Dallas ISD continues to be home to great teachers

Dallas ISD recently announced a teacher retention incentive for the 2022-2023 school year that ranges from $2,500 to $3,500, depending on the teacher’s effectiveness level. This incentive is one of the many initiatives Dallas ISD’s Human Capital Management has been implementing to retain and recruit the best staff for Dallas students.

Non-teaching staff who return for the 2022-2023 school year will also receive an incentive of $2,500. 

Through the years, the district’s teacher retention efforts have proven successful. Each year, the Texas Education Agency publishes data on teacher attrition through the Texas Performance Reporting System (TPRS) and Texas Academic Performance Reports. TPRS data shows that Dallas ISD retained teachers at a higher rate than the state and Region 10 districts and had the lowest turnover rate among market peers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, said Robert Abel, Chief of Human Capital Management.   

While data recorded in these reports on turnover reflects a lag year, it gives HCM a consistent measure of teacher turnover against the district’s peers across the region and state. The 2020-2021 TPRS data, published earlier this week, captures teacher attrition from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021, the first academic year impacted by the ongoing pandemic. While teacher turnover decreased across many districts, TPRS data shows that Dallas ISD retained teachers at a higher rate than the state and Region 10 districts and had the lowest turnover rate among DFW market peers.   

It is important to note that the state’s methodology includes in the turnover, or attrition, rate those teachers who remain employed in the district but who have transitioned to non-teaching positions, such as counselors or campus leaders.  

Further analysis of the figures shows differential retention to be a continued strength in Dallas ISD, where retention of teachers rated Proficient I and higher exceeds 90% in all years since TEI was first implemented, he said.

“With a combination of the retention incentive for staff who return for the 2022-2023 school year and other initiatives supporting teachers and campuses, we believe that our retention rate will remain strong, and we will be able to provide the stable learning environment our students deserve,” Abel said.   


District (%EconDis) 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Change

19-20 to


Dallas (85.9%) 21.9% 21.2% 21.6% 19.1% 18.4% 19.1% 17.6% 13.8% -3.8%
State (60.3%) 16.2% 16.6% 16.5% 16.4% 16.6% 16.5% 16.8% 14.3% -2.5%
Region 10 (56.9%) 17.8% 18.5% 18.5% 18.1% 18.4% 18.4% 18.2% 15.6% -2.6%
Richardson (56.9%) 16.8% 19.1% 18.7% 18.3% 17.7% 16.8% 17.7% 17.5% -0.2%
Garland (65.8%) 13.7% 15.0% 16.6% 15.1% 17.2% 14.3% 16.0% 14.6% -1.4%
Irving (80.4%) 20.5% 20.5% 22.4% 22.0% 19.2% 20.5% 17.8% 13.9% -3.9%
Grand Prairie (75.7%) 17.3% 19.0% 20.3% 20.0% 21.8% 20.7% 19.1% 17.2% -1.9%
Fort Worth (84.1%) 15.3% 16.0% 14.0% 16.3% 16.2% 16.4% 16.7% 15.2% -1.5%
Mesquite (78.1%) 13.7% 13.7% 18.7% 15.8% 16.3% 16.3% 17.4% 15.6% -1.8%

Know how to dispose of documents

Employees are reminded that the destruction of district records is the sole responsibility of the Districtwide Records Management Department. Documents containing personally identifiable information (Social Security number, date of birth, home address, etc.) must be securely destroyed.

District employees are expected to maintain the records in their care and carry out the preservation, microfilming, destruction, or other disposition of the records in accordance with the policies and procedures of the district’s records management program. Destruction of district records contrary to the governing legal provisions is a Class A misdemeanor and, under certain circumstances, a third degree felony (Penal Code, Section 37.10). Anyone destroying local government records without legal authorization may also be subject to criminal penalties and fines under the Texas Public Information Act (Government Code, Chapter 552).

For information, about records storage, training, and records center tours, contact the Districtwide Records Management Department at (972) 925-7840, e-mail districtwiderecords@dallasisd.org.

Operation Services gives from the heart to homeless students

During the last few weeks, employees of Dallas ISD’s Operations Division—bus drivers, cafeteria and maintenance workers and custodians—collect items for the district’s homeless students through a districtwide donation drive.

Items ranging from face wash, hand sanitizer, hair products and cosmetics bags to coloring books, journals, socks, gloves, scarves and even earbuds and cable protectors have been donated at seven service centers and Operations facilities.

“It’s incredibly generous of our population in Operation Services who really make the least amount of money in the district, yet are providing donations to help those who are in need, especially during the holidays. It just goes to show how big their hearts are,” said Jaime Sandoval, executive director of Student Transportation Services.

