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Dallas County Schools pleased with graduation rates

By: Adam Dodson

Dallas County School System superintendent Hattie Shelton is pleased with the academic success of her students, and is focused on utilizing her summer to fill staff vacancies and secure more funding for the 2018-2019 school year.

With the school year finished and the members of the class of 2018 moving on to the next step of their journeys, Shelton enjoyed seeing the many faces that are going out into the world. Not only was she pleased with the graduates, but also the schools’ graduation rates.

“I thought the year went really well,” Shelton said. “I think we did well with our graduation rate. We have spent a lot of time looking at data on how to improve instruction.”

While she is satisfied for the results of the past school year, Shelton now wants to set loftier goals for herself and the school district.

Each goal comes with its own challenge. Some of which require action sooner rather than later. In order to improve instruction and learning, she wants to make some additions to the school system.

Next year, Shelton and her staff will spend ample time analyzing data to see what they and the students are doing well and where there is room for improvement. According to Shelton, she wants to better personalize the learning experience through different platforms, such as online classes. The online program is still in the works.

The school system will also receive assistance from non-profits in their efforts to bolster their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs, such as Project Lead the Way.

However, this Summer, Shelton will have to replace three math teachers that are no longer part of the school system. She has currently found two she feels confident about. One who is expected to come into the system, while the other has not indicated whether or not they will fill the position.

In addition to improving the staff and the curriculum, Shelton wants to improve the safety of the schools. If they are able to make the project work financially, the end goal would see the schools implement a card system on their doors, rather than students cracking doors open or leaving them unlocked. According to Shelton, this will not only help keep perpetrators out, but also help them get a better understanding of who is currently in their school.

She said that they will continue to look at data and find ways to improve their security measures.

For the 2018-2019 school year, Shelton wants her students, staff and faculty to all feel they have the tools they need to succeed.

“We are going to work on effectively implementing a professional environment,” Shelton said. “We are looking for better ways to personalize the student experience. We are going to continue looking at the needs of every kid. We thought we were doing pretty well. We are still going back and looking at more data.”

Moving forward, Shelton said she will continue finding ways to increase funding through grants and other initiatives.