Get the accounting ready

As Dallas ISD prepares to close out the 2023-2024 fiscal year, please make sure to review all of the department’s open purchase orders and encumbrances and enter receivers in Oracle as soon as possible for all goods and services that have been received for this school year.

Additionally, please note the following:

  • All goods or services received by June 30 must have a receiver in Oracle by the close of business on Monday, July 15.
  • All purchase orders for general operating and school nutrition will have a final close on July 30.
  • Email a copy of the invoice to Accounts Payable at

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Sherri Williams at or Budget Service at

There’s help out there

Dealing with cancer is a personal journey, just like the process of overcoming it. National Cancer Survivors Day honors the strength, optimism, and determination of cancer survivors.

Cancer survivors’ journeys demonstrate the progress made in science, the commitment of healthcare professionals, and the support of loved ones. Survivorship is a major accomplishment, signifying the conclusion of a challenging period and the beginning of a new phase of care. Every survivor’s story is a source of inspiration for individuals currently battling cancer, showing that it is possible to overcome it.

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and treatment is not easy. It often involves support from friends and family or even strangers. Regularly engaging with other survivors can help maintain well-being throughout the recovery journey. Listening to the stories and experiences of others can offer valuable insights and perspectives. Your health care can provide you with information about support groups or resources in your area. 

Here are a few resources from the American Cancer Society for cancer survivors and their families: 

Summer cybersecurity tips

Stay safe online this summer with these essential cybersecurity tips.

  • Routinely transfer teaching curriculum to the cloud (OneDrive or Google Drive)
  • Avoid accessing district resources on publicly available WiFi like at Starbucks. Connect to the district’s VPN for a secure connection 
  • Refrain from using the same password for personal and work accounts
  • Don’t leave devices unattended in public and lock your device before walking away from it
  • Occasionally restart your device and check for system updates to ensure optimal performance and security


Free summer meals 

This summer, Dallas ISD is dedicated  to ensuring that no child goes hungry by offering free, nutritious meals to students across the district. The Summer Food Service Program—a U.S. Department of Agriculture initiative—provides healthy meals to children 18 and younger, as well as enrolled students up to 21 years old with disabilities.

“Because we are committed to the health and well-being of all Dallas ISD students, healthy ‘no-cost’ meals will be available to all young people across our community,” said Debi Rowley, executive director of Food and Child Nutrition Services. “Our meals meet or exceed every USDA health requirement, and feature items like lean proteins, whole grains, multiple fruits and vegetables, and milk.” 

To kick off this year’s summer program, Food and Child Nutrition Services will host an event at H.S. Thompson Elementary School from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 5. Families can join the event for a day filled with fun activities, food, giveaways, community spirit and much more. It’s the perfect way to start the summer and learn about the nutritious meals available to all children. Visit for more information. Families are encouraged to use the following tools to find a meal site near them:
●  Visit for an interactive site locator map
●  Call 2-1-1 to speak to a live operator
●  Text “Food” to 304-304

Young Women’s STEAM Academy team members prepare for ninth graders

Team members at Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School are gearing up to receive the first freshman class next school year and are making all the preparations. 

Recently, the school had its first signing day where the future ninth graders, many of whom are already students there, committed to attending the district’s second secondary all-girls high school. Students received swag and were happy to be able to stay in the school where they have completed middle school, said principal Rubinna Sanchez.

“The community and the girls are excited about it,” Sanchez said. “So the dream that started when the school first opened in 2016 is now actually coming to fruition.” 

Not only is the surrounding Southeast Dallas community excited about the school adding the high school component, so are the team members, parents, and students. Sanchez said she and her team have been planning and working on a master schedule, and students have been eager to give their feedback.

“Since they are the first freshman class, it’s helping us go back and say maybe we should add or tweak or do something. It’s so exciting to be able to start the high school component of it and expand, and to just see the girls excited about it. Many are asking about it every day,” Sanchez said. 

Assistant principal Sasha Hampton describes the transformation as a whole rebranding and a cultural shift for the campus. 

“We are retraining [employees] and getting them in the mindset of what this vision is and what it means to be a six through 12 campus,” Hampton said. In the summer, when teachers return to campus, there will be a separate onboarding process to really help shift that mindset on what these scholars now will look like and how they will matriculate, she said.

