TALAS E-newsletter – October 1

Posted on October 1st, 2020
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Texas News
Dallas, Arlington & Irving ISD allow in-person learning for some students on Monday
Some of the biggest school districts welcomed back a limited number of students to classrooms on Monday.

Dallas, Arlington and Irving ISDs opened campuses for in-person learning for some children.

In the Dallas Independent School District, the youngest learners and students who are starting at a new campus return to the classroom Monday.
Pre-K and kindergarten students are returning first because it’s still a very new experience for them and the district wants them to get comfortable being in a classroom setting.

Garland ISD Launches ‘Ask A Doctor’ Weekly Webinar For Parents, Students During Pandemic
Garland ISD launched new way to help parents and kids during the pandemic.

The district held its first weekly “Ask A Doctor” session last Wednesday.

“Now that we’re back in school, what we’re seeing is a lot of our students are having emotional issues of what is occurred over the past couple of months,” said Renee Kotsopoulos, the Director of Health Services for GISD.

She said with so many parents having the same concerns, they wanted to offer one spot for answers.

Corpus Christi ISD trustees approve additional measures to keep students safe as more return to the classroom
The board green lit a plan during Monday’s meeting to spend 250-thousand dollars that will go towards buying partitions to place around the desks of students.

CCISD trustees approved added measures to try to keep kids safe as more students return to the classroom for in-person learning next week.

The board members responding to reports that maintaining a social distance of at least six feet may not be possible in some cases.

On Monday, they were back in the board room after months of meetings were conducted online due to COVID-19 safety measures.

Austin ISD community grapples with in-person return
When the calendar turned to Sept. 8, Austin ISD families headed back to the virtual classroom for the start of the school year as local school districts continued to take precautions to ensure the safety of students and staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New AISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde told Community Impact Newspaper that the district has been nimble this summer in creating back-to-school plans and has pivoted as needed. This included delaying the start of the school year by three weeks to help with preparation.

“There’s no perfect plan [for reopening during COVID-19], but there are ways to improve, and a little bit more time did give us opportunities to do a few things,” she said.

Texas Teachers’ Group Launches A Crowdsourced COVID-19 Tracking Tool
Of the more than 1.1 million public school students estimated to have returned to some form of on-campus school activity in Texas, just under 4,000 have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s far less than many teachers and administrators feared. But are those numbers accurate?

Zeph Capo is president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers and the Houston Federation of Teachers. He told Texas Standard he is relieved that there has, so far, not been a major outbreak of the virus in schools. But he’s also concerned about those who have contracted it in school settings. He said it’s too early to draw conclusions about the spread of COVID-19 in the school system.

San Angelo ISD creates bilingual education program
“We’re really being able to provide a service for our community that we haven’t had the opportunity before,” Bertha Carrasco, Principal of Bradford Elementary said.

This year, San Angelo ISD introduced a new bilingual program to two campuses, Bradford Elementary and Glenmore elementary.

“This program was designed for our English learners. The goal for this program is for our English learners to be able to competently read, write, speak, and listen in a true bilingual setting which is both in English and in Spanish,” Christy Diego, Director of Bilingual and English Language Learners said.

2020 Hispanic Heritage Award Recipients
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board are honoring five Houstonians for their outstanding contributions toward improving the quality of life within the Houston Hispanic community.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor’s annual Hispanic Heritage Awards will be held virtually on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and will be available on the City of Houston’s social media platforms.

State of Texas: Lawmakers weigh ‘solutions’ proposed for education equity during pandemic
When Texas lawmakers return to the State Capitol for the upcoming legislative session in January, there will be many competing priorities – and education advocates hope equity in learning isn’t lost in the shuffle.

As part of a nationwide project called “Pandemic PASS or FAIL,” Texas lawmakers are now taking a closer look at solutions our team has discovered groups implementing across the state to combat learning challenges for students disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

We spoke with Rep. Gina Hinojosa, a Democrat from Austin, where she previously served as school board president. Her ties to education still run deep, as she currently represents a district that includes the state’s largest college – the University of Texas at Austin.

Texas Governor Abbott: Congratulates Texas’ Blue Ribbon Schools
Governor Greg Abbott today congratulated the 28 Texas schools that have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“Congratulations to the hardworking students, teachers, administrators, and parents of the 28 Texas schools recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools this year,” said Governor Abbott. “This prestigious honor is a testament to the Texas’ educational excellence and our teachers’ dedication to their students. The State of Texas will continue to build a brighter future for every Texas student.”

Texas High School Unveils Impressive Ag Center
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held to celebrate the opening of the high school’s new agriculture center in Tomball ISD (TISD). This facility stems from the 2017 bond and will serve Career and Technical Education high school students pursuing an agriculture education.

“The new Tomball High School Ag Science Project Center was planned and designed to serve students with career and technical interests in the food, fiber, and natural resource industries, encompassing science, business, and technology in addition to production agriculture,” said Rayce Boyter, principal, VLK Architects, in a statement.

The approximately $4.9 million project includes two science classrooms that open directly to an outside courtyard, a nature trail, and a pond to incorporate outdoor learning. There are pens for cattle, lamb, hogs, poultry, rabbits, plus a covered exercise and show practicing area.

Dr. Fauci talks ‘stunning’ COVID-19 trends in Hispanic Texas communities
Dr. Anthony Fauci took questions from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chamber of Commerce (TAMACC) on Thursday on why the Latino community makes up more than half the COVID-19 deaths in Texas.

The Hispanic population in Texas is second largest in the country behind California. Latinos make up 56.1 percent of COVID-91 deaths in the state, at 8,487 people.

