Stressed about Ukraine? Help is one phone call away  

Employee Assistance Program offers Ukraine crisis support hotline 

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, people around the world have been experiencing heightened levels of anxiety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, common reactions to stressful and traumatic events like this one can include disbelief, tension and irritability, loss of appetite, loss of interest in normal activities, trouble concentrating and anger.  

If you or anyone you know is struggling to process current events, help is available through Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks, a confidential, secure service that offers support to employees, whether they are experiencing personal or work-related issues.  

The EAP has a 24/7 free crisis support hotline for anyone who is having an overwhelming emotional response to the global event. By calling (877) 757-7587, employees will receive crisis counseling support as well as referrals to community resources.  

All EAP materials are available to staff free of charge. Not only is the EAP offering the crisis support hotline, but they also have counselors on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reach the Ukraine crisis support hotline at (877) 757-7587, or visit and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information. 

If you have a need, do not wait! Support is here for you now.  

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 


Dallas ISD announces 2021-2022 Teacher of the Year Finalists

Twelve outstanding Dallas ISD teachers are in the running to become the district’s Teacher of the Year in three categories—elementary, secondary and choice/magnet. These teachers represent a wealth of teaching experience across the district. The winners will be announced on May 10 at the 2021-22 Dallas ISD Educator of the Year Awards, in Partnership with Dallas Education Foundation, Sponsored by Reliant.

Meet the finalists:

Elementary (PK-5) Finalists

Wildrem Andrade Matamoros –  Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary

Born in Honduras, Wildrem Andrade Matamoros moved to Dallas at the age of nine and was enrolled at Louise Wolff Kahn Elementary in Dallas ISD. Eleven years later, she would return to that same school, this time as a first-year bilingual teacher. Throughout her youth, Andrade Matamoros credits the teachers she met along the way who inspired her to set and reach important life goals. Andrade Matamoros became the first in her family to graduate from high school in 2008, and she didn’t stop there. In 2013, Andrade Matamoros graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in early childhood development and returned home to Dallas to become a teacher at L. W. Kahn Elementary. She soon found her true passion in teaching literacy to bilingual and newcomer students with whom she shares similar backgrounds and experiences and in 2014, Andrade Matamoros began a new assignment as a fifth-grade bilingual reading teacher, where she has remained for the past eight years. Andrade Matamoros has been a leader in initiating and implementing impactful writing and social-emotional strategies on her campus while  also serving as the campus activity coordinator and coach for academic teams. Her dream when she was five years old was to be an “orgullo hispano”, someone Hispanic people could look up to. She is grateful for the opportunity to teach in Dallas ISD and to work in the community where she grew up.

Andretti Camper –  Jose “Joe” May Elementary School

Andretti Camper, currently supporting a specialized classroom for students with autism at Jose “Joe” May Elementary, did not choose education; rather, education chose him. Growing up around educators, Camper knew that teaching was the career that would allow him to make a lasting impact on the hearts of others. Camper began his journey as an educator as a teacher assistant, served as a long-term substitute teacher, and then realized his calling as a teacher of students with significant cognitive disabilities. In his role, Camper focuses on functional and daily living skills to ensure his students are learning practical skills that transcend the classroom. Camper is a graduate of William Carey University where he received a Bachelor of Science in English and Biology. As a lifelong learner, Camper is currently completing the final semester of graduate coursework at Texas Tech University where he will receive a Master of Education in special education and autism spectrum disorders and he will then pursue National Board Certification. As a Dallas ISD Specialized Programs Model Teacher, Camper’s ultimate motivation is to advocate for all learners and to be a voice for those that struggle to be heard.

Noemi Arnal Villalba – L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary

Noemi Arnal Villalba teaches third-grade math and science at L. L. Hotchkiss Elementary. Prior to her current role, Arnal Villalba taught at the Cesar Chavez Learning Center and at several schools in Barcelona, Spain. Arnal Villalba is a proud Distinguished Teacher and teacher leader on her campus, and she holds a Master Teacher designation on her Texas Educator Certificate as recognized by the State Board for Education Certification. She was a member of the training team for the Parent Teacher Home Visit Project in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and she presented at the National Parent Teacher Home Visit Gathering in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Arnal Villalba graduated from Pompeu Fabra University at Barcelona with a Bachelor of Arts in Translation and Interpreting where she also earned Master’s degrees in Translation and Interpreting, Linguistics, and Teaching of Compulsory Secondary Education as well as a Baccalaureate in Professional Training and the Teaching of Languages.

Kristina Chandler – Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School

Kristina Chandler, a fifth-grade math teacher at Jimmie Tyler Brashear Elementary School, began her career in education in January 2009 as a substitute before becoming a full-time teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas at Dallas. Chandler serves as Brashear’s first-ever fifth grade Debate team coach and as an advisor to the students in the National Elementary Honor Society. An active member of the Friday Club and Multicultural Committees, Chandler also enjoys training peers and community members. Chandler’s goal is to effectively lead by example with integrity and professionalism, because she believes that conducting oneself with authenticity and integrity will allow all necessary attributes to fall into place. It is her mission to promote the importance of academic success for all students, build long-lasting relationships, and embrace and celebrate diversity throughout the community. Chandler believes serving as an educator is an honor and a privilege, and, with guidance, integrity, and compassion, she will continue to mentor young people as they achieve long-lasting success.

Secondary (6-12) Finalists

Anais Childress – Hillcrest High School

Anais Childress teaches International Baccalaureate History and African American Studies at Hillcrest High School, and she is currently serving as an Assistant Principal intern. Childress holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from North Park University in Chicago, Illinois, and she will earn her Master’s degree in Urban Educational Leadership from Southern Methodist University in May 2022. With five years of experience teaching in urban school districts in Chicago and Dallas, Childress became part of Dallas ISD’s founding cohort to offer African American Studies in high schools and prides herself on being a student advocate. She believes that the least we can do within this current system of education is to maximize it to the advantage of the historically underserved. Outside of education, Anais enjoys spending time with her husband, traveling, and serving her community.

Sara Gill – Ann Richards STEAM Academy

Sara Gill, a sixth-grade English Language Arts and Reading teacher at Ann Richards STEAM Academy, joined Dallas ISD in 2014.  A native Texan, Sara Gill was born in Dallas, raised in Garland, and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas. At Ann Richards, she holds the responsibilities of sixth-grade representative on the Faculty Advisory Committee, facilitator of grade-level content professional learning community, member of the Culture Committee, and model classroom that new and progressing teachers can observe. A Texas Education Agency-designated Master Teacher, Gill is passionate about helping her students not only grow and close the gaps in reading but also gain confidence and realize their potential. Outside of the classroom, Gill enjoys serving the Dallas community as a lead volunteer at Dream Center Dallas whose goal is to equip families with resources and services to meet various immediate and long-term needs including homelessness and hunger.

Dutchess Gutierrez – Thomas Jefferson High School

Dutchess Gutierrez, dance teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School,  was born in Oklahoma City before relocating to Irving and graduating from MacArthur High School. She developed a love for dance as a member of the MacArthur High School Cardettes Dance team and served as the first African-American Captain her senior year. Gutierrez attended Trinity Valley Community College before completing her Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Spanish at Sam Houston State University. After graduation, Gutierrez returned to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and pursued a career in professional dance. During that time,  Gutierrez earned her teaching certification through Texas Woman’s University in an effort to share her passion for dance with students in public education. Gutierrez has proudly spent all eight of her years in education at Thomas Jefferson High School where she teaches Dance Arts and directs both the Liberty Belles Dance/Drill Team and the Thomas Jefferson Dance Company. Gutierrez has served in various roles including TEI campus expert and Senior Sponsor committee member while also expanding her impact as a Dallas ISD Drill Team Facilitator and Summer Dance Intensive site lead. When not in the classroom, Gutierrez enjoys cooking, baking, yoga, shopping, and spending time with her family and friends.

William Hastings – H. Grady Spruce High School

Will Hastings, math department chair at H Grady Spruce High School, discovered that he had no love for engineering – but a deep enjoyment in tutoring his peers in higher-level mathematics – while an undergraduate Electrical Engineering major at the University of North Texas. Realizing his passion, Hastings joined the Teach North Texas Program, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, a minor in Education, and the goal of being one of the best teachers Texas has ever seen.  Hastings spent four years teaching in Little Elm and Collinsville, honing his craft, before coming to Dallas ISD to put his skills to the test at H. Grady Spruce High School. Though his first year was rough, it taught him a level of classroom management and parental outreach that he could have never received elsewhere. By year two, Hastings had developed a curriculum that addressed student learning gaps while progressing them forwards to mastery. In only his third year, Hastings was asked to move to the Lead Geometry position, where he doubled the department’s ACP passing averages in historic fashion. Soon after, he was recruited into Spruce’s Early College program, and has now achieved TEI and TIA Distinguished status, become the Head of the Math Department, and enrolled in graduate mathematics courses to become a dual credit teacher for Dallas ISD’s Collegiate Academies.

Choice / Magnet Finalists (All-Level)

Christopher Grace – Rosie Sorrells Education and Social Services Magnet

Christopher Grace,  a world languages teacher at Rosie Sorrells Education and Social Services Magnet, is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and is currently pursuing his Master of Arts in History at Fort Hays State University. Now completing his tenth year in  Dallas, his journey began at Franklin International Exploratory Academy. Upon arrival, the campus world languages program had few students enrolled and offered only one language of study. Within his first three years at Franklin, Mr. Grace used his innovative strategies to attract 100% of students at the campus to enroll in the program and recruited many effective teachers to expand the world languages program at Franklin. He has been successful in leading professional development for student engagement at the campus and district level and has recently led virtual training for cohorts of world languages teachers across the country. He has served on many committees working with the community, educators, and students including the Campus Instructional Leadership Team, Newcomer and English Learner Program, District Advisory Committee, Envision Dallas ISD, TEI Campus Expert, and Site-Based Decision-Making Committee.

Natalia Rodriguez Perez – Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay

Natalia Rodriguez Perez, founding math teacher of Dallas Hybrid Preparatory at Stephen J. Hay is a graduate of the University of Valladolid in Spain, receiving both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in chemistry.   Prior to joining Dallas Hybrid, Rodriguez Perez served at L.O. Donald Elementary School as a math and science bilingual teacher where her students excelled in both subjects, far outpacing peers across the district.  She believes the lessons she designs have a lasting impact on her students and real application on their lives. In addition to teaching grade 4-6 mathematics, Rodriguez Perez also sponsors robotics classes and clubs,  including a female-led robotics team. As an inductee in the talkSTEM-If/Then Educational Fellowship, Rodriguez Perez participates with 25 other middle school women teachers in the Dallas area. This fellowship is designated to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers and to seek to further advance women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers.

Aaronda Smith – George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and Vanguard Academy

Aaronda Smith is a Reading Language Arts Honors 8th grade instructor at George Bannerman Dealey Montessori and Vanguard Academy. A 16-year Dallas ISD veteran teacher, Smith has instructed middle and high school students at three institutions of learning in a variety of disciplines,  including reading, debate, strategies for success, literary genres, and creative writing. In 2015, Smith started Dealey Montessori’s Debate Program, and since then the team has consistently earned high marks and a plethora of awards.  She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington with both a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Master of Arts degree in Education Curriculum and Instruction. Throughout her career, she has served in various leadership roles, including Campus Instructional Leadership Team member, Instructional Coach, Site-Based Decision Making team member, mentor teacher, English contact for school programs, and Global Awareness head for implementation of campus global studies. Smith has one goal in life:  to humbly serve every person God places in her path and ensure they leave her presence better than they were before walking into it.

Adriana Campos Low – Prestonwood Montessori at E.D. Walker

Adriana Campos Low, a founding teacher of the Prestonwood Montessori at E.D. Walker is a proud alumna of the Dallas ISD. She became interested in bilingual education as a high school student at The School for the Talented and Gifted. A native Spanish speaker who struggled in an early exit bilingual program, she wondered if other language models could offer more support. This curiosity led her to complete a thesis in her senior year of high school titled, “The Promise of the Dual Language Program in Dallas ISD.” She continued this passion for bilingual education at Stanford University, where she was awarded a grant to conduct an independent research project on the social impact of dual-language programs, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Honors in Education. After receiving her Master of Arts in Education with Bilingual Authorization in Spanish from the Stanford Teacher Education Program in 2012, she began her career as a bilingual teacher in Redwood City, California. In 2016, she returned to Dallas ISD to teach at Stephen C. Foster, her former elementary school, with the hope of empowering students in her community to believe in themselves.  Campos Low is honored to be a part of Dallas ISD and believes it is a privilege to work with students in her community.



Welcome to innovation

Dallas ISD is continuing to scale innovation as it announces the launch of 13 new choice schools for next school year, bringing the number of choice schools in the district to 70.

District leaders and representatives from the Dallas ISD Office of Transformation and Innovation surprised the 13 schools with the good news on Feb. 18 and Feb. 22. Teachers and campus leaders responded with huge cheers and, in a few cases, tears of joy.

The campus leadership teams put in hours of work to go through the Public School Choice 8.0 process, where educators create high-quality, best-fit options for Dallas ISD students to realize their full academic potential.

“We are proud of these principals and schools for bringing their talent and energy into creating innovative school options in families’ backyards,” said Shakeatha Butler, executive director of instructional redesign and new school launch.

The 13 new choice schools and programs that will launch next school year are:

  • The Medical District BioMedical School is a brand-new school that will offer students a STEM program focused on Biomedical Sciences
  • The iLearn Virtual School will offer anytime, self-paced instruction for students in grades 3 through 9, and ultimately grades K-12
  • Thomas J. Rusk Middle School will pilot a leadership and career explorations model
  • Bayles Elementary School will launch a leadership model
  • Ben Milam Elementary School will launch a visible learning model
  • Reinhardt Elementary School will launch a personalized learning model
  • Edna Rowe Elementary School will launch a Montessori model
  • Gabe Allen Academy will launch the New Tech model
  • Arcadia Park Elementary School will pilot a leadership model
  • Urban Park Elementary School will become a STEAM school
  • Frank Guzick Elementary School will start on the path toward becoming an International Baccalaureate school
  • Boude Storey Middle School will become a STEAM school
  • Paul L. Dunbar Elementary School will become a STEM school

The launch of the 13 new choice schools follows the November announcement that 20 other Dallas ISD neighborhood schools would each receive $50,000 in seed money to pursue innovative ideas.


You are not alone

While the district may be closed, if you need assistance with your benefits, a number of resources are available.

District schools and administrative offices will be closed for Spring Break from Monday, March 14, through Friday, March 18. However, the benefits call center will be open regular hours during that time to assist Monday–Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For non-emergency health concerns, such as cold and flu, TRS ActiveCare participants can take advantage of Teladoc at a reduced cost. Call 1-855-Teladoc (835-2362) or visit their main page.

If you have questions regarding your HSA/ FSA, you can contact Connect Your Care at 877-528-9876 or visit Connect Your Care is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

You may reach the benefits call center at 972-925-4000 or email  For questions regarding leaves of absence, email  During the periods in which the district is closed, the email boxes will be monitored periodically to ensure any critical issues are resolved in a timely manner.

Coping with stress

Work, home, relationships, social interactions have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move toward a sense of normalcy, the stress that we have been experiencing is not going away. Fortunately, there is help.

Whether stress stems from learning new communication or technology tools, managing a different workload, handling concerns of in-person interactions, taking care of family or personal needs while working, or feeling you might not be contributing enough it can take its toll in unexpected ways. Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first step to recognizing that you are stressed is to know what it looks like:*

  • Feeling irritation, anger, or denial
  • Feeling unusually uncertain, nervous, or anxious
  • Lacking motivation
  • Feeling tired, overwhelmed, or burned out
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having trouble concentrating

Now that you know what it looks like, you can take steps to build your resilience and manage your stress.

  • Take advantage of Dallas ISD provided resources, such as the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Identify those things which you do not have control over and do the best you can with the resources available to you.
  • Increase your sense of control by developing a consistent daily routine when possible—ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise or do something for yourself.
  • If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day.
  • Spend time outdoors, either being physically active or just relaxing.
  • Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
  • Connect with others through phone calls, email, text messages, mailing letters or cards, video chat, and social media.
  • Check on others. Helping others improves your sense of control, belonging, and self-esteem.
  • If you feel you may be misusing alcohol or other drugs (including prescription drugs) as a means of coping, reach out for help.
  • If you are being treated for a mental health condition, continue with your treatment and be aware of any new or worsening symptoms.

Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks is a confidential and secure service that offers help with personal and work-related issues. The EAP encourages employees and those close to them to seek help early before a minor problem becomes more serious. The EAP is designed to address short-term issues, identify resources and referrals for emergency and long-term problems. It can provide support, referrals and, resources related to many concerns like depression, conflict at work, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, grief and loss and many others.

With EAP, there is no contribution that staff need to provide. Counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Reach out to LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000 or visit and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information.

*Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Extended calendar allows for extra planning

When fourth-grade teacher Joi Rhodes started at Edna Rowe Elementary School, she didn’t know what to expect—the school was one of five that adopted a new School Day Redesign calendar beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. As the school year enters its last stretch, she is glad of the benefits the extended calendar has provided.

And she thinks other teachers would also enjoy the flexibility, extra time with students and the additional planning opportunities it provides. The district’s open transfer window, which opens for all schools on March 23 is the perfect time for teachers who want to transfer to a school like Edna Rowe Elementary to show their interest by applying.

“I was a little apprehensive at first,” said Rhodes, who has been teaching for seven years. “But the administrative staff is so awesome, and once they explained, I felt so much more comfortable and went with it because I am truly passionate about what I do.”

In addition to the extra compensation teachers who work at a School Day Redesign school for working more days, Rhodes believes the biggest benefit is the time for planning that those additional days provide.

“What you hear a lot from teachers is that we never have enough time to plan and to implement effective instruction,” she said. “In a School Day Redesign campus, we have days for extra planning on top of the set 45 minutes we get every day. Because the year starts earlier, you also get to set expectations and develop relationships with your scholars, get to know them without instruction coming right away.”

The additional planning time comes on some Fridays when other schools are in session but students in SDR schools are off. Teachers come in to work on those extra days to plan alone or in groups and explore opportunities to grow professionally so they can better serve their students.

“At our campus planning on your own or with other teachers is your choice,” she said. “We have the flexibility because we are trusted by our administrative staff.”

She believes that the extra planning and preparation has paid off for students, many of whom did not take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, last year or did not get to a passing level. This year, during practice exams, the students have shown growth, and Rhodes is hopeful that they will be able to pass this year’s exams.

Rhodes believes that teachers who truly believe in building relationships with their students and getting to know who they are teaching would be a great fit for a school like Edna Rowe Elementary and the School Day Redesign calendar.

“Aside from the additional pay, having those days when I can plan and do what I need to do for my students is the incentive,” she said. “I would invite [teachers] to become a part of a school that believes in putting children first and also has administrators who believe in you and give you the opportunity to grow yourself.”

Open transfer

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.

Interested eligible employees must complete an application online by logging into 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 identified for non-renewal at the end of the current school year due to performance and/or misconduct
  • Not be entering their fourth year of an Alternative Certification Program
  • For Instructional Coaches only: must receive approval from recommending campus executive director





A passion for making memorable moments

Ludivina “Ludy” Reyna’s passion for transforming students’ lives and making memorable moments began when she joined the district’s HIPPY program, which teaches mothers how to help their children prepare to start school.

“My love for helping people started then because I saw the great need parents had,” said Reyna, who has been with Translation Services for the past 16 years. “Families needed help and guidance, but sometimes, they were embarrassed to ask. I had to help mothers with forms when they weren’t even sure how to hold the pencil correctly. I helped them access resources, get school supplies.”

And in the 23 years Reyna has been with Dallas ISD in different positions, she has continued to help families and colleagues, being singled out many times for her excellent customer service. Most recently, she received praise for striving for the yes when as an interpreter and translator she helped a school nurse communicate important health information to a student’s family. Despite technical difficulties, she persevered until the nurse and family connected, and she could interpret for them.

“This is a well-deserved recognition even though for Ludy recognition is not the motivation,” said Ivette Cruz Weis, director of Translation Services. “She is a great leader and professional who does everything within her power to ensure that teachers and other staff have the language support they need to better serve the non-English-speaking parents in the district. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”

Reyna says that she doesn’t necessarily think about customer service, she just focuses on the needs she sees and how to serve all better.

