IALAS Quarterly Newsletter

March 2022

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Follow IALAS on Twitter @IllinoisALAS

If you haven't registered yet to be a member here is the link. Please share with others so they can be part of our IALAS familia.

IALAS Board of Directors

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A Message about Ukraine

We have been watching for a week or so on what is happening at the border of Ukraine. It was hard to understand why this was occurring. It even gave us pause on our situation with the pandemic. On February 24, 2022, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered a land, sea and air attack on Ukraine. The invasion followed months of tension as Russia amassed around 200,000 troops on its border with the former Soviet territory, which gained its independence in 1991. Our hearts go out to Ukraine. As humans and IALAS members we are against any attacks or war with Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian sisters and brothers. We now sit and wait to see what happens next, concerned about what is occurring and the imminent consequences to come with any attack.

President Álvarez's Message

Dear IALAS Familia,

We, your IALAS board, have been preparing for our Spring Educational Conference. We hope you will be able to join us on May 7, 2022 (8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.). This year’s theme is El “Encanto” of Seeing Ourselves in the Curriculum! We want to celebrate that we are in person but more importantly the work everyone has been doing with equity, culturally relevant curriculum and emphasizing engagement within our classrooms during a pandemic. We understand that back to normal is not where we are headed nor want to go. The needs that were emphasized by the pandemic have allowed everyone to see the importance of educators and a change in status quo. And for that reason we feel our theme will highlight all the work you have been doing. We hope you consider presenting because we want to learn from you! Here is the link of the RFP.

We are also getting ready to work in our committees with our state affiliate partners. There are 3 committees: Network, Professional Development and Policy.

Why have committees?

  • To organize the most important work of ALAS and be inclusive in the process.

  • To consider, shape, and incubate policy to support the organization and affiliates.

  • To deepen the reciprocal ownership of the "work" from national to state and reversed is emerging and requires the voice of the educator.

  • To identify issues suitable for State Affiliates and ALAS review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action.

  • To elevate the voice of our members.

Below describes each committee. Please reach out to me, EAlvarez@ialas.org, if you are interested and want your voice heard. Committee meetings will start by end of March.

Network: Effective recruitment, retainment and practices of promise; Mentorship, SLA, WSPLA, NPLA, Networks etc.

Professional Development: Latino student achievement [possible focus areas]; Third grade reading; HS graduation; Dual Language Immersion

Policy: Support governance for advancing equity [examples]

Equity-Defined Based, Resource Allocation, Culturally-Defined Relevant C, I and A, Student-Teacher-Leadership Pipeline

Representing Illinois are the following leaders: Dr. Olimpia Bahena, Dr. Rocio del Castillo, Angelica Romano, Dr. Minerva Garcia-Sanchez, Theresa Placencia, Edward Brophy and myself.

Finally, nominate a spotlight teacher or leader for our upcoming Spring Conference, please complete this form here.

As always, thank you for all you do. Continue to spread your IALAS wings as anti-racist, equitable, educational leaders. We look forward to seeing you virtually, in-person and especially at the IALAS Spring Conference in May.


Elizabeth Álvarez, Ph.D.

IALAS President

Follow me on Twitter @EAlvarezD91

5th Annual Statewide Conference

Saturday, May 7th, 8am-1pm

924 Beloit Avenue

Forest Park, IL

The event will be held at Forest Park Middle School. Plenty of parking. This is a free event for members. We will be holding an after set at 1:30 p.m. location TBD.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Women's History Month 2022 by Elizabeth Álvarez, Ph.D.

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March is Womyn's Herstory Month. This year's theme is “Women Providing Healing and Promoting Hope.” Here are some sites to use and get excited about. Event highlights, National Women’s History Alliance, and History Channel. Let’s celebrate all women and their accomplishments in our culture and society from science to politics, take the opportunity to reflect on the trailblazing women who lead the way for change.

Masks Optional for All Schools

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Per the Governor's announcement, masks are optional for all schools and school districts starting Monday, Feb. 28. ISBE will work with the Illinois Department of Public Health to update our guidance documents as soon as possible.

