April 28, 2020
Resources from
State Association Online Network
AESA supports the work of the executive directors for the various state associations in an online network. This network has been meeting regularly to share resources since stay at home orders were implemented due to COVID-19.  At a network meeting Noelle Ellerson Ng, AESA Legislative Liaison, provided a federal update for the group (PowerPoint featured below).

Additionally, Jessica Vavrus, executive director for the Washington ESDs, shared several resources with the group. These resources maybe beneficial for you too!
Be sure to check out the AESA Marketplace for services from your colleagues from across the country!
Federal Advocacy
AESA Joins Groups in $2 Billion Push to
Close the Homework Gap
In an effort to close the “homework gap” more than 50 education and related national associations are lining up behind new legislation calling for an additional $2 billion in emergency funding to help students without high speed internet access continue learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Legislation proposed by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) would use the funds through the FCC’s E-rate Program for parents to purchase WiFi hot spots, modems, routers, and other Internet connected devices.

Schools in every state are closed with several of them announcing they will not reopen this year. “Time is of the essence to provide remote and distance learning support,” they wrote. “An estimated 9 to 12 million students and some of their teachers currently lack home Internet access and are unable to participate in their classes that have been moved online.” This legislation would do just that.
AESA Joins Groups in Push for Nonprofit Education Associations in the next COVID-19 Legislation
Please see the letter below to congressional leadership urging them to provide additional relief for nonprofit education associations in the next COVID-19 legislation.

The CARES Act provided some relief for nonprofit associations in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The popularity of these programs is well known, as PPP had already run out of funds since its creation in CARES. This led to Congress passing the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act just yesterday to provide additional funds for this program to support small businesses and associations across the United States. While 501(c)(3) organizations qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), many of the nonprofit organizations and state affiliates of national organizations that support educators are registered as 501(c)(6) organizations as professional associations. Although 501(c)(6) organizations can access certain aid through Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), additional support is needed to ensure these organizations can provide their members with the support necessary in these trying times.

For this reason, we are asking that Congress expand PPP in the next COVID-19 response package to include 501(c)(6) organizations. Additionally, we are requesting that these organizations qualify for the ERTC once their application for PPP has been accepted. Currently, organizations can only choose to either qualify for ERTC or apply for PPP and don't have the capacity to receive both supports from the federal government.
Business Partner News:
MindShine Technologies
Introduces Interactive Smart Phone App
Scenario 1, School Bus Accident: Administrator arrives on the scene and quickly speaks into her cell phone: “I need all the names and emergency contact numbers for students on Bus 129”. Within a few seconds, that information appears on her phone.

Scenario 2: Student falls on the school playground and lies unconscious. The teacher on duty quickly speaks into their cell phone: “I need 8 th grader, Cindy Washington’s emergency contact numbers”. Within a few seconds, that information appears on her phone.

Scenario 3: Thursday afternoon, the football coach speaks into his/her cell phone:  “ I need the list of ineligible players for tomorrow’s game." Within a few seconds, that information appears on his phone.

Scenario 4: Teacher, thinking about a 3-day weekend, speaks into his/her cell phone: “How many PT days do I have left?” Within a few seconds, that information appears on his/her phone.
The Interactive Voice Assistance (TIVA) is the newest smart phone app from MindShine Technologies. TIVA uses a neural network around a database in order to recognize natural language requests quickly and simply.

Organizations that already have FAQs for students, parents or staff can easily add questions and answers into TIVA, so their constituents can ask questions naturally into their cell phones and get key information quickly.

MindShine is working with Mike Fuller, Director at Muskingum Valley ESC, to establish a school district pilot in Ohio.  We would like to establish a few more district pilots in other states.

We offer a 30-minute web session to demonstrate the capabilities of TIVA to members of AESA. If you have a district in your region that would be interested in joining the pilot, please contact us at bobdarby1020@gmail.com.
AESA e-Classroom
AESA's e-classroom is a series of webinars designed specifically for Educational Service Agencies (ESAs) about issues directly relevant to ESAs.

