Dr. Marc Smith
Duncanville ISD students returned to the classroom last week with a high level of positivity and optimism, which our employees will use to power us through the 2016-2017 school year and beyond. Our principals, teachers and all staff members are tasked with keeping our focus on the top priority – students. Every step we take will be fixed with laser beam focus on student achievement.
Achieved Highest Accountability Rating
Student success begins and ends in the classroom. The hard work of teachers and principals all across
the district is now bearing fruit based on recently released state accountability ratings.
Duncanville ISD and 100% of our campuses achieved the highest accountability rating possible in the state’s accountability system, which is ‘Met Standard.’ This is the second consecutive year that all of the district’s qualifying schools met standard, even though the difficulty of the exam increased in math and science. Summit Education Center is exempt from the accountability process.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the accountability ratings a couple of weeks ago and we are still waiting to see if any of our campuses also received distinguished designations.
Growing Optimism Districtwide
Duncanville ISD is on the right path for success and we can all feel it. New Duncanville High School Executive Principal Tia Simmons joined us this summer and brought a wave of optimism that continues to grow. She and her leadership team organized a back to school pep rally – a first of its kind for DHS –that highlighted our talented students, included raffle prizes and put school spirit on display.
The pep rally, which filled Sandra Meadows Arena at DHS, ended with a creative lip sync video students
created with teachers and administrators. The video was so popular that it went viral on social media
with more than 13,000 views. Local television news also aired parts of it. If you’d like to see it, click here.
Across town Hastings Elementary School began the school year in a new, state-of-the-art building that
students and their families got to see just before the start of school at Meet The Teacher Night. As I walked the halls, I listened to families discussing the beautiful building and heard pride in the voices of our students.
Hastings is the first new building to be completed as part of the $102.545 million bond passed by voters in 2014. Next will be Acton Elementary School, which will open to students at this time next year for the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
Enhancing Academic Programs
After arriving in Duncanville ISD this spring, I focused on learning the unique traits that distinguish our
school district and community from others in the area. It is obvious that Duncanville has a long history of excellence and pride. That underlying strength is going to be the base upon which we build.
To be a premier school district where parents want to send their children, we have to broaden the
academic programs we offer. Students have more choices than ever when it comes to their education.
Duncanville ISD already has some impressive options, especially in our Career and Technology programs and dual credit courses.
Now it’s time to expand our offerings even further. I’ve tasked district leaders with evaluating our prekindergarten options, offerings of collegiate courses, and ways to prepare students who will be the first in their family to go to college. These three areas will address our youngest students to get them in a classroom as soon as possible, our students already on track for college, and support families of students with no experience preparing for higher level learning.
Our future is very bright, but it takes the entire community being involved. So I encourage our Duncanville ISD family to support us as we ‘Write Success Stories, One Student at a Time.’