“I think that when you are in a position like I am, you should always strive to help others and treat everyone with the same kindness and wisdom,” she said of being flexible and friendly—two of the district’s culture tenets. “Always put on your best face no matter how difficult a day you have had or what is going on. It’s that kindness that leads to parents feeling like they are part of the district. And, after all, we are here for them and for the students.”

Reyna is grateful for the recognition but says embracing the district’s Core 4 culture tenets is a normal, everyday thing she often sees whether it’s a nurse trying to reach a family or a teacher who does the impossible to make sure students are in class every day.

“I see this in the district all the time, and a lot of people go above and beyond because they have the passion to help students and others,” she said. “We are here to serve and to give the best of ourselves to help those who need us, whether it’s parents, colleagues or students.”



Central summer schedule starts in June

Starting in June, the district will be closed on Fridays as central staff employees begin to work the summer schedule four-day week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monthly employees

Employees paid monthly will work the four-day work week from June 6 through July 29. Monthly employees will resume their regular work hours on Aug. 1.


Biweekly employees

Employees paid biweekly will work a four-day workweek from June 10 through Aug. 4. Biweekly employees will NOT work on June 10 if they participate in the four-day workweek. Biweekly employees who participate in the four-day workweek will resume their regular hours on Aug. 5.

Employees are responsible for consulting with their supervisor to determine the start, end, and lunch times of their daily work schedule during the summer. Employees approved to take a working lunch will only be required to stay at the worksite or be available remotely for 10 hours. Employees will be compensated for the “working lunch” time, and it will be considered part of normal work hours.

Supervisors may allow employees to work a schedule other than the four-day workweek as long as the change does not negatively affect the functions of the department. In addition, some departments may choose to return to the regular work schedule sooner. Decisions regarding the work schedule are at the discretion of the department supervisor. In addition, divisional leadership may modify the employee’s work schedule to meet campus, divisional, or district needs. An event such as New Teacher Academy or a back-to-school program may require a change to the work schedule in order to provide support.

The district will be closed for summer break July 4-8. Employees will not be allowed to work for pay while the district is closed unless the employee has received prior written approval from their department chief. All central staff will return to work on July 11.


Showcasing innovation

On March 8, Dallas ISD will celebrate and showcase the hard work of teachers, assistant principals, and central staff who have been reimagining how the next generation of teaching, learning, and leadership could look like in the district.

The Innovation Showcase is a virtual celebration is designed to recognize Dallas ISD’s Innovation in Teaching, School Retool, and iDesign Central Fellows for the 2021-2022 school year. This event will elevate the voices of our fellows through three panels and a release of a virtual exhibition for attendees to explore their design projects over the year. Click here for the recognition rosters for all fellowships.

Learn more and register at All attendees must register via Zoom to receive their own unique link to join on March 8.



5:00 | Welcome & Keynotes

5:20 | Fellow Recognitions

5:40 | Panel # 1, Leading Change with Empathy

5:50 | Panel # 2, Bringing Ideas to Life with Prototyping and Hacking

6:00 | Unveiling the Virtual Exhibition

6:15 | Panel # 3, Looking Ahead: Navigating Ambiguity and Hope for the Future

6:25 | Closing



A teaching fellowship rooted in design thinking to equip educators to grow in their understanding of and pilot Next Generation models of learning [blended learning, project-based learning, and design thinking] in their classrooms. Learn more at


School Retool is a professional learning fellowship that helps school leaders redesign school culture to support Deeper Learning practices using small, scrappy experiments called “hacks”. This is executed in partnership with the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University and IDEO. Learn more at



​The iDesign Central Fellowship is a five-month experience for Dallas ISD central staff leaders that uses design thinking to build creative confidence to solve our biggest challenges at the district, division, and team level. Over the course of the fellowship, leaders learn how to build habits for design to lead their teams and transform culture. Learn more at

Questions? Reach out to the team at

Get creative

Every staff member and student in grades 3-12 now has access to Canva for Education. Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create thousands of different artifacts—such as social media posts, infographics, presentations, and even instructional materials—and makes it very easy to share and collaborate with others. Click here for steps on how to access your Dallas ISD account. For those ready to learn, Personalized Learning is hosting a few webinars in March and April to help users get started. Learn more and register at If you have questions, contact the Personalized Learning Department at