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Joe’s Commentary: Governor Abbott Confirms No Face Mask Requirements at School; Vaccine May be Available in Early 2022
I am comfortable that the Governor is not going to change his mind on the issue of students not wearing masks in Texas. The issue of vaccines for children 12 and under is addressed by the federal government (see article, “Covid vaccines for kids under 12 expected midwinter, FDA official says” the article continues). The article from NBC News states read more
Congratulations to the following New Supers
Ron Holmgreen, Assisstant Superintendent, Granbury ISD, has been named New Super of Brock ISD.
Lonnie Hise, Superintendent, Windhorst ISD, has been named New Super of Haskell ISD.
Andrew Miller, Assisstant Superintendent, Moody ISD, has been named New Super of Moody ISD.
Ronald Ross, Dean of Students, Greenville Central Jr. High, has been named New Super of Edinburg CISD.
Gary Jones, Principal, Grady ISD, has been named New Super of Dawson ISD.
Patricia M. Thornton, Kaufer Early College High School Principal, Riviera ISD, has been named New Super of Riviera ISD.
Michael Kissire, Principal, Sonora ISD, has been named New Super of Sonora ISD.
David Gonzales, Associate Superintendent of Curriculum & INstruction, UISD, has been named New Super of United ISD.
Mike Rockwood, Deputy Superintendent, Lamar ISD, has been named New Super of Lake Dallas ISD.
|Vacant||Mullin ISD; Search by: Leasor Crass, P.C. (search suspended)INFO||Vacant||Region One ESC Executive Director; Search by: Region One ESC Board of DirectorsINFO||Vacant||Santa Fe ISD - Dr. Kevin Bott, Assistant Superintendent,Santa Fe ISD; Search by: Search by: Karczewski Bradshaw SpaldingINFO||Vacant||Paint Rock ISD; Search by: O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo in conjunction with Dr. Daniel King and Dr. Abelardo SaavedraINFO||Vacant||Crane ISD - Dr. Stephanie Howard, Deputy Supt.,Ector County ISD; Search by: Region 15 ESCINFO||Vacant||Region 16 Executive Director; Search by John Bass, Association of Educational Service Agencies INFO||Vacant||Valley View ISD - Dr. Silvia Ibarra, Interim Superintendent,Valley View ISD; Search by: O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo in conjunction with Dr. Daniel King and Dr. Abelardo SaavedraINFO||Vacant||Neches ISD; Search by: Neches ISD Board of TrusteesINFO||Vacant||
UTSA Dual Language
Community Lab Schools Partnership; Search by: UTSA College of Education & Human DevelopmentINFO
|Vacant||Donna ISD; Search by: Law Office of Flores & Torres, LLP, Dr. Ruben D. OlivarezINFO||Vacant||Olfen ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO||Vacant||Goodrich ISD; Search by: Goodrich ISD Board of TrusteesINFO||Vacant||Hawkins ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Sweet Home ISD - Dr. Jennifer “Renee” Fairchild, Administrator,Gonzales ISD; Search by Region 3 ESCINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Haskell CISD - Lonnie Hise, Superintendent,Windthorst ISD; Search by: CCR Educational Consultants, Dr. Skip Casey, Staci Robertson, & Rod TownsendINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Gunter ISD - Scott Martindale, Superintendent,Iola ISD; Search by: Arrow Educational ServicesINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Harrold ISD - Cody Patton, Director of Operations,Tioga ISD; Search By: Region 9 ESCINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Matagorda ISD; Search by: TASB Executive Search ServicesINFO|
|Lone Finalist||Waxahachie ISD - Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth, Superintendent,Bandera ISD; Search by: Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle P.C.INFO|
|New Super||Frederickburg ISD - Dr. Joe Rodriguez, Ed.D., Chief of Schools,Fort Bend ISD; Search by: CCR Educational Consultants, Dr. Skip Casey, Staci Robertson, & Rod TownsendINFO|
|New Super||Veribest ISD - Amanda Traylor, High School Principal,Sunray ISD; Search by: Region 15 ESCINFO|
|New Super||Richland Springs ISD - Clifton James Womack, Principal,Graford ISD; Search by: Region 15 ESCINFO|
|New Super||Lake Dallas ISD - Mike Rockwood, Deputy Superintendent,Lamar CISD; Search by: Walsh Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle P.C.INFO|
|New Super||Ranger ISD - Kevin Shipley, Director,Copperas Cove ISD; Search by: Shane Fields, Region XIV ESCINFO|
FORT WORTH, Texas — Blanca Martinez stepped up to the podium at a recent meeting of the Fort Worth School Board. She and dozens of others were at the meeting to speak out against critical race theory, a decades-old academic framework that explores how racism is embedded in U.S. policies and systems. CRT wasn’t on the agenda, and isn’t taught in schools or a part of any staff training. “I’m a grandmother of three in Fort Worth who are about to start school, but I’d rather homeschool them because I’m terrified about what’s happening — not only with the CRT — but more importantly with the vaccines,” she said. “CRT is a poison. It’s a poison to the mind. It corrupts. Vaccines is [sic] a poison to your body, and it kills." view article
