Detroit ISD has had a successful year despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the changes it brought about. Our staff members have gone over and above in keeping our students safe and on the academic growth track. Fortunately, the latter part of the school year is bringing about some normalcy to our days for our staff and kids.

Elementary staff have done a fabulous job of keeping the excitement of school present daily for our younger students in spite of the missed opportunities that Covid stole from them. Our elementary school is now striving to return to the pre-Covid normal by preparing for Easter egg hunts and Spring Field days. Spring field day is always a family favorite and will give the kids the opportunity to show their athletic ability.

We have another unique yearbook for our kids this year. At Detroit elementary, our students design and submit art for the yearbook cover. We have done this for the last two years, and the students are excited about this opportunity.

We will be hosting the 35th annual Kindergarten turtle race. This is a special year as it will be the last turtle race officiated by Ms. Gatlin, who is finishing her 40th year at Detroit Elementary School.

Detroit ISD Elementary, Middle and High school campuses are now one-to-one technology campuses. This has required growth for our students, staff and parents. It has been exciting and somedays painful for all, but they met the challenge. Despite Covid forcing us to embrace remote learning and forcing us to move toward technological teaching in all areas, it has been a win for Detroit ISD.

Our district archery teams will be starting practice soon, and we are looking forward to watching them compete.

Our high school Career and Technology classes have increased in course selections and class sizes. They have been able to participate on a somewhat limited basis but have shown great strides in all areas. We were able to certify 26 welders so far this school year. This is the largest group we have certified since our program began. Our Certified Nurse Aide class struggled to get our students into the nursing homes for clinical hours during the pandemic, but that has not stopped two of our recent graduates from working in the field and now being ready to test.

Despite the pandemic, FCCLA was able to compete at the Region III Leadership Conference. Five students completed a family and consumer sciences assessment and brought home medals. Savannah Hignight earned a gold medal, Rhett Mitchell, Reagan Deal, Brie Stansbury and Kelleigh Parenti all earned a silver medal. Ashley Langehennig placed fifth in Job Interview and will compete at the state FCCLA leadership conference in April.

Our FFA organization has continued to compete and learn throughout the pandemic closures. Due to district travel being limited, we had a great group of parents that picked up the slack and helped their kids continue to show and grow in their showmanship skills. In our Floral Design class, 36 out of 36 students passed a 100 question test from the Texas State Floral Association. Two of these students have jobs due to their certification. We are getting ready to host our 4th Annual Plant Sale – 1,005 plants were raised by our Agriculture students to be available at the community sale on April 7-10. Please see flyer on our Facebook page for hours and location. Our district was awarded a grant to create a Detroit Community Garden and Education Center. It is set to open May 15. Our FFA students are competing at state, area, and district right now in Livestock, Forestry, Horse and Dairy Career Development Events. In the completed events, they have been very successful.

Athletics has been in full swing all year. Our football, volleyball and girls basketball teams advanced to the playoffs this year. Baseball and softball are in full swing. We also offer Junior High softball and baseball. Our girls team has 11 eighth graders and 10 seventh graders. Our baseball numbers are not as strong this year, but we are growing this program. Due to the pandemic, our Junior High teams did not get to play last year and are looking forward to the season starting in April.

We had two members of our powerlifting team advance to the state tournament. We had one of our tennis mixed doubles teams advance to the regional tournament. We are encouraged by our team numbers and hope to have more regional and state tournament contenders in tennis and power lifting next year.

Our high school cheer squad is set for the 2021-22 school year and is ready to cheer our Eagles on to victory. We are looking forward to seeing continued growth in our academics, sports, FFA and all other areas in the days and year to come.

Kathie Thompson is the superintendent for Detroit ISD.

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