COVID-19 quarantine protocol update

Dallas ISD has adjusted quarantine guidelines in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates to its COVID-19 quarantine protocols. Given that free diagnostic tests—BinaxNOW Rapid Tests—are readily available to staff, the district has adopted new quarantine guidelines to help get staff and students back to business.

As of Jan. 18, the district updated its quarantine period to the 10 days CDC acceptable alternative. Individuals deemed close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will be required to remain at home for 10 days in quarantine. These individuals should make arrangements through the school nurse (campus staff) or Health Services (central staff) to take a district-provided rapid antigen test on day 5, 6, or 7 of their quarantine to determine if they need to move to isolation status if the test is positive. Individuals testing negative and showing symptoms should seek medical guidance and a PCR test prior to the 10th day.

Individuals with a negative test will return to work on day 11 following the start date of the quarantine. Individuals who do not report back to work on day 11 will use paid time off (PTO) beginning with day 11 to cover additional time they are not at work. Individuals who choose not to test will also be expected to return to work on day 11 or begin using PTO on day 11.


Dallas ISD ha realizado ajustes a sus reglas para la cuarentena según las actualizaciones realizadas por los Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) a sus protocolos de cuarentena para el COVID-19. Debido a que el distrito cuenta con pruebas para diagnosticar la enfermedad—BinaxNOW Rapid Tests—disponibles para el personal, el distrito ha determinado adoptar las nuevas reglas de cuarentena para ayudar a los empleados a regresar a sus funciones.

A partir del 18 de enero, el distrito actualizó su período de cuarentena a los días que son la alternativa aceptable para el CDC. Se requerirá que los individuos que hayan tenido contacto cercano con alguien que haya resultado positivo con COVID-19 permanezcan en casa en cuarentena durante 10 días. Estas personas deberán hacer planes a través de la enfermera (personal escolar) o Health Services (personal central) para hacerse una prueba rápida de antígeno el día, 5, 6, o 7 de su cuarentena para determinar si necesitan aislarse si la prueba resulta positiva. Los individuos cuya prueba sea negativa y muestren síntomas deberán buscar cuidados médicos y hacerse una prueba PCR antes del 10mo día.

Los individuos cuyos resultados en la prueba sean negativos deberán regresar al trabajo en el 11mo día basándose en la fecha en que comenzó la cuarentena. Los que no se reporten en el 11mo día tendrán que usar día de asueto pagados (PTO) a partir del 11mo día para cubrir los días adicionales que no estén en el trabajo. Los que opten por no hacerse la prueba también deberán reportarse al trabajo en el 11mo día de haber comenzado la cuarentena o utilizar su PTO para cubrir los días que estén ausentes a partir del día 11.

Staff pets are part of the family

Whether on the pasture looking for sweet treats or greeting their human parents when they come home at the end of the day, pets continue to be essential members of the family for many Dallas ISD employees.


Lou weighs 100 pounds, but he is a big teddy bear. He has grown up with my kids and watches over them always. He makes us happy because he is so sweet and fun loving.
Emily Reynosa, Lee A. McShan Jr. ES

Bella is the sweetest most lady-like young lady. She is an amazing snuggler and loves to play. Bella is enormous, but very gentle. She enjoys running and playing with our donkeys. Bella has a good time enjoying the outdoors. She is an amazing companion. Lucky is a loving “kissy-face” donkey, who enjoys giving kisses and will do just about anything for a treat. Her favorite snacks are banana treats and vanilla sugar cookies. Lucky loves to call (he-haw) when she hears me drive up. I look forward to giving her hugs and kisses every day.
Deborah Shultz, Special Education

My two dogs are both rescues. I moved back to Dallas from having wide open space for my one, to him being stuck in an apartment all day.  He was so lonely, I got my dog a dog. They are both so happy because now we have a yard and lots of room to run again.
Julie Braswell, Arlington Park ECC


Rex is a 10-year-old long-haired mini dachshund. Most days you will find him curled up and sleeping on his pillow or lounging on our laps. He reminds us that resting is a great form of self-care!  Rex is sweet, loyal, and silly. He brings so much joy and calm to our lives every single day.
Sandra Martinez, Social Emotional Learning Department

This is our sweetheart, Lil Bit.  She has brought much joy and laughter into our home, especially during these uncertain times. She is our guardian angel, always on the lookout for trespassers as she sits on her favorite spot. Mary Ramirez- TA, Casa View ES

