Registration deadline for 2014 Winter Governance
Preregistration closes February 20 for TASB's 2014 Winter Governance and Legal Seminar. The conference is set for February 27–March 1 at the Omni Hotel in Corpus Christi. This year's program includes more than 50 training sessions covering a variety of topics, as well as a new series of sessions titled "In Your Backyard." Read more
Final Grassroots Meetings to be held
The 2014 Grassroots Meetings wrap up February 26, with the final meetings in Regions 2, 6, 7, 8, and 11 scheduled in the next week. The meetings provide a platform for TASB members to determine the legislative issues of greatest importance to the districts in their region. The sessions are free, and dinner is provided at no cost. Registration is requested to ensure enough meeting materials are prepared. Check the Grassroots schedule
Share your input on possible board training rule changes
At its April meeting, the State Board of Education will review possible changes to its rule on school board member continuing education. Among the changes being considered is increasing the number of continuing education hours required for experienced board members, over and above the required team-building session, from five hours annually (current rule) to eight hours annually. The SBOE also is considering requiring experienced trustees to repeat the Orientation to the Texas Education Code after re-election. TASB wants to know what you think about these possible changes; take our short survey
to help us gauge the thoughts of local board members.
Preparing for May elections
Election deadlines are quickly approaching. For districts preparing for the May 10 elections, February 28 is the deadline for ordering a general election, for candidate filing, and for declaration of write-in candidacy. TASB Legal Services has prepared a memo
addressing all of the key deadlines and requirements, as well as joint elections, cancellation of elections, post-election issues, and more. Additional election-related resources are available in TASB School Law eSource under Governance>Elections
Resources for school board candidates
What are the duties of a school board member? What is it like to be on a board? School board candidates have lots of questions, and TASB has a wealth of information to help them learn about the job of a board member. Beginning this month, candidates are invited to attend a free webinar designed to help individuals learn more about the work of a trustee. Read more
Join TASB for the NSBA Texas Breakfasts
Texas trustees attending the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Annual Conference are invited to join TASB for a complimentary breakfast. The Texas Breakfasts will be held Saturday, April 5, and Sunday, April 6, 7–8:30 a.m., at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The 2014 NSBA conference is scheduled for April 5–7 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Read more
Loss Prevention Grant: Reduce losses and raise safety awareness
March 21 is the deadline to apply for the 2014 Loss Prevention Grant. Members of the TASB Risk Management Fund's Workers' Compensation pool coverage, Property, and Auto programs are eligible. Awarded annually, the grant provides an opportunity for members to reduce losses and protect staff from on-the-job injuries. Recipients will be awarded up to $4,000 to help pay for approved equipment, services, and training. The grant application and criteria are available online
Submission process for Convention programs now open
Share your district's initiative or success story at the 2014 TASA/TASB Convention. Applications for breakout sessions
are due March 31. Sessions focus on an array of topics, including board/superintendent teamwork; curriculum and instruction; district governance/leadership; finance, operations, and facilities; school law/legislative; and technology. This year's conference is set for September 26–28 in Dallas.
New Model Student Handbook to be released
The 2014–15 edition of the Model Student Handbook
will be available in English on March 18 and in Spanish on March 28. Superintendents, superintendent secretaries, and policy contacts can retrieve the handbook through myTASB
. Campus administrators should contact their superintendents to get copies of the latest versions.
Fund Members' Conference celebrates 40 years of service
The TASB Risk Management Fund's Members' Conference is set for March 30–April 1 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin. The 2014 conference is particularly special as the Fund celebrates 40 years of service to public education. Read more
TASB websites undergoing changes
Later this month, tasb.org
is moving. This move is part of TASB's transition to a new content management system (CMS)—the software that houses our website files. While this is happening behind-the-scenes, there are a couple of things you need to know. Read more
Policy update set for March release
Policy Update 99 is currently in production. TASB Policy Service will mail packets to districts beginning in mid-March. The Update includes several local policies, including board attorney (BDD), administrative regulations (BP), safety program/risk management (CK), credit by examination (EHDC), and freedom from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation (FFH). Details on the Update are available online
Save the date: Spring workshops begin April 9
TASB's annual spring training workshops are right around the corner. This year's schedule runs April 9–May 21 with locations throughout Texas. The training sessions feature topics selected by area school board members. For a complete schedule, visit the Spring Workshops web page
Nominate your local reporters for Media Honor Roll
Join TASB in recognizing local reporters for their fair and balanced reporting of news about public schools. TASB's annual Medial Honor Roll honors representatives in print, radio, television, and online media. Deadline for nominations is April 1. Program details are available online
New model job descriptions posted
Ten new model job descriptions, as well as a job description development worksheet, have been added to the TASB HR Services library. The models now include the specific exemption test (or tests) used to qualify a position as exempt. HR Services also reorganized and expanded the physical and mental demands and environmental factors and changed the signature section to document HR review and employee receipt of job description. HR Services members can access the documents in myTASB
Bad weather waivers due in March
The Texas Education Agency is asking school districts and charters seeking waivers for bad weather days
to submit their requests in March. This timeframe allows the full impact of winter weather to be assessed by school districts and charters on their 2013–14 school year calendars. Waiver requests submitted to the agency will be reviewed by the commissioner of education. If a district receives a lost-instructional day waiver, it does not lose any state funding for that day.
TASA accepting honor board nominations
The nominations process for the 2014 School Board Awards Program is under way. Presented by the Texas Association of School Administrators, the awards recognize school boards whose dedication and ethical service have made a positive impact on the schoolchildren of Texas. District submissions
are due to the regional education service centers by June 30. From the regional selections, five honor boards and one outstanding board will be named at the TASA/TASB Convention set for September in Dallas.
District and board finalists named in Excellence in Education Awards
Seven school districts, five early childhood facilities, and five public school boards have been named finalists for H-E-B's 2014 Excellence in Education Awards program. Each regional finalist in the large district, early childhood, and school board categories will receive $5,000; the two finalists in the small district category will receive $2,500. Read more
SBOE gives final approval to new graduation program
The State Board of Education has given final approval
to the state's new high school graduation program, providing students added flexibility to follow academic interests. Last year, the Texas Legislature created the new 22-credit Foundation High School Program, which allows students to earn performance acknowledgments and four-credit endorsements in specific subjects, but left decisions about many details of the plan to the SBOE. The final program will be posted on the Texas Education Agency's Website
in the coming weeks.