T4PA School Safety State Initiative

Updates for ESC Consultants—September 14, 2020

ESC-Only Disclaimer

This newsletter is meant for ESCs only. Much of the information shared here is specific to ESCs and/or does not pertain to LEAs.

We have created a separate, LEA-friendly version of this newsletter, which is comprised of information that is intended for ESCs to share directly with their school districts. Only information in the shareable link can be shared with districts.

Here is a shareable link to the LEA-friendly newsletter that we encourage you to send to your districts: https://www.smore.com/fx07c. You are also welcome to cut and paste the information into your own newsletter.

The state initiative will provide capacity building for the 20 ESCs under the Title IV, Part A program. The goal is for ESCs to help districts foster safe, healthy, supportive, and drug-free environments that support student academic achievement including but not limited to, school safety, bullying, mental health awareness, crisis management including safe de-escalation of situations including prevention of suicide, drug use, and violence and other allowable uses of Title IV, Part A, Section 4108 funds.

Spotlight - Abby Rodriguez

Abby Rodriguez is the State Coordinator for Military-Connected and At-Risk Students in the Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs Division at the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Abby joined the TEA in 2017, with a primary focus on building capacity within the agency and Texas public schools to address the unique needs of military-connected students transitioning in and out of public schools as one or both parents serve our country. Abby also leads the state work with pregnant and parenting students, juvenile justice, drop out prevention and intervention, as well as human trafficking. Abby has been working with highly mobile and at-risk students and their families in Texas public schools for over 15 years and is dedicated to finding solutions to ensure education equity for all children. Abby is also the proud daughter of a Marine Veteran.

What's Going On in the ESCs?

Region 12 School Trafficking Response Day

Heather Wheeler at region 12 is hosting School Trafficking Response Day on September 15 to educate participants about human trafficking, trafficking methods, and partners in the community who are there to help.

Region 13 Free Webinar Offerings

ESCs and LEAs are welcome to attend!

(Click the photo for more details)

While not all are ESCs are not training face-to-face, we will gladly highlight virtual trainings as well as face-to-face trainings. To let other ESCs know what's going on in your region, please fill out the form at the bottom of this newsletter.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Districts' DAR report due to TxSSC on November 15
  • Districts' SSSP Team Qualtric Survey Report due to TEA on November 13
  • Current audit cycle: September 1, 2017 - October 21, 2020
  • Next audit cycle: November 1, 2020 - August 31, 2023

Districts are supposed to have turned in EOPs to TxSSC. TXSSC will contact ESCs on districts that have not yet submitted.

Big picture

September 21-23—Train the Trainer (TOT) in the Trauma Sensitive Schools Framework

Each individual who will attend, please register at this link: https://westat.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIsc-muqTkpHb7wKziKsd9Ci6kfUXZmT1Q

Once you receive your confirmation, soon participants will receive an email with a link on where to access digital materials for the Institute.

Thursday, September 24—Highly Mobile and At-Risk Division Webinar

What? TEA Highly Mobile and At-Risk Division Webinar

When? Thursday, September 24 from 1-3 PM

Please join the TEA Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs Division for a Zoom Webinar on Thursday, September 24 from 1:00-3:00 pm. Educators, School Staff, and ESC personnel are encouraged to attend. Zoom is limited to 500 participants. Any participants beyond 500 may watch via YouTube. This meeting will also be recorded and available for viewing on TEA’s Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs Division website.

Register for the webinar here. For more details, view the flyer here.

October 7-9—2020 National Summit on School Safety

Join virtually on October 7, 8, and 9 to learn and network with national experts, leaders, and practitioners across the field. Whether you are interested in learning about school threat assessment & management, planning for physical safety & security, fostering a trauma-informed school culture, supporting social-emotional learning (SEL), or addressing the needs of gender diverse students, there is something for you at the 2020 National Virtual Summit on School Safety!

To register and learn more, visit the Safe and Sound Schools website.

Thursday, October 8—ESC School Safety Network Zoom

Join our second meeting on October 8 at 10 AM. This is a change from the original date of October 6. Click here to join at


or use the link in the document below. Meetings will not be recorded.

October 27-29—ACET 2020 Virtual Fall Conference

Registration is now available for the upcoming ACET 2020 Fall Conference—a Virtual Conference!

Since this is a new format, ACET has provided an FAQs document addressing the conference, registration, and other important information.

If you find unanswered questions concerning your registration or the conference, please contact: Eileen Lytle, ACET Administrative Assistant at 254-292-2757 or by email at admin@acetx.org

Click Here to register. Once on the ACET website, look under CONFERENCES in the menu bar—choose 2020 Virtual Fall Conference, located under the FAQs.

