Become a member today! TASA’s online Member Services Center is the place to go to become a member of TALAS. Please read these step-by-step directions or contact Debbie O’Donnell at 512.852.2108.
Texas News
United ISD approves Gonzalez as its next superintendent
The United ISD Board of Trustees approved the employment contract of the district’s next superintendent, David H. Gonzalez, after months of deliberating and from a set of highly qualified local and regional candidates.

Gonzalez is slated to take the helm starting in the summer before the new 2021-22 school year, in which a return to on-campus instruction is expected.

“As United, we will continue moving forward as we have in the past, working together as one unit,” Gonzalez said.

Dallas ISD Passes Resolution Against So-Called ‘Critical Race Theory’ Bill
Dallas ISD trustees met in a special called meeting Monday afternoon to discuss two resolutions that address legislation headed to the statehouse floor — including a bill that will bar schools from teaching Critical Race Theory.

“This would gut many of the items that we care so much about in the racial equity policy that the board passed unanimously and a lot of the training that the board has participated in, and we would even be prohibited from hiring external consultants to help do the training,” Dallas ISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa told the board. “I’m concerned that we would have to change some courses and the master schedules would have to be changed for next year.”

Meet Austin ISD’s newest executive responsible for fixing years of enrollment declines
The Austin Independent School District has created a brand new department and hired a high-ranking Texas Education Agency official to lead a team tasked with remedying years of declining enrollment.

Alejandro Delgado, the former Deputy Chief of Staff for TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, will oversee enrollment efforts, set direction for recapturing previously departed families, engage with community stakeholders and deliver resources to campuses wishing to extend their reach within the community.

Six Years After Judge Said Texas Is Violating Foster Children’s Constitutional Rights, Court Monitors Warn State Is Continuing to Place Kids In Harm’s Way
At least 23 children have died in Texas’ long-term foster care system since summer 2019, according to a new report by court-appointed monitors for state agencies in charge of the system.

Six of the children died as a result of either neglect or abuse by caregivers. Another is suspected to have died from abuse. Five more deaths are also still under investigation.

“It’s the safety of these children that’s at stake here,” U.S. District Judge Janis Jack said during a federal court hearing following the release of the report. “That’s the most important thing we have … and I expect Texas to live up to its duties to keep these children safe.”

Amplio Launches Esperanza, a First of its Kind Digital Spanish-Language Dyslexia Curriculum
AmplioSpeech (“Amplio”), a developer of a digital platform that connects students, educators and therapists with advanced technologies to help students with special needs, announced today the launch of a digital Spanish-language dyslexia curriculum, Esperanza, developed by Dr. Elsa Cárdenas-Hagan.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is offering Amplio’s digital intervention platform with the Esperanza curriculum to all 1,029 school districts at no cost. Earlier this year, Amplio and TEA launched an English-language dyslexia digital intervention platform utilizing the Multisensory Teaching Approach (MTA), developed by Margaret Taylor Smith, which is also available to all Texas school districts at no cost. Esperanza is the first Spanish-language dyslexia curriculum of its kind.

Mexican American hero of WWI up for Texas’ highest military honor
Marcelino Serna, who died in 1992, is credited with singlehandedly capturing 24 soldiers. He was nominated to be awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.

Deprived for years of full recognition for his bravery in World War I, Marcelino Serna, a former Army private, was chosen by a Texas legislative committee on Friday to be posthumously awarded the Texas Legislative Medal of Honor.

Serna, a Mexican immigrant, is often considered Texas’ most decorated WWI veteran. He is credited with singlehandedly charging and capturing 24 soldiers, but further research has found other acts of bravery.

TALAS El Paso In-Person Meeting
Thursday, May 20, 5:30–7:00 pm MST
1310 Magruder St. El Paso, TX 79925
Excited to finally meet face-to-face with great administrators and future administrators. We will be discussing nominations for board office positions, the upcoming TALAS meeting in Austin, and more. Can’t wait to see everyone soon!

Cocktails and appetizers will be served.

Sponsored by Farah Law and IXL.
Open Call Grant Fellowship for U.S. Minority Female K-12 Educators — Window for submissions ends May 17th
As part of the Breakthrough to Success Online (BTSO) program, the Wells International Foundation (WIF) – in collaboration with renowned motivator and speaker Jack Canfield – is launching a call for applications to award a one-year personal development fellowships to minority female K-12 educators.

