DeSoto ISD Now Enrolling for the 20-21 School Year

DeSoto ISD Now Enrolling for the 20-21 School Year - Accepting New and Out-of-District Students
Posted on 06/23/2020
Selective Enrollment Student With Violin

DeSoto ISD announces the opening of the Selective Enrollment application window for academically-dedicated students who reside outside of the DeSoto ISD attendance boundaries and desire to become a DeSoto Eagle.

The application process is competitive but will offer out-of-district students access to high-quality educational options, including magnet academies, advanced academic courses, career and technical education, early college, fine arts, and series of academic support programs.

College Readiness and Career Technical Education Programs

Students in the DeSoto High School Career and Technical Education programs gain hands-on experience in their industry prior to graduation and can graduate with an industry certification. 

This year, the entire class of 2020 graduates in the Cosmetology program obtained their operator’s license and are fully-certified cosmetologists. The students in STEM, Welding, and Automotive programs received their OSHA-30 certificates while other students earned Certified Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomist certifications.  

“We offer a variety of programs of study for students to select from which are located within the comprehensive high school,” Director of Career and Technical Education Nicholas Johnson said. “We are designated as a T-STEM high school by the Texas Education Agency and our program is grounded in project-based learning.  Our Automotive, STEM, Health Science, Agriculture, and Information Technology programs fall under the Texas Education Agency T-STEM Academy.”

While ensuring that students have a pathway to a successful career, DeSoto ISD also helps students carve their path to college, university, or military service. The district has a 98% student graduation rate and with many students also securing their postsecondary options. The class of 2020 was awarded more than $16.5 million in academic scholarship and grants with students attending top-tier universities and HBCUs.

Advanced Academics, Early College High School and Magnet Academies

DeSoto ISD secondary students also participate in Advanced Academic programs such as dual credit and advanced placement (AP) courses and even apply for the Early College High School campus to jumpstart their college journey.  Alongside graduating with a high school diploma, students enrolled in the ECHS program have the opportunity to earn an Associate's Degree or up to 60 hours of college credit.

“Whether in a classroom or virtual setting, students will receive live instruction from college professors, and continuous support from classroom facilitators, said Dr. Labotta Taylor, principal of DeSoto Early College High School. “Upon graduating from ECHS, students can transfer earned college credit to the university of their choice.”  This year,  more than 90 DHS Class of 2020 graduates received their associate of arts degree.

DeSoto ISD students have access to academically rigorous learning at all levels and parents can also apply for a magnet learning environment for students through the variety of specialized magnet programs, such as the admissions-based Katherine Johnson Technology Magnet Academy and our various elementary, middle and high school Academies for Academic Enhancement and Excellence (A2E2) embedded into our campus communities.

The magnet academies are designed to create rich learning experiences to support students’ academic growth and development and the exploration of various and diverse academic disciplines on their journeys toward discovering their purpose. The magnet programs focus on blended learning, fine arts, medical and environmental science, and STEAM.

Bilingual and English Language Learners

DeSoto ISD also offers Bilingual, ESL, and Languages Other than English (LOTE) student educational programs. Students in the bilingual education programs in Kindergarten to fifth grade receive instruction based on the research-based and nationally accredited Gomez and Gomez framework. This program offers students the opportunity to master both English and Spanish languages to become both bilingual and bi-literate.

Fine Arts Programs

Fine Arts in DeSoto ISD have a tradition of excellence and has won numerous state and national awards, including the Best in Communities for Music Education and the National Association of Music Merchants award. The Fine Arts Department nurtures students’ creative expression in the following disciplines: 

  • Elementary School – Art, Music, Magnet Strings, Dance Theatre
  • Middle School – Art, Band, Choir, Theater, Cheerleading, Magnet Dance, String
  • High School – Visual Art, Band, Choir, Theater, Technical Theater, Dance, Cheerleading

“Our teachers are not only world-class instructors, but they are also artists and performers who share their passion for music every day in order to inspire and encourage our many talented students.,” said Dr. Jaime Kovar, Director of Fine Arts. “I am so proud of our incredible teachers, our district leaders, and the community of DeSoto who collectively embrace the power of music education in shaping a bright future for our students.”

Basic Criteria for Selective Enrollment (for students outside of the district)
Student performance and character:

  • Must be passing core subject areas
  • Must be a positive member of the school environment


  • No violations of the Code of Conduct [Levels III, IV, and V]; and

Attendance (including tardiness):

  • Must have a consistent attendance rate of at least 90%


  • Must have dependable and timely transportation to and from the district.

Please note each submitted application is reviewed on a case by case basis by district leaders and a committee.  All approved transfers are applicable for only one school calendar year. 

Once students are approved via the Selective Enrollment Process, all other traditional steps of the general enrollment process must be also completed to secure your seat. All required documentation for selective enrollment applications must be received by July 29 and can be directly accessed via  

New Student Enrollment

New student registration is also open for students who live within the DeSoto ISD attendance zone, but do not currently attend DeSoto ISD.  Parents can register students via the general enrollment procedure accessible online at  Be an Eagle and Soar with Us!