April 1 SGS Newsletter

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System of Great Schools Newsletter

April 1, 2021

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District Spotlights

This spring, SGS Districts are welcoming families with new and improved school choice systems, designed to help families discover high-quality, best-fit schools in their communities. Highlights include:

Grand Prairie hosted the virtual school choice Experience with exhibit halls for families to explore all their options,

Victoria welcomed families to a virtual expo. to learn about their choices,

Garland and Edgewood produced intro. videos to help parents navigate the application process,

Aldine piloted and Midland expanded their school finder and enrollment tools,

San Antonio updated their comprehensive school choice website, including a page to help families find the instructional model that best-fits their interests and needs.


CIO Workshop 5: Chief Innovation Officers will 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.

Summit 2021: Please save the date for our 5th Annual System of Great Schools Virtual Summit! Our theme this year is Delivering the Schools Families Want, Need, and Deserve. Download a calendar item to save June 22-23, 2021 on your calendar:

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 Updates & Opportunities

School Action Fund: School Actions are bold strategies districts can take to create, redesign, or restart schools that meet the unique needs of their communities. Summary info., including an overview of models and the timeline, is available at CenterforSchoolActions.org. Detailed info. is posted on the TEA Grant Website. Due dates are linked below:

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NACSA & NWEA Roundtable: Building on their Renewal Community Conversation, NACSA is hosting an Expert Roundtable with NWEA on Thursday, April 15 at 11:00 am. Register here. This event will help authorizers learn how to use additional indicators of student learning in a less than normal year.


 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.

Virtual & Hybrid School Accelerator (VHSA): LEAs interested in designing and launching a full-time virtual or hybrid school in SY21-22 are invited to join the Virtual and Hybrid School Accelerator. The application is due April 23; four webinar opportunities are listed in the Dates & Deadlines section.

Late Breaking School Action Update! We're excited to announce a new cycle 5 school action: new district-managed space school. It's a new school, but in space. Lubbock ISD's leadership was highly impressed with last fall's launch of Commander McCool Academy, and effectively advocated that TEA take the school action to new heights.

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Network News

Ector County ISD's board voted to expand Austin Montessori, a choice school.

Congrats to Principal Residency Grantees! Ector County, Grand Prairie, Lubbock, and PSJA were among grantees building campus leader pipelines.

Garland ISD completed a virtual school parent survey for 2021-22, and will soon begin North Texas' first summer intersession.

Longview ISD's new Asst. Supt. of Business, Dr. Guidry, provided an interview on top priorities and concluded, "The biggest thing I’ve learned about this charter partnership is we’ve pushed decision-making to the level where teaching and learning is taking place."

Garland ISD is hiring an Executive Innovation Officer.

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Dates & Deadlines

May 11 & 13: SGS Workshop 5

April 8: SAF webinar at 11:00 am (Register)

April 8: VHSA webinar at 11:00 am. (Register)

April 13: VHSA webinar at 9:00 am. (Register)

April 15: NACSA & NWEA Roundtable (Register)

April 15: VHSA webinar at 2:00 pm. (Register)

April 19: VHSA webinar at 10:00 am. (Register)

April 29: SAF Intent to Apply due: Planning or Implementation

May 13: SAF Application Due