This is my French Bulldog puppy, Roni Corona. We got him after my kids begged and begged for a pet, and, finally during quarantine, we decided it was time to give in. We love him for the energy he brings to our home and the unconditional love (and stubbornness) he shows us each day. There’s nothing sweeter than watching him run and play at the dog park while making other doggy friends. Krisha Sears, Arthur Kramer ES


Sprinkles is the icing on the cupcake at the end of a hard day with her love and affection.  While she’s a foster for now, I couldn’t imagine life without her. Deanna Restrepo, Section 504 and Dyslexia Services

Jaxon is a 1-year-old Yorkie and my youngest child, well my four-legged one. He is such a joy, making life so much more exciting with him in it. He is so loving, he has licked my tears away when I cry. When I’m away as little as two minutes, he’s so excited when I return. There have been people who claimed to not like dogs that are in love with him soon after meeting because he’s so sweet and playful. He always greets someone with a toy to play. I really love this little boy. Roshanell Clark, Edna Rowe ES

Every day I return from school, Sir Snow is waiting at the door to greet me and to tell me all about his day. He loves zoom calls and reading with the kids while chewing on the book. Teresa Sterling, Sunset HS


Harper Ferguson is our precious springer spaniel. She is sweet, playful, and incredibly opinionated. In her free time, she enjoys squeaking her toys, playing ball, eating, and welcoming home her parents from work. She dislikes vacuums and the mailman. Harper brings joy to our lives every day. Grace Ferguson, Nathaniel Hawthorne ES



Give for scholarships

Each year Dallas ISD supports the United Negro College Fund, the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, by asking staff to donate to a campaign that raises funds for scholarships for deserving college-bound students. UNCF provides scholarships to more than 60,000 students each year to help them pursue higher education. The funds raised from the district’s workplace campaign go toward scholarships for Dallas ISD seniors of all races who plan to attend a historically black college or university (HBCU) or any other four-year accredited U.S. college or university in the fall of 2021.

The district hosted a virtual Workplace campaign kickoff on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Watch a recording of the kickoff and learn more about the campaign at

Remember, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”



Truancy warnings

Sometimes, illness or other obligation lead to a student absence; however, multiple unexcused absences can lead to truancy and to students missing out on their learning. In an effort to curtail absenteeism, this week, Dallas ISD began sending parents truancy warnings.

Parents are expected to make sure their students are going to school, request meetings with school officials to talk about the absences, provide accurate contact information and submit an excuse note for all unexcused absences. The note, signed by the parent/guardian, should explain the reason for the absence. And be submitted within three days of the student’s return to class. If a student or parent fails to submit a note, the absence will be considered unexcused.

Unexcused absences are what triggers the warning letters regarding violation of truancy laws and can lead to truancy court proceedings with Dallas County. School districts are required to notify parents when their students have three days or parts of days of unexcused absences within a period of four weeks.

A guide to fitness

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a new edition with updated guidelines about the amount of physical activity people can safely do to stay healthy. The report includes guidelines for children ages 3 through 5 and updated guidelines for youth ages 6 through 17, adults, older adults, women during pregnancy and postpartum, adults with chronic health conditions, and adults with disabilities.

The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans is based on the latest scientific evidence, which shows that physical activity brings health benefits on its own and in addition to other healthy habits like good nutrition. The report can be found in the department’s site, but its main findings include:

  • Ages 3-5—The report recommends that children ages 3 through 5 should be active throughout the day to enhance growth and development, so active play (light, moderate, or vigorous intensity) should be encouraged so they have at least three hours of activity per day.
  • Ages 6-17—The recommended amount of physical activity for youth ages 6 through 17 is the same. Each day, youths need at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity to stay healthy. Most activity can be aerobic, like walking, running, or anything that makes the heart beat faster. They also need activities that make their muscles and bones strong, like climbing on playground equipment, playing basketball, and jumping rope. For youth, physical activity can help improve cognition, bone health, fitness, and heart health. It can also reduce the risk of depression.
  • Most adults—For adults to get the most benefit from physical activity, it’s recommended that they do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking or fast dancing, each week. Adults also need muscle-strengthening activity, like lifting weights or doing push-ups, at least two days each week.

