April 3 MTSS Twitter chat to focus on best practices for student support

Teachers, counselors, and campus administrators are encouraged to participate in an April 3 Twitter chat hosted by Teaching and Learning highlighting best practices for instruction, intervention strategies and information supporting Multi-Tiered Systems of Support at each campus. A new initiative being implemented throughout the district, the MTSS framework is aimed at providing support for students in the areas of reading, mathematics, language, and engagement. The Twitter chat is set for 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, @DallasISDMTSS. For more information, contact Teaching and Learning at 972.925.8804.

Submit proposed names for campus and district facilities to Board Services by March 29

District staff members are reminded that all Dallas ISD facility and school names and name changes require approval by the district’s Board of Trustees. Board policy spells out the naming process and requires that proposed names of new facilities and changes to names of existing facilities be submitted to Board Services on the approved nomination form by April 1 of each year for consideration by trustees in June. Community members and employees are urged to go here to review the policy on facility/school namings. The site links to the required nomination form with guidelines for names and instructions to submit proposed names. Nominations should be submitted by 5 p.m., Friday, March 29, to meet the April 1 deadline. Questions about the process should be directed to Board Services at 972-925-3720.

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.

Junior League webinar set to help teachers win grants for classroom projects

Teachers looking for funding for classroom projects should mark their calendars for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, for the Junior League of Dallas’ live webinar designed to help teachers craft winning proposals. The webinar aims to help teachers prepare to submit grant proposals by the March 18 deadline and will feature tips and answers to common questions about creating effective grant proposals. Interested teachers can go here to download a flyer with instructions to access the webinar, which will also be available for later viewing.

Grants for Innovative Teaching is the Junior League of Dallas’ signature project. The grants provide up to $2,000 for special classroom projects. In 2018, the grants were awarded to 50 Dallas ISD teachers to fund projects ranging from large-scale art sculptures and educational videos to Lego robots and games designed to promote literacy and social skills.

Dallas ISD Toastmasters sponsor Feb. 27 open house

Dallas ISD Talk It Up! Toastmasters Club is recruiting employees who want to improve their leadership and communication skills. The club is hosting an open house at 6 p.m., Wed, Feb. 27, at the H.B. Bell School Support Services Building, 2909 N. Buckner Blvd., which is also the location of regular Wednesday meetings. The club is part of Toastmasters International, a global organization that offers public speaking and leadership training opportunities. Go here for a flyer with more info.

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