TALAS E-newsletter – May 14

Posted on May 14th, 2020
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What’s happening in Texas
EPISD’s Cabrera named Region 19 Superintendent of the Year
Officials with the Region 19 Education Service Center announced Tuesday they had named El Paso Independent School District Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera as its regional superintendent of the year for the 2019-2020 academic year.

“This honor comes as no surprise to anyone who has worked alongside Mr. Cabrera,” said EPISD Board President Bob Geske. “Mr. Cabrera has helped transition EPISD from a District with deep governance and fiscal problems to one of the most innovative and admired urban school districts in the country.”

Cabrera was appointed superintendent of schools in EPISD in September 2013 and tasked with helping the District shift from an appointed Board of Managers to an elected Board of Trustees following state sanctions imposed by the state to the previous administration.

Kemp ISD Superintendent resigns
The Kemp Independent School District board of trustees have called a special meeting tonight to accept the resignation of their superintendent.

Dr. Lisa Gonzales was hired by the board in July 2018. Tonight they will host a “consultation with legal counsel regarding legal and procedural matters related to the employment, duties and contract of Superintendent, including proposed resignation/retirement agreement,” according to the agenda.

The board is expected to accept Dr. Gonzales’ resignation tonight at a special meeting and begin a search for a new superintendent as soon as possible.

AISD creates re-entry task force for restarting school
Austin Independent School District leaders are looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

During a meeting Monday, superintendent Paul Cruz announced he created a re-entry task force to look at scenarios around restarting schools. He said the task force would study information provided by the Texas Education Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies.

Cruz says the task force might consider starting the 2020-21 school year earlier than the current Aug. 18 start date to make up for any school days lost due to a possible second surge of COVID-19 cases during the fall semester.

Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD And Univision Launch Educational Television Segment Unidos Para Aprender
Dallas ISD is joining forces with Fort Worth ISD and Univision DFW, to launch Unidos para Aprender (Together to Learn), 58-minutes of daily instruction in Spanish for students in grades pre-K through five. The segment will air Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., on KSTR UniMas 49, Univision DFW’s local sister station beginning May 11.

The three-way partnership seeks to support student academic progress by supplementing the at-home learning resources Dallas and Fort Worth ISDs are providing to Spanish-speaking families during the covid-19 pandemic.

The programming will feature instructional content created and hosted by teachers from both school districts. In addition to instruction designed for early childhood learners, the classes will include lessons in science, physical education, social studies, art, music, math, social and emotional learning.

Ysleta ISD unveils virtual ceremonies to air on KTSM
El Paso area school districts have had to come up with creative ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 as they move on to the next chapters in their lives. Monday, Ysleta ISD announced a partnership with KTSM to air virtual graduation ceremonies next month.

In keeping with restrictions set by Governor Abbott last week, Ysleta ISD says they’re opting to celebrate the Class of 2020 with the hybrid virtual commencement ceremonies airing Saturday and Sunday, June 13 and 14, on KTSM.

The district is leaving open the door for a potential outdoor high school stadium graduation later in the summer.

In a video message posting by Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre Monday, the details of the hybrid ceremonies were unveiled to anxious Seniors. The virtual ceremonies will include personalized video of every graduate being announced to walk across the stage in a cap and gown, and moving their tassel from left to right.

Tomball ISD in-person graduation ceremonies to be held at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Tomball ISD announced May 8 that a new location has been secured for the graduation ceremonies of Tomball High School and Tomball Memorial High School: the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

In accordance with Executive Order GA 21 issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency said all in-person graduation ceremonies must be held in outdoor-only venues after June 1, 2020.

The two in-person graduation ceremonies in The Woodlands are scheduled to take place on Friday, July 24.

Organization Helps Latina Mothers and Daughters Succeed
In a charter school gymnasium on the city’s north side, dozens of families fill the bleachers as four pairs of Latina mothers and daughters talk about emotions too often considered taboo in their culture.

Building strength. Having courage. Forming bonds, as parent and child, to overcome any hardships that may come their way.

Elizabeth Rodriguez and her daughter, Lizbeth Okumura, sit side by side before the crowd.

For more than eight years, the two have been part of an organization that aims to help Latinas succeed by strengthening the relationship between mother and daughter.

Lizbeth is 20 now and set to graduate from Texas A&M University in 2022. Rodriguez, 46, is about to earn her associate’s degree. The group, Con Mi Madre, motivated both of them to achieve their goals.