Principal Sanchez described this as a great opportunity within the community because a lot of the students are expected to be first-generation college students. She added that she herself was a first-generation college student and her parents needed support with the college readiness process and things such as how to fill out financial aid applications and the FAFSA. 

The school partners with the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, which Sanchez said comes with a lot of resources that parents are eager to explore. The knowledge and resources will help close gaps for them. 

A parent recently stopped by the school to learn more about the expansion and asked for assistance with the application, Sanchez said.

One of the available resources is having a college success advisor who will not only guide the girls, but provide families with tools such as parent workshops so they’ll know what to do, instead of guessing. 

“It will really help build that first generation,” Sanchez said. 

This new opportunity also will help to prepare the sixth through eighth graders, so they can start to look in a different direction by offering some different courses, said assistant principal Lea Hempstead. 

Most students will be on the engineering track and will have the opportunity to take classes like introduction to engineering design. However, in addition to engineering, STEAM careers include anything in science, technology, arts, and mathematics and are open to those who want to pursue careers in any of those fields. 

“The resources that the Young Women’s Network brings and the dollars that this partnership brings are very important. The investment in our students will open new opportunities for them,” Hampton said.

Hampton added that sometimes students need a little guidance after they transition to high school, but having a program here and inspiring girls to actually dive into those areas is what she’s most excited about. 

The recruitment process for this first cohort of students began in January and seats are still available. To register, parents will have to complete the online registration process by visiting

“And so this is bringing it all together,” Sanchez said. “For the parents whose students have  been with us since sixth grade, and for the parents who are new to our campus, I’m asking them to trust us for the next four years to get their child where they want her to be.” 


This is Home: Sherri Cleaver gives back to community where she grew up 

Her mission is making sure that students are treated with respect and dignity. And Sherri Cleaver, a social service and community partner coordinator, is doing it every day at the school she graduated from—North Dallas High School.

Cleaver, who has been working for the district for 25 years, has been at North Dallas for the last 10 years. She started working for the district straight out of college as the community liaison at Paul Dunbar Learning Center. She later became a specialist who connected schools to community partners and resources and, after a few years, had the opportunity to go back to working at a school. 

Through Cleaver’s tenure with the district, she has seen four superintendents and various reorganizations and described her experience as happy and wonderful. 

“I want kids to see me on the other side of the desk and for them to see me no different than them,” Cleaver said. “I tell kids all the time that I am you and you are me, and so together we can be successful.” 

Currently providing access to wraparound services for families who are in a housing and food insecurity crisis, Cleaver said she feels privileged and blessed to serve the North Dallas High School community.

Her social work degree from Texas Woman’s University came in handy when she built the program from the ground up, removing  the term homeless. She said she didn’t want to perpetuate a stigma or embarrassment for any of the students or families who needed assistance.

She was hired under a Title I Priority for Schools grant to create a holistic plan to help students who were facing a housing crisis. At one point, North Dallas had the highest homeless population due to the school’s central location, as well as the proximity to city shelters, Cleaver said. 

Her program has included a parent center, food distributions, a clothes closet called the  Bulldog Boutique, a partnership with Upward Bound through SMU, a teen moms program, and 20 partnerships throughout the community like the NDHS alumni and Church of the Incarnation. 

“It’s really important to me that I expose the kids to things that are outside the community, so that they can be comfortable when they get out there in the real world,” she said.

Cleaver said that her mom taught her that people need to be able to feel comfortable when they walk in any room, and she’s taken it to heart, implementing this idea with the students.

She coordinates mentor programs because she wants the students to see themselves as leaders,she said. Mentors from corporate sponsors to religious faith organizations come in weekly to meet with the students. 

“I just don’t want them to feel any more hardship and to know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Cleaver said. She added that she wants to create a safe place for students, such as teen moms, who are already facing societal stigmas and other obstacles.

Cleaver said that it’s not only about showing students that there’s help to overcome challenges, but it’s important for the parents to know that, as well. It shows them that students have access to necessary resources and support.

By doing these seemingly simple things, Cleaver said she can walk away knowing that she has made a student, a family, a mom, or someone struggling feel better about their situation, because she always keeps in mind poet Maya Angelou’s quote that people will forget what you said, but will never forget how you made them feel.

