Dallas Independent School District

Dallas Independent School District
Dallas Independent School District

“Our mission is to prepare all students to graduate with the knowledge and skills to become productive and responsible citizens.”[1]
Type and location
Grades PK - 12 [2]
Country United States of America
Location 3700 Ross Avenue, Dallas, TX, 75204
District Info
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa
Budget $1,644,682,202 [2]
Students and staff
Students 158,126 [2]
Teachers 10,643 [3]
Staff 2,208 [3]
Other information
Website www.dallasisd.org
DISD Human Development Office

The Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD or DISD) is a school district based in Dallas, Texas (USA). Dallas ISD, which operates schools in much of Dallas County, is the second largest school district in Texas and the twelfth largest in the United States.

In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable" by the Texas Education Agency.[4]


General information

Location and area

Dallas ISD covers 312.6 square miles (809.6 km2) of land (map) and most of the city of Dallas. The district also serves Cockrell Hill, most of Seagoville and Addison, Wilmer, most of Hutchins, and portions of the following cities:

In addition, Dallas ISD covers unincorporated areas of Dallas County, including some areas with Ferris addresses.


The Dallas public school district in its current form was first established in Dallas in 1884,[5] although there is evidence that public schools had existed for Dallas prior to that date.[6] Mayor W. L. Cabell ordered just one month after the June 16, 1884, district founding that "all former Orindances in relation to the city public school are hereby repealed," and the district's 1884-85 superintendent, a Mr. Boles, had enrollment figures for each year from 1880 through his own tenure;[7] furthermore, the Dallas Directory of 1873 expressed regret that "there are no public schools in Dallas," while the 1875 Directory said that "the schools are near perfection."[8] The 1884 organizational meeting coincides with changes in statewide education law establishing a system of school districts, each to be assigned its own number, with the ability to levy taxes and raise funds as well as to determine the length of school terms and other educational decisions; the state superintendent of schools, Benjamin M. Baker, also praised the new law's abandonment of tying teachers' salaries to the number of pupils attending, a practice he called "a relic of barbarism."[9]

At the time of the 1884 organization, six schools already were operating; four schools were designated for whites and two for "colored,"[10] as segregation was the legal policy at the time. Booker T. Washington High School is one of these original schools, beginning as "Colored School No. 2" in 1884 and adopting its later name in 1902.[11]

Dallas ISD has absorbed many smaller school districts throughout its history. Vickery Independent School District was annexed into Dallas ISD (adding Vickery Meadows) in 1948. Pleasant Grove ISD was annexed in 1954 (adding Pleasant Grove), and Pleasant Grove High School was replaced by Samuell High School in the same year. Seagoville ISD of Seagoville was annexed into Dallas ISD in 1965.

Other schools and school districts annexed by Dallas ISD include:

  • 1920: Lagow Independent School,[12] a one-room school attended only by the Lagow children and one other family; a quitclaim deed signed by the Lagow heirs and the property sold[13]
  • 1922: Maple Lawn ISD[12]
  • 1926: Irwindell ISD[12]
  • 1927: Greenland Hills Territory;[12] Gould School District, a one-teacher school);[12] West Dallas ISD[12]
  • 1928: Lisbon School District;[12] Bluff View Estates;[12] Love Field;[12] Cockrell Hill School District;[12] Eagle Ford Common School District;[12] Beeman Common School District;[12] Fair Grounds Common School District; Arcadia Park;[12] Bonnie View Common School District;[12] Cement City ISD[12]
  • 1929: Floyd Common School District #60[12]
  • 1937: Vickery Common School District[12]
  • 1945: Bayles Common School District #59;[12] Reinhardt Common School District;[12] Pleasant Mound ISD;[12] Vickery ISD[12]
  • 1946: Walnut Hill Common School District #79;[12] Letot Common School District #7[12]
  • 1949: Parts of the Lake Highlands area, from Richardson ISD
  • 1952: Scyene Common School District;[12] Union Bower School District #50[12]
  • 1954: Farmers Branch ISD;[12] Addison ISD;[12] Wheatland Common School District;[12] and territory from Mesquite ISD[12]
  • 1959: Territory from Lancaster;[12] Rylie ISD;[12] territory from Grand Prairie[12]
  • 1960: Buckner ISD[12]
  • 1963: Parts of Garland ISD[12]