(AUSTIN) — Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on clothes and school supplies during the state’s sales tax holiday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6-8. State law exempts sales tax on qualified items — such as clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks — priced below $100, saving shoppers about $8 on every $100 they spend. The date of the sales tax holiday and list of tax-exempt items are set by the Texas Legislature. “For many families with children who are going back to their school campuses for the first time since the pandemic began, the sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save money on school supplies and other tax-free items,” Hegar said. “As a father with three school-aged children myself, I know how these expenses can add up.” (26) view article
We are just now seeing September renewals. Some of the interlocals are still negotiating their re-insurance contracts; that can affect the delivery date, the price and the coverage. Recent RFP engagements are showing increases in pricing and deductibles. Plus, roofs continue to be a huge problem. Some companies are only providing Replacement Cost protection for newer roofs. Example: if your roof is over 15 years old, the claim may be depreciated; for a 20 year roof, you would only receive 25% of the cost to replace it. Understand your coverage and ask for a comparison of the differences. view article
COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Texas and nationally — mostly among unvaccinated people — as the highly contagious delta variant has become dominant. Here's what that means for Texans, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. COVID-19 cases have been surging in Texas and nationally — mostly among unvaccinated people — as the highly contagious delta variant has become dominant. While dozens of variants have spawned from the original COVID-19 virus, health experts say the delta variant is the most transmissible so far. Research also shows it’s leading to higher rates of hospitalization for those infected. Earlier this month, the state’s positivity rate — the ratio of confirmed cases to tests — went above 10% for the first time since February, a threshold that Gov. Greg Abbott has previously identified as dangerous. Statewide, hospitalizations have increased this month as well. (26) view article
As Texas COVID-19 cases surge again, some local officials urge everyone to wear masks and unvaccinated residents to stay home BY COLLEEN DEGUZMAN
Officials in some of Texas' largest counties are asking residents — even those vaccinated against the coronavirus — to again wear masks in public as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread across the state. And some officials are urging unvaccinated people to limit their trips outside the home. The updated suggestions came as Harris, Dallas and Travis counties raised their local coronavirus threat levels or precautionary guidelines in recent days. Travis County officials made the announcement in a virtual news conference Friday morning. Under Stage 4, Austin and Travis officials want residents — vaccinated and unvaccinated — to wear masks at all times in public, and for unvaccinated people to only leave their homes for essential trips. view article
HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As students prepare to head back to school, HISD won't be requiring them to wear masks, and the district's health emergency protocols are being scaled down. It's all part of the district's latest COVID-19 safety update, which was emailed to parents on Thursday. In the email, HISD said its communicable disease plan, which governs the district's health and safety protocols during public health emergencies, will be formally deactivated on Aug. 2. (26) view article
Of the 8,787 people who have died in Texas due to COVID-19 since early February, at least 43 were fully vaccinated, the Texas Department of State Health Services said. That means 99.5% of people who died due to COVID-19 in Texas from Feb. 8 to July 14 were unvaccinated, while 0.5% were the result of “breakthrough infections,” which DSHS defines as people who contracted the virus two weeks after being fully vaccinated. view article