The past two years of leading through a global pandemic have been the most challenging of my career - and I know many of you would say the same. I am deeply grateful for your partnership in keeping our students and educators safe. Thank you for all that you do.

Dr. Carmen I. Ayala

State Superintendent of Education

Illinois State Board of Education

IALAS Board Meeting

Monday, March 21st, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

This will be a Google Meet. Link will be emailed to members.

Scholarship Applicants by Mary Kassir

IALAS will be awarding one-time minimum $1000 scholarships at our Spring Conference on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Recipients must be present. Please note that as part of the application process, all applicants must also submit a letter from an existing IALAS member. Please see all details here.

Folklore with Tacos and Live Show

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Dinner includes: Chips & Guacamole, Taco Tray & Dessert

Bring your family & friends!

Purchase tickets of 2 for $75 or a table of 8 for $250.

Dinner includes: Chips & Guacamole, Taco Tray & Dessert


Here is the flier for the event.

Career Opportunities by Maria Burgos

Feel free to reach out to IALAS if you have administrative employment opportunities in your district! We will post them on our IALAS website and will pass the word along to our membership. Please send all submissions to mburgos@ialas.org and include information regarding the vacancy along with all other pertinent information you would like shared. Thank you in advance for your support as we work together to strengthen the Latino administration pipeline. Click here to view employment opportunities listed on our website and don’t forget that IALAS members are eligible to submit job postings for free!

Recent Employment Opportunity shared with membership:

The River Trails School District 26 Board of Education announces the commencement of a search for a new Superintendent of Schools who will assume responsibilities on July 1, 2022. Click here for more information.

Professional Book by Elizabeth Álvarez, Ph.D.

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It was an honor having Dr. Hector Montenegro at our Winter Conclave. We are taking time to introduce his and Margarita Calderon's book, Empowering Long-Term ELs with Social Emotional Learning, Language and Literacy. The book provides a guide in supporting long term English learners. It provides a way to make sure our children are not ostracized/ashamed/embarrassed of developing their English language skills. It provides the why on integrating SEL (social emotional learning) and literacy strategies into our curriculum. Overall, the authors share that with the proper support and care for English Learners they can transition academically, linguistically and to the cultural mainstream successfully.

Mentorship by Elizabeth Álvarez, Ph.D.

The Latino Leadership Pipeline on February 19 had dialogue on how they relate to the notions of internalized racial inferiority and superiority. This entailed speaking from the heart about bias towards other Latinos who are darker or lighter than you. It is important that we understand these implicit biases that show up in our lives, our workplace, school, and/or community so that we become equitable anti-racist leaders.

New Partnerships by Dan Swartz

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This past month, we finalized the sponsorship for our 2nd Annual Master’s of Education Golf Outing. This year, we will be welcoming a new sponsor, Emile, to the fold as one of our 3 sponsors. Emile is a middle and high school supplemental curriculum that offers support for 40+ courses. They dub themselves the “Netflix of Education.”

Emile joins Care Solace and Curriculum Associates as sponsors of the event, set to take place on July 10th at White Deer Run Golf Course in Vernon Hills, Illinois. The event will again be free to members and includes lunch, drinks, appetizers, and dinner following the outing. Information about sign-ups will be available in March, so watch your inboxes!

IGROW SUMMIT: Educational Leaders and Teachers of Color

Save the date: June 10, 2022. We hope you join us this day at the Marriott in Bloomington, Illinois. It will be a great event! IALAS is partnering with the Illinois Grow Summit to grow our pipeline of teachers and administrators of color. The theme of the summit is Developing Now for a Better Tomorrow!
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19th Annual National ALAS Education Summit 2022

Make sure to join us this year in beautiful Puerto Rico for the 19th Annual National ALAS Education Summit. Registration can be found here. Dates are Wednesday, October 5, 2022 from 9:00 AM to Friday, October 7, 2022 until 3:30 PM.

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