Supporting Your Career
Just Posted

Fort Worth ISD is seeking experienced, high-performing district leaders to apply for the position of PK-12 School Leadership Executive Director. The individuals filling these critical leadership positions will be responsible for many aspects of campus management within a pyramid of schools including:

  • Instructional Leadership
  • Executive Leadership
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Evaluation and Feedback
  • Alignment of Goals and Feedback
  • School Culture Development
  • Personal Self-Evaluation
  • Maintaining the Organizational Vision
*You can learn more about the specific details of the job description at the HCM website .

Qualified candidates will have a minimum of 4 years campus principal experience in urban settings. Experience in all levels, PK-12, is strongly preferred.

If you think you would be a good fit for this exciting, high-impact leadership challenge, you are encouraged to apply today!
Your Source for Opportunities
Texas Association of School Administrators TASA Career Center
Hazard, Young, Attea Associates https://hyasearch.com/browse-jobs /
McPherson & Jacobson LLC. https://macnjake.com/openings/
National News
Arlington School Board Names New Superintendent Following Nationwide Search
At tonight’s School Board meeting, the Arlington School Board named Dr. Francisco Durán as the new Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools (APS). The School Board unanimously approved the appointment following a five-month nationwide search that included 39 applicants and a strong pool of candidates. The selection was informed by community feedback collected in focus groups, community forums and an online survey.

Dr. Durán will formally assume the role of Superintendent on June 1, 2020.

Dr. Durán joins APS from Fairfax County Public Schools where he has served since 2015 as a Chief Academic Officer and Chief Equity Officer. He has a diverse background in education spanning 26 years, including top-level leadership and superintendent experience in a variety of large urban school divisions with culturally diverse populations. He has served in various roles as a teacher, director, principal, administrator and superintendent. In 2018, Dr. Durán was appointed to the Virginia State Board of Education where he played a key role in the adoption of the new Standards of Quality for Virginia.

Why A Historic Wave Of Latino Prosperity Is Under Threat Now
It was just a few months ago when things were looking up for Latinos. Wages were rising and unemployment had hit a record low.

As the U.S. economy marked its longest expansion on record, Latino families marked better times with milestone purchases. They bought more homes than any ethnic group, including whites. Another positive: a record number of Hispanics started attending college with enrollment nearly tripling in the last two decades.

Now, that historic wave of Latino prosperity appears to be at risk from the coronavirus pandemic. The devastation in job losses is widespread in America, as the unemployment rate has climbed to 14.7%, the highest level since the Great Depression. But the latest U.S. jobs report shows that Latinos are the worst hit, with a record jobless rate of 18.9%, higher than any other ethnic group.

New Poll: Two-Thirds of Parents Support Keeping Schools Closed ‘Until They Are Certain There Is No Health Risk’
With more than 50 million students out of school because of the coronavirus pandemic, a new poll finds that 67 percent of parents support continued closures until officials are certain that reopening will not pose a health risk.

The findings come as President Trump continues to encourage states to consider reopening and as nearly half of parents, 45 percent, acknowledge that their children are learning less than they normally would when attending school.

That makes sense, said Keri Rodrigues, a co-founder and the founding president of the National Parents Union, the educational advocacy network that commissioned the poll.

Coronavirus’ online school is hard enough. What if you’re still learning to speak English?
For English learners, school closures mean navigating online programs, finding a way to practice spoken English, and often juggling a much-needed job.
In normal times, teacher Ariana Tabaku helps her students learn English with structured curriculum, face-to-face encouragement and high fives.

None of that is possible during the coronavirus outbreak. So she became a professional fundraiser. An IT specialist. A video producer. And that’s what it took just to get her students — all of whom speak a different language at home — logged in. 

During the school closures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, educators are rightfully worried about students falling behind. This period of remote learning, technology divides and lowered expectations has stalled progress for almost everyone.

But students who are still learning to speak English — a group that’s swelled to 5 million nationwide and counting — are losing even more ground. For them, that doesn’t just mean a lower GPA or having to attend a less-selective college. It means potentially not graduating or not obtaining a post-secondary education.

It means not mastering a skill critical for upward mobility in America.

Las Tienditas
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Education Elements – Click below to learn more about the events
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Free Printable A-Home Activity Packs
At Curriculum Associates we will stand by educators every step of the way as we navigate through this pandemic.

Our Printable At Home Activity Packs are available for Reading and Math, in English and Spanish for grades K-8. Districts/schools are allowed to print resources should they wish to provide to students in a print format. Otherwise, districts can post via their LMS site or Google Drive for their students. These resources are absolutely free!

Printable At-Home Activity Packs:
Printable at-home activity packs are designed to provide students with valuable self-directed exercises and practice during extended absences from school. Each pack is designed to reinforce key concepts for a given grade and are available now on our public site.
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