Camp Kindle teaches teachers how to use technology in the classroom

Jiv Daya has donated kindles to grades 3–5 in six feeder patterns!

At Camp Kindle, several teachers from each network learned how to best use kindles as a learning tool. The training was done by Jiv Daya, Dallas ISD IT, Personalized Learning and the Blended Learning Coaches from School Leadership.

Watch the above video for a spooky fun look into the camp.

Trustees approve $33 million in raises for teachers, support staff and central staff

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees on Aug. 23 unanimously approved up to $33.3 million in salary increases for eligible teachers, campus leaders and non-instructional staff.

The district is able to fund the salary increases after receiving higher-than-expected revenue from property taxes.

The salary increases will go toward:

Employees that are eligible for salary modification TEI/Teachers: $16.1 million (includes benefits)

  • Eligible teachers at Progressing II and above based on their 2018-19 earned Effectiveness Level will receive the greater value of a 2-percent salary increase or any earned Effectiveness Level change
  • Performance Based Retention Increase – removed due to minimum of 2-percent increases for eligible groups.
  • A revised salary level for Progressing I from $51,000 to $52,000 to align with the Novice Teacher introductory rate
  • Eligible High School ROTC instructors will receive a salary increase of 2 percent
  • For teachers new to Dallas ISD, placement on the 2018-19 modified Teacher Introductory Compensation Schedule to ensure market competitiveness
  • All teacher salary changes will be reflected in the October 2018 paycheck

Principals and Assistant Principals: $3.9 million (includes benefits)

  • For eligible employees evaluated under the Principal and/or Assistant Principal Excellence Initiatives, the earned Effectiveness Level or the modified Effectiveness Levels based on market adjustment (if applicable)
  • Implementation of an APEI and PEI salary schedule for Magnet schools
  • All Principals/Assistant Principals will receive the new compensation in October 2018 check

All Eligible Non-Instructional, Operations, Counselors, Media Specialists, Central, Technical, Non- TEI Instructional Support and Support Staff: $13.3 million (includes benefits)

  • For other eligible employees, the Board approved salary increase for 2018-2019 of 3 percent
  • A revised hiring schedule for Media Specialist to align with updated Teacher Introductory Compensation Schedule
  • A revised salary schedule for Police Officers and Telecommunicators to align with the 3% increase
  • All Dallas ISD Transportation must be hired on or before August 23, 2018 to be eligible
  • All other staff must be hired prior to December 31, 2017 to be eligible for the increase
  • All eligible monthly staff in this category will receive the new compensation in September 15, 2018 paycheck
  • All eligible bi-weekly staff in this category will receive the new compensation in September 21, 2018 paycheck

Oracle iExpense Update for Local Mileage Reimbursement

Accounting Services has created a new Oracle iExpense expense type for Local Mileage Reimbursement. The new expense type is called District Mileage. The Monthly Mileage expense type will no longer be available in the dropdown menu.

Employees will no longer be required to track and enter odometer readings or attach the Travel Mileage Reimbursement Form.

For additional instructions and contact information, employees can go to the Application Training and Support website by clicking on, or from the Dallas ISD main page click on Departments and select Application Training & Support Select Oracle Resources and I-Expense.

Compliance training available for central staff

Compliance training for central staff for the 2018-2019 school year is now available through the district’s Cornerstone On-Demand site. The deadline to complete the compliance training is Sept. 30. This memo outlines the necessary training for central staff. For instructions on how to access the available training, click here. For questions about compliance training for central staff, contact Jennell Johnson-Polk at (972) 925-3379 or

New accountability ratings show tremendous gains in Dallas ISD

Accountability ratings released today by the Texas Education Agency show that Dallas ISD is making tremendous gains.

The new state accountability system known as “A through F” grades school districts on student achievement, school progress/growth, and closing the achievement gap. Dallas ISD received a “B” letter grade and is home to six of the 12 schools that achieved the highest-possible score on the 2018 STAAR test, according to the TEA.

“We are proud of our tremendous gains in Dallas ISD, and our families, teachers and staff should feel great accomplishment in what we have done together,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said. “But this is not the finish line, we have just started this race. We still have much more work to do.”

Recent data continues to prove Dallas ISD schools are trending upward in academic achievement across multiple measures, with 66 percent of its campuses scoring 80 percent or higher on the new grading system. The scores are another indication that Dallas ISD students continue to narrow the achievement gap between the district and the state. A steep turnaround of Improvement Required campuses— coupled with strong performances in both reading and math—are significant achievements that can be attributed to the district’s rise.

Other factors for the district’s growth include the expansion of the collegiate academies, schools of choice, early learning programs, and a strategic compensation initiative that rewards teacher excellence.

Rising Academic Achievement in Dallas ISD includes:

  • Dallas ISD is home to six out of 12 schools that received the highest possible score of 99 on the 2018 STAAR.
  • Dallas ISD achieved a steep decline in the number of Improvement Required campuses, from 43 in 2013-2014 to four in 2017-2018.
  • More Dallas ISD students are meeting state standard on the STAAR exam, narrowing the gap between the district and the state:
    • 2013-2014: 27% Dallas ISD; 39% State
    • 2017-2018: 40% Dallas ISD; 47% State

Multicultural leaders work to ensure all races are well represented in Dallas ISD

As a professor who has taught students about the African American experience for more than 40 years, Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney has seen first-hand how bringing a multicultural approach to history and social studies helps students see themselves in the curriculum.

ulaney’s distinguished background made him an ideal member for Dallas ISD’s new Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council formed by the district’s Racial Equity Office. As an advisory council member, Dulaney joins leaders from many Dallas multicultural institutions in helping guide Dallas ISD to develop multicultural studies, experiences and opportunities for all students and staff.

