Dress for summer

Starting on June 1 and through Sept. 3, the district will adopt its summer dress code so employees can comfortable as they perform their normal work duties while still portraying a professional image to students, parents, and community members.

Standards for daily attire is still at the discretion of the supervisor. However, remember that casual does not mean unkempt. The dress code does not allow for inappropriate apparel. [See OH(LOCAL) and DH (REGULA TION)]

  • Casual includes clothing that is comfortable and neatly put together while communicating professionalism.
  • Casual may differ based on the various business needs of the department. Please consult with your department supervisor to determine appropriate attire for your job.
  • Certain events on the district’s calendar may require employees in a specific department or location to wear business attire instead of the casual look.
  • Take your workday schedule into account when considering your attire for the day. If you have a meeting scheduled with the public or vendors, you may need to wear business attire.
  • Administrators will have the discretion to make exceptions to appropriateness of attire as it relates to culture, religious beliefs, vocational courses, physical education, maintenance, medical necessities, events, and spirit days.
  • Employees required to wear district-issued uniforms are expected to wear the assigned uniform.

Acceptable attire:

  • Clothing should be clean, pressed and wrinkle-free, without holes or frayed areas
  • All attire should fit appropriately (not excessively tight or loose)
  • Footwear – Loafers, boots, flats, sandals, and leather deck shoes are acceptable
  • Slacks – Nice pants or cotton slacks
  • Shirts – Blouses, casual shirts, and golf shirts are acceptable
  • Dresses and skirts – Casual dresses and skirts appropriate for an office environment are acceptable

Unacceptable attire:

  • Inappropriate attire includes, but is not limited to, form-fitting, snug, sagging, or transparent clothing
  • Revealing or provocative attire
  • Dresses and skirts shorter than three inches above the bend of the knee
  • Excessively worn, faded, or tight clothing
  • Slippers, flip-flops, house shoes, sneakers, and athletic shoes
  • Jeans, sweatpants, shorts, bib overalls, leggings, spandex, and lycra
  • Tank tops and shirts or t-shirts with inappropriate messages/graphics
  • Gym clothes and beach wear

Keep your teeth young

Tooth decay is not child’s play. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, tooth decay is as common in adults as it is in children, but it can be prevented.

Tooth decay begins when dental plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—builds up on teeth. Plaque produces acids that, over time, eat away at the tooth’s hard outer surface and create a cavity, even in teeth that have fillings. And if the gums have pulled away from the teeth—gum recession that is more common with age—can also make the roots vulnerable to tooth decay.

To prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride can protect teeth against decay and often heal early decay. Brushing regularly helps remove dental plaque that forms on teeth. Drinking fluoridated water also helps prevent tooth decay in adults.
  • Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or use a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by a dental professional.
  • See a dentist for routine check-ups. If you are at a higher risk for tooth decay (for example, if you have a dry mouth because of medicines you take), the dentist or dental hygienist may give you a fluoride treatment such as a varnish or foam during the office visit. The dentist might also recommend a fluoride gel or mouth rinse to use at home.

Gum disease is another common problem among adults. The good news is that gum disease can be prevented and doesn’t have to be a part of growing older. With thorough brushing and flossing and regular professional cleanings by a dentist, adults can reduce their risk of developing gum disease as they age.

And preventing gum disease—gingivitis or periodontitis—can help keep teeth healthy and strong. These conditions develop when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.

While gingivitis is usually mild and easily reversible, periodontitis can damage the soft tissues and bone that support teeth. In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Preventing gum disease and tooth decay is important for overall health and easy by following the recommended steps: brush, floss, visit the dentist regularly.

Principal of the Year: Finalists are revealed

Seven principals have been chosen as finalists to be named Dallas ISD Principal of the Year in each of three categories. The three winners will be chosen in the coming days.

Elementary School Finalists

Sandra Barrios-Rojas, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School

Under Barrios-Rojas’ leadership, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School has
earned an “A” campus from the Texas Education Agency. Located in the center of refugee and immigrant community, this Title I school has a diverse student population. Lowe students come from 50 countries worldwide. The students and teachers collectively speak over 25 languages. As a first-generation Mexican American born to immigrant parents, Barrios-Rojas views education as a calling rather than a job or career. She worked as a teacher for 10 years at the elementary school level before becoming an administrator in 2014 when she became an assistant principal and a principal two years later. She is one of 10 recipients of the national Terrell H. Bell Award for Outstanding Leadership from the U.S. Department of Education. Barrios-Rojas is pursuing a doctoral degree in superintendency at The University of Texas.