The school system expanded from offering 11 grades to a modern 12-year program as of 1941. Initially, the change was resisted by families who felt the additional year would be too expensive, though others promoted the addition of a further year of athletics and some anticipated an ability for gifted students to finish the 12-year program in as little as 10.5 years, although that hope did not prove a reality.[14] The period from 1946-1966 saw rapid construction of schools, with 97 of the district's school buildings erected during this period, at a peak of 17 schools in 1956 alone.[15]

School desegregation was a gradual process that did not begin for nearly six years after the United States Supreme Court made its May 17, 1954, Brown v. Board of Education decision, nullifying the previous doctrine of "separate but equal" public facilities. The Dallas school board commissioned studies over the next several months, deciding in August, 1956, that desegregation was premature and that the segregated system would stay in place for 1956-57.[16] Texas passed legislation in 1957 requiring that districts not integrate their schools unless district residents voted to approve the change; an August, 1960, election for this purpose ended with voters rejecting desegregation. Meanwhile, a lawsuit was filed by the district against the state superintendent on August 13, 1958, with the goal of a resolution of conflicts between federal and state courts on the subject of integration.[16]

In 1960 the district initially adopted a plan to desegregate grade by grade, starting with the 1961 first-grade class, and proceed year by year until desegregation had been achieved; the plan was amended only weeks later to provide for movement of students at parent request. The year 1965 brought substantial changes to this process, as on September 1, 1965, the elementary schools were ordered desegregated, initially to be followed by the junior high schools in 1966 and the senior high schools in 1967; however, the Fifth Circuit United States Court issued an order on September 7 that led to amending the ruling so that all twelve grades must be desegregated as of September 1, 1965.[16] A book on the history of DISD published the following year by the school district made the statement, "Desegregation of the Dallas Schools was accomplished in the course of ten short years with a minimum of commotion and stress ... [due to] the patient and sympathetic understanding ... and the flinty determination of the School Board ... to serve the public in their lawfully constituted duty."[17] In September 1967 Dallas ISD states that its schools were desegregated.[18] During another desegregation suit in the 1970s, a judge suggested that students from different schools could interact via television instead of forcing desegregation busing in the district. The judge liked the plan, while the parties filing suit did not.[19]

After the desegregation, in the 1970s many White American students and families withdrew from district schools en masse.[20]

In 1996 DISD announced that it would en masse rezone many areas to different schools. DISD officials said that the rezoning, which would affect over 40 campuses, would be the largest such rezoning since at least the 1950s.[21]

In the summer of 2005, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) ordered the Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District closed for the 2005-2006 school year due to financial stress and reported mismanagement. After negotiations, Dallas ISD agreed to accept the students for the 2005-2006 school year. The Wilmer-Hutchins ISD district was absorbed into Dallas ISD in summer 2006.

Dallas ISD opened 11 new campuses in the fall of 2006.[22] The district incorporated the WHISD territory via "Plan K," adopted on November 30, 2006.[23]

From 2005 to 2007, several northwest Dallas area public schools under Dallas ISD jurisdiction became infamous due to the outbreak of a Dallas-area recreational drug, a version of heroin mixed with Tylenol PM, called "cheese," which led to several deaths of students. Dallas ISD issued drug dog searches to schools in order to combat the problem.

City of Farmers Branch attempt to Separate from DISD

The city of Farmers Branch has initiated a process to separate the portions of the CFBISD and Dallas ISD within Farmers Branch city limits to form a new Farmers Branch city-run Municipal School District. The proposal both enjoys support and faces a variety of criticism from civic leaders and citizens. At present, a ballot initiative requiring 50% voter turnout in the city of Farmers Branch will take place in May 2011. If the ballot initiative is successful, court litigation and challenges to Texas Education Agency policies are likely to precede any creation of a new municipal school district.

