Earlier this month, new DeKalb County School District (DCSD) Superintendent Dr. Devon Horton met with the press to announce his plans for a successful school year. Horton was appointed superintendent on Jun. 29 and began work on Jul. 1. 

He began his address by announcing this year’s theme, “disrupting for excellence.” He says the theme references DCSD’s commitment to changing the habits the institutions have established — especially during the pandemic. 

One approach the school district adopted is establishing a new culture and expectations as a community. The core values Horton plans to implement under the administration are what he calls H-PRIDE — humanization, professionalism, respect, integrity, dignity and empathy.

“We have to be humanizing and how we approach the work of our students to support our community, but we have to be honest and be professional at all times,” Horton said. “We’re going to set up our families of our community to remain professional. We want to operate with high levels of integrity because when making decisions for our children, we must do it with a value system.”

Horton has over two decades of experience in educational leadership. He previously served as superintendent of the Evanston/Skoie School District 65 in Evanston, Ill., and has held other positions in school districts in Louisville, Ky. and East St. Louis in Ill.

Details of how the DeKalb County School District plans to decrease the teacher shortage for the 2023-2024 school year. (Image provided by DCSD.)

Although a national issue, the school district needs 400 more teachers to educate the over 93,000 students estimated to be enrolled. Hiring summer graduates as paraprofessionals, extended-day planning period coverage with instructional specialists and a DeKalb teacher residency program to launch in winter 2024 are some of the plans to implement by DCSD. 

With teachers moving into non-educational careers, Horton said other industries are recruiting them, them resulting in the shortage. 

“Other industries have poached our industry to take our phenomenal teachers and go off into the sunset to do other things,” Horton said. 

He also mentioned that DCSD will need the community’s help to have an effective school year. 

“I’m asking for our community to step up. We’re talking with many individuals and tapping into our church community as well that have individuals that may be in college, especially graduate students,” Horton said. “We are encouraging a mindset of disruption for improvement. This is not a jargon statement — this is fact. This is how we will do business, and it’s important that we collectively communicate with our stakeholders on our work.”

The post New DeKalb schools superintendent addresses plans, teacher shortage for school year appeared first on SaportaReport.

Leave a Reply