La Estrella de Tejas (The Star of Texas) is the official e-newsletter of the Texas Council for the Social Studies. To ensure La Estrella is delivered to your mailbox, add to your contact list.

Good afternoon,

“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.” ― Idowu Koyenikan, author

As my oldest noted this week, “It is a strange time to be alive”. When news of a COVID-19 pandemic fights for headline space against collapsing markets and the next sports series cancellation, I have empathy for what Alice must have felt when she fell through the looking glass. Things which look and sound familiar now have very different attributes.

Facing the prospect of length school closures, educators are examining ways to design and support distance learning on scales not imagined by many just a few months ago. To reach the hearts and minds of students in their own living rooms, teachers will need to rethink how to build relationships, provide access to quality content, and gather evidence of learning. It is in moments such as these, that the power of community is most evident.

For this reason, and many others, I am thankful to be a part of the TCSS community. The ability to tap into the collective power of TCSS’s members, as we work in and with our communities to navigate these changing tides, is a blessing. Over my thirty years in the organization, I have benefited from various opportunities provided by TCSS to connect with amazing, gifted teachers and historians. From developing life-long friends, learning about emerging research, or being provided opportunities to collaborate with innovative teachers; the power of the TCSS community continues to leave lasting imprints on my life and practice. These same supports and resources are there to assist any and all as we continue to work together to provide quality social studies instruction for all our students.

The strength of TCSS begins with you, its members. I invite you to plug into the Power of Community and connect with our social media communities: 

If you are looking for resources or have quality resources to share, tag us in your post using our social media handles and we will make certain to assist with connecting individuals to resources.

Collective networking and advocacy enhance, exponentially, members’ power to positively impact social studies education. I look forward to celebrating, enriching, and expanding TCSS’s Power of Community with all of you this year.

Robin Sabo, TCSS President 2020


Texas Education Agency - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance

Talking to Your Children about Corona Virus - Children's Health, Dallas, Texas

10 strategies for online learning during a coronavirus outbreak - ISTE

Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Blog

Save the Date: 

#TXCSS2020 "Power of Community"

October 2-4, 2020 in Denton, Texas

This year's conference will take place in Denton, Texas at the Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center. 


Hotel Reservations

Location: Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center, 3100 Town Center Tr, Denton, TX 76201

Special Rate: $96.00 per night, single

Book by: August 31, 2020 to secure the conference room rate

The Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center welcomes attendees of the Texas Council for the Social Studies. Special rates are provided during your stay. All bookings may be made online to receive your special negotiated rate by visiting the website. Make certain to bring a Hotel Tax Exemption Form.

Visit our conference page to make room reservations. 


Registration rate

The full conference rate starts at $200 for TXCSS Members. Information about additional registration rates will be finalized in the next month.  Visit for the latest updates.


Presentation/Poster Proposal

Submit a presentation proposal.

The deadline to submit a proposal is July 15. Presenters with accepted proposals will be notified by email by August 2. Once acceptance notification is sent, presenters will be required to confirm their participation and registration for the conference by September 10.

Download the TEA Social Studies Update presentation.


  • House Bill 1244: US History EOC Test and Resources
  • Senate Bill 1828: Holocaust Remembrance and Resources
  • House Bill 3906: Components related to Assessments and Administration
  • House Bill 3: School Finance - money for classrooms, teacher compensation, reducing recapture, and property taxes
  • Interim Assessments
  • Summative Assessments
  • Ethnic Studies: Mexican American Studies
  • Innovative Course: African American Studies
  • Implementation of Streamlined TEKS and Resources
  • Advanced Placement Courses
  • Educator Involvement: Review Committees, Teacher Institutes

Every year at the annual fall conference, TCSS members are honored as outstanding teachers and social studies educators. The process for determining the award winners begins with the nomination of candidates according to guidelines as described on the Awards page of the TCSS website. Think about the exceptional educators you know in your own school setting or a colleague that you might know through attending workshops and conferences. There are many outstanding teachers in TCSS, please take a few moments to help this organization give special recognition to those members.

  • Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. These awards are given in recognition of active participation in local, state, and national social studies councils AND outstanding social studies teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levelsDownload the application.
  • Outstanding High Education Faculty of the Year Award. These awards are given in recognition of active participation in local, state, and national social studies councils AND outstanding social studies teaching at the higher education levelDownload the application.
  • NOVA (Early Career Educator) Award. Given to an outstanding social studies teacher at the elementary or secondary level who has completed at least one year of teaching and is now in his or her second or third year of teaching. Download the application.
  • Billy Sills Distinguished Service Award. Presented each year in recognition of a member’s contributions and long-time service to social studies professional organizations: local councils, TCSS, and NCSS. Download the application.


Please take a look around you and nominate a fellow educator for one of the awards. You may self-nominate or nominate another TCSS member. Nominations do NOT have to come from local councils; they may be made by individuals as well. All required materials must be sent to the Chair of the Special Awards Committee as cited on the TCSS website and received via email by June 1. If you need more information, please contact Anda Lee Seat at

Complete the nomination form.

The TCSS Mini-Grants

Are you looking for ways to grow as a professional or innovate in your classroom? We would love to hear about it.

Intended for continuing education in social studies. Up to four (4) $500 teacher mini-grants will be awarded each year. One will be awarded in memory of Jean Lantz. The funds may be used to purchase curriculum materials to be used in the classroom and/or to cover training/conference expenses not covered by other sources. Applicants must be a member of TCSS for the past two years followed by submitting a lesson/article to The Texan, or by leading a professional development session at the Fall TCSS Conference or district training. The TCSS-Stalwart-Mini-Grant-application-form deadline is June 1. Need more info, please email  

Download the application

The Stephen Johnson Student Scholarships

Named after a one of the organization's tenured members.  Stephen Johnson was a school teacher for many years.  He served as president,  served as TCSS Executive Secretary helping to host a decade of conferences and received our top honor,The Billy Sills Distinguished Service award.

The scholarships are two $2000 awards for graduating high school or college students intent on a career teaching social studies. In order to qualify for the scholarship, applicants’ major field of study must be related to social studies education. The TCSS Scholarship deadline is June 1. Need more info, please email

Download the scholarship application 

2020 Resources - PreK - 12

New activities designed specifically for the 2019-2020 school year spotlight the 2020 Census and the importance of making sure everyone is counted, especially children. The decennial count impacts the federal funds that communities receive for special education, classroom technology, teacher training, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, and more.

Read more

A message from our sponsor

Nominate a student
Visit Education in Action

Your nominees have the opportunity to join a delegation of distinguished students from across the state in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin/San Antonio, or Houston/Galveston for a week of fun, learning, leadership development, and visits to unique and significant Texas sites. Participants develop leadership skills, gain insight into future career opportunities, develop friendships with other high-achieving students, and add to their resume of academic achievements.

Nominating Educator FAQs / Educators Share: Why I Nominate

Visit the Education in Action page to find out if your school district or campus has participated in a Lone Star Leadership Academy.

Join NCSS in Washington, DC at our 100th anniversary celebration and hear four former U.S. Secretaries of Education take to the big stage in a panel discussion you will not want to miss!

Visit the conference page for updates about the NCSS 100th Annual Conference. Registration will open in May 2020. 

La Estrella is published four times a year to provide our community with timely information and opportunities related to social studies education in Texas. The contents of La Estrella are not copyrighted unless indicated. It is appropriate, however, to credit sources as well as La Estrella when reproducing items from this e-newsletter. Reproduction for profit is prohibited.

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