It’s back to the books for kids all across North Texas. Monday, August 27 is the first day of school for many districts, including Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington and Dallas.
The new Superintendent of Dallas Independent School District, Mike Miles, is getting staff ready for the start of the new school year and his major overhaul on the district. He's holding three sessions on Friday to welcome back the district’s nearly 20,000 employees.
Miles had some fun with the crowd at the Ellis Davis Field House by showing off his dance moves with students. Then, he got down to business with a serious message: staff has to measure up so students can make the grade.
“We have a ways to go before we can say ‘we’re a great school district,’” says Miles.
Miles says right now DISD is below the state and national average for reading scores, ACT testing, and the graduation rate. Right now, 77 percent of students graduate. By 2020, the new superintendent’s goal is 90 percent.
“We’re not looking for reform, we’re looking for transformation. Time is against us. And really, I should say, time is against our kids,” says Miles.
Miles’ plan is focused on improving students’ academic achievement through effective teaching and says there’s no excuse for poor performance.
Many teachers say they’re ready to take on the new superintendent’s new challenges.
“If you want change, you have to effect it. He’s effecting things right now,” says J.N. Ervin physical education teacher Derrick Wesley.
“We just have to do our job and prepare the kids for the expectations to come,” says teacher Nicole Stovall.
Staff members are fired up for the district’s 157,000 kids to return to the classroom.
“I’m looking forward to a good school year,” says North High School sign language teacher, Michael Hodges.
The first bell rings at 8:15 a.m. Monday morning for the elementary school students, the middle school students start at 8:30 a.m., followed by the high school students at various times.
For those students already looking forward to the last day of school, it’s June 11 for K-8 graders and June 12 for high school students in Dallas.