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Texas News
Tomball ISD breaks ground on 205-acre complex with capacity for 4,800 students
More students equals more schools, which is exactly what’s happening in the fast-growth district of Tomball ISD. The district recently broke ground on a 205-acre academic complex at 17702 Mueschke Rd. near Juergen Road.

Named the Juergen Road Complex, it will eventually house a new elementary, intermediate and high school.

The elementary, which will be Tomball ISD’s 12th, as well as the intermediate, which will be the district’s fourth, are both set to open in August of 2024. They will each serve up to 900 students. The high school, the district’s third, is slated to open August of 2026 with capacity for 3,000 kids.

Superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney Recognized at the Latino Learning Center’s Humanitarian Awards Ceremony
The Latino Learning Center recently held its Humanitarian Awards Luncheon celebrating women CEOs. The organization presented awards to leaders from across the city. Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney was among the recipients of the Humanitarian Award.

The Latino Learning Center, Inc. (LLC) bestows the Humanitarian Awards to individuals or companies credited with outstanding work in endeavors that promote social, philanthropic, and humanitarian work.

Hanks MS counseling program wins statewide award for excellence
Hanks Middle School has been named a 2022 Lone Star Award Gold winner – the first ever for the Ysleta Independent School District – from the Lone Star State School Counselor Association (LSSSCA) for its outstanding and comprehensive counseling program. 

Hanks Middle School was chosen for the honor after demonstrating success in its counseling programs in a variety of areas, such as being data-driven; focusing on goal completion; and aligning with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) national model. 

New law asks Texas schools to distribute kits to students to keep DNA samples in case of emergencies like Uvalde
Texas public school systems are set to distribute DNA and fingerprint identification kits for K-8 students to parents who wish to store their child’s DNA is case of emergency.

The state Legislature passed a law in spring 2021 requiring the Texas Education Agency to give inkless in-home fingerprint and DNA identification cards to each public school system in Texas. The kits, which retail for about $10 each, will be made distributed for free at each primary-level campus. The cards are intended to be kept by guardians who can give them to law enforcement in order to potentially help find missing or trafficked children.

Biden designates Texas ‘Mexican school’ as national park
President Biden on Monday signed legislation designating the Blackwell School in Marfa, Texas, as part of the National Park System, capping off a long effort to protect one of the last “Mexican schools” left standing.

The designation will protect a 1909 adobe schoolhouse and a 1927 classroom on the site, where Mexican American students were taught from 1909 until the end of de facto segregation in 1965.

“As a nation, we must face the wrongs of our past in order to build a more just and equitable future. The ugliness of the segregation era had many impacts that we have failed as a nation to adequately acknowledge,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a statement. 

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National News
How can schools measure student poverty beyond free and reduced-price meal data?
With universal school meal policies gaining traction, districts are starting to explore how they would gauge student eligibility for programs serving low-income children if they no longer had free and reduced-price data to rely on, speakers said during a Thursday webinar held by AASA, the School Superintendents Association, and the Food & Research Action Center.

Possibilities include using data from direct certification, state income tax systems, or the U.S. Census to gauge family income, speakers said.

Survey: Majority of school board members will not run for reelection
A report by School Board Partners also finds just 30% of current school board members are people of color, compared to 54% of public school students.

Only 38% of current school board members plan to run for reelection, according to a survey released Monday by School Board Partners, a nonprofit group that trains new school board members. This compares to more than 70% of school board members running for reelection in 2016, the group said.

4 steps districts can take to shore up cybersecurity
Nonprofit K12 SIX and technology leaders in Virginia’s Augusta County Public Schools share their latest efforts and tips for securing school systems.

Cybersecurity is a persistent headache across sectors, but the challenge is “compounded” for school districts due to limited resources and staffing, a lack of regulatory mandates, and the general complexity of K-12 IT systems, said Doug Levin, co-founder and national director of nonprofit K12 Security Information Exchange, or K12 SIX, during a recent webinar.

Torn Apart: 13-Year-Old Author Estela Juarez on New Book & Mother’s Deportation
“Until Someone Listens” author Estela Juarez and her mother Alejandra share their story of deportation and separation

Estela Juarez clearly remembers the night an immigration officer knocked on her family’s Florida front door and revealed her mother’s secret.

After a 2013 traffic stop exposed her undocumented status, Alejandra Juarez, 43, was confronted by the officer, and eventually deported to Mexico in August 2018 in the wake of the Trump administration’s strict immigration policies.

¿Qué Pasa, HSIs?: Why You Should Listen To This New Podcast On Hispanic Serving Institutions
Gina Garcia, a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania has been interested in Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) since she was an HSI coordinator at California State University, Fullerton in 2005. In this role she kept wondering what it meant to be an HSI in practice.

However, when she entered a Ph.D. program at UCLA in 2009, her curiosity didn’t immediately lead to studying HSIs; instead she planned to do research related to Latinx students more broadly. While a graduate student, Garcia realized that a lot of research related to HSIs focused on their underperformance in comparison to Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). In an effort to change this narrative, she eventually decided to pursue research related to the identity of HSIs, and to encourage these institutions to provide opportunities and equity for their students.

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!
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