Parents and Families Newsletter
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Dear Parents and Families,
Welcome to the Spring edition of our Parent & Family Newsletter! In the first half of the school year, your child had the opportunity to establish routines in class and in extracurricular activities. Now that the second half of the school year has begun, learning will intensify as teachers work to ensure your child learns all grade-level content. As parents, we know that you might feel the pressure of class projects, reports, and tests, which are all opportunities for your child to show what they have learned. This newsletter will list ways you can help your child at home during this potentially rigorous time.
Emergent bilingual students in K-12 will take the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) between February 20, 2023 to March 31, 2023. Check with your child’s school to find out the exact dates. TELPAS measures your child’s English language growth in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Additional ways to help your child be ready for the TELPAS can be found in this brochure. For more information on the TELPAS, please visit txel.org or go directly to this FAQ.
2023 TELPAS/STAAR Assessment Calendar
Below is a table outlining TELPAS and STAAR testing windows. TELPAS is testing English language growth and STAAR is testing growth in core subjects including reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
College Planning Checklist for High School Students
College planning involves many moving parts. Below is a checklist that will help as you prepare to send your child to college.
Research colleges you’d like to attend.
Visit campuses you are interested in attending.
Meet with the high school counselor.
Take the ACT/SAT exam.
Fill out college applications.
File the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and
Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA)*.
*Parents/guardians complete tax information.
Visit our Student Resources page to view more college preparation information.
At-Home Learning Sites for Students
The following sites can help you support your child in gaining skills that are important to have when completing assessments.
The easiest way to use this resource is to:
Open Storylineonline.net, and Click on “All Books.”
Select a book.
Click on the image to open the recording.
Click on “Activity Guide” to read about the themes in the book.
Listen to the story with your child and discuss the book’s themes.
We recommend that you start with “The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister” by Linda Ravin Lodding.
Epic is a library of online storybooks, audiobooks, fairy tales, and more.
Open Getepic.com, and click on “I’m an adult,” then, “Parent.”
Select “Get Epic Basic” to get free access to books.
Once you create your free account, add your child’s name to the account.
Select “Explore” to find a book.
Sit with your child to read or listen to the book.
Discuss the book with your child.
“My Favorite Animal: Humpback Whales” by Victoria Marcos is a great read!
This app has a free version that you can use to help your child practice basic math and English skills. Once you create your account, your child’s progress will be tracked, making it easier for you to monitor their progress.
Go to prodigy.com, and select the “Teachers and Parents” button.
Create a FREE account, and then add your child as a student for Math and/or English.
Have your child open a new window at Prodigy.com and click the “Play Now” button.
Your child can play any game they would like.
Log in when they are finished so you can track their progress.
Nowadays, cell phones and computers can be found everywhere! However, you can still implement safety measures to make sure your child uses the internet properly and with care. The article, “Help Your Child Learn to Use the Internet Properly and Effectively,” found on ColorinColorado.org, describes several ways to support your child with effective internet use. Three of them are listed below.
Sit side-by-side with your child and have your child show you what they do when they get on the computer or phone. Have them show and explain what they are doing and why. This could be a great way for them to share their favorite websites and talk about their fun hobbies, while also giving you more information on their online activity.
Share some websites you think are appropriate with your child, including their school’s website and some of the resources found in our newsletter. Spending a little time each day showing your child new online resources can help direct them toward learning sites and inspire curiosity.
American children on average spend far more time watching TV, playing video games, and using the internet than they do completing homework or other school-related activities. Set a timer when your child is spending time in any of these activities to ensure that they limit their “screen” time.
Intellectual Self Care
This quarter, we are focusing on Intellectual Self-Care from the 8 types of self-care for caregivers from the Daily Caring article. Intellectual self-care refers to the act of taking time to care for yourself by enriching your mind.
There are many ways to support intellectual self-care without formal education. One way that is described in the article is listening to podcasts, reading books, and embracing new ideas. Podcasts can be found on music apps, web browsers, and podcast apps. Search for a topic that interests you, and start listening. This type of learning keeps life interesting and provides opportunities for growth.
Remember to check out our previous newsletters for advice on physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual self-care.
An important part of a school’s instructional plan includes tests. They serve as an ongoing guide for instruction. As parents, the greatest support you can provide is ensuring your child has routines at home, attends school regularly, and engages in at-home learning activities. Having regular discussions with your child about what they are learning in class will strengthen the critical thinking they need to show what they know on tests and it will also keep you informed about what your child is learning.
If you would like to access the previous Parent and Family Newsletters, click below.
Supporting English Learners in Texas
TXEL.org is a web portal that provides information and resources that are relevant, accessible, and impactful to support educational leaders, teachers, parents and families, and community partners to ensure the academic success of the State’s English learners.