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26th May 2023
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Ed. Dept. shares AI recommendations
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET) has published a new report which summarizes the opportunities and risks for artificial intelligence (AI) in teaching, learning, research and assessment. The report, entitled "AI and the Future of Teaching and Learning: Insights and Recommendations," addresses the clear need for sharing knowledge, engaging educators and communities, and refining technology plans and policies for AI use in education. It recognizes that AI can enable new forms of interaction between educators and students, help educators address variability in learning, increase feedback loops, and support educators. It also outlines risks associated with AI, including algorithmic bias challenges, and the importance of trust, safety, and appropriate guardrails to protect educators and students.
The One Professional Learning Event your Team Must Attend This Summer!

Mindsets University is a truly immersive two-day conference offering interactive experiences, powerful self-care practices, motivational keynotes, and best-in-class instructional strategies to ensure well-being, engagement, and success in your classroom—and in life. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with peers and share success and challenges with fellow educators from across the country. Featuring a roster of well-known speakers, including Dr. Salome Thomas El, aka “Principal El” and Dr. Baron R. Davis, the 2023 Mindsets University will inspire, invigorate, and empower educators, and attendees will leave feeling renewed, confident, and ready for the 2023-24 school year. Registration is now open for the event, which takes place June 26-27, at Florida’s Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront, with early-bird pricing through May 26th.  

Register Now!

Matthew Neighbors named new Galveston ISD superintendent
Galveston ISD has named interim chief executive Matthew Neighbors as lone finalist for district superintendent. Former superintendent Jerry Gibson assumed the title retiring superintendent during the school board's May 8th meeting, and will be stepping down at the end of June, officials said. Mr. Neighbors has worked for the school district in various positions for more than 19 years, including assistant principal at Ball High School for five years and director of media arts and innovation for two years.  
Longtime Pearland ISD chief academic officer to retire in June
Pearland ISD chief academic officer Nyla Watson is to retire at the end of June, after serving the district for 41 years. Over the years, Ms. Watson has served as an assistant principal and an associate principal and was eventually named principal to the district's first ninth grade center, which was housed at the campus that now is Turner College and Career High School. "I am a dreamer; I wanted to have students go to college or be employable after high school," she said. "It was important that they be able to make choices and grow as a leader and as a follower."
Katy ISD names principal for newest high school
Katy ISD has named Gina Cobb as the first principal of its as-yet unnamed 10th high school, which is due to open in fall 2024. Ms. Cobb, who finished the 2022-23 school year as principal of Mayde Creek High School, will assume the principalship for the new campus this summer. Ms. Cobb has been a part of the Katy family since 1999 when she began her career in public education. From 1999-2006, she taught and coached at Katy and Morton Ranch junior highs and Morton Ranch High School. In 2006, she began her administrative career in the district. She has held several administrative titles from 2006-12 at Morton Ranch High School, including grade-level assistant principal, administrative assistant principal, student support assistant principal and associate principal.
States 'stepping up' against fentanyl dangers
Oregon has passed a bill that requires schools to educate students on the dangers of fentanyl. The bill, which has bipartisan support, requires the Oregon Health Authority, State Board of Education, and Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission to develop curriculum supplements that school districts must use. The materials will cover the potential risks involved in fentanyl use and the use of other synthetic opioids, and highlight laws in Oregon that provide legal immunity for people who seek treatment. At least three other states - Illinois, Texas and California - are considering similar legislation. Teen deaths from overdoses increased in 2020 and 2021, and overall population deaths from fentanyl have risen significantly since 2016.
States urged to help younger kids get early special ed services
Tens of thousands of young children with developmental delays went without critical services early in the pandemic. Nationally, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University, 77,000 fewer three- and four-year-olds received early childhood special education services in fall 2020, representing a steep 16% drop from the year prior. Similarly, 63,000 fewer infants and toddlers received early intervention services during that time, a 15% decline. “We know that there’s a very good likelihood that those children are going to show up either on the first day of preschool or on the first day of kindergarten needing more services than they otherwise would have needed,” says Katherine Neas, a deputy assistant secretary for the federal education department who helps oversee special education. “We really encourage states to look at what additional supports they can and should give students with disabilities.” The latest federal data from fall 2021 point to a rebound among children aged three and under getting early intervention and special education services, though the share of four-year-olds who got that extra support dropped further.
Strategies to improve bystander reporting in schools
A new toolkit from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and U.S. Secret Service details how schools can encourage improved sharing of safety concerns. The resource suggests five approaches for districts to improve bystander reporting; ensure confidentiality or anonymity and provide multiple reporting avenues, follow up on reports and be transparent about any actions taken in response, share public data about the impact of their reporting program, make reporting a part of daily school life by, for example using promotional materials and school events to remind students of their reporting options, and work to build a positive climate with strong student-staff relationships and where students and staff of all backgrounds feel “secure, important and valued.” Relatedly, a 2022 study by RAND Corp. found people are more likely to report school safety threats if schools use common communication strategies and accessible reporting options.
Typhoon Texas to offer free water park admission to students with 3 A’s or more
Typhoon Texas Waterpark in Katy is rewarding academic success with free and discounted entry four days next week.  Any student who earned three A’s or more for the 2022-23 academic school year will get free admission to the park from Tuesday May 30th through Friday June 2nd. Anyone accompanying the scholar will have a discounted admission of $19.99, down from the standard $39.99 ticket price.

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