DeISD to Restructure Schools, Enhance Instruction

DeISD to Restructure Schools, Enhance Instruction for the 21-22 School Year
Posted on 06/21/2021
Restructuring  Campuses Graphic

This year, DeSoto Independent School District’s Board of Trustees approved a number of goals designed to support student achievement.

DeSoto ISD Board Goals:

  • Goal 1: CCMR-- Percentage of HS students who graduate  college, career, and/or military ready will  increase from 36% in May 2019 to 62% by  May 2025.
  •  Goal 2: Early Literacy-- Percentage of students at the Meets level  on the 3rd grade STAAR reading exam  increases from 25.0% in May 2019 to 65.0%  by May 2025.
  •  Goal 3: Early Numeracy--Percentage of students at the Meets level  on the 3rd grade STAAR math exam  increases from 31.0% in May 2019 to 53.0%  by May 2025.
  •  Goal 4: Individual Growth-- The percentage of students in elementary  and middle schools who meet their  individual growth goals in both math and  reading on the NWEA MAP assessment will  increase from 22.2%** in February 2020 to  50% by May 2025.

Each month, during regular school board meetings, Superintendent of Schools Dr. D’Andre J. Weaver provides an update to the Board of Trustees on the progress of these goals highlighting the work of teachers and administrators to ensure the district is moving forward to realize the goals.

“These goals are ambitious,” said Weaver, “and, in order to meet them, we will need to make changes to better position ourselves to more successfully reach our goals.”

Of those changes, the district announced its plan to restructure schools starting in the 2021-2022 school year.

“The plan is to offer a grade-band specific focus to address the academic and social-emotional needs of students,” said Weaver in the district’s April 29 virtual town hall which live streamed on the district’s Facebook page. “Campuses will be re-organized into PK - 2 Early Learning Centers, 3 - 5 Grade Elementary Campuses, 6 - 8 Middle Schools, DeSoto High School and DAEP.”

In the town hall event, Weaver noted Katherine Johnson will serve scholars in grades K=8 and Ruby Young will serve scholars in grades 3-8.

Note: Amber Terrace will be closed for the 2021-2022 school year. 

Please also note: As of June 2021, DeSoto ISD will not move forward with plans to develop a hybrid campus at Ruby Young due to failed approval of attendance and programmatic funding for hybrid learning models. As a result, Ruby Young will serve students in grades 3-8 with a focus on Personalized STEAM-based learning experiences.

“In looking at our data, we know that some of our students have academic gaps,” said DeSoto ISD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Mya Asberry. “Most critically impacted are students in grades PK-5th. Starting in the 2021-2022 school year, our campuses will look differently as we are restructuring them to address the current educational needs of our students. We want to design elementary campuses that provide a concentrated focus on early learners, as well as a targeted focus for older elementary learners.”

In addition to the campus restructuring, DeSoto ISD is designing and implementing deeper academic support for students for the upcoming school year.

“We are placing more educators in classrooms so that, in many cases, our students will have at least one teacher assistant and a credentialed and experienced teacher of record leading instruction and we’re planning to have Master Teachers, Interventionists and Instructional Coaches on campuses all supporting  and facilitating high-quality instruction,” said Asberry.

Asberry said the district is designing ways to protect teacher’s co- and group planning opportunities; examining relevant and appropriate professional development that aligns with the district’s intent to provide culturally-relevant and responsive instruction; and incentivizing improved student performance to encourage teachers to stay in the classroom while earning a competitive salary through the Texas Education Agency’s Teacher Incentive Allotment grant which could provide up to $30K in additional compensation for high-performing core content teachers.

In addition to DeSoto ISD’s efforts to better position students for success by restructuring schools, deepening instructional support for staff and incentivizing teacher performance, the district recently hired and announced a new roster of campus principals set to lead campuses for the upcoming school year.

While this group of principals were introduced to central office leaders, board members and city officials at a June 10 reception at DeSoto High School, the community will have the opportunity to meet and engage with these leaders via virtual panel on June 29 and again during campus staff and parent meetings set to take place at each school on July 15.