Reymundo Cervantes Guajardo, Henry B. Gonzalez Personalized Learning Academy

Reymundo Cervantes Guajardo became a school administrator in 2014 after serving in elementary schools since 2006. As principal for Gonzalez Academy, Cervantes Guajardo has facilitated the school’s choice transformation to a personalized learning academy and led the work that earned it an A rating from the Texas Education Agency. The campus has also been recognized as the safest school in Dallas ISD since 2018. Cervantes Guajardo is currently finishing his doctoral studies at Southern Methodist University.

Lourdes Garduño, Winnetka Elementary School

Lourdes Garduño began her career in Dallas ISD as a bilingual teacher at César Chávez Learning Center in 1997. Since then, she’s been an instructional coach, an assistant principal and a summer school principal. She has been principal at Winnetka Elementary since 2008.


Secondary School Finalists

Joseph Sotelo, Hillcrest High School

Joseph Sotelo has been an administrator with Dallas ISD for eight years, all at the secondary level. He began his career in Dallas ISD in 2013 as an assistant principal at Sunset High School where he oversaw both the English and science departments. In 2015, Sotelo was promoted to principal of Benjamin Franklin Middle School. Within 18 months, the school was authorized as an International Baccalaureate campus. Sotelo left Franklin Academy to become principal of Hillcrest High School. As of 2021, Hillcrest is the only high school to offer both a collegiate academy and an IB program. Sotelo also oversaw the addition of 21 new classrooms, two new gyms, a weight room, and renovations to several classrooms.

Marian Willard, James Madison High School

Marian Willard is a proud Dallas ISD graduate. She obtained her undergraduate and graduate degree from East Texas State University. She has served in education for 45 years. She was an educator at W.W. Adamson High School for 17 years before becoming an assistant principal at Daniel Chappie James and Thomas Edison learning centers. She led several schools as principals before becoming principal at Madison High School where she has served for 13 years. Willard provides supports for new principals and is the proud winner of the Finish Strong Campaign.


Choice/Magnet Finalists

Ruby Ramirez, School for the Talented and Gifted at Pleasant Grove

Ruby Ramirez is proud daughter of an immigrant mother and Dallas ISD graduate. Learning and growing in Dallas ISD as a bilingual talented and gifted student, she was able to graduate with honors from Woodrow Wilson High School. She always knew she wanted to one day give back to the district, community, and families where her opportunities started. In 2003, she became a teacher assistant at William Lipscomb Elementary School, the same campus she attended as a child. Ramirez became an assistant principal at Felix G. Botello Elementary School in 2013 and a year later at John H. Reagan Elementary School, both in Oak Cliff. In 2018, she was called to open a unique Two-Way Dual Language Talented & Gifted campus in the heart of Pleasant Grove.

Raymie Venable, Personalized Learning Prep at Sam Houston

Raymie Venable is in her ninth year as a principal and 21st year in education. After spending the first years of her teaching career in Dallas, she served in the roles of teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal in two neighboring districts. She returned to Dallas ISD to lead the transformation of Sam Houston Elementary to a personalized learning campus.

Update your information

Human Capital Management requests employees review and update their personal contact information in Oracle by June 15 to ensure they receive important communications from the district, such as benefit information and inclement weather alerts.

To receive notices from the district, employees must add a cell or home phone number in the Home type.

To review and update your information, log into Oracle using one of the following links:

Within the district network or VPN:          https://orion.dallasisd.org/iorion

Outside the district network:                    https://orion.dallasisd.org/dorion

Go to Human Resources/Payroll Employee Self-Service, then select Employee Self-Service, Human Capital Management Information, and, finally, Personal Information.

Download the instructions to update your mailing/home address or cell/home phone number. For login or technical assistance with Oracle, please contact the IT Service Desk at (972) 925-5630.



District seeks input for special funds

Data shows that the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on student learning, both across the country and in Dallas ISD.

Dallas ISD is launching a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process to help determine how it should potentially spend additional federal dollars to address unfinished learning and COVID-19 recovery.

The American Rescue Plan signed into law in March by President Joe Biden included $122 billion in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds for school districts across the country, which is the single largest investment in federal elementary and secondary education in the nation’s history. Dallas ISD has applied to receive some of that additional funding.

All parents, district employees, students and community members are urged to complete this survey to help the district determine what to prioritize with the potential ESSER funds. School districts are limited what they can use ESSER funds to support.

Additionally, all stakeholders are invited to an upcoming Telephone Town Hall to learn more about this funding opportunity and provide input. Details on the Telephone Town Hall will be shared as soon as they are finalized.