Through this quarter-million-dollar (~$250,000) gift, 80 U.S. educator awardees will be selected as BTSO Fellows for this exceptional opportunity (valued at $3000+/teacher).
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available:
Take a look at who’s hiring:
Supporting Your Career
The ‘3-question rule’ makes you seem more genuine — and likable — at work, according to Harvard
After a year of isolation as the result of COVID-19, I often find myself questioning nearly every move in newly emerging social situations: What do I say? How do I follow up? 

As we all reenter the world of networking events and corporate happy hours and hallway conversation, Harvard has a learning for healthy conversation that’s worth reading.

National News
‘A Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats’: Having More Immigrant Peers Can Boost Scores For U.S.-Born Students, New Study Finds
March marked an all-time monthly high in solo youth crossings at the U.S. southern border. Those children and teenagers could be an unexpected boon for native-born students should they reach American classrooms, a timely new study suggests.

The research, which analyzes a decade’s worth of data from over 1.3 million Florida students, links the presence of immigrant classmates with gains in academic performance for students born in the U.S., especially for Black and low-income youth.

Over half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020 — a historic first
About 1 in 10 voters in last year’s election were Latino, with “extraordinary” registration and turnout among younger and U.S.-born Hispanics.

Even without the kind of spending on Latino turnout that some had hoped to see, they registered and voted in record numbers in the 2020 presidential election, according to a City University of New York study.

The election saw a dramatic rise in registration and voting by some 18.7 million Latinos, so that about 1 in 10 voters was Latino.

Biden administration reversing Trump ban on pandemic aid for undocumented students
The Biden administration is reversing a Trump-era policy banning undocumented students from receiving pandemic aid. 

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona announced the new plan on Tuesday, finalizing a regulation that lets universities distribute $36 billion in federal pandemic aid to students, regardless of their immigration status.

The move will help universities expand opportunities to students who are in need of financial aid. It also reflects the department’s goal to provide resources and guidance to institutions, students and communities throughout the pandemic, according to a press release. 

As FDA Approves Shots for Youth 12 and Up, School Districts Get Creative Promoting Vaccine to Teens
Now that youth aged 12 to 15 have been cleared by the FDA for COVID-19 vaccines, what’s the best way to encourage those nearly 17 million newly eligible students to get vaccinated?

Letting them skip class to receive their shots doesn’t hurt.

That’s the winning approach East Hartford, Connecticut took in late April when the district organized a “student skip day” to help approximately 1,000 eligible students receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Throughout the day, school buses shuttled students to and from an outdoor clinic complete with staffers in costume as lime green yard goats — the mascot for Hartford’s minor league baseball team — dancing to tunes served up by a DJ over vibrating loudspeakers.

College amid a pandemic: Latino students grapple with challenges, stress
Balancing family and studies, dealing with financial pressures and even figuring out the necessary equipment to study from home were some of the issues students faced.

The coronavirus pandemic forced many college students to adapt to a new normal — leaving campus and taking classes remotely. And, while these changes played an important role in limiting the transmission of the virus, many Latino students struggled to keep up during the lockdowns.

Who was Elvira Dávila Ortiz, the Latina Florence Nightingale?
A pioneer of transfusions in Colombia and a nurse in the United States during World War II, Dávila carried her vocation “in her blood.”

The health crisis has pulled out from under the carpet many realities that we had not wanted to see until now, but it has also placed health professionals in a preeminent place, whom we have seen working grueling days stuffed in isolation suits and facing uncertainty and numerous human losses on the front line.

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!
Securly is the end-to-end student safety and device management platform for K–12. Our 360º approach touches every aspect of the learning experience—from filtering to device management to self-harm detection.

  • In schools, IT administrators get simple implementation and a single dashboard to manage their networks and 1:1 devices.
  • Educators get tools to keep students productive and on-task in the classroom.
  • Counselors get insight into the mental health of their students.
  • Superintendents get data to make better decisions for the future of their districts.
  • And at home, parents get control and peace of mind—with full visibility into their childrens’ activities on school-issued devices.

We are a team of parents, educators, and technologists. We recognize the challenges IT administrators and educators face each day. By empowering those who serve students, we can foster safe and focused learning environments, while keeping students healthy and engaged.

Always connected, always protected.