Special Message for Project Directors

by Shawn Petty | Jan 27, 2018

Dear Project Directors,

I am so pleased with the turnout and level of participation at the annual project director meeting in Spring this week! Thank you for your time and attention. It is challenging to get all of the information to you in the limited time we have, so I want to take this opportunity to follow up on some of the topics we discussed and provide you some resources.

  • For detailed information about how to close out a grant, please refer to the General and Fiscal Guidelines on the Grants Administration website at this LINK. There is an inventory Disposition Request form under the Administering a Grant web page HERE. If you have additional questions, please speak directly with Eleanor Blais, the grant manager for 21st CCLC at Eleanor.blais@tea.texas.gov or 512-463-8525. 
  • Regarding Cycle 10, the request for applications is expected to post on the TEA Grant Opportunities website in early March 2018. The website where it will be posted can be found HERE. On that web page, in the upper left hand corner, TEA provides a “TEA Year in Advance – Competitive Grants” document that lists all competitive grant opportunities. 21st CCLC is the last line. Note that, as of right now, there is an error in the high end of the grant award. It should be $1.5 million, not $150,000. (Grants Administration is correcting it.) Also, the estimated amount available and number of awards cannot be confirmed because we do not have enough information about the FY2018 federal allocation, part of which will fund Cycle 10. The application due date will be posted in the RFA. Additionally, if you want regular email updates from TEA, you can subscribe for various ones, including grant announcements, at this SITE.   
  • If you are interested in more information about SB 1404 requirements for TEA to collect data in PEIMS on expanded learning, the bill is on the Texas Legislature Online HERE. The definitions of expanded learning are codified in TEC 33.252 at this LOCATION. The agency is in the process of implementing the legislation. Data collection will not occur this school year or next school year.
  • More information on HB 22 and its implementation can be found in the To The Administrator Addressed Letter
  • The agency’s strategic plan, including commissioner priorities is posted on the TEA website.  
My email inbox is bursting with upcoming training opportunities and resources from TEA and national organizations. In the future, I hope to be able to post these types of opportunities on the My Texas ACE website. In the meantime, here is a list I’ve collected. I request that you share all training opportunities and program resources with your site coordinators and family engagement specialist and encourage them to participate.
  • TEA’s Office of Early Childhood Education is offering a webinar that will provide districts and charters with information on how to improve the quality of family engagement practices. The webinar will take place on Tuesday February 6th, 2018 at 10:00 am CST. Register for the Guiding Principles for Quality Family Engagement Webinar at:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3954662238171516161. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. This webinar will be recorded and placed on the TEA Early Childhood Educator Resources page. If you have questions regarding the webinar, please direct them to Cody Summerville, Program Specialist, at cody.summerville@tea.texas.gov.
  • You for Youth (Y4Y) New Course: Continuous Education Through 21st CCLC ActivitiesThis update to the former Aligning With the School Day course features an expanded Implementation Strategies section that steps you through the process of connecting with school-day staff to identify student needs and apply intentional design to program activities. For an overview of course tools and strategies, see last month's Showcase webinar, "School-Day Partnerships: It's More Than Alignment, It's Continuous Education!" Or go straight to the course!
  • Y4Y "The Right Stuff" Summer Learning Series, Webinar #2: The Right Mix: Intentional Activity Design. Wednesday, Feb. 7, 1 p.m. ET. Learn to use needs assessment data to intentionally design activities that help students develop and master targeted knowledge and skills. And, discover why using student-centered learning methods, positive youth development and 21st century skills can engage and empower students in learning. Practitioners who attend all three sessions in "The Right Stuff" series will receive a certificate of completion they can use to apply for professional learning credits. Register now!
  • Family Engagement Virtual Institute. Want proven ideas about engaging with your students' families? See Y4Y's three-webinar series, accompanied by downloadable resources and online discussions. Presenters and 21st  CCLC practitioners discuss strategies for reaching out to families, designing activities that engage them (student-led activities attract families because "parents love to see their kids shine"), and connecting families to community resources. Find recorded webinar sessions and links to resources and discussions here.
