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Texas News
Killeen Bilingual teacher wins district’s Elementary Teacher of the Year
A shocked Killeen ISD kindergarten teacher paused her class Thursday as a procession of colleagues, school and district leaders, her spouse and her daughter burst into the classroom to reveal the good news.

Killeen ISD’s Elementary Teacher of the Year is Rosabelle Montero, a bilingual kindergarten teacher at Peebles Elementary School.

Peebles Principal Shakira Bodon-Ramos and others who know Montero well describe her humility and complete commitment to serving students.

Harlingen CISD superintendent announces retirement
Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District Superintendent Alicia Noyola announced she’ll be retiring effective Aug. 31.

The announcement was made after the executive session at the school district’s monthly board meeting on Tuesday night.

Noyola has served as HCISD superintendent for the last three years and previously served as chief academic officer for eight years.

Emergence Health Network partners with Fabens ISD to bring mental health care into the classroom
Emergence Health Network is expanding its in-school services. It now works with the Fabens Independent School District to provide mental health services at Fabens Middle and High Schools. The network already has a partnership with El Paso and Canutillo Independent School Districts.

“The goal of this collaboration is to improve access to mental health care for students and enhance mental health awareness for the entire Fabens community,” said Kristi Daugherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Emergence Health Network.

Raise-the-age gun bill misses crucial deadline, as Uvalde parents protest outside the Texas House
Days after another mass shooting in Texas, the measure to raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase semi-automatic rifles appears to have failed.

The unexpected elation felt this week by gun control advocates and families of Uvalde shooting victims dissolved to despair Tuesday, when a bill that would raise the age to legally purchase semi-automatic rifles lost its newfound momentum and was left off the Texas House’s agenda ahead of a key deadline.

TASB Legislative Report – May 10, 2023
House Pub Ed intends to hear and vote on voucher bill today

The House Public Education Committee is expected to hold a formal hearing on Wednesday to hear Chairman Brad Buckley’s (R-Salado) committee substitute to Senate Bill 8 (Creighton). As substituted, the bill attempts to create an education savings account voucher program that includes tax credit scholarships and replace some STAAR exams with other state assessments. Formal meetings are not made available for online public access and are not recorded, so we will send out another update if any action is taken on SB 8. The bill:

Affiliate Feature
RGVTALAS commits to continue TALAS’ mission to improve learning outcomes for Latino learners by providing leadership development, collective impact, advocacy, and a proactive voice for Latino and non-Latino leaders who have a passion for serving the fastest growing student population in the state.
Upcoming Events
Save the Date:
TALAS Mentoring Summer Conference
Friday, June 23, 2023 • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Re-visioning the future of TALAS mentorship
  • Recognition of Cohort 8
  • Continuation of Cohort 9
  • Induction of Cohort 10

Registration information and agenda coming soon!
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National News
K-12 anticipates a summer of school construction
As schools plan for a surge of ESSER-supported upgrades over summer break, many administrators remain concerned about spending deadlines.

Just beyond the schoolhouse doors of Shiwi Ts’ana Elementary School in Zuni, New Mexico, stand tall buttes with flat tops, steep sides, and rock formations that turn a golden color as the sun dips in the sky.

It’s a breathtaking sight that more children and school staff will enjoy once an outdoor learning space is completed at the end of this summer. 

How Districts Should Respond to Bomb Threats
Challenges to books and threats to school districts have spread across the country in tandem over the past few months.

The two aren’t related in the vast majority of cases, but schools nonetheless need to be prepared for when a threat occurs.

In 2022, almost 6,000 school threats across the country were reported to the FBI, a 60 percent increase over 2021.

9 tips for launching tutoring programs in your district
A new compilation of case studies reveals the challenges districts of all sizes faced when implementing tutoring initiatives. One recommendation: Take it slow.

Since the height of the pandemic, K12 schools have looked everywhere for answers surrounding successful, data-driven tutoring programs. Thankfully, pioneering districts shared some of their key takeaways from their tutoring programs in an effort to help other leaders.

English Learners Rarely Identified as Gifted
NWEA, a not-for-profit research and educational services organization serving K–12 students, has released a new study focusing on the identification of gifted and talented (GT) students who are English learners (ELs) and/or students with disabilities (SWD). Using data from the 2017–2018 Civil Rights Data Collection, the Stanford Education Data Archive, and the researchers’ own coding of individual states’ policies toward gifted and talented education, these key themes emerged:

With chronic absenteeism on the upswing, how can schools tackle attendance issues?
Chronic absenteeism is estimated to have doubled nationwide since the COVID-19 pandemic began, reaching roughly 16 million students by the 2021-22 school year, according to the nonprofit Attendance Works. A new FutureEd report lays out over two dozen strategies to help schools recover from the surge of students consistently missing school.

Released in partnership with Attendance Works, the report suggests wide-ranging attendance strategies across three tiers that include: universal prevention, which applies to all students and families; early intervention for students missing 10% to 19% of school days; and intensive intervention for students missing 20% or more of the academic year.

Las Tienditas
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