Sara Leon & Associates, LLC

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Since the beginning of the pandemic, teachers have been coming up with solutions to teach while adjusting to the new normal. Some might call it innovative teaching. The College Station ISD Education Foundation Grant Patrol awarded grants to teachers just for that purpose Wednesday. “We are so excited to be able to get the money in the hands of these teachers to implement these programs," said Teresa Benden, the executive director for the CSISD Education Foundation. view article arw

Armed with noisemakers and instruments, staff and board members of the College Station ISD Education Foundation and donors surprised teachers in the district on Wednesday morning with thousands of dollars in innovative teacher grants. The foundation awarded 45 grants totaling $172,471 to teachers at each of the district’s campuses during the foundation’s annual Grant Patrol. view article arw

Upon completion of the program, participating educators receive significant earnings increases for meeting quality standards in the classroom.  Dr. Susan Williams, director of the Mesquite ISD/TAMUC Partnership at Texas A&M University-Commerce, recently shared information about the Excellence in Teaching Incentive Program (ETIP), a partnership between Texas A&M University-Commerce and Mesquite Independent School District (MISD).  ETIP encourages the district’s educators to pursue master’s and doctorate level degrees. Upon completion of the program, participating educators receive significant earnings increases for meeting quality standards in the classroom.  A cohort of 27 teachers will be graduating during the 2020-2021 academic year. The first group of 16 teachers will graduate in December, with the remaining 11 set to graduate in May. Additionally, seven teachers are pursuing their doctorate degree. view article arw

The Cleveland ISD Education Foundation awarded almost $3,000 in classroom grants to some surprised recipients on Friday. This was the first time the foundation, which was re-established in 2019, has awarded grant money to teachers. At the conclusion of the past two school years, the Foundation has given out Red & White scholarships to Cleveland High School graduates, a program that will hopefully grow each year. view article arw

Plano ISD has received a $500,000 gift for the forthcoming Robinson Fine Arts Center, Jamee Jolly, senior executive director of the Plano ISD Education Foundation, announced at a Nov. 4 PISD board meeting. The money was donated by the center’s namesakes, the late George “Robbie” Robinson and his late wife Lynore Robinson. The gift was George’s last donation before his death in October. view article arw

Approximately $17.3 million in assistance programs will soon be available to Harris County residents in need, thanks to three programs recently established by the Harris County Commissioners Court.  As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, Harris County Commissioners Court authorized the CARES Act Committee to establish child care assistance and workforce development programs at an expenditure of $7.3 million during the Sept. 29 meeting.  The approved $4.7 million for the Childcare Assistance Program will help fund support services such as after-school programs, distance learning and child care for essential workers. Following approval Oct. 27, these funds will be administered locally through the Collaborative for Children, United Way Bright Beginnings and YMCA of Greater Houston. view article arw

HOUSTON – Houston Independent School District announced Wednesday that all schools are reopening and resuming face-to-face instruction on Thursday, following the temporary closure on Tuesday. The shutdown was due to confirmed positive or presumed positive COVID-19 cases.  The district said the affected schools have been deep cleaned and disinfected.  “Now that we have returned to face-to-face instruction, I wanted to provide you with an update about closure and cleaning procedures that are being implemented when we receive a report of a positive or presumptive positive case of COVID-19 on one of our campuses,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan in a letter to parents. view article arw

Texas officials are launching a new initiative to help students with severe cognitive disabilities receive additional, personalized services outside of the classroom to offset coronavirus-related disruptions of special education programs.  The Supplementary Special Education Services program will grant eligible families up to $1,500 to find tutors, therapists or other resources for students with disabilities. Nearly 59,000 students will qualify for the additional aid, according to a Wednesday release from Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency.  “This innovative initiative builds on the services that students are already receiving at school and provides additional resources and support at a pivotal moment in the lives of Texas families and their children,” Abbott said. view article arw

Plano ISD is one of 31 entities across the country to be awarded a grant from Toyota USA to fund technology projects. The district will receive more than $155,000 to put toward three projects: online science labs, computer science online textbooks and resources, and a foreign language website subscription, an Oct. 21 press release stated. The funds will also be used to support the district’s virtual learning program through the purchase of more hotspots, cameras and digital software. view article arw