“I’m encouraged to see that Dallas ISD is looking to make sure all of its students from different cultures and races are represented and empowered,” Dulaney said.

Dulaney was among the powerful voices at the Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council meeting held Aug. 13 at the Pan African Connection, which is owned by Akwete Tyehimba, who is one of the advisory council members. At the meeting, the advisory council members discussed strategies for bringing a multicultural lens to a Dallas ISD History Hackathon—which was the brainchild of advisory council member Jerry Hawkins, executive director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation—as well as language for an African American History Class.

Jamila Thomas, director of the Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office, said the advisory council members bring invaluable resources and knowledge that can benefit Dallas ISD students.

“It’s important to have the community voice at the table and make sure they are a formative part of the whole process,” she said. “These multicultural leaders are living and breathing this on a daily basis, and they are eager to work together to bring out the various cultures we represent in Dallas ISD.”

Dallas ISD formed the Racial Equity Office last school year to manage, implement and develop projects that align with a Racial, Socio-Economic, and Educational Equity resolution adopted by the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in December 2017.

“I am excited about all of the various efforts to bring Dallas ISD’s Racial Equity Office to life,” said Leslie Williams, deputy chief of the Racial Equity Office. “This is powerful.”

New Teacher Academy prepares educators new to district for success

About 1,500 teachers new to Dallas ISD were welcomed with pep-rally fervor on Wednesday, Aug. 8, during the annual New Teacher Academy.

Student performances were a large part of the event. Cheerleaders from L.G. Pinkston High School greeted the new teachers as they entered the Music Hall at Fair Park. As the Hillcrest High School JROTC color guard presented the colors, Charles Rice Learning Center fifth-grader Skye Turner led the Pledge of Allegiance and Texas pledge. The Carter High School band pumped up the crowd, and the Skyline High School drill team entertained – all before lunch. In the afternoon, members of the Townview Choir, W.T. White Dance Company and Stockard Middle School Mariachi performed.

The teachers heard from Board President Edwin Flores, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and keynote speaker Dr. Ernest Morrell, an accomplished author and the director of the Center for Literacy Education at the University of Notre Dame. They also heard from district officials on the nuts and bolts of teaching in Dallas ISD, as well as learning about employee benefits. Before a “block party” to close the event, 2017 Teachers of the Year Beth Poquette Drews, Nedra Johnson and Josue Tamarez Torres offered words of encouragement and advice.

Wednesday’s event was a general orientation. During the previous two days, new teachers focused on professional development in their content areas at W.H. Adamson and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools.

Special ceremony welcomes hundreds of bus drivers new to Dallas ISD

A special ceremony on Aug. 8 welcomed hundreds of bus drivers to Dallas ISD.

Dallas ISD is running its own transportation this school year after Dallas County residents voted Nov. 7 to dissolve Dallas County Schools (DCS). Previously, Dallas ISD contracted with DCS, a taxpayer-funded agency, to bus students.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa thanked the bus drivers and mechanics—many of whom previously worked with DCS—for their professionalism and eagerness to safely transport students.

“Our school board, our district, and the entire City of Dallas is indebted to your service,” Hinojosa said.

The Dallas ISD Transportation Service is still hiring several more bus drivers. Go here to apply. offers teachers help with back to school

Teachers new to can receive help getting their classrooms set up for the start of the new school year. Through Friday, Aug. 10, teachers who submit their first classroom project will receive an automatic $50 kickoff donation for the project from the team. Whether teachers want to refresh their classroom library, create a new activity kit, or try out a welcome back activity, the team from wants to help teachers jumpstart the new school year. Go here for full details.

Staff from ACE campuses prepare for new school year with intense training

Last week, staff members from Dallas ISD’s ACE schools convened to prepare for the coming school year.

ACE stands for Accelerating Campus Excellence and is a strategic staffing initiative that hires proven educators at perpetually struggling schools to boost student achievement and college readiness.

The core plan focuses on instructional excellence from teachers and high expectations for students. Other aspects of the plan include additional resources for students and designated time for staff development. ACE focuses on leadership through the use of teams comprising campus staff. A laser-focus on goals focuses on specific academic benchmarks, but the plan also aims for a much-improved culture at each school.

The initiative began in 2015 with six elementary schools and one middle school, where the ACE plan helped students make incredible academic gains. The second group of ACE schools were designated in 2017, and added five additional elementary schools and one middle school.

For the 2018-2019 school year, four ACE schools remain from 2017 (C.F. Carr, J.M. Ervin, Eward Titche and Thomas J. Rusk) and one remains from 2015 (Elisha M. Pease). Newly added to the ACE roster are César Chávez, Paul L. Dunbar, L.L. Hotchkiss, Martin Luther King Jr., Maple Lawn and J.J. Rhoads.

During the recent kickoff event, Damien Stovall, principal at Titche Elementary School, shared his philosophy for boosting student success.

That success begins in forming a positive relationship between teachers and students, which leads to confident children.

“Before you try to teach them anything, they don’t care what you know, until you know that you care,” Stovall said. “Once you boost their self-confidence, the sky’s the limit, I don’t care where they started or where they’re at.”

He recited a pledge students sign at the beginning of the school year. It says, in part, “I am somebody. I was somebody before I came here, and I’ll be a better somebody when I leave. … I deserve the education that I get here. I have things to do, places to go and people to impress. I will go to college and prove people wrong. I will follow my dreams and persevere.”

Learn more about Dallas ISD’s ACE plan here.