TALAS E-newsletter – September 27

Posted on September 27th, 2021
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Texas News
‘I Need You to Wear a Mask to Protect My Child’: ‘I Need You to Wear a Mask to Protect My Child.’ A Mom Fights for Vulnerable Students
As the start of the school year approached, Julia Longoria felt like she was being forced to choose between her daughter’s physical health and the 3rd grader’s academic flourishing.

On the one hand, she feared health complications for 8-year-old Juliana, who has asthma, if she went to her San Antonio school with unmasked classmates during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other, she feared another year of remote learning would further exacerbate the challenges posed by the 3rd grader’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

El Paso ISD: Dual-language, full-day pre-k slots now open to non-qualifying families
Spaces for free, full-day classes available throughout district

For parents of 4-year-old children in El Paso County, El Paso ISD now has spaces available for its dual-language, full-day pre-k programs.

“Any 4-year-old student whose family lives in the county can enroll to receive dual-language instruction and get a head start on their education under the guidance of certified teachers, nationally recognized STEAM curricula and 21st century technology,” EPISD officials shared via a news release.

Round Rock school board votes to extend mask mandate
The Round Rock school board on Wednesday night voted to extend the district’s mask mandate. The motion was passed on a 5-2 vote, with trustees Danielle Weston and Mary Bone voting against.

The board also gave Superintendent Hafedh Azaiez the ability to change the district’s mask requirement due to any legal action.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued several public school districts with mask requirements, including Round Rock, arguing that an executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott grants individuals immunity from such requirements. But a state appeals court blocked a temporary order from a state district judge that had prevented Round Rock from requiring masks on campus.

‘Reset Center’ Replaces School Suspension At Dallas ISD School
Pierre Fleurinor, the DISD Reset Lab Coordinator noticed a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic students being placed in his care.

Earlier this year, Dallas ISD made the decision to completely eliminate school suspensions. The district has moved to a new, unique approach for addressing bad behavior.

While managing suspensions at his school – Pierre Fleurinor noticed a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic students being placed in his care. “The numbers showed it and it was clearly reflected across the board, in multiple schools,” the DISD Reset Lab Coordinator said.

Aida Barrera Taught All Kids Spanish, And Showed Latino Kids They Could Do Anything
The South Texas native created “Carrascolendas” – which aired on PBS stations across the country in the mid- to late 1970s.

Aida Barrera was never trained as a teacher and didn’t know anything about television. But in 1962, she got a job in TV that started her on a path that would lead her to becoming a pioneer in the field.

“I think I must have giggled the most in my audition,” Barerra said.

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Career Advice
How to create a LinkedIn summary (with examples)
There’s just no getting around virtual networking in 2021 — it’s an absolute must for job-seekers. If your LinkedIn profile hasn’t been updated since the pandemic began, learning how to create a LinkedIn summary that will get you noticed is a great place to start. 

According to LinkedIn’s August 2021 Workforce Report, more than 176 million individuals in the U.S. have a LinkedIn profile and over 97,000 companies use the site to recruit talent nationally. That’s a lot of eyes that can see your work and potentially hire you, but among such a massive number of profiles, yours has to stand out.

Long gone are the days of connecting in person, so your online presence needs to be up to par. Read on to see how to take this important first step and create a LinkedIn summary.

National News
CDC Director OKs Booster Shots for Teachers and Other Frontline Workers
In a highly unusual move, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Friday overruled a recommendation delivered by an advisory panel of her agency — paving the way for teachers to receive booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

Teachers and other school workers inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine may now receive third doses at least six months after receiving their second shot. Those under 65 years old should make their decision based on the “individual benefits and risks,” the CDC said.

‘We Left Those Students Behind’: 1.9 Million Low-Income Youth Boxed Out of Afterschool Programs, Despite Surging Parent Interest in STEM Offerings
Every year, millions of students nationwide participate in afterschool and summer programs that help them gain skills in science, technology, engineering and math — also known as STEM. But even as student interest surges and the programs continue to expand, financial and transportation barriers have boxed many young people out of these pivotal learning opportunities, particularly students from low-income families, a new report reveals.

From 2014 to early 2020, just before the pandemic, the U.S. saw a 1.3 million-student drop in afterschool STEM participation, falling from 7 million learners to 5.7 million, according to the paper, which was published by the nonprofit organization Afterschool Alliance.

Latino senators want more investment in Hispanic-serving colleges, universities
Democratic Sens. Alex Padilla and Bob Menendez link U.S. competitiveness and the economic growth of states like California to improved Latino higher education.

On the heels of the release of 2020 Census data showing about 18.8 million Latinos are under 18, two U.S. Senators moved to bolster attention and money from Congress for Hispanic Serving Institutions, HSIs.

Sens. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said Thursday they have formed the first Senate HSI Caucus to promote education equity.

Vaccine tracker: Schools in 9 states now require students to get COVID shots
A handful of states have barred schools from requiring the COVID vaccine

A small but growing number of districts are mandating vaccines for eligible as the COVID delta variant disrupted the beginning of yet another school year.

Though a handful of states have barred schools from requiring the COVID vaccine, administrators and school boards in several communities have decided mandates are the best way to keep students healthy and in school. Here’s a look at where districts have taken action on vaccines.

Roberto Roena, legendary salsa musician, dies at age 81
The former member of the Fania All Stars group “died in the arms of his two daughters,” his family said.

Legendary salsa musician Roberto Roena died Thursday night, a spokesman for his family confirmed Friday.

The Latino musician was 81.

Roena was best known for being one of the original members of Puerto Rico’s renowned salsa orchestra “El Gran Combo,” as well as the founding member of the “Cortijo y su Combo” orchestra and the “Roberto Roena y Su Apollo Sound” music group.

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!
7 Mindsets delivers SEL solutions including mindsets, equity and multicultural pedagogy.

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7 Mindsets provides an opportunity where students and educators can create meaningful and fulfilling relationships by focusing on their mindsets and further developing their social and emotional health, while changing lives. We offer a powerful common language that develops lasting personal intrinsic motivations, positive school culture, and thriving communities.

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Schools implementing 7 Mindsets consistently report significant improvements in academic performance, attendance, student behavior, suspension rates and student grit and resilience.

Duane Moyer, Regional Director – 404.354.2930

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