Recent student dropout history and improvements

Dallas ISD was reported in April 2008 to have the 7th highest dropout rate of any urban school district in the US.[24] All 6 cities with higher dropout rates than Dallas in this study were smaller cities with under a million population.

From 1998 to 2008 Dallas ISD had a pattern of having an average of 14,600 9th grade students but only giving high school diplomas to an average of less than 6,300 students four years later. Using these 9th grade numbers indicates that roughly 56% of students are consistently missing at graduation. The graduation rates (percentage of 9th grade students represented by the number of diplomas given to that class at graduation) for the classes of 2006, 2007 and 2008 have been 41.4%, 40.5% and 41% respectfully.[25] With the graduation of the Class of 2009 the graduation rate went up to 43.5%.[26]

Using four major indicators for dropout rate patterns, the Dallas ISD is improving as of November 2009 in all four indicators. This progress has been consistent for almost four years for all measurements.[27]

In 2009 state representative Yvonne Davis proposed a bill which would force the state to divide any school district that meets several parameters. The parameters include the district having more than 150,000 students, the district residing in a county with more than two million residents, and the resident county being adjacent to at least one other county with more than one million residents. The bill does not name any particular school district, but the parameters of the bill may only apply to Dallas ISD.[28]

School uniforms

Dallas ISD implemented mandatory school uniforms for all elementary and middle school students (through 8th grade) on most campuses starting in the 2005-2006 school year.[29]

Elementary and middle school campuses which do not follow the Dallas ISD uniform policy continue to use their own mandatory uniform codes, which were adopted prior to the 2005-2006 school year.

Uniforms are optional at the high school level as in schools decide whether to adopt uniform policies; eight traditional high schools and three alternative high schools have adopted them.

The Texas Education Agency specified that the parents and/or guardians of students zoned to a school with uniforms may apply for a waiver to opt out of the uniform policy so their children do not have to wear the uniform; parents must specify "bona fide" reasons, such as religious reasons or philosophical objections.[30]

Student makeup

Dallas ISD Enrollment Data 2006-2007 [3]
Grade Number of Students Percent
Early Childhood Education 440 0.3%
Pre-Kindergarten 8,570 5.4%
Kindergarten 14,007 8.8%
Grades 1 - 6 76,162 48.0%
Grades 7 - 8 20,959 13.2%
Grades 9 - 12 38,676 24.4%
Dallas ISD Ethnicity Data 2006-2007 [3]
Ethnicity Number of Students Percent
African American 46,948 29.6%
Hispanic 101,997 64.2%
White 8,004 5.0%
Native American 379 0.2%
Asian/Pacific Islander 1,486 0.9%

A more detailed enrollment of Dallas ISD students by grade from the years 1997 through 2008 as reported to the Texas Education Agency is compiled into a spreadsheet at http://www.studentmotivation.org/DallasISD.htm.

30 years prior to 2003, half of DISD's students were White. As time passed, the White population decreased due to private schools and white flight. As of 2003, DISD was 58% Hispanic, 34% African American, 6% White, and 2% Asian and Native American. As of that year, 190 DISD schools were 90% or more combined black and Hispanic, 37 schools were 90% or more Hispanic, and 24 schools were 90% or more black.[31]

As of 2003, some schools in DISD still had significant numbers of White American students. Usually they were up to 15-20% of a school's given population. Many schools with significant White populations were in the East Dallas and North Dallas areas and mostly white sections of Oak Cliff, such as Kessler Park. Elementary schools that had significant White populations included Nathan Adams, Heater, Lakewood, Pershing, Preston Hollow, and Harry Withers. Middle schools with significant White populations included Franklin and Long middle schools. High schools with significant White populations included Hillcrest, W.T. White, and Woodrow Wilson.[31]


List of schools

The district has 28 high schools, 32 middle schools, three "primary/secondary" schools that include grades normally in both middle schools and elementary schools, more than 150 elementary schools, and one early childhood development center.