All of Operations—over 1,000 employees in Transportation Services—as well as Food and Child Nutrition Services, were involved in the effort, Sandoval said.

“This was a great opportunity for us to help those who are often forgotten,” said Deputy Chief of Operations Deno Harris. “We are a big organization, with an even bigger heart.”

Sandoval, who formerly led the district’s Homeless Education Program, says the need is something that never goes away.

“We know that there are more than 3,000 students classified as homeless in Dallas ISD, and there’s always an opportunity to help this population,” Sandoval said. “Individuals in Student Transportation have done this in years past – it’s not something new to them. They’ve always been very generous with our students.”

But this year’s effort was even larger, he said.

“This was the first time it was organized by the entire Operation Services,” he added. “In the past, we’ve had one service center that would provide donations for the Homeless Ed department.”

This time, the drive was based out of the four service centers in Student Transportation Services as well as Fleet Services, Turney Leonard Training Center and Maria Luna Food Services.

“This is the first time it’s happened where we’re bringing it all together under one umbrella,” Sandoval said.

The donations will be distributed to the students this week.


Pets make the holidays merrier

They bring comfort and joy to one and all when they are nice. We love them even when they are naughty because they are part of the family—our pets.

Frankie Vaca
Anne Frank Elementary

Gabrielle Westbrook
Special Education

Araceli Hernandez
Thelma E. Richardson Elementary

Bo—Found in front of Sylvia Mendez (formerly John Ireland) Elementary School
Brian Reese (Sylvia Mendez) & Rachel Reese
Seagoville Middle School



Jamie Linver
Dallas Hybrid Preparatory

Debi Rowley
Food and Child Nutrition Services

Gary & Dixie
Jennifer Diaz
Call Center


Hampton & Scruffy—Rescued from the school neighborhood, Scruffy with the help of fourth graders: “Mrs. Young, he needs help. You have to take care of him!”  Hampton was rescued from Hampton and I-30 where Mamacat was hit by a car. Instant best friends when they met.

Laura Young
LP Cowart Elementary School

Megan Johnson
Skyline High School

Joey & Junior
Pamela Nelson
Walnut Hill International Leadership Academy

Mariah DeLeon
John F. Peeler Elementary School

Sandra Guzman
Reinhardt Elementary School


Emily Thomas
Irma Lerma Rangel YWLS

Athena Gonzalez
IT-Client Support Services
Campus Base Technician
Preston Hollow ES | Sudie Williams TAG Academy| Benjamin Franklin MS | Hillcrest HS

Lee Kinnett
Reading Language Arts

Autumn Slosser Briceño
ESL Instructional Specialist


Mister Leon Wright
LaTrice Wright
Ronald E.  McNair Elementary School

Parker Bear
Desi Mier
Translation Service

Brynne Mattson
Stephen C. Foster Elementary School

Princess Snowbell—My sweet advisory students put together a Holiday House for my rescue cat. As you can see, she’s really enjoying it!
Jordan Hillis
Moisés E. Molina High School


Maria Ramirez
Special Education

Scout & Bear
Bridget Smith
Irma Rangel YWLS

Susy Medina
William M. Anderson Elementary

Tom Ward
Ascher Silberstein Elementary

Mattie Pipkins- Parent Instructor
Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Arts Academy

Lareece Earnest
Ascher Silberstein. Elementary

Coco & Gizmo
Monica Zumaya, LMSW
Mental Health Services

Carolyn Smith
L.V. Stockard Middle School

Cynthia Cabrera
Human Capital Management

Elizabeth Witschy
Professional Standards Office

Alyssa Zhang
Office of Internal Audit

Brittany Wetmore
Human Capital Management

Harley & Wondy
Maria C. Acevedo Negron
William Lipscomb Elementary


Sakia Johnson
Homeless Education Program

Sonoma Marie
Lindy Cannell
Bryan Adams High School


Students need you!

Are you a central administration employee who wants to help more African-American students and English learners join the district’s highly regarded magnet programs? Apply by Jan. 8 to become a Magnet Mentor.

The Racial Equity Office in partnership with the Office of Transformation and Innovation is seeking mentors among central staff to assist students and families during the magnet school application period.  Each mentor will be assigned several mentees from various campuses throughout the district.

The Magnet Mentor Program is designed to increase the number of African-American students and English learners who apply to magnet schools. To be eligible to serve as a Magnet Mentor, current staff members must serve in a professional role at a campus or be a central coordinator, supervisor, or manager. Those who are selected to be mentors will be notified via email and invited to a virtual orientation to learn about program requirements and stipend eligibility. All selected mentors will be eligible for a $500 stipend in June if all program expectations are met.

