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TASPA 2018 Summer Conference Topics at a Glance


2018 Summer Conference Topic Descriptions


Culturally Relevant Recruitment and Hiring - Dr. Takesha Winn, Dallas ISD
In this session, participants will explore hiring through the conceptual framework of the Fit Theory and the tenets of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Findings from research conducted will be explored, and participants will be able to understand implications for their own district processes.


Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - Stephen Trautmann, J. Cruz & Associates, LLC
We will focus on the recent outbreak of sexual harassment claims and how to avoid similar claims in the workplace environment. In today's "post-Weinstein era, recent harassment claims made against celebrities and moguls could lead to an increase in reported claims by both male and female employees. Attendees will receive the appropriate training on identifying behavior which could lead to claims and other legal issues. We will provide guidance on investigating complaints, how to handle complaints and what actions are needed to maintain a positive work environment. 


Snapchat Decisions: Educator Use of Social Media in the Smartphone Age - Chad Timmons, Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C.
Seven out of every ten American adults now use at least one social media platform, and the numbers only increase across younger demographic groups. While social media has connected us in an unprecedented way, the widespread use of these websites can create a plethora of problems for school districts and their employees. Superintendent Brad Hunt and school attorney Chad Timmons will discuss social media use for educators. The presentation will include an overview of proper and improper use of social media for district employees, investigation of improper social media use, electronic communications with students, social media use during elections, and legislative updates. Keep your district up to date with social media use and prevent your employees from posting into a problem!


Looking Ahead: Education Issues in the 86th Legislature - David Anderson, HillCo Partners
The issues and players in the upcoming 86th Texas Legislature will be previewed in this session. 


Under Attack! Minimizing the Risk and Mitigating the Impact of Cybercrime - Mari McGowan, Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C.

According to the FBI, schools are the hot new target for sophisticated cybercriminals. These crooks use a combination of new technology and old-fashioned con-artist techniques to steal millions of dollars and put data at risk. There are legal and practical steps district personnel can take to prevent and mitigate cybercrime. Assistant Superintendent for Employee Services Beth Brockman and school law attorney Mari McGowan will discuss the most common forms of cybercrime, how employees can recognize a potential criminal scheme, potential legal liability for breaches, and best practices for district personnel in order to prevent future cyber-attacks. Learn about these commonly employed cybercrime techniques and the steps district employees can take to minimize the risk and mitigate the impact of cyber-attacks.


Game Change: Building Leadership Capacity in Central Staff - Staceye Randle, Dallas ISD

This session will cover the basics of building leadership capacity within central staff through meaningful learning experiences and alignment to performance measures.


Beyond the Boundaries: Identifying, Reporting, and Investigating Educator/Student Misconduct - Bridgette Collins, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD
Educators remain among the most trusted figures in our society, but sometimes they cross professional boundaries with students. When professional boundaries are crossed, educators can easily find themselves responding to allegations of misconduct. This session will provide participants with a best practice model the Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D. school district has designed to help educators (1) identify motivating factors that lead to inappropriate relationships, (2) report questionable/suspicious behaviors, (3) gain insight into the variety of different and effective strategies/resources used for investigating allegations of misconduct, and (4) examine the benefits of implementing a collaborative partnership between human resources and their District/local law enforcement agency.


HR Hot Topics - Amy Campbell, TASB HR Services
District HR staff call and email questions to TASB HR Services on a wide variety of topics, and HR Services staff regularly see trends emerge. Led by the director and a senior consultant in HR Services, this session will cover many of the "hot topics" HR staff have inquired about in the past few months. What have districts been asking about this winter, spring, and summer? Come get the questions and answers in this engaging session. Whether you enjoyed the HR Hot Topics presentation at the winter conference or missed out, come join us for new content presented in the same engaging format.


Educator Misconduct and Reporting - Doug Phillips, TEA
An overview of the current state of investigating and reporting educator misconduct will be presented by the director of educator investigations for the Texas Education Agency.  


Implementing an Effective Retention Plan - Joe Palmer, Temple ISD
At Temple ISD, the turnover rate increased from 16% to 25% in just three years according to the AEIS and TAPR Reports. In a district with 75% low SES and almost 90% at-risk student population, this is not unusual but it is unacceptable. Temple ISD implemented an "All Hands on Deck" approach.  All departments were involved and systems were put in place to address the issue. In two years, it appears the rate has improved to 18% even at a time when most peer district turnover continued to rise. The approach is a very practical, budget-neutral plan that is applicable to any district either small or large. The precepts should work at districts even with high retention numbers.


Who wants to be a FLSA Expert? - Luz Cadena, TASB HR Service
Are you an expert in all things related to the Fair Labor Standards Act? Test your knowledge on the details of the FLSA in this interactive and fun game. Seasoned HR professionals can confirm their expert status, and those newer to HR can expand their knowledge, through an engaging and educational trivia game.


Building a hiring profile from feedback to the interview. - Elaine Howard, Boerne ISD
Hiring for a high profile administrative position can be an overwhelming process especially, when having to bring together large groups of students, staff and parents to identify the specific characteristics they would hope to see in the next district leader. This session provides a look at how Boerne ISD is using stakeholder input and involvement in building a hiring profile and how they utilized an innovative method and technology in conducting the interview and selection process.


Managing the complexities of leave requirements and the ADA - April Mabry, TASB HR Services

This session will address the overlap of leave statutes and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We will help you understand requirements to provide employees with leave and when a reasonable ADA accommodation is required. Some of the issues covered will include: What is a "serious health condition?"  Who is a "qualified individual with a disability?" What is a "reasonable accommodation" and how does it relate to employee leave?


