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Texas News
Fredericksburg ISD Board names Dr. Joe Rodriguez as lone finalist for superintendent position
Ford Bend ISD superintendent has ‘destination district’ vision

Fredericksburg Independent School District’s Board of Trustees named Dr. Joe Rodriguez as the lone finalist for the open superintendent position.

The announcement came during a special 5:30 p.m. meeting Friday, April 30.

Rodriguez is bringing 21 years of public education experience, previously serving as a teacher, principal and district leader, and most recently serving as chief of schools for Fort Bend Independent School District.

SISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza steps down at special board meeting
Socorro ISD Superintendent Jose Espinoza resigned from his post Wednesday night following a special Board of Trustees meeting to discuss and take action on his contract.

Espinoza’s employment contract was initially effected in 2012 and was amended seven times to extend his time in office. Espinoza’s most recent contract was extended following a “satisfactory” annual evaluation and was set to expire in 2025.

Texas students successfully lobby for free menstrual products in Dallas schools
They wondered why tampons and pads were not available for free to students in school bathrooms. So, they lobbied the district and got policy changed.

It’s a fact of life.

Girls get their periods.

Periods arrive at unexpected times – quite often at school.

It causes anxiety and embarrassment and nobody likes to talk about it.

‘They’ve created the legacy:’ Inaugural class to graduate May 27 from Tomball ISD’s early college high school program
As the school year comes to a close, Tomball ISD is celebrating the graduation of its inaugural class at Tomball Star Academy, an early college high school the district launched in partnership with Lone Star College-Tomball in August 2017.

The inaugural class of 95 students has been instrumental in paving the way for the students yet to finish the program, said Kelly Marchiando, the principal of Tomball Star Academy since January.

“They laid the groundwork for the classes behind them. They were the inaugural class,” Marchiando said. “It’s exciting. They’ve created the legacy; they’ve created the traditions.”

The story behind the first Mexican American woman on Victoria’s school board
Natalia Rojas remembers evenings spent at Victoria school board meetings, watching her mom advocate for equal education for Latino students in the 1980s.

Usually, she and her siblings were the only kids in the audience. The other school board members, all men, didn’t typically bring their kids with them.

Rojas’ mom, Theresa Gutierrez, was the first Mexican American woman elected to Victoria’s school board. In her 12 years on the school board, Gutierrez said she learned repeatedly how important representation was.

El Paso ISD board seeks community input on superintendent search
The El Paso Independent School District Board of Trustees wants input as it moves forward with the search for a permanent superintendent of schools.

The district launched a survey that will help the Texas Association of School Boards Executive Search Services, the firm trustees hired to help in the search, create an EPISD specific leadership profile.

To access the survey, please log on to

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Supporting Your Career
How To Upgrade Your Job Search In 2021
The past 12 months has delivered some huge changes to the modern workplace, and employer attitudes towards remote working have shifted massively in response. In early 2020, it would have seemed ridiculous to question the working pattern of 9-5 Monday to Friday in the office – but now we are seeing numerous global companies shedding office space in major cities across the world, with plans to increase the amount of remote work available.

With some element of remote working looking set to stay with us for the foreseeable future, what effects will this have on today’s job seekers, and how can you adapt to ensure you’re still able to land the best jobs available to you?

National News
Immigrant, Bilingual Special Educator Named National Teacher of Year, Says She’s Devoted to Finding ‘All Our Students’ Strengths’
Children with special needs are among those whose learning has suffered the most because of the pandemic. But that’s not what Juliana Urtubey sees when she looks at her students at Booker Elementary in Las Vegas.

“Our brains work in slightly different ways. Our job is to find all of our students’ strengths,” she said about special education teachers. That perspective, she said, has given her an advantage over the past year. “I was mining for students’ strengths.”

More Schools Reopen, But Students of Color Still Learning Remotely
Improvements in the reopening landscape overshadow a stubborn racial gap in which more than half of students of color are still receiving a remote-only education.

Nearly 90% of schools offered some type of in-person learning in March, half were fully reopened, and the percentage of schools offering only virtual instruction was cut in half, according to the latest data from the Education Department. But the significant improvements in the reopening landscape overshadow a stubborn racial gap in which more than half of students of color are still receiving remote-only education compared to less than a quarter of their white peers.

Can $800M help reconnect homeless students with schools?
A project funded by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan found housing instability to be the largest predictor of chronic absenteeism, with 15% of that population missing at least 10% of their school days. The Detroit Public Schools Community District, which has a high homeless population, has a 56% chronic absenteeism rate for all students.

Minneapolis Public Schools’ Stable Homes Stable Schools initiative helps families pay rent and maintain consistent housing while also providing wraparound services. The three-year pilot program launched in May 2019 as a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Hennepin County and the school district.

Flagship universities fail to enroll Black and Latino high school graduates from their state
‘They’re exacerbating racial inequities instead of combating them.’

Alarms sounded at the University of Maryland when the Class of 2022 arrived at College Park. Seven percent of freshmen in fall 2018 were Black, down from 10 percent the year before and 13 percent in 2014.

It marked a nadir for a metric crucial to the flagship university’s commitment to diversity in a state where about a third of public high school graduates each year are Black.

Latinos face gap in autism diagnosis and treatment, and a CT researcher explores why
When Karina Carrillo’s daughter was 2 1/2 years old, staff at her day care center began expressing concerns that little Larrissa wasn’t talking, didn’t maintain eye contact and had a hard time following directions.

They suspected she had autism and advised her mother to get an evaluation. But Carrillo, who had never heard of autism, brushed off the advice.

In her birthplace of Quito, Ecuador, autism is not well-known nor is it discussed. Many are unfamiliar with the signs associated with autism or how services could help a young child. Carrillo had assumed Larrissa was misbehaving when she didn’t respond to directions or when she had emotional meltdowns.

‘Indivisible’ author Daniel Aleman explores U.S. teen’s struggle after ICE takes parents
“I think defining our identities as teens is such a huge challenge,” the novelist said, “and being an immigrant, or the child of immigrants, adds a whole other dimension to the struggle.”

Daniel Aleman always knew that he wanted to write a novel about a Mexican American teen from an immigrant family. That urge, he said, became even stronger as anti-Mexican and anti-immigrant rhetoric ramped up during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I heard the words, ‘Mexicans are bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists,’ and something awakened deep inside of me,” Aleman said of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s 2015 speech. “Donald Trump’s words were heard around the world, and they seem to leave like this resounding echo in the Mexican community that we couldn’t quite run away from.”

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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