In Austin/Travis County, where 417 people have died from COVID-19, 50 percent of those deaths are from the Latino community.

Looking for a new opportunity?
Supporting Your Career
How To Update Your Resume And Cover Letter For Remote Work During Covid-19
To stand out in a job search during Covid-19, you need to make a few updates to your resume and cover letter. Most companies hiring right now are working remotely for the foreseeable future, so it’s important that your resume showcases your ability to work in a remote environment even if you haven’t done so before.

Here are five ways to make both your resume and cover letter stand out and increase your chances of being selected for an interview.

National News
The $2.6 Trillion U.S. Latino Market: The Largest And Fastest Growing Blindspot Of The American Economy
The U.S. Latino market is “growing GDP at 8.6%, faster than China, faster than India, and nobody talks about it,” said Sol Trujillo, Co-Founder of L’Attitude, to a panel of world renowned journalists and economists.

Per the recently published 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report, the size of the U.S. Latino market measured by GDP was $2.6 Trillion in 2018, up almost 9% from $2.3 Trillion in 2017. If the U.S. Latino market was its own country, it would be the 8th largest economy in the world and the largest Latino market in the world, larger than Brazil and more than twice the size of Mexico. When compared to the non-Latino U.S. cohort, the Latino cohort grew 4.5 times faster in terms of GDP, implying most of the U.S. growth came from the Latino population. Put another way, had it not been for strong growth in the U.S. Latino market, the U.S. economy would have likely contracted between 2017 and 2018.

Pop-Up Magazine Compiles Stories Celebrating Latinx Heritage Month
Pop-Up Magazine brings storytelling to life on stages throughout the U.S. but, in light of the pandemic, they’re bringing these stories to audiences online. In honor of Latinx Heritage Month they’ve compiled stories that are unique representations of the Latinx experience in the U.S. and Latin America. The show launched at the start of LHM with Documentary Filmmaker Juliana Schatz Preston’s story on Mimi—a teenage volunteer paramedic in El Salvador and Alejandra Vasquez’s film that follows a high school varsity mariachi band in south Texas.

This week “Public Speaking” by journalist Daniel Alarcón of NPR’s Spanish podcast Radio Ambulante premiered. In it, he discusses takeaways from a public speaking book he found in his homeland of Peru and explores the significance of the book beyond the text.

What happens when someone spends decades in America legally on ‘temporary’ status?
A government program called “Temporary Protected Status” allows some migrants to stay here for decades on end but does not provide for full participation in American life. Should it come to an end?

When Geraldine “Gege” Baptiste had only one semester left at Bethune-Cookman — when she was just four classes shy of graduating — administrators told her to stop coming to class.

Baptiste was caught in the middle of a conflict over her legal status that is partly to blame for her accumulating $20,000 in unpaid fees to the financially struggling school. A Haitian immigrant brought to the United States by her parents when she was a toddler, Baptiste lives under Temporary Protected Status, a well-intended program that has put its hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries in legal limbo for decades.

Latino historic sites in Texas and Puerto Rico face risk of destruction
A city known for its renowned architecture and a structure that is part of Mexican American history are at risk, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Latino historic places in Texas and Puerto Rico are among the nation’s eleven most endangered sites facing the risk of destruction or irreparable damage.

The possible destruction of both Ponce, Puerto Rico’s historic district and the Alazan-Apache Courts in San Antonio, Texas stand to erase decades of Latino history in the U.S. if they are not preserved, according to the nonprofit organization National Trust for Historic Preservation.

From Week To Month To Bone of Contention, The History of Hispanic Heritage Month
For the past several decades, both the Hispanic community and its political leaders have waited in anticipation of September 15, when Hispanic Heritage Month begins — four weeks dedicated to making a case for why we should feel like we entirely belong in the United States of America.

“Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America,” says the official government website.

However, 52 years ago, the commemoration was different.

Federal Agents Clash With Indigenous Protesters Over Border Wall As Trump Administration Nears 450-Mile Goal
Federal agents with the U.S. Border Patrol agency and National Park Service clashed with Indigenous protesters at a U.S.-Mexico border wall construction site last Monday, with the confrontation ending in a scuffle.

Since construction on President Donald Trump’s border wall began, Indigenous protesters have been rallying against the development, asserting that it threatens sacred land, as well as wildlife along the border and potential archaeological sites.

Over the past month, however, as the Trump administration inches closer to reaching its goal to see 450 miles of border wall built before the end of 2020, there appears to have been a rise in tensions between federal agents and Indigenous protesters, with at least three incidents seeing clashes and arrests.

Colonialism, Eugenics And Downright Terror In ‘Mexican Gothic’
I read Mexican Gothic on a Saturday night this summer, curled up on my couch with a cider and a tray of cookies. (Prior to starting, I had been warned that I would not be able to stop reading until I finished the book. That turned out to be true. I was also warned by NPR books editor Petra Mayer that I would never look at mushrooms the same way. Unfortunately, that also turned out to be accurate.)

Set in 1950s Mexico, Mexican Gothic is the story of Noemí, a young woman who gets summoned to a small mountain mining town to check up on her ailing cousin, who has recently been married off to a handsome and mysterious Englishman. What happens next is pretty typical of Gothic literature: girl arrives at creepy isolated mansion, girl realizes the vibes are way off, girl devises a plan to GTFO.

But Mexican Gothic enters some new territory. The town Noemí arrives in has been colonized by the aforementioned British family. So Noemí’s escape plan includes a reckoning not just with a handful of sinister individuals, but with the forces of race, empire and colonialism.

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