with TEA, and volunteer your district’s warehouse for potential regional distribution. Given the urgency to receive this information from a product distribution perspective, superintendents will be asked to submit this survey within a tight timeline. Failure to respond to the survey could result in a significant delay in receiving your district’s allotment.

Forthcoming Communication from TEA
• Additional information related to the statewide distribution strategy
• A final 20-21 PPE District Allotments spreadsheet with the tentative PPE items, as well as the product types per PPE (e.g. the model of thermometer).

Round Rock school district survey lets students, parents, staff weigh in
As the Round Rock school district prepares for the upcoming school year, a recent survey asked thousands of students, parents and staff to weigh in on learning from home.

The survey shows that over 60% of parents and staff are in favor of schools opening for in-person learning in the fall.

Of the 15,492 parents who responded to the survey, 63% said they would be in favor of opening schools in the fall if the public health situation allows for it, while 27% said they were unsure and 10% said they would not be in favor.

Sixty percent of district staff and 68% of campus staff said they would be in favor of reopening campuses, while 31% and 24% respectively said they were unsure.

Smarter Together
Leadership, Innovation, and the Science of Motivation

Anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad were the five most frequently mentioned emotions by over 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 wellbeing 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.

Smarter Together: Leadership, Innovation, and the Science of Motivation has been rescheduled for Wednesday, June 17 at 11:00 a.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. CT / 9:00 a.m. MT / 8:00 a.m. PT.

Join us then for a fireside chat with Daniel Pink and Rob Waldron followed by a conversation with a panel of sitting Superintendents from across the United States.

During this session, our esteemed panelists and Curriculum Associates CEO, Rob Waldron, will discuss leadership moves that motivate people to do their best work.

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.
Canutillo ISD board approves intersessional calendar for 2020-21 school year
On Tuesday, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved an intersessional school calendar, as recommended by Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath.

“This new calendar provides flexibility for the district in terms of responding to possible spikes in COVID-19 case numbers,” Canutillo ISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz said. “Recommended by the Texas Commissioner of Education, we agree that this schedule is best in view of the unpredictability of the disease.”

District officials say this would be to offset missed school days in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak during the next school year. All plans are subject to change as per guidance from health authorities.

Supporting Your Career
Your Source for Opportunities
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
McPherson & Jacobson LLC. https://macnjake.com/openings/
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
Texas school districts won’t get supplemental CARES Act funds they were expecting; TEA puts money toward state funds

Some Texas school districts have to figure out a plan after not getting the additional money they were counting on to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown. Instead, the Texas Education Agency will put CARES Act funds toward money lost in the 2019-2020 school year.

All Texas school districts were given entitlement amounts from the CARES Act Relief Fund based on their student population. According to the document, Lago Vista ISD’s entitlement amount is $127,308. The school districts leaders said they planned to use the money to improve online learning, hire more interventionists who work with students who need extra support, and to help kids who fell behind this past spring.

“We have since learned that that is not the case,” said Dr. Suzy Lofton-Bullis, Lago Vista ISD deputy superintendent. “There aren’t federal dollars being infused into schools. There’s federal dollars being infused into the state budget to offset costs, so the schools themselves won’t be receiving anything supplemental.”

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.

National News
Is this the end of DACA?
In 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was established. This program provides work permits and protection from deportation to undocumented youth who came to the United States as children if they meet the DACA program requirements.

The Trump administration moved to phase out the DACA program in 2017, but the move was blocked by lower courts. Thus, the program did not end completely. Instead, current DACA recipients are able to renew their application, but no new applications to the program are accepted.Angela BanksAngela Banks, Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of LawDownload Full Image
Appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, a DACA ruling is expected in June. The justices will determine whether the current administration followed proper procedure in ending the program.

What effect will the DACA ruling have? Angela Banks, a Charles J. Merriam Distinguished Professor of Law at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, spoke to ASU Now about the possible outcomes.

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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Being Prepared
Schools have a variety of reasons for school closures, ranging from inclement weather to outbreaks of infectious diseases. These lost school days disrupt curriculum timelines and occasionally need to be made up later in the year. Instead, forward-thinking schools are opting for Digital Learning Days.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has already resulted in school closings around the world. Schools with ClassLink’s single sign-on and usage analytics have been delivering Digital Learning Days and are ready for COVID-19 related school closings.

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