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Texas News
United ISD appoints Juan Herrera as principal of George Washington Middle School
The United Independent School District Board of Trustees and Superintendent David H. Gonzalez announced on Monday that Juan “Johnny” Herrera is the new Principal of George Washington Middle School for the 2022-23 school year.

Herrera earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Texas A&M International University. Additionally, Herrera holds a Texas Educator Certificate in Social Studies 8-12, a Principal certificate EC-12, a Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System certification and a Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System certificate.

Eastwood teacher honored as CTAT Teacher of the Year
Ysleta ISD announced Tuesday morning that Eastwood High School teacher Raul Torres Santos has been named the 2022 Career and Technical Association of Texas (CTAT) Teacher of the Year.

Officials share that Torres Santos was selected for his innovation in the classroom, commitment to students, and dedication to the improvement of Career and Technical Education (CTE) in their institutions and communities.

“I love exposing my students to real world careers,” said Santos, who has taught STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) at Eastwood High School for 13 years.

KISD plans to offer new bilingual program
The Killeen Independent School District is on track to offer a new bilingual program within the next two years.

In an update on Killeen ISD’s bilingual program Tuesday evening, the KISD school board heard about the future of bilingual education for the district’s more than 5,000 English language learners. KISD is the 4th most diverse district in the state, and, according to Superintendent John Craft, KISD students speak 86 different languages.

Bilingual education job postings have been difficult to fill at KISD, and statewide, amid a nationwide teacher shortage and worldwide pandemic.

AISD takes action to address struggling East Austin schools
Two years after Austin ISD closed four elementary campuses, the district is testing out a new plan to revitalize underperforming and under-enrolled schools.

Austin ISD will stop offering sixth grade at Martin and Mendez middle schools in East Austin next fall, a move district leaders say will improve both schools’ poor academic ratings and provide a much-needed enrollment boost to other schools in the district.

“We lose approximately 60% of students that are going from fifth grade to sixth grade within the Mendez and Martin vertical team,” AISD Chief of Schools Anthony Mays said in a Facebook Live discussing the transition.

Arlington ISD to offer free, full-day pre-k for all students in the fall
The Arlington Independent School District is expanding its pre-kindergarten program hoping to get children off to a solid start with their educations.

Beginning in the fall, all 4-year-olds in the district will be eligible for pre-k, regardless of family income. 

“It’s an exciting day for Arlington ISD because we’re announcing that for the fall, we will have free, full-day pre-k for all 4-year-olds,” said Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos.

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National & International News
Tracking COVID’s K-12 impact: Cardona urges inclusive in-person learning for students with disabilities
A letter to educators and parents from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona emphasizes that students with disabilities should have access to inclusive in-person learning as the pandemic continues. The letter discusses strategies students’ individualized education program teams can consider to ensure safety and access to services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504.

“Schools must continue to take action to preserve safe in-person learning opportunities for students with disabilities, including those at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19,” Cardona writes.

CRT debate repeats past battles about state history textbooks
In Alabama in particular, a fight over teaching about race in the classroom echoes fights from decades ago

In the early 1990s, two Alabama historians tried to write textbooks that defied Lost Cause myths and gave detailed accounts of Reconstruction.

But their ventures would cost them more than just time and money.

“I learned way more than I ever wanted to learn about textbooks, and way more than I ever wanted to learn about Alabama politics,” said Robert Norrell, a former University of Alabama history professor and textbook publisher.

How can equity be prioritized in early ed quality metrics?
Early childhood educators and policymakers should take a broad, holistic and equity-focused approach when measuring the quality of programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary school students, according to a new guide from Trust for Learning, a philanthropic partnership that provides resources to promote ideal learning programs.

Although several tools for measuring quality in programs for young children already exist, the Trust for Learning guide promotes a unifying strategy for local and state officials when making decisions about what is measured, how it is measured and how the information is used, said Chrisanne Gayl, chief strategy and policy officer with Trust for Learning.

Why lots of kids still aren’t back in school in Guatemala
The doors of the Hermogenes Gonzalez Mejia school in Guatemala City were propped wide open. The interior smelled of fresh paint and cleaning supplies. Inside each classroom, tiny desks were lined up with chairs neatly stacked on top. Two large basketball courts in the outdoor courtyard looked pristine.

All that was missing was students.

After two years of remote learning, the time had come to get them back inside. “They need to interact with their classmates and try to find some kind of normalcy,” said Oscar Fernando Lopez Polanco, director of the Mejia school, while prepping in his office for an assembly in mid-February to announce reopening plans.

‘We’re so anguished’: Worried Latin American students speak out from Russia
“It’s not normal, it’s not pretty, and you’re scared all the time,” said a student from Colombia who’s studying in the border city of Belgorod.

Vanesa Rincón said she has barely slept since Feb. 24, when the thunderous sound and vibrations of the shock waves from the bombs tore her from sleep. Dark circles crown her dark eyes as she talks about the terror she experiences daily in Belgorod, a Russian city bordering Ukraine, where she studies international law.

“One wants to get away from the war and the bombs,” the Colombian student said. “We’re so anguished that I never want to hear that noise again. I want to return to Bogotá as soon as I can.”

Las Tienditas
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