May 5, 2020
Leadership in Tough Times:
A Heartwarming Story, an Ingenious Idea,
and Masks!
This story came to AESA from:
Leigh Ann Putman, Ed.D.
Executive Director
Metropolitan Regional Educational Service Agency
Smyrna, Georgia
An acquaintance of mine has solved a big problem that many districts are facing here in Georgia… finding N95 and surgical MASKS! 

Jeramy Ragsdale ( owns assisted living facilities in the Atlanta area and when all this started, he immediately shut down his facilities to outside visitors. He was struggling to find PPE for his folks in his facilities, so he (being the entrepreneurial type) leveraged some contacts in Europe and in China. He made the local news with a story about what he did to help combat some of the loneliness his residents were feeling after shutting down to visitors. (Watch the FB Video!)

Masks available
He is flying three giant planes worth of PPE into Atlanta every week. He currently has about 400,000 N95 and surgical-type masks in stock in a warehouse and ready to ship to any location, and he has plenty more on the way. 

He set up a website, , to make masks easy to order. There is a tax exempt option for schools and districts. He can handle any amount. 

Here is that story. It’s so precious and it’s a reflection of the kind of person he is. For a little heart smile today!
Wireless Industry Launches Initiative to Help Schools and Children Get Connected
CTIA, the wireless industry's association, announced a new program to help children participate in distance learning during COVID-19.

To make sure students have the tools they need to participate in distance learning and stay engaged with their teachers and classmates from afar, companies across the wireless ecosystem have increased data allotments, donated and discounted devices, and launched new online tools, services and educational games.

To read more about some of the wide-ranging measures the wireless industry is taking to assist students during COVID-19, visit CTIA’s Connecting Kids Initiative

Official representatives from schools and school districts can visit the remote learning need assessment page to submit connectivity requests and direct any questions to .
AESA Working for You! Federal Advocacy
Our legislative liaisons represent AESA's voice on important emerging issues. Please read the following letters to which AESA signed on and are provided as a resource for your own advocacy.
AESA Business Partner News:
Grant Writing Services from
STOPit Solutions

The STOP School Violence Act has allocated funding to implement the STOPit platform at no cost for 3 years. (Please share this information with your districts too!)

STOPit Solutions has grant writers on staff ready to help schools and districts gain access to the funds if they apply by June 9, 2020.

STOPit’s  comprehensive anonymous reporting platform  is designed to enable students to report quickly and allow administrators to respond effectively, enhancing your current school safety initiatives. With built-in 24/7 monitoring, staff can be assured that all student issues are addressed quickly and effectively.
Learn from Experienced ESA Leaders
AESA e-Classroom
AESA's e-Classroom is a series of webinars designed specifically for educational service agencies (ESAs) about topics directly relevant to ESAs. The presenters are experienced ESA staff members who have ideas to share to help you grow your ESA services! Join in! Get inspired! Lead the way.

Thursday, May 7 @ 3:00 pm Eastern
Designing an Employee Generated Continuous Improvement Strategic Plan
Presenter: Dr. Lolli Haws, Chief Administrator, Green Hills AEA (IA)

Thursday, May 14 @ 3:00 pm Eastern
Lead Like a Conductor - Inspire Your Team's Inner Gifts
Presenter: James Brescia, Superintendent, San Luis Obispo COE (CA)

Thursday, May 21 @ 3:00 pm Eastern
Mentoring and Induction Can Make a BIG Impact on New Teachers
Presenters: Tyler Youngers, Educational Consultant, Jordan Menning, Educational Consultant, Jody Still-Herbold, Educational Consultant and Kristin Wilshire, Educational Consultant, Northwest AEA (IA)

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 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.

Visit the AESA Webinars Webpage to see the upcoming webinars.
Find recordings of past webinars at: Webinar/Virtual Conferences Archives
Annual Conference
December 2-5, 2020

Keynote Speakers Announced
Jenny Lay-Flurrie
Ricky Robertson
Stacey Bess
Accessibility In the Modern World
Over 1 billion people in the world have a disability. During our lifetimes, all of us will experience a situation where we benefit directly from accessibility features built into products, services, and structures.

Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, will speak to the evolution of accessibility and how Microsoft is making accessibility a core part of their culture. She will share examples of how AI allows people to fully participate in work, in life, and at home.
Resilience for Educators and Their Students
By developing practices that support both educator and student resilience we can transform our schools!

Ricky Robertson has worked with students from pre-K to 12th grade who have persevered in the face of adverse experiences and trauma. He coaches educators to develop a relationship-based approach to teaching and learning to inspire transformation. He is the co-author of the book, Building Resilience in Students Impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences: A Whole-Staff Approach .
Powerful and Caring
Work Place Communities
Through the stories of the young people she has served, Stacey Bess offers powerful lessons that can change the life of a child, build and empower a family, and improve a community.

Stacey Bess is a teacher and author of  Nobody Don't Love Nobody . Her book gained national attention and was made into a 2011 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie called, "Beyond the Blackboard."

AESA's 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
Educators' Call to Action Conference
September 28-30 2020
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill
AESA Annual Conference
December 2-5, 2020
Hilton Orlando, Florida