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Big Changes As DISD Starts New School Year

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Stephanie Lucero
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Summer break has officially come to an end. Hundreds of thousands of North Texas kids are heading back to school on Monday morning, and there are some major changes taking place this year in the Dallas Independent School District. Mike Miles is the district’s new superintendent. There are five new schools opening — six if you include the replacement for W.H. Adamson High School. And other campuses have closed down.

The schools opening on Monday are: Ann Richards Middle School, Balch Springs Middle School, Zan Wesley Holmes Jr. Middle School, Seagoville North Elementary School and Adelfa Botello Callejo Elementary School. Meanwhile, the improved W.H. Adamson High School features a 580-seat auditorium with impressive views of downtown Dallas. “They’re all ready to go,” Miles said. These new campuses are part of a school bond package which was approved in 2008.

The new superintendent has already made some big changes of his own. He has a new administrative cabinet, new goals for the school district, and Miles pushed for teachers to get a one-time bonus. That $750 teacher incentive was approved by the school board last Thursday. Miles plans to visit many DISD schools during the first week of classes, to observe classroom instruction.

Miles is also urging all parents get their kids to school on the first day, and that they be on time. In previous years, thousands of students missed the first day of classes. “We want all students to show up,” Miles said. “We know that’s not going to happen. We’ve been working on the attendance, and I think we’re going to have more kids than ever showing up on the first day, but we need to continue those efforts all year long.”

To show that they are serious, administrators are planning to start actual instruction on day one. There is also a raffle for cash prizes, to encourage a majority of the students to show up ready to learn. There are 157,000 students in the DISD.

“At the end of the day, it’s about raising student proficiency,” Miles said. “That’s how we’ll know we’ll be successful.”

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