  • Afterschool Alliance Webinar: Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool. Wednesday, January 31 at 2 p.m. ET. Register here. Afterschool and summer programs across the country are helping to close the gap between the skills and competencies students possess and the needs of employers. These programs are addressing these needs by teaching students to effectively communicate, work in teams, and solve problems; connecting students to professional development opportunities; and helping them explore and discover new interests.  Join us for a conversation with Education Practice & Immersion for Credit, Sunrise of Philadelphia, and Minneapolis Beacons to discuss how their programs are helping students build fundamental skills for future success.
  • Texas Space Grant. This aerospace workshop, called LiftOff, emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning experiences by incorporating a space science theme supported by NASA missions. Teacher participants are provided with information and experiences through speakers, hands-on activities and field investigations that promote space science and enrichment activities for themselves and others. Liftoff 2018 will be June 24-29, 2018 at NASA Johnson Space Center. PROGRAM FEATURES: Presentations by NASA scientists and engineers, Tours of NASA and Space Center Houston; Hands-on, inquiry based classroom activities aligned to educational standards; Career Exploration; Teacher Feature (sharing of classroom lessons and activities); Opportunity to interact with researchers dedicated to space missions. The deadline for receiving applications is March 30 for LiftOff 2018 and should be submitted through the online system: http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/liftoff/.
Youth Opportunities:
  • National Youth Science Camp. Two talented graduating seniors will be selected to represent Texas at the 2018 National Youth Science Camp (NYSC). Student delegates attend the STEM and outdoor adventure program, at no charge. Travel is included. The students also spend several days in Washington, DC. Applications are currently open. Applications will close on February 28, 2018 at 6:00pm EST. The dates of NYSC are planned for June 27 - July 21, 2018. Only students who can attend the entire session should plan to apply. Additional information is available at http://apply.nysc.org.
  • 2018 NASA STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science Internship. STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science, or SEES, is a nationally competitive summer intern program for students in grades 10 and 11. NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research, or UT/CSR, have joined forces to provide this opportunity for high school students to increase their understanding of and interest in STEM careers. Scientists and engineers at UT/CSR are conducting NASA-supported research in astronomy, remote sensing and space geodetic techniques to help understand Earth systems, natural hazards and climate science. The SEES project provides selected students with exposure to Earth and space research. Participants will learn how to interpret NASA satellite data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work. The summer 2018 internship requires students to complete distance learning activities prior to their arrival for the on-site internship in Austin, Texas, July 14-28. Housing, transportation and meals will be provided. Students are selected on the basis of their academic records, written application that includes essay questions, introduction video, letter of recommendation, and interest in STEM. Applications are due March 1, 2018. For more information, visit http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/sees-internship/. Please email any questions about this opportunity to Margaret Baguio at baguio@tsgc.utexas.edu
Program Resources and Activities:
  • Classroom Activities Searchable Online. The Earth Science Week Classroom Activities page for more than 120 free learning activities is available. Activities are organized and searchable by various criteria, including specific Earth science topics. To find an activity for a lesson, educators may click on "Search Classroom Activities." Search by grade levels and among 24 categories of Earth science topics, from energy and environment to plate tectonics and weathering. This database-driven resource may be useful for supplementing a prepared curriculum, or for generating activities that address in-the-news events such as fossil discoveries and volcanic eruptions. See the Classroom Activities page
  • February 9-25: Winter Olympics. Help students make connections to statistics, health and nutrition, multiculturalism and more by following Olympic events in South Korea with your students.
  • February 16-19: The Great Backyard Bird Count. Students can be citizen scientists in this international effort. The website offers a data collection form and other support  --- plus a photo contest.
Some relevant reading:

As always, please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or need information.
Christine B. McCormick
Statewide Coordinator
21st CCLC & State Compensatory Education
Texas Education Agency