TALAS E-newsletter – March 5

Posted on March 5th, 2020
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The strength of TALAS is the network. If you have been recently promoted let us know so that we can share the good news. Share with your colleagues the great work happening in your districts via the newsletter. Send emails to talasnews@gmail.com
Del Valle ISD Superintendent Lone Finalist Dr. Annette Tielle

Dr. Annette Tielle previously served as the Deputy Superintendent of Del Valle ISD. With 28 years of experience, she was formerly the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum in Comal and Pflugerville ISD, respectively. She is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and received her Masters degree at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania. She continued her education to pursue a doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin in the Cooperative Superintendency Program.
Kileen ISD

Congratulations to George Ybarra. He was recently promoted to serve as the executive director for technology services in Kileen ISD.

Ybarra has been with the district since 2006. He is currently the director of purchasing services for the district. Ybarra has his master’s in management and leadership from Texas A&M University-Central Texas in Killeen. He will begin his new role in the coming month.
TALAS is recruiting both mentors and proteges
Despite the growing diversity of its population, the ethnic composition of state and local educational leadership administration systems has remained virtually unchanged over the last few decades.

For Latino and Latina leaders, access to information, visibility, and prospects to develop and grow as professionals are examples of opportunity dimensions that are not sufficiently available to them even to this day. For this reason, TALAS established the Latino and Latina mentoring program in Texas.


Participation is voluntary
Minimum two-year commitment
Mentors and protégés are expected to make a minimum of two contacts per month. Contacts may be in person and/or by telephone, Skype, Jigsaw, or email.

Mentors must commit to a minimum of one meeting with the entire cohort during a one-year period. All meetings will coincide with TASA’s scheduled conferences (TASA/TASB Convention, TASA Midwinter Conference, and UT/TASA Summer Conference on Education).

Note: The mentoring program is open to TALAS members only. If you would like to join, please visit Join TALAS on our website.

Explore new opportunities

Director of Student Services

  • Executive Director of Communications
  • Human Resources Specialist
  • Executive Director of Secondary Education

Purchasing and Materials Management Director

  • Senior Database Administrator (Data Base Administrator IV)
  • Reading Academy Specialist (Education Specialist IV)
  • Visual Impairment Program Administrator (Education Specialist V)
Take a look at who’s hiring
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
The Tension of We vs. I
As a leader, when should you put the focus on yourself and when should you put it on others? Virginia K. B. Lehmann, Jarvis Smallfield and several other scholars share some advice.

Communication may be the most potent tool leaders employ. The everyday interactions that are key to leadership in the workplace reflect your orientation toward others and the way you think about those relationships. A well-phrased statement can convey support and appreciation; a poorly phrased one can stimulate resistance or unintended disparagement.

One crucial aspect of this reality is when to put the focus on yourself as a leader and when to put it on others. When is it our department, and when is it my department? When is it our faculty and when is it my faculty? How do you project success and praise? How do you portray problems? When do you take responsibility, and when do you share it? Spending time now considering these issues can help you successfully send the messages you intend.

National News
State hopes to see half of all K-12 students in programs leading to multilingualism by 2030
California has a bold goal it’s trying to accomplish by 2030: have half of all kindergarten through 12th grade students participate in programs leading to proficiency in two or more languages.

Through the Global California 2030 initiative launched in 2018 by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the state also wants three out of four students to be proficient in two or more languages, earning them a State Seal of Biliteracy, by 2040. Not to mention double the number of bilingual teachers and quadruple the number of dual-language immersion programs by 2030.

It’s quite a change from a little over 20 years ago when Proposition 227 — which essentially eliminated “bilingual” classes in most cases — was passed. It required state public schools to teach limited English proficient students in special classes taught nearly all in English. Because very few bilingual classes were available, the number of bilingual teaching credentials declined, explained Rocio Munoz, coordinator of English language learners at the Bakersfield City School District.

Española School Board Hires New Superintendent
After three hours of interviewing and negotiating, the Española School Board voted to hire Fred Trujillo as the new superintendent of the Española School District.

Trujillo, who has served as the superintendent for the Pecos School District for the past nine years, said after he was hired that Española would be a challenge for him, but also an exciting opportunity.

“I know there’s going to be a lot of challenges,” he said.

He will replace current Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez, who has served as Española’s superintendent for several years in two separate stints. Gutierrez announced her retirement last month and said she planned to remain with the District until her contract ends June 30.

College Promise Programs and Undocumented Students

Roughly 98,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the U.S. every year, according to recent estimates by the Migration Policy Institute. These students face a number of barriers to postsecondary education.

Due to federal regulations they are ineligible for federal financial aid, including Pell and other grants, work-study and subsidized loans. Even with the rescinding of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in September 2017, nationwide injunctions have allowed for DACA renewals to continue. However, most recent high school graduates do not have access to DACA, as the government stopped accepting new applications. This situation greatly affects the post-high school prospects of recent undocumented high school graduates.

An increasing number of states and postsecondary systems have extended access to in-state tuition and state financial aid to undocumented students. But in several states that access is limited to DACA recipients or to only a few institutions. Alabama and South Carolina go as far as to prohibit undocumented students who do not hold DACA status from enrolling in public postsecondary institutions altogether.

New York City Department of Education announces new culturally diverse reading list for 3-K through 8th graders
The Department of Education released a new book list yesterday to help make the agency’s recommended reading lists more racially and culturally diverse.

The new list comes a year after education advocates first called on the department to change its reading curriculum to more accurately reflect the diversity of city public schools. Last February, a report conducted by one advocacy group, the Coalition for Educational Justice, found that the department’s recommended reading lists were mostly filled with books written and focused on white people.

According to CEJ’s report, out of every 10 books that public school 3-K through 8th graders were exposed to, eight were written by white authors. The report also found over half of the main characters of all books on 15 commonly used recommended reading lists were white. Advocates took issue with the level of diversity given that only 15 percent of New York City public school students are white. 

“I know firsthand that when our students see themselves reflected in the books that they read, they’re more engaged in learning,” said Chancellor Carranza in a statement.

The new list adds 254 books to the DOE’s recommended reading catalog and boosts the percentage of recommended reading books featuring a character of color to 68 percent, according to the DOE. About 50 of the new books were parent, teacher and student recommendations sent to the DOE via Facebook and Twitter surveys posted last September and private e-mails sent to select families. The parent and teacher input is a first for the DOE’s NYC Read 365 initiative. 

DC area school districts revamp policies to address bias, hatred

Montgomery County, Maryland, has had a nondiscrimination public school policy since 1969. But when three swastika drawings were found in the same middle school during the past year and other racist acts put students and the community of the Washington, D.C., suburb on edge, school leaders knew they had to take action. 

In February, Montgomery County Public Schools overhauled its policies aimed at curbing discrimination, hate and bias in schools, where officials say they’ve noticed an increase in these incidents over the last few years, mirroring trends in K-12 schools across the country. The focus of the new initiatives is a more preventative and restorative approach, rather than a reactive one, in hopes of fostering a culture in which these types of incidents don’t happen. 

“It’s the ongoing work,” said Troy Boddy, director of equity initiatives for MCPS, a minority-majority district. “It’s always in the background. Whether or not you hear about it or there’s an incident, we need to operate as (if) it’s part of the work that we do. We need to create those environments where kids can feel secure and cared for.”

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