DeSoto ISD Magnet Programs Powered by A2E2



In October 2017, DeSoto ISD announced the district’s receipt of a $15 million United States Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant to support magnet and special programs development in the district as well as the diversification of the district student population.

The Academies for Academic Enhancement and Excellence, or A2E2, grant, is aimed at equality, excellence and effectiveness for all students. The project will support the professional development, instructional and support activities for the DeSoto ISD Magnet A2E2 initiative.

 “DeSoto ISD dedicated lots of time and energy to obtaining this grant with the goal of ensuring that the district continues to forge ahead in creating an environment that reflects the world around us,” said DeSoto ISD Executive Director of Magnets and Innovative Programs and A2E2 Program Director Debbye L. Garner. “As a district, we are diligent in addressing areas in which we can grow and improve and this grant is a huge step in moving our work from concept to fruition.”

“Though DeSoto ISD has a number of robust magnet program ranging from visual and performing arts to advanced academics to STEM and Career and Technical Education opportunities, this grant will support a more in-depth approach to expanding those programs in a manner that truly supports some of the most cutting-edge and innovative educational experiences that we can offer students in this area,” said Garner.

DeSoto ISD a majority minority district located south of the Dallas. DeSoto ISD’s student population is comprised of 9,600 students. The DeSoto ISD student population is 77 percent African American, 17 percent Latino and 3.4 percent Anglo. The grant seeks to encourage greater diversity among district students with the goal of enriching student learning experiences and cultural interaction, awareness and engagement.

DeSoto ISD was selected to receive this funding under the United States Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program. These grants assist in the desegregation of public schools by supporting the elimination, reduction and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools with substantial numbers of minority group students. In order to meet the statutory purposes of the program, projects must also support the development and implementation of magnet schools that assist in the achievement of systemic reforms and provide all students with the opportunity to meet challenging academic content and achievement standards.

These projects will support the development and design of innovative education methods and practices that promote diversity and increase choices in public education programs. The program supports capacity development--the ability of a school to help all of its students meet more challenging standards--through professional development and other enrichment opportunities that enable the continued operation of the magnet schools at a high level of performance after the funding ends.

The program supports the implementation of courses of instruction in magnet schools that strengthen students’ knowledge of core academic subjects and their grasp of marketable vocational skills.

In partnership with Project Lead the Way, the College Board, Texas Instruments, Vernier Technologies, the University of North Texas, SureScore, Agile Minds and the EGT Institute, the district will receive roughly $2.5 million per year over the course of five years towards magnet programs serving students in grades K through 12 at seven DeSoto ISD campuses which include:

  • Frank D. Moates Blended Learning Magnet Academy Elementary
  • Woodridge Fine Arts Magnet Academy Elementary
  • Ruby Young Medical and Environmental Sciences Magnet Academy Elementary
  • DeSoto East Medical Magnet Academy Middle School
  • Curtistene S. McCowan Fine Arts Magnet Academy Middle School
  • DeSoto High School