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Topic Session Descriptions

TASPA 2014 Summer Conference

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Topic Sessions I
10:00 – 11:00 AM

Title: Fingerprinting Compliance: Review and Update

Description: This session provides an introduction to the process for fingerprinting new employees and substitute teachers as they are hired, in accordance with TEC Chapter 22, Subchapter C. It includes a brief look at the process beginning with uploading employee information to the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) to initiate the fingerprinting process, scheduling appointments with MorphoTrust, and reviewing results in the DPS Clearinghouse. Jeannie will also review the process of desk auditing by TEA to assess levels of compliance of ISDs and charters.

Jeannie Tomasek, Fingerprinting Manager, Texas Education Agency

Title: HR Technology: Texas Examples for Effective Recruiting and Paperless Paperwork
Description: In this session we’ll review Best-Practices for effective Job Postings, using Social Media to build your talent pool, Job Advertising Timelines, and how HR Automation saves time so you can actually implement these great ideas. Using references and examples from Texas Districts, we’ll review how HR innovators are able to connect with the highest-rated applicants before anyone else, and what they did to become proactive in their HR functions.

Paul Montgomery, Director of Sales, Aspex Solutions/AppliTrack

Title: Take the Headache Out of Texas State Training Mandates

Description: Does the mention of HB 1942, SB 471, or HB 984 make your head hurt? If you answered "YES", then the SafeSchools Staff Training System is the cure! Our staff training system delivers online courses on Bullying Prevention, TX Child Abuse Prevention, TX Diabetes Awareness, TX Educators' Code of Ethics, and many more school safety topics that can help you comply with these important state training mandates. And, our Policy Tool lets you upload your policies and assign them to staff, too. And best of all, training and policy acceptance is automatically tracked in one easy-to-use system. Staff training and compliance management have never been easier! Join your colleagues as they share their SafeSchools Training success stories. Fun prizes for session attendees!

Andrew Deitschel, Senior Sales Manager, SafeSchools, LLC

Title: Can They Say That? Dealing With the Outspoken Employee

Description: It’s no surprise that employees frequently vent their frustrations, but it is certainly more challenging when they take to social media and other public outlets to do so. This presentation will examine the difference between protected employee speech and everyday complaints, as well as the legal issues that arise when administrators try to deal with employee speech. Two Walsh Anderson attorneys bring explain the legal considerations and offer practical advice in this helpful session.

Joey Moore, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño
Mark Goulet, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño

Title: Is a Dreaded IRS Audit Coming to a School Near You?

Description: 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! Two Walsh Anderson attorneys outline what you need to know in order to avoid these worrisome tax ramifications.

Shellie Hoffman Crow, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño
Laura Rodriguez McClean, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño

Title: Subs Need Technology Too! Training Substitutes to Use Interactive Technology

Description: School districts invest millions in interactive technology, much of which may go unused on days that the teacher is absent. Learn how one district created a training program with online and face-to-face components designed to address the unique needs of substitutes and create a seamless transition between the teacher and the substitute without interruption to student learning.

Kimberly Brown, Educational Technology Trainer, Mansfield ISD

Topic: Fun, Games & Absenteeism Statistics in Texas

Description: Looking for some free goodies, with some educational materials on the side? Come to the Frontline Presentation! We’ll be giving out lots of prizes and giveaways – one lucky attendee will even win a Kindle! Plus, if ABSENTEEISM or SUBSTITUTE issues are getting you down, we’ve got good news for you: we are going to provide you with some compelling Aesop data regarding the latest information and statistics surrounding attendance in Texas – trends like absence rates, fill rates, pro-active vs. re-active substitutes, MOBILE substitutes, and much, much more. This session is a great way to learn from other districts about how they are handling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), reducing absenteeism and increasing substitute fill rates. The Frontline Presentation is the one NOT to miss this year.

Seth Gurss, Sr. Regional Account Manager, Aesop/Frontline Technologies

Title: The ABC's and 123's for Starting an Employee Childcare Facility

Description: Looking to retain quality staff and decrease stress through a strong curriculum based employee childcare facility? Come find out about the ABC's and 123's to make this happen in your district. From state regulations, site considerations and funding options, come listen to two veteran administrators and how they collaborated in both Sheldon ISD and Dickinson ISD to create a quality childcare program.

Marna Robertson, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Dickinson ISD
Melissa Bishop, Director of Gator Academy, Dickinson ISD

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Topic Sessions II
1:45 – 2:45 PM

Title: Book Study - "Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work," written by David Rock

Description: "You start a conversation with someone you manage, a conversation about a project that could be going better. You want to improve their performance and think you know what they should do. You estimate the conversation should only take a few minutes yet somehow 45 minutes later you’re still going around in circles. Sound familiar?” If this sounds familiar to you, come join a book study that will provide a brain-based approach to help you improve your own and your colleagues’ performance. Contribute, learn from, grow and have fun! Participants who have purchased the book in advance of this session will have read Part I and will be prepared to actively participate in an informal small group discussion about their learnings culminating in a share out with the larger group. (Two to three webinars will be scheduled in the fall for participants to discuss subsequent chapters with the final discussion occurring in a session at the TASPA/TAEE 2014 Winter Conference. Book study tools will be offered.)

