Coming soon to a desktop near you

Soon, it will be easier to access Information Technology’s Support Hub when a dedicated shortcut icon is added to district devices. Within Support Hub, staff will have the ability to order new equipment and services, as well as create an incident for IT support.  A virtual agent will also be available to address common issues and along with providing access to knowledge-base articles.  Staff can also get the most up-to-date information on planned maintenance or unplanned service outages.  To access Support Hub, click here and enter your EAD credentials.

Go electronic with new forms

Effective Nov. 1 Non-Exempt and Exempt Attendance Report forms and Payroll Correction and Supplemental Correction forms will be available electronically through Laserfiche, replacing the paper forms.

Timekeepers will continue to make entries to the employees’ timecards for absences and adjustments prior to the payroll bulletin deadlines; however, all payroll correction forms must be completed and approved using the Laserfiche submission process. Departments and campuses have the option to continue using a paper form for non-exempt and exempt attendance reports or start using the electronic form, but all employees must use the same type of form. If a department or school chooses to use the electronic non-exempt or exempt attendance report forms, all employees must then use the Laserfiche submission process for consistency.

The electronic forms can be found on the Payroll Services website under the Forms option starting Nov. 1. You will need to sign in using your EAD username and password to gain access to the form, which will be routed automatically to the designated supervisor for approval.



Teachers: share your opinion

Given the trials 2020 has presented for students and the learning process, Dallas ISD is taking steps now to minimize what is expected to be a more severe loss of learning than is typically seen during the summer.

Ideas under consideration to mitigate the loss of learning include possibly extending the school year and/or rethinking the school day at certain campuses to benefit both students and teachers.

  • For students, there would be increased opportunities for lifelong learning, enrichment, acceleration, recovery, and new experiences
  • For teachers, there would be more time for teamwork, innovation, mentorship, and exploration

Teachers are key to the success of any proposal developed by the district, which is why their voice is critical to this process. Teachers are asked to complete this survey by Thursday, Nov. 12, to give feedback about each of the options under consideration, including the potential for an extended school year in Dallas ISD.

This video details some of the work that the district is doing to gather input from a variety of stakeholders.

The Board of Trustees will take into consideration the administration’s proposal in January. The program would be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year.



District pilots COVID-19 rapid testing program

To protect students and staff, Dallas ISD is implementing a phased-in COVID-19 rapid testing program provided by TEA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management. The pilot is being offered to districts to conduct rapid tests of employees and students—with parents’ written permission—to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campuses.

Initial implementation will involve high school coaches and trainers receiving training to administer the tests to student-athletes. In the next phase of the rollout, nurses will oversee testing at campuses followed by availability on a voluntary basis to all district staff.

The district is receiving personal protective equipment (PPE) to safely administer the rapid tests, which produce reliable results within 15 minutes. The testing is seen as another way to help protect the health and safety of our students and staff as we continue to manage in-person classes and extracurricular activities during the pandemic.





National Dyslexia Awareness Month: Breaking the language code

As an 8-year-old, John Paul Gonzalez often felt dumb, and he would pray for help to be able to read. He used to place a book under his pillow to give God a hint that he needed help to make sense of the letters in the book.

His prayers were answered the next year when his new third-grade teacher told his mother that she thought he might be dyslexic. After being evaluated and receiving additional support, Gonzalez figured out the code and was able to read.

“If I had not received the services, I could almost guarantee you I would have dropped out of school,” he said. “It’s that life changing.”

Today, as a dyslexia evaluator and licensed therapist Gonzalez helps Dallas ISD students figure out the code so they, too, can read at grade level and succeed in school. With 147 therapists and 27 screeners, Dallas ISD has one of the largest dyslexia programs in the country, and this has had a positive impact on students who on average get diagnosed two years earlier than they did three years ago. Dallas ISD provides dyslexia services to more than 3,600 students, and National Dyslexia Awareness Month, celebrated in October, highlights the difference programs like these makes in their lives.

Focusing on dyslexia during the month is important because some studies indicate that as much as 15 to 20 percent of the population could be dyslexic but go undiagnosed.

