Q: When will we return to work?

A: As based on the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and in collaboration with guidance from the Texas Education Agency and area school districts, DeSoto ISD, along with school districts across the state will be closed for eight weeks at minimum. The DeSoto ISD will likely extend that closure through the remainder of the academic school year.

Q: Can staff go into the buildings? Under what circumstances?

Following the guidance of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), we want to do our part to ensure the safety of our staff and minimize the potential of contacting/spreading COVID-19. This means adhering to the recommendation that we limit events and meetings that require close contact.

We understand that you may have items that you need to retrieve from your workspace in order to effectively work remotely to provide service and support to members of our DeSoto ISD community.

We have already scheduled the ISC building to undergo a cleaning as a result of this evening’s Board Meeting. Therefore, we are allowing ISC staff access to the facility to retrieve items that you may need today, March 16 from 3 PM – 6 PM. 

It is advised that you enter the building, retrieve your items, ensure that your office/work space remains secure, and then leave.

It is NOT advised that you access/utilized shared spaces or equipment such as restrooms/kitchens/copiers, etc. as we cannot guarantee sanitization between users throughout the allotted access time.

Q: What is the district’s expectation for employees during this time?

A: Employees are expected to carry out their normal work duties to the best of their abilities. Central office staff are expected to be active and available by phone and email throughout the regular work day. Campus-based staff are asked to do the same. 

Please consult with your immediate supervisor regarding roles, responsibilities, expectations and duties during the district closure.

Q: How will employee pay be impacted?

A: Human Resources is in the process of developing information and resources to track and document time for district staff.  

The district is working with TEA and other state agencies to resolve plans related to employee compensation, however, please note all employees will be compensated according to their respective contracts.

  • Pay for individuals forced to self quarantine?
    • What would the district require from employees as proof?
      • Yes, employees will provide proof of exposure from Level II, Level III and cruise travel during spring break.  
  • For employees choosing to self quarantine without proof, would the district still pay for days lost?
    • Employees should be allowed to use Local or State Days.
  • Current policy requires resolution for payment for employees for days not work?
    • What will the update to the resolution look like?
  • Work remotely options:
    • Activity Report and TimeCard Submission for nonexempt (hourly) personnel. 
    • Activity Report will be required for exempt (professional) personnel
  • Absences during emergency District closures shall be governed by the following provisions:
    • Campus-based employees: Campus-based employees will follow the inclement weather make-up days as outlined by the applicable school year calendar.
    • Instructional Service Center (ISC) employees: Central-based employees will be excused for each day the District is closed. Time off will not be taken from employees, and the employee’s time will not be docked. Employees will not be required to make up the days.
    • Essential Personnel: As determined by the Superintendent of Schools or designee, essential personnel is a District employee called to duty to perform essential tasks when the District is closed.

 Essential personnel may be exempt or non-exempt. Employees will  receive flex time, overtime, or compensatory time based on their employment status. At such time as the Superintendent of Schools or designee declares the District re-opened, employee compensation reverts to the standard practice in accordance with the District’s Compensation Manual. If the employee fails to report, the employee’s time off will be charged and/or salary adjusted accordingly.

Q: What is my role in the Distance Learning Plan?

A: Teaching, Learning and Leadership has developed a plan to address home-based student learning experiences. This plan outlines home-based assignments and lessons for families for the next two weeks through Friday, March 27. During this time teachers are asked to develop lesson plans to support the continuation of student learning at home. These lessons can be video-recorded instruction with guided  or independent practice. Teachers must communicate their daily “office hours” during which they will avail themselves to answer questions and assist students and families either online and in real-time via the district’s technological resources and software or by phone or email.

High Level Points of Emphasis:

  • Teachers should use and refer students and families to Class Link
  • Core subject teachers should be expected to submit grades
  • Periodically, TL&L will  observe lessons and conduct co-observations with principals
  • Campus admin teams are asked to support teachers as they revise and rewrite their lesson plans for the remainder of the year 

Further instruction regarding expectations for teachers and staff, will be shared via the campus principal and future staff updates.

Q: What will we extend Special Education Services to students and families?

A: If general education students are not receiving an education because schools are close, services do not need to occur. However, as we are preparing to roll out a distance learning plan, the district is also assessing a plan to render and provide services to students in specialized units; direction on facilitation of student IEPs; and guidance on future facilitation and scheduling of ARD meetings. 

Q: What will be the process to reschedule or cancel the ACT testing? Will ACT be cancelled (Robin)? 

A: DeSoto ISD leaders will work together to return all testing materials to the appropriate entities such as the College Board and all scheduled dates for test prep and administration are cancelled until further notice.

Q: What about the maintenance staff?

A: Because we want to maintain the upkeep of our buildings, Plant Services and Maintenance Staff will continue to conduct their daily duties while continuing to adhere to the CDC’s recommendation for social distancing and other such precautions.

Q: What should I do if I traveled over the break or if my family hosted relatives from other countries or cities experiencing community spread? 

A: Many of our families and employees may have traveled or hosted friends and relatives from other countries and cities.  

We are following the recommendations of the CDC and Dallas County Health to remind staff and families about federal travel restrictions to and from affected areas. The list of affected countries changes continually, and we encourage anyone traveling to monitor the CDC travel website or the Texas Department of State Health Services coronavirus travel information website closely for updates. The CDC updates travel warnings and restrictions daily; please reference the website for the most up-to-date information. Anyone who has traveled to one of the CDC-restricted areas is asked to follow quarantine guidelines and self-report.

Anyone who has traveled to one of the CDC-restricted areas is asked to self-report. 

Employees must self-report to their supervisors, and families should self-report to their campus principals. 

Please complete the district's confidential self-reporting form here.