April 30, 2019
Exploring International Exchanges
Texas Delegation Heads to China

Recently, we announced that AESA established an office in China.

Early in April, Region 12 ESC, Waco, Texas also led a delegation visit to China and shared their trip details with us.

The purpose of their trip was to explore ideas for future educational exchanges and cooperation. Dr. Jerry Maze, Executive Director of Region 12 ESC, was accompanied by Charlene Simpson, Region 12 Deputy Executive Director, Dr. Alexis Neumann, Director of the Rapoport Academy Public School, and Dr. Robert Ott, Director of the Temple Independent School District. Their trip included tours and visits to several locations, as well as several conversations with local officials.

The team visited two schools, Shanghai HD Bilingual School and Zhangjiagang Bailu Primary School. The site visits helped illuminate the Texas team’s understanding of the facilities and programs offered in the two schools. Their trip also included visits with officials from several education bureaus and governmental agencies.

The Texas group met with the Nanjing Education Bureau, the Nanjing Municipal Education Bureau International Exchange Office, Nanjing Xuanwu District Education Bureau, and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Nanjing Municipal People's Government. Our friends from Texas reported that each visit offered them an opportunity to observe educational opportunities, share information about their own programs with their Chinese counterparts, and pave the way for future, in-depth conversations about possible collaborations between the organizations.

We are excited to see how this innovative group will take their next steps!
May 1: We hope to "see" you in the AESACommunity!
What: AESACommunity is an online space for members-only discussions and resources.
AESA Affinity Groups have already been using the space for online collaboration. On May 1, we will launch the platform to all current AESA members for whom we have contact information.

Why: We know members have a wealth of knowledge. AESA has invested in this online space so you have a place to ask questions, share information, seek resources, and make connections ESA-to-ESA.

How: You will receive a notification from the AESACommunity via email. In it, we will share a link to the new AESACommunity along with instructions on how to complete your profile and get started using the system. Take a look around. Make a post. You will receive a daily or weekly digest of what is posted there to stay in the loop and up to date. See you in the community!

EXTENDED to April 30, 2019
Breakout Session Proposals from members are being accepted for the 2019 AESA Annual Conference, which will be held December 4-7, 2019.

April 16 - June 16, 2019
Nominations for AESA Annual Awards are now being accepted. Who do you know who's deserving of one of these recognitions? We want to hear from you!

May 1
Annual Conference registration opens.

Now through May 15
Executives in Residence application window open.

May 15
Registration for Educator Call to Action Conference opens.
Conference dates are September 18-20, 2019 in Washington D.C.

July 15-18, 2019
This year's theme: Make An Impact: ESAs Leading the Way for Stronger Communities
Announcing a New Business Partner:
Rachel's Challenge
Rachel’s Challenge and the Association of Educational Service Agencies (AESA) are excited to announce a dynamic new partnership. Together, we look forward to providing schools and districts with strategic programming to insure safer, more connected K-12 learning environments.

About the Program
Isolation, harassment and violence have unfortunately become the norm for too many young people. Last year Rachel’s Challenge delivered positive and sustainable culture-building programs to 774 schools in 43 states and countries around the world. This represents almost 1 million students, educators and parents now dedicated to maintaining an environment where harassment and violence are replaced with solid connections and renewed hope. Based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine High School shootings, Rachel’s Challenge provides schools with assemblies, student trainings, professional development and support materials that form a proactive, preventative intervention focused on social-emotional learning and behavioral health.  

Schools See Positive Results
After experiencing Rachel’s Challenge, schools report more positive engagement and less isolation. Administrators also see bullying incidents and disciplinary referrals significantly decrease. As a direct result of Rachel’s Challenge, at least seven school shootings have been prevented. Students, parents and educators report more than 100 suicides averted annually through the submission of unsolicited emails like this one:

“When I heard Rachel's story at the assembly in my school, it stopped me from ending my own life. 2019 so far has been the worst year for me as my grandmother has passed away and my niece was taken from my family. Had I not heard Rachel's story, I would have done something horrible and taken myself.” - Student in Wyoming  

Partners with ESAs
Rachel’s Challenge looks forward to collaborating with educational service agencies across the country in our collective effort to create safer, more connected schools. For more information on Rachel’s Challenge, please visit rachelschallenge.org.