New accountability ratings show tremendous gains in Dallas ISD

Accountability ratings released today by the Texas Education Agency show that Dallas ISD is making tremendous gains.

The new state accountability system known as “A through F” grades school districts on student achievement, school progress/growth, and closing the achievement gap. Dallas ISD received a “B” letter grade and is home to six of the 12 schools that achieved the highest-possible score on the 2018 STAAR test, according to the TEA.

“We are proud of our tremendous gains in Dallas ISD, and our families, teachers and staff should feel great accomplishment in what we have done together,” Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said. “But this is not the finish line, we have just started this race. We still have much more work to do.”

Recent data continues to prove Dallas ISD schools are trending upward in academic achievement across multiple measures, with 66 percent of its campuses scoring 80 percent or higher on the new grading system. The scores are another indication that Dallas ISD students continue to narrow the achievement gap between the district and the state. A steep turnaround of Improvement Required campuses— coupled with strong performances in both reading and math—are significant achievements that can be attributed to the district’s rise.

Other factors for the district’s growth include the expansion of the collegiate academies, schools of choice, early learning programs, and a strategic compensation initiative that rewards teacher excellence.

Rising Academic Achievement in Dallas ISD includes:

  • Dallas ISD is home to six out of 12 schools that received the highest possible score of 99 on the 2018 STAAR.
  • Dallas ISD achieved a steep decline in the number of Improvement Required campuses, from 43 in 2013-2014 to four in 2017-2018.
  • More Dallas ISD students are meeting state standard on the STAAR exam, narrowing the gap between the district and the state:
    • 2013-2014: 27% Dallas ISD; 39% State
    • 2017-2018: 40% Dallas ISD; 47% State

Multicultural leaders work to ensure all races are well represented in Dallas ISD

As a professor who has taught students about the African American experience for more than 40 years, Dr. W. Marvin Dulaney has seen first-hand how bringing a multicultural approach to history and social studies helps students see themselves in the curriculum.

ulaney’s distinguished background made him an ideal member for Dallas ISD’s new Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council formed by the district’s Racial Equity Office. As an advisory council member, Dulaney joins leaders from many Dallas multicultural institutions in helping guide Dallas ISD to develop multicultural studies, experiences and opportunities for all students and staff.

“I’m encouraged to see that Dallas ISD is looking to make sure all of its students from different cultures and races are represented and empowered,” Dulaney said.

Dulaney was among the powerful voices at the Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council meeting held Aug. 13 at the Pan African Connection, which is owned by Akwete Tyehimba, who is one of the advisory council members. At the meeting, the advisory council members discussed strategies for bringing a multicultural lens to a Dallas ISD History Hackathon—which was the brainchild of advisory council member Jerry Hawkins, executive director of Dallas Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation—as well as language for an African American History Class.

Jamila Thomas, director of the Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office, said the advisory council members bring invaluable resources and knowledge that can benefit Dallas ISD students.

“It’s important to have the community voice at the table and make sure they are a formative part of the whole process,” she said. “These multicultural leaders are living and breathing this on a daily basis, and they are eager to work together to bring out the various cultures we represent in Dallas ISD.”

Dallas ISD formed the Racial Equity Office last school year to manage, implement and develop projects that align with a Racial, Socio-Economic, and Educational Equity resolution adopted by the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in December 2017.

“I am excited about all of the various efforts to bring Dallas ISD’s Racial Equity Office to life,” said Leslie Williams, deputy chief of the Racial Equity Office. “This is powerful.”

Special ceremony welcomes hundreds of bus drivers new to Dallas ISD

A special ceremony on Aug. 8 welcomed hundreds of bus drivers to Dallas ISD.

Dallas ISD is running its own transportation this school year after Dallas County residents voted Nov. 7 to dissolve Dallas County Schools (DCS). Previously, Dallas ISD contracted with DCS, a taxpayer-funded agency, to bus students.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa thanked the bus drivers and mechanics—many of whom previously worked with DCS—for their professionalism and eagerness to safely transport students.

“Our school board, our district, and the entire City of Dallas is indebted to your service,” Hinojosa said.

The Dallas ISD Transportation Service is still hiring several more bus drivers. Go here to apply.

Districtwide program aims to boost consistency in teaching curriculum

About 1,500 Dallas ISD school employees convened on July 25 at Wilmer-Hutchins High School to officially kick off a districtwide program to foster best classroom practices by emphasizing teamwork.

Campus Instructional Leadership Teams (CILT) are made up of five people, including the principal and teachers, and will help guide a more effective and consistent implementation of curriculum across the district. The CILT program had previously existed, but had been shelved the past few years.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and members of his Executive Leadership Team touted the benefits of working together to help ensure the best results for students. After hearing from district officials, CILT members broke into smaller sessions based on grade level and subject to focus on specifics.

The kickoff will be followed by five additional CILT group meetings before each six-week grading period begins to pinpoint what aspects of the curriculum will be the focus.

Staff emerge as rising leaders

Dallas ISD’s Leadership Development Program took nearly 30 district staff and turned them into the next leaders to watch.

