DeSoto ISD Documentary

DeSoto ISD aims to tell its own story through “DeSoto Rising’ docu-series

“DeSoto ISD Rising: How Did We Get Here?” is the first installment of a three-part documentary series designed to complement the district’s strategic planning process. The documentary seeks to address the district’s history and events leading up to its current state including the removal of the former superintendent, the recent Texas Education Agency Accountability Rating, and mounting concerns related to the district’s financial health.

The documentary explores the racial and socio-economic transition of DeSoto beginning with the district’s origins as a predominantly white, rural farm community in the 1930s and ‘40s to an affluent, majority African American community of the 1980s and ‘90s. The documentary goes on to explore a new spectrum of socio-economic diversity with a growing Latinx community who desires to be heard and represented.

The focus on diversity is a key priority of the district’s Academies for Academic Enhancement and Excellence (A2E2) grant, a 2017 United States Department of Education Magnet Schools Assistance Program grant designed to increase diversity and inclusion in the district. The A2E2 grant is the funding source of this project which is a unique means to tell the district’s story. Through the documentary, DeSoto ISD seeks to increase accountability, communication and transparency with the district’s school community.

The A2E2 grant has a requirement for a robust marketing strategy. Rather than engaging in traditional marketing, A2E2 is using the documentary to fulfill that requirement for the grant. While the documentary covers some of the district's less flattering moments in its history, it also provides a glimpse of the possibility and potential that exists here in DeSoto ISD and that is something the district hopes families, the Dallas/Fort Worth community, and the national school community will see through this project.

The cost for the first installment of the 6-month-long documentary project was $50,000. The project will serve as a means to engage stakeholder groups in critical conversations related to redesigning the district's approach to educating students, particularly bodies of racially-, ethnically- and socioeconomically diverse students.

The documentary details the new district leadership team’s efforts to engage the community in the strategic planning process enlisting the voices of the employees, parents, students and community members in establishing a new vision, mission, values and goals for DeSoto ISD.

The two subsequent installments of the documentary will cover the district’s strategic planning process and the implementation of the district’s strategic plan.

The second and third installments of the documentary will also be posted to this page upon completion of each piece within this three-part series.