At this time last year, we were at what was then a peak in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, facing a pandemic that could hit every person in the state. Now, Texas and the U.S. have a different pandemic underway, one that preys heavily on people who haven’t been vaccinated. Like last summer’s wave, the coronavirus variants threaten life, community and commerce — forcing us to reconsider the masks we’ve largely set aside and the social distancing we’re so eager to ignore when we see friends and family. The numbers are plain as can be. Since February, 99.5% of the people killed by COVID-19 in Texas were unvaccinated. Many of those deaths were preventable. (23) view article
FORT WORTH As sizzling temperatures loom in the forecast for Texas, officials with the state’s Public Utility Commission and ERCOT said on Thursday the power grid will be able to handle the heat. Those officials expect record power usage in Texas next week as temperatures will be in the triple digits for the first time in 2021 in many areas of the state, including Dallas-Fort Worth. “We are in a good position,” PUC Chairman Peter Lake said in a Thursday news conference. But millions of people in Texas were without power in February when a winter blast crippled the power grid and more than 200 people died. When asked about the chances of rolling blackouts in Texas next week, ERCOT Interim President and CEO Brad Jones said there would be enough power to serve Texans. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the organization tasked with managing Texas’ power grid. (23) view article
In an in-person hearing in Little Rock on Wednesday, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to block an Arkansas law that criminalizes gender-affirming care for transgender kids. U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr.’s bench ruling was made in response to a lawsuit from the ACLU, which argues that Arkansas’ law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the First Amendment right to free speech. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four trans kids and their families in Arkansas, plus two physicians working in the state. (23) view article
The House Appropriations Committee has caused a stir with one tiny paragraph in its 198-page health, labor and education spending bill. SEC. 314. None of the funds made available by this Act or any other Act may be awarded to a charter school that contracts with a for-profit entity to operate, oversee or manage the activities of the school. The presence of for-profit operators in the charter school sector has long been a concern for critics, with almost all states outlawing a charter school strictly run for profit. But charter school operators have long worked a variety of loopholes, keeping the sector a highly profitable one, and most of those loopholes involve a non-profit charter school hiring a for-profit business. (23) view article
The Waxahachie ISD Board of Trustees has unanimously named Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth as the lone finalist for the position of district superintendent. This announcement begins the 21-day waiting period that is required by state law before a superintendent can sign a contract and begin working for a district. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Hollingsworth to Waxahachie ISD,” said Board of Trustees President Dusty Autrey. “The experience he brings will be a benefit to students, staff, and our community.” (22) view article
Community ISD announced its next superintendent Monday. The district's board of trustees said Dr. Tonya Knowlton is the "lone finalist" for the superintendent position in a special meeting. Knowlton, currently a superintendent of Lexington ISD in Central Texas, spent the majority of her career in education in East Texas, where she served as a teacher, principal, adjunct professor and superintendent until moving to Lexington ISD in 2017. (21) view article
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Preventive Law: The Dog Ate My Scientific Calculator! – Students Who Fail to Clear Materials Records
With school starting, you may have students enroll who arrive with notations on their records that they did not return or pay for all their textbooks or technological equipment at their previous campuses. While this may sound like a trivial issue, the Texas Legislature wanted to give schools some teeth to recover or replace learning materials damaged or lost by students. The teeth the Legislature gave schools may not be long and sharp, but schools now have more than plastic chattering teeth with which to recover the materials or the money to replace those materials.
Updated 4/28/2021 - (62 School Districts holding bond elections on May 1) and it has crossed the $7 billion dollar mark (Please contact email@example.com if you know of other districts holding bond elections.
