Contracts are coming

Human Capital Management is preparing to disseminate contracts for the 2021-2022 school year. Contracts will be available for all contract eligible employees via Oracle Employee Self Service by April 30, 2021. Please expect an email from containing instructions on how to complete the acceptance process once contracts are available. Employees should provide their electronic signature within two weeks of the delivery date of the contract.

According to Texas Education Code (TEC), contract-eligible educators are provided a penalty-free resignation deadline which is 45 days before the first day of instruction of the coming school year. The resignation deadline for this year is July 2, 2021. Not signing the contract does not mean an employee has resigned from the district; employees will still need to submit an S54.

A list of contract-eligible positions and additional information may be found on the contracts home page at

If you have any questions about your contract you can reach out to Human Capital Management at, and a team member will assist you.


High Priority Campuses: A good fit for teachers who want to make a difference

When Christina Rocha talks about her work with colleagues and students at T.J. Rusk Middle School, you can hear the excitement in her voice. The 13-year veteran teacher moved to Rusk four years ago and says she feels totally at home at the high priority campus where everyone works together on behalf of students. Grateful for the quality training offered in Dallas ISD, Rocha—who teaches reading in sixth-eighth grades—credits the leadership support and schoolwide devotion to best practices for creating an environment that works for teachers and students.

Across town at James Madison High School, Principal Marian Willard is looking for teachers who bring that kind of passion to their work and who are willing to fully embrace the needs of students on her high priority campus.

“I’m looking for teachers who want to come in, roll up their sleeves and work with struggling students,” she said. “When teachers are willing to focus on the needs of students, learn new strategies and are open to investing the time required to help students, I’m confident they can make a difference here.”

Teachers, instructional coaches, and counselors who want to bring their passion for making a difference in young minds and lives have until April 23 to take advantage of the district’s open transfer period for high priority campuses. For eligibility requirements, go here.

Working at a high priority campus has benefits beyond making a difference. Eligible teachers serving at high priority campuses in the 2021-2022 school year will:

  • Earn additional DTR points on the TEI Scorecard, replacing the existing Tier I process.
  • Earn additional stipends.


Funds for teachers

Teachers may apply for the Junior League of Dallas Grants for Innovative Teaching through April 23. Grants for Innovative Teaching (GFIT) supports education in the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) with grants for unique programs outside school budgets. All Dallas ISD educators are eligible to apply for up to $2,500 for innovative teaching projects for all grade levels and subjects.

The deadline is April 23, 2021 at 11:50 p.m.  For more information and to access the grant application visit:  Prerecorded webinar information for any first time applicants is forthcoming on the GFIT webpage:


Beware of fraud!

Dallas ISD has recently become aware of employees who have received unexpected checks for large amounts and instructions for the use of the funds. These checks have been identified as fraudulent.

The checks, which include the district’s logo, have been made out to individuals and include instructions to deposit the check and use the money to purchase gift cards. These types of checks are known as a “Mystery Shopper” scam that have become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because the district has protections in place against fake checks, these checks would bounce if anyone tried to deposit them or cash them.

If an employee receives a check from Dallas ISD for any amount that was not expected, the recommendation is to contact Treasury Services at If the check is fraudulent, it should be shredded and your district password should be changed.

For additional information about fake check scams, visit

Check them out

Getting your eyes checked regularly is always a good idea, but annual checkups are not necessary for everyone. Simple home-based evaluations can help you determine if a visit to the ophthalmologist is in order. You will need a few things to get started:

  • Something to cover the eye, like a paper cup or facial tissue
  • Scissors
  • Tape or tack to hang a test chart on the wall
  • A pencil or pen to record the results
  • A yardstick, tape measure, or ruler
  • A flashlight
  • A well-lit room at least 10 feet long for the testing area
  • A testing chart

