November 2020 Strategic Plan Update

Strategic Plan Despite a brief interruption due to COVID-19, DeSoto ISD recently resumed its strategic planning efforts. 

“This work is vital to move our district forward,” DeSoto ISD Superintendent Dr. D’Andre J. Weaver said. “ We want to align our expertise and resources with key partners in our communities to improve access and quality of life experiences and services for as many of our families as possible.”

In October of 2019, DeSoto ISD was one of four school systems in the state awarded the highly-competitive Student Success Initiative Community Partnerships Grant from the Texas Education Agency to drive the creation of the joint strategic plan among DeSoto ISD, the City of DeSoto, the City of Glenn Heights, UNT-Dallas, and Methodist Charlton Medical Center. The collaborative strategic planning process is the first of its kind in which an independent school system will have the opportunity to create and implement a strategic vision inclusive of educational, city and health industry officials.

“Our goal is to address some key areas — inclusive of the quality of education, healthcare and financial wellness — that impact the trajectory of individuals, families and, ultimately, the community as a whole,” Weaver said. “Addressing how each service providers’ vision, mission, goals and resources overlap and culminate to create a certain quality of life is essential in solving the issues that prevent our residents’ ability to make progress. So, bringing these groups together in DeSoto and Glenn Heights is essential to creating opportunities for more successful outcomes.”

In the last year, the strategic planning process has included more than 200 stakeholders in roughly 40 interviews and meetings accumulating more than 350 hours of active listening, feedback collection and systems and performance evaluations bringing together 10 cross-sector leaders to develop a shared strategy and vision with the goal of developing a community action plan.

To date, the district is continuing to engage stakeholders and partners in furthering the progress of this effort. The district will present a community update to the DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees in December which will outline learning priorities and pillars developed in the strategic planning effort thus far.

Further focusing on its goals of increasing and improving educational opportunities for students, DeSoto ISD has accepted the Educate Texas System Planning grant valued at $25,000. The purpose of this grant is to allow DeSoto ISD the option to explore innovative practices through visiting conferences and sites across this country at no cost to the district, and then identifying what system elements to bring to DeSoto ISD to fundamentally change the school experience for students in a positive way. One major goal would be to strengthen DeSoto ISD STEM classes and increase student achievement in such classes.