DeSoto ISD Accepting Magnet Applications

DeSoto ISD Accepting Magnet Applications
Posted on 01/08/2020
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DeSoto Independent School District, located 15 miles south of downtown Dallas, uniquely offers rigorous magnet and innovative curriculum from Kindergarten to grade 12. With millions in support from the United States Department of Education Magnet School Assistance Program, the growing minority majority district is raising the bar for magnet and innovative curriculum standards in the city of Dallas.

In October 2017, DeSoto ISD announced receipt of a $15 million grant from the United States Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program. “The Academies for Academic Enhancement and Excellence” project or A2E2, is designed to support the development of magnet and innovative programs throughout the district in addition to increasing the diversification of the district’s student population.DeSoto ISD’s mission is clear; prepare students to be astute both academically and socially by providing curriculum options that cultivate students into critical thinkers, problem solvers and high performing productive citizens.  

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

A majority minority district, DeSoto ISD’s student population is comprised of 8,400 students of which 77 percent are African American, 17 percent are Latino and 3.4 percent are Anglo. A2E2 seeks to encourage greater diversity among district students with the goal of enriching student learning experiences, cultural interaction, engagement and awareness.

“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.”

In an effort to support the elimination and prevention of minority group isolation in elementary and secondary schools DeSoto ISD projects like A2E2 support the development and implementation of innovative magnet curriculum and provide students with the opportunity to engage in challenging  and rigorous academic curriculum and project-based learning.

Several variables play into the distinctiveness of DeSoto ISD: district initiatives such as A2E2, LETS GEAR UP, NextGenGEARUP, and the National Math and Science Initiative grant set DeSoto ISD apart from other metro-plex school districts and educational options;, ongoing professional development and enrichment opportunities poise the district to continue to provide high-level curriculum and high-quality instruction well after funding ends--a nod to the program’s long-term sustainability; and, last but not least, innovative magnet course instruction that strengthens student knowledge of core academic subjects in addition to a grasp of marketable vocational skills, all combine to place DeSoto ISD’s students and staff on a trajectory all their own.

With professional partners like The College Board, Texas Instruments, Vernier Technologies, the University of North Texas, and the EGT Institute along with roughly $2.5 million per year over the course of five years going towards magnet curriculum at seven DeSoto ISD campuses - the small, minority majority, suburban district 15 miles south of downtown Dallas is not only poised to raise educational standards in the city of Dallas, by the looks of their alumni list, accolades and strategic partnerships DeSoto ISD students, parents and staff would argue that DeSoto ISD already has. 

“As a school system, we are working to redesign the way our students experience education,” said DeSoto ISD Superintendent of Schools D’Andre J. Weaver, Ph.d. “We can’t continue to do what we’ve always done. A2E2 is one of a number of ways we are redefining what education can and should be.”

The DeSoto ISD A2E2 magnet programs are school-within-a-school frameworks which allow students the experience of a traditional neighborhood school and the specialization of a magnet program. Families interested in applying or learning more about magnet-based opportunities in DeSoto ISD should visit

How can families enroll in DeSoto ISD?

Students and families may apply for a DeSoto ISD magnet program at through February 2020. Or families may also apply for admission consideration through “Selective Enrollment” anytime, year round at

About DeSoto Independent School District

DeSoto ISD is a public independent school district serving more than 8,400 students and 1,000 employees. The district is comprised of 12 campuses serving students from early childhood through graduation. DeSoto ISD’s mission statement is preparing students academically and socially to be problem solvers and productive citizens. The district’s 2020 Strategic Plan focuses on individualized learning, quality teachers, equal access and relationships in an effort to provide a holistic and well-rounded educational experience to students and families in DeSoto, Glenn Heights, and Ovilla.

For more information about DeSoto ISD, visit