Board Goals And Impact

DeISD School Board Discusses Goals and Impact
Posted on 12/15/2020
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During the Thursday, December 10, 2020, DeSoto ISD Board Meeting, Board President Amanda Sargent facilitated a community training and overview of the Board goals and the goals’ impact to improving student achievement.

In recent board meetings, the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees presented and discussed progress measures for student achievement in the district.

During the meeting’s virtual session, President Sargent discussed the roles of the Board and administration in creating structures to effectively implement and monitor the Board’s student achievement goals which are noted as more aggressive.

“As a superintendent, I acknowledge the massive role and responsibilities I have in spearheading the achievement of these goals,” Superintendent Dr. D’Andre J. Weaver said. “These goals, along with the coming introduction of a new strategic plan are the foundation of a new era in DeSoto ISD--one that will require our best at every level and that we ensure that students are at the forefront of every single decision, action and body of work taking place in our system.”

He added, “While aggressive, these goals are attainable, but will require shifts to our structure, systems, approach, philosophy, and our culture.”

The trustees are laser-focused on ensuring tangible and significant growth for each and every scholar in DeSoto ISD.

“This work will require individual and collective engagement on an unprecedented level,” Sargent said. “But I am confident that we have an administrative team in place to see these goals through to fruition. These elevated measures are an opportunity to really be intentional about working with administration to bring top-tier talent to our system to serve students. As a Board, we are prepared to support these shifts from both an operational and cultural perspective.”

With emphasis on college, career and military readiness, third grade literacy and numeracy; and individualized growth, below are the Board’s proposed goals:

  • College, Career and Military Readiness: Percentage of high school students who graduate college, career and military-ready will increase from 36% (May 2019) to 62% by May 2025.
  • Early Literacy: Percentage of students at the Meets level on the third grade STAAR reading exam increases from 25% (May 2019) to 65% in May 2025.
  • Early Numeracy: Percentage of students at the Meets level on the third grade STAAR math exam increases from 31% (May 2019) to 53% by May 2025.
  • Individualized Growth: Percentage of students in elementary and middle school who need their individual growth goals in both math and reading on NWEA MAP will increase from 22% (in February 2020) to 50% by May 2025.

A portion of the meeting will feature a brief overview of where we’ve been and the work that is currently in progress. Then, leaders will shift to what the future looks like moving forward with the revised goals. 

2018-2019: Revelations and realizations about the district’s recent past

Previously, the district experienced concerns related to academic performance and finances dating back to 2018. Under Dr. Weaver’s administrative leadership, the district has improved its academic accountability rating from a 67 to a 79 and improved the fund balance from a -$5.5M in 2017 to $10.8M as documented in June 2020.

2019-2020: Response and recovery to those findings and the Covid-19 global health pandemic

While Covid-19 may have been a catalyst for a dramatic shift from the district’s implemented approach to academic improvement, the district continued to make great strides by creating a robust and innovative virtual learning framework, distributed thousands of devices to district families to support virtual learning and more than 250,000 no-cost meals to alleviate food deficit concerns for children in the community.

2021 and Beyond: Rebuilding and reinventing DeSoto ISD for the future

In response to the revised Board goals, the Administration has developed its plan which features four pillars of action designed to drive the district’s focus. Tonight, leaders will share the following:

  • Strategic Plan Implementation
    • Roll out the district’s new strategic plan in Spring 2021
  • Deep Investment in Pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade Foundational Learning
    • Potentially restructure at least two elementary campuses
    • Deepen focus and attention on PK-3rd grade teaching and learning
  • Fortification of District Curriculum
    • Increase certification(s) and/or credentials for instructional staff
    • Restructure personnel and positions to more effectively support C&I
    • Develop and pilot competency-based curriculum
  • Possible Extension of the Academic Year
    • Consideration of adding 30 instructional days to the academic calendar

 The Board approved these goals at the Monday, December 14, 2020, meeting of the Board which was followed by a virtual town hall which provided a deeper explanation of the goals. 

See the board goals in their entirety here.