The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are everywhere, and the Dallas Independent School District is not immune.
The district is making a particular emphasis on filling in the learning gaps where unfinished learning took place due to the pandemic.
Dallas ISD Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova said the district embraces multiple strategies to help catch students up, including tutoring, Theory of Action, summer learning, extended school year, and in-person learning.
According to Cordova, more than 55,000 Dallas ISD students could receive 30 hours of tutoring this school year thanks to House Bill 4545, which the Texas legislature passed this year. The bill requires schools to provide 30 hours of tutoring for every failed State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test subject.
To provide tutoring, the district is taking steps to match up to 32 awarded tutoring providers with schools and hire in-district tutors.
In a push to become a premier urban school district, Theory of Action was created to support the board’s goal of improving student achievement. In addition, the Theory of Action focuses on racial equity and supporting the campuses with the most needs.
The results are back from the summer learning, with more than 7,000 Pre-K through eighth grade Dallas ISD summer campers participating in hands-on learning and extracurricular activities during the Summer Breeze camp.
Meanwhile, 1,700 of the rising ninth-grade students attending a P-TECH or Early College High School attended classes daily as part of the Summer Bridge Program, and high school students recovered 1,414 credits.
Forty-six schools chose an extended school year calendar, providing more time to learn for students to catch up.
Cordova, who spoke with trustees recently, stated that the research is detailed. When a student learns from a great teacher inside the classroom, the impact on the student will be more significant and more positive than if the student was not attending in-person classes.