The Branch

A Monthly Newsletter from RootEd

The End of 2020

We are so happy to see 2020 out the window. What a year it has been. So much heartache and fear. So much unknown.


As scary as it has been, there was so much good that came out of this year. It was a year full of goosebumps. We got goosebumps when all of our districts figured out how to feed their students at home in a week's time over spring break. We got goosebumps when principals provided graduations in May that were safe and joyful. We got goosebumps when we saw parents sewing special instrument covers to make band safe for students.


It was definitely the year of the schools. Parents were happy to have choices as to being virtual or on campus. Schools worked so hard to make everything feel like normal in the most unnormal of years. They had holiday parties for ALL kids, they provided specials and they provided curriculum that challenged their students.


Thank you all for your continuing support of RootEd. It was such a weird year for all of us as we couldn't get into the schools and do what we wanted to do like normal. Our Reps thought outside of the box and came up with fabulous ideas and creative ways to tell the stories of their schools. They are simply amazing. Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter to hear from some of them about how they felt about 2020. RootEd starting working with 4 new districts in 2020: Southwest ISD, Southside ISD, Floresville ISD and Alamo Heights ISD. We have really enjoyed learning about the districts and getting to know their parents.


Do we hope that the Pandemic ends soon....yes, a million times yes. But we are so blessed with the good that came out of the awful. There is much work ahead of us, but we will overcome. We will fight for the money for public education, we will support our schools and our teachers and we will shout from the rooftops that our schools have it all!

RootEd Future Spirit Day - Johnson vs. Clark

What a fun week!!! Johnson HS (NEISD) and Clark HS (NISD) feeder schools THREW IT DOWN!! So fun to see the spirit competition unfold on social media. Hobby, Tex Hill and Tejeda Middle Schools really got into the spirit and built up the excitement all week! Colonies North, Cibolo Green, Tuscany and Roan Forest elementaries all decked out in the outfits of their future high schools!

Inspirational Videos

Awesome videos by Principals Zimmerman and Comalander! Truly shows off what it means to be headed to their schools. Lucky future students!! Thanks to the principals for putting this together for our spirit week throw-down!!
Future Clark Tx Cougars
Johnson Future Football Video 2020

Texas Ed Advocates

We "met" with many other public education advocates on a zoom meeting arranged by Just Fund It and chatted about what the temperature is around the State when it comes to advocacy. It felt inspiring because so many people were ready for the fight! We are, of course, nervous about what it will look like during the 87th Legislative session due to all the setbacks education and so many other departments have felt during the pandemic, but still hopeful that all is not lost. As a group, we word clouded a few thoughts about public education right now.

Parents are Shopping!

It's imperative now more than ever that we grab 4th and 5th grade parents who are shopping around for middle schools. There are many reasons why 6th grade is the year parents leave their neighborhood schools. We have found that if parents just step into a school, they're more likely to choose that school for their children. Whether it's a tour, carnival or musical production, once they see the amazing things going on around them then they're hooked! The problem though is the obvious one...COVID. How do we get parents and prospective students "into" the schools? We have to think outside of the box to make it happen this year. It will take ALL of us. We all have to work together to show our students how desirable the schools are for their education. Covid has decreased enrollment and students have left for a multitude of reasons to charter, private and homeschool. Some will come back easily but some will need to see what our schools are all about.


Shout out to Garcia MS in NISD for putting out this awesome save the date list of all the opportunities parents have to connect with their future middle school. This is exactly what parents and their kiddos are looking for during this time of transition to make the choice as to which middle school their child will attend.

Noteworthy

RootEd out in the Community

RootEd Reps On the Look Out

Your RootEd Reps are on the look out for posts on social media where parents are reaching out about schools for their kids. This month, a parent was looking for information on Colonies North Elem in NISD (along with Charters) and two of our Reps spoke up on the post. (see below) They spoke positively about the schools, gave contacts to reach out to and were available to answer any questions. This is exactly what we train our Reps to handle and within minutes were able to be there for a parent who was shopping. Awesome job, Sarah and Jennelle!!


