CTE Monthly Newsletter

March 2021

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Dallas ISD to receive PLTW Community Celebration Award

Hello Dan Garrison and Michael Hinojosa,

It’s an honor to congratulate you and your community on being awarded a PLTW Community Celebration Award for the month of March 2021!

Over the last year, our realities have been tested in immeasurable ways, and the positive impact of strong communities have served as the foundation to redefine our roles in society. Integrity, compassion, and understanding all integrate into our ability to adapt and grow to meet the needs of our everchanging world and stresses of our daily lives, which you’ve far exceeded.

Your community created various initiatives to support each other such as continuously engaging students and community members through ongoing STEAM and STEM activities and competitions, addressing the critical PPE shortage in your community and providing hundreds of NIH-approved face shields to hospital facilities, senior and day care centers, prison staff, volunteer fire department, and much more! Through these actions you demonstrated the power and impact individuals can have when they get together and work towards a common goal.

Designation as a PLTW Community Celebration Award recipient displays your commitment to collaboration, leadership, and entrepreneurship in support of your community and communities across the nation. Thank you for all you do on behalf of PLTW, your community, and those you have supported with your hard work and dedication.

PLTW will share your accomplishment with our community of thousands of educators through our website and social media channels to expand the reach of your voice, your story, and your accomplishments. You inspire us and we cannot wait to see the ongoing impact your actions will have on the world.

In the next couple of days, you will hear from Leslie Hankins, PLTW Partner Communications Manager, via email to collaborate on a blog post dedicated to showcasing what your community has achieved. In addition, we will be emailing you a social media kit the week of Mar. 22 so you can share your achievement.

Thank you again for all you do to impact the lives of those around you.

Dr. Vince M. Bertram
PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer
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Virtual Career Explorations

Law Enforcement Symposium

On March 10th, the Law & Public Service teachers and students were able to participate in a virtual Law Enforcement Symposium with Industry Partners.

During the event, students explored careers in law enforcement through the eyes of professionals in the industry.

Guest speakers discussed pathways to their success, industry trends, and insider knowledge on serving as a law enforcement professional.

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Art Reaching Out (ARO) Virtual S.T.E.A.M. Tour

On March 26th, the CTE Department, along with industry partner Art Reaching Out (ARO), hosted the ARO Virtual S.T.E.A.M. Tour. This event allows students to view highlights of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) through the art of glass blowing and its connection to the engineering pathway in STEM.

The one-hour event consisted of the following activities:

  • Virtual tour of the Dallas Glass Art| Dallas Design District to learn about careers in glass art and the use of technical materials in engineering.
  • See a live demonstration of glass art coming to life with Science as the foundation
  • Ask questions of the experts in this field.

This was a great event for participants to learn and see careers in the STEM pathway.

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Information Technology Cluster

Information Technology careers involve the design, development, support, and management of hardware, software, multimedia, and systems integration services. The demand for new and better technology will continue to grow and so careers for computer and information research scientists are expected to increase. As companies store more data, there will be a greater need for database administrators and for data analysts to make sense of it. More consumer products use software, so software developers will also see great future job prospects.

Students can pursue an industry-based certification recognized by industry leaders in areas such as CompTIA IT Fundamentals, Comp TIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Cloud Architect, Microsoft Artificial Intelligence, IT Support & Help Desk Certifications, Microsoft Security Testing, and many, many more. Each cluster provides opportunity and support for student involvement in Career and Technical Student Organizations, or CTSO's, such as TSA and BPA.

The three programs of study are as follows:

1. Information Technology Support and Services

Information Technology Support and Services program of study explores the occupations and educational opportunities associated with administering, testing, and implementing computer databases and applying knowledge of database management systems. This program of study may also include analyzing user requirements and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities. This program of study may also include exploration into the research, design, or testing of computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.

Students will learn to:

  • Examine, analyze, and interpret computers.
  • Perform light computer troubles.
  • Manage databases and organize data.
  • Research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components.
  • Study an organization’s current computer systems and find a solution that is more efficient and effective.
  • The median income in the information and support services ranges from $83k to $111K per year.

2. Networking

The Networking Systems program of study explores the occupations and educational opportunities associated with designing and implementing computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area, networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. This program of study may also include exploration into analyzing science, engineering, and other data processing problems to implement and improve computer systems.

