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“Mr. Perry will forever be with us,” they scrawled in teal sidewalk chalk in front of G.W. Carver Middle School, where Phillip Perry served almost a year as principal.  Perry died Tuesday morning from COVID-19 complications. His death marks the first in McLennan County resulting from the new coronavirus. As of Thursday, McLennan County reported 48 other COVID-19 cases, including six hospitalized patients, four of whom are in critical condition, according to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District. view article arw

The Texas State Teachers Association today demanded that Gov. Greg Abbott order all of Texas’ schools to remain closed for the remainder of the school year and take other steps to protect the health and safety of students, educators, their families and the communities they serve, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen. read more arw

BEAUMONT, Texas — She has made headlines for her Facebook live bedtime stories. Now, the principal of Homer Drive Elementary is helping parents get through this difficult time.  Dr. Belinda George was able to share her helpful advice to a national audience Tuesday on ABC.  "Today, I just told parents to rely on the district, rely on the principal, rely on the teachers because it's tough. Everybody is stressing," George said. view article arw

Full-time public school teachers across Texas are finagling digital set-ups to teach classes online, calling to check in on students and their parents and volunteering to help hand out meals — all while knowing their salaries are secure.  That's not the case for Jennie Minor, a substitute teacher for the Gregory-Portland Independent School District, who has no work and no indication she will be making money teaching again anytime soon. The substitute jobs she had lined up for the next month have dried up after schools were closed to stem spread of the new coronavirus. Her other part-time job caring for a sick older neighbor also vanished after he ended up in the hospital with breathing problems. view article arw

As school campuses remain closed and classes move to an online format, KXAN has learned some substitute teachers in the Austin Independent School District have officially been let go. A tip sent to the KXAN Investigative Team said his wife was a part-time substitute, and received an email Monday night sent by the AISD Office of Human Capital informing her she was no longer an active employee. view article arw

The first reported COVID-19 death in McLennan county was a Waco ISD middle school principal. Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver announced the county's first coronavirus related death at a city council meeting today. Waco ISD has confirmed G.W. Carver Middle School principal Phillip Perry has died from COVID-19. Perry has been the principal of G.W. Carver Middle School since May 2019. view article arw

Austin ISD trustees approved March 30 new permanent principal assignments at four South Austin elementary schools—Kiker, Baranoff, Cowan and Sunset Valley. Kiker Elementary will be led by current Clayton Elementary School Assistant Principal Cory Matheny, who has held the position since 2016, according to a news release by the district. Matheny will succeed former Kiker Principal David Crissy, who will lead the new Southeast Elementary School for its inaugural 2020-21 school year. view article arw

Retired teachers’ annuities are safe, there will be no changes to them, and they will be delivered on time. That was the reassuring message on Friday from Brian Guthrie, Executive Director of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.   At a Facebook Live event held by the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) on Friday, Guthrie said the reason teachers’ pensions will not be affected despite concerns about the market fluctuations due to COVID-19 is that they have a diversified portfolio.  For the same reason, the TRS Pension Trust Fund did not lose as much as others in the market. view article arw

The principal of G.W. Carver Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19, and is currently hospitalized. view article arw

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Zoom lessons are resourcefully used by SFA student teachers, who like their young students, were suddenly pulled out of a school classroom.  For days these soon to be teachers and their professors remained nervous over certification requirements. They got some encouraging news from the Texas Education Agency just a couple of days ago says professor of education Dr Heather Beal.  “They said that if the students had completed 35 days of clinical teaching that was the minimum of their student teaching," said Beal. view article arw

Jim Rapp can’t remember a time he wasn’t either taking part in spring football practice at what was McCullough High School or conducting it at what is now The Woodlands. Freshly hired at Mayde Creek, Brian Randle naturally would like to see players whose names he’s trying to memorize in pads before August. Coaches are doing everything in their power to bridge the gap between what would ordinarily be taking place and the new normal the coronavirus creates. The University Interscholastic League is trying to help, too. view article arw

Decatur ISD will give its employees a $200 bonus on their April paycheck.  Trustees approved the recommendation from Superintendent Joseph Coburn for the additional payment Friday during a special meeting. The cost of the bonuses are approximately $99,000.  Coburn said the money is available without a need for a budget amendment because the district did not fill some open positions that were in this year’s budget.  “We’re happy to be in a position to be able to do that,” said School Board President Charlie Tibbels. “Certainly the hope is that money gets put back in the community. Some of our teachers and employees worked through spring break, and this is a reward for that. Also a lot of our employees are from two-income homes and have spouses that are not able to work or lost jobs. Anything we can do to help our employees and their families, we want to do that.” view article arw

