Dallas ISD is committed to building a culture of exemplary customer service throughout the district based on the tenets of Core 4—Focused, Fast, Flexible, and Friendly. Trainings are being conducted at all schools and departments to ensure that all staff are familiar with these tenets that guide the delivery of professional, high-quality service to our customers, whether they are students, parents, community members or colleagues. Have you been to training?
If you have, you will have learned that Core 4 culture tenets are rooted in the district’s principles of racial equity and cultural responsiveness, comprehensive accountability, responsible use of resources, and collaboration. The redesigned approach to Core 4 includes a rubric that will easily guide employees in their everyday work to achieve the exemplary level of service that is the culture of Dallas ISD.
The goal of the relaunch of the Core 4 culture tenets is to have every Dallas ISD employee participate in a training to get to know the new rubric and expectations by May 14. Once employees participate in the training conducted by Core 4 ambassadors, they will need to complete an online assessment to help us track participation and gauge the level of understanding of the tenets and the rubric.
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) encompasses systems and procedures to help each child achieve success. The MTSS framework is preventative in nature by providing all students with immediate support and offering campus personnel procedures and guidelines to assist students in the areas of academics, language, and engagement.
Through the Theory of Action Standards of Service, the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) department provides training and support with implementation of the MTSS framework including:
Universal Screening – Universal Screening is the process of assessing all students to identify those who may experience lower than expected academic outcomes. NWEA MAP Growth is the universal screener which consists of brief assessments that measure critical skills in reading and mathematics. Screening is conducted three times during the school year. Beginning of Year (BOY), Middle of Year (MOY), and End of Year (EOY).
Root Cause Analysis – Root Cause Analysis is a structured team process that assists in identifying underlying factors or causes of an adverse event. This process supports campuses with treating the cause, not just the symptom.
MTSS Interventions – A variety of interventions are available on the website to assist campuses with creating intervention plans for students to address areas of concerns for reading, mathematics and engagement.
The MTSS team collaborates closely with many partners to provide optimal implementation support to individual campuses as well as central departments. For more information, visit the MTSS Department website, www.dallasisd.org/mtss which includes several useful resources and upcoming professional development opportunities.
For additional information, contact Miranda Madden, director of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, at email@example.com.
Getting regular exercise is important for overall health, but did you know that getting your blood pumping is also good for your eyes?
Reducing the risk of glaucoma
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology studies, those who engage in consistent physical activity are less likely to develop glaucoma and other eye diseases. Glaucoma is a known complication of diabetes, and exercise can have a definite effect on the disease and the development of glaucoma among those dealing with the disease.
For those already diagnosed with glaucoma, exercise has been shown to reduce its effects. Even moderate exercise, such as briskly walking three times a week can improve the blood flow to the retina and the optic nerve, possibly reducing eye pressure and lessening glaucoma symptoms. Combining a vision care plan and regular exercise can make living with glaucoma significantly easier.
Lowering your risk of vision problems, improving existing glaucoma, and increasing your physical activity doesn’t take much. These are three things you can choose from to add vision-friendly exercise:
High Intensity Training (HIT) at a moderate intensity for 20-30 minutes, three times a week
Go for a bris walk with your dog, and if you don’t have a pet, go by yourself
Do a virtual yoga class
Be sure to reach out to your health care provider to get approval before you begin an exercise program.
With data showing how critical the prenatal to age 3 period in a child’s development is for educational success, Dallas ISD is launching an effort to connect young families with high quality early learning opportunities—Project Legacy 2050.
During Wednesday’s State of the District, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa talked about Project Legacy 2050 as one of the key future initiatives for Dallas ISD. Brain development, social and emotional skills, and language and literacy development happen as soon as a child is born. Those skills play a big role in a child’s future success. With the help of a coalition of partners, Dallas ISD wants to expand early learning opportunities to younger children to get them pre-k ready.
“We want to make the experience of raising children easier for families by connecting them with partners and places that offer crucial services for the development of our youngest children,” Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova said.
Investing in an initiative like Project Legacy 2050 will help Dallas ISD and other school districts in three areas:
Education – a child’s life sets an early cognitive foundation for the rest of life;
Economy – parents can work while their children are receiving high quality childcare, which will impact the economy in a positive way;
Equity – high quality childcare would be more accessible to low-income students of color, particularly in communities at a higher disadvantage.
District leaders have begun conversations with community partners, superintendents from districts in Dallas County and urban council districts to form a coalition to support Project Legacy 2050. The coalition will advocate, support and mobilize high quality early learning for children prenatal to 3 through services and resources needed for their early development, including housing, transportation, health, and childcare.
As district operations slowly return to normal, effective May 1, a decision has been made to retire the staff screeners who have been stationed at the entrances of many district buildings for the last several months. For the safety of colleagues and guests, all employees are urged to continue to conduct daily self-screening prior to entering district’s facilities.
Employee self-screening guidelines:
Check your temperature to determine any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19
Fever ≥100.4 degrees F
Cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Chills/repeated shaking with chills
Muscle or body aches
Headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose
Loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea unusual fatigue
Known close contact with a person who has COVID-19
Protective equipment including masks, sanitizer and gloves will still be available at the entrance of all buildings.
If running a fever of 100.4°F or higher or if you ate feeling ill, please, stay home. Notify the district’s Health Services at (972) 925-4211 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or are diagnosed with COVID-19.