Students will learn to:

  • Analyze network data to determine network usage, disk space availability or server functionality.
  • Configure security settings or access permissions for groups or individuals
  • Configure wide area network (WAN) or local area network (LAN) routers and / or related equipment.
  • Document network support activities.
  • Configure and define parameters for installation or testing of LAN, WAN, hubs, routers, switches, controllers, multiplexers and / or related networking equipment.
  • Evaluate LAN or WAN performance data to ensure sufficient speed, identify network problems or perform disaster recovery activities.
  • The median income within networking ranges from $68K - $1110K per year.

3. Web Development

Teaches CTE students to explore the occupations and educational opportunities associated with designing, creating, and modifying websites. This program of study may also explore integrating websites with other computer applications, and converting written, graphic, audio, and video components to compatible web formats by using software designed to facilitate the creation of web and multimedia content.

Students will learn to:

  • Design and create websites.
  • Students will be responsible for the look of the site, the site's technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website's speed and how much traffic the site can handle.
  • Design computer or mobile applications.
  • Understand user needs, develop software solutions, monitor performance, and modify programs as needed.
  • The median income as web developer can range anywhere from $67K - $104K.

Law & Public Service Cluster

The Law and Public Service Cluster focuses on planning, managing, and providing legal services, public safety, protective services, and homeland security, including professional and technical services. Within four programs of study, students will examine the roles and responsibilities of police, court systems, corrections, private security, and protective agencies of fire and emergency services. Work-based learning opportunities expand students’ opportunist to intern to develop and present solution for identified problems we face in Texas.


This program of study focuses on training students to respond to emergency situations, such as medical emergencies and fire-based emergencies. Students will learn how to prevent emergencies, respond appropriately and in accordance with rules and regulations during crises, investigations, and delineate the source of the emergency.

High school students can earn industry-based certifications in:

  • Emergency Medical Technician Basic
  • Emergency Dispatch Telecommunicator
  • Basic Structure Fire Protection Certification

Employment Trends:


$50,149 median wage

2,309 annual openings

13% growth

Emergency Medical Technicians

$34,091 median wage

1,880 annual openings

31% growth


This program of study introduces the students to the occupations and education opportunities related to representing clients in criminal and civil litigations, other legal proceedings, as well as assisting lawyers and preparing legal documents. This program explores possible specializations in a single area of law. Work based learning opportunities can be with local attorneys. Also students participate in script and mock trials of legal proceeding.

High school students are encouraged to earn industry-based certifications in:

  • OSHA 30 Hour General Industry
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ)

Employment Trends


$126,131 median salary

2,801 annual openings

19% growth

Paralegal and legal Assistants

$50,544 median salary

2,837 annual openings

19% growth

(High schools offering this pathway: Carter, Townview Law Magnet, and Skyline)


This program of study explores the occupations and educational opportunities associated with examining evaluating and investigating conformity with laws and regulations. Also, students will explore opportunities related to developing comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

High school students are encouraged to earn industry-based certifications in:

  • OSHA 30 Hour General Industry
  • Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ)

Employment Trends

Tax Examiners and Collectors, Revenue Agents

$47,445 median salary

307 annual openings

9% growth

Financial Analysts

$79,414 median salary

2,798 annual openings

24% growth

(High Schools offering this program: Townview Law Magnet, CityLab, Skyline, and Thomas Jefferson)


This program of study teaches about the development of, adherence to, and protection of various branches of law. Students will learn how to appropriately and legally respond to branches in the law according to statutory rules and regulations, as well as investigate how and why the branches occurred.

High school students have the opportunity to earn these industry-based certifications:

  • Non-Commissioned Security Officer Level II
  • OSHA 30 Hour General Industry
  • Emergency Dispatch Telecommunicator

Employment Trends

Supervisors of Police and Detectives

$91,312 median salary

253 annual openings

25% growth

Immigration and Customs Inspectors

$78,104 median salary

1,236 annual openings

9% growth

(High schools offering this program: Bryan Adams, Carter, Kimball, Molina, Pinkston, and Townview Law Magnet)

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO)

SkillsUSA is the most common student organization for all of the LPS Cluster programs. This national organization is a partnership of students, teachers, and industry partners working together to ensure America has a prepared skilled workforce.

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Dallas NAF Academies Recognized as Model and Distinguished 2020-2021

Congratulations to the nine NAF Academies for completing their quality review and virtual site visits towards earning the Distinguished or Model Achievement for the 2020-2021 academic year. We're excited to report that each of the schools listed below were vetted for and awarded the distinguished recognition.