How to do the test*

  • Tape or pin the chart on the bare wall, level with the eyes of the person you will test as he or she sits in the chair. Make sure the chart is level with his or her eyes.
  • Sit or have your child sit in the chair 10 feet from where the chart is taped to the wall, holding the cover over one eye without applying any pressure. A second person may be needed to hold the cover in place and watch for peeking if it’s a child. If you wear glasses, wear them during the test.
  • Shine the flashlight on each line of the chart, while the person you are testing reads the letters out loud. Continue to the bottom row or until the letters are too difficult for the person to see.
  • Write down the number of the smallest line seen correctly (the line with more than half of the letters correctly identified).
  • Now repeat the test with the other eye covered and record the results

Score the test

A child should be able to see the 20/40 line by age 3 or 4 and the 20/30 line by age 5. An older child or an adult should be reading the 20/20 line If you test your child several times on different days and your child cannot see the expected line of print or cannot see the same line with each eye, it might be time for an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

Record the results of your home screening by filling in the number of the smallest line the person could read for each line as shown below.

  right eye left eye
Home Visual Acuity Screening 20/___ 20/___

Remember, home vision tests are no substitutes for an exam by an eye care provider. Having an Ophthalmologist perform a comprehensive eye exam is may detect underlying health issues elsewhere in your body in addition to determining need for corrective lenses.

*All home eye testing procedures are from (American Academy of Ophthalmology)




Tell us what you think

Dallas ISD is asking parents to let us know their opinions about their children’s schools and other topics that will help us improve schools and the district overall. You can share your opinions by responding to the 2021 Parent Survey.

To share your opinion:

  1. Click on this link
  2. Choose your language
  3. Enter your child’s student ID number
  4. If you have more than one child in the same school, enter the student ID number of the oldest child (fill out only one survey per school)
  5. Choose the school
  6. Answer and submit the survey
  7. If you have children at more than one school, please follow the steps for each of the schools

If you have any questions about how your feedback will be used, you may call 972-925-3505.  If you experience technical difficulties with the survey, send an email to the survey team at

CUTX offers scholarship to educators

Dallas ISD educators can now apply for the $20,000 William H. Cotton Scholarship, established by Credit Union of Texas to honor the legacy of Cotton’s 46 years of dedication and service to Dallas ISD and the Credit Union of Texas.

The scholarship is awarded to one district educator or administrator seeking to pursue continuing post-baccalaureate education, including certifications, to further their career in the field of education for the benefit of the Dallas ISD community and its students. Cotton was a long-time principal and administrator who was also the first African-American president of the Dallas School Administrators Association. He retired in 2000 as an associate superintendent.

The completed scholarship application should be emailed or postmarked no later than June1.

Who is eligible?

  1. Applicant must be a CUTX member with a checking account prior to submitting an application.
  2. Checking account, and all other accounts at CUTX, must be in good standing.
  3. Must be a full-time or part-time Dallas ISD faculty or administrator.
  4. Must be intended to further your career in education and serve the Dallas ISD community during the course of the scholarship term.
  5. Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
  6. All required attachments must be submitted with your application (see below).
  7. CUTX employees and family members of CUTX employees are NOT eligible for this scholarship.

What you should attach.

  1. The completed application
  2. A professional resume.
  3. Proof of current Dallas ISD employment (contract or pay stub).
  4. Two current letters of recommendation. One letter must be from a professional/scholastic reference and one from a personal reference. Each letter should be dated and include the name, address, and phone number of the referrer. The letter must state how long and in what capacity the referrer knows the applicant.
  5. A typed essay. All applications must include a typed essay between 500-600 words about the top three challenges Dallas ISD faces in the next five years. You should also describe your goals and vision to overcome each of these challenges.


The rules

Incomplete applications or those missing any required attachments will not be considered.

Applications postmarked after the deadline will not be considered.

Scholarship funds will be paid directly to the educational institution. Continued disbursement of scholarship funds requires a grade of C or better in a graded course and passing in a pass/fail course.

The scholarship value will be awarded in increments of $5,000 per semester over a period of four semesters.

