March 7, 2014

Recruitment Volunteer, Amanda Ortiz from Wayside Schools in Austin, greets students during the SXSWedu Expo on Wednesday.
charter news
Young computer programmers prepare for SXSWedu
By Bonnie Gonzalez; March 02, 2014

Eleven-year-old Amber Salazar explains how her game works. "These are background objects so you don't have to click on them," she said. Amber created the game herself and is quite proud of her programming skills-something she practices daily in class at East Austin College Prep. Read the article. 

El Paso Times Logo
Hunt hopes El Paso charter schools attract businesses
By Andrew Kreighbaum; March 01, 2014

Five months after it received initial approval to operate from the Texas Education Agency, charter school El Paso Leadership Academy has found its first major supporter. Hunt Cos. Chairman and CEO Woody Hunt hosted a reception for the school at the home of his son, Josh, on Wednesday night. Read the article.  

Group pushes for election to remake Dallas ISD as freer home-rule district
By Tawnell D. Hobbs; March 01, 2014

Dallas voters will be met at the polls Tuesday by petitioners seeking support for an effort that could radically change how the Dallas Independent School District is governed and operated. The petition is the first step in a move to make Dallas ISD a "home-rule school district." A 1995 state law allows a voter-approved charter to guide a district's operations and free it from some state rules. The Dallas effort would be the first use of the law in Texas. Read the article. 

statesman logo   

PolitiFact: Charter school's numbers almost as good as advertised
By W. Gardner Selby; March 05, 2014
Visiting a Rio Grande Valley school run by a Texas nonprofit, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott credited the program with thriving. The Rio Grande Guardian newspaper quoted Abbott, visiting IDEA Weslaco, as saying that through competition, IDEA Public Schools had forced nearby school districts to improve. The story said that Abbott "pointed out that 85 percent of IDEA students come from low-income families, many from colonias. However, about 99 percent go on to college."  Read the article.

The Texas Charter Schools Association Charter School Business Officer Certification (CSBOC) program takes the diverse, complex and ever changing responsibilities of a Charter Business Officer and creates an environment where you learn the responsibility, competencies and strategic vision to ensure your charter school is viable, stable, fiscally sound and has a foundation of continuous improvement and growth. The certification program is a combination of online courses, live training days, and documentation workshop days. All training classes are open to everyone and fulfill required credit hours. Trainings also count toward the program if you choose to pursue certification.   

2013-2014 TCSA Training Series Wraps Up in the Rio Grande Valley, (Edinburg)
April 28-30
Ignite Public Schools
4701 S. Sugar Road, Se. D
Edinburg, Texas  78539
For your convenience, a room block will be arranged for training attendees at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Pharr. Details and pricing will be provided as soon as we have finalized the contract.

Successful Leadership of Instructional Programs for Charter Schools, April 28, 2014; RGV
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (3) School Law, (3) Accountability to the Public)
$125 TCSA 2014 Member; $195 Non-member

Confirmed Faculty: Veronica Garcia, Maxine Longoria-Nash, and Eric Rodriguez (Walsh Anderson); TCSA Staff and Tenured Charter Operators

register now 
This session will equip charter school leaders and board members to design and implement curricula and strategic plans that enhance teaching and learning in direct alignment with a school's charter contract. The proper leadership culture at your charter school over instructional programs will promote the success of all students by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a charter school district culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.


Training Sponsored by:

Employment Law and Payroll Requirements for Charter Schools, April 29, 2014; RGV
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (2) School Law, (3) School Finance, (1) Accountability for Public Funds)
$125 TCSA 2014 Member; $195 Non-member
Confirmed Faculty:  Joe Hoffer
(Schulman Lopez Hoffer);
register now    
Employment Law and Payroll Requirements for Charter Schools
This session will equip charter school business and finance staff to proactively review the soundness of their current employee policies and procedures, including their payroll practices, to ensure compliance with state and federal requirements for charter schools. We will cover hot topic areas that have previously been a source for litigation and audit findings for charter schools and develop solutions to reduce the risk of those events in your school.

Training Series Sponsored by: 

Instructional Coaching and Leadership to Improve Student Achievement, April 30, 2014; RGV 
(6 Commissioner Hrs.: (3) School Law, (3) Accountability to the Public)
$225 TCSA 2014 Member; $375 Non-member 
Confirmed Faculty:
Kyle Seipp, Institute for Public School Initiatives, University of Texas at Austin 
This session will equip charter school officers, administrators, and teachers to implement principles of instructional coaching to facilitate and guide a school-based professional learning program for groups of teachers in specific content areas. These groups focus on the intersection of school and student needs and district reform initiatives with the goal of building a professional learning community that supports collective leadership, continuous improvement of teaching practice, and, ultimately, improved student learning.
register now
Attention vendor members! Sponsorship still available! Interested in connecting directly with charter school Superintendents, Chief Academic Officers, Principals, and Teachers?
Contact:  Erin Tholen at ph. 512.584.8272 ext.316 

