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Volume 5 - January 2020

Education Innovation In The Lone Star State

Welcome to the fifth edition of the Education Innovation in the Lone Star State Newsletter! This quarterly newsletter connects Texas leaders who are innovating at the school, district, and state level. Our purpose is to share the amazing work of the districts we partner with and to inspire and guide others to lead innovative work.

In this edition, you will get new ideas for building stronger teams, learn three different things districts in Texas are doing, and hear about an opportunity to join us in Dallas in March. 



Most leaders want their teams to be more inclusive, innovative, and effective. Very few know where or how to start changing team practices to achieve this shift. Education Elements works with leaders to identify how to change their teams’ habits and introduce new habits that can increase inclusion, effectiveness, and collaboration. Here are four ways to learn more about this:

  1. Join us at Keara Mascareñaz’s thought leader session at the TASA Midwinter Conference on January 28 at 9:00 AM. Keara is the author of The New Team Habits: A Guide To The New School Rules and the toolkit creator for The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools. 
  2. Join us for a 60-minute session at TASA Midwinter Conference, Team Habits for a Better Meeting, on January 28 at 1:00 PM.
  3. Add The New Team Habits: A Guide To The New School Rules to your reading list in 2020. 
  4. Set up a time to chat with someone from our team to learn more about bringing this work to your team.  



We are excited to bring you three short stories from districts across Texas who are connecting the community in building their roadmap, establishing readiness for schools interested in rolling out PL, and using design thinking to improve PLC structures. 

image12Temple ISD has rolled out a cohort model starting with one grade level at all 15 campuses. This year marked the second year with an additional grade level, while other teachers have explored BL practices as part of a “discovery phase.” This model allows practicing BL teachers to open up their doors and support other teachers as they begin implementation. Community members continue to learn about BL through district-wide and school-level community events, showcasing Blended Learning in action.

You can hear more at the TASA Midwinter Conference where Temple ISD will be presenting A Roadmap For Implementing Blended Learning With Community Support In Your District on January 28, 1:00-2:00 PM.

image20Klein ISD proudly announced 7 campuses joining their inaugural Personalized Learning Cohort. These school teams completed a rigorous application process and hosted District PL Council members and our Education Elements team for readiness visits, where we learned about each school’s strengths, perspectives, priorities, and opportunities. Learn more about the process here.

You can hear more at the TASA Midwinter Conference where Klein ISD will be presenting Are You Ready for PL? on January 28, 2:15-3:15 PM.


PL 4Principals and Leadership Teams of San Marcos CISD engaged in the design thinking process to redesign their PLCs to drive growth in top school needs. Schools are piloting structures that focus on collaborative problem-solving, data analysis, lesson planning to meet the needs of all learners, and looking at student work protocols to name a few.

You can hear more at the TASA Midwinter Conference where San Marcos ISD will be presenting Use Design Thinking To Improve Your PLCs on January 27, 1:00-2:00 PM.




Join Us: Our Team will be at TASA Midwinter Conference in Austin

We are excited to be attending the TASA Midwinter Conference in Austin, January 26-29 where we will be attending and hosting sessions. You can catch us at the following:

  • January 27, 1:00-2:00 PM: Use Design Thinking To Improve Your PLCs, San Marcos ISD
  • January 28, 9:00-10:00 AM: Thought Leader Session: Teams are the Key to Your District’s Success, Keara Mascareñaz
  • January 28, 1:00-2:00 PM: A Roadmap For Implementing Blended Learning With Community Support In Your District, Temple ISD
  • January 28, 1:00-2:00 PM: Team Habits For Better Meetings, Klein ISD
  • January 28, 2:15-3:15 PM: Are You Ready for PL?, Klein ISD
  • January 29, 7:00 AM: get outside with us for a walk/run with us!

The Ed Elements team will be hosting a walk/run on Wednesday morning and we would love to have you join us. Sign up here to get outside so we make sure to have enough swag for the morning. Not going to make the walk/run but want to meet up for a chat? Email natalie@edelements.com to coordinate times to chat with our team.

Join Us: Texas Personalized Learning Academy for Leaders in Dallas

We are excited to host the Dallas Personalized Learning Academy in March! The PL Academy is a free, one-day professional development event designed for district leaders at all stages of personalized learning implementation. This event is in partnership with Google for Education and Dallas ISD. District and school leaders from around Texas are invited to join us and learn more about personalized learning, leadership strategies, and ways to support innovation. 

Sign up today for the Dallas ISD Personalized Learning Academy, March 9 to secure your free spot.

Have questions? Reach out to natalie@edelements.com

Education Elements Summit in Austin

The premier event for district leaders who are transforming leadership, teams, and teaching & learning. Join our diverse and vibrant community of innovative district and school leaders, student-centered learning practitioners, design thinkers, researchers, philanthropists, and change-makers, all dedicated to transforming education, for 2+ days of professional development and networking.

Sign up for the Education Elements Summit, May 13-15 in Austin, TX.

Strategic Planning Leadership Institute

How Can We Create An Inspiring And Responsive Strategic Plan?

This leadership institute is for district leaders who want to create strategic plans that are inspiring, responsive, and actionable. This day-and-a-half long institute will prepare your team to engage in an effective strategic planning process. You will develop knowledge of tools and practices that you can use in your district, including how to assess your current state, include community voice from a variety of stakeholder groups, prioritize needs, and create a responsive plan. 

  • April 8-9 in Denver, CO
  • April 29-30 in Houston, TX
  • November 5-6 in Houston, TX

Learn more and sign up for the Strategic Planning Leadership Institutes.

New Team Habits Leadership Institute

How Can We Build Better Team Habits For Learning, Meetings, and Projects?

This leadership institute is for district leaders who want to improve the way their teams work. Teams are critical in driving change across a district and the key to any successful transformation is the team leading and supporting that work. Too often teams try to launch new initiatives while working in the same way. In this workshop, we'll look specifically at team habits for more effective learning, meetings, and projects, and introduce the framework, "5 Steps For Building Team Habits," part of the best-selling book, The New Team Habits published by Corwin Press in November 2019. You will leave with new knowledge and specific habits you can implement with your teams. 

  • June 10-11 in San Antonio, TX
  • September 30-October 1 in Dallas, TX

Learn more and sign up for the New Team Habits Leadership Institutes.

Look for our next newsletter in April! Want to be featured? Want to speak with a district doing amazing work? Contact Keara Mascareñaz at keara@edelements.com.


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