“Sometimes, we’ll have kids of average to above average intelligence with really high IQs that learn to cope until they reach the tipping point at a later age,” said Gonzalez, who became a license therapist in 2006. “They memorize, use cognitive skills to achieve, but as the academic rigor reaches a point where that no longer works.”

The earlier the diagnoses takes place, the sooner students can receive the help they need to succeed, whether it’s therapy and 504 accommodations so they can thrive in a general education classroom or receive other special education services to help them make significant strides in their education.

“We know that research says that early identification and early remediation are key,” Gonzalez said. “At a young age, I was able to overcome. When we are faced with problems in something as important as reading and you learn to overcome them, it makes all the difference in the world. I still have a difficult time distinguishing between i and e sounds. Even today, as an adult, I have to use the code, to hear the initial sound and the key word.”

Parents often see their children struggle at home, but don’t always identify the struggles as dyslexia. That is why teachers receive special training to more easily identify signs of dyslexia and make a referral.

After the referral, students undergo a cognitive test to determine their dominant language. Once they screened has the information, they use the data and numbers to determine what level of support is needed. Remediation is done in Spanish or English, depending on the child’s dominant language. If the student speaks Spanish, the therapy takes place in that language and then is transferred to English. The Esperanza Program teaches and remediates language acquisition in Spanish, and then students transition into the Wilson Reading Program where students learn the English morphology and study the language. Dallas ISD uses an instructional program using visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile modalities that help students that helps students decode the language.

It took Gonzalez about a year to be able to change the way his brain processed language. Being able to share his experience and his own struggles with parents and teachers is important for Gonzalez. It shows them that there’s a success story behind every struggle.”

“The first thing that changed for me was my confidence’” Gonzalez said. “My inside was able to shine because now I knew I wasn’t dumb. I just needed a different way to break the code—reading is a code. There was a pathway that was lit, that I could see and follow. I am a licensed therapist because I was a kid at 8 years old when I got the dyslexia services that changed my life.”





Election information

More than 120 district facilities will be used as polling places on Tuesday, Nov. 3, for the general election. Then day is a board approved holiday so facilities will be closed for district business.

Custodians should open the facilities promptly at 5:30 a.m. to allow the election judges to set up. Due to the high interest in this election and the need to disinfect the voting areas prior to the start of classes the following day, custodians may need to work beyond the 7 p.m. end of the voting day. Two custodians may split the time, but there should be no overlap of time between the custodians. Please note that at no time should a district facility be left unattended by school personnel.

Custodial staff must use the supplemental pay icon on the biometric time clock and use the supplemental activity code #121023 to clock In and out.

Principals should ensure that school staff cooperates with the election judges regarding set-up requests and that polling locations are presentable. For any questions, contact Orlando Alameda by calling (972) 925-5142 or sending an email to

Click here for the list of facilities that will be used as polling places.



Who is the best?

The process to select the 2020 Teacher of the Year has begun at the campuses. The selection process provides opportunity campuses the opportunity to showcase their most effective teachers. The guidelines below ensure consistency across the district in how the nominees are identified at the campus level. The campus winner will represent his or her school in the district-level competition.

Teacher of the Year Characteristics:

  • Maximizes growth opportunities for students of all backgrounds
  • Collaborates with colleagues, students, and families to create a culture of respect and success.
  • Deliberately connects their classroom to the community and the community to the classroom.
  • Engages in leadership opportunities that contribute to the work of the profession.
  • Without exception, represents the district’s vision and goals.
  • Expresses themselves in a poised and articulate way.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Teachers who earn an Evaluation Rating of Proficient I or above.
  2. Teachers who have not served as a campus winner in the last three years.
  3. Teachers who have at least 3 years of creditable teaching service.

Campus Selection Teacher of the Year Selection Process:

  • After teachers meeting the criteria are nominated, campuses conduct a closed vote to select a campus winner.
  • Submit the campus winner’s name to HCM through the link below by November 6, 2020
  • Note that the campus winner must be endorsed by the campus Principal. These winners will be invited, via a personal email, to apply for the district Teacher of the Year honor.