The mentor’s responsibilities will include informing students of their magnet program eligibility, assisting them in gathering documents, completing and submitting magnet application, and preparing students for any additional campus assessments or requirements during the admission’s process.

If you are a central staff member and are interested in serving as a mentor, please fill out the application.



Staff can dialogue with the superintendent

After being postponed this fall due to the challenges faced by the community because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dialogue with the Superintendent sessions have been rescheduled to the spring. This modified schedule allows all staff, faculty, parents and community members to hear from Superintendent Michael Hinojosa in the 2021-2022 school year.

The dialogues are designed to provide staff with an overview of the district’s programs and initiatives, a look at what’s ahead and an opportunity to ask questions. All Dialogue with the Superintendent sessions will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. and will be followed by Community Conversations from 6:30-7:30 p.m., during which parents and the community will have a chance to hear from the superintendent and ask questions.

Date Location Schools invited
Jan. 18 David W. Carter High School David W. Carter and Wilmer-Hutchins high schools feeder schools, J.P. Starks Math, Science and Technology Vanguard, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes Global Preparatory Academy at Paul Quinn College


Feb. 8 Seagoville High School Seagoville High School and feeder school
Feb. 15 South Oak Cliff High School South Oak Cliff and Justin F. Kimball feeder pattern schools and New Tech High School at B.F. Darrell, Barack Obama Male leadership Academy, Mark Twain School for the Talented and Gifted and Harry Stone Montessori
March 1 L.G. Pinkston High School L.G. Pinkston and North Dallas high school feeder pattern schools and Dallas Environmental Science Academy, Jesus Moroles Expressive Arts Academy, West Dallas STEM School, Ignite Middle School,

Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploratory Academy, Montessori Academy at Onesimo Hernandez, Personalized Learning Preparatory at Sam Houston, K.B. Polk Center for Academically Talented and Gifted, Solar Preparatory School for Boys, Solar Preparatory School for Girls and Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay

March 22 W.T. White High School W.T. White and Thomas Jefferson high school feeder pattern schools and Prestonwood Montessori at E.D. Walker
March 23 Woodrow Wilson High School Woodrow Wilson and Bryan Adams high school feeder pattern schools and IDEA High School and Eduardo Mata Montessori
April 5 Hillcrest High School Hillcrest and Emmett J. Conrad high school feeder pattern schools and George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Academy, Sudie L. Williams Talented and Gifted Academy
April 6 Harold Wendell Lang Middle School Skyline High School feeder pattern schools
April 19 Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs W.W. Samuell and H. Grady Spruce high school feeder pattern schools and Talented and Gifted Academy at Pleasant Grove
May 4 Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Booker T. Washington HPVA, Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center schools, CityLab High School and Downtown Montessori School
May 11 Sunset High School W.H. Adamson, Moisés E. Molina and Sunset high school feeder pattern schools and W.E. Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy
May 18 Franklin D. Roosevelt High School Franklin D. Roosevelt, James Madison and Lincoln high school feeder schools and John Lewis Social Justice Academy at O.W Holmes, CityLab High School, Martin Luther King Jr. Arts Academy, and Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women Leadership School



Get an ESSER update and give feedback

Dallas ISD received more than $784 million in federal funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund to mitigate learning loss and to address other urgent issues related to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on input from diverse stakeholders—parents, students, staff, community members, and community organizations—Dallas ISD developed three strategies that currently encompass more than 70 activities: Healthy Students, Healthy Schools, Healthy Community; Equitable Access to Learning and Enrichment; and Learning Recovery and Acceleration.

Now Dallas ISD is going back to stakeholders to get meaningful feedback on how the funds have been invested to date and the progress of the activities in.

If you want to learn more about how ESSER funds have been invested to date and provide meaningful feedback about these and future investments, you can join one of the district’s ESSER virtual town hall meetings at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 8, and at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 14. Use the links below to register.

Wednesday, Dec. 8, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 6:30 p.m.

For more information about ESSER, visit www.dallasisd.org/ESSER.

December Board Update

During its regular monthly briefing, which takes place earlier this month because of the winter break, the Board of Trustees will consider several items and reports from district departments.