Behavioral Threat Assessment TOT Training Requirements

We're excited to see that some of you are looking to turn around face-to-face training so soon after becoming certified face-to-face trainers.

As a reminder, please don't forget to report each BTA training, along with the districts and number of participants, to the Title IV School Safety State Initiative via the form on the web page by following the steps below:

Big picture

New Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Resources

The Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs Division has two new resources available:

Project Restore

As a result of school closures and remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students have been at higher risk of exposure due to adverse childhood experiences and first-hand exposure to the effects of COVID-19. Additionally, many educators have themselves experienced a prolonged state of stress over the course of the pandemic and share many of the concerns regarding loss of safety, health, and predictability as students upon the return to school.

That’s why TEA has launched Project Restore and this trauma-informed training video series, which is designed to address these extraordinary and unprecedented needs and connect you to relevant science and strategies that can help you address your own emotional needs as well the needs of your students and colleagues. This series will help educators create an environment that jump-starts teaching and learning and drives student achievement.

Here is a list of the videos in the series:

  • Introduction to Project Restore
  • Understanding Trauma and its Impact
  • Understanding Your Experience and Building Resilience
  • Understanding Your Students’ Experience
  • Building Secure Relationships
  • Developing a Positive Classroom Culture
  • Building Strong Partnerships with Students’ Families

Participants who watch these videos can receive certificates. These videos will count toward trauma/grief informed training requirements (TEC 38.036, TEC 11.252, and TEC 21.054) for school staff.

Click Here: Texas Project Restore

TAA Letter Expected in September to Address School Safety Issues

TEA plans to release a TAA letter that will provide updated information and guidance concerning:

  • SSSP data collection requirements due November 2020
  • Drill guidance and COVID drill recommendations from TEA and TxSSC
  • Stop the Bleed COVID training guidance

Federal Programs ESC Meeting Calendar

Big picture

Title IV, Part A Resources

T4PA Center Technical Assistance on Support Connectivity for Rural Students

Key Approaches for Strengthening School Mental Health: A Primer and Resource Guide

Ten Essential Actions to Improve School Safety


Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect

Texas Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) offers guidance on Reporting Suspected Abuse or Neglect of a Child: A Guide for Professionals to help guide professional reporters through online/hotline reporting and how to identify abuse or neglect. Videos and other resources are provided to assist professionals in navigating the DFPS system.

For further training needs or questions, please contact the CPS Community Engagement Specialist in your area.

TxSSC's COVID-19 FAQs Addresses Changes in Audit Cycle

Find a link to Texas School Safety Center's COVID-19 FAQs here, which provides many important answers and resources. Due to questions from ESCs, we want to direct your attention to #2: Will TxSSC postpone the safety and security audit process for the 2017-2020 cycle?

Update 05/19/20: TxSSC has requested and received a waiver/suspension from the Office of the Governor to extend the audit deadline from August 31, 2020, to October 31, 2020. This suspension is in effect until terminated by the Office of the Governor or until the March 13, 2020 disaster declaration is lifted or expires. The disaster declaration is renewed monthly as required by law. This does not change future audit cycle deadlines, it simply shortens the next audit cycle. Instead of being September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2023, the next audit cycle will be November 1, 2020, through August 31, 2023. As indicated in Update 04/14/20 for this question, the reporting deadline for this audit cycle was already extended to November 15, 2020, and this has not changed as a result of this waiver/suspension.

Child Abuse, Neglect, and Human Trafficking Updated Posting Requirement

TEC §38.0042 requires all school campuses to post in at least one high-traffic area, in both English and Spanish, a poster, at student eye-level, with information that includes the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Abuse hotline telephone number, instructions to call 911 and directions to the www.txabusehotline.org. Posters and more information can be found here.
Big picture

Federal Program Compliance Division Updates

CARES PNP FAQ Document Posted

TEA’s COVID-19 Support: District Waivers, Finance & Grants page has the most up-to-date CARES Act Equitable Services FAQ document.

CARES Act Funding and COVID Expense Reimbursement FAQ Document Update Posted

TEA’s COVID-19 Support: District Waivers, Finance & Grants page has the most up-to-date CARES Act Funding and COVID Expense Reimbursement FAQ document.

Big picture

Visit Our Websites

We all constantly update our websites with the most recent resources in order to serve ESCs & LEAs! Click the icons or links below to visit our sites.


Rod Pruitt, Title IV Part A School Safety Coordinator

Nancy Galle, Title IV Part A School Safety Consultant

Taylor Marshall, Intern

Copyright © 2020. Texas Education Agency. All Rights Reserved.