For 10 months, participants took part in leadership lessons that were held at UT Dallas Jindal School of Management and at 9400 NCX. Lessons included:

  • DiSC Profile, Self-Awareness, and Teamwork
  • Dallas ISD Governance, Structure, and Operations
  • Culture
  • Talent
  • Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace and Boundary Spanning Leadership
  • Impact
  • Stakeholders

The participants were required to increase their understanding of high-level issues that affect Dallas ISD, including: managerial, legal, educational, and community issues. They also had to become knowledgeable in governance processes, serve on key leadership committees, and complete coursework.

Not only did participants build leadership capacity, but they were required to work cross-functionally as they increased their leadership skills.

Educators invited to free online workshop promoting success of immigrant students

A free interactive, online workshop is open to Dallas ISD educators and administrators to promote the success of immigrant and refugee students.

Teachers, administrators, librarians and volunteers can go here to register for free. The workshop—Immigrant Student Success: Strategies and Tools for K-12 and Adult Educators—will be held July 10–11 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

The workshop will explore how to:

  • Integrate immigration into the curriculum;
  • Build relationships with immigrant students, families and communities in perilous times;
  • Use storytelling to educate all students on immigration;
  • Empower both teachers and students;
  • Create more welcoming classrooms, and more.

District’s new Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council will ensure variety of cultures are celebrated

Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office established the Multicultural Studies and History Advisory Council.

This group will serve as an advocacy council for creating multicultural studies, experiences and opportunities for student and adult voices to be heard, engaged and expressed in education. This council will support the Racial Equity Office in its efforts to engage various sources from literature to oral history in an effort  to educate and celebrate a variety of cultures.

“This council marks a powerful moment in the history of Dallas ISD. We are excited to engage people from many different ethnic groups and cultures to empower all children,” said Leslie Williams, Deputy Chief of Racial Equity Office

Participates in this advisory council were from different educational entities from across the city of Dallas which included non-profits, local universities, Dallas County Community Colleges, arts community, film makers, artist,  faith-based organizations and more. Dallas ISD Racial Equity Office is creating a number of specific collective impact models that will serve as collaborative opportunities to engage Dallas ISD from a variety of different entry points.

“History comes from a variety of societal and cultural viewpoints. Therefore, it is critical to understand the historical context that has shaped the lived experiences of people of color,” said Jamila Thomas, Director of Racial Equity Office. “Equally important, is the opportunity to celebrate a variety of cultures that represent the beauty of diversity. If we can exemplify how students should value their individuality while celebrating those who may look, sound and experience life different, we can create a beautiful mosaic of educational spaces.”

Dallas ISD needs bus drivers for 2018-2019 school year

Following the dissolution of Dallas County Schools, Dallas ISD Student Transportation Services is taking on the responsibility for student transportation for the 2018-2019 school year.

Employees who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), or who are willing to obtain the necessary credentials to drive a bus, are asked to complete a brief survey to express their interest in serving as a driver. The assignment requires a commercial driver’s license and participation in mandatory training in addition to normal job responsibilities. Compensation will be provided for the additional work. Please respond to the survey by close of business Monday, May 21.

Student Transportation Employee Survey

Based on survey responses, Student Transportation Services will follow up with employees who are willing to serve as drivers to provide information about credentials, hours of service, compensation and other related details.

Thank your favorite educator during Teacher Appreciation Week

Dallas ISD is celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week May 7–12, and it’s an opportunity to recognize the tremendous work district educators do every day.

We need your help to give these educators the recognition they deserve!

Have good photo or a story about your favorite Dallas ISD teacher? Email it to thehub@dallasisd.org, or post the photo or story to social media with the hashtag #ThankATeacher and tag us on Twitter (@dallasschools), Facebook (@DallasISD) and Instagram (@DallasISD).

Are you a business offering a special discount to teachers this week? Email thehub@dallasisd.org, and we will share the best deals for teachers throughout the week.

Dallas ISD is home to thousands of highly qualified and certified teachers, and this is a week to thank them for helping students discover their potential.

Dallas ISD announces senior staff changes amid HCM chief’s retirement

Dallas ISD Chief of Human Capital Management Karry Chapman has announced her retirement effective June 30. Chapman began serving Dallas ISD as interim chief of HCM in February 2015 and was subsequently selected to permanently fill the position, bringing her extensive years of leadership in human resources to the district.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said, “Karry has been a great supporter and an important member of the leadership team.” We’re grateful for her dedication and service to the students and staff of this district and wish her well on her retirement.”

Houston ISD Chief of Staff Cynthia Wilson, who formerly served as Dallas ISD chief of staff, has agreed to return to Dallas ISD as chief of Human Capital Management.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson back and look forward to having her with us in this capacity,” Hinojosa said. “She is a dynamic leader, and I know she will do well.”

Wilson served as Dallas ISD chief of staff from 2015 to 2017 before joining Houston ISD. She will rejoin the district in her new leadership post July 1.

In addition, John Vega, executive director of the L.G. Pinkston feeder pattern, has been promoted to deputy chief of HCM effective June 1.

Effective today, Angie Gaylord has been appointed deputy chief of the Office of Transformation and Innovation. Gaylord, who was hired as executive director of Professional Development in 2016, has served as acting deputy chief of OTI since January.

“Angie has done an outstanding job in this position, and I’m confident she will continue to effectively lead the Office of Transformation and Innovation,” said Hinojosa.

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