DeSoto ISD

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DeSoto ISDPublic Schools

*Information as of 2016

DISTRICT NAME: DeSoto Independent School District


DISTRICT SIZE & CLASS SIZE: 9,500 students;  elementary ratio 22:1,  secondary ratio 25:1

GRADE LEVEL ALIGNMENT Pre-K (1), K-5 (6), 6-8 (3), 9th (1), 10-12 (1)                  

Texas A-F Accountability Rating: This district received a D.


DeSoto ISD is a small, suburban district 15 miles south of Dallas in the north Texas Metroplex. The 23-square mile district serves students in DeSoto, Glenn Heights and Ovilla with 12 campuses and 1,100 employees.  The district is in the midst of building new organizational structures and systems for success. We will not rest until there is empirical evidence that we are giving our best to insure students in DeSoto ISD perform well in any globally competitive diverse environment.


Collegiate Magnet Program (Associate Degree; opened 2013): DeSoto ISD students can earn two years of college and an Associate’s Degree while still in high school – for free. Offers eleven different degree choices and over 25 college and industry certifications through personalized degree plans based on student interest.

Early College High School (Associate Degree; opened 2014): Blends high school and college curricula into a simultaneous educational experience that gives traditionally underserved students the chance to earn up to two years (60 hours) of college credit while they finish high school. The facilities, usually located on college or university campuses, make higher education more accessible and also help students become more comfortable in a higher education environment.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (2015-16): A world-renowned, academically challenging, instructional program for Juniors and Seniors to prepare students for the academic challenge that college requires in the 21st century.   “Integrates”  the academic, emotional, social and aesthetic needs of the students.

iSTEAM3D Magnet Academies (All 3 middle schools): 150 students in each middle school will utilize problem-based learning in an open concept magnet environment. Students have state of the art science, technology, engineering and math instruction integrated with the arts.

West International Male Leadership Magnet Academy (2015-16):  The Middle school incorporates a weekly character, civic, and leadership learning component directed to the unique learning styles of boys. Provides a culture where competition in academics is a natural fit making it cool for boys to study. The teaching staff will be highly trained in research based strategies that benefit young males.

Middle Years Programme International Baccalaureate (seeking candidacy, 2016-17): A challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.

East Medical Magnet Academy (2015-16): Offers a rigorous curriculum that focuses on the medical concepts and prepares middle school students for a wide range of careers in the healthcare field. Students in the program will work closely with faculty members and community partners including surgeons, professors, hospital personnel and other professionals to create an environment supportive of creative and independent academic exploration with real-world relevance.

McCowan Fine Arts Magnet Academy (2015-16): Provides an inspiring and robust program for middle school students who are pursuing an accelerated arts curriculum as fine arts majors.  Focuses on a TEKS driven, state standards focused curriculum and is supported by the Texas Education Agency guidelines for college readiness in fine arts and the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts. The program will offer its students opportunities in the areas of visual arts, dance, band, orchestra, choral music, drama, and piano. Additionally, the middle school program serves as a continuum from Woodridge Fine Arts Elementary and as a feeder for DeSoto High School fine arts program.

DeSoto Discovery & Design Early Childhood Academy (2015-16): An elementary is being converted into an all district, full-day Pre-K serving student age 4 on or before Sept. 1 and PPCD students (age 3-5) starting in the fall of 2015. “Research shows serving early childhood students together provides for consistency of instruction, staff development and early academic exposure that will help decrease achievement gaps later in school, ” says Dr. Gabrielle Lemonier, asst. supt. elementary schools.

Cockrell Hill Linguistics Magnet Academy (Opens 2015-2016): Elementary students will acquire an understanding of the world’s people, places, and problems to become knowledgeable and active citizens of our global society. Studying various languages can also improve overall school performance, higher problem-solving skills, and increased scores on standardized tests.

Frank D. Moates Digital Arts & Technology Magnet Academy (Opens 2016-2017): Elementary students will be provided with multiple opportunities to develop and advance in technology and the digital arts while engaging in academically challenging coursework.

Northside Business and Law Magnet Academy (Opens 2015-2016): Offers elementary students the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship through incorporating various elements of business into classroom curriculum.  Students will experience business operations from employee, accounting (bookkeeping), as well as managerial levels.

