This week, parents in the Dallas Independent School District have a chance to get involved in some major decisions affecting the district.
Both Dallas ISD trustees and the superintendent are hosting separate virtual town halls July 21 and 22.
Trustee Ben Mackey of District 7 kicked off the first of a series of virtual town halls via Zoom on Monday night, ahead of their board meeting on Thursday, July 23.
That's when they'll discuss several important decisions about the district’s reopening plan.
In the town halls, trustees are conducting polls with parents to get a sense of how many families plan are comfortable with reopening or want to stick with virtual learning until the case counts improve.
"Staying at home is definitely the safest option. I don't think anyone will tell you differently,” he said during the meeting.
In Mackey’s town hall, he presented a slideshow of key points and gave a number of updates on what to trustees will be talking about this week, including:
- Start date for Dallas schools may be pushed back to September 8th
- Trustees are considering removing holidays in October due to the state fair's cancellation
- The possible addition of an election day holiday
- Potentially changing to nine-week grading periods
- A possible new end date of June 18, 2021
Mackey stressed that the town halls will not provide all the answers but said it will allow the trustees to communicate parents’ questions to the district so that those concerns are included in the plan.
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"At that meeting, I want to be able to communicate the needs and desires of community members across Dallas ISD to make sure that we have this goal of opening in a way that ensures DISD's plan is safe, effective and equitable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa plans to host a community meeting via teleconference on Tuesday night to give parents updates on projects included in the district's massive bond 2020 proposal.
The proposal is one of the largest in Texas history at $3.7 billion. It goes before voters for a planned vote in November.
Projects include $20 million dollars for internet connection improvements for students and teachers working from home, several brand new buildings, and renovations to aging facilities.
Click here to read a full breakdown of the proposed projects.
How to sign up
The superintendent’s town hall starts at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 21.
You must register online with your phone number and zip code by clicking here. You will get a phone call when the town hall starts. Registration closes three hours before the start time.
DISD trustees Maxie Johnson, Ben Mackey and Miguel Solis will host another town hall via Zoom Tuesday, July 21, at 6 p.m. Spanish translators will be available for some segments. Click here to register for that Zoom session.
On Wednesday, July 22, trustee Karla Garcia will host a town hall in Spanish at 6 p.m. Click here to register for Garcia’s town hall.