Alternate work arrangement forms are available

As employees continue to transition to work on-site and prepare for the start of school on Sept. 8, the district has implemented plans and procedures for the safety and well-being of staff, students and visitors.

One of these procedures is an alternative work arrangement option that allows an employee to work off-site under certain extenuating circumstances. An AWA allows for flexibility in the work location, based on the needs and resources of the district and the department [See DK Local].

Forms are available for central staff, campus staff and teachers to request an AWA to work off-site. The requests must be submitted at least five business days in advance of the requested commencement date of the arrangement and approved. Teachers who have an underlying medical condition should indicate that on the form. The forms and a guide for employees and supervisors can be found in the Staff Resources section of the staff reentry page.

An AWA request form involving medical issues will be reviewed by the Benefits Department and may require documentation. An AWA implemented during a widespread crisis, government shutdown or other emergency will terminate upon the district’s ability to resume normal operations.

Start dates

Non campus-based employees who can complete the work required for their position remotely may, with supervisor’s written approval, continue working remotely through Aug. 26, 2020. Employees who cannot complete all work duties remotely will be required to report to work starting Aug. 3 or as determined by their supervisor based on the needs and workflow of their department.

Departments may develop a rotation schedule to ensure district work needs are met and employee safety is maintained. These schedules will be organized and maintained by the supervisors of the department/division based on the department’s needs.

For details on specific groups, download the revised start and end date calendar and the frequently asked questions for reentry.

At this time, the plan is that on Aug. 27, all central district functions should return to normal operations—which may include additional measures and protocols related to COVID-19.


Keep safety in mind when returning to the worksite

The safety and well-being of all staff and visitors are a priority for Dallas ISD as the district begins to shift from working at home to working in the office, starting Monday, Aug. 3. Staff returning to centra and campus buildings should expect to follow established practices and protocols designed to ensure that all employees and visitors in district facilities feel safe and secure as we effectively navigate the complexities of a “new normal.”

All staff who return to work on-site are required to view a safety video available in Cornerstone before returning or within two days of reporting back to the worksite.

The measures being implemented include more frequent sanitizing of public and work areas, temperature checks before entering buildings, social distancing, access to hand sanitizer throughout the building, and wearing masks. For more information on the safety measures visit to download the playbook and other resources.

Getting to know Marlon Shears

Marlon Shears
Deputy Chief of Information Technology
Time in position: 19 months
Time in Dallas ISD: 19 months
Years in Education: 19

What do you do in your position?

I am responsible for the district’s technology infrastructure, data centers and campus security systems. On a daily basis the team makes sure all the networks are up, the applications are running, and we have internet services. In addition to making sure the camera and access control systems are operational, we procure the software used throughout the district, such as Office 365 and Adobe. We have implemented the Service Now support hub, multifactor authentication and the portal, a one-stop access to applications.

The last few months have been particularly busy for the department because it also takes care of requests for remote access (VPN), password management and log-ins—everything having to do with operations and keeping technology working 24/7/365. Luckily, we had put the infrastructure foundation in place that allowed us to pivot quickly to support all stakeholders. If systems are not running, it impacts instruction and other functions like payroll, grade reporting, PEIMS, etc. We are part of the team that keeps the engine running.

The team’s efforts the past few months also included managing the 1 million Project that donated 10,000 hotspots for students before COVID-19 shut down the district. Then, the team managed the purchase of 10,000 more hotspots as well as donations to ensure that students learning at home would have access to the internet.

What do you enjoy most/what is your favorite thing about what you do in your position?

That’s easy: Giving back. I enjoy the ability to use my skill set and knowledge to give back to students and provide them access to a foundation and the ability to achieve and to become the leaders who will take care of me in the future. To me, that is priceless and what keeps me from going to the private sector. I stay in education because you can make a difference and see that difference realized. In the private sector, it is all about the money and the return for the investors, but in education, the return is the impact on students’ lives and seeing them gain the ability to be the next leader, the next politician or the next superintendent.

What was your favorite cafeteria food growing up?

When I did eat at the cafeteria, I would say hot dog on a stick.

What is the best advice ever given to you by a teacher?

It is not about how many times you fail, but how many times you try.

Who in education do you most admire or consider a role model?

Anyone who dedicates their career to teaching the next generation.

What do you find most rewarding about working in education?

What is most rewarding about education is that you can have a direct impact on what the future will be. Education provides us the ability to impact lives and the futures of the next generations.

When you take notes during a meeting—paper or electronic? Or is it all in your head?

It is a mix of all three, but with the “in your head” option, it is more about listening than it is about capturing what is said.

What is your favorite restaurant? Food?

This isn’t fair, having just one selection—I would say Mexican.

What is your favorite app or the app you first open every day?

Outlook! But I would be cheating there. I would say stocks apps. I love the stock market.

What book first made you love reading?

Green Eggs and Ham

What is your favorite podcast?

The Curious Investor

What do you appreciate most in your friends?


What is your idea of happiness?

The ability to give back.

What is your favorite music? Song? Artist?

Old school R&B! Luther Vandross, Freddy Jackson, Anita Baker

What is your favorite show (TV or streaming)?


What do your friends and family most appreciate about you?

I’m funny and keep it real.

What is your favorite gadget?

Robot vacuum—I suggest everyone get one.

Are you Team Apple or Team Android?

Really, I’m team Apple.

Are you a dog, cat, fish or no pets person? Why?

Got to go with dog.




Reserve a time to get help

Choosing the best health plan and additional benefits for you and your family is not always simple, but the Benefits Department is there to help you navigate through the enrollment process.