Data shows that the pandemic had a significant negative impact on student learning across the country, including in Dallas ISD.

Dallas ISD is taking a comprehensive approach to help ensure students don’t fall too far behind. These strategies include redesigned summer learning experiences, high-quality instruction, additional resources and support, and an extended calendar for select schools.




Board resolution supports equity efforts

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution during a May 10 meeting in response to legislation under consideration by the Texas Legislature that, according to the resolution, “threatens the essential work that the District is doing to celebrate diversity and would greatly hinder efforts to create inclusive and equitable learning environments and develop more informed, engaged citizens.”

In December 2017, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees took a bold step to address educational disparities by establishing the Racial Equity Office. Trustees also adopted a Welcoming Resolution, and a Resolution on the Commitment of the District to Black Students and Black Lives. Also as part of the effort to create more inclusive and equitable learning environments, the district offers African American Studies and Mexican American Studies courses, and every district employee is going through professional learning programs on unconscious bias, cultural intelligent training and dismantling racism.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and trustees said that legislation under consideration by Texas lawmakers would negatively impact the district’s core value of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“This would gut many of the items that we care about and the racial equity policy that the board passed unanimously,” Hinojosa said.

Meanwhile, trustees on May 10 also approved a resolution regarding local oversight of public schools.

Required cybersecurity training aims to secure district data

If you are like most of the district’s professional staff, the first thing you do upon beginning the workday is log in to your district computer, which, in reverse, is likely the last thing you do at the close of the day. Developing habits that promote cybersecurity is crucial to safeguard not only your personal work files but also those of the entire district.

That’s why in accordance with Texas House Bill 3834, Dallas ISD is requiring employees with access to a local government computer to take the state-mandated cybersecurity training by June 4. Exceptions include custodians, maintenance and facility personnel, bus drivers and campus-based food service employees whose job responsibilities do not include the use of computers.

The 40-minute self-paced training, available through Cornerstone, is designed to help employees develop habits that keep information secure and teach users best practices for identifying and addressing security threats.

Employees who encounter technology-related issues should contact the IT Service Desk at (972) 925-5630. For assistance with course launch, general navigation and training completion, employees can access 24-7 live support via chat at Cornerstone Live User Support.

A line of communication

Dallas ISD is committed to provide excellent customer service to students, parents, community members and staff, and one of the main tools used to fulfill that commitment is Let’s Talk. Every day, more departments and schools have access to Let’s Talk to efficiently and effectively handle requests and concerns.

Let’s Talk!, our online customer experience solution, makes it easy for the community and staff to engage with school and district leaders on the topics that matter most to them. Unlike an email, an inquiry submitted through Let’s Talk is automatically routed to the person or team best suited to respond, ensuring a timely and accurate responses every time.

In addition to more efficiently responding to requests and concerns, Let’s Talk! has key metrics that help schools and departments better track responses and improve the customer experience.

Interested in improving customer service at your school or department? Download this list of tips.



Board Update: Monthly briefing

During its regular monthly briefing, the Board of Trustees will consider several items and reports from district departments. This month’s reports include:

  • Discussion of the 87th Texas Legislative Agenda
  • Mitigating Learning Loss Update | Student Activities, After=School, and Tutoring
  • 2021-2022 Student Code of Conduct
  • P-TECH Workplace Learning Update
  • Racial Equity Update—Programing Equity
  • Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Quarterly Report, FY 2020-2021, Quarter 3
  • 2021-2022 Budget Development

Briefings are scheduled to begin at 11:20 a.m. and are broadcast online through a link available on www.dallasisd.org once the meeting starts. To see a copy of the agenda and presentations associated with this meeting’s reports, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/tx/disd/Board.nsf/vpublic?open.

Dental health: Keep it regular

Regular dental screenings are not only essential to avoiding gum disease and chronic tooth problems. Because the mouth is connected to a variety of organs, maintaining healthy gums and teeth are important to reduce the risks of other diseases.

Know the warning signs

Gum disease is a painless condition many people don’t realize they have until it’s already done significant damage. When your gums become infected, bacteria and toxins enter your bloodstream, which may worsen other health conditions. If you experience any of the following, see your dentist immediately:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in how teeth fit together

According to dental health experts at United Healthcare, some of the diseases that can be caused by poor dental health include:

People with diabetes have a weakened immune system, which may make it harder to keep bacteria from causing gum disease and raising blood glucose levels.

Heart disease
Gum disease allows bacteria to get into the bloodstream, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke.

Respiratory conditions
Gum disease bacteria can be inhaled into the lungs and increase the risk of pneumonia and infections.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Gum disease can increase the severity of arthritis