New Dallas ISD grant program will expand innovation in neighborhood schools

The Dallas ISD Office of Transformation and Innovation has launched a new initiative to expand innovation in neighborhood schools.

The Innovation Engine Grant Program will annually award up to 20 neighborhood schools $50,000 in seed money to help them explore and implement innovative education models. Interested school teams can go here to learn more and apply by the Sept. 6 deadline.

“The purpose of this program is to deepen and expand innovation in neighborhood schools throughout the District,” OTI Strategic Development Manager Courtney Rogers said.

The OTI Department is hosting three information sessions about the program in July and August at the Linus D. Wright Administration Building, 9400 N. Central Expressway.

From creating a space for social and emotional learning to training staff on next generation instructional strategies, the schools can use the funding in a variety of ways to support innovation on their campus.

The new grant program comes as the OTI Department readies for the 2019–2020 school year that will see eight additional Dallas ISD neighborhood campuses become innovation schools. The eight new innovation schools will have one of two academic models: Personalized Learning, which focuses on a student’s interests, talents and goals; and STEAM, which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

“We are committed to accelerating innovation in Dallas ISD by bringing more educational choices and innovative programs into our families’ backyards,” said Angie Gaylord, Dallas ISD Deputy Chief of Transformation and Innovation.

Dallas ISD launches summer learning with new opportunities for teachers

Dallas ISD is turning up the heat on learning opportunities this summer by rolling out a brand new type of professional development experience called Learning Academies.

Teachers will have it made in the shade for the 2019-2020 school year after they attend one of these conference-style learning academies this June. Attendees will hear from nationally-recognized keynote speakers, engage in a wide variety of breakout sessions, explore thought-provoking demonstration areas, and enjoy multiple types of interactive, hands-on learning experiences.

Keitha Shelby of the Dallas ISD Professional and Digital Learning Department called the summer learning opportunities a big upgrade. Next generation learning experiences have been designed for teachers to become content and technology integration ninjas, to collaborate with colleagues to generate new ideas and innovative solutions for universal educational challenges, and to expand their understanding of how to differentiate instruction to create culturally responsive classrooms for students.

“The district is not just looking to support the whole child, we are looking at how we can support the whole teacher,” Shelby said.

Learning Academies will be hosted at D. A. Hulcy Middle School, 9339 S. Polk St.  Sessions and accompanying topics are scheduled for:

  • Whole Child Development (June 10–13)
  • STEAM & Technology Integration (June 17–20)
  • Meeting the Needs of All Students (June 24–27)

Teachers view the 2019 Future of Learning Summer Learning Guide Catalog and Summer Professional Learning Agreement at www.dallasisd.org/pdl.

Munch Madness winner is announced

After many calorie guesses during Munch Madness, Luis Rosado of Procurement Services emerged the champion. In addition to the admiration of the other participants, Rosado also won a $25 gift card when his guess came close to the 780 calories for Texas Tech—pork rib patties, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies and brownie meal. Munch Madness is a fundraiser by the district’s Core 4 Team on behalf of the United Negro College Fund. Contributions made during the Munch Madness events benefit the scholarship fund, and money raised by Dallas ISD will go to graduating seniors from district schools.

 

Information for staff regarding board action on TASB salary study

Trustees have approved the recommendations of a salary study conducted by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) calling for mid-year salary increases for many employees in Food & Child Nutrition Services, Police & Security, Maintenance & Facilities Services, Construction Services and Transportation Services. This approval will result in pay scale changes and compensation increases for 61 percent of employees in those departments effective March 1, 2019.

The following information answers questions employees may have about the board action.

What was the purpose of the study?

The TASB review compared the pay and the pay scale for various Dallas ISD Operations jobs to the average pay for similar positions in the Dallas labor market. Comparisons were based on jobs requiring similar skills, qualifications, and responsibilities and included both school districts and other Dallas employers.

What were the review’s findings?

Entry level pay for a number of Operations positions was identified as a challenge in the recruitment and retention of staff.  Many of the hard to fill positions were found to be in grounds, custodial and food services.  The study also verified that compensation in many job categories is reflective of the market and appropriate.  Another recommendation was to adjust pay scales for certain job categories.

What action did the board take to address these concerns?

  • Raise the minimum wage for all employees to $12 per hour.
  • Add adjustments for experienced employees in the bottom half of the pay range (i.e., those below market pay).
  • Reset pay ranges to match market pay scales.
  • Adjust the pay for other groups of employees during the regular budget cycle.
  • Create a new pay structure for Construction Services.

What will these changes cost the district?