Less than a month away from the first on-campus athletics events in program history, Texas A&M-San Antonio athletic director Darnell Smith looks back at the past year as a formative time for his fledgling department. In April 2020, A&M-San Antonio announced a one-semester delay to the athletics startup process in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of a fall 2020 kickoff, softball and men’s golf marked the first sports events in Jaguars history this spring, while the debut of the men’s and women’s soccer was pushed back a full year to fall 2021. view article
ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - A new memorial will be built in Athens in honor of African-American students who attended segregated schools in the city. The memorial will be a wall that lists the names of students who attended Blackshear, Fisher, and Bishop Heights school campuses. The location of the memorial will be in O.D. Baggett Park, which is named after O.D. Baggett. He was the first black justice of the peace in Athens. The idea of the memorial came about from Building Athens Together President Larry West. West spoke at a veteran’s event in which he was fascinated by a veteran’s memorial, and he thought it would be a good idea to do something similar for students who attended segregated schools in Athens. view article
SAN ANGELO, TX – The San Angelo Independent School District has welcomed a new Deputy Superintendent, Mr. Greg McIntyre. McIntyre joins SAISD with more than 30 years of educational experience. He most recently served as Deputy Superintendent and Chief Administrative Officer at College Station ISD in College Station. “Greg’s experience in a high-performing and fast-growth district will amplify our current efforts to increase postsecondary opportunities for our students. His commitment to students and passion for helping families will be an asset to San Angelo ISD,” said Superintendent Dr. Carl Dethloff. “Greg has a knack for building trust with staff and families, is committed to serving others, and has a proven record of creating conditions that foster academic success.” view article
AUSTIN (KXAN) — With COVID-19 cases on the rise and school starting in just weeks, parents told KXAN they are concerned about a lack of safeguards for their children. The Browne family wants more COVID-19 protections for their children in the Austin Independent School District. “My wife has an immune deficiency, which means she gets sick a lot,” said Damien Browne. “For COVID in particular, my 11 year old and 8 year old are below the 12year old threshold to get the vaccine.” They did remote learning for most of last school year, but without mask requirements from the state and fewer mandates from the district, their options are limited. view article
Texas electricity regulators told the public Thursday that their electricity should likely stay on through the rest of the summer and that the state’s main power grid is in good enough shape to withstand any potential extreme weather. With warmer weather expected as soon as next week, Peter Lake, chair of the Public Utility Commission, which oversees the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said his agency and ERCOT are working through the rest of the summer with “an abundance of caution” by calling on more reserve power when warmer weather arrives and Texans crank up their air conditioning. Lake, speaking at a news conference alongside interim ERCOT President Brad Jones, said the approach is a departure from the way the Texas electricity market has historically operated — cheap power being the first priority and “reliability second.” view article
Details about the departure of a former school district police chief are being kept secret because his retirement letter could “constitute evidence of a potential crime pending detection and investigation” by local authorities. The Canutillo Independent School District declined to release former police chief Carlos Carrillo’s retirement letter and asked Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office whether it can withhold the document from the public. Paxton’s office has yet to issue an opinion. “Because the underlying matter is in the very early stages of the detection of a crime, there is little information to provide in support of this request for an opinion,” attorney Priscilla de Mata of the law firm Blanco Ordoñez Mata & Wechsler, P.C. wrote in a June 28 correspondence to the attorney general. That firm provides legal services for Canutillo ISD. view article
Students in the Irving ISD will now be able to earn a high school diploma in the evening. Next month, the school district plans to open the Night OWL — Opportunities Without Limits — Academy to better meet the needs of students. The academy will target students who are at risk of dropping out or have already dropped out of school, as well as students who have daytime work responsibilities and need a more flexible school schedule, the district announced in a news release. Students will attend classes from 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the district’s Barbara Cardwell Career Preparatory Center, 101 E. Union Bower Road, and will be able to earn a full credit in nine weeks or a half-credit in 4.5 weeks. view article