ECISD director of nursing resigns

March 2708:30 AM

Ector County ISD Director of Nursing Laura Mathew has resigned under protest due to requirements placed on her by the district in connection with the coronavirus pandemic. Mathew had served as director for 18 years.  Superintendent Scott Muri said in a phone interview that he could not comment on a personnel matter. view article arw

DANBURY — Danbury ISD Board of Trustees unanimously decided to pay staff throughout school closure, whether or not they are working.  The resolution was unanimously passed during a meeting Monday to allow all employees to be paid at their regular wages, whether or not they are currently working, Danbury ISD Superintendent’s Secretary Lisa Menard said. view article arw

WEST COLUMBIA — With full base pay instituted for all Columbia-Brazoria ISD staff, educators felt a weight lifted as they shift their full attention to their students.  Superintendent Steven Galloway and the school board adopted a resolution during Tuesday’s meeting, ensuring all staff members, hourly or salaried, will be paid their full base salaries. view article arw

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Local school districts are adapting to the new normal while continuing to do what they do best, educate.  As of now Bryan ISD students will not return to the classroom until at least after April 10.  This is leaving parents with the task of having to navigate through classroom instruction at home.  Monday the district began passing out Chromebooks to students who don’t have access to a computer. view article arw

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Ector County ISD will soon begin offering child care for employees of Medical Center Hospital and Odessa Regional Medical Center.  Assistant Superintendent of Student and School Support Alicia Syverson said staffing is being worked on right now.  “We’re looking at our current employees who might be interested in helping with that,” she said at a board view article arw

Carroll ISD trustees green-lit seven new full-time positions across the district at their March 24 board meeting. The district is anticipating the additional positions based on current demographer projections. These projections show the anticipated enrollment for the next school year as 8,642 students. “The demographer’s projections were very low this time,” board President Sheri Mills noted during the meeting.  Trustee Matt Bryant voted no for adding the positions. He said in light of the current economic instability with the coronavirus, there may be more students coming to the district. He recommended waiting before making an employment decision.   view article arw

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is expected to announce a new order that restricts the movement in unincorporated Harris County as authorities work to fight the spread of COVID-19.  Additionally, ABC13 has confirmed the new restrictions will also apply to the city of Houston.   Amazon has confirmed that an employee at its Houston delivery station has tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon says the employee is receiving medical care and is in quarantine. The company has also reached out to employees at the site and asked for anyone who had close contact with this person to self-quarantine for 14 days. view article arw

LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Laredo Independent School District released a statement concerning an employee who tested positive for COVID-19 early Friday:  "Earlier today the City of Laredo Health Department notified the District that a second positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our community.  The patient is an employee at both the City of Laredo Parks and Recreation Department and Laredo ISD at Dovalina Elementary School. view article arw

According to Longview ISD, the school district trustees passed several measures regarding the ongoing CoVID-19 crisis during Monday’s meeting. First, the board says they unanimously approved an extension of leave and wage payments for employees while public schools are closed, and postponed board election to Nov. 3 following a proclamation Gov. Greg Abbott issued on March 18. view article arw

Kim McLaughlin has been named as the new assistant superintendent of school leadership and support for Allen ISD. She replaces Robin Bullock, who was named as Allen ISD superintendent of schools in January.  McLaughlin has served as Allen ISD’s executive director of school leadership in the same department since 2014. She previously served as principal of Ereckson Middle School, 2012-2014; Olson Elementary School, 2008 – 2012; Reed Elementary School, 2005 – 2008; and assistant principal at Bolin Elementary School, 2001 – 2005. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Independent School District board of trustees held a meeting on Thursday detailing what will happen to its campuses amid the coronavirus outbreak.  Six trustees participated via video conference, and one person called in by phone. Two trustees, along with interim superintendent Grenita Lathan, were at the meeting in-person. A few other staff members were also in the board room. The meeting was limited to only 10 people, following health guidelines. There was no public audience. view article arw

