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Texas News
Socorro ISD Board selects Marta Carmona as Interim Superintendent of Schools
Tuesday night, officials with the Socorro Independent School District (SISD) Board of Trustees announced that Marta C. Carmona was named Interim Superintendent of Schools.

SISD officials made the announcement via a post on their social media page, adding that Carmona will assume the role effective immediately.

Prior to the announcement, Carmona held the position of Internal Auditor for Curriculum and Instruction in SISD.

Art Cavazos named superintendent in residence at institute
Change requires trust.

That’s the message Arturo Cavazos, superintendent emeritus at the Harlingen school district, will extend to school districts across Texas as Superintendent-in-Residence for The Holdsworth Center.

“I’m humbled and honored,” said Cavazos after learning of his appointment to the leadership institute based in Austin. He and Thomas Randle, superintendent of the Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, will begin serving at the center in July.

Austin ISD says schools can no longer use PTA funds for staff salaries, citing equity concerns
The Austin school district no longer will allow parent teacher associations to pay for additional staff positions at schools over concerns that the longstanding practice exacerbates an imbalance between schools in wealthier pockets of the district and those in poorer areas. 

Powerful PTAs at mostly affluent schools pay the salaries of additional staff, such as tutors and monitors, who are not covered by the district. This school year, more than 30 positions are funded this way at a dozen elementary schools. Nearly all are located west of Interstate 35, the historic racial and ethnic dividing line in Austin. The Casis and Highland Park campuses have the most PTA-funded positions with nine and five, respectively, according district data.

Texas youth show up in “amazing” numbers as state tries to vaccinate 1.7 million children now eligible for COVID-19 shot
In the days since the federal approval of the shot for their age group, about 6% of Texas children ages 12-15 have gotten a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

In the first week that Texas adolescents were eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19, after a year of pandemic-induced isolation from their families, peers and classrooms, more than 100,000 kids ages 12-15 poured into pediatricians’ offices, vaccine hubs and school gyms across Texas to get their shots.

One of them was Austin Ford, a 14-year-old in Houston whose mother is a pediatric nurse, whose father has a disability that makes him vulnerable to COVID, and who lost a family member to the virus last month.

Some Texas schools would be required to hang “In God We Trust” signs under measure nearing passage by lawmakers
The national motto would have to be hung in a “conspicuous place” in every building on the school’s campus — if someone donates the sign.

The Texas Legislature is on the verge of approving a new law that would require some public schools and universities to display the phrase “In God We Trust” in prominent places inside all campus buildings.

Under Senate Bill 797, authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, any school that had a poster or framed copy of the phrase, which is the official national motto, donated to it would be required to hang it in “a conspicuous place in each building of the school.”

Ode to the Paleta, a Texas Summer Staple
In Mexican American neighborhoods across Texas—and around the country—the paleta man’s jingle is the sound of home.

When I was a teenager, my family made frequent trips to the San Fernando Cemetery to visit the graves of my tía Blanca and my grandmother. On these gloomy days, neighborhood paleteros, local vendors who sold icy treats from their brightly colored carts, offered relief. On the sidewalk outside the cemetery, they would offer up their selection of paletas, through the gaps in the chain-link fence, to families visiting lost loved ones. It was a sweet, comforting distraction that even the adults couldn’t resist. There’s a certain childlike joy that comes from calling out your flavor to the family member appointed to grab the frozen popsicles from the cart. “Coco! Nuez! Piña!” On these days, I’d swap out my go-to coconut paleta for my grandma’s favorite flavor, creamy pecan. 

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Supporting Your Career
Here Are The Top 5 Soft Skills I Look For In Candidates
As the workplace increasingly automates, soft skills are what make the human contribution so irreplaceably unique.

Soft skills, or the non-technical skills that relate to how you work, appear to be in short supply today. In 2016, The Wall Street Journal conducted an oft-cited study of over 900 executives on the topic of soft skills. Ninety-two percent said that soft skills such as communication, initiative, conflict management and others are equally important as the hard skills to perform the job. At the same time, fully 89% of those same executives said they have a very difficult or somewhat difficult time sourcing candidates that possess these skills.

National News
Analysis: Many Kindergartners Aren’t Showing Up as Schools Reopen in Person. How Some Large Urban Districts Are Trying to Re-engage Families
While most schools are back in person this spring, they continue to grapple with lagging enrollment. Pre-K and kindergarten have been hit especially hard. California’s missing kindergartners, for example, are driving the state’s largest K-12 enrollment drop in 20 years.

Yet at all age levels, an unprecedented number of families chose to keep their children home during an uncertain year. The percentage of Black families choosing homeschool jumped fivefold since last spring. Others found stability by enrolling their children in new options, like virtual schools and learning pods.

Parents of 54 migrant children found after separation under Trump administration
The parents of 54 migrant children have been found after being separated at the border under former President Trump’s administration, court records reveal.

Lawyers from the Department of Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a court filing on Wednesday that it still has to locate the families of 391 children, down from the 445 it previously reported in April.

The parents of 277 of the remaining children are believed to have been removed from the U.S. after they were separated from their children, the lawyers wrote. The parents of another 100 children are believed to be in the U.S. and are being searched for.

Counting on summer school to catch kids up after a disrupted year
Money is flowing, but there’s no guarantee kids will learn — or show up

Principal Margot Zahner’s vision for summer enrichment at Waterman Elementary School in Harrisonburg, Virginia, grows clearer every week.

She imagines students reading underneath the two silver maple trees that flank the entrance of the building, while another group studies the life cycle of plants and insects in a nearby community garden and a third prepares a play to be performed before their parents on a soon-to-be-built stage.

New Report Highlights Adult Learners of Color
A new report on a series of new studies outlines strategies for supporting adult learners of color in college.

The report, released Wednesday, was produced by the Community College Research Center at Columbia University and commissioned by the Lumina Foundation. It notes that 42 percent of Black Americans, 58 percent of Latinx Americans and 50 percent of Native Americans age 25 and over have only a high school degree, compared to 31 percent of white Americans. About 27 percent of Black Americans and 19 percent of Latinx and Native Americans completed bachelor’s degrees, compared to 42 percent of their white counterparts.

Nevada’s vaccination rollout struggled to reach Latinos — until local organizers stepped in
Facebook Live videos, Spanish language billboards, pop-up clinics and a mother as a Covid-19 ambassador are resources Hispanic groups have used to boost vaccinations.

Covid-19 vaccines were not available to most people in the United States when Blanca Macias went to get her shot back in March. While there, she was asked for her ID and health insurance — even though the vaccines are available at no cost.

“That’s when a bell just kind of went off in my head. This is why our community is not getting vaccinated,” Macias, who lives in Las Vegas, said. “It was a deterrent.”

How Afro-Boricua Antonia Pantoja Fought For Education Equity For Latinxs
Few education organizers have had such a transformative impact on Latinx students as Antonia Pantoja. In the Afro-Puerto Rican educator and civil rights leader’s 80 years, she created spaces that restored dignity to discriminated youth of color and influenced policy that directly improved the way Spanish-speaking students learned in public schools. From New York to California, Pantoja’s legacy is still felt nearly two decades after her death on May 24, 2002.

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to a low-income family in 1942, Pantoja, a bright student, was able to attend college at the University of Puerto Rico with help from wealthy neighbors. She earned a teaching certificate in 1942 and taught at a rural school on the archipelago for two years. Soon after, she joined the first wave of impoverished Puerto Ricans to migrate to New York City. 

Las Tienditas
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