Penny Benz, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Keller ISD

Topic: Save paper, time and sanity while you seek the best candidate

Description: Finding and retaining the best talent is integral to student success, but the application process is often inefficient and overwhelming for HR, principals and even applicants. The piles of paper, constant follow-up calls and incapable software are frustrations that prevent schools from finding the best candidates. Discover how cloud-based, K-12-centric software can efficiently customize and automate the process.

Marna Robertson, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Dickinson ISD
Aaron Dollinger, Human Resources Director, Netchemia, LLC

Topic:  FMLA and COBRA Administration Made Easy

Description:  This informative presentation can help alleviate the cost and liability of COBRA and FMLA administration for your Human Resource department. Our discussion will cover how your district can receive FMLA and COBRA administration through your benefits TPA at no costs to the district.

Blake Denby, Managing Director, U.S. Employee Benefits Services Group
Brady Scott, Director, U.S. Employee Benefits Services Group

Title: Walking the Line: The Do’s and Don’ts of Employee Grievances

Description: While employee grievance policies seem straightforward, the application of these policies to specific facts can raise tricky questions for administrators. Is the grievance untimely? Does the complaint raise issues which implicate other processes? Who is the appropriate administrator to hear the grievance? What if there is more than one grievant? These and other questions will be addressed in this session by two Walsh Anderson attorneys. You won’t want to miss their constructive guidance regarding the do’s and don’ts of employee grievances.

Christine Badillo, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Treviño
Joe R. Tanguma, Attorney, Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green& Treviño

Title: Inappropriate Relationships Between Educators and Students

Description: No it’s not just your district. As we are all too aware, the number of inappropriate relationships between educators and students is growing almost on a daily basis. This session will be an open discussion focusing on the problems and potential solutions of this very important issue. Come prepared to participate. Doug Phillips will lead the discussion.

Doug Phillips, Director of Investigations, Texas Education Agency

Title: Did you know that another's criminal history can bite you?

Description: A Superintendent and the district's legal counsel discuss the lessons learned from one district's failure to timely fingerprint all employees. Mrs. Morrison is an experienced school attorney with the Fowler Law Firm in Austin having represented numerous school districts across Texas. Mr. Cline is the Superintendent (& HR Director) of the Paint Rock ISD and has recently been nominated for ESC XV Superintendent of the Year after turning around this small 1A school district in West Texas.

Susan Morrison, Attorney, The Fowler Law Firm
Roger Hepworth, Attorney, The Fowler Law Firm
Ron Cline, Superintendent, Paint Rock ISD

Title: Quality Principal Selection

Description: Selecting the right leader for our schools is crucial to the success of our students. How do you differentiate the good from the great? How do you build a robust process that removes mediocre candidates? During this interactive session, you will experience how the vision, mission, and leadership philosophy for your district can drive the principal screening and selection process resulting in better quality hires.

Dr. John Burdett, Director of Recruitment and Retention, Plano ISD

Title: The 10 Jobs Most Often Misclassified

Description:  The Department of Labor assumes that all jobs are nonexempt. The district has the burden of the proving that a job is exempt from the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the consequences for error can be costly. This session clearly defines exempt vs. nonexempt status using jobs most frequently misclassified by school districts. This is time well spent for those involved with any part of the job classification or job description process.

Ann Patton, Managing Compensation Consultant, TASB HR Services
Ronda Bauman, HR Consultant, TASB HR Services

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Topic Sessions III
3:00 – 4:00 PM

Title: Electronic On-Boarding or How to Eliminate 12,500+ Pieces of Paper in HR

Description: From job offer to new hire orientation, Human Resources is the face of your district. Your on-boarding should reflect the culture and philosophy of your district. Processing paperwork for a newly hired employee is time consuming, frequently results in incomplete forms and can end in employer liability and fines. Even when performed correctly, the outcome is more paper to track, store and secure. Electronic on-boarding reduces time, errors and storage requirements. It also improves both data security and data integrity. Instead of paper, new hires electronically sign all of the required forms and documents online and at their convenience. There are no lost documents, no filing cabinets. Learn how your organization can benefit from electronic on-boarding to reduce costs, lower liability, increase productivity and allow you to focus your new hire orientation on the mission, vision and values of your district.

Johjania Najera, Director-Human Resources, Keller ISD

Title: Texas Schools: Background Screening Survey & Report

Description: Background Investigation Bureau (BIB) created a survey regarding practices, policies and perspectives on background screening employees and volunteers in Texas public schools. The survey was sent to all districts in Texas. With the data collected, BIB will introduce the report at the TASPA Summer Conference, providing insight on what's working and what's not. Included in the report are best practices for screening, identifying gaps in certain methods as well as defining what a quality screen is and its methodology.

Beth Osborne, Marketing Strategist, Background Investigation Bureau

Title: Harnessing the Power of Research to Inform Data-Driven Hiring and Increase Student Achievement

Description: The presentation summarizes ongoing research that determines which skills, abilities, knowledge, attitudes, dispositions, and experiences are most essential to teacher effectiveness. The study has analyzed the relationships that exist between the survey responses of thousands of teachers and those same teachers' ability to increase student achievement. This research provides schools with insights that could inform human capital practices, professional development, and data-driven decision-making.

