Dallas ISD gets more high school seniors back on track to graduate in June

In April, Dallas ISD said only 62% of seniors were on track to graduate. That number has increased by more than 10% in the last six weeks.

Over the last several weeks, the district has pushed to increase that number to now 76% of seniors now on track to graduate on time. Their goal is to reach at least 90%. 

Alexy Ramirez is one of hundreds of Dallas ISD seniors who found themselves at risk of not graduating.

"All my assignments were overdue," she said. "I honestly hadn’t touched anything from starting the second part of the semester."

Ramirez says talking to her friends about their college plans was a big wake-up call.

"That really kind of made me realize I need to start looking at the big pile of homework that piling up on my desk," she said.

Working with her teachers and making up classwork through Dallas ISD’s reconnection center, Ramirez was able to get back on track.

"I submitted this. I submitted this. Okay, I’m actually getting back on track," she said. "I’m doing everything I need to do."

Last month, Dallas ISD made a big push to welcome back seniors in person. 

The district says around 40% of seniors came back initially, but that number dropped to around 25%.

However, DISD says attendance rate remains high and close to pre-pandemic levels with about 87% of seniors attending classes in person or virtually. 

"We wanted them in person. That didn’t work out the way we wanted to," said DISD Deputy Chief of School Leadership Dr. Mark Ramirez. "But they were still attending and completing their virtual work online."

The district says teachers and school counselors have worked with students on flexible deadlines. DISD also offers an evening academy and has been tracking individual student progress.

"It shows you’ve been on the system. It shows how many hours you’ve been on the system completing your work. All that goes into one system the teacher can track," Ramirez said.

District leaders say they're making progress towards their goal of getting 90% of seniors on track to graduate on time.

"Every day, I see those percentages inching up slowly," Ramirez said. "So we’re on our way to 90%, and we’re looking forward to getting as many of our seniors across that stage." 

Dallas ISD has set a deadline in early June for seniors to complete requirements for graduation. The first graduations are set to start on June 11.