Starting Aug. 3, Benefits is offering individual virtual appointments with experts who can answer questions to help you better understand the changes and new offerings included in this year’s benefits package and guide you through the enrollment process.

Appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through Aug. 21 and can be scheduled by emailing or calling (972) 925-4300. Appointments will fill up fast, so make yours today!


Give a day, get a day

Some health events are planned and some are not, but either way, the sick leave bank could come in handy when you need paid time off to take care of yourself for your loved ones.

Whether you are planning on having a baby during the year or you need surgery with a long recovery, as a participant in the sick leave bank you could have access to up to 20 sick leave bank days or 160 hours per school year. The SLB is a pool of local days contributed by employees to be used by members of the bank who are on an approved medical leave and have exhausted their own accumulated vacation, local, and state days. DEC [Regulation]

To participate, you need to donate one local day annually. To take advantage of the benefits, you can submit a sick leave bank application to the Benefits Review Committee (BRC) at

It’s easy to enroll during the benefits enrollment period that ends Aug. 21. For more information, download the flyer with instructions.

Need help or have questions? Contact Benefits at (972) 925-4300 or email for assistance.

Updates on Dallas ISD employee re-entry plan

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees have called a meeting for 3 p.m. Thursday, July 23, to consider changes in the school year calendar as follows:

  • Start date moves from Aug. 17, 2020, to Sept. 8, 2020.
  • Removal of holidays in October due to the State Fair cancellation.
  • Addition of holiday on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Change from six-week grading periods to nine-week grading periods.
  • Move end date from May 27, 2021, to June 18, 2021.

Some employees whose work cannot be accomplished offsite, are being asked to return Aug. 3 to prepare for students’ return. Those staff include Construction ServicesMaintenance and FacilitiesPolice and Security, and select IT staff. Additional information about the re-entry process for these employees can be found by clicking on each link.

The safety of each student and staff member is always our top priority, and numerous steps have been taken to ensure that the workplace and schools are safe. The appropriate personal protection equipment—including but not limited to masks, face shields, hand sanitizer and gloves—will be provided to each staff. If you consider yourself to be in a high risk category, contact the Benefits Department for additional assistance. Enhanced and intensified daily cleaning of office spaces and equipment are also part of that plan.

Details on district safety measures for staff are available in the re-entry playbook.



Millions of meals distributed

The district will continue providing summer bulk grab-and-go meals to families until at least the first week of August at several school-based distribution sites.

Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services has prepared and served more than 8 million meals since school buildings closed in March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Each of these meals represents a time that a child in our community did not go hungry,” said Michael Rosenberger, executive director of FCNS.

On Thursdays families receive enough breakfasts and lunches for each child to last through the next distribution. To make the weekly meal distributions possible, food services teams, custodians, district security staff and other campus personnel worked together with volunteers, substitutes, and community partners. In partnership with DART, food services also distributed meals at several community locations.

“I want to thank everyone who has come together selflessly and with commendable dedication and passion to take care of children in need during this crisis,” Rosenberger said. “You are my heroes!”

Dallas ISD needs you!

Dallas ISD is seeking substitutes for the 2020-2021 school year. The district is looking for candidates who have a minimum of 60 college hours or a bachelor’s degree; however, they are not required to be certified.

Refer a friend! Tell someone you know about the excellent benefits of becoming a substitute for Dallas ISD and helping thousands of Dallas students get ready for the future. We are dedicated to providing quality instruction for all of our students every day and substitutes play an important role in this commitment.

Substitute teaching provides an opportunity to gain experience and can see first-hand what it takes to be a successful teacher in Dallas ISD. To apply to become a Dallas ISD substitute, click here.


Training highlights safety measures

District employees are required to complete the Dallas ISD Re-entry Employee Safety Training course that provides employees information on social distancing, the proper use of face masks and other safety protocols. Please find the link to the training below.

To access the training, employees should go to and use their EAD username and password to log into Cornerstone. For problems logging into Cornerstone, such as resetting your password, contact the IT Service Desk at (972) 925-5630.

The training assignment will be in the “Required Training” section located on the “Welcome” page. If the assignment is not listed, employees can hover over the “Learning” tab, select “Learner Home” to access the training, and scroll down to the “Required” section to choose the Dallas ISD Re-entry Employee Safety Training.

Employees are required to complete the training within two days of the day in which they return to work in a district facility or in advance of returning to work. Supervisors will receive reports so they can ensure all employees complete the required training.

For questions or concerns regarding the training, please contact Human Capital Management’s Policy and Compliance department at or (972) 794-7858.

New schools proposed in Bond 2020

More than $1.9 billion in the proposed bond 2020 package is dedicated to renovating aging facilities and addressing infrastructure and architecture improvements. More than $1.1 billion is allocated for new and replacement campuses.

According to district leadership, these allocations should bring schools up to a level that will provide modern and functional spaces for Dallas ISD students.

Based on board recommendations, the Citizens Bond Steering Committee—made up of more than 100 community volunteers and district staff—updated the this spring plan to designate $537 million to replace 14 aging schools.

As part of long-range plan to enhance educational opportunities, the Bond 2020 proposal also includes more than $607 million for 10 new facilities, including:

  • a pre-K-12 campus downtown and another in midtown
  • a pre-K-eight STEM campus in the medical district
  • a pre-K-eight Montessori school in Pleasant Grove
  • a transformation school
  • a districtwide performing arts center
  • four career institutes

For more information about the 2020 Bond proposal, visit