This recommendation is based on new evidence that shows a strong relationship between increased sedentary behavior and increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and all-cause mortality. All physical activity, especially moderate-to-vigorous activity, can help offset these risks. New evidence shows that physical activity has immediate health benefits. For example, physical activity can reduce anxiety and blood pressure and improve quality of sleep and insulin sensitivity.

According to the report, for adults, physical activity helps prevent eight types of cancer (bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, stomach, and lung). It reduces the risk of dementia—including Alzheimer’s disease—all-cause mortality, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and depression. It also improves bone health, physical function, and quality of life.

Among older adults, physical activity also can lower the risk of falls and injuries from falls.

New evidence covered in the report shows that physical activity can help manage health conditions such as pain for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. Evidence outlined in the report, also shows that physical activity can reduce disease progression for such health conditions as hypertension and type 2 diabetes, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve cognition for those with dementia, multiple sclerosis, ADHD, and Parkinson’s disease.


Early learning and HCM support district goals

Early Learning

Through the Theory of Action Standards of Service, the Early Learning Department provides support in PreK-second grade in the areas of instructional strategy and coaching support, professional development opportunities, family and community engagement, Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) and student performance data reports.

Instructional Strategy:  PreK-2nd grade curriculum support, Reading Academy content delivery, and consultation services for campus teams to strengthen instructional delivery.

Coaching Support:  Coaching support in all PreK and targeted K-3 classrooms to improve quality with research-proven efforts that support teaching instruction and promote positive social and emotional learning.

Professional Development: On-going opportunities for professional learning to support authentic use of technology in classroom design and use of curriculum.

Family and Community Engagement: PreK enrollment and registration training, family touchpoints throughout the year, marketing materials for campuses to strengthen PreK enrollment.

HIPPY: No charge home visits to deliver HIPPY’s evidence-based curriculum to help parents prepare their children for success in school as well as family and group meetings to share experiences.

Student Performance Reports: Data reports for all PreK-2 grade assessments at beginning, middle and end of year assessment windows.

Campuses interested in these services should visit the Dallas ISD Early Learning Website.

For additional information, contact Dr. Elena S. Hill, Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning, at



Through the Theory of Action Standards of Service, Human Capital Management provides a one-year coaching and training program for alternative certification teacher candidates. This program is dedicated to providing Dallas ISD schools with effective teachers in areas of high need.

Dallas ISD AC Program areas of state certification include:

  • Core Subjects EC-6 w/ Science of Teaching Reading
  • Core Subjects EC-6 w/ Science of Teaching Reading (Bilingual Supplemental)
  • English Language Arts Reading 7-12 w/ English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish
  • Math 7-12
  • Science 7-12
  • Social Studies 7-12
  • Art EC-12 (limited availability)
  • Music EC-12 (limited availability)
  • Physical Education EC-12 (limited availability)
  • Special Education Supplemental

The Phase 55 application is now open for new applicant interest until Monday, February 1, 2021 at 5:00 PM. Interested applicants should apply at the following link:

Dallas ISD AC Program – Phase 56 application will launch April 1, 2021 to August 6, 2021.

Eligibility for admission into the Dallas ISD AC Program, applicants must show a(n):

  • Conferred Bachelor’s degree recognized by a THECB regionally accredited institution
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5
  • Favorable interview cut score designed by the program
  • Pay associated preparation and training fees
  • Completion of Dallas ISD fingerprinting and background check requirements
  • Two (2) official undergraduate transcripts:
    • One transcript is to be opened by the applicant & uploaded to the online application
    • One transcript is to be sealed (NOT opened by applicant) and mailed directly to: Lucy Salazar, Program Coordinator, 9400 N Central Expressway, Suite 1400, Dallas, TX 75231

For additional information, contact Jose Lopez, Dallas ISD AC Program Marketing, Branding, and Recruitment Coordinator

Campuses interested in this service should contact Shuntrice Rhodes, Dallas ISD AC Program Teacher Quality Manager for available candidates that have successful met all program requirements and are ready for a yearlong internship in Dallas ISD.



District launches Operation Comeback to re-engage absent students

School absences have risen dramatically as parents and students cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, and Dallas ISD is launching an all-out effort to help students get back in school and engaged.

Beginning Monday, February 1, and continuing through February 27, district teams will be reaching out to students and parents by phone, text and email as a part of “Operation Comeback Student Re-Engagement,” an effort to help students get back on track to continue their education.

