District receives $28 million for strategic compensation

Dallas ISD teachers will see additional compensation thanks to $28 million the district will receive as part of HB3 Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA) for strategic compensation this fall.

This week, Dallas ISD was named one of only 26 districts statewide to receive approval for participation in the HB3 Teacher Incentive Allotment, passed by the 86th Texas Legislature in June 2019. The TIA seeks to provide a six-figure salary for teachers who prioritize teaching in high needs areas and rural district campuses. Under the TIA, approved districts submit highly effective teachers for a state designation of Recognized, Exemplary, or Master, based upon their performance and impact on student growth.

Because the district’s Teacher Excellence Initiative system meets the criteria outlined in HB3 for teacher effectiveness, the district has submitted nearly 2800 TEI-eligible Distinguished and near-Distinguished teachers for state designation.

These Teacher Incentive Allotment funds will serve to strengthen and sustain the district’s existing TEI compensation system by ensuring a market-competitive base salary at all experience and effectiveness levels, including a $100,000 salary for teachers earning a Master effectiveness level under TEI.

In addition, the district will leverage these TIA funds to expand equitable access to highly effective teachers at High-Priority and ACE campuses, where Distinguished teachers may earn up to an additional $18,000 in stipends annually.

Dallas ISD remains committed to improving the quality of instruction and placing an effective teacher in front of every child. As a result of TEI compensation and additional stipends by campus assignment, effective teachers in Dallas now have a defined path to a six-figure salary by serving Dallas ISD students.

More information about the Teacher Incentive Allotment and the Teacher Excellence Initiative can be found online here.

Staff can ask questions during Reentry Q&A sessions

The start of the 2020 school year is right around the corner. With the decision made to open schools Tuesday, Sept. 8, Dallas ISD is preparing to welcome staff to the new normal of an unprecedented school year. Current plans are to open schools with both in-person and remote learning options.

The district is holding three virtual information sessions to answer questions and to reassure staff that safety is the district’s top priority. The goal is to share information about the variety of protective measures the district is taking to keep everyone healthy.

Separate sessions are scheduled for the staffs of the Operations Division, campuses and central offices. The meetings will feature information about:

  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • reentry safety measures
  • cleaning and sanitizing protocols
  • remote work and employee leaves
  • instructional models, and
  • testing and contact tracing in the event of positive COVID cases

Staff will also be able to ask questions, and sessions will be recorded for later viewing.

All sessions will be held via Zoom webinar. Registration links for the campus and central staff meetings are listed below.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Campus Staff

Monday, August 17, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Register in advance for this webinar at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Central Staff 

Monday, Aug 17, 2020 at 1:30 PM
Register in advance for this webinar at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

You are invited to register for a Zoom webinar: Reentry Q&A for Operations Staff

Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 10 AM
Register in advance for this webinar at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


El comienzo del año escolar está a la vuelta de la esquina. Se tomó la decisión de reabrir las escuelas el martes, 8 de septiembre, y Dallas ISD se prepara para recibir al personal en la nueva normalidad de un año escolar sin precedentes. Actualmente, los planes son reabrir las escuelas ofreciendo tanto la opción educativa presencial como la virtual.

El distrito realizará tres sesiones informativas virtuales para responder a preguntas y recalcar que la seguridad es la prioridad de Dallas ISD. El objetivo es compartir información sobre todas las medidas de protección que está implementando el distrito para mantenernos sanos a todos.

Se tienen programadas sesiones separadas para el personal de la división de operaciones, personal escolar y personal de las oficinas centrales. En las reuniones se presentará información sobre:

  • el equipo de protección personal (PPE)
  • medidas de seguridad de reingreso
  • protocolos de limpieza y desinfección
  • trabajo a distancia y licencias para empleados
  • modelos de instrucción y
  • pruebas y rastreo de contactos en casos positivos de COVID-19

El personal podrá hacer preguntas y las sesiones serán grabadas para que las puedan ver en otro momento.

Todas las sesiones se llevarán a cabo a través de Zoom y se requiere que se registre para participar. Los enlaces para registrarse son únicos para su respectiva sesión y se pueden encontrar abajo. Solamente la reunión para el personal de Operaciones se llevará a cabo en inglés con interpretación en español.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión: Reentry Q&A for Campus Staff

Lunes, 17 de agosto del 2020 a las 10:30 AM

Regístrese con anticipación en:
Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión. Reentry Q&A for Central Staff 

Lunes, 17 de agosto del 2020 a la 1:30 PM
Regístrese con anticipación en:
Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.

