DeSoto ISD School Board Adopts Crisis Priorities Amid Pandemic

Board Crisis Priorities

DeSoto ISD Has High Expectations For Success

DESOTO, TX – The disruption of normal district operations due to the global pandemic, COVID-19, created an opportunity for the DeSoto ISD School Board to identify and adopt a set of Board Crisis Priorities to provide a clear, yet, narrowed focus to guide the work of the district.

The crisis priorities, developed with guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), are specific to the district’s Coronavirus response and do not replace the standard 2019-2020 Board Goals adopted earlier this academic year and are separate from the evaluation of the Superintendent. The goal is to provide a more dedicated focus for the superintendent to direct and measure the primary work of the district.

“The Board adopted these priorities in answer to a TEA recommendation. They mirror our goals and support our efforts to keep our students and teachers safe while working toward our educational goals,” said Karen Daniel, DeSoto ISD board president. “They are a further communication to our community that we know what is important and have everyone’s best interest at heart. By setting measures for these goals, the administration is demonstrating that DeSoto ISD has high expectations for success.”

Developed With TEA Recommendation

According to the TEA recommendation, school boards were asked to develop no more than five “crisis priorities.” The Superintendent and the district administration are then tasked with assigning specific measurements for each priority and report monthly progress.

Initially, drafted by the Board Goals Committee, the proposed priorities were presented to the trustees for the first read at the April 27 board meeting. The next two subsequent meetings on May 4 and May 11, were lent to discussion and revisions. The adoption of these priorities occurred at the May 18 meeting with a vote of 6

The core of the four crisis priorities aligns with the primary focuses of the district since the onset of the pandemic, to ensure the wellness of our district families and staff, provide an avenue for the continuity of learning and to maintain communication with the stakeholders.

In the June 8 meeting of the school board, the trustees were able to see the district administration’s data and reporting methodology used to share the progress of the district’s response to COVID-19.

The crisis priorities adopted by the board are below along with a summary of the area from the progress reports. The current timeframe for the board crisis priorities and progress reporting is March 9, 2020, to August 1, 2020.

Four Crisis Priorities

Priority #1: The superintendent will ensure that DeSoto ISD operates to address the health and safety needs, including the social and emotional needs, of students.

This priority measures teacher contacts primarily and includes some additional data on counseling referrals and student wellness check-ins along with student meal distributions. (Progress Measures = 2, Metrics Data Source: Academics, Student Support Services, Operations-Child Nutrition)

Engage Students

Priority #2: The superintendent will ensure that DeSoto ISD operates to engage students in learning.

This priority measures student engagement in the technology, non-technology, final CPA submission and universal screener, and the percentage of utilization of Special Education students accessing remote services on a weekly basis. (Progress Measures = 3, Metrics Data Source: Academics, Technology, Student Support Services, Special Education Departments.)

Address Health & Well Being Of Faculty & Staff

Priority #3: The superintendent will ensure that DeSoto ISD operates to address the health and well-being of faculty and staff.

This priority measures the student contact hours, daily and weekly communications, professional learning, and staff meeting touchpoints. (Progress Measures = 2, Metrics Data Source: Academics and Communications Departments)

Utilize Strong Communication Channels

Priority #4: The superintendent will ensure that DeSoto ISD utilizes strong communication channels with the board, students, families, and the wider community.

This priority measures the communication to the school board, parents, and community. (Progress Measures = 3, Metrics Data Source: Communications Department)
The district administration will provide new information to the board as new data becomes available