Starting Wednesday, February 3, families not reached remotely will receive contact-free home visits by staff members seeking to find out how the district can provide the resources students need to stay in school.

“The idea is to connect with families so we know what obstacles they face and what we can do to help,” said Orlando Riddick, acting chief of School Leadership.

Once they make contact, central staff teams will talk with families to identify obstacles to school attendance, including asking questions: Do you have an internet connection? Do you need a hotspot? Do you have technology (digital devices)? Does your student know how to log in? How can we support your student’s attendance, either in person or virtually?

Visiting staff will leave families with a list of useful resources, including information about how to get meals, a hotspot or uniforms, how to track their child’s attendance and grades, answers to transportation questions, and how to reach the district online through the Let’s Talk portal.

“We realize that some of the student absenteeism is related to the pandemic, which has pushed many families into crisis.  Some students are working to help support their families, and others face serious obstacles that make regular school attendance a challenge,” Riddick said. District staff note that the state has allowed districts to count students as present if they submit their work online by 11:59 p.m. each day. For working students, the Evening Academy in Districtwide Student Initiatives may be a pathway to continue their education.

On weekdays, staff teams will make contact-free home visits during daylight hours. Evening teams will be out in the field on  Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and make phone calls from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Teams will also visit homes every Saturday in February.

Because safety during the pandemic is critical, staff will not enter homes, but will carry cards and door knockers containing a QR code that, when scanned, will link users to a request for information or a resource sheet that will include contacts to reach counseling and mental health services and info for students and parents who need help navigating a pathway to get students back on track and attending school.

“The district and community care about students. We’re calling on everyone to pull together to emphasize the importance of regular school attendance and to join us to assist families so students can focus on their education,” Riddick said.


Coming soon Form 1095-C Proof of Health Care Coverage

Benefits advises employees that Form 1095-C with information about health care coverage in 2020 will be mailed to homes in early March. The form satisfies the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that all individuals have health care coverage. Employers are required to provide employees the form as proof that employees and their dependents were covered or offered coverage by the employer’s health care plan. IRS has set a deadline of March 2 for employers to provide their employees the form, but employees do not have to wait to receive Form 1095-C to file their individual income tax return. More information about the form is available here.

Pronto recibirá la Forma 1095-C para Comprobar su Cobertura Médica

Benefits le comunica a los empleados que la Forma 1095-C con información acerca de la cobertura de cuidados médicos del 2020 será enviada por correo a las casas de los empleados en marzo. Esta forma satisface el requisito del Affordable Care Act (ACA) de que todos los individuos tengan cobertura médica. Los empleadores deben proporcionar esta forma a sus empleados como prueba de que tiene cobertura o que se les ofreció la oportunidad de obtener cobertura a través del plan de seguro médico de la compañía. El IRS estableció el 2 de marzo como la fecha para mandar la forma a los empleados, pero los empleados no deben esperar a recibir la Forma 1095-C para presentar su declaración de impuestos. Para más información acerca de la forma, pulse aquí.





Put your best face forward

A lot of things have changed in the past few months, including how staff meets to conduct business—virtual is now the norm. Meetings taking place in a virtual room on a computer does not mean that professionalism and formality are abandoned.

Zoom has a series of recommendations on how to keep meetings professional, friendly and productive.

First, keep in mind the age-old guidelines that apply to meetings whether in-person or virtual: be on time, maintain eye contact, pay attention, dress professionally, avoid eating and drinking, mind your body language, and be respectful to whoever is speaking to maintain a productive business environment.

Additional tips from Zoom include:

1. Make sure to introduce everyone at the beginning.

Just like a real meeting or social event, you wouldn’t initiate a conversation between two acquaintances who haven’t met without introducing them. The same practice applies to a virtual meeting. If there are participants who don’t know each other, make sure to introduce all parties you are hosting at the beginning to create a welcoming environment and stimulate engagement.

2. Ensure that you have a clean, work-appropriate background.

You want your attendees’ focus to be on the meeting content, not your messy office or your amazing art collection. By having a clean setting with work-appropriate art and decorations, you reduce the chance that attendees will get distracted. You should also try to attend the meeting from a quiet area that has minimal background noise and movement. Zoom’s virtual background feature is an easy way to eliminate background distractions when you have to meet in a messy or busy location. Dallas ISD has created virtual backgrounds to be used in meetings.

