Timely Information and Resources for Region 11 Schools

November 9, 2016

ESC TODAY is published twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays throughout the school year.

NEWS: Arlington Leader Nominated for National Superintendent Award

Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, superintendent of Arlington ISD, has been selected by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) as Texas’ nominee for the 2017 American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent of the Year award.

In September, the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) named Cavazos the 2016 Texas Superintendent of the Year. While the TASB Superintendent of the Year program is not affiliated with the AASA program, honorees of the TASB program are encouraged to apply for the AASA award.

As a state nominee for AASA National Superintendent of the Year, Cavazos will now be considered by a national blue-ribbon panel of judges that will select four finalists to be interviewed in Washington, D.C., in January. The 2017 National Superintendent of the Year will be announced and the state nominees honored at AASA’s National Conference on Education in New Orleans March 2-4.

NEWS: 10 Region 11 Districts Selected as Top Twitter Users

Ten school districts in Region 11 were selected as top Texas School District Twitter accounts by the Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) and were honored at the 6th Annual Social Media Conference (#TXSocialMedia Conference) at Tarleton State University. Congratulations to Northwest, Keller, Carroll, Arlington, Mansfield, Lewisville, Denton, Fort Worth, Eagle Mountain-Saginaw, and Grapevine-Colleyville school districts!

NEWS: Region 11 Teachers, SBOE Member Recognized by State Social Studies Organization

Two Region 11 teachers received outstanding teacher awards from the Texas Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) at the organization's fall conference in Corpus Christi, Texas. In addition, Pat Hardy, Region 11 member of the State Board of Education (SBOE), was honored with the Presidential Award.

Kristina Allen, North Crowley High School, Crowley ISD, was named Outstanding High School Social Studies Teacher of the Year, and Elizabeth Cumbie, Watauga Middle School, Birdville ISD, received the Betty Barringer Outstanding Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year award.

Read more and see photos here.

STEAM Carnival Challenge Winners

The winning entries of the STEAM Kit Challenge are:

  • Graford ISD – Graford Junior High (Wulhrich – 8th grade) – “Old Time Carnival”
  • Granbury ISD –Oak Woods Elementary (Logsdon/Rains 5th & 4th grades) – “All Aboard!...GISD, Full STEAM Ahead!"
  • Huckabay ISD – Huckabay – (Tibbets, Bright, & Jackson – 8th grade) – “Catapulting into STEAM”
  • Boyd ISD – Boyd Middle School (Bolejack – 7th & 8th grades) – “STEAM Goes Up”

Check out photos of each winner and another look at the STEAM Carnival video produced by Three Way ISD.

Charter School Updates

Charter School Performance Framework

Nancy Rinehart from TEA will be at ESC Region 11 on November 14, 1-3 p.m., to share information regarding the Charter School Performance Framework.

Register here.

Charter School Roundtables

The next Charter School Roundtable will be on December 8, 1-3 p.m., at ESC Region 11.

Register here.

Connect2Texas: Why?

Educators are being encouraged to incorporate technology into their pedagogy and classrooms, and with distance learning through Connect2Texas, it’s never been easier! All that is needed to participate in Connect2Texas videoconferences is a video-enabled device, internet access, and Zoom, an easy-to-use, cloud-based videoconferencing program.

Connect2Texas brings the world to students and experts to classrooms through a variety of programming. For students who have never been to a beach or seen the ocean, for example, videoconferencing takes them on a virtual visit where they not only view of the Gulf of Mexico but also learn about sea life and coral reef gardens. With the interactive nature of videoconferencing, students even have an opportunity to talk with divers broadcasting from the bottom of the ocean.

Distance learning sessions provide opportunities that students would never experience in a traditional classroom and include visits to more museums than years of field trips might offer.

If you would like to try a Zoom connection, contact Lori Hamm-Neckar, (817) 740-7516, or learn more about programming and registration here.

Last Few Days to Provide Input on ESSA Implementation in Texas

An online survey is available through Nov. 18, offering parents, taxpayers, and the general public a way to provide input on the state’s implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA is the new federal law governing K-12 education and replacing the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Each state is required to establish a strategic vision for public education and develop an overall plan to achieve those goals. TEA is the lead agency developing the Texas state plan, and must determine how the new federal law will affect accountability, funding, school improvement, and grant-making systems.

Take the survey here.

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Challenge Accepted - Build a Bridge for the November Challenge

Join ESC Region 11's Distance Learning team on November 17 for the Build a Bridge Challenge, part of the Challenge Accepted series of free videoconferencing/networking events designed to spark creativity, imagination, and problem solving in your students. With a new challenge planned for each month, this event is a great way to build excitement and collaboration among your students and others. More than 300 students participated in October's activity, The Marshmallow Challenge. More information is available here.

Educators and Students Needed for Our Virtual Science Club

Do you have a science club? If so, please consider being part of our virtual science club pilot program. Several educators are needed to help us test this program, as we seek to find new ways to engage Texas students in science and support your hard work as science club sponsors.

As with a face-to-face science club, the goal of our virtual science club is to inspire a love of science for all students. Through the use of videoconferencing, this program may be especially beneficial for those students in rural schools.

We will offer the club every other week on two afternoons to try to accommodate your busy schedules.

More information about the topics and how to join.

Join the K-12 STEAM PLC Network

You are invited to join a community of STEAM/STEM teachers in Region 11 to network and learn through a series of face-to-face collaboration times with continued partnership and learning through Canvas.

The STEAM PLC Network is free. To register, visit and click on Register. For questions, please contact Alison Lentz, (817) 740-3636, or Thais Mitchell, (817) 740-3679, or visit

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Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics Leaders

We are offering two opportunities for district and charter leaders in STEAM areas to network, collaborate, and provide valuable feedback on ESC services:

Technology Advisory Committee Meeting

November 17, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. (including a sponsored lunch)

Register here.

STEAM Advisory Council Meeting (immediately following the Technology Advisory Committee meeting)

November 17, 1-3 p.m.

Register here.

Transition and Employment Guide Available Online

The Texas Transition and Employment Guide is now available. This guide provides information on statewide services and programs that assist students with disabilities and their families with information about education, employment, and community living. Visit or click on the QR code above.

Transition Specialists, Vocational Coordinators, Service Agency Representatives, Other Educators, and Youth with Disabilities and their Families

The Texas Transition Conference, February 22-24, 2017, is a two-day event with a pre-conference session focused on providing evidence-based practices that result in a smooth transition from school to adult life for youth with disabilities. Participants will receive intensive training in five focus areas: student-focused planning, family involvement, interagency collaboration, student development, and program structure.

Conference attendees come from all over the state of Texas and include educators, transition specialists, vocational coordinators, service agency representatives, and youth with disabilities and their families.

Beyond Barriers to Postsecondary Education and Employment: Passion and Possibilities!

2017 Texas Transition Conference on February 22-24, 2017

Westin Galleria Houston

Online Registration

Join Our Social Community

Stay connected to ESC Region 11 through our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts; blogs; and email contact lists/listservs. Join the ESC Region 11 pages, and/or find the specific group that meets your needs. Browse through the list and click on the one you are interested in joining.

Click on this QR code to go to our Facebook page, then "Like" our page.

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