Cleveland ISD administrators and Ima Survivor Sanctuary teamed up to surprise Cottonwood Elementary Principal Richard Pena on Wednesday when the administrators led a surprise patrol motorcade to the animal sanctuary in Plum Grove to meet with its owner, Lester Morrow. Pena was presented with a check for $10,000 that will be used for seed money to start a parent-teacher organization and to purchase items for STEM technology with an emphasis on science and math. Ima Survivor Animal Sanctuary also donated comfort items that will enhance the teacher lounge at Cottonwood Elementary. view article arw

Wednesday evening, officials with the Ysleta Independent School District announced that the district had earned a highly competitive Blended Learning grant from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that will expand the number of campuses featuring blended learning, a practice that enables teachers to deliver personalized learning in order to meet the needs of all students. view article arw

The Hunt ISD received a $75,000 Peterson Foundation grant to be used to build four tennis courts on the campus of the school. Currently, students who participate in tennis must be bused to Camp Stewart in order to practice tennis. In the process of loading and unloading students and equipment valuable practice time is lost.  Also, only the middle school students are eligible to take tennis. With four courts located on the Hunt ISD campus all ages will be eligible during athletic periods. The school will be able to host small tournaments as well. When the courts are not in use by the school, they will be available for the community to use. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — As states grapple with financial shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new study shows just how much Texas could benefit by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  Study lead Laura Dague, associate professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, said at current funding rates, Medicaid expansion in Texas could bring in $5.4 billion in new federal spending and provide health coverage to nearly 1 million Texans, with little cost to the state. view article arw

The Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a plan on Tuesday to allocate $12 million in federal CARES Act money to school districts, charter schools and private schools in the county.  The schools will be able to apply for grant funds to cover up to $100 per student in expenses related to COVID-19, according to a county news release. Private schools must have at least 100 students, four grade levels and students who attend in-person classes at least three days a week to qualify for the money. view article arw

The deadline to apply for the CRF Bulk-Purchase LMRP has been extended from October 1, 2020, to October 15, 2020. The LMRP application period remains open and will close at 11:59 p.m. CT on October 15, 2020. Reimbursement requests for the LMRP must be submitted by this deadline. view article arw

BONHAM, Texas (KXII) - The Bonham Independent School District has received a CARES Act grant to help pay for cleaning supplies and other resources.  The school district received $314,000 in CARES Act funding that will go toward cleaning and sanitization products, professional development and technology.  The city also contributed $20,900 from their CARES Act fund to the district so the Texas Education Agency would match their contribution and give the district another $20,900. view article arw

ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene Education Foundation is awarding more than $51,000 in grants to around 70 teachers in Abilene ISD to help them make learning more fun and accessible.  The "Prize Patrol" will visit every Abilene ISD campus to surprise the winners who applied for the grants.  Nearly a dozen Abilene ISD teachers were surprised with their grants on Tuesday morning.  With the coronavirus pandemic, many teachers applied for grants to connect with students who aren't sitting in classrooms. view article arw

PHARR – The Texas Workforce Commission has awarded PSJA ISD with a $269,624 grant that will offer training and equipment to 140 students who are interested in pursuing careers in technical education.  The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) awarded a total of 41 grants amounting to $8,261,090 to colleges, technical institutes, and school districts throughout the state that focus on supporting high-demand occupations through the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) grant program.  view article arw

Port Aransas schools are getting reimbursed for measures they took to get things up and running after Hurricane Harvey. The district on Monday announced it had received a grant for more than $1.2 million Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for things such as generators, air dryers, portables and security. Those items and more were needed in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm hit the area Aug. 25, 2017. view article arw

The Round Rock school district awarded $1.9 million in grants to 34 campuses to help foster innovation in schools through programs, models or initiatives that enrich learning. The grants range from $7,500 to $100,000 and support the district’s strategic goal of implementing, enhancing and reinforcing innovative teachings and learning models, according to a district news release. view article arw

Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN)announced today that its 2015 corporate and foundation giving to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education totals almost $6 million. Focused on collaborative strategies to improve student success and teaching effectiveness in STEM education, TI and the Texas Instruments Foundation designate "Power of STEM Education" grants to a variety of nonprofit partners and educators in targeted communities where the company has a major design or manufacturing presence. Special emphasis is given to programs that reach female and minority students who are underrepresented in science and engineering careers today. view article arw

A local school that has been underperforming for years, is shaking things up for the new school year with the help of a $4.8 million grant. Indian Spring Middle School is under a state mandate to turn things around and their principal is hoping this multi-million dollar grant will help them do just that. view article arw