Asset Framing: Tell the Story of Your Students’ Aspirations, Not Their Deficits

Posted by Communications Coordinator Rose Frezza on Jun 23, 2020 6:14:52 PM

Trabian Shorters, best-selling author, social entrepreneur, and leading authority on diversity and inclusion, has been working for years to help foundations and nonprofits change the stories they tell about the communities they support. Many philanthropic organizations start with the challenge or the problem first – “tales of deficit and despair,” as Shorters describes. But this sort of approach stigmatizes communities, contributes to further stereotyping, and can often make change seem impossible. 

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Topics: Professional Development, Administrators, Distance Counseling, Diversity and Inclusion

Taking the Lead and Adapting for 2020–2021 and Beyond

With the pandemic forcing school closures, education adjusted. Educators adapted. Students and their families adapted. Then George Floyd, who was raised in Houston, was murdered in another instance of police brutality against black people. Our nation and the world responded to this latest instance of systemic racism with historic protests. 

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Administrators, Distance Counseling

Supporting College-Bound Seniors During COVID-19

As we approach the end of an unpredictable school year, we applaud you and all the other educators who stepped up to meet the needs of their students, staff, and families during the COVID-19 crisis. Your efforts and dedication have been truly amazing. 

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Topics: College Planning, Administrators, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling

Six Tips for Implementing Effective PD from Northwest ISD

Posted by Texas OnCourse on May 20, 2020 1:13:06 PM

This year, educators around the state are seeing normal PD schedules disrupted or challenged by COVID-19 restrictions. And many schools and districts are turning to remote PD for the first time.

Northwest ISD, a quickly growing district in Dallas-Fort Worth, has been using the Texas OnCourse Academy to provide virtual lessons to their college and career staff for the past couple of years. Here are some tips that they’ve utilized for implementing professional development along the way. Find more tips and tools like this in our new remote PD toolkit.

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Topics: Professional Development, Administrators, Distance Learning

Administrator Support for Decision Making during COVID-19

COVID-19 has required school administrators to implement necessary school closures and remote learning. In fact, all educators – principals, counselors, and teachers alike – are redefining their roles. With so many new needs from the field, the Texas Education Agency has responded swiftly with extensive guidance and updates. In this edition of the Strategist, we highlight several such items that are important for school leaders.

Due to COVID-19, TEA has cancelled STAAR testing for the remainder of the school year and adjusted our state’s A–F Accountability System. For the 2019–20 school year, TEA proposes to label all districts and campuses Not Rated: Declared State of Disaster. College, career, and military readiness data will be reported only on TEA reports such as Texas Academic Performance Reports. It will not be used in ratings calculations for the 2019–2020 school year. 

In just one month, we have shifted from an accountability mindset to focus on student equity and access to remote learning opportunities. Below we highlight some of the key changes that will undoubtedly impact the decisions you make as an administrator through the rest of the 2019–2020 school year.

As schools adjust to remote learning, administrators will create new connections among their students, staff, and community of families. Now more than ever, leaders are evolving and adapting to ensure that students are successful.

Texas OnCourse Support

Texas OnCourse is here to support you and your team in these uncertain times. While best practices may not yet be established, we would like to hear how your leadership team is approaching this unprecedented challenge. Our goal is to share ideas and lessons learned. No one need be alone in leading our districts through this severe disruption to education. Please take two minutes and tell us about your team's leadership during COVID-19. 

Share your experiences

As ever, Texas OnCourse’s professional development and curriculum resources are free and available online. Additionally, our team has created and organized valuable resources for Texas educators and their students specific to  COVID-19. Check out these links and share with your staff:

Covid-19 Resource Roundup for Students

Videos, digital handouts, career assessments, and more for educators to share directly with students while the school doors are closed. We’ll be updating this page with new resources regularly, including a short video series we’re producing in the coming weeks. 

Covid-19 Resource Roundup for Educators

Resources for remote advising and current information from all major Texas education agencies and education service providers. Regularly updated with new links.

Open Discussion: Sharing Practices for Supporting Your Students during COVID-19 Webinar

Over 600 educators registered for this webinar, held live April 7. In it, we and our community of educators shared important updates and practices on working with students at this time. If some of you were able to join us, thank you for participating! Here is access to our webinar recording. We consider it one of our best.  

Additional Resources

TEA Website for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance

This webpage from TEA has general public health resources, superintendent debriefs, and more.

Cybersecurity Tips and Tools (PPT) 

This informational presentation from March 24 covers cybersecurity challenges with a remote workforce.

COVID-19 Mental & Behavioral Health Grief & Trauma Informed Virtual Support and Statewide Resources List (PDF)

It is important to recognize that students and their families may be struggling with stress, anxiety, grief, and loss. This PDF includes a list of statewide resources that can help schools connect families with specific resources as needs are identified.

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Administrators, Coronavirus

TEA Accountability Score Updates: COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Apr 15, 2020 4:48:00 PM

You’ve likely seen the changes to the August 2020 accountability ratings, but in case you missed it, formal ratings for all Texas school districts will be labeled “not-rated” due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 emergency. College, career, and military readiness data will be reported only on TEA reports such as Texas Academic Performance Reports. It will not be used in ratings calculations for the 2019-2020 school year.

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Administrators, Coronavirus

The CCMR Outcomes Bonus

Texas OnCourse regularly includes updates on the CCMR Outcomes Bonus and other important accountability topics in our monthly newsletter. Sign up for the strategist to get information straight to your inbox.

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In 2019, the state legislature passed House Bill 3, the school finance bill. Among other items, the bill allocates funding to improve college, career, and military readiness for all students. This funding is known as the CCMR Outcomes Bonus.

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Topics: Administrators

Building Effective Dual Credit Programs

Across the state, we’ve seen significant growth in the number of students taking dual credit or dual enrollment courses while in high school. Dual credit coursework is used as a college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) indicator in 2019 accountability calculations across all three domains. Students who complete three college credit hours in English language arts or mathematics, or nine college credit hours in any subject area, earn CCMR credit.

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Topics: Administrators

Strategies for Demonstrating Intent to Enlist

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Nov 20, 2019 4:08:00 PM

Military enlistment has long been a viable postsecondary option for students. Now, enlistment in the armed forces counts as a college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) indicator in Texas’ new A–F accountability system.

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Topics: Grad Requirements, Jobs and Careers, Administrators

Understanding Your Role in A-F Accountability

Posted by Leader Fellow Jenny Patrick on Oct 22, 2019 4:06:00 PM

“Snapshot.” This word means so much more than a carefully crafted Instagram photo with a wrinkle-reducing filter. On October 25, 2019, districts across Texas will hold their breath as data is extracted from PEIMS (Public Education Information Management Systems) that will ultimately determine their A–F accountability rating in the form of a snapshot showing “everything as it is today."

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Educators, Administrators