March 4 SGS Newsletter

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System of Great Schools Newsletter

March 4, 2021

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From the Support Team

Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) Workshops: Fifteen districts serving 420,000 students gathered for our March Workshop today, which was focused on multi-year projects, including building systems that support and strengthen enrollment, finance, authorizing, and talent pipelines. 

The thoughtful presentation of Workshops has been the most effective way the TEA has helped our district implement the SGS Strategy.

We'll gather for our fifth Workshop on May 11th and 13th to reflect on the 2020-21 school year, finalize campus pre-opening monitoring plans, and discuss key milestones for the next 3 - 5 years.

SGS Network application deadline extended! We know this semester has been especially challenging given the recent weather emergency. Given this, we are extending the SGS Network application deadline by one week to Tuesday, March 16.

A final webinar for interested districts will occur on Friday, March 5th at noon. Interested district leaders can sign up here or email to talk to our team.

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 Updates & Opportunities

Public Health Guidance & Covid-19 Vaccine: Gov. Abbott's March 2nd Executive Order lifts the order on masks. As a result, TEA updated its Public Health Guidance. Under updated guidance, a public school system’s current practices on masks may continue unchanged. Local school boards have full authority to determine their local mask policy. TEA also updated surface cleaning requirements.

Additionally and effective immediately, the Dept. of State Health Services announced that educators and school support staff are eligible for vaccines. This includes all persons who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, and licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers. More info here.


 Grants & Resources

The following grant opportunities may help districts provide the schools that students and families want and need. For more details on state grants, see the TEA Grant Opportunities Page.

New School Venture Fund Grant opened a grant opportunity today for schools launching fall 2021. Applications due March 31. NSVF encourages districts and Latino leaders to apply.

TEA School Improvement: Districts with comprehensive or targeted schools have a new opportunity to apply for or decline school improvement funding and support. The letter of interest is due by March 10.

The Lone Star Governance Annual Board Cohort Letter of Interest deadline has been extended to March 19th. Participation expenses reimbursed, up to $10,000 in year one.

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Network News

Beaumont ISD is partnering with Green Dot to operate King Middle. Parent Gayla Young shared her optimism: “I am so excited about my child attending King now."

Ector County ISD is partnering with Third Future to operate Ector Middle.

Victoria ISD is partnering with UT Health to launch an early childhood education campus.

Edgewood ISD is partnering with A&M San Antonio to create a STEAM Zone as part of a continued effort bring educational choice to EISD parents and families.

Garland ISD is hiring an Executive Innovation Officer.

MAYA is hiring a Contract Consultant.

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Dates & Deadlines

March 5: SGS Webinar 3 (updated)

March 10: LOI for School Improvement due.

March 16: SGS applications due. (updated)

March 19: Lone Star Governance Letter of Interest due. (updated)

March 31: NSVF grant deadline for schools opening fall 2021.

May 11 & 13: SGS Workshop 5