Independent Contractors or Employees - Jameson Baker, Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C.

When it comes to determining the difference between employees and independent contractors, what you don't know CAN hurt you! Whether it is a targeted or random audit, if the IRS determines that a district has misclassified an employee as an independent contractor, the district can owe three times the original employment taxes that should have been paid for the employee. This session from Shellie Hoffman Crow and Jameson Baker, two experienced school law attorneys, will address the guidelines for determining status as an independent contractor or an employee.


Employee Religious Expression in the Workplace - Karla Schultz, Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C.

Public school districts in Texas have an increasingly diverse workforce, including diversity of religious beliefs. In order to comply with the law, while also providing a welcoming workplace, school district administrators must properly address the varied religious accommodations requested by employees. So whether it's dealing with requests for leave, exceptions to the dress code, prayer during the duty day, religious objections to participating in school activities, or other real world scenarios, this session will help school district administrators understand how, or if, an employee's religious beliefs must be accommodated. Two experienced school attorneys will discuss the practical application of the laws that come into play when employees claim that their religious beliefs require them to engage in, or refrain from, certain activities.


I'm in HR, Now What? Navigating your first year as a Human Resources professional - Missy Hutson, Northwest ISD
Navigating through the first year of human resources can be a stressful transition. Moving from a campus to central administration can leave you feeling overwhelmed, unprepared, and sometimes confused. This presentation will review the trials, tribulations, and real life events of two first year HR professional and how they survived!


Alvin ISD Grown Our Own Teachers - Kim Alvarez, Alvin ISD
In the last two years, Alvin ISD has implemented more ideas to grow our own future teachers from our CTE classes from the Instructional Practices in Education and Training and Practicum of Education (IPPE). Come learn some new ideas to bring back students who will be your future teachers.


Help! My compensation plan needs an update - Keith McLemore, TASB
Is your district having trouble recruiting quality teachers and other staff? Are top candidates turning down job offers? Are employees leaving for better pay? This session provides attendees with ways to recognize warning signs that their district’s compensation plan is in need of an update and strategies to address them.


Silencing Silent Speech - First Amendment Technology Issues Involving Employees - Wesley Johnson, Escamilla & Poneck, LLP

Is your district having trouble recruiting quality teachers and other staff? Are top candidates turning down job offers? Are employees leaving for better pay? This session provides attendees with ways to recognize warning signs that their district's compensation plan is in need of an update and strategies to address them.


ADA and FMLA....Where Have We Been and Where Do We Go From Here? - Wesley Johnson, Escamilla & Poneck, LLP
Around 2005, Wesley Johnson authored an article for TASPA by this same name. The result was a lengthy and informative booklet that members were able to use as a helpful resource for many years. Flash forward to 2018 and it is time to revive and update that document. Participants will receive an updated copy of the original booklet that incorporates the ADA Amendments Act and Family Medical Leave Act regulatory updates that have happened since that original presentation. Caselaw information and Q & A relevant to current trends in Texas school districts will be included.


Preparation for a Level III Grievance -Rick Rodriguez, Lubbock ISD
The thought of going through a grievance is not a pleasant one - the idea of preparing for a level III grievance is not something any of us want to experience. . . but you will if you are in HR!  Come and see how this administrator prepared and conducted a level III grievance. You will not regret it!


One District's Journey for a Substitute Teaching Solution - Dr. Robert Stewart, Denton ISD

This session will focus on the strategic and proactive process that the Denton ISD utilized in finding a solution to their continuous challenges of low fill rates in classrooms due to teacher absences.  The session will provide insight and discussion surrounding their implementation of best practices to ensure a maximum fill rate of highly qualified substitutes for their classrooms who will help to ensure the continuity of instruction in the absence of the classroom teacher.  This session will also provide an update regarding their substitute fill rates since implementation.


Do this, not that: Moving from transactional to strategic HR practices - April Mabry, TASB HR Services
HR departments can just be transactional and focused on compliance activities, or they can be leaders in improving the quality of talent acquisition and retention, employee development, and management of a school district’s human resources. This session will help you identify system improvements to improve the overall effectivenes

s of the department and put you on the path to become a strategic and innovative partner at the district level.

Connecting Performance Evaluation to Professional Learning - Melva Cardenas, PeopleAdmin/TalentEd
Building teacher capacity can be accomplished by providing targeted professional learning opportunities. Using data from performance evaluations can help when making data-driven decisions to identify the professional development needs of the teacher. Learn how using evaluation data helps to effectively plan focused professional learning and to coach and guide teachers for the purpose of improving, not only practice, but student achievement.


DOL Compliance: Is Your School at Risk? - Rob Lindsey, TimeClock Plus
Is your school prepared for an audit from the recent Department of Labor (DOL) changes? Increased federal and state labor regulations, coupled with restrictive budgets has made employee management and compliance particularly challenging for K12 organizations. Come learn how the changes could affect your organization, and gain valuable insight on how the right labor management tools can ensure compliance with FLSA, FMLA, and ACA while simplifying and improving your workforce management process.


Carrots!  How to entice substitute teachers to take more assignments - Fred Bentsen, ESS/Source4Teachers

Substitute Teachers who work often understand your students and schools.  But how do you entice substitutes to take more assignments?  Carrots!  This workshop will focus on best practices to ensure that your district is doing all that you can to motivate substitute teachers to work more which ensures a more efficient and effective substitute program.

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