3. Look into the camera when talking instead of looking at yourself.

If you’re looking at yourself on the screen while you’re talking, it will seem like your attention is elsewhere. Direct eye contact into the camera while speaking gives attendees the impression that you are looking at them rather than off to the side, which creates an environment where everyone feels engaged and present in the conversation. Be sure to position your web camera and monitor at eye level so you can look into the camera and simulate that eye-to-eye connection with other attendees.

4. Eliminate distractions and focus on the agenda.

Notifications from messaging applications, ringtones, and applications running on your desktop can be distracting, which can make your attendees feel disrespected and undervalued. Mitigating these distractions helps keep the meeting focused and free from interruption.

5. Be aware of your audio and video settings.

Check whether your microphone is unmuted and that your camera is on to ensure that all attendees can hear you and see you when you speak.

6. If you’re the host, stick around.

The general rule for meeting hosts: Wait until everyone else has left the meeting before hanging up so attendees can leave at their own pace and get any final words in before disconnecting.


For additional tips from Zoom, visit




Fitness Month: Don’t get hurt

Regular exercise is good for your body and safe for most everyone. However, with any type of activity, there is a chance you can get hurt. Exercise injuries can range from strains and sprains to back pain. With a little planning, you can prevent injury and stay safe during exercise.

MedlinePlus—a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—offers a series of tips on how to prevent common injuries when starting a fitness routine as well as information on a variety of health topics.

What Causes Exercise Injuries?

Some of the most common causes of exercise injuries include:

  • Exercising before your body has warmed up
  • Repeating the same motion over and over again
  • Not having proper form for your exercise
  • Not resting in between workouts
  • Pushing your body too hard or too quickly
  • Doing an exercise that is too strenuous for your level of fitness
  • Not using proper equipment

Warm up and Cool Down

Warming up before exercise gets your blood flowing, warms up your muscles, and helps you avoid injury. The easiest way to warm up is to exercise slowly for the first few minutes, then pick up the pace. For example, before running, walk briskly for 5 to 10 minutes.

You should also cool down after exercise to bring your heart rate and body temperature back to normal. Cool down by ending your routine at a slower pace for the last 5 to 10 minutes.

To Stretch or not to Stretch

To stay flexible, you should stretch at least 2 times a week. But it is unclear whether stretching really helps reduce injury.

You can stretch either after you have warmed up or after you exercise.

  • DO NOT stretch cold muscles.
  • Hold stretches for no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.
  • DO NOT bounce.

Choose Your Exercise Wisely

If you have not been active, or have a health condition, talk with your health care provider to make sure you are healthy enough for exercise. Ask what types of exercise might be best for you.

If you are new to exercise, you may want to start with low-intensity options such as:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Riding a stationary bike
  • Golf

These types of exercise are less likely to cause injury than higher-impact activities like running or aerobics. Contact sports like soccer or basketball are also more likely to cause injury.

Use the Right Equipment

Using safety equipment can greatly reduce your risk of injury.

Safety equipment for your sport may include:

  • Footwear
  • Helmets
  • Mouth guards
  • Goggles
  • Shin guards or other protective guards
  • Kneepads

Be sure you use the right type of equipment for your sport. For example, DO NOT play tennis in running shoes. Wear a ski helmet, not a bike helmet, when downhill skiing.

Make sure your exercise equipment:

  • Fits you properly
  • Is the right design for your sport or activity
  • Is in good working condition
  • Is used correctly and consistently

Learn Good Form

If you are new to an exercise or sport, consider taking lessons to learn the basics. Learning the right way to do an exercise or sport can help prevent injury. Look for lessons in your community or through sports or outdoors organizations. You can also consider hiring a personal trainer.

Cross Train

To help prevent overuse injuries, vary your workouts. For example, instead of running three days a week, cycle one day and run two. You will use a different set of muscles and still get a good workout.

Listen to Your Body

Forget the old saying “no pain, no gain.” Of course, to build strength and stamina, you will need to push your body. The key is to push slowly and gradually. You can expect sore muscles after your workout. But you should never feel pain when exercising. If you feel pain, stop right away.

Being tired all the time can also be a sign that you may be overdoing it. In general, avoid increasing these 3 things all at the same time:

  • Number of days you exercise
  • Length of time you exercise
  • How hard you work out



MedlinePlus [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US); [updated 2020 Jun 22]. How to avoid exercise injuries; [cited 2021 Jan 21]; Available from: