Dallas ISD maintenance and facilities staff work to restore schools

The frigid weather that recently covered the state in snow and historically low temperatures affected thousands of Dallas families and also caused damages to about 125 Dallas ISD schools. Staff from maintenance and facilities started work as soon as possible, worked over the weekend and the beginning of this week to ensure that students and staff were safe when they returned to campuses on Feb. 24. The damage to four schools—Bryan Adams and Lincoln high schools, Harold W. Lang Sr. Middle School, and J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard—was still being repaired this week so students and staff can return to the campuses on March 1. Dallas ISD is incredibly thankful to the outstanding maintenance and facility workers who have been tirelessly working around the clock at the schools to repair any damage caused by last week’s weather and deep freeze.



Open for a transfer

Dallas ISD’s open transfer period for the 2021-2022 school year starts in March. Principals in high priority and ACE campuses can begin sending recommendations for teachers, instructional coaches, counselors, and media specialists to HCM starting March 1 through April 23. The open transfer window for all other campuses begins March 8 and ends April 9.

The open transfer process allows current Dallas ISD teachers, instructional coaches, counselors and media specialists, who meet the guidelines outlined below, to accept a position at another campus for the following school year. During the open transfer period, current principal approval is not required.

Interested eligible employees must complete an application online by logging into www.dallasisd.org/careers with their EAD credentials and then use the internal openings link.  Employees who do not apply will not be eligible to participate.

To be eligible for an open transfer, employees must:

  • Hold a valid Texas Teacher Certificate in the requested subject-area vacancy and meet TEA/SBEC Certification Standards for the position
  • Not be on a growth plan or have an unsatisfactory rating on the most current evaluation
  • Not be entering their fourth year of an Alternative Certification Program
  • Not be identified for non-renewal at the end of the current school year due to performance and/or misconduct
  • For Instructional Coaches only: must receive approval from recommending campus executive director



Pass the menu

Food and Child Nutrition Services has launched a new platform to view daily menus, nutritional information and potential allergens.

Signing up is easy!

Go to schools.mealviewer.com or download the mobile app and register for a free account. Users can create a personalized profile by first selecting a school. Parents can set up their student’s profile by selecting the appropriate allergens favorite meals. Students will receive notifications every time any of their favorite meals are served.

Let’s discuss

The Social and Emotional Learning Department has a new discussion series just for teachers. The SEL In Action: Teacher Discussion Series will meet every fourth Wednesday through May, to engage Dallas ISD teachers in informal discussions centered around important topics educators are facing.

These open forums will be a safe place to discuss these topics, build community, form healthy relationships, and discuss social and emotional wellness.

SEL In Action: Teacher Discussion Series Schedule:

February: Celebrating Black Educators | *Wednesday, March 10, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

February discussion articles: Teaching While Black: An Open Letter to School Leaders by Sharif El-Mekki, and Breaking through the Burden of Strength by Kel Hughes Jones

March: Managing Stress | Wednesday, March 24, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

March discussion article: Coping with Change and Uncertainty by Phyllis L. Fagell

April: Creating Spaces of belonging: Dallas ISD PRIDE + Allies | Wednesday, April 28, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

April discussion article: Being Accepted, Not Just Tolerated, Is Good for Mental Health by Peter DeWitt

May: Reigniting our sense of purpose | Wednesday, May 26, 4:45-5:30 p.m.

May discussion article: The Lowdown on Burnout by Elena Aguilar

Teachers can sign up at https://forms.gle/gHpnCeiUbrw5QhBX7. Contact Aileen Mokuria, SEL manager, for additional support. For additional SEL resources, visit www.dallasisd.org/sel.

*Due to the 2021 winter storm, February’s discussion has been rescheduled from its original date to Wednesday, March 10.


Equity improves access

The Racial Equity Office works to improve principal engagement in two ways through the Theory of Action. REO aims to improve programmatic equity by identifying key indicators to remove system differences and create equitable access to programs. In addition, REO collaboratively promotes programs that support equitable leadership and operations. Specific programming includes:

Anti-Defamation League (ADL): No Place for Hate

No Place for Hate (NPFH) is a program that enables schools to challenge all forms of bias, bullying, and discrimination, by creating more inclusive environments. During Fall 2019, nine Dallas ISD high schools and nine middle schools registered to become NPFH sites. All participating schools attained a No Place for Hate Designation from the ADL in May 2020. To achieve this status, schools designed and implemented at least two schoolwide activities on bias and social justice. In conjunction with the Dallas ISD Social Studies department, forty-nine additional Dallas ISD middle and high schools have been selected as prospective NPFH sites for the 2020-2021 school year.

Magnet Mentor Program

The Magnet Schools Application Initiative is a collaborative effort of the Department of Magnet Programs and the REO to increase the number of qualified in-district African American students applying to and accepted by the district’s Magnet Schools. Thirty schools have Magnet Mentors. Each mentor is assigned five students and helps those students throughout the completion of the application process.

African American Success Initiative (AASI) Student Advocates

The REO is supporting both male and female mentoring programs aimed at African American students, serving ALL district schools, during the 2020-21 school year. In addition to individual and group mentoring sessions for students, these programs offer a broad range of wraparound services at their partner schools.

Student activities include lunch period clubs, virtual field trips, virtual career fairs, virtual college visits, financial literacy activities, and community service projects. Support provided by the REO includes resources for schools to acquire materials and supplies, host and participate in program events, and funding for mentor training and responsibilities.

Campuses interested in these supports should visit the Racial Equity Office website at www.dallasisd.org/racialequity to learn more about programmatic equity and equitable leadership programming.

For additional information, contact Ariss Rider, director of Community, Schools and Partnerships at ahollis@dallasisd.org.



Sweeter is not always better for the heart

The United States faces an obesity epidemic, which contributes to cardiovascular disease among other health issues. One of the leading causes of this epidemic is the amount of sugar people consume on a daily basis.

While many common processed foods like cereals and pastries have a high sugar content, according to the American Heart Association, the main source of added sugars—46% of all added sugars—are beverages:

  • Soft drinks – 25%
  • Fruit drinks – 11%
  • Sport/energy drinks – 3%
  • Coffee/tea with sugar– 7%

How does sugar affect the Heart?

When we eat excess sugar, the extra insulin the body produces has a greater chance of affecting the arteries. Insulin is the hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Added insulin causes the arterial walls to inflame, grow thicker than normal and stiffer, which stresses the heart and damages it over time. This can lead to different types of heart diseases like heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

People who eat excess sugar—at least 25% of net calories coming from sugar—are twice as likely to die of heart disease than those whose diets include less than 10% of total calories from sugar. This is added sugar from processed foods and not the sugar that naturally occurs in fresh fruits and vegetables that is easier for the body to process and less likely to lead to obesity.

The American Heart Association recommends:

  • Men consume no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams/ 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
  • Women consume no more than six teaspoons (25 grams/ 100 calories) per day.

For example, one 12- ounce can of soda contains eight teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar, which is more than the recommended daily amount for women and the daily recommended amount for men.

Changing habits is not always easy, but substituting sugary beverages for water, even if it’s just one a day to start with, can lead to better heart health. Watching intake of added sugar has been made easier because food producers are required to list the amount of added sugars in the Nutritional Facts label. Studies show that with time, labeling will educate consumers enough that it could potentially prevent nearly 1 million cases of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes over the next two decades.


Find your W2

The W2 forms are now available for all the employees who were set up to receive them online.

To access the form:

  1. Inside the district network, go to Oracle Self-Service, choose Payroll Information and Employee W2
  2. From the district’s main web page, click on Staff from the district’s main page and choose Oracle Login. Once logged in, go to Employee Self-Service, choose Payroll Information and Employee W2.
  3. Outside the district’s network, go to https://disdportal.dallasisd.org, go to Apps Logon Links into Oracle, go to Employee Self-Service, Payroll Information and Employee W2.

If you have any problems, please send an email to notifypayroll@dallasisd.org and include your employee ID number, name and the issue or question you might have to receive prompt assistance.

Those who are not set up to retrieve the form online can change their preferences. The instructions are posted in the Payroll website under Staff Resources.

Sign up for the COVID-19 vaccines

The safety and well-being of all Dallas ISD employees is a top priority, which is why the district is working with Dallas County Health and Human Services, Parkland Hospital and other organizations in the community to secure vaccines for staff. Employees who are 65 years of age or older and those who have serious chronic conditions as outlined in the state’s 1B phase are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Dallas County Health and Human Services is currently scheduling appointments for individuals who are 55 or older with certain underlying conditions to receive vaccines at the county’s vaccination clinics. To register for these appointments, please fill out the county’s vaccine registration form.


How do I make this purchase?

The district’s Minority Women Business Enterprise and Procurement Services departments are offering a series of trainings for Dallas ISD employees.

Participants will gain a better understanding about M/WBE and procurement policies, receive guidance on how to properly place orders, and receive information on how to locate awarded M/WBE vendors.

All session will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 | 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 10, | 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 24 | 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 7 | 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

For more information and for registration links, download the event flyer.

Procurement and MWBE Flyer 2

Thinking about retiring?

Dallas ISD will pay retiring employees cash for their unused local days. The more days employees have remaining, the higher the retirement award. But you must notify payroll of your intent by April 1.

Employees who notify Human Capital Management by entering their intent to retire date in Oracle Self-Service by April 1 can receive a flat daily rate for any unused local days accrued by July 31. If employees complete the separation process in Oracle by April 1 and work the remainder of the school year, they will continue to have pay and benefits through Aug. 31. The exact daily rate to be paid will be determined upon calculation of all the participants’ remaining days for the year, and there is no cap to the number of local days for which an employee can get paid.

Those who do not enter their separation date in Oracle Self-Service by April 1, will not be eligible for the award. For additional questions, employees may contact the HCM Benefits Department at 972-925-4300 or email Retirement@dallasisd.org.

Never too early to start planning

The Benefits Department will host virtual retirement information seminars for all employees planning to retire within the next five years. Attendees will receive information regarding the district’s procedures, Teacher Retirement System benefits and helpful planning tips leading up to retirement. All seminars will take place via Microsoft TEAMS.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 • 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 23 • 5-6:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 27 • 5-630 p.m.

Those interested in participating should RSVP by Feb. 15 by calling (972) 925-4300 or emailing Retirement@dallasisd.org.

For additional information regarding the seminars, please contact the Benefits Department at (972) 925-4300 or email benefits@dallasisd.org.