Our students are attending one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas. For those of you new to our community, welcome to a school district committed to carrying out our mission by empowering lifelong learners to be engaged citizens who positively impact their local and global community.
Our district continues to grow for a very good reason; the commitment of our educators to our students. The achievements of our students — in and out of the classroom — have ignited a growth spurt throughout our district. The citizens of Denton kept the secret of our great city as long as they could; the secret is out. Enrollment in DISD has grown by more than 12,000 in the past decade and we are expecting nearly 27,000 students this school year.
Our district represents more than 15 cities, communities and developments making up its 180 square miles. To accommodate its fast growth, the district is opening its 22nd elementary school — Dorothy Adkins Elementary School — in the Lantana development of the southern section of our district.
Not only are we proud to have the school named after a veteran educator and community leader, we are also very appreciative of the Lantana Education Foundation who donated $1 million dollars to assist Denton ISD in opening the new school. The school features many “green” designs. For example, it is being built on the site where the main classroom wings are orientated as east-west to take advantage of the north light and control the south sun into the classrooms.
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 are educational initiatives taking place throughout the district:
• We continue to focus on preparing our students for post-secondary readiness, as more than 82 percent of the class of 2014 is attending higher educational institutions this fall.
• Secondary students and their parents will have access to Naviance, a college and career readiness solution to help connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals and improve college and career planning.
• The district is phasing in new grading guidelines, which were piloted at many high school and middle school classes last year. The system will be phased in throughout the year with full implementation — pending feedback — possible by 2015. There will be opportunities for input from students, parents and the community during this process.
• To continue its commitment to making a difference for our youngest students, the district will offer Pre-K programs not only at the Gonzalez and Windle Schools for Young Children, but also at Borman, Cross Oaks, Lee, Newton Rayzor, Rivera, W.S. Ryan and Stephens elementary schools.
• 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 is finalizing its second year of being a candidate IB school and is offering French as an additional language to its students. The IB program is already offered at Newton Rayzor Elementary, Calhoun Middle and Denton High schools.
• More than 1,300 educators, parents and community leaders attended our fifth 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.
Rest assured, Denton ISD is dedicated to ensuring our students and their families maximize each child’s potential for a successful school year.
As we embark on the 2014-15 school year, I ask our parents and community members to get engaged in the education of our children. Our 27,000-plus students need everyone’s support so they may continue the level of success we have come to expect. Our community deserves nothing less.
The future is not something you enter, it is something we create.
Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent
Denton Independent School District