Dallas ISD Trustee Dan Micciche, District 3
School begins Aug. 27 and already the anticipation of the new year is being felt as we prepare to welcome nearly 160,000 students for the 2012-2013 school year.
Getting to school on time every day—including the first day of school—is crucial for student success because learning begins on the first day of school. This year, good attendance is even more important for high school students as we now have the Optional Flexible Year Plan, which the Texas Education Agency has approved for our use as an incentive for students to attend school and increase learning.
Under the Optional Flexible Year Plan, high school students who meet high attendance, performance, and behavior requirements are rewarded by not having to attend class on specified school days, which this year are June 3-12. For now, elementary and middle school students will have to attend class on the additional days in June. If the high school incentive plan works, however, a similar incentive for middle school students could be offered in the future.
Regular school attendance is vital to the success of Destination 2020— the new superintendent’s initiative that aims to increase student graduation rates; raise scores on college entrance exams; improve workplace readiness and better prepare our graduates to enter college, the military or the workforce.
As part of his vision for Destination 2020, Superintendent of Schools Mike Miles has established five Core Beliefs that he is confident can transform our school district. You will hear much more about these beliefs in the coming weeks. He also has conducted a major reorganization of school leadership that promises to bring district leaders into closer contact with schools.
As part of Destination 2020, we are asking all parents to do these three things to help their children succeed in school:
1. Make sure they get to school on time every day.
2. Ensure they do their homework.
3. Read to them or listen to them read every night.
As parents prepare for the start of the school year, we also want to remind you to avoid the last minute rush to update your children’s immunizations. Students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade must have the required immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases prior to the start of classes on Monday, Aug. 27. Parents of students with private health insurance should contact their healthcare provider to arrange for these services.
Please be aware that this fall, Dallas ISD school cafeterias are meeting challenging new federal nutrition standards for school meals, ensuring that meals are healthy, well balanced and provide students all the nutrition they need to succeed at school. Although the price of school meals will increase to $1.25 for breakfast and $1.75 for lunch, school cafeterias still provide the most economical and nutritious meals around, making school lunch a great option for kids. Parents may apply for free or reduced priced meals online at http://www.dallasisd.org/Page/929.
Part of the excitement of the new year is welcoming students to schools that have been refreshed and refurbished over the summer. Through the bond program, Robert T. Hill Middle School received a 10-classroom addition, new stage lights, a roof replacement, new exit doors, and chiller and cooling tower replacements.
I look forward to meeting the parents of District 3 students at parent conference nights, PTA meetings, community meetings and on my visits to the schools. Please keep in mind that it takes everyone getting involved in supporting education to make our students successful.
This message is sponsored by the Dallas Independent School District.