Former secondary schools

Former high schools
  • Norman Robert Crozier Technical High School (the school was known by many names)
    • Dallas High School 1907-1916
    • Main High School 1916-1917
    • Bryan Street High School 1917-1928
    • Dallas Technical High School 1928-1942
    • Crozier Technical High School 1942-1975
    • Business and Management Magnet Center 1975-May 1995 (School relocated to Townview Center May 1995)
  • Pleasant Grove High School 1953-1957 (the school had been in existence since 1939 but was in Pleasant Grove ISD until that district was absorbed into Dallas ISD in 1953. Today the campus is used by John Quincy Adams Elementary School)
  • Forest Avenue High School 1916-1956 (was converted from a whites-only school to an African-American school and renamed James Madison High School, and the white students were sent to Crozier Tech)
  • Rylie High School 1956-1963 (converted to a junior high and replaced with H. Grady Spruce High School)
Former junior high schools
  • S. S. Conner Junior High School 1955-1964 (the S. S. Conner name was subsequently taken by an elementary school that opened in 1965)
  • Rylie Junior High School 1963-1978 (converted from the former Rylie High School; later closed and became a charter school in the 1980s)
  • Sequoyah Junior High School 1958-1969 (replaced by Thomas Edison Junior High School; Sequoyah was converted to an elementary campus)

Former primary schools

  • Stephen F. Austin School (opened in 1886 as East Dallas School; renamed Stephen F. Austin School in 1902; served as an elementary school until 1976, when the building was taken over by the High School for the Health Professions; the structure was razed around the year 2000) [32][33][34]
  • Eagle Ford School (closed 1968)
  • Alamo School (closed 1968)
  • Wheatland School (closed 1964)
  • Addison School (closed 1966)
  • Letot School (closed 1968)
  • Vickery School (closed 1971)
  • David Crockett School (replaced by Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary in 1990; currently houses special programs)
  • Benito Juarez School (closed 1971)
  • Mirabeau B. Lamar School (currently houses special programs)
  • Stephen J. Hay School (closed in the late 1970s and has housed several special programs since)
  • Thomas C. Hassell School (closed 1980 and demolished to allow for roadway expansion)
Grades 4-6
  • Daniel 'Chappie' James Learning Center (Dallas) (closed after Spring 2006, students rezoned to Dunbar Elementary, reopened as Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School in 2006.
  • J. Leslie Patton Elementary School (Dallas) (closed after Spring 2006, students rezoned to Oliver (became PreK-5), Russell (4-5), Bryan (PreK-5), Miller (PreK-5))
Pre-K through grade 3
  • Robert C. Buckner Elementary School (Dallas)
  • Fannie C. Harris Elementary School (students moved to Oran Roberts Elementary for Pre-K through 3)
  • Joseph J. McMillan Elementary School (Dallas) (closed after Spring 2006, rezoned to Oliver (became PreK-5), Seguin (PK-3), Bryan (PreK-5), Miller (PreK-5))
Grades K-3
  • T.D. Marshall Elementary School (Dallas) (closed after Spring 2006, most of it was rezoned to Oliver (became PreK-5) and small portions were rezoned to Lisbon (PreK-5), Seguin (PK-3))

