April 15 SGS Newsletter

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System of Great Schools Newsletter

April 15, 2021

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From the DSSI Team


We are excited (but also a little sad) to announce that Marian Schutte has been appointed as the next Director of Charter School Administration at TEA! In her time as our division's director, she helped district leaders execute 150 school actions benefiting 85,000 students and grew the SGS Network to 20 districts serving 550,000 students. She has been a tireless, visionary, and bold advocate for Texas children and families. We are grateful for her leadership and are excited for the Charter School Division team.

We are also excited to introduce Megha Kansra as the next Director of the Division of System Support and Innovation! She will begin serving as the new DSSI Director next Monday, April 19th. Many of you have already had the opportunity to work with Megha through her leadership of the Resilient Schools Support Program, and that program will join DSSI, as will the Virtual School Hybrid Accelerator. Megha brings incredible experience into this role and we look forward to everything we will accomplish together for Texas students.

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.

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Summit 2021: Please save June 22-23, 2021 for our 5th Annual SGS Virtual Summit! Add to calendar:

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 Updates & Opportunities

Updated 1882 Timeline in 2022: TEA has updated the timeline for 1882 benefits: applications for benefits that begin in the 2022-23 school year are due March 31, 2022. Applications for benefits that begin in 2023-24 school year are due December 16, 2022. Link includes details, including for early bird webinars.

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To Renew or Not Renew? Join NACSA for an interactive scenario-based session to practice the work of reviewing a school’s performance and make renewal recommendations based on an incomplete data set.


 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.

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:

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 Friday, April 23; four webinar opportunities are listed in the Dates & Deadlines section.

TEA School Improvement: Districts with comprehensive or targeted schools have a new opportunity to apply for or decline school improvement funding and support. The application is due Wednesday, April 21.

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Network News

Midland ISD's YWLA is expanding to 9th grade this fall, and Dr. Ramsey kicked off a series of community stakeholder meetings.

Ector County ISD is planning to launch an ACE-model campus this fall, and their school leader gave an extended interview on the model.

Lubbock ISD's dual language PK program at Harwell is creating opportunities for all native speakers to learn English and Spanish.

Longview ISD was awarded a 2021 Magna Award by the National School Boards Assn. for their Montessori instruction, and LISD is hosting a conversation with Dr. Wilcox.

Victoria ISD Supt. Shepherd applies 2 coaching principles to virtual learning: focus practice on the performance gap and don't mistake activity for progress.

Garland ISD is hiring an Executive Innovation Officer.

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Dates & Deadlines

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

April 21: School Improvement application due

April 23: VHSA application due

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

May 11 & 13: SGS Workshop 5

May 13: SAF Application Due

June 22-23: SGS Summit