COVID-19 Update: Free PD for Teachers during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Aug 21, 2020 1:52:38 PM

This week: we’re talking about free PD for teachers during COVID-19 from OnRamps and TEA, and a financial aid update from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

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Topics: Educators, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning

Webinar: Gearing Up for Back to School during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Aug 11, 2020 1:51:13 PM

In our first monthly webinar of the 2020–2021 school year, over 375 educators from across the state registered to tap into an open discussion on back to school during COVID-19. We covered CCMR updates and tools for accountability, data-driven strategies for programs, and Texas OnCourse resources that can enhance remote teaching, counseling, and advising practices.

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Topics: Webinar, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning

Supporting Seniors Who Are College Bound 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 and Learning

Submitting a Financial Aid Appeal during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on May 19, 2020 3:39:03 PM

Many of your students have likely experienced changes to their personal and family income. These changes can affect expected family contribution, so your students may need help submitting a financial aid appeal during COVID-19. 

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Topics: Applying to College, Finances, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning

Implicit Bias and College Advising

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Apr 29, 2020 4:29:06 PM

In the field of education, many of us are well-versed in the differences between explicit and implicit bias. Yet we may not have had candid conversations with ourselves and others about what we can and should do daily to ensure equity in college access; in particular, how to reduce implicit bias in today's virtual college advising setting.

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Topics: Professional Development, College Planning, Educators, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning

How to Choose a College during COVID-19

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Apr 28, 2020 5:29:59 PM

The college admissions process of 2020 will go down in history books. Campus visits have been canceled. Individual and family financial circumstances are up in the air. Many colleges have moved their admissions decision deadline to June 1. So how on earth can educators guide their students on how to choose a college during COVID-19? Read on for four tips below:

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Topics: College Planning, Educators, Coronavirus, High School, Distance Counseling and Learning

Video: Tips for High School Seniors to Finish Strong

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Apr 28, 2020 3:53:56 PM

[UPDATED May 2021] College-bound high school seniors have a big transition ahead of them. In addition to choosing their college, they’ll need to keep track of financial aid deadlines, make housing plans, and schedule orientation. We compiled the top five ways high school seniors can stay on track through the end of high school and into the summer to have a stellar freshman year.

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Topics: College Planning, Coronavirus, High School, Distance Counseling and Learning

Preparing Eighth Graders for High School

Posted by Rose Frezza, Texas OnCourse on Apr 28, 2020 3:46:46 PM

[UPDATED May 2021] The 2020-21 academic year has been unlike any other for students around the world. In particular, students making big transitions in the fall (like entering high school as a freshman!) are facing unique challenges.

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Topics: Middle School, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning

School 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 resources for school administrator support during COVID-19.

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.

Staying On Course for College and Career during COVID-19

Everything educators need to know about helping students stay on course for post secondary success during COVID-19.

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: CCMR and Accountability, Administrators, Coronavirus

Tips for Teaching Online during COVID-19, from Educators Like You

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Apr 21, 2020 11:07:08 PM

Strengthen your online teaching abilities by learning from other educators! Lisa Shaw and Julie Stavropoulos share tips for teaching online during COVID-19 below. Lisa is currently Texas OnCourse’s implementation coordinator and formerly a CTE educator. Julie is currently Texas OnCourse’s curriculum and instruction writer and formerly an English teacher. 

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Topics: Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning