Due to inclement weather, there will be no after-school activities including athletic events and practices today, Jan. 30. As temperatures are expected to remain above freezing, we will complete the day as normal. Buses will run at the regular time, however, may experience delays as drivers exercise extreme caution this afternoon. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
We will continue monitoring the weather and provide updates on any changes. For information on school openings or closures, visit the district’s social media channels orwww.dallasisd.org
No existen palabras Cuando lo inimaginable se desenvuelve ante nuestros ojos, no existen palabras que puedan ayudarnos a comprender el horror de lo que vemos, como son las imágenes que fueron capturadas en el vídeo de Memphis donde un joven brutalmente perdió la vida. No existen palabras para consolar, razonar, analizar o explicar. Ninguna.
En momentos en que las palabras nos fallan, debemos aferrarnos a la humanidad que nos une para proteger nuestros corazones y mentes y evitar que perdamos la esperanza, haciendo imposible avanzar juntos. Hoy, no mañana, debemos unirnos y enfrentar este claro ejemplo de desprecio por la vida humana. Hoy más que nunca, tenemos la obligación, desde nuestro lugar en el mundo, de trabajar todos los días para construir puentes y enseñar a nuestros hijos a entenderse, respetarse y honrarse unos a los otros. Aún más importante, debemos ser ejemplo de este comportamiento con nuestros amigos, vecinos, colegas y todo el que nos rodea.
El mundo se vuelve un lugar peligroso cuando nos permitimos hacer caso omiso de cualquier realidad que impacte negativamente a nuestras vidas. Y cuando lo ignoramos, invade nuestras calles, nuestros hogares y nuestras comunidades, como hemos visto en Memphis.
Como madre, tengo el corazón hecho pedazos al pensar en otra madre cuyo hijo ha sido sometido a este tipo de trato inhumano. Como superintendente de un distrito escolar centrado en preparar a los jóvenes para que lleven una vida mejor y contribuyan a la sociedad que los rodea, estoy más decidida que nunca a ayudar a brindarles a los estudiantes las herramientas para mejorar el mundo en el que viven, ya que ellos son nuestra esperanza para un mejor mañana. Y como integrante de la raza humana, no dejaré de abogar por el respeto, la comprensión, la tolerancia, la equidad y la bondad.
En este momento, es fácil perder la esperanza. Hemos visto demasiados casos como este en todo el país. Pero no me rindo, y tampoco se rinden nuestros maestros, directores e integrantes de nuestro equipo. Los tiempos difíciles requieren personas aún más resilientes, y estamos aquí para encontrar la solución. Tengan la certeza que Dallas ISD hará todo lo posible para asegurar que nuestros jóvenes estudiantes estén preparados para hacer lo mismo, y los invitamos a unirse a nosotros.
Nuestros pensamientos y oraciones más sinceros están con la familia de Tyre Nichols. Y pido que todos trabajemos para que esta increíble tragedia no haya sido en vano. Comencemos hoy
Justin Henry presidente de la Junta Escolar
Es extremadamente doloroso ver una vez más un evento nacional donde nuevamente, un joven negro es asesinado de manera tan brutal. Tyre Nichols, de 29 años, era padre de un niño de 4 años. Por lo que he leído, le encantaba fotografiar los atardeceres y andar en patineta, una pasión que tuvo desde que era niño.
Ningún ser humano que lleve sangre en las venas puede ver cómo se desarrolla esta historia y sentir que el mundo está bien. ¡No estamos bien! El asesinato de Tyre es otro doloroso reflejo de las injusticias raciales en América. Ya es tiempo de acabar con la retórica y entrar en acción. Todos debemos actuar, especialmente los líderes locales y los encargados de formular leyes.
La Junta Escolar de Dallas ISD ha actuado diligentemente para abordar las desigualdades raciales en Dallas ISD. Las injusticias raciales de nuestro pasado y presente continúan avivando incendios y dejando escombros en nuestras calles, hogares y comunidades. Si no hacemos frente contra el tipo de comportamiento que hemos observado en Memphis y los sistemas que crean ese comportamiento, no podemos avanzar como nación.
Tengo el corazón roto al ver como Tyre llamaba por su madre que no estaba muy lejos. Como padre, el solo pensar en su desesperación, me paraliza. Nadie debería perder su vida de esta manera.
Nuestros corazones están con los amigos y la familia de Tyre Nichols, y seguimos orando por ellos.
There are no words When the unimaginable plays out before our eyes, there are no words that can help us comprehend the horrors we see, like the images captured on the Memphis video where a young man brutally lost his life. There are no words to comfort, sense make, analyze, or explain. None.
In times when words fail us, we must cling to the humanity that binds us to guard our hearts and minds and keep us from losing hope, making it impossible to move forward, together. Now, not tomorrow, we must come together and take a stand against this type of blatant disregard for human life. More than ever, we should be compelled to, in our own little corners of the world, work every day to bridge build and teach our children to understand, respect, and honor each other. Even more importantly, we must model that behavior with our friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others.
The world becomes a dangerous place when we give ourselves a pass to somehow close our eyes to any harsh reality that negatively impacts our world. And when we fail to address it, it plays out in the streets, in our homes, and in our communities, as we have seen in Memphis.
As a mother, my heart breaks at the thought of anyone’s child being subjected to that type of inhumane treatment. As a superintendent of a school district focused on preparing young people to lead better lives and contribute to the world around them, I am more resolved than ever to help give students, the tools to improve the world around them, for they are our hope for a better tomorrow. And as a member of this human race, I will not stop advocating for respect, understanding, tolerance, equity, and kindness.
At this moment, it is easy to lose hope. We have seen far too many instances like this playing out across the nation. But I am not a quitter, and neither are our teachers, principals and team members. Tough times require even tougher people, and we are here for the solution. You have our word that Dallas ISD will do everything in our power to ensure our young students are equipped to do the same, and we invite you to join us.
Our sincerest thoughts and prayers are with Tyre Nichols’ family. And I ask that we all work to bring some meaning to this incredible tragedy. Let’s start today.
President Justin Henry Dallas ISD Board of Trustees
It is exhaustingly painful to watch another national event where, once again, a young Black man is murdered in such a brutal manner. Tyre Nichols, 29, was a dad to a 4-year-old son. From what I’ve read, he loved to photograph sunsets and skateboard, a passion he’s had since he was a little boy.
No human with a soul can watch this story unfold and feel like the world is OK. We are not OK. Tyre’s murder is another painful reflection of the racial injustices in America. It is beyond time to move from rhetoric and to a point of action. We all must act, especially local leaders and policy makers.
Our Dallas ISD Board of Trustees have acted diligently to address racial inequities in Dallas ISD. The racial injustices of our past and present continue to stoke fires and leave wreckage in our streets, homes, and communities. If we fail to take a stand against the type of behavior displayed in Memphis and the systems that create that behavior, we cannot move forward as a nation.
My heart breaks to know Tyre cried out for his mom who was not far away. As a parent, the thought of that is paralyzing. No one should lose their life this way.
Our hearts go out to the friends and family of Tyre Nichols, and we continue to pray for them.
In today’s world of cybersecurity, we all have a duty to protect the safety of students, parents, team members and the districts’ private information. Dallas ISD takes this responsibility seriously and will continue the necessary measures to ensure confidential information remains secure.
It has been determined by the federal government and the State of Texas that the video-sharing platform TikTok poses a serious security risk for its users. To better protect against cybersecurity risks, the district is discontinuing access to the platform from its devices and networks.
Starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, TikTok will be blocked from district-issued devices and networks. TikTok will no longer be accessible on any device if you are connected to the district’s Wi-Fi networks. While TikTok will be accessible from private devices and networks, Dallas ISD does not allow its use for instructional purposes or district-related projects. External networks should not be utilized to access TikTok on district devices.
In 2022, the U.S. Congress prohibited the use of the platform on any government-issued devices and networks, and the governor of Texas recently issued orders to eliminate the cybersecurity risk posed by TikTok by removing access to it from devices of state agencies, including school districts.
The cybersecurity risk stems from the belief of state and federal agencies that TikTok’s parent company tracks data from users—including when, where and how a person conducts internet activity— that could be used to threaten national security as well as impact district cybersecurity.
The district understands that videos can provide a level of creativity and engagement that benefits instruction. Other video-sharing platforms can be used on district devices and within district networks to support instruction and other Dallas ISD initiatives. Reels is an effective feature on Instagram that allows the creation of short and engaging vertical-style videos. Tips on how to utilize Reels and other applications can be found on the district’s social media webpage.
For additional guidance on the use of district-issued electronic devices and networks, please, refer to Board Policy DH–Employee Standards of Conduct and CQ–Technology Resources by visiting the district’s online Board Policy Manual.
Dallas ISD va a descontinuar el acceso a TikTok
En el mundo actual de la ciberseguridad, todos compartimos la responsabilidad de proteger la seguridad de los estudiantes, padres, miembros del equipo laboral y la información privada del distrito. Dallas ISD se toma muy en serio esta responsabilidad y continuará implementando las medidas necesarias para asegurar la confidencialidad de este tipo de información.
El gobierno federal y agencias del estado de Texas han determinado que TikTok, la plataforma para compartir videos, presenta un riesgo importante a la seguridad de sus usuarios. Como protección contra estos riesgos a la ciberseguridad, el distrito va a descontinuar el acceso a la plataforma en todos sus dispositivos y redes.
A partir de las 11:59 p.m. el jueves, 26 de enero, el acceso a TikTok será bloqueado en los dispositivos pertenecientes al distrito y todas sus redes. No se podrá tener acceso a TikTok en dispositivos privados que estén conectados a la red Wi-Fi del distrito. Aunque se podrá tener acceso a la plataforma a través de dispositivos y redes privadas, Dallas ISD prohibe el uso de la plataforma en la instrucción o proyectos relacionados con el distrito. No se deberán utilizar redes privadas para obtener acceso a TikTok en dispositivos pertenecientes al distrito.
En el 2022, el Congreso de los Estados Unidos prohibió el uso de la plataforma en dispositivos y redes pertenecientes al gobierno federal, y el gobernador de Texas recientemente emitió una orden para eliminar el riesgo a la ciberseguridad que presenta TikTok al bloquear el acceso a ella en todos los dispositivos pertenecientes a agencias del gobierno estatal, lo cual incluye a distritos escolares.
Los riesgos a la ciberseguridad están basados en la creencia por parte de las agencias estatales y federales de que la empresa matriz monitorea los datos de los usuarios—incluyendo cuándo, dónde y cómo utilizan la internet—de una manera que podría presentar un peligro para la seguridad nacional.
El distrito entiende que los videos proporcionan un nivel de creatividad y participación que es de gran beneficio para la instrucción. Otras plataformas para compartir videos están disponibles en dispositivos y redes del distrito para apoyar la instrucción y otras iniciativas de Dallas ISD. Reels está disponible en Instagram y permite la creación de videos verticales cortos y efectivos. Pueden encontrar consejos de cómo usar Reels y otras aplicaciones en la página de medios sociales del distrito.
Para información adicional en el uso de dispositivos y redes pertenecientes al distrito, por favor, consulte las regulaciones Board Policy DH–Employee Standards of Conduct y CQ–Technology Resources que se encuentra en línea en Board Policy Manual.
Now more than ever it is important to stay vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity, so Dallas ISD’s security team is sharing tips on how to protect your account and data:
Keep your personal information private. Avoid sharing your name, address, telephone number and school name when using the internet or any apps.
Use strong passwords with a minimum of eight characters or more that combine numbers, letters and symbols.
Don’t share your passwords with anyone—Dallas ISD’s Information Technology department will never request this from you.
Think before you click. Don’t open emails from strangers, links from unfamiliar sites and advertisements.
Be wary of messages that implore you to act immediately as well as offers and browser extensions. These are tricks designed to get you to give up personal information or click on links to install malware or spyware automatically.
If you’ve ever been to a Dallas ISD community event at a school or throughout the city, chances are you’ve seen Sgt. Simon Tapia, one of the faces of the Dallas ISD Police Department’s UNIDOS program.
He, along with fellow officer Lt. Juan Cedillo, co-founded the Dallas ISD chapter of UNIDOS, an outreach program that provides assistance and information to the district’s Spanish-speaking community, with a focus on parents and students.
“UNIDOS is a collaboration with multiple police organizations and the purpose of the program is to connect our Spanish-speaking community with resources and to address areas of need that directly impact the community,” Tapia said.
Tapia, who has worked as a police officer for 27 years—22 of them years with the district, has worked in different areas such as campus services in West Dallas.
“I’ve had the opportunity to do a little of everything, and have really gotten to know the district well, as I’ve worked with multiple Dallas ISD leaders and community leaders,” Tapia said. He’s also worked in areas such as the Criminal Investigation Division, gang unit, and is currently working night patrol.
The UNIDOS chapter at Dallas ISD began when Sgt. Robert Muñoz of the Community Affairs Department of the Dallas Police Department reached out to Tapia and Cedillo after he was inundated with requests for not only community outreach throughout the city, but specifically in Dallas ISD. Muñoz suggested that Tapia and Cedillo start their own chapter in the district.
“He brought us into this program and he showed it to us,” Tapia said. “In November 2017, we did our own presentation with DPD at Arcadia Park Elementary as our own unit. Sgt. Muñoz was doing important work bridging the communication gap with our community, as well as connecting them with resources, and we wanted to continue this work in the district.”
While it’s not always easy having to keep up with a demanding work schedule, plus volunteering at community events, Tapia said he is happy to do this important and impactful work. He was once asked by a colleague about where the return on their investment was.
“It was a valid question but it really resonated with me,” he said. “I said that he and I would never see a return on our investment. We are investing in the kids, in their future. When we give a toy to a little kid or a sticker that looks like our badges, we are creating a long lasting memory for the student. You never know what kind of impact it may have on their future.”
He recalls a moment when he took a picture a few years ago at Celestino Mauricio Soto Jr. Elementary School in front of his squad car with seven or eight students all dressed as police officers as a costume.
“I took the picture for my unit, and I sent it to them, and I jokingly said, ‘I’m replacing all of y’all.’ That’s the return on our investment,” Tapia said. “They had a blast seeing us, seeing our cars, getting a sticker, and I hope that out of those seven or eight, maybe one or two will decide to become police officers. The investment will never be seen, because by the time these students graduate and begin working as an officer, I’ll likely not be around.”
Although they might not always get to see the impact their work has on the community, Tapia says that a couple of times he has had the opportunity to work with officers who recall seeing him at their schools when they were students.
“We have some officers that remember seeing me when they were in elementary school or high school, and now, they’re working for us. They say, ‘Ah I remember you. You used to come to our school with the K-9 unit,’” Tapia said.
Tapia, Cedillo and the 15 or so volunteers from UNIDOS have worked and volunteered in many community meetings, health fairs, toy drives, school career days, and their signature “Conchas con Chotas” meetings at schools. One of the groups UNIDOS collaborates with often is Comadres Unidas de Dallas, a community based organization whose mission is to empower, inform and connect the Spanish speaking community with resources.
“The first meeting we worked on together was at [Thomas C.] Marsh Middle School because I was the PTA president,” said Mirna Mendez, founder of Comadres Unidas de Dallas. “Sgt. Tapia has always been accessible and he is always willing to help and to serve. We have worked together on several occasions, including a toy drive this past December. We had run into some challenges because we needed a bigger location for the toy drive, and by the next day, he had found us a place. Sgt. Tapia is all about community. He is a problem solver, a go-getter, and is just an all around good person who is always willing to help and to serve the community.”
If you would like more information about UNIDOS, contact Tapia via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find UNIDOS on twitter @DISDPD_UNIDOS or here, on the district’s website.
It was just another day at Kleberg Elementary School—a student headed to the office to be picked up because she was not feeling well. The day took a turn to the unusual when Loren Carcamo arrived to pick up her daughter and her water broke.
Kleberg’s nurse, Tylar Krause, was called, and while she did not have any experience delivering a child, she knew who did: fifth-grade bilingual teacher Maria Perez Caraballo.
After hearing her name over the school’s speaker system, Perez Caraballo rushed to the nurse’s office, where she found Krause helping Carcamo through her contractions. Perez Caraballo was a doctor in an obstetrics and gynecology department in Venezuela—where she is from—for three years before she relocated first to Costa Rica and then to the United States to become a teacher in Dallas ISD. She did not hesitate to get to work.
She performed an exam, and it became clear that Carcamo was not going to make it to the hospital in time. Paramedics were called, and Krause and Perez Caraballo stayed by Carcamo’s side, helping her push through the contractions until the baby, Leire Carcamo, was delivered right there in the nurse’s office.
“The baby was born, and about 10 seconds later, she started to cry really loudly,” Perez Caraballo said. “It was really nice. I’m glad that it is a happy story.”
The umbilical cord was wrapped around Leire, so Perez Caraballo and the paramedics worked together to untangle the newborn. They awaited the delivery of the placenta before the paramedics brought Carcamo and her new daughter to the hospital.
“I appreciate the excellent service that our nurse provides to our students, staff and community,” Principal Amy Zbylut said. “Nurse Krause’s teamwork, depth of knowledge, reliability and genuine caring-spirit continued to shine during this amazing event. She knew that teamwork would be required and requested that administration get her assistance. Administration immediately stepped in and got Ms. Perez. I am extremely grateful for the teamwork and community service that occurs at Kleberg. I am especially grateful of the teamwork that was exhibited by Ms. Perez and Nurse Krause during this amazing event.”
Carcamo and her newborn were released from the hospital a day after the birth at the school and headed home just in time for the holidays in December. By January, they were happy to return to Kleberg to reunite with Perez Caraballo and take a photo together.
“I’m going to treasure this,” Perez Caraballo said. “I came to this country, and I studied a lot to become a teacher, so it was like I said goodbye to those days in medicine. It was really amazing. I feel really happy to have had one more experience in this science area that I worked a lot in.”
The Kleberg community is celebrating Perez Caraballo’s quick action in the face of this medical emergency. Zbylut said she is thankful for every hat Perez Caraballo wears, whether it is labor and delivery or her more typical responsibilities as a teacher.
“Ms. Perez goes beyond her classroom to support campus-wide initiatives and the community,” Zbylut said. “As our debate team sponsor, she trains our students in public speaking, grace under pressure and critical thinking. She assists our campus with our diabetic students when the nurse is off campus, she assists with translating during parent meetings to create an inclusive environment and she participates in campus-wide community engagement events that strengthen school-community relationships.”
Perez Caraballo is not looking for praise. Ultimately, she said she is glad everything went so smoothly, especially with such an unexpected and what she called a “very natural” delivery process.
“Ms. Carcamo is very grateful to us that we did the best we could with what we had in the nurse’s office,” Perez Caraballo. “It was a really unique experience, andI think it made Kleberg more special.”
Ana Casas Sanmartín, a geometry teacher at Woodrow Wilson High School, was sitting in her classroom recently when a former student, Aaron Castro, came up to her and made her day. The senior told her, “Last year was the first time I understood math. I really was struggling. I never figured it out until your class.” And then he added, “I love angles now.”
For Casas, that is what teaching is all about: helping students feel successful and proud of what they can achieve. Her passion shines through to her fellow teachers and students alike.
“Mrs. Casas’ dedication to her students is undeniable, and her intentionality has resulted in a classroom culture where students feel comfortable and engaged,” Woodrow Wilson teacher cluster lead Anne Marie Light said. “Many students feel like math is unachievable for them and they have low confidence in their math skills, but Mrs. Casas breaks it down so they understand. I can confidently say she knows all of her students and what they need personally to be successful.”
Those student connections did not always come easily to Casas. She first started teaching in 2010 in Spain, where she was born and raised. It was not until 2012 that she came to Texas through a program called Visiting Teachers. She said her first year in the United States was “pretty rough” as she worked through cultural differences to get to know her students and to understand how to create a safe, engaging learning environment for them, but she has carried those lessons with her ever since.
“I want them to know that they are the protagonists of this school year,” Casas said. “They are the ones who are going to learn and have those aha moments, and they are going to struggle and learn from their mistakes. It’s tough because they have to really put in some effort, but they also feel that reward when they get it by themselves. It’s so rewarding at the end of the day.”
Some of the strategies she uses to build a successful classroom environment include creating clear expectations, establishing consistent routines and emphasizing communication so she knows how to help her students. She also incorporates small group activities where students can learn from each other while mastering their independent practice.
From the beginning of each school year, Casas shows up with a plan. She still remembers the teachers she had growing up who remembered her name and connected with her, so she always challenges herself to learn every student’s name within the first two weeks of the year. She develops those connections by giving her students additional space to share about their lives in the projects they do every nine weeks.
Having a child of her own has only increased Casas’ passion for empowering her students. Her daughter was born in 2021 with spina bifida, and Casas has loved watching her grow and accomplish milestones despite the obstacles in her path.
“It’s something that I see in my students as well,” she said. “Having my baby has made me also think about how important it is to support my students, especially the ones who struggle. I want them to know they have the capacity and they can make it if they put in the effort. That’s one thing we have to tell them: They are so worth it.”
Writing down one’s thoughts can often be cathartic and help resolve inner conflict. That is why journaling is commonly recommended for people who are looking to improve their overall mental health and well-being. But does it really help?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the practice comes with many health benefits. Not only has it been shown to boost creativity and improve memory, but it can also help with tangible concerns like managing diabetes. This is because stress can trigger increases in blood sugar, so people can work to balance their stress levels through journaling and other positive habits.
Additional benefits to journaling include:
Individual problem solving
Decreasing information overload
Understanding personal strengths and challenges
Pinpointing stressors and other concerns
While journaling is a beneficial habit, it is not always easy to acquire. Start by setting a few minutes aside each day at a certain time, and make journaling easy by keeping a physical journal nearby or using an app on your phone. There are no rules to journaling, so write whatever makes the most sense or feels the most fulfilling or clarifying to you.
If you find yourself feeling depressed, anxious, sad or worried on a regular basis, reach out for additional support. Contact your physician or a mental health professional, and take advantage of Dallas ISD’s Employee Assistance Program by LifeWorks.
The confidential, secure platform has countless resources available online for free, including on-call counselors who are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Contact LifeWorks at (972) 925-4000, or visit www.dallasisd.org/benefits and click on Benefits Resources to access online EAP information.
Families can transform their students’ success by supporting them physically, emotionally and academically, but first they may need some support of their own. When survey results revealed that Dallas ISD parents were searching for help to better assist their children at home—especially following the learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—the Family and Community Engagement Department created the Academic Partnering Activities to intervene.
With a three-year allocation of $156,000 from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund, the Family and Community Engagement Department launched a series of virtual and in-person events to give families the support they needed.
Virginia Greene, manager of Family and Community Engagement, said her team is using the ESSER funds to provide technical support, hire teachers to develop and record lessons and purchase activity resources to help support families at home.
Greene’s team provides Facebook Live webinars with an emphasis on math and reading so parents can easily access the sessions. They also record and post teacher-created lessons on the department’s website, and they have a FROG Bus that provides “family resources on the go” by making stops at various campuses to connect with families.
“It goes back to what the parents are asking,” Greene said. “We always say parents are the first teachers, but they don’t always have the tools they need for academic lessons. We wanted to guide parents with skills that would give them an opportunity to see how they can help their children be academically successful. That’s our ultimate goal: the success of our students.”
The Academic Partnering Activities kicked off in January 2022, and they have already partnered with approximately 300 families. While the Family and Community Engagement Department has been focused primarily on developing the initiative, they plan to make the lessons more manageable and accessible by using materials that families already have at home in addition to the educational resources that parents can request. This will help weave the academic support into parents’ everyday routines, leading them to confidently engage with their children as they are learning at home.
“We are helping the students continue to learn what they are learning in the classroom,” Greene said. “The Academic Partnering Activities are meant to practice, develop and enhance those skills.”