DeSoto ISD Cancels Friday Classes, Responds To Parent Concerns

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desoto isd building with text

On Wednesday there was a serious incident at DeSoto West middle school which required a substitute teacher to be treated by paramedics. Some of the altercation was recorded and circulated on various social media outlets. Today, parents reported they received texts from their children about fights breaking out and they stated DeSoto Police Department responded. (We’re working to confirm)

This afternoon DeSoto ISD announced they need a “reset” and as such are starting spring break early by canceling classes tomorrow. They’re using Friday as a day to work with staff and teachers to implement new safety and security measures to address concerns. Following spring break the district will hold MANDATORY safety & security meetings with parents to discuss changes and expectations.

This is what they shared on the DeSoto ISD website:

*The bold parts were highlighted by us, otherwise it is copied exactly as it was shared on the district website.

As a school district, we understand and share the concerns elicited by recent events on our campuses and want to inform our school community of our awareness and response to these matters.

DeSoto ISD is working to reset culture and behavior on campuses, and to refocus our system on effective instruction, learning, and student academic and social development.

Towards that goal, DeSoto ISD students will initiate Spring Break effective this evening and students will not attend school on Friday, March 11, to provide a planning day for staff which will focus on the implementation of changes to support the improvement of campus safety, security, climate and culture upon the district’s return from the break.

The district calendar’s allowance for closures will accommodate this adjustment along with the previous inclement weather days.

All staff will report at 8 am to their respective assigned locations on Friday morning and will receive instruction for specific assignments related to their campus from the campus administrator. Planning will center around measures to be implemented after Spring Break and throughout the remainder of the school year. These measures will include review of enforcement procedures for district policies related to discipline, attendance, dress code, and general behavior.

Immediate changes upon return include:

1. Starting Monday, March 21, 2022, every school will have a duty schedule that will place staff in all hallways and common areas of each building to monitor traffic and activity.

2. Student Support Services will now be housed at secondary campuses to provide deeper, more responsive campus support.

3. Students will NOT be permitted to use cell phones, earbuds and headphones during the school day. All students have received a district-issued device to support access to tech and internet for curricular purposes. Upon the district’s return from Spring Break, violations related to cell phones and headphones will be implemented according to Board Policy and the Student Code of Conduct which may include but are not limited to confiscation of devices and accessories; fines for retrieval of devices and accessories; and suspension.

Related policies and the Student Code of Conduct can be referenced via the links below:

Board Policy FNCE Legal and FNCE Local

Student Code of Conduct (pages 46-50)

4. Each campus will hold mandatory parent safety and security meetings during the week of Mar 21-Mar 24, 2022, to discuss new safety and security standards in the DeSoto ISD. More information will be made available regarding these meetings in the coming days.

As the district is preparing for enrollment for the upcoming school year, please note that DeSoto ISD is NOT an open enrollment district but a selective enrollment district.

Students admitted under selective enrollment must maintain grades, attendance and behavioral standards. The district is in the process of reviewing student profiles who are currently enrolled under this provision to assess appropriate placement or removal from the district pending academic and disciplinary records.

Additionally, in preparation for the upcoming school year, DeSoto ISD will organize a dress code review committee composed of students, parents, staff and community members with the intent to develop a uniform-based dress code pending Board review and approval.

 

DeSoto ISD is intent on re-establishing a culture and climate that emphasizes safety, security and educational excellence.

 

We thank our staff, parents and families in advance for your support of this effort as we prepare for a better, brighter future in DeSoto ISD.

 

Reminder: There are two Places on DeSoto ISD School Board in the May election.

Place 1

Cynthia Watson-Banks (Incumbent)

Shanta Duren

Rickyl’ Wesson

Place 2

Terrence M. Gore

Chasiti McKissic

Important Dates for Voters

  • Last Day to Register to Vote in the May 7, 2022 General Election – Thursday, April 7, 2022
  • Last day to apply for a Ballot by Mail (Received not Postmarked) – Tuesday, April 26, 2022
  • Early Voting by Personal Appearance – Monday, April 25, 2022 – Tuesday, May 3, 2022
  • Election Day – Saturday, May 7, 2022
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Kristin Barclay graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Prior to joining Daily News she was a popular on-air personality on the Houston radio program In Wheel Time. You can find an account of her travel adventures and more on In Deep H2O. She is widely recognized as one of the top digital and media influencers in the country being most recently recognized as one of the Top Three social media influencers in Houston. She now handles all digital media aspects at Focus Daily News.

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