Dear Denton ISD Community:
For those of you living in the Denton Community for quite some time, you kept the secret as long as you could. The secret is out … the success of our students has ignited a growth spurt throughout our district. Enrollment in DISD has grown by almost 12,000 in the past decade. During the recent economic downturn, the district continued to grow an average of 800 students per year.
When our school doors opened on the first day of school, Aug. 26, we welcomed more than 26,000 students. These students represent more than 15 cities, communities and developments that make up our district’s 180 square miles.
On Aug. 13, the Board of Trustees approved a $312 million bond election being presented to the DISD community on Nov. 5. The bond package addresses increases in student enrollment, facility improvements and energy conservation.
Since the district’s last bond election in 2007, Denton ISD’s enrollment has grown by almost 28 percent – from 20,892 to 26,677. In six short years, the district has grown approximately 6,000 students – enough enrollment figures for two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.
To accommodate fast growth, the district opened its seventh middle school in the Shady Shores area of our district. Bettye Myers Middle School opens the 2013-14 school year with more than 725 students.
Whether we’re opening the doors to a new facility or our students are returning to an existing school, a new year brings a fresh level of excitement. To add to our students’ enthusiasm, there will be educational initiatives taking place throughout the district to allow our students to maximize their potential.
• As a community known for its excellent educational opportunities, the district is focusing on preparing our students for post secondary readiness. We are proud that more than 80 percent of the class of 2013 are attending higher educational institutions.
• The district is partnering with University of North Texas, Communities in Schools of North Texas and United Way of Denton County in a program tabbed Mentor Denton, http://www.mentordenton.org, to recruit college students, parents, grandparents and community leaders to mentor students as a positive role model.
• Last year, the district initiated Naviance, a college and career readiness program that helps get secondary students thinking about life after high school. Students can check college admission requirements, directly apply to universities and research salary patterns and growth potential of careers. The implementation of this program helped our graduates of 2013 receive more than $14.25 million in scholarships, with more than $300,000 from local organizations, companies and groups.
• Denton ISD is one of a handful of districts in Texas to offer IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) at all grade levels. This year, Borman Elementary School has been named a candidate IB school. The IB program is already offered at Newton Rayzor Elementary, Calhoun Middle and Denton High.
• Almost 1,200 educators attended our fourth Lone Star Technology In Action (TIA) conference in July. Our educators attended workshops that will help them utilize technology to transform what’s taking place in the classrooms.
We’re dedicated to make sure that we – as a district and staff – help our students and their families maximize their potential for a successful school year.
As we embark on the 2013-14 school year, I ask our parents to get involved in the education of their children. In today’s changing world, we need all of you to become fully engaged as educational partners so our students can continue the level of success we have come to expect.
Dr. Jamie Wilson, Superintendent
Denton Independent School District