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

We Commit to Supporting Racially Just Systems and Practices

Posted by Texas OnCourse on Jun 4, 2020 4:49:25 PM

On this National Day of Mourning, let’s be forthright. This has been a hard couple of weeks to try to go on with business as usual for us on staff at Texas OnCourse. We mourn with you, with the nation, and with the world over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others who may never be named. George Floyd was raised in Houston. Maybe you knew him. Maybe you taught him. Maybe he was your neighbor, your relative, your student’s relative. Maybe you or your students knew Mike Ramos, Atatiana Jefferson, Botham Jean. Maybe this experience is dredging up past memories and traumas. We recognize that this is a difficult week for you, during a difficult year. We are deeply saddened, we are angry, we worry for the future of all our black and brown children. But we also have hope.

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Topics: Professional Development, Data and Accountability, Research, Educators, Distance Counseling

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

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

Making an Impact: Use Your Funds for CCMR Outcomes

Across the state, administrators are learning more about the intricacies of the A-F Accountability System and what it means for our students and schools. As Texas’ college and career readiness experts, we’re excited to bring you timely updates, such as what districts with excellent outcomes can do with their financial bonuses.

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Finances, Administrators

Breaking Down Campus Accountability Scores

Posted by Texas OnCourse Communications Coordinator Rose Frezza on Aug 22, 2019 3:54:00 PM

It’s back to school with an immediate dive into accountability ratings. While there have been several versions of accountability ratings through TEA in the last fifteen years, this is the first year that individual campuses and districts have received an A–F score. We want to support your campus and district goals when it comes to the new scoring standard so that you can continue to implement quality instructional strategies.

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Topics: Data and Accountability, Administrators