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Some parents, desperate to protect their under 12 children from contracting COVID-19, are considering lying to public health authorities in order to secure a vaccine for them. Currently, only adolescents 12 and over are permitted to receive their COVID-19 shots. There aren’t significant roadblocks in the way of doing so. According to Austin Public Health, officials ask the parent/guardian to confirm their child’s date of birth, however, they do not verify it. view article
CLAUDE, Texas (KVII) — School districts in rural communities can oftentimes feel overlooked. Helping every student feel they have the same opportunities to become successful is a challenge. New leadership at Claude Independent School District aims to help students and teachers strive for greatness. “Fresh faces, fresh ways, fresh procedures, fresh directions," said Greg Brown, superintendent at Claude ISD. Brown tells ABC 7 News his model is to grow the school which will help build the community as lots of things center around the school. “When you create a great school that becomes attractive to people," said Brown. "My goal is for this to be a great school that people are moving to Claude, that brings business, that brings interest, that brings investment.” view article
ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Independent School District will offer a virtual learning option for students in kindergarten through sixth grade for just the fall 2021 semester. The district made the announcement Thursday evening, saying it’s trying to accommodate those who are concerned about children under 12 years old who can’t get the vaccine yet. view article
AUSTIN, Texas - Thursday, Austin Independent School District released its health and safety protocols for the 2021-2022 school year. With COVID-19 variants and increased hospitalizations nearly pushing Austin-Travis County back into Stage 4 of its risk-based guidelines, AISD says it is committed to providing students and staff a healthy and safe environment. view article
Longview ISD parents now will be able to track when their children board and get off district buses. Trustees on Monday unanimously agreed to purchase a student tracking application called Z-Pass at a cost of $37,827 from Zonar Systems of Austin. LISD is one of the first districts in East Texas to implement such a bus system, officials said. “We will put card scanners on every bus, and parents that have kids that ride the bus will have to download the Zonar Z Pass app so that they can get instant notifications of when their kid gets on the bus and gets off the bus,” said district spokesman Francisco Rojas. He explained that every student who rides a bus will receive a card, which they will scan as they board. When that happens, a parent will be notified immediately of the location of the bus and the time. The system will be installed in all 60 LISD buses, and the transportation department is working to begin using the system in the upcoming school year. view article
The South San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-time Retention/Recruitment payment for all Full-Time employees. Each Full-Time employee will receive $3,000. Part-Time employees will receive a payment commensurate with their normal hourly work. Prior to the vote, each Board Member took the time to say words of appreciation to all South San Antonio ISD employees who have adapted and thrived through so many challenges during the past 18 months. As of this time, an exact date for payment to employees has not been finalized.
Conroe Independent School District students are set to return to class on Aug. 11. But as students return, the strict COVID-19 mandates of last year will not, and the district won’t be able to mandate that students positive with COVID-19 stay home to isolate. The district laid out the main tenants of its Roadmap to Remaining Open plan for the upcoming school year at its monthly board meeting Tuesday night. Chris McCord, executive director of operations for the district, explained what the district would be allowed to do based on the latest guidance from the Texas Education Agency as of July 20. On HoustonChronicle.com: Fourth COVID wave on the horizon, could overwhelm emergency rooms, Houston medical leaders warn view article
In the last few days, interest has increased in Leander ISD's virtual learning program for the 2021-22 school year. A program waitlist began July 21 with 101 applicants in its first day. The program exceeded its 300-student capacity July 21 with 332 enrolled students. Superintendent Bruce Gearing said at the July 22 board meeting that a recent rush of applicants came in the last few days. view article
COVID-19 Transmission Risk During School Bus Transportation: “Universal testing and contact tracing revealed no transmission linked to bus transportation” in a new study in the Journal of School Health. “An independent Virginia school monitored 1,154 students with asymptomatic PCR testing every 2 weeks initially and later every week from August 28, 2020-March 19, 2021, during highest community transmission.” “Fifteen buses served 462 students while operating at near capacity of 2 students in every seat, using a physical distancing minimum of 2.5 feet, universal masking and simple ventilation techniques.” view article