FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2020
(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, will host a Zoom webinar to answer pressing questions about school reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Titled Back to School? Your Questions, Answered, the forum will be held Wednesday, August 12, 1:30 p.m., and features expert panelists selected by Texas education associations.
They are Mónica Martínez, Associate Commissioner at the Texas Education Agency; Mark Estrada, Lockhart ISD Superintendent; Lesa Pritchard, President of the Texas School Counselors Association; Myra Berrones, a special services educator representing the Association of Texas Professional Educators; J.J. Torres, a high school teacher representing the Texas State Teachers Association; and Trudy Hilty, a school nurse representing Texas AFT.
Panelists will address concerns related to school reopening, at-home learning and student mental health during the pandemic. Interested persons may register to attend via bit.ly/ZaffBack2School.
Your Questions, Answered is a follow-up to the senator's July 29 online forum, Back to School? The ABCs of COVID-19. "We received so many questions that needed to be answered by educators," the senator said. "We scheduled this Q&A to provide parents and teachers an online venue at which their concerns were addressed."
Senator Zaffirini holds public Zoom meetings every other Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., focusing on pandemic-related topics including virtual jury trials, open meetings, campaign finance requirements and mental health. They have grown rapidly in popularity, initially barely topping 100 participants. By comparison, more than 1,500 persons registered for the mental health forum and another 8,000+ viewed it on Facebook.
The senator isn't surprised. "The pandemic has turned our world upside-down, and people are looking for answers," she said. "We emphasize hosting events that are timely, relevant and engaging to viewers, and I'm delighted that our audience continues to grow."
Zoom meetings represent only one aspect of Senator Zaffirini's constituent outreach efforts. She also provides extensive, timely information via her weekly eNewletter, for which constituents may subscribe via https://senate.texas.gov/member.php?d=21.
The senator and her staff are working remotely, but their telephones are forwarded to them 24/7. Persons requiring assistance with state-related matters may contact them at her Capitol office, 512/463-0121, or at her Laredo office, 956/722-2293. Constituents also are welcomed to contact her by email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Our goal is to respond to the needs of the families in Senate District 21 and to provide accurate, up-to-date information," she said. "Do not hesitate to contact us whenever we may be of assistance—we're here to help. We don’t always succeed, but we always try."
SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, the second-highest ranking member and highest- ranking woman and Hispanic member of the Texas Senate, regularly hosts Zoom webinars to inform the public. Her next event, Back to School? Your Questions, Answered, will be held Wednesday, August 12, at 1:30 p.m.