Dallas ISD "State of the District" to Focus on Tornado Recovery

Alan Scaia
February 21, 2020 - 9:00 am
michael hinosa

Alan Scaia


DALLAS (KRLD) - The superintendent of Dallas ISD will deliver his "State of the District" address Friday at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. Michael Hinojosa says the speech will focus on the challenges of 2019 but also how the district is looking to the future.

October 20, the National Weather Service confirmed ten tornadoes hit North Texas. In Dallas, those tornadoes damaged or destroyed Thomas Jefferson High School, Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary.

Last month, the Dallas school board voted to spend up to $49.8 million to consolidate Cary Middle School and Walnut Hill Elementary. The board voted to spend up to $82.1 million to renovate and add on to TJ High School.

"That tornado was nowhere on my calendar when it hit while I was watching a Cowboys game," Hinojosa says. "Trying to, all of a sudden, pivot everything to make sure those schools had what they need was obviously our biggest challenge."

Hinojosa says the speech will also include how the district can help students who were affected by the storms.

"A lot of these students are still going through a lot," he says. "The immediacy of the storm is over, and now the sinking spells are coming in. We need to be respectful of what these families are going through."

In addition to storm recovery, Hinojosa says he will also talk about the future of the district. He says about 40% of students choose a different school than they are assigned, so he will lay out plans to partner with local businesses to design schools that give students more choice.

"We are going to announce some very exciting partnerships with some very prominent communities, businesses and partners that are going to help us design schools of the future," he says.

This year, Hinojosa says 500 students will graduate high school with an associate's degree. He says he wants to push that number to 1,500.