Among the many students and families who have been able to find that light at the end of the tunnel because of her work is student Yaritza E., a teen mother who will  attend Texas Woman’s University in the fall because it has a program that accommodates students with children. To learn more about the student’s journey, click here

While it may seem like Cleaver is a one-woman team, she said that providing support to students is a team effort, and works in collaboration with her colleagues such as counselor Tiffany Brown, who provides students with programming during breakfast, for example. 

“It’s just the little things, but you would be amazed at just what some bacon and eggs can do to help make kids feel comfortable,” Cleaver said. “At the same time, they don’t know it, but I’m checking in with them. I’m checking to see what they need.” 

For Cleaver, her work is not only about the students receiving support and services, but also teaching them to give back to the community so that there will be other generations of North Dallas High School graduates who are helping their community.

“I just want to empower students and let them know no matter where you’re coming from or what your circumstances are you can still do it. It doesn’t define you,” Cleaver said. 


Team member hiring

The deadline for central departments to make recommendations to hire campus-based employees is Thursday, June 27.

This deadline ensures that Dallas ISD team members have access to growth opportunities, central teams have a robust candidate pool, and the district honors its commitment to provide high-quality educators in every classroom at the start of the 2024-2025 school year.

Full processing does not have to occur by that date, but recommendations must be submitted in the Talent Management System and be received by HCM prior to June 27. Central hiring managers should collaborate with principals to obtain a reference and discuss the transition timeline.

To ensure principals have ample time to hire for any vacancies, campus-based team members who have been recommended prior to the cut off deadline can be required by the principal to stay on campus until Aug. 30. If a principal is able to find a suitable replacement before then, the principal may elect to release the employee earlier. Campus-based team members will transition to their new central roles no later than Monday, Sept. 2. 


Getting a real world education

Teresa Estudillo, a fourth-grade bilingual teacher at Obadiah Knight Elementary School for the past two years, has created a dynamic learning environment by integrating real-life scenarios into her lessons, connecting academic learning and real-life practice. 

Recently, this led to hosting Sam Vazquez, a radio host from EXA FM Mexico, through a Zoom session. Vazquez demonstrated students various forms of figurative language, such as similes, hyperbole, and personification that she had used in her work, giving the students a deeper understanding of how these literary devices can enhance communication and storytelling. 

“The virtual visit from Sam Vazquez was a valuable learning experience for the fourth-grade students, allowing them to see firsthand how the skills they were developing in class could be applied in the real-world,” Estudillo said. “Providing real-world examples can help students make connections between the theoretical concepts they are learning and how they can be applied in real-life.”

Her passion for teaching was inspired by the influence of her own past educators, combined with the idea that education is the foundation of all careers. In addition, the influence of her parents, who are educators themselves, solidified her passion for teaching.

“The impact that good teachers had on my life motivated me to pursue a career in education. I saw education as the profession that makes all other professions possible.” Estudillo said. 

Estudillo’s favorite aspect of being a teacher is witnessing the joy of students. She is also inspired by the district’s commitment to ensuring students have access to the necessary resources for a successful education.  

“When my students enter the class with a smile on their face and say they are happy to come to my class. It feels great!” Estudillo said. 

Inspired by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Estudillo shares a quote with her students to create motivation: ”If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”


Transitioning to Teams phones

Dallas ISD has begun taking steps to upgrade the legacy phone system and voice network. The transition involves moving to a modernized Microsoft Teams solution.

What does this entail?

  • Upgrading physical phones to run Microsoft Teams
  • Replacing Skype application with Microsoft Teams application

When will this take place?

  • May-August 2024

Who is affected by this?

  • Central departments and campuses

Will the change happen at once?

  • No. Central departments will be notified, and campuses will be provided a schedule of when their phones will transition. Additional information to be provided.

Are there resources for using Microsoft Teams?

Reminder of resignation deadline

Chapter 21 employees are reminded of statutory guidelines related to contract resignations. Specifically, under Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code, educators have a penalty-free resignation deadline that falls on the 45th day before the first day of instruction of the upcoming school year. 

The resignation deadline for the 2024-2025 school year is June 28, 2024. Resignations are generally accepted via the electronic submission process (S-54), using the Oracle log-in, and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on June 28. 

Additional information, frequently asked questions, and instructions may be found on the contracts home page at

If you have any questions, please contact the HCM Staffing Department at