Está invitado a registrarse para la reunión: Reentry Q&A for Operations Staff

Martes, 18 de agosto del 2020 a las 10 AM
Regístrese con anticipación en:

Después de registrarse, recibirá un email confirmándolo que contendrá información para participar en la reunión.


Stay safe: Wear a mask while in district facilities

The safety of staff and visitors is the top priority for Dallas ISD as staff continues to transition to work in district facilities. We want to remind all staff that face masks should be worn at all times while on district property in accordance with district and Dallas County guidelines.

Staff returning to the central administration and campus buildings should expect to follow established practices and protocols designed to ensure that all employees and visitors in district facilities feel safe and secure as we effectively navigate the complexities of a “new normal.”

If you have any questions or concerns about face masks or other safety measures, please email HumanCapitalManagement@dallasisd.org.


Just three weeks left to enroll

Annual enrollment ends at 5 p.m. on Aug. 21, so don’t dally in logging into the Benefits Portal to review your benefits and make changes. For example, you might want to review the new vision plan option that allows you to get glasses and contacts in the same year.

This year, you have a choice of three plan options: basic, moderate, or premium (new). If you are currently enrolled in the premium plan and you take no action, you will be automatically enrolled in the moderate plan for 2020–2021. The new premium plan benefit allows you to purchase contacts AND glasses, or two pairs of glasses, or two orders of contacts. There is also a higher allowance for frames and lower copays for this plan than the other two vision options. Warby Parker and GlassesUSA are part of the many in-network providers available.

Individual virtual enrollment sessions are being scheduled daily through the end of annual enrollment to answer any questions or to help you enroll. Appointments will be held virtually through the district’s computerized systems. However, if you do not have access to a computer, phone appointments are available. If you need assistance, email benefits@dallasisd.org or call (972) 925-4300 to schedule an appointment.

District announces leadership changes

Several changes in the district’s leadership structure became effective Aug. 1 to fill positions left vacant by promotions and retirements. The new reporting structure establishes continuity and enhances Dallas ISD’s efforts to educate all students.

Jolee Healey has been named Chief of School Leadership. Healey has served in Dallas ISD as a teacher, assistant principal, principal of a Blue Ribbon school, executive director, ACE executive director, and, most recently, deputy chief of School Leadership. Healy also has led the district’s Leader Excellence, Advancement, and Development (LEAD) program, which focuses on coherence across steppingstone leadership roles to provide a robust pipeline for Dallas ISD. These varied experiences have helped her establish significant partnerships with outstanding Dallas ISD educators and stakeholders. Healey graduated from Texas A&M–College Station, then earned a master’s degree in education from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently seeking a doctorate in educational leadership from Texas A&M–Commerce.


Shannon Trejo was named Chief Academic Officer. She had previously been acting in the position following Ivonne Durant’s retirement. Trejo has 28 years of educational experience in various capacities, including as assistant superintendent for Language, Literacy and Social Studies. In that role, she led six departments—Dyslexia/504, Reading Language Arts, Social Studies, Dual Language and English Learner Services, World Languages, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support—and focused on the creation and implementation of a districtwide curriculum. Trejo earned a bachelor ’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas at Arlington. She is currently seeking a doctorate at Texas A&M University.


Roshonda Clayton-Brown has been named deputy chief of School Leadership and will oversee School Leadership A. After several years as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in Dallas ISD, Clayton-Brown became executive director over the Hillcrest/W.T. White elementary cluster. Before being named deputy chief, she served as executive director over the ACE campuses and worked with principals and other staff on the overall effectiveness of instructional practices to ensure all students achieved academically.


Mark Ramirez has been named deputy chief of School Leadership and will oversee School Leadership B. Ramirez has served as executive director in School Leadership. Prior to that, Ramirez was principal at Moisés E. Molina High School after a year as science coordinator at Harlingen CISD. Ramirez has served in a variety of roles in Dallas ISD since 1999, including as a bilingual teacher, science coach and associate principal. He is also an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. Ramirez has published two science books—Force and Motion and Energy All Around. He earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Texas Tech University, a master’s degree in educational leadership and policy studies from The University of Texas at Arlington and a doctorate in education from Dallas Baptist University.