Ruby Young Medical & Environmental Sciences Magnet Academy (Opens 2015-2016): Gives elementary students the opportunity to study different forms of clean energy (solar, wind, hydro), soil and insects that play a vital role in the life cycle of plants, and the habitat and nutrition of small animals. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in the garden club where they will learn the process of planting, pruning and harvesting various crops and plant life.

The Meadows STEAM Magnet Academy (Opens 2015-2016): Allows Five-Star elementary students to choose their educational track in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. Students will participate in hands-on learning activities through project based learning.  Learning will be student-led and facilitated by highly qualified educators.

Woodridge Fine Arts Magnet Academy (Opened 2014): Gives elementary students a chance to participate in art, piano, strings, dance, and theatre arts.The study of the arts can significantly boost student achievement, behavior and prepare students for college and careers.

Primary Years Programme International Baccalaureate (seeking candidacy, 2016-17): Prepares students aged 3-12 to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.


  • Pre-K and Dual Language – qualifying Pre-K students can now enroll in full-day Pre-K across the district. Students in grades K-1 can enroll in dual language classes taught in English and Spanish with native learners of both languages combined.
  • Criteria-based Open Enrollment is available for qualified PreK-12 students not living within the district boundaries; acceptance based on criteria for grades, attendance and discipline.
  • DeSoto ISD received the prestigious PLATINUM Leadership Circle Award from the Texas Comptroller for implementing outstanding financial transparency
  • $9M in scholarship offered to the Class of 2014 – 37 full academic and 40 full athletic with over 600 graduates
  • Only area high school that is part of the TCU Community Scholars program, awarding 35+ full scholarships to TCU.
  • DHS Athletic Training program is a four-peat winner of the Athletic Training Olympic Champions competition
  • The Meadows ES received the national Honor Student Council Award for the fourth consecutive year
  • Ma’At Step Team won the National Step Show Alliance U-19 Co-Ed Division
  • Two elementaries won the Texas Comptrollers 2013 Texas Honors Circle Award for academic success
  • DHS JROTC earned the coveted Gold Star – Honor Unit with Distinction


Athletics: Basketball, Football, Track and Field, Cross Country, Volleyball, Soccer, Tennis, Golf, Swimming

Fine Arts: Art, Music, Band, Choir, Theater, Cheerleading, Visual Art, Technical Theater, Dance

High School Extra-Curricular: UIL Academics, Academic Decathalon, Business Professionals of America, Journalism – Newspaper and Yearbook, Eagle Broadcasting, JROTC, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Peacemakers, PTSA, Robotics and Solar Car Team, Student Council, FFA, CCLA, HOSA


DeSoto ISD has developed safety and crisis management procedures for all situations in partnership with local first responders and leadership personnel are trained, taking a proactive approach to ensuring student safety.

The following security measures reflect the community’s high expectations for school safety:

  • School Resources Officers (SROs) and District Security Team take extensive training
  • State-of-the-art camera surveillance system
  • Raptor visitor system
  • Secure entrances at campuses – buzzers and cameras for approved entrance during school hours
  • Crisis Intervention Committee and Emergency Management Plans
  • K-12 Character Education, mentoring and bullying prevention programs
  • Community partnerships with City, DeSoto Police and Ministerial Alliance

M&O/I&S TAX RATES AND LAST BOND PASSAGE: 2014-15 Tax Rate: $1.04 M&O, $0.43 I&S, $1.47  • Total 2014-15 Budget:  $70.63M ( Local: 32%, State: 67%, Federal: 1%)

2005 Bond: $116M includes New Southwest MS $25M; New South ES $14M; Gr. 9-12 Expansion $45M; DHS Renovations/Expansion Phase IV $8M; Ruby Young ES Renovations $5M; Renewal/Efficiency Renovations $8M; Land Purchases $6M; Technology $5M


SELLING POINTS:  We offer all the benefits of a 6A school along with the programs of choice offered by elite private schools. 

DISTRICT PHILOSOPHY:  Prepare each student academically and socially to be a problem solver and productive citizen for a 21st century global society. When we think students first, we think with their end result in mind.