TALAS E-newsletter – November 4

Posted on November 4th, 2021
Renew your membership 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
TALAS El Paso Host Their Official Launch Party
October 27, 2021 was the beginning of something great for El Paso del Norte. President Mark Paz and his Executive Board organized an event that drew in over sixty people that are in the education profession or work closely with educators.

“I am excited and energized by the turnout. Many new faces joined and familiar friends who’ve been with us since we began last January. Most importantly, it was amazing to have a diverse representation of districts from across Region 19 and beyond,” Mark Paz said. “Our goal was to build membership, share our mission and goals for our affiliate and showcase the work we’ve been doing to get our affiliation up and running.”

Ysleta ISD administrator tapped to lead Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents of El Paso
Ysleta Independent School District’s associate superintendent of middle schools, Catherine Kennedy, has been appointed president-elect for the El Paso chapter of the Texas Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (TALAS).

Kennedy, who has been with YISD for more than three decades, will serve as President of the TALAS El Paso chapter for the 2022-2023 school year.

“It is my humble honor to help lead TALAS El Paso toward the future in its commitment to improving learning outcomes for Latino learners,” said Kennedy.

Hutto ISD approves new director of diversity, equity, inclusion
Hutto ISD is searching for a director of diversity, equity and inclusion, a newly established position.

The HISD board of trustees approved the creation of the position at an Oct. 28 meeting.

The director’s responsibilities will include reviewing district policies to ensure they are not causing unintended harm and guiding future policies.

EPA awards $2 million to test Texas schools’ water for lead
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has awarded nearly $2 million to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to help identify sources of lead in drinking water at schools and child-care facilities.

The grant from EPA brings TCEQ’s funding for the program to $5.3 million.

“Protecting children’s health is one of the most important aspects of EPA’s mission, and we could not fulfill this mission without the instrumental partnerships with our states and tribes,” said David Gray, acting regional administrator. “As part of Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and Children’s Health Month, EPA is excited to announce the WIIN grants to help reduce lead in school drinking waters and protect children where they learn and play.”

Young Texans can soon get vaccinated against COVID-19 after CDC signs off on Pfizer shots for kids 5-11
The approval marks a long-awaited milestone in the nearly two-year fight against the deadly virus that experts say has likely already infected nearly half the population in that age group.

Texas kids ages 5-11 will start getting their first COVID-19 vaccine injections this week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Tuesday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use for that age group.

8 Lessons For Student Success — and Strengthening the State’s Talent Pipeline — to Sustain Another Century
The urban and suburban boom of Texas is full of both promise and risk. According to the 2020 census, Texas grew the fastest — and grew more diversely — than any state in the union since 2010. And according to Texas 2036, the state’s population is likely to grow to 10 million by 2036, Texas’ bicentennial. Over 71 percent of jobs will require some college, but only 32 percent of Texas high school students earn a degree or credential within six years of graduating high school.

According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, the gains that Texas students were making in the 1990s and 2000s have stalled, leaving many Texas young people behind in reading and math, the academic building blocks needed for future success.

CTALAS Membership Kick-Off
Sat. Nov. 13th, 4–6 pm
Kalahari Resort, Round Rock, TX
Mark your calendars! CTALAS (Central Texas Association of Latino Administrators & Superintendents) is hosting their Membership Kick-Off this month. The event will be held at the Kalahari Resort on the afternoon of Saturday, November 13th and will feature superintendent guest speakers Dr. Michael Cardona (San Marcos CISD) and Dr. Celina Estrada-Thomas (Hutto ISD). This event is made possible by the generous support of ParentSquare.
Looking for a new opportunity?
Leadership opportunities available
Take a look at who’s hiring:
National News
Schools Can’t Hide From Climate Change. They Must Be Part of the Solution
Every school district needs a local climate action plan

This past year has seen many of our schools pushed to their limits, not just by the pandemic but also the impact of climate change. Schools across the country have faced closures from climate-related disasters including hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.

When COVID-19 exposed the fragility of public education, our schools adapted. It’s never been clearer that schools are the cornerstones of our communities and will find a way to build resilience, even in the face of a crisis.

Not Just Recovery, But Reinvention — 3 Lessons from Schools Where COVID Innovations Offer New Solutions
As educators work through another unpredictable year, schools must lean into reinvention. The sudden onset of COVID-19 forced schools and systems to change on the fly, required teachers, families and students to develop new ways of teaching and learning, and proved schools are capable of rapid and significant change. The old, familiar ways of doing school left too many behind, and as the country continues to face new challenges, we should embrace this opportunity to develop approaches that more equitably serve students — especially those who have been historically marginalized, such as students of color.

For ed leaders, school-family relationships key to pandemic recovery
While the pandemic has increased opportunities and enthusiasm for school systems to redesign approaches for academic and non-academic supports, the funding pressures and exhaustion weighing on educators and families are obstacles that will need to be addressed to effect long-sustaining change, participants in The State of the American School District virtual panel said Tuesday.

The panel was hosted by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, RAND Corporation and other organizations to discuss school systems’ pandemic experiences, including competing challenges they face and their problem-solving approaches.

Do fraught school board meetings offer a view of the future?
As meetings are dominated by fierce national debates, board elections may provide insight into what drives voters 

The August school board meeting in this South Carolina community started with a plea for grace. “It’s the most important tool we have right now,” a parent told the Lexington-Richland 5 school board.

Two months earlier, the superintendent of the roughly 17,000-student district abruptly resigned after months of sometimes heated debates about mask policies and social issues. A school board member resigned on the spot the same night, making way for a special election to fill his seat.

The Supreme Court Case That Created the ‘Dreamer’ Narrative
For more than 20 years, undocumented youth have been the poster children of immigration reform. Now, they are questioning the narratives that got them here in the first place — and whom they left behind.

Consider the backdrop against which Democrats in Congress are debating how to help the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country: Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up Haitian asylum seekers; toddlers huddled on the frigid floors of detention facilities under Mylar blankets; President Barack Obama’s record deportation numbers; the post-9/11 transformation of border flows into matters of national security; multiple failed attempts at bipartisan, comprehensive reform. In this tumult, one approach — one even endorsed by the Supreme Court — might seem deceptively obvious to any legislator tasked with fixing it all: First, protect the children.

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!
For 50 years, Curriculum Associates (CA) has been united around one common purpose: to make classrooms better places for teachers and students. In the years since, we’ve remained driven by this mission, introducing and then constantly improving innovative and exciting products that give every student the chance to succeed. We believe teachers are the essential glue between our programs and classroom success, so we strive to empower them with the tools and resources to accelerate student growth. Together with educators we’re making equitable learning programs a reality—raising the bar and making it reachable for all.

Copyright 2022 © TALAS. All Rights Reserved.