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Texas News
Southside ISD holds first ever Mariachi Festival Saturday
It may have been the first one, but the district hopes it’s not the last one.

Southside ISD made history Saturday by hosting its first ever Mariachi Festival Saturday.

It was happening at the Southside High School auditorium and involved 14 mariachi groups from eight different school districts all across South Texas, including Southside ISD, SAISD, Uvalde CISD, Harlandale and Laredo ISD, Southwest, South San and Brooks CountyISD.

Denton ISD studies partnership with Lewisville pediatric nonprofit for student health care
The Denton school board has approved putting a wellness clinic for employees in one of the school district’s buildings.

Now the board is considering a different health care partnership, but this time, it’s for students in need.

The district is considering placing a PediPlace satellite clinic in the district to bring pediatric care to students on the margins.

New bill filed in response to looming Houston ISD takeover
Four Texas lawmakers filed legislation Monday to put a stop to the anticipated takeover of the Houston Independent School District by the state’s education agency.

Houston ISD first received notice in 2019 the Texas Education Agency planned to replace its elected school board for at least two years with an appointed board of managers. The decision was in response to alleged education code violations and years of low performance at Phillis Wheatley High School.

The takeover stalled for years after the district sued to keep its school board in place. But a Texas Supreme Court ruling in January cleared the way for TEA officials to move forward with the state intervention.

The Kemper Foundation’s Read Conmigo Program Awards Grants to Bilingual Educators in Dallas
The Kemper Foundation announced today it has awarded grants to 15 bilingual literacy schoolteachers in Dallas County, Texas. This is the first round of grants awarded in Dallas through the Foundation’s Read Conmigo program to advance education by supporting bilingual classrooms.

Read Conmigo grants are focused on strengthening bilingual literacy skills and improving learning opportunities for Latino and Hispanic students. Teachers in public and charter elementary school Spanish-English bilingual classrooms are eligible to apply for the grants of $3,000, which can be used for educational resources, tools and materials, and professional development.

The State’s Houston ISD Takeover Is Unfair, Racist, and Wasteful
Texas policymakers keep moving the goalposts in the middle of the game to pursue their political agenda, no matter the cost to students.

I am a parent and teacher with Community Voices for Public Education, a Houston-based nonprofit rooted in the belief that our community schools are a public good, not a commodity to be sold off to the highest bidder. That is why we, along with many other Houstonians, have protested the attempted state takeover of Houston ISD for years—a dramatic assault on local control that may take place this week. 

Save the Date!
TALAS will be hosting its Summer Leadership Conference in Round Rock, TX on June 12-14, 2023.
Affiliate Feature
AHSA, TALAS’ Houston affiliate, is a professional organization for education employees of TEA Service Region IV who are dedicated to developing and advancing school leaders that can help better the lives of students we serve. Additionally, AHSA has adopted philanthropy of supporting rising school leaders and donates up to $35,0000 in scholarships to individuals pursuing a career in education. Since our inception, AHSA has given over a half-million dollars to this cause and continues to award more scholarships each year.
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National News
How to Get Rid of Discipline Disparities for Students of Color
Racial and gender disparities, as well as the damages associated with them, in school disciplinary proceedings have been broadly documented for decades. The issues surrounding the disproportionality in suspension and expulsion rates among racial/ethnic groups are concerning matters at the local, state, and national levels. Why? Because school suspensions result in loss of instructional time, which impacts academic growth and learning opportunities for students who may already be struggling.

Why Connecting Tutoring to Curriculum Could Make it More Effective
This fall, as Kristin Farley’s preservice teachers started tutoring at a local school district, the first few weeks were consumed by logistics, especially scheduling: which tutors would be showing up to which classrooms to take which students when.

“It was a lot of putting out those small fires,” said Farley, an assistant professor of early childhood education at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

Soon, the district and the university settled into a schedule that worked. But it wasn’t until this semester that they implemented the change that made the biggest difference.

Too Many Studies on Teen Social Media Use Only Look at White Kids
Most research on teen social media use has been conducted on white teens and college students. As a result, it is unclear to what extent overlooked populations such as racial and ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities and other vulnerable adolescent populations may be using social media in different ways.

You may have read about research on teen social media use in newspapers or other media outlets, but you might not be aware of the limitations of that research. Rarely do press reports mention the details of the sample populations studied. Instead, they generalize research that is often based largely on white teens to all youths.

Black and Latino infants and toddlers often miss out on early therapies they need
Early intervention services provided by states have wide gaps in access and quality

By the time her daughter turned 3, Ramona Santos Torres noticed something not quite right about the child’s speech. The toddler babbled, but nothing she said was intelligible. She rarely made eye contact with other people. Most babies, Santos Torres knew, start to utter some recognizable words before they reach the age of 2. “We just couldn’t make out what she was saying,” Santos Torres recalled.

How tapping into family engagement can boost literacy, math learning
When families are deeply involved in their children’s learning, student academic success often follows. But what does that look like in action?

Research has consistently shown that home-school partnerships lead to higher grades, test scores, attendance and graduation rates, said Karen Mapp, a senior lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Mapp spoke Tuesday during the U.S. Department of Education’s first online panel discussion in its Family Engagement Learning Series.

Las Tienditas
This Week’s Featured Sponsor
TALAS sponsors make this newsletter and other TALAS activities possible. Please support them. Click on the logo to learn more!
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