Rumors FAQ

RUMOR FAQ

DeSoto ISD has seen a number of concerns issued on social media platforms related to recent changes in the district. In an effort to dispel rumors and correct misinformation, the district is working to offer responses to some of the common questions and concerns cited online.

1.    RUMOR: DeSoto ISD is cutting all Fine Arts programs in the district.

  1. The Texas Education Agency requires that three of the four major fine arts subjects be offered at middle school level in 6A districts. These areas include Art, Theater, Band, and Choir. DeSoto ISD will continue to offer Art, Band, and Choir at all of district middle schools, however, the district has cut the Theater Arts program from all district middle schools.
  2. Below, is an outline of the PROPOSED changes to arts courses for students and how such courses may be impacted by programmatic changes to DeSoto ISD’s Fine Arts offerings:
  1. Theater: In high school, students can take Theater 1 or Tech Theater 1 through Theater 4 or Tech Theater 4 without having been enrolled in middle school theater.
  2. Art: Students are enrolled in Art 1, Art 2, Art 3 in sequence in middle school. Students can take Art 1 through Art 4 in high school without having been enrolled in middle school art classes.
  3. Dance: DeSoto ISD will not offer dance programs at the middle school level; middle school dance will continue as a grant-funded option for students in the district. McCowan Middle School offers a fine arts magnet program that has expanded fine arts course opportunities to include dance through the grant-funded Academies for Academic Enhancement and Excellence, or A2E2, magnet program. A2E2 is working collaboratively to ensure DeSoto ISD has the ability to continue to offer excellent programming through the magnet.
  4. Orchestra: DeSoto ISD will eliminate orchestra at McCowan MS due to an abnormal matriculation pattern for students at DHS at this time.
  5. Band: Middle School Band will continue to be offered to district middle school students, however, a band position at each middle school has been eliminated. The district will continue to work with the Fine Arts Department to ensure the these programs have the support and resources needed to continue to provide outstanding arts educational experiences for all students at the middle school level.


 2. 
RUMOR: Middle School Athletics will take place before or after school.

  1. The PROPOSED decision is a means to apply staffing guidelines and right size the district.
  1. Middle school athletic period will proceed  as normal. However, coaches are expected to teach a full course load in their respective subjects and will not have additional off periods during athletics. The decision is a means to apply staffing guidelines and right size the district.

 3. RUMOR: All Middle School Athletic Trainers are gone.

  1. All middle school athletes will receive treatment and care from high school medical training staff.
  2. Decision is in line with area high schools with regard to the number of high school trainers employed in DeSoto ISD. Prior to this decision, we were at the high end of the hiring spectrum, now, aligned with other area high school standards.
  1. Number of Athletic Trainers employed around the DFW Area

                                                  HS     MS

  • Cedar Hill                  3         1
  • Duncanville              4         3
  • Waxahachie             3
  • Grand Prairie          3
  • SGP                               3
  • Lancaster                   3        1
  • Mansfield                   2*
  • Arlington                    2*
  • Birdville                       2
  • HEB                                2
  • Red Oak                       2
  • Irving                             2
  • Keller                            3
  • Fort Worth                2*
  • Dallas                            2*

* - per campus


4. RUMOR: DeSoto ISD is cutting more than 300 teachers:

  1. In reviewing the most recent numbers regarding reductions and resignations, here is where we stand:
  • There are a total of 198 individuals who are affected by the reduction of positions.
  • There were a total of 40 resignations (23 elementary and 17 secondary) that were received and therefore will not be coded as a Reduction in Force.
  • There are 10 targeted vacancies that will be closed.
  • There are 6 positions that will be closed at central office, due to attrition, at the end of the school year.
  • Of the 198, 11 administrators are included because we will have three less campus administrator positions next year. However, the district will still have to hire eight of the 11 positions back.  

This brings the total number of reduced positions to 246. This number covers the

      following staffing areas:

  • Teachers: 166
  • Paraprofessionals: 34
  • Professional Support: 15
  • Central Admin: 28
  • Cutting 3 campus administrators--Assistant Principals
    • All probationary administrators were released; 11 were released due to probationary contracts;


5. RUMOR: DeSoto ISD has no plans to address increased class sizes.

  1. At the April 8, 2019, Special Called Board Meeting, district administrators outlined the 2019-2020 Academic Priorities for teacher supports which included plans to support campuses and teachers in managing student behavior and discipline. The plan includes the following which is currently in development for implementation for the upcoming school year:
  1. Right sizing classes as based on staffing allocations and student enrollment.
  2. Designing campus culture plans and classroom culture plans and trainings to support classroom management and behavioral management.
  3. Developing a sound structure for Professional Learning Communities to improve quality of learning and instruction to more deeply engage students in more impactful learning experiences which will also improve culture and climate.
  4. Responding to data and feedback from students and teachers in our recent climate survey.


6. RUMOR: Veteran teachers being cut.

  1. Staffing decisions for teachers were not negatively based on tenure. Staffing decisions were aligned with criteria set forth in DFFB Local and could have been the result of poor past evaluations, lack of certification or lapse in certification. The criteria for any and all decisions were made in accordance with DFFB Local.

 
7. RUMOR: Class sizes will be 35 students per teacher.

a. Classroom ratios are as follows:

  • PK4: Ratio will 22:1 with an aide in each class
  • Elementary (K-4th grade): Ratio will be 24:1
  • Elementary (5th grade): Ratio will be 27:1
  • Middle School (6th -8th grade): Ratio will be 28:1
  • High School: In core classes, the ratio will be 33:1

Note: These ratios provide a cap and an estimate to class sizes for the upcoming school year and are not necessarily the actual class ratios. Classes may have ratios that are well below these figures.


8. RUMOR: No more ISS.

a. DeSoto ISD will still utilize In-School-Suspension, or ISS, as a means to support school disciplinary concerns. Rather than the ISS setting continue to be managed by a campus athletic coach, the ISS setting will be overseen by an aide assigned to cover in-school suspension.

 

 

Looking to clarify additional information you may have received, send an email detailing your questions and concerns to INFO@DeSotoISD.org.