School Photographs

See also

Portal icon Dallas-Fort Worth portal
Portal icon Schools portal


  1. ^ "2002-2003 No Child Left Behind – Blue Ribbon Schools Program Application" (PDF). U.S. Department of Education. November 2002. http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/2003/applications/tx-talented.pdf. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Dallas ISD - DISD Factsheet. (PDF). Retrieved on 12 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Texas Education Agency - DISD AEIS Report (PDF). Retrieved on 12 March 2008.
  4. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2009/index.html. 
  5. ^ McElhaney, Jackie; Michael V. Hazel. "Dallas, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/DD/hdd1.html. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  6. ^ Walter J. E. Schiebel, Ed.D. (1966) Education in Dallas: Ninety-two years of history 1874-1966. Dallas: Dallas Independent School District.
  7. ^ Scheibel, page 1; a table indicates that 1880 had 1218 students enrolled; 1881, 1351 students; 1882, 1453 students; 1883, 1760 students; 1884, 2537 students; and 1885, 3204 students.
  8. ^ Scheibel, page 1.
  9. ^ Schiebel, page 3.
  10. ^ Schiebel, page 10.
  11. ^ Schiebel, pages 11-12.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Schiebel, pages 253-256.
  13. ^ Schiebel, page 56.
  14. ^ Schiebel, page 130.
  15. ^ Schiebel, pages 132-133.
  16. ^ a b c Schiebel, page 160.
  17. ^ Schiebel, page 159.
  18. ^ http://library.law.smu.edu/disd/background.shtm
  19. ^ Parks, Scott. "Integration plan went down tubes." The Dallas Morning News. November 17, 2002. Retrieved on September 8, 2009.
  20. ^ Meyers, Jessica. "Plano students trickling out of district into private schools." The Dallas Morning News. October 10, 2011. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  21. ^ Bleiberg, Larry. "School-boundary proposals faulted; DISD seeking the most changes in attendance zones since '50s." The Dallas Morning News. Monday February 5, 1996. 13A. Retrieved on September 6, 2011.
  22. ^ The Dallas Morning News - 14 August 2006. "New year, new energy for DISD" by Kent Fischer. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
  23. ^ "Plan K." Dallas Independent School District. Retrieved on November 24, 2008.
  24. ^ Stutz, Terrence and Tawnell D. Hobbs, Grad rate formula to be uniform:Spellings issues order; dropout rate report puts DISD 7th worst, Dallas Morning News, 2008-04-02, retrieved 2009-01-24
  25. ^ Standard reports, Texas Education Agency retrieved 2009-01-24, select the reports for the Dallas Independent School District
  26. ^ Standard reports, Texas Education Agency retrieved 2009-01-24, select the reports for the Dallas Independent School District. 2009 graduation numbers are from Dallas ISD.
  27. ^ [1] a graph composed from enrollment numbers from the Texas Education Agency and current Dallas ISD enrollment as of October of 2009.
  28. ^ Hobbs, Tawnell. "Is it time to split DISD? A state rep. thinks so." The Dallas Morning News. Monday March 16, 2009. Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  29. ^ Dallas ISD: Uniforms
  30. ^ "DOCKET NO. 008-R5-901." Texas Education Agency. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  31. ^ a b Hadnot, Ira J. "Public schools resegregating, research finds Busing, court orders haven't reversed trend especially in South; policy changes urged." The Dallas Morning News. Sunday January 19, 2003. 23A. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  32. ^ "East Dallas Schoolhouse." The Dallas Morning News, 31 December 1886.
  33. ^ "Stephen F. Austin School." The Dallas Morning News, 2 March 1902
  34. ^ Buildings

External links

v · d · e
Dallas Independent School District
High schools full list Bryan Adams | Adamson | Carter | Conrad | Hillcrest | Jefferson | Kimball | Lincoln | Madison | Molina | North Dallas | Pinkston | Roosevelt | Samuell | Seagoville | Skyline | South Oak Cliff | Spruce | Sunset | Wilmer-Hutchins | W. T. White | Wilson
Middle schools full list Anderson | Hill | Marsh | Quintanilla
Elementary schools full list Hooe | Lakewood | Milam | Preston Hollow
Magnet schools Townview magnets: Government, Law, & Law Enforcement | Science and Engineering Magnet | Talented & Gifted | Business and Management | Education and Social Services | Health Professions
Other High Schools: Washington HS for Performing and Visual Arts | Gilliam Collegiate Academy | Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet | Skyline | Smith New Tech
Middle/High: Obama Male | Rangel Young Women's | PreK-8: Dealey Montessori | Stone Montessori | 4-8: Travis Academy/Vanguard

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