All staff members of AESA member organizations may attend one or all of the sessions for the discounted price of $50 per session. (Non-members are $75 per session.)
Webinars
Webinars Sponsored by Business Partners
AESA's business partners generously provide informative and timely webinars about topics critical to ESAs. If no price is listed, the webinar is FREE to AESA members.

Upcoming webinars are featured below. Plus - check out the Webinar/Virtual Conferences Archives to view past webinars.
Webinars: Microsoft is Available to Help You with Online Learning Resources
Attended online webinars?
Viewed online resources and courses?
Still have questions?
We are here for you...

When:
Tuesday, April 28, 7 a.m. PDT

Thursday, April 30, 4 p.m. PDT

Where: Microsoft Teams Online
(Use the links above to “Join the Meeting”)

Please use this link to share information
about any topics you would like addressed.
Webinar: E-Therapy: An Online Therapist Training, Special Education Solution.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
2:30 pm Eastern (1:30 pm Central; 12:30 pm Mountain; 11:30 am Pacific)

E-Therapy provides a comprehensive platform solution webinar that supports districts' special education programs. This webinar will address how E-Therapy is extending the use of their platform and therapist training program to SPED directors, in-house therapy staff and paraprofessionals when working remotely. Their STAR platform addresses how to directly train therapists to become e-therapists, supervise paraprofessionals, document student progress, track data collection, assign HIPAA compliant, private and secure therapy rooms, and maintain total oversight of a remote special education program. E-Therapy . . . getting your program quickly and safely online.
Webinar: Anonymous Reporting & Training for Schools
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
2 pm Eastern (1 pm Central; 12 Noon Mountain; 11 am Pacific)

STOPit Solutions is the nation’s leading anonymous reporting system that teaches how to identify and get help for individuals displaying violent, unsafe or harmful behaviors. To date, over 6,000 K-12 schools nationwide use STOPit Solutions resulting in thousands of lives being saved and intervened upon. Join STOPit Solutions to learn more about lifesaving programs and how to take advantage of offsetting school ESA-related costs BEFORE the Federal Government’s June 9, 2020  STOP Act Grant  submission deadline.  
Webinar: Microsoft Virtual Education Transformation Summit
Virtual Education Transformation Summit: Disrupting the Education Paradigm
May 5, 2020 | 8:30 AM - 11 AM (Pacific)
Over the last few months, we have seen a huge, unprecedented shift towards distance learning in education systems across the world as a response to COVID-19. Microsoft invites you, along with Ministries of Education and top-level leaders of education systems around the globe, to join us on May 5th, 2020, with Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, UNESCO Assistant Director-General Stefania Giannini, and OECD Education Director, Andreas Schleicher to the Virtual Education Transformation Summit , a unique online forum. Together, we will explore the impact of large-scale adoption of distance learning and identify strategies to drive deeper transformation of mainstream schooling.
IMPORTANT REGISTRATION NOTE: During the registration process, you will be required to enter the name of AESA’s Microsoft Account Manager Renon Freels.  ( In an effort to have a strong layer of security for the event, the registration confirmation will not be immediate. You can expect it within 1 week of registering.)
Annual Conference Breakout Session Proposals Deadline is April 28
The Annual Conference Break Out Session Call for Proposals deadline is today! The type of breakout sessions being considered are:
  • 60-minute sessions;
  • 6 Innovations in 60 Minutes: 6 presenters from ESAs share their innovations in 60 minutes;
  • ESA Talks: A 15-minute TED Talk-like presentation
Upcoming Events and COVID-19
At this time, our conferences are still scheduled to occur as planned. We are monitoring the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and will announce any changes directly to registrants, invitees, and in this newsletter.

Currently, we are moving forward with our planning for the Summer Leadership Conference. We are also considering moving conferences to a virtual environment and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Please be assured that should CDC or local, state or organizational travel restrictions require attendees to cancel their registrations, AESA will refund your registration fees in full.
Summer Leadership Conference
July 20-23, 2020
Hilton Nashville Downtown
Registration open.
Educators' Call to Action Conference
September 28-30 2020
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill
AESA Annual Conference
December 2-5, 2020
Hilton Orlando, Florida