Interim Hearings About Harvey

The House Public Education Committee met on Thursday, October 12th to discuss how Hurricane Harvey has impacted the public schools in Texas.  There were many stories of tragedy coupled with amazing resilience and hope.

The Senate Education committee will meet on Thursday, November 6th at 10am at the University of Houston Hilton

TPSA has submitted all available data about Harvey's impact on private schools to our congressional delegation in DC as well as the House and Senate Education committeesPast federal hurricane recovery aid included private school tuition assistance, and this should be used as model for recovery from Harvey.

October/November Featured Schools

The schools featured for the next two months are member schools who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey in various ways.  For more information about relief efforts, visit the webpage of the schools.  Abundant Life Christian School, Beth Yeshurun Day School, Emmanuel Episcopal Day School, Knowledge-First Empowerment Academy, Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School, St. Thomas Episcopal School, The Oaks Adventist Christian School and The Post Oak School.

School Marshal Information

With the recent passing of HB 867, private schools are now eligible to participate in the school marshal program. This is a great opportunity for private school districts to provide another option for the protection of their students.

If your school is interested in participating or have any questions about the program, please contact Cera Garrett, School Marshal Specialist: 512-936-7777

[email protected]

Epi Pen Rules - Informal Comments Open

The rules to comply with the SB 579 allowing private schools to stock unassigned epinephrine auto-injectors are available for public comment here.  Once the law is passed, a committee of practicioners was appointed to study how it must be implemented.  The result is in the attachment.

Schools were allowed to stock the unprescribed pens once the bill passed, but once these rules are adopted, then schools will have to follow the procedures outlined in the document.

If you have any comments about these rules, contact:  [email protected].

Cyberbullying Recommendations Sent Out

Recommendations for ways to combat cyberbullying in private schools were sent out to all TPSA member schools on Friday, October 13th to the main contact on file for the school.

If you are a member school, but you did not get these recommendations based on the testimony and research done in crafting this new law, please email us at [email protected] to get a copy.

Please remember that TPSA removed private schools from the state statute because it was inappropriate regulation on private schools.  Accreditation commissions may have adopted standards for addressing this problem, but there is nothing in state law that impacts private schools.

Indonesian Private School Scholars Study Texas Private Schools

A group of Indonesian private school scholars visited Texas in a trip across the US to study how private schools are accredited in the United States.  The government is heavily involved in private school accreditation in their country, and they were very interested in how it is done in Texas in order to ensure that the schools operate according to standards of quality while maintaining the independence, autonomy, and mission of each school.

 More Hurricane Harvey Resources and Information

  • The Centers for Disease Control has mold remediation resources here
  • The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries will be giving out grants this year to rebuild the basic collections of school libraries damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes. Their grant cycle usually gives grants up to $7,000, but these grants will be much larger.  Private schools are eligible.  Applications found here
  • Disaster Distress Helpline:  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Emmanuel Episcopal School in Houston was flooded during Hurricane Harvey.  To donate by check: Emmanuel Episcopal Day School 15015 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX 77079, VENMO: Emmanuel School or @emmanuelhouston, or E-giving: Once you register, you will select "Emmanuel Day School (for rebuilding)"

  • Waivers for Title I - Title I funds for private schools cannot be reduced or delayed due to any circumstance.  If there is a need for delays in services, the local school district should be consulting with the private school to add services over the summer or increase frequency in the rest of the school year.  More information may be found in this webinar.
  • The immunization waiver for displaced students was extended past the 30-day mandate by the state, but this waiver expires on November 1st, unless it is extended again by the Governor.
  • Employee Assistance Programs assist employees with personal problems and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance, mental health and emotional well-being. EAPs generally offer free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services for employees and their household members. EAP counselors can also work in a consultative role with managers and supervisors to address employee and organizational challenges and needs. If your school offers benefits of this kind, this might be the perfect time to take advantage of this benefit.

Educational Pluralism

Dr. Ashley Berner from the Johns Hopkins School of Education spoke about educational pluralism and her book, Pluralism and American Public Education: No One Way to School, at the Texas Public Policy Foundation on October 12th. 

Dr. Berner puts school choice in an international and historic context.  She "challenges the philosophical basis for the traditional common school model and defends the educational pluralism that most liberal democracies enjoy."

Thank You Sponsors!

If you are a principal of a Catholic school, please await instruction from your Diocesan Superintendent before taking action on this email