A newsletter for members of AESA                                                  October 4, 2016

AESA Joins Coalition To Oppose EPA Regulations

A letter to the EPA 

AESA joined a coalition of education associations and local governance associations to send a  letter  to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to voice concern over a proposed rule regarding florescent light ballasts in schools and child care centers. The EPA is proposing to require the removal of any florescent light ballast containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chemicals used until 1978, when they were found to contain carcinogens. The proposed rule would require schools and child care centers to remove any light ballast containing PCBs within either two or four years. The rule provides no assistance, financial or otherwise, to schools to assist with this removal. 
Several concerns indicated to legislators
Our letter makes clear several concerns: notably the lack of accurate data on which the proposed rule is based, the potential cost, the stringent timeline and the duplication of other federal rules that would make the rule around PCBs unnecessary. Citing a 2014  study by AASA, ASBO and NSBA , the letter clarifies that few schools still have PCB-containing light ballasts and, with regulations banning the sale of the light bulbs that fit these older ballasts, this rule is not only burdensome but unnecessary.

Submitted by Leslie Finnan, AESA Federal Advocacy Team

Can you help? A Member-ESA Is Seeking Your Input
Does your ESA use a Comprehensive Needs Assessment to help you understand the needs of your clients? We'd love to hear from you!
Needs Assessment . . . Needed!
One of our member-ESAs is looking for sample comprehensive needs assessments  that other organizations are using to determine your members (school districts or other clients) professional learning and/or service needs .   

AESA would like to collect your sample needs assessments and make them available to our members! 

If you have such a template, or information to share, please send it to jwade@aesa.us .

We will post a link to the documents we receive in an upcoming OnLine News!
Transgender Student Webinars
The AASA sponsored series of Webinars continue this week. The webinars focus on many issues, including policies for student athletes, responding to community concerns about transgender students, and how to develop a plan for a student transitioning from one gender to another. 

AESA has negotiated a discounted rate of $50 each for those AESA members that are not members of AASA. 
Remaining Dates, Topics, and Registration

Learn Who Transgender Students Are
Today, October 4, 2016   Time: 1-2 p.m.  EST

Learn who transgender students are and how to discuss transgender students with all K-12 students, parents and community members.  This webinar will focus on building a superintendent's understanding of who transgender students are and how to present issues of gender, and gender transitions to students, teachers and members of the community in a helpful way. 
After the webinar, participants will be able to answer the following questions:
  • What terminology should leaders be aware of when discussing transgender students?
  • How should you frame the concept of gender and the experience of students transitioning from one gender to another gender to students depending on their age?
  • What is the best approach to discussing gender, and transgender students specifically, to teachers, members of the community, and school boards?
  • How should school leaders respond to the following common questions: 
    a. Why should my child learn about gender in schools? 
    b. If you are talking about gender, are you talking about sexual orientation, too? 
    c. Won't my child be confused if we talk about more than two genders?
The District's Role in Student Gender Transitions
October 25, 2016  Time: 1-2 p.m. EST

Learn what the district's role is when you have students or school personnel transitioning from one gender to another.  This webinar will focus on the transition process for students and school personnel. 

At the end of the webinar, school leaders will be able to answer the following questions:
  • What is a transition for a f-m student for a m-f student/teacher and how does it work?
  • What is a gender support plan and should my district develop one?
  • What is a gender transition plan and should my district develop one for trans-students and teachers?
  • What are best practices for handling a transgender student or teacher's public transition vs private one?
  • How should school leaders address harassment of transgender students or personnel?

Digital Convergence: 
Assessing and  Implementing Tool 
Free for ESA's and ISD's

What is digital convergence?
Digital Convergence is the fundamental change needed in the K-12 school system to transform teaching and learning for the 21st Century. At the school-district level, Digital Convergence is successful intersection of five major categories of work, or drivers, through which the transition to modern learning environments can successfully occur-Leadership, Instructional Models, Modern Curriculum, Digital Ecosystem, and Professional Learning. School districts demonstrate progress toward Digital Convergence in 7 Stages, each containing Success Indicators, or action items, that demonstrate advancement in a particular area.

Modern Teacher has developed an assessment tool.
Because of the highly complex nature of Digital Convergence - requiring systemic planning, participation, collaboration, and oversight - Modern Teacher has developed the Digital Convergence Assessment Tool to help school districts gain a comprehensive picture of their current state. The Tool provides a detailed analysis of school districts' overall standing in relation to the 7 Stages of Digital Convergence, as well as their specific progress in each of the five drivers. The Assessment provides school districts with verification of key areas of focus, and thus serves as a roadmap for future planning and work. School districts have leveraged the findings of the Assessment to redirect and refocus their efforts. The Digital Convergence Assessment Tool is based on the Digital Convergence Framework - the national standard on Digital Convergence - which is validated and shared by school districts across the country.

Find out more.
Modern Teacher offers the Assessment for free to any educational service agency and school district. If your school system is interested in taking the Assessment, visit the Modern Teacher website  www.modernteacher.com

More information is available by emailing contact@modernteacher.com