Maintaining good mental health is just as important for overall health as staying fit and eating right. You can learn more about why mental health is important and how to maintain it by attending Dallas ISD’s Mental Health Matters Virtual Symposium on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, hosted by Mental Health Services will feature recorded presentations and a live Q&A. There will be English and Spanish presentations on topics such as parenting, bullying, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and more. For more information or to register, please visit www.mentalhealthmattersdallas.com.
At its April meeting, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved several items, including:
The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved waiving the use of the spring Assessment of Course Performance (ACP) as a weighted portion of the semester average for middle and high school students. Removing the ACP as an assessment will give teachers and schools more time to focus on addressing learning loss caused by the pandemic. The ACP has typically been used as an end of semester exam to measure student progress and determine instructional priorities. Instead of administering the ACP for the spring, the district will prioritize the focus on end-of-year MAP testing. Waiving the spring ACPs will also remove the penalty of a zero grade for non-testers, which could lead to a better semester grade for some students. Semester grades will now be based on the average of the two nine weeks. A student’s GPA and class rank will continue to be based on the semester grade, as has always been the case.
The consolidation of Elisha M. Pease to W.W. Bushman (non-academic reasons) with approval of Pease attendance zone changes and repurpose of Pease beginning in the 2023-2024 school year. Bushman will be renamed Albert C. Black Elementary School.
Not all learning takes place in the classroom, and just as schools pivoted to provide quality classes during the pandemic, the Student Activities Department got creative to ensure that students had access to the contests and activities that help them learn the important soft skills to be successful.
“Allowing students to participate in extracurricular activities beyond the academic day in-person or virtual continues be a primary focus for the Student Activities Department, especially now, that we know students need an outlet to have fun with their peers and to showcase their talents and skills,” said Sharla Hudspeth, executive director of Student Activities. “From the early days of the pandemic until now, students have had the opportunity to participate in dozens of competitive and enjoyable activities including chess, cheerleading, esports, debate and various academic competitions.”
Last fall, students engaged in extracurricular activities through competitions and tournaments in virtual and in-person events— practices and workshops in preparation for Fall Elementary Academic UIL Competitions, District Academic Decathlon, district supported Pre-UIL State Spirit Competitions, and debate tournaments/scrimmage.
Students started the year strong in January with the Student Activities Extracurricular Extravaganza! during which more that 1,200 participated in different events organized by the department, including UIL Cross Examination Debate, UIL Spirit State Competition, District Academic Pentathlon, Social Impact Challenge, and the districtwide Esports Showdown. In March, more than 1,800 students participated in the Esports Virtual At Home Showdown, Destination Imagination Regional Tournament, Middle School Academic UIL Spring Competition, Middle School Cheerleading Workshop and secondary debate tournaments.
These types of activities not only allow students to compete against their peers districtwide but also measure their skills at regional and state levels.
It was important for the department to maintain these activities with some degree of normalcy because they connect students to learning activities beyond the classroom, Hudspeth said. When exposed to these extracurricular opportunities, students often discover abilities they may not have known they had, which helps them grow and blossom.
“The district understands that extracurricular activities provide students with a complete school experience and improve the social and emotional well-being of students during distance learning,” Hudspeth said.
These activities were possible—whether in-person or virtual—because of the support provided by the coaches in the schools who continued to support the clubs and prepare students for competitions, she added.
As home and office space merged during the pandemic, many people said they spent more time in front of screens and developed issues such eye strain, headaches, and dry eye.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, digital eye strain is a group of eye problems that can happen after staring at a screen for too long. The symptoms include blurry vision, headaches, and tired, dry eyes. These problems happen because people tend to blink less often when using screens, which means their eyes are less moisturized. Extended reading, writing or other intensive near work can also cause eye strain.
“The good news is that looking at a computer, tablet or smartphone for long periods of time will not cause permanent damage,” said Dianna Seldomridge, MD, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “As we’ve all experienced, staring at a screen for too long can cause some uncomfortable symptoms. But there are some simple changes you can make to ease the discomfort.”
Make taking breaks a habit. Set a timer on your phone or watch to remind you to look 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. This can be as simple as looking away from your computer screen or out the window. If you’re not in the middle of a Zoom call, you can also just shut your eyes for 20 seconds.
Practice eye ergonomics. Sit 18 to 25 inches away from your computer screen, about arm’s length. Adjust screen brightness and contrast so that it feels comfortable. Also, position the screen so your eyes gaze slightly downward, not straight ahead or up.
Use artificial tears. Eye drops will help keep your eyes moist and relieve the discomfort of dry eye. These can be bought over the counter without a prescription.
Consider a humidifier. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and minimize dry eye. This is especially good for people who live in cold areas and use heaters often.
Consider computer glasses. If you have trouble seeing your screen, ask your doctor about computer glasses. These progressive lenses are specifically designed for focusing on computer screens, which are usually positioned about 20 to 26 inches away from the face.
If symptoms continue after trying these tips, see your ophthalmologist. For more information on eye health, visit www.eyesmart.org.
Dallas ISD’s Maintenance and Facility Services is looking to add to their custodial, grounds, and maintenance teams and will be hosting a Spring Drive-Up Hiring Event on Saturday, April 24, 2021, from 9 to 11 A.M. at Pleasant Grove Stadium.
During this socially distanced event, participants will have an opportunity to interview with our hiring managers safely from their car. Masks will be required.
You can register for the event and find additional information by visiting the Eventbrite page.