Email the completed scholarship and attachments to Email is preferred, but you can mail to William H. Cotton Scholarship Committee, Credit Union of Texas, P.O. Box 7000, Allen, Texas 75013-1305






Special education transition resources

The Special Education Department will be helping families prepare their children for life after high school through its Transition Fair 2021. The three-day fair will offer information and resources through a variety of session taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 13–15.

The event will feature guest speakers and interactive activities that target key topics and areas of support to ensure families are knowledgeable of resources needed for students to reach lifelong goals.

Day #1–April 13th: GET READY

  • Vocational and Information Sessions

Day #2–April 14th: GET SET

  • College, Career, and Military Readiness

Day #3—April 15th: GO

  • Agencies and Resources

Register at


Eye fitness

In today’s technology rich environments, eyes are continuously fixed on the computer monitor during the day and smartphones or other hand-held devices after hours. This constant strain and stress on the eyes can give rise to vision problems have given rise to eye problems. Fortunately, a series of simple exercises can restore your eye fitness.

Whether you use these suggested eye exercises or download an app that guides you through other activities to give your eyes a rest and keep them in fighting shape, benefits of eye fitness include:

  • Improvements to general vision
  • Lower risk of developing eye diseases
  • Lower incidence of dry eyes
  • Reduction in eye strain
  • Improvement in concentration
  • Boost to peripheral vision

Exercise your eyes

  • Relax your eye muscles by placing your hands together palm to palm and rub them together briskly to warm them up. Place your palms gently over your eyes and allow your eyes to relax. Do not let light in. Do this whenever you have time during the day.
  • Before going to sleep, massage your eye lids and eye muscles by gently rubbing your finger in a circular direction for at least two minutes. Massaging your eyes can help to relax your eye muscles.
  • Constantly blinking your eyes is a very simple way to keep your eyes fresh and avoid eyestrain. Computer users should blink every three to four seconds.
  • During the day take eye breaks from the computer and change your range of vision by focusing your eyes on an object that is far away and looking back at a nearby object. Repeat this transition several times.
  • Without moving your head, switch your vision to look to the left and to the right. You can do this by simply looking to each side or by following a pen or pencil as you move it from the center to the side, back to the center and the to the other side.

While exercising your eyes can help you stay fit, remember that regular exam with a professional are recommended.

Don’t stress

Can you recognize the signs of stress and do you know how to manage it? Managing stress is part of maintaining good mental health.

You can learn more about why mental health is important and how to maintain it by attending Dallas ISD’s Mental Health Matters Virtual Symposium on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, hosted by Mental Health Services will feature recorded presentations and a live Q&A. There will be English and Spanish presentations on topics such as parenting, bullying, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and more. For more information or to register, please visit

Until then, if you are having stress or other mental health issues, Lifeworks, the district’s employee assistance program can help.

The first step in managing stress is to become aware of the early warning signs so you address the sources of stress in your life and treat stress with proven techniques. Once you learn to recognize your own reactions to stress, you can begin to treat it effectively. Some signs and symptoms you might notice include:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • headaches
  • working to exhaustion
  • being irritable
  • loss of appetite for food, fun or sex
  • stomach pain or upset stomach
  • neck or back pain
  • fatigue
  • tearfulness
  • smoking or drinking more
  • loss of sense of humor
  • forgetfulness
  • trembling, nervous tics
  • chest pain
  • heart palpitations or shortness of breath
  • excessive perspiration
  • eating too much or too little
  • over-exercise
  • dry mouth
  • feeling tired/lack of energy
  • obsessive behavior
  • loss of interest in other people
  • a feeling that everything is pointless
  • inability to focus and concentrate
  • high levels of anxiety and worry

If you are experiencing five or more from the above list, you may be suffering from stress and should consider ways to manage it more effectively. Each of us responds to stress differently. Chronic stress contributes to heart disease and heart attacks. It also suppresses our immune system leaving us more vulnerable to disease.

Lifeworks offers tips and resources to help Dallas ISD employees deal with stress in a productive and healthy way. Visit or for more information.

You can also download this guide to managing stress and this guide and resources to help you deal with thoughts of self-harm.