This is one of the many examples of what our Reps do for their schools. We know the best referrals are other parents who have been to those schools. Parents want to hear from other parents, not just the schools themselves, when it comes to what their kids need in a school setting. When you need a referral for a painter, you don't ask the painter how good they are at painting, you ask your friends for a rec. The same idea applies. The RootEd referral system using our Reps and hashtags makes shopping for schools easy!

Neighborhood School Info Night...Save The Date!

Big picture

Need a RootEd Rep for your school?

Does your school have a RootEd Rep? We are having a RootEd Rep Blitz right now! We want all of our schools represented with parents who are already cheerleaders for their schools, who want to learn more about the ins and outs of public education and who are willing to use their time to fight for your school. The Reps are getting a swag bag and are being entered into a drawing for cool prizes!!


Use this link to send to the parent who would be a great RootEd Rep for your school: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScVFh2Fq8fSIla32CZlxre2FhVXcOuO68OMa3TsSOgs1-LGiw/viewform?usp=sf_link

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

RootEd Podcast Discussion Group

Ready to dive into some podcasts that either may get you fired up or ruffled about public education?


Come listen with us!!


https://www.facebook.com/groups/rootedpodcastdiscussion

End of the Year Thoughts from RootEd - 2020

I Love how everyone’s creativity was shown in showing the public schools spirit still through social media, even though it has been different, school happenings are still looking good . Every public school is still going strong, I love it! Rosemary


Impressed. Kristin


Adapt and Overcome! Students will only believe if you lead! Adrian


Community. This year through the RootED program I have been able to see what community really looks like. Watching our teachers, admins and essential staff step up and continue to provide a good education has been amazing! The work our district has done to provide meals and make food accessible to all of our community is also just so amazing! We are beyond grateful to be part of this school and this district full of people that love and so this work for our community. Roxie


So far I am enjoying all the information I am getting and learning a lot from others. I am still new to this but liking it so far. Mae


So thankful for everything our Reps have done for RootEd this year. Also, very grateful for all of the support we receive. Genevieve


Unfortunately, for me there were not too many RootEd moments for me this year. So I guess it would be the Churchill v Reagan spirit day. I was amazed at how many people participated. To see our kids both virtual and in person and the staff It was a fun time to see how many people want and need community in these times. My thoughts are that 2020 has shown us that RootEd is needed. Not only as advocates for our schools but in our ability to reach to our neighborhoods in a whole different way than our schools can. Building community is key to keep our neighborhood schools as a 1st choice for educating our children. We can get the message out by just being in the community and making a difference and building relationships. It has also shown me that in 2021 working with our legislators is key. We know that our government truly has no idea what they are doing to our educational community and it is time that we speak up and be heard. It’s time for open and honest discussion. A time to call it as we see it. Let them know that our children should be a first priority. They say that children are our future if that is true we need to treat them like it! Not by standardized tests that cause more mental anguish than “data” to show how our kids are doing. It’s time for the TEA and the Legislature to know who RootEd is and that when we speak we are informed (which we are), we are passionate (we are), and we love our children (who are our future) and that we are willing to do the work to get things done. Connie


Fortitude all the way. Yvette


Being RootEd in our neighborhood schools absolutely saved our sanity in this crazy year. The school community made connections and tried to provide normalcy to both my in-person and online learners. Sarah


RootEd work on trying to stop new charter school from opening in SA. Adonis


Loved the virtual WC spirit day! Still able to pull something off!! LeeArica


The teachers and schools have more stacked on their plates this year. I am glad to be a part of an organization that takes the time to recognize and spotlight their commitment and creative problem solving. Kelly


Be Fluid, Be Patient! Adrian

About RootEd

RootEd is a parent-led, grassroots organization that promotes neighborhood public schools through storytelling, advocacy, and education. We believe a strong public school system for all children creates a robust economy and well-connected community. RootEd is a 501(c)3 non profit organization.


For past newsletters: https://www.smore.com/u/rooted