The nine Distinguished Academies are as follows:

  1. Bryan Adams Academy of Engineering
  2. IDEA Academy of Information Technology
  3. Hillcrest Academy of Engineering
  4. Skyline Academy of Engineering
  5. Skyline Academy of Finance
  6. Skyline Academy of Health Science
  7. Skyline Academy of Information Technology
  8. South Oak Cliff Academy of Information Technology
  9. Thomas Jefferson Academy of Finance

In addition, we would like to congratulate James Madison Academy of Information Technology for being recognized as a "Model" Academy for the 2020-21 academic year. In total, we have ten campuses that have met the requirements to be recognized as Model or Distinguished Academy for the 2020-21 academic year.

We appreciate the hard work each campus has dedicated to enriching the educational pursuits of our Dallas ISD CTE students. Dallas ISD currently host to 32 Distinguished Academies and 1 Model Academy in preparing students for post-secondary readiness in Career and Technical Education.

Bryan Adams HS: Oscar Miranda, Academy of Engineering (AOE)

Oscar Miranda is a senior at Bryan Adams High School, and was excited by his NAF internship. In his own words below he is sharing what it's like during this challenging time:

"My internship was for Capital One. My team and I were given the task to create a company that will help our city (Dallas) to become a smart city. We choose to do this by creating a company that would help stop the spread of COVID-19 in a more innovative way.

An example is that we came up with the idea of delivering COVID tests through robots and drones, another idea we came up with was that we could take testing buses to the elderly people and homeless so the also have the opportunity to be tested.

From this experience I learned to collaborate more with people I barely knew, and that as young as we think we are we can still have great ideas and plans that in the future can help us and other people."

Molina High School Law Enforcement Program

Molina High School students are investigating a crime scene by photographing and identifying evidence. The crime scene was set up as part of the Criminal Investigations course.

The expected outcome is that students enrolled in the Law and Public Service Cluster would fully understand the proper steps taken to fully investigate a crime scene as they pursue Law Enforcement careers.

This demonstration of learning was facilitated by the instructor Mr. Earl Felton.

Lang Middle School Visit to Skyline Cosmetology Program

On Wednesday, March 3rd, Skyline High School Cosmetology Program hosted students from Lang Middle School. Skyline students had the opportunity to provide services to the students from Lang M.S. centered on Cosmetology.

This was the first opportunity they had to work on other students this year. It was special for the students because they saw how the cosmetology profession uplifts and can change a person's total disposition when they are pampered, including when services are completed to enhance someone’s appearance.

Each of the students received valuable insight from this experience. Ms. Shannon Smith, Skyline CDC instructor, expressed her desire for this partnership to continue in the future with our feeder pattern middle schools.

Ms. Smith would also like to recognize Ms. Morgan for assistance with their technology. Ms. Morgan set up cameras so they could collect footage of the services in action. Ms. Smith can’t want to see how she brings this to life for others to see.

Special thanks to Principal Simmons for providing permission for this event to happen

Skyline High School Graphic Design & Illustration

On March 6th, the Skyline Graphic Design & Illustration program participated in VASE or the statewide Visual Arts Scholastic Event. Our junior-level classes had three students qualify for State:

  • Seth Shipp - "Mother Nature", Pen & Ink
  • Emily Orduno - "A Girl's Face", Graphite
  • Damarius Hanks - "Etheric", Digital Illustration

Additional students were awarded Regional Finalist. Congratulations to Skyline Graphics Team and their educators, Mr. Jack Grimm (Art Instructor & Coach) and Mr. Brandon Harper. Thank you for guiding the students develop their own creativity and style.

Go Skyline Graphic Design Pathway! Go CTE!

Sunset High School 2020-21 Champion E-Sports Team

Congratulations to the Sunset E-Sports team for winning the championship in Dallas ISD Esport Tournament during the weekend of March 6th. They played against many different Dallas ISD schools, and their League of Legends team, Bison Legends, took home the championship. The students will be receiving medals for their victory.

Congratulations to Mr. Jesse Hurtado and Mr. Daniel Cerda, both IT instructors and coaches for their team. The screenshots below were taken, and here is a small clip of our team taking the win.



W.T. White High School BPA Regional Winners

Congratulations to the W.T. White students who competed in the Business Professionals of America Regional competition, at the virtual event January 23, 2021.