Dallas: Starting a Charter School Beginner Workshop
April 9, 2014; 9am-5pm
A+ Charter Schools Conference Room
This one-day training session is designed for all persons thinking about applying for a charter school through the Commissioner of Education and the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE).This eight-hour training session aims to empower future charter leaders with knowledge for the development of a competitive charter application and an effective charter school. REGISTER 

FREE Webinar: So You're a Priority School, Now What? 
Under the Texas Education Waiver granted by the US Department of Education, several schools within your district may be designated as Focus or Priority Schools. These schools will be able to apply for and receive funding to help implement the seven critical factors of transformation. This webinar will discuss the next steps as well as services that TCSA will make available via an exciting new partnership to implement required improvements and meet TEA expectations. For more information about the identified focus and priority schools and the available funding, refer to the  TEA news release.
View the complete list of 2013-14 Priority and Focus schools.

FREE Webinar: What is the Texas Charter Parent Teacher Alliance?    
Tuesday, March 25, 2014; 10am to 11am REGISTER
OR Friday, March 28, 2014; 12pm to 1pm REGISTER

Join us for a webinar to learn more about the Texas Charter Parent Teacher Alliance  (TCPTA) and how it can help your school! Phase 2 of this statewide grassroots network pilot is launching and we want you on board. 2014 is the year we will build an army of support to advance the cause of public charter schools.  
What is the Texas Charter Parent Teacher Alliance?
The Texas Charter Schools Association is working with member schools to build a durable, sustainable campus based network of parents and supporters throughout Texas. For schools with active parent organizations it could become an extension of your existing group. Some schools are creating new TCPTAs as stand-alone organizations. Our mission is to build and mobilize a network of 6,000 parents and supporters in support of public charter schools. The Texas Legislature will return to the state Capitol in less than a year, and we need to be ready when they do.  

NAPCS logoFREE Webinar on Student Discipline -- Policy & Practices in Public Charter Schools
Tuesday, March 18, 2014  1pm
Please join the NAPCS for a master class webinar, in partnership with the National Charter School Resource Center, to learn about recently published Dept. of Education/ Dept. of Justice guidance on student discipline and related requirements for public charter schools. View a comprehensive overview and agenda.
register now
Houston Community College Seeks Charter School Management Partner
Houston Community College  is interested in understanding the level of interest from high-performing charter school educational partnership to create a Healthcare Career oriented charter high school within HCC's premier facility located in the Texas Medical Center. More specifically, HCC is interested in learning what organizations may be interested in leasing a portion of HCC's facility and providing the necessary educational management services to provide world class healthcare related teaching and learning environment focused on healthcare careers. HCC is issuing this  Request for Information Request  to known charter school management companies and asking respondents to explain how they might partner with HCC in reaching our goal. Responses shall be e-mailed to  Kerry Doucette, Procurement Supervisor by the submittal deadline of February 19, 2014 by 2:00 PM (local time).

Save the Date for Charter Summer Summit! 
The Network is sponsoring a state-wide Summit June 16-17, 2014, "Charting the Course."   This 1-1/2 day event features keynote speaker Mark McLeod and more than 45 breakout sessions on the standards of Operations, Finance, Governance, and Education. Charter school experts from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Charter School Association and Education Service Centers, as well as leaders of charters in Texas will provide timely and valuable professional development.

Registration is $50
and is now open
and includes a luncheon. REGISTER

For more information, please contact  
Melodie Wahlert. 
Financial Aid Saturdays, Central Texas 
The Financial Aid Saturdays Program provides FREE assistance to Central Texas high school seniors, prospective/current college students, and parents/guardians needing help to complete federal and state financial aid applications to fund college enrollment. The program is a key element of the Chamber's regional matriculation effort aiming to increase direct-to-college enrollment from 61 percent in 2010 to 70 percent by 2015 to ensure our region is able to meet future talent demands. REGISTER 

Help Us Thank A Million Teachers and Give A Million Dollars to Teachers
Farmers Insurance is giving away $2,500 grants to America's teachers and you can help!
Take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in your life and your community.   
Thank a teacher now. 
job post of the week
IDEA Public Schools
Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Job ID:  638802                   Application Deadline: Posted until Filled  
Posted: March 4, 2014      Starting Date: August 5, 2014

Job ID:  638792                  Application Deadline: Posted until Filled  
Posted: March 4, 2014      Starting Date: August 5, 2014

Job ID:  638782                  Application Deadline: Posted until Filled  
Posted: March 4, 2014      Starting Date: August 5, 2014

TEA logo

Middle School Students Taking Algebra I

Requirements for Awarding Credit and Appropriate Grade Placement
Read the letter.

Instructional Materials Allotment Certification and Access to EMAT(1)  

Read the letter. 


House Bill 5 Resources from Region 4  

Read the letter. 


NCLB Highly Qualified Teachers -- 6th Grade Teachers
Read the letter.

New SC5010 for All Charters, State Schools
Deadline: 4/7/14 
Read the letter.
2013-2014 Data Validation Monitoring
Deadline: 4/9/2014
Read the letter.