Katherine Johnson FAQ

Assessment and Eligibility

1. How did the district generate its eligible student list?
The district used data based on the eligibility requirements and students currently enrolled in the district.

2. Can currently enrolled students retake norm-referenced tests?
Currently enrolled students cannot retake norm-referenced tests if they already have scores for the previous (17-18) or current school (18-19) year. 

3. I was not informed about the original test date and feel my child was not prepared. Shouldn’t my child be able to retake the test?
When students took the IOWA in November 2018, there were no plans in place to launch an admissions-based Katherine Johnson. Therefore, students are unable to retake the test solely to determine if they meet eligibility requirements for the school. 

4. Other students get to take the IOWA now and my child does not. How is that fair?
Currently, enrolled students who do not have scores or did not take the test in November 2018 have the opportunity to take the IOWA or other norm-referenced test. As a norm-referenced test, the criteria used to score/norm the test will be different than the criteria used to score/norm the Fall 2018 test. It is based on Spring 2019 norms to ensure equity in scoring. 

5. My child’s STAAR scores are low. Will the district allow my child to take a norm-referenced test?
The district will not provide norm-referenced tests to students who have STAAR scores from the previous school year.

6. My child will receive 5th-grade STAAR scores back in early May. Will those scores be used to determine eligibility?
No. STAAR scores from last school year (17-18) are used to determine eligibility. 

7. Will the district round the grade average of core classes for the first semester?
No. The district will not round the grade average of core classes for the first semester.

8. How can my child take a norm-referenced test if they are not currently enrolled in the district?
First, check with your child’s school. It may have administered a norm-referenced test or it may have options available for families who want to take norm-referenced tests.

9. Can my child take a norm-referenced test in DeSoto ISD if they are not currently enrolled in the district?
No. DeSoto ISD is unable to administer norm-referenced testing to students who are not currently enrolled in the district. 

10. What types of norm-referenced tests will the district accept?
The district will accept nationally recognized norm-referenced tests that include scores for math and reading achievement or for verbal and quantitative ability.

11. How can I submit scores for my child not currently enrolled in the district?

You can submit the scores when applying for admission to the Katherine Johnson. 

Special Considerations

12. Will DeSoto ISD have a sibling rule? Meaning, if one sibling is eligible, will another sibling will be able to apply and be accepted?
All students must meet eligibility requirements for admission to the school. Although eligible siblings are welcome to apply, there are no plans to implement a preferential sibling rule at this time.

13. My child is eligible to receive special education services or Section 504 accommodations or modifications. Is my child eligible to apply?
Any student who meets eligibility requirements can apply for admission to the Katherine Johnson. The district must provide required services if students are subsequently accepted and enrolled.

14. If my child currently participates in the bilingual program, are they eligible to apply?

Yes, any student who meets eligibility requirements can apply for admission to the Katherine Johnson

15. My child just transferred to the district and meets the eligibility requirements, but the application window has already closed. Can my child apply for admission to Katherine Johnson?
Eligible students can only apply during the application window. Transfer students who enroll after the deadline will have to wait until the application window reopens to apply for admission to the Katherine Johnson.

The Application Process

16. How will Families apply for the Katherine Johnson?
Families will apply online for admission to the Katherine Johnson. 

17. What types of documents will I need to provide?
Families will need to provide proof of residence (utility bill) and provide IEPs or 504 documents if necessary. Families who do not attend DeSoto ISD schools will also need to provide a report card showing applicants’ first semester grades (grade levels 1 - 5) and norm-referenced score results or STAAR scores (on official documentation). 

18. What if I want to apply with a paper application?
DeSoto ISD’s goal is to reduce the amount of paperwork generated during the admissions process. Please contact 972-223-6666 x 8236 if you have any further questions regarding paper applications. 

19. What is the order of preference for applicants?

(1) Students currently enrolled in DeSoto ISD, (2) Students who are residents of DeSoto but not currently enrolled in the district, (3) Students who are not residents of DeSoto. Eighty percent of spots will be reserved for students who will within and attend DeSoto ISD. Twenty percent of available seats will be allotted for non-district students.

20. How long will entrance exams and interviews take?
The entrance exams and interviews will take approximately two hours.

21. What is the process for entrance exams?
It depends on the grade level. Pre-K and K applicants will take a norm-referenced test and participate in the play-date. Students applying for 1st grade with take a writing assessment and interview. Students applying for 2nd - 6th grades will take a math assessment, a writing assessment, and interview. 

22. Why do parents/legal guardians have to interview as a part of the process?

Families are an integral part of children’s education, and we want to ensure that parents/guardians are included in the process when and where it is feasible and necessary. The short interview with parents/guardians will provide opportunities to learn more about the school and parent aspirations and expectations. 


23. Will DeSoto ISD provide transportation to students enrolled in Katherine Johnson?
No. DeSoto ISD will not provide transportation. Families are responsible for transporting enrolled students to and from the Katherine Johnson. 

24. Does Katherine Johnson’s transportation policy cause an equity issue for parents who cannot provide transportation for their children to attend the school?
We recognize that transportation is important, but we must balance our recognition with the district’s budget realities. The transportation policy is similar to many private and charter schools in the DFW area. There are also other choice options in the district that will offer bus transportation to and from those schools.


25. What if Katherine Johnson is not a fit for my child based on academic or behavioral concerns?

Campus administration, faculty, and staff will work closely with families to ensure all students have access to optimal conditions for academic success. If Katherine Johnson is not a good fit, we will explore other options within the school district. 

26. What is Katherine Johnson’s curriculum?
The curriculum of the Katherine Johnson will be aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and will be grounded in classic principles as well as innovative design. Students will learn core subjects (math, reading, science, and social studies). They will also explore art, music, and physical education. The curriculum is based on the proposed DeSoto 2019-2010 instruction plan applicable to all schools in the district; however, delivery of the curriculum will be designed to match the needs of Katherine Johnson students. 

27. Will Katherine Johnson follow the Desoto ISD Class Size Guidelines?

Yes, all Desoto ISD schools will follow the 2019-2020 Class Size Guidelines.