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.

Download slides here.

CCMR and Accountability

Tisha Kolek, Region 13 coordinator of guidance services, kicked things off with a thorough recap of a recent accountability update from TEA. Tisha references a full video and additional info released by TEA. You can access these resources on the ESC Region 13 Accountability site. On August 17, 2020, the Performance Reporting division will release the following components related to accountability: 

  • Schools Identified for Improvement and Support 
  • CCMR Verifier 
  • CCMR Tracker 
  • Public Education Grant (PEG) List 
  • Postsecondary Outcomes Report 

These tools will be instrumental in setting goals and checking progress in the areas of college, career, and military readiness. To dig a little deeper into these changes, refer to the Accountability Manual. You’ll also want to think about making intentional data-driven programming decisions this year by putting thought into a well-developed needs assessment. Check out the summary of ideas that participants generated from this webinar – attendees shared many valuable initiatives, strategies, and programs that focus on improving CCMR goals.

COVID-19-Related Academy Updates

Our staff is working to update our Academy with relevant information related to COVID-19. Samantha Gonzalez from our content and resources team highlights the chart below and notes when you can expect our Academy modules to be updated:

Check out the updated Academy modules

New and Upcoming Resources from Texas OnCourse

Allison Rizzolo from our marketing and communications team also provided some tips and new resources for diving into an uncharted school year. 

Administrators can now download a free guide called Getting Started with Texas OnCourse. It contains eight easy steps to start adopting the Texas OnCourse programs at the district level. It also includes an overview of how our resources align with CCMR indicators, a calendar for professional development using the Texas OnCourse Academy, and a scope and sequence of our curriculum for various scenarios. 

We’ve collected insights and tips from our educator community throughout the spring and summer. Here are a few practical ways to engage with your students this new and (unfamiliar) school year:

1) Get visual. Informational graphics are great, but inspirational ones can really help your students too.

2) Let us do the legwork. Check out our weekly Facebook Live videos for quick summaries of need-to-know info.

3) Humanize with video. Make a short video to welcome your students back to school, or use Screencastify.

4) Help your colleagues help you. Our tools aren't just for counselors! Share the Academy with other educators.

5) Meet your students where they are. Use every channel available to communicate with students.

6) Repurpose content. Use lesson plans from our new College and Career Readiness Curriculum!

7) Look at your community. Connect with local groups to see if they’re doing virtual presentations on CCR topics.

View additional information and context in our recent blog post, Back to School Tips from Texas OnCourse. This blog post also includes a preview of additional resources arriving later this month.

Educators can also integrate the following tools into their schools, classrooms, or counseling offices to further support student engagement: 

  • Ten Creative Ways to Use The Academy: Think the Academy is just for counselors? Think again. From economics teachers and library staff to junior ROTC staff and coaches, the Academy can train just about everyone at your school.
  • COVID-19 Support for Students: Constantly updated resources to help your students achieve college and career readiness during COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 Support for Educators: Constantly updated resources and headlines from leading education authorities to keep you at the top of your game during COVID-19.
  • Middle School College and Career Curriculum: Fresh, new college and career readiness lesson plans that meet TEKS requirements, designed by Texas teachers, for Texas teachers. 


Topics: Webinar, Coronavirus, Distance Counseling and Learning