The goal of the Workplace Skills Assessment Program is to provide all students with the opportunity to demonstrate workplace skills learned through business education curricula. Students prepare for and compete in contests under the Assessment of Finance, Business Administration.

Please see the skill events below where the students were recognized:

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Townview DECA Advances to ICDC: DECA Advisor, Kevin Miles

Townview had the exceptional opportunity to compete in the DECA Career Development Conference and represent Dallas ISD and the State of Texas. Here are the results below:

Dhruv Nanda advanced to ICDC for his second consecutive appearance in Business Finance Series. He is the first elected state officer for the district. Dhruv Nanda is a third year DECA member with an outstanding list of accomplishments.

  • Freshman year, Dhruv was a State CDC competitor and a Townview DECA Chapter Vice President
  • Sophomore year, Dhruv advanced past state to DECA ICDC, and was selected as Townview DECA Chapter President and Texas DECA District 11 Vice President.
  • Junior year, Dhruv participated and placed 3rd in the state in Marketing Communications Case Study Challenge, made his second appearance at ICDC, and was selected as a DECA State Officer. Next year, he plans to become a National Officer. Please see Dhruv's video submission for the event: https://youtu.be/BfSJAJ6pj_4

Jakelin Diazdeleon was recognized as a state finalist in the Hospitality and Tourism Professional Selling. View her video submission for the event: https://youtu.be/DyYCohnkhHE .

Kennedy Miles advanced to ICDC in Financial Consulting. Please see Kennedy Miles's video submission for the event: https://youtu.be/lGN1n_lHMRE

Congratulations to all of the students who demonstrated great effort and hard work. We wish you much success in the DECA International Career and Development Conference in April.

Dallas ISD Trustee Dan Micciche recognizes Bryan Adams High School and Emmett J. Conrad High School

Recognition was provided to the staff of Bryan Adams for hosting a food and supplies drive during the winter storm with Vickery Food Pantry and Vickery Library. Trustee Micciche highlights the NAF program offerings at Bryan Adams and Emmett J. Conrad High School for providing career training programs through Conrad's 5 NAF Academies & Bryan Adams' 3 NAF Academies. Click on the article below to review.
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Join us in Congratulating CityLab HS Ag Science Teacher Ms. Ashlee Gardner

Congratulations to Ms. Ashlee Gardner, Ag Science CTE Educator in Agriculture at City Lab HS, for being selected as a Grand Challenge Ambassador.The team that brings you Owl Pellets: Tips for Ag Teachers podcast is excited to welcome Ms. Gardner as one of 16 agriculture teachers from across the country to serve as Grand Challenge Ambassadors (GCAs).

In this program, Ms. Gardner will immerse herself in a local agricultural problem, create educational “suites” for teachers, and serve as an ambassador to build a sustainable platform for professional development around grand agricultural challenges as outlined in the USDA’s Priorities and Goals. Ms Gardner received a warm welcome from various colleagues including Mr. Brian Myers, Professor and Chair of the Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida.

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Year Up: Now Accepting Applications for August Cohort

Now more than ever, Year Up needs your support to continue reaching young people. Year Up is now opening their application to recruit students to explore college and career opportunities with professionals in today's competitive industries.

Virtual information sessions are available for your classroom, attending virtual college career & fairs, hosting alumni panels, and connecting one-on-one with any young person who you think would benefit from enrolling in the Year Up program.

If you would like to collaborate or would like to refer a student, please email the Recruitment Manager Daniela Barajas at dbarajas@yearup.org.

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Professional Development Resources


Please click the online professional development link below for events, high-quality CTE tools, leadership development, and online learning opportunities with ACTE.


Also, click and view sessions presented by Region 10, which offers professional development for teachers to interact online in a virtual group setting, and learn tips for online instruction.


Professional Associations

Teachers should get involved in at least one CTE professional association. They are excellent sources of career cluster-specific teaching tools, ideas, networking, and mentors. For a list of professional organizations visit this link below:

Teacher Newsletter Highlight Submission Form


Please share all of your program and campus highlights, celebrations, and achievements with us. Use the link below to submit the highlight information. Make sure to give clear details about the event or highlight so everyone can understand the purpose and outcomes of your highlight.

Teacher Highlight Submission Form

Richard Grimsley, CTE Director

Newsletter Compiled by:

Marcus Nickerson, Program Coordinator

Kim Yancy, Program Coordinator