The Superintendent’s Report includes:

  • Racial Equity—Reading Interventionist
  • Dallas Start Strong
  • Family Advocacy and Engagement Update

Topics for discussion include:

Board Policy EIA (Local) Academic Achievement Grading /Progress Reports To Parents (

Board Policy EIC (Local) Academic Achievement Class Ranking

Consider and Take Possible Action to Authorize, Negotiate, and Enter into an Agreement with Texas Education Agency Vetted Vendor for Collaboration in Building School Leadership Capacity Aligned with Essential Actions within the Effective Schools Framework (Not to Exceed $350,000 Through June 2023/ General Operating/Special Revenue Funds)

Consider and Take Possible Action to Approve Participation in the Texas Visiting Teacher Program 2022-2023 Agreement of Collaboration Between Texas Education Agency, the Ministry of Education of Spain, and the Dallas Independent School District (Not to Exceed $20,000 Special Revenue Fund-211)

Board briefings are streamed live starting at 11:30 a.m. To see the agenda, visit https://go.boarddocs.com/tx/disd/Board.nsf/vpublic?open.

Dallas ISD family lives their passion for giving back

Michael Iwasko has always admired the passion his wife Alicia pours into her work with Dallas ISD families, first as a teacher and now as principal at Annie Webb Blanton Elementary School. That is why when their daughter turned 2, he decided to quit his corporate job and find a way to also make a difference.

“I wanted my daughter [Nadezhda] to look at me with the same pride as when she looks at the work my wife does to make a difference in her school and our community,” Michael said.

These past few weeks, the family, which now also includes 1-year-old Leon, has been spending weekends at the Dallas Arboretum, Klyde Warren Park and other locations sharing Elevate Coffee and the company’s “Extract Hope” commitment to share a quarter of its profits to help children in Guatemala and in Dallas. The family started Elevate Coffee, which partners with coffee farmers in Guatemala—where Michael’s family originates—to create small batch coffees that sometimes bear the name of the farm in which the coffee was harvested. He also partnered with two nonprofits that work in Guatemala to provide clean water and nutritional supplements to children in the poorest regions.

“Fifty percent of children in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition, and one in 20 dies before the age of 4 because of the bacteria in the water supply,” he said. “This could have been my daughter living in this situation.”

Since 2019, between sales and direct donations, the Iwaskos have provided 431,600 gallons of clean water for communities in Guatemala.

“The coffee company gives us that opportunity to give back here and in Guatemala,” Alicia said.

When Michael discussed the idea of quitting his job and running the coffee company full-time, Alicia was fully on board.

“He supported me as I worked to become an assistant principal and then a principal,” Alicia Iwasko said. “I knew I would support him in his dream to give back to the community.”

The Iwasko’s contributions through Elevate Coffee are not limited to Guatemala. They also contribute to local causes, to Dallas ISD by donating free coffee to schools for teacher recognitions, and to Blanton Elementary School, where Nadezhda now attends prekindergarten.

Alicia, who was born in Mexico and attended seventh grade in Houston, knows first-hand how difficult it often is for families to make ends meet, so she and her husband sometimes hold fundraisers through Elevate Coffee to provide extras for families. For example, this Thanksgiving, the company had a flash sale to raise funds to buy turkeys for the school’s famous Turkey Run. Organized by Coach Freddie Harris, the run combines fitness and helping families—95.5 percent of whom are considered low-income—by providing a turkey to students who win the run by grade level the Friday before the break. The more turkeys that are donated, the more turkeys that go home, Michael said.

“They are so proud to be able to carry their turkey home’” Alicia said. “One year, we had 90 turkeys donated. I know how they feel being able to contribute to the special meal.”

While living in Houston, she and a cousin entered a Thanksgiving turkey giveaway at a nearby grocery store they used to frequent. They entered the giveaway so many times that they won a turkey and proudly carried it home.

Alicia, a third-generation educator, returned to Texas 13 years ago as a bilingual teacher through the district’s Alternative Certification program. She met Michael 11 years ago when he crashed her birthday party. Once they started dating, they each realized that one of the attributes they most valued about each other was their passion to help and make a difference. With Elevate Coffee, they now live that passion every day and teach their children that it’s important to follow their dreams, they said.

“How could we teach them to follow their dreams, if we weren’t doing it ourselves?” Michael said. “I wanted to be able to look my children in the face and tell them to also follow their dreams, to be passionate about what they do and to be the change that they want to see in the world.”

T learn more about Elevate Coffee Trading and the work they do in Guatemala and the community, visit www.elevatecoffeetrading.com or follow them on social media at https://www.facebook.com/elevatecoffeetrading and @elevatecoffeetrading.

Elevate Coffee Trading would like to give back to the hard-working educators! Enter for a chance to receive a free coffee service for the staff at your school by filling out the following form: https://tiny.cc/elevatelives.

Future events where you can find Elevate Coffee Trading this season:

Klyde Warren Park 12/11/2021
The Dallas Arboretum Christmas Village 12/17/2021, 12/19/2021, 12/20/2021, 12/21/2021, 12/22/2021 and 12/23/2021
Main St. Garden 12/18/2021