Parents and Families Newsletter

January Edition

All content will be trans-adapted for a Spanish version of the newsletter.

Other languages are available through the S’more newsletter.

Users will also have access to a 508 compliant PDF if needed.


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Boletín informativo para Padres y Familias.

Dear Parents and Families,

January is a great time to reset and refocus. We hope this helpful newsletter will connect you to educational resources and links to information that are intended to increase the language proficiency and academic success of your child.


In this issue, you will find information on the following topics:


  • The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System

  • Helpful Websites for At-Home Learning

  • Winter At-Home Activities

  • Self-Care Tips

Student Resources

The Student Resources section of the txel.org portal was designed for older students to access resources in learning English as well as preparing for the next steps of college or the workforce.

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Stay informed about the resources and support available by subscribing to the site by clicking on the Subscribe Today button.


Please remember to fill out a quick survey to share any information or suggestions you might have for the next newsletter. We value your input!

Emergent Bilingual Students

The term “English learner” has been replaced by the term “Emergent Bilingual student” in accordance with decisions made in the 2021 Texas legislative session. You may continue to hear the use of the term English learner. Reach out to your child’s teacher or school if you have questions about this term.

Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS)

Next month, Emergent Bilingual (EB) students throughout the state of Texas will be participating in the TELPAS test. Students are required to take TELPAS to assess the progress that EB students are making in learning the English language in four domains: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. You can help your child be ready for this important assessment by:


  • Providing books and encouraging them to read

  • Giving them opportunities to listen to audiobooks

  • Encouraging them to talk to you about the theme and characters in books

  • Having them write in a diary or journal every day


You can find additional ways to help your child be ready for TELPAS by reading this brochure. For more information on the TELPAS, please visit the English Learner Portal or go directly to this FAQ.

Upcoming Conference Opportunities

Title III Symposium Logo

Parents and Families Event May 2022

This virtual event will take place in the first week of May. We are in the planning stages of this event and would like your input. Please take a minute and fill out this short survey to let us know what date(s) and topics work best for you.


This event will focus on sessions to discuss important topics, including:

  • Understanding Bilingual Education programming

  • The social and emotional wellness of your child

  • High Quality Instructional Materials

  • How to authentically engage with your child's school


More information will be coming soon. Bookmark the Parents and Families Event page to stay up-to-date with this event.

Helpful Websites for At-Home Learning

As students return to school after the holiday break, it is important to provide them the opportunity to continue learning. The following are helpful websites for at-home learning located on the Supporting My Child page of the English Learner Portal:

Free High Speed Internet

Does your child struggle to complete their homework due to the lack of high-speed internet? TEA Connect Texas and your local school district have partnered up to provide free home - based broadband internet access to students throughout Texas. Visit the TEA Connect Texas page to learn more about the steps involved to reserve your free internet.

Assistance is Available

Visit findhelp.org to find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for COVID by entering your zip code. This site can also be translated into other languages.

Tips for Families of English Learners

The Tips for Families with English Learners document is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Arabic on the EL Web portal and provides helpful information about translation support and understanding your child’s school work.

Scholarships

New scholarships have been added to the Student Resources section to support you and your child as they take the next steps for their future. Some families find it helpful to make a spreadsheet of the requirements of each scholarship and the deadline to help keep track of the ones that work best for your family.

The start of the year is a great time for a fresh start and new adventures. To keep your child engaged, consider these fun at-home activities, which also help build listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Let It Snow!

Children are often fascinated with snowflakes, and while not everyone in Texas may get snow this time of year, every child can create their own at home. All you need is paper, scissors, and these directions to make a great snowflake display to enhance your winter fun. As you make the snowflakes, share a funny memory or talk about your experience with snow. You can also have your child write down what they like to do in the snow or what they will do if they see snow.

Get Outside

Staying fit is important all year long. In spite of the weather, the wintertime provides plenty of opportunities to be active and enjoy the outdoors. If it snows where you live, bundle up, build a snowman, or go sledding. If the climate where you live is more mild, consider going on a hike, going on a scavenger hunt, or visiting a local or state park. As you enjoy the outdoors, bond with your child by having them listen as you share memories of the outdoors or have them talk about what they see in nature. Don’t forget to warm up with some hot chocolate once you are done with your adventures!

Finding the Right Fit

Researching and learning about colleges and universities to find the right fit is an important step in planning for life beyond high school. This month, consider scheduling a visit to a local college or university so that your child can get a better feel for post-secondary options. As you plan these visits, take time to talk to your child about why it is important to start planning for the future. Encourage them to read about each college or university that you will visit or have them create a list of their top school choices. For more information on how to plan a campus visit, click here.

Unwinding after the holidays can be a challenge. After several weeks of non-stop activity and events, it can be hard to slow down and relax. Below are some ideas to help you refocus and de-stress:


  • Stay hydrated. While this may seem like an obvious tip, the winter cold and air can dehydrate your body and skin. Drinking water will help you feel better, and when you feel better, you are more prepared to tackle challenges that come your way.

  • Move your body. Even if you cannot get outside, it is important to exercise year-round. Exercise not only helps you stay healthy, but it is also a great way to alleviate stress. Try doing push-ups in your living room or find a good workout video online. Just remember to keep moving!

  • Pursue your interests. Whether it is music, painting, or reading, be intentional about carving out time to do things that you are passionate about. Focusing on something that brings you joy can help you recharge and keep you feeling your best.

If you would like to access the previous Parent and Family Newsletters, click below.

New Beginnings


The start of the year is often associated with new beginnings. It can be a time to make resolutions, adopt healthy habits, or to pursue change. Regardless of what the new year brings, remember to focus on what matters most to you and to make time to connect with those you love.

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.


Contact us at: https://www.txel.org/contact