Presenter: Donald Fraynd, CEO, TeacherMatch

Title: Social Media and the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics: Keeping it Smart with Your Smart Phone

Description: This highly-interactive session covers the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics as it relates to appropriate communication between educators and students, reviews recent cases involving inappropriate educator-student communication, and offers tips to school leaders with regard to staying out in front of this issue.

Dr. David Thompson, Professor, University of Texas-San Antonio

Title: Updates to NCLB Highly Qualified Requirements

Description: This session will provide a review of the changes to highly qualified requirements, particularly the change to 6th grade and to the reporting protocols as a result of that change.

Tim Regal, Policy Advisor, Texas Education Agency

Title: Re-purposing Retired Teachers for Retention

Description: Livingston ISD is using retired teachers in the community to mentor novice teachers for retention. This session will provide information about how this program is designed and implemented.

Pennee Hall, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Livingston ISD

Title: Helping Employees Transition to Retirement

Description: This session will provide an overview of basic needed retirement information from a retirement organization's viewpoint. It also includes suggestions about a Human Resources department role in retirement preparation and the support that it is offered by the TRTA. One focus is discussion about the TRS annuity fund and employee contribution into the fund.

Aubrey Cherry, Past President, Texas Retired Teachers Association

Title: Tying the Knot with Campus Administrators

Description: The Alief ISD Human Resources Department has implemented a best practice of consistent communication and training for campus administrators by having a recurring slot on the principals' meeting monthly agenda. In prior years, campus administrators would have HR training and information at the beginning of the year, with updates during the year. The monthly HR session during the principals and assistant principals meeting allows HR staff to present information to campus administrators as needed in their immediate future. This is the third year of adopting this practice and improvements in principals' knowledge and personnel management practices have been noted.

Dr. Rose Benitez, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Alief ISD
Theresa Adame, Director of Human Resources, Alief ISD

Friday, July 18, 2014
Topic Sessions IV
8:30 – 9:30 AM

Title: A Renewed Focus on Educator Quality: Human Capital Management Systems

Description: Gather insight from TxCEE and McREL as they share how districts can effectively use the balanced leadership framework to ensure alignment of teacher, principal and administrator evaluation systems. Examine how aligning evaluation systems across a district can help improve educator effectiveness.

Tammy Kruez, Executive Director, Texas Center for Educator Effectiveness, Region 18 ESC
Tony Davis, Senior Director, The Center for Educator Effectiveness

Title: TRS Update

Description: TRS staff will provide an update on the pension plan and health care benefits.

Merita Zoga, Assistant Director of Governmental Relations, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Title: "LEAD" - Leadership Exploration And Development: Preparing future leaders in a systems driven organization

Description: This session will offer both conceptual and practical information on how to develop leaders for both the educational and operational divisions in your district. In succession planning, HEB ISD’s goal as a systems driven organization is to develop leaders who are ready to serve in a wide range of leadership positions in both the educational and operational divisions. In our leadership development program, LEAD HEB, selected participants explore the concepts, commitment, culture, and opportunities for leadership in the District. LEAD HEB also offers participants the necessary foundation to determine and pursue a career path aligned with their professional goals.

Tommie Johnson, Assistant Superintendent, HR, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Cicely Tuttle, HR Coordinator, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Sonia Cárdenas, HR Coordinator, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD

Title: Certification Update: New Certificates and Examinations for 2014-2015

Description: Come hear the latest information about new educator certificates and examinations for the 2014-2015 school year! This session will provide news about deadlines for certificates and examinations that are being eliminated and replacement areas. Also, learn about the new Core Subjects elementary-level certificates and tests.

Kerri Elzie, Credentialing Specialist, Texas Education Agency
Marilyn Cook, Interim Director and Testing Manager of Educator Testing & Certification, Texas Education Agency

Title: Addressing Ethical Issues and Decision-making Among Educators: One District's Approach

Description: The session will describe the approach of Grapevine-Colleyville ISD in proactively addressing issues of ethical behavior and decision-making among both certified and classified educators. This highly-interactive session will highlight important concepts from the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics and models of ethical-decision making to provide practical guidance to effectively educate professional and classified staff prior to the onset of ethical issues.

Dr. David Thompson, Professor, University of Texas-San Antonio
Gema Padgett, Executive Director of Human Resources, Grapevine-Colleyville ISD

Title: Making a List and Checking it Twice

Description: Lists are not just for organizing your holiday gift ideas. Lists can assist you all year long! The Plano ISD HR team will show you how we have implemented lists "in the form of routing slips” to ensure the accountability, timeliness, and accuracy of several important HR processes. During this session, we will share with you one of the routing slips, which focuses on the hiring process. We have found this to be an effective check and balance to our on-line system. Be sure to include this session on your list!

Welch Carpenter, HR Systems Manager, Plano ISD
Clint Poole, HR Coordinator for Secondary, Plano ISD
Tamira Griffin, Chief Human Resources Officer, Plano ISD

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