Dallas ISD District Teacher of the Year Categories and Selection Process:

The district will select a total of 9 finalists from three categories by campus type and school level. One winner (Elementary, Secondary, Choice/Magnet) will be selected from each category.

Category Level
Elementary PK-5
Secondary 6-12
Choice/Magnet All Levels

Following campus selection, winners are invited to apply through online application for the districtwide award.  Responses and endorsements for all submissions are reviewed and scored in Winter/Spring 2020.

Overall scores for each application are determined by weighting available components:

Application and Endorsements  70%
TEI Evaluation Rating 20%
Years of Teaching Experience 10%


Finalists are ranked by category.  The top 3 in each category will attend an in-person panel interview before selection of the districtwide winner.

Theory of Action: Social Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning builds the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that both students and adults need to be successful in school, work, and life. These skills include such things as knowing and controlling your emotions, teamwork, understanding others, making positive choices, and resilience.  Now, more than ever, these are crucial skills for navigating uncertainty, understanding one’s identity and beliefs, and building positive relationships.

Through the Theory of Action Standards of Service, the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Department provides training, strategic planning support, and coaching to implement key elements of comprehensive SEL such as:

  • Culture and Climate—Includes SEL Signature Practices to develop a campus that’s grounded in positive relationship-building practices and fosters welcoming environments for both students and adults
  • SEL Explicit Skills Instruction—Provides direct lessons to students of all ages for SEL skill building and ongoing reflection
  • Content Integration—Identifies natural overlaps between SEL skills (like team building or communication) and ongoing academic learning to reinforce the value of SEL and ongoing refinement of SEL skills
  • Family Engagement—Builds authentic connections with Dallas ISD families and shares relevant SEL resources with parents and caregivers to help strengthen SEL skills and mindsets at home
  • Systems and structures—Develops sustainable SEL implementation, including developing SEL Steering Committees and continuous improvement efforts for strengthening SEL practices on a campus

The SEL team collaborates closely with many partners to provide SEL implementation support to individual campuses, central departments, and Dallas ISD parents and caregivers.  For more information, visit the SEL Department website,, which includes a number of useful resources (for educators and families) and ongoing updates about our work (including upcoming training opportunities)!

For additional information, contact Juany Valdespino-Gaytan, executive director of Engagement Services, at or Aileen Mokuria, professional development manager, at

Last chance to complete annual training by Oct. 31

In compliance with state and federal laws, Dallas ISD requires that all employees complete an annual policy acknowledgement and compliance training every school year. The window for both the annual policy acknowledgement and compliance training closes Oct. 31.

Annual Policy Acknowledgement

Using their EAD, employees will log into the annual policy acknowledgement web-based application at The system can be accessed from work or home. 

Compliance Training Videos

Online compliance training will be available to all District employees in Cornerstone at Employees will need to use their EAD username and password to log into Cornerstone. The compliance training assignment will be in the “Training in Progress” or the “Your Assigned Training” box located on the “Welcome” page. If the assignment is not listed, employees can hover over the “Learning” tab and select “View Your Transcript.” The compliance training curriculum will be listed on your transcript.

For questions or concerns regarding the annual policy acknowledgement and compliance training, please contact Policy and Compliance at or (972) 794-7858.





Dallas Business Journal names Hinojosa one of Most Inspiring Leaders of 2020

Citing his leadership navigating the school district’s students, families, and employees through the challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, Dallas Business Journal has named Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa one of its Most Inspiring Leaders of 2020.

Among Hinojosa’s accomplishments lauded in the award are his collaboration with the Texas Education Agency, the governor, county and health officials to maintain instruction in the early weeks of the pandemic, developing a plan to bring employees back and open schools in a safe environment, playing a leading role as an advocate for connectivity for students, and working to establish delivery of more than 10 million meals to students while schools were closed.

The inspiring leaders award honors businesses, organizations  and individuals who demonstrated exemplary leadership during the economic and related struggles that followed the onset of the pandemic.

The 20 award winners will be formally recognized in a virtual awards program on Nov. 19.

Published monthly, Dallas Business Journal is a prominent source for local business news, research, and events in the DFW area.