Based on the Board’s action approximately, 1,900, or 61 percent of employees in Police & Security, Maintenance, Food Services, Custodial Services, Construction Services, and Transportation Services will receive immediate salary increases ranging from 9.6 percent to 15 percent. The price tag for the raises for the remainder of the fiscal year is approximately $1.6 million, which will be covered with funds from the district’s general operating budget and special revenue funds.

Are there plans to review the salaries of other employees?

A second TASB study is currently underway to review the salaries of all other employees. The findings are expected to be presented to the board in April, and any recommendations for salary adjustments will be considered as part of the district’s 2019-2020 budget deliberations.

If you have questions regarding the study or how it may impact you, please contact notifycomp@dallasisd.org.

Refer a friend to Dallas ISD’s Alternative Certification Teaching Program

Do you know a friend or family member who might be interested in becoming a certified teacher? Refer an aspiring educator to the Dallas ISD Alternative Certification Teaching Program today! The first 100 Dallas ISD employees to refer a candidate will receive a token of appreciation. Simply complete the referral form by close of business Thursday, February 28, 2019. The Alternative Certification team will reach out directly to follow up with recommended candidates. For more information, go here to visit the Alternative Certification web page.

Dallas ISD exceeds giving goal for United Way

Thanks to the generosity of Dallas ISD employees, the district raised $157, 880.19, which exceeded the $150,000 for the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. The funds raised will likely benefit hundreds of district families through a variety of programs under the United Way umbrella.

“We are immensely grateful to our wonderful Dallas ISD employees for stepping up to support the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas,” Dallas ISD Chief of Staff Pam Lear said. “These contributions will have a positive impact on our students who receive valuable services—from pre-school preparation to college readiness— provided by United Way.”

Information fair for staff interested in teaching, advanced degrees

Dallas ISD is partnering with Dallas County Community College District, Ana G. Mendez University, University of North Texas at Dallas, and Texas Tech University to offer a series of informational events for all district staff who are interested in becoming teachers and advancing their careers in the district.

The first in the series of informational fairs will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, March 2, at Ana G. Mendez University, 3010 N. Stemmons Freeway.

Representatives from DCCCD, Ana G. Mendez University, UNT Dallas, and Texas Tech will be at the event to conduct presentations and to host breakout sessions to speak with interested parties about how their program works. They will address information that includes how to complete degree requirements for those who need to finish a bachelor’s degree; how to obtain a master’s degree in education or business; and how to become a certified, credentialed teacher in Texas. Financial aid advisors will be there to discuss FAFSA, scholarships, and other financial aid options.

Participants are encouraged to bring for review multiple copies of their resume and their college transcripts even if still working on completing the degree.

To register for the event and to receive additional details, visit the following link: https://tinyurl.com/y7kasy7o.

Additional events at other locations around Dallas will be announced at a later date.

Feb. 9 Read-In needs volunteers to promote love of reading, culture and learning

Volunteers are needed to support the annual Dallas ISD African American READ-IN, a project of trustees Joyce Foreman, Justin Henry and Lew Blackburn and the Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office. The event is designed to promote a love of reading, celebrate cultures and support diverse learners in grades K-5. District employees are invited to serve as volunteers to help with pre-event setup, registration, arrival and departure of students from buses, distribution of breakfast and lunch, crowd control and workshop facilitation.

African American Read-In: Poetry and Literature in Motion 
February 9, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
Justin F. Kimball High School
3606 S. Westmoreland Road
Dallas, Texas 75233

To sign up to assist:

If you are an approved (cleared) Dallas ISD Volunteer:
To help with set-up, Friday, February 8, click here.
To assist at the day of the event, Saturday, February 9, please click here.

To become a Dallas ISD Volunteer and complete an application and orientation, click here.

Once approved as a volunteer, choose below:
To help with set-up, Friday, February 8, click here.
To assist at the day of the event, Saturday, February 9, please click here.

For additional information contact Dallas ISD Volunteer Services 972-925-5440 or volunteer@dallasisd.org

Teachers sought for dual credential program

To support the district’s early college high school initiative, Texas A&M University has created a program to recruit and develop teachers who are certified to teach high school and college credit courses (dual credentialed teachers) in the following areas at the high school level: English, speech, government and psychology. The dual credentialing program is seeking teachers with a master’s degree in any area and at least a minimum of three years of high school teaching experience.

Those interested in the program should complete an interest form and attend one of the interest meetings to apply and interview for the program. The program is scheduled to begin Jan. 22, 2019.

  • 5-7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 17, in the first floor conference room at the H.B. Bell Building, 2909 N Buckner Blvd
  • 5-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 9, in Lab 62, Suite 1100, in the Linus D. Wright Dallas ISD Administration Building, 9400 N. Central Expressway.

For questions or additional information, contact Tiffany Gilmore at tigilmore@dallasisd.org or (972) 925-8915.