Sharon Quinn has been named deputy chief of Racial Equity. Quinn is experienced in increasing student achievement at all levels. She began her educational leadership career in 2000 as a principal in Houston ISD, where she also served as regional executive principal. In 2010, Quinn became deputy superintendent of Schools and Administration at Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 in South Carolina, where she worked to improve student achievement and graduation rates. She joined Dallas ISD as deputy chief of School Leadership. Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in business technology and a master’s in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. She earned a doctorate in educational administration and human resource development from Texas A&M University–College Station.


Deputy chief Leslie Williams, a long-time educator and Dallas ISD leader, will now oversee the district’s minority and women-owned business enterprises program as it relates to Bond 2015 and potential Bond 2020 work. He will also serve as a liaison to the community on construction projects. Williams has 43 years of experience in education, which includes development and execution of strategic planning initiatives that effectively lead campus administrators and teachers to sustain student academic excellence and campus operational efficiency. In addition to serving in different leadership roles in the district—including teacher, principal, executive director, and assistant superintendent—Williams is also a graduate of Dallas ISD. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and a master’s in educational administration from Prairie View A&M University.


Elena Hill has been named assistant superintendent for Early Childhood. Hill is a focused and dedicated educator with 25 years of experience, who started her career in early childhood education. She has continually advocated for children having a strong start to school. Her career with Dallas ISD started in 1997 when she became a kindergarten teacher at Edna Rowe Elementary School. She has been an assistant principal and principal at C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School and most recently served as executive director in School Leadership. She has a bachelor’s degree in child development/psychology from the University of North Texas, a master’s degree in elementary education from Texas A&M University–Commerce, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of North Texas, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dwayne Thompson will serve as chief business officer responsible for the Finance, Operations and Construction divisions. The deputy chiefs of Operations, Finance and Construction will report directly to him.

For other leadership changes announced this summer, click here and here.


Alternate work arrangement forms are available

As employees continue to transition to work on-site and prepare for the start of school on Sept. 8, the district has implemented plans and procedures for the safety and well-being of staff, students and visitors.

One of these procedures is an alternative work arrangement option that allows an employee to work off-site under certain extenuating circumstances. An AWA allows for flexibility in the work location, based on the needs and resources of the district and the department [See DK Local].

Forms are available for central staff, campus staff and teachers to request an AWA to work off-site. The requests must be submitted at least five business days in advance of the requested commencement date of the arrangement and approved. Teachers who have an underlying medical condition should indicate that on the form. The forms and a guide for employees and supervisors can be found in the Staff Resources section of the staff reentry page.

An AWA request form involving medical issues will be reviewed by the Benefits Department and may require documentation. An AWA implemented during a widespread crisis, government shutdown or other emergency will terminate upon the district’s ability to resume normal operations.

Start dates

Non campus-based employees who can complete the work required for their position remotely may, with supervisor’s written approval, continue working remotely through Aug. 26, 2020. Employees who cannot complete all work duties remotely will be required to report to work starting Aug. 3 or as determined by their supervisor based on the needs and workflow of their department.

Departments may develop a rotation schedule to ensure district work needs are met and employee safety is maintained. These schedules will be organized and maintained by the supervisors of the department/division based on the department’s needs.

For details on specific groups, download the revised start and end date calendar and the frequently asked questions for reentry.

At this time, the plan is that on Aug. 27, all central district functions should return to normal operations—which may include additional measures and protocols related to COVID-19.


Keep safety in mind when returning to the worksite

The safety and well-being of all staff and visitors are a priority for Dallas ISD as the district begins to shift from working at home to working in the office, starting Monday, Aug. 3. Staff returning to centra and campus buildings should expect to follow established practices and protocols designed to ensure that all employees and visitors in district facilities feel safe and secure as we effectively navigate the complexities of a “new normal.”

All staff who return to work on-site are required to view a safety video available in Cornerstone before returning or within two days of reporting back to the worksite.

The measures being implemented include more frequent sanitizing of public and work areas, temperature checks before entering buildings, social distancing, access to hand sanitizer throughout the building, and wearing masks. For more information on the safety measures visit www.dallasisd.org/educationevolution to download the playbook and other resources.

Getting to know Marlon Shears

Marlon Shears
Deputy Chief of Information Technology
Time in position: 19 months
Time in Dallas ISD: 19 months
Years in Education: 19

What do you do in your position?

