ATPE News Magazine

Winter 2020 | Volume 41 | Issue 2

In our main feature, two families explain the thinking that led them down two different paths for the 2020-21 school year, and school districts and community organizations share their innovative solutions for helping families during the pandemic. As the 87th Texas Legislature approaches, we lay out our preparations and legislative priorities. Learn how individuals and organizations across the state are doing their part to close the digital gap. This issue also includes two special sections: how to stay involved in the political process after an election ends and an explanation of how federal, state, and local entities play a role in determining school policies during COVID-19. The Learning Curve column returns as University of Texas scholars delve into augmented reality opportunities available to educators. Plus, get answers to some of the most common questions about the legality and best practices surrounding remote-instruction platforms. ATPE member Jennifer Orona shares insights about her school’s experience with face-to-face instruction during the pandemic in Members Speak. Understand how your feedback helps ATPE and policymakers learn more about your experiences and concerns and how that shapes policy. Finally, get cozy with this issue’s Brain Break.

Contents

Features

A Tale of Two Kindergartners

A Tale of Two Kindergartners

Anthony and Barret were both poised to start kindergarten at their neighborhood schools this fall. Then COVID-19 hit. Their parents explain the thinking that led them down two very different paths. Plus: How school districts and community organizations are finding innovative solutions to help families during the pandemic.
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The Zoom Legislature: ATPE Prepares for a Session Unlike Any Other

The Zoom Legislature: ATPE Prepares for a Session Unlike Any Other

As we approach the 87th Texas Legislature, we only know one thing for sure: This session will not look like anything we’ve experienced before. Take a peek at ATPE’s legislative priorities and how we’re preparing to advocate for you.
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A Hot Spot for Connectivity Problems

A Hot Spot for Connectivity Problems

In a state as large and diverse as Texas, getting and staying connected is key. Unfortunately, many Texans lack reliable devices and internet connectivity at home. Learn how individuals and organizations across the state are doing their part to close the digital gap.
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Special Section

Staying Involved Beyond Your Vote

Staying Involved Beyond Your Vote

The 2020 general election is over. Now what? Stay engaged, stay active! No matter how you feel about the election results, there are many ways to continue making a difference and ensure your voice is heard on important issues facing Texas public education.
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Who’s Really Calling the Shots?

Who’s Really Calling the Shots?

The Texas education community continues to confront COVID-19 head-on. Who is making all the decisions? This outline demonstrates how federal, state, and local entities play a role in determining school policies during COVID-19.
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Everything Else

Zoom: Not as Scary as It Might Seem

Zoom: Not as Scary as It Might Seem

Get answers to some of the most common questions about the legality and best practices surrounding remote-instruction platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet.
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Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technology for Education

Augmented Reality: An Emerging Technology for Education

University of Texas scholars delve into augmented reality (AR) opportunities available to educators.
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How to Get Cozy This Winter

How to Get Cozy This Winter

As the calendar turns to winter and the days grow shorter and colder (by Texas standards, anyway), it is common for people to experience the winter blues. Here are some ways to overcome those feelings.
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Teacher Feedback Makes the World Go ’Round

Teacher Feedback Makes the World Go ’Round

Understand how your feedback helps ATPE and policymakers learn more about your experiences and concerns—and how that shapes policy.
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How COVID-19 Safety Procedures Helped Shift Campus Culture at One Texas School

How COVID-19 Safety Procedures Helped Shift Campus Culture at One Texas School

ATPE member Jennifer Orona of Rice CISD shares insights about her school’s experience with face-to-face instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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