Texas policymakers pay close attention to student achievement outcomes in districts and intervene when districts persistently struggle. As a researcher who studies school improvement and principal turnover, I have seen firsthand how principals are the backbone of school improvement. They help raise student achievement, reduce student suspensions and create inclusive schools for students with disabilities and those who are English language learners. I have also seen how successful initiatives disappear when a principal leaves in less than three years. view article arw

In a letter sent to faculty, teachers and staff Tuesday morning, Beaumont ISD Superintendent Shannon Allen said the board would vote next week on ongoing payment during the pandemic.  “Our commitment is to keep our staff and students safe and healthy,” Allen said. “In order to do so, difficult decisions such as how to educate our kids during this national disaster must be made.” view article arw

With the coronavirus pandemic pushing Bexar County to extend school closures, Southwest Independent School District plans to continue paying its employees. The school board met Tuesday to pass a resolution that gives the superintendent the power to continue to compensate both hourly and salary employees, including teachers, bus drivers, maintenance workers and others. view article arw

Twenty-one Abilene ISD employees are self-quarantined after traveling outside of the United States. AISD staff says these employees, ranging from hourly staff to administrators, were not necessarily exposed to coronavirus, but are at risk due to spring break travel. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are doing our part to try and help flatten the curve and prevent any type of exposure or spread,” AISD staff explains. view article arw

Teachers and staff in Magnolia ISD with young children can look forward to a cheaper and more convenient day care option that was approved March 16 by the MISD board of trustees.  The day care facility is proposed to be built at the Magnolia Parkway Elementary campus, according to district information.  Assistant Superintendent for Administration Jason Bullock presented the idea to the board as a way the school district can provide more benefits to its employees. view article arw

Peter Greene writes here about the forgotten role of the principal and superintendent. It is not to promote misguided and harmful policies such as those that were central to No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, but to fight against them and to protect their staff as best they can against misguided mandates. For most of the past two decades, however, the folks at the top blew with the wind and went along with what they surely knew were very bad ideas. view article arw

ABILENE, Texas — The Abilene ISD Board of Trustees approved paying idle hourly employees during the coronavirus closure.  This includes teachers aides, custodians, school nutrition workers, bus drivers, and other hourly employees.  The district is closed this week and will decide by Wednesday whether to close next week.  The vote was taken Monday afternoon during an emergency meeting. view article arw

Plano ISD will continue to pay all regular employees during the upcoming school closures that are intended to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The board of trustees deliberated for more than two hours Sunday in closed session before approving the employee pay proposal. The resolution passed unanimously with little discussion in the portion of the meeting that was open to the public. view article arw

Early College High School principal Veronica Coss, who has been on leave since the fall, has resigned from her position, according to a letter the school district sent to parents Friday.  Coss has been under investigation since September, when Stephanie Martin, a former Early College teacher, publicly accused her of using racist slurs and denying access to accommodations to special education students.  Evelyn Nevarez, Coss’ former secretary, filed a report stating similar allegations in April. Both women said they left their jobs over Coss’ behavior. view article arw

A former Azleway employee was sentenced to 40 years in prison for stealing about $190,000 over a three-year period from the Boys’ Ranch for foster children.  Toni Marie Rambo, 64, of Troup, who was the director of quality control for the ranch until August 2018, was sentenced Thursday in the 114th District Court, according to Smith County judicial records.  She pleaded guilty on Feb. 21 to an enhanced charge of property theft between $150,000 and $300,000. The charge was enhanced because she is accused of stealing from a nonprofit organization, according to the arrest warrant. view article arw

No one puts more pressure on Copperas Cove ISD Director of Communications Wendy Sledd than she does herself.  Sledd is a tireless worker and leaves little to chance. She works to ensure things under her control are completed to the best of her ability so when those things that not in her control happen, they can be managed.  Sledd’s diligence paid off at the Texas School Public Relations Association Conference where she walked away with 15 state medals for the school district. The awards are very gratifying after Sledd experienced a computer crash last Spring that completely erased all of her documents and photos. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Clint Independent School District is hiring and to make things easier, it will host a job fair later this month.  The teacher job fair will be from 9 a.m. to noon on March 28 at Horizon High School, 14651 Horizon Blvd.  Principals from all Clint ISD campuses will be there to conduct interviews and accept resumes.  The starting salary of a teacher, even without experience, at Clint is $52,526. view article arw