I am responsible for the district’s technology infrastructure, data centers and campus security systems. On a daily basis the team makes sure all the networks are up, the applications are running, and we have internet services. In addition to making sure the camera and access control systems are operational, we procure the software used throughout the district, such as Office 365 and Adobe. We have implemented the Service Now support hub, multifactor authentication and the mylogin.dallasisd.org portal, a one-stop access to applications.

The last few months have been particularly busy for the department because it also takes care of requests for remote access (VPN), password management and log-ins—everything having to do with operations and keeping technology working 24/7/365. Luckily, we had put the infrastructure foundation in place that allowed us to pivot quickly to support all stakeholders. If systems are not running, it impacts instruction and other functions like payroll, grade reporting, PEIMS, etc. We are part of the team that keeps the engine running.

The team’s efforts the past few months also included managing the 1 million Project that donated 10,000 hotspots for students before COVID-19 shut down the district. Then, the team managed the purchase of 10,000 more hotspots as well as donations to ensure that students learning at home would have access to the internet.

What do you enjoy most/what is your favorite thing about what you do in your position?

That’s easy: Giving back. I enjoy the ability to use my skill set and knowledge to give back to students and provide them access to a foundation and the ability to achieve and to become the leaders who will take care of me in the future. To me, that is priceless and what keeps me from going to the private sector. I stay in education because you can make a difference and see that difference realized. In the private sector, it is all about the money and the return for the investors, but in education, the return is the impact on students’ lives and seeing them gain the ability to be the next leader, the next politician or the next superintendent.

What was your favorite cafeteria food growing up?

When I did eat at the cafeteria, I would say hot dog on a stick.

What is the best advice ever given to you by a teacher?

It is not about how many times you fail, but how many times you try.

Who in education do you most admire or consider a role model?

Anyone who dedicates their career to teaching the next generation.

What do you find most rewarding about working in education?

What is most rewarding about education is that you can have a direct impact on what the future will be. Education provides us the ability to impact lives and the futures of the next generations.

When you take notes during a meeting—paper or electronic? Or is it all in your head?

It is a mix of all three, but with the “in your head” option, it is more about listening than it is about capturing what is said.

What is your favorite restaurant? Food?

This isn’t fair, having just one selection—I would say Mexican.

What is your favorite app or the app you first open every day?

Outlook! But I would be cheating there. I would say stocks apps. I love the stock market.

What book first made you love reading?

Green Eggs and Ham

What is your favorite podcast?

The Curious Investor

What do you appreciate most in your friends?


What is your idea of happiness?

The ability to give back.

What is your favorite music? Song? Artist?

Old school R&B! Luther Vandross, Freddy Jackson, Anita Baker

What is your favorite show (TV or streaming)?


What do your friends and family most appreciate about you?

I’m funny and keep it real.

What is your favorite gadget?

Robot vacuum—I suggest everyone get one.

Are you Team Apple or Team Android?

Really, I’m team Apple.

Are you a dog, cat, fish or no pets person? Why?

Got to go with dog.




Reserve a time to get help

Choosing the best health plan and additional benefits for you and your family is not always simple, but the Benefits Department is there to help you navigate through the enrollment process.

Starting Aug. 3, Benefits is offering individual virtual appointments with experts who can answer questions to help you better understand the changes and new offerings included in this year’s benefits package and guide you through the enrollment process.

Appointments are available between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through Aug. 21 and can be scheduled by emailing benefits@dallasisd.org or calling (972) 925-4300. Appointments will fill up fast, so make yours today!


Give a day, get a day

Some health events are planned and some are not, but either way, the sick leave bank could come in handy when you need paid time off to take care of yourself for your loved ones.

Whether you are planning on having a baby during the year or you need surgery with a long recovery, as a participant in the sick leave bank you could have access to up to 20 sick leave bank days or 160 hours per school year. The SLB is a pool of local days contributed by employees to be used by members of the bank who are on an approved medical leave and have exhausted their own accumulated vacation, local, and state days. DEC [Regulation]

To participate, you need to donate one local day annually. To take advantage of the benefits, you can submit a sick leave bank application to the Benefits Review Committee (BRC) at benefitsreviewcommittee@dallasisd.org.

It’s easy to enroll during the benefits enrollment period that ends Aug. 21. For more information, download the flyer with instructions.

Need help or have questions? Contact Benefits at (972) 925-4300 or email Benefits@dallasisd.org for assistance.