Foster business support for your district and schools
Join the collaborative conversation at the first-ever Business/Education Forum on April 28 in Austin. School trustees, superintendents, and business and community leaders will gather to discuss the most effective approaches to partnering for student success. Bring a business as your guest, and you both attend for free!
Congratulations to the Student Video Contest winners!
Students from more than 100 campuses shared their creative talents and the story of what makes their schools great in the 2014–15 “Texas Public Schools Rock!” Student Video Contest. The votes have been tallied, and six schools were selected as winners. The TASB prize patrol is hitting the road this month to deliver the awards.
Spring workshops in full swing
It's time to grow and learn at the 2015 spring workshops. This year's training runs through May 27 at 16 locations throughout Texas. Workshops are held in conjunction with education service centers, state colleges and universities, and area school boards associations. To find the location nearest you, visit the Spring Workshops web page
New advocacy resources
Tired of hearing about the state's failing schools? The School Accountability issue brief
demonstrates how districts have dealt with significant changes to the accountability system over the past decade and have succeeded in meeting those challenges. In addition, the updated Report on School District Mandates: Cost Drivers in Public Education
identifies Texas statutes that contribute significantly to the rising costs of public education and are not specifically supported by the state. School officials are encouraged to share these documents and continue to dialogue with their legislative representatives.
Final call for Superintendent of the Year
May 15 is the deadline to nominate your district's chief administrator for the 2015 Superintendent of the Year award. The annual award recognizes Texas superintendents for achievement and excellence in public school administration. The entry must be submitted to your regional education service center.
Share how your district is recognizing supporters
The list of businesses and community groups that are standing up for Texas public schools is growing. To date, almost 500 names have been submitted for TASB's business recognition program. There is still time to add your district's supporters to this year's list.
Make plans to attend Summer Leadership Institute
Registration and housing are open for the 2015 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI). TASB's annual training conference is scheduled June 11–13 in San Antonio and June 18–20 in Fort Worth. This year's Institute will feature the TASB Post-Legislative Conference the Wednesday evening before SLI: June 10 in San Antonio and June 17 in Fort Worth.
Update to Financial Responsibility Guide
"School District Audits,"
an article in the Financial Responsibility Guide, was recently updated by TASB Legal Services. This article reviews the requirements of conducting an audit and offers valuable information regarding the selection of an auditor. The Financial Responsibility Guide
, found in TASB School Law eSource, offers guidance on fundamental financial information crucial to every school district, including school finance, budget and tax rate adoption, financial accountability, monitoring the district’s financial health, avoiding fraud and financial impropriety, and more.
Submit a resolution for TASB’s Advocacy Agenda
The call for resolutions is now under way. Districts are invited to submit new or revised resolutions for the 2014–16 TASB Advocacy Agenda. Resolutions help form TASB's responses to issues during the legislative biennium. Trustees should review the current Advocacy Agenda for examples and to avoid duplicating current resolutions. Submission deadline is July 1.
News from Policy Service
The 2015–16 edition of the Model Student Handbook
is now available in English and Spanish. Superintendents, superintendent secretaries, and policy contacts can retrieve the handbook through myTASB. Campus administrators should contact their superintendents to get a copy.
Plaques available for recognition
The end of the school year is near, and soon it will be time for the annual awards celebrations. Plaques are a common way for districts to recognize the education contributions of trustees, staff members, students, and community members. A variety of awards
are available from the TASB Store. Please allow three weeks for order processing and delivery.
Site provides outreach opportunity for districts
Looking to boost your district's website content and build strong relationships with the parents in your community? Link to and share MyTexasPublicSchool.org
. A free resource for school districts, the site is designed specifically for parents of students new to Texas public schools, providing answers to commonly asked questions. To make sharing the site easy, TASB has created web artwork (badges) in various sizes
. Districts can place these images on their websites with a link to mytexaspublicschool.org
TASA looking for outstanding school boards
The nominations process for the 2015 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 October in Austin.
Irving named AP District of the Year
Irving ISD received top honors in the College Board's 2015 AP District of the Year awards
. The district won the medium-sized category and will receive a $10,000 scholarship to use at its discretion in continuing to build out its AP program. Irving was one of 547 school districts that achieved placement on the 5th Annual AP District Honor Roll
, which included 29 Texas districts. From this list, the College Board selected three AP Districts of the Year—small, medium, and large—based on an analysis of three academic years of AP data.
Texas graduation rates continue to surpass national averages
The latest figures released by the US Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) show that the Texas Class of 2013 high school graduation rate was 88 percent, outpacing the national rate of 81.4 percent. This marks the third consecutive year that the state's high school graduation rate exceeded the national average.
More schools added to early college designation
Forty-four Texas high schools
have received the Early College High School (ECHS) designation
for the 2015–16 school year. Texas now has 154 ECHS campuses across the state. These innovative schools allow students least likely to attend college an opportunity to earn a high school diploma and either an associate degree or at least 60 college credit hours toward a baccalaureate degree.
Texas schools selected for Magna Awards
Two Texas school districts received honors in the American School Board Journal
) 2015 Magna Awards program
. Valley View ISD was selected as a first-place winner in the under 5,000 enrollment category, and Humble ISD earned first in the over 20,000 enrollment category. The awards were presented during the National School Boards Association's Annual Conference held March 21–23 in Nashville, and the winners are highlighted in a special supplement to the April issue of ASBJ
April 16 deadline for Student Heroes Award
The State Board of Education (SBOE) now is accepting nominations for the inaugural Student Heroes Award, a new student recognition program approved by the board in February. The Student Heroes awards program recognizes Texas public school students in prekindergarten through high school who do outstanding things to benefit their fellow students.
Nominations open for 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year
School districts are invited to highlight their best educators in the 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year awards program. The program annually recognizes and rewards teachers who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in teaching. Texas Teacher of the Year is the highest state honor for educators.
SBOE awards program honors school volunteers
The State Board of Education (SBOE) is accepting nominations for the 2015 Heroes for Children Award. This annual award recognizes public school volunteers who have been strong advocates for Texas schoolchildren. Volunteers may be nominated by individual persons or by organizations. Educational employees, elected government officials, and organizations are not eligible to be nominated. Deadline for nominations is May 29; the application form is available online
Free teaching resources available online
The Texas General Land Office's (GLO) education website
has been redesigned and streamlined to offer education resources in one place for teachers and students. The site currently includes lesson plans focused on Texas history and coastal stewardship that directly support Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) requirements. The GLO plans to post additional lesson plans, activities, and other offerings in the future.