Jo Trizila
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DeSoto Independent School District, located 15 miles south of Dallas, has a long history of providing some of the most successful, ambitious and comprehensive magnet programs in North Texas. In 2016, DeSoto’s graduating class of 525 seniors earned $9 million in scholarships.  What many parents and educators don’t know is that the district’s secret lies within its robust curriculum offerings, specifically their magnet program. The program is comprised of fifteen comprehensive programs that are also open to out-of-district students including neighboring Dallas ISD students. DeSoto ISD’s Magnet and Innovative Programs have a comparable magnet offering in size, graduates and alumni success as Dallas ISD.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, DeSoto High School will host Magnets Attract, a unique event showcasing programs that students can apply for beginning in December. DeSoto ISD Magnet and Innovative Programs are tailored to give students and their parents the power to choose an education path based on personal interests and passion.

DeSoto ISD’s Magnet and Innovative Programs allow students in all grade levels from pre-K to high school to take ownership of their educational experience through the arts, law, business, medicine, linguistics and leadership. Pursuant to the transformation of science and technology in education, the Desoto ISD Magnet program also offers iSTEAM 3D curriculum at all middle schools and high school.

DeSoto ISD’s Magnet schools have curriculum that emphasizes a particular educational focus such as: engineering, science, technology or the arts. DeSoto ISD’s magnet schools’ open doors of opportunity and sparks the imagination of students, preparing them to become responsible citizens in a global society.

DeSoto ISD is dedicated to creating a districtwide, college-bound culture among students, parents and faculty members alike. Magnets Attract is being held as part of DeSoto ISD Family Day. Family Day session topics include STAAR/EOC Test Information, ACT/SAT, College Readiness, The Graduation Plan, IB Programs, Financial Literacy, PTA, Parent Involvement and much more. Student classes during Family Day include Respect, Leadership, Character and Bullying.

DeSoto ISD Magnet and Innovative Programs offer learning experiences that engage students while supporting interest that will open pathways to success. Programs include:

•        Collegiate Magnet Program (Upon graduation, an Associate Degree is earned along with a high school diploma from DeSoto High School (DHS))

•        Early College High School (Upon graduation, an Associate Degree is earned along with a high school diploma from DHS)

•        International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (DHS)

•        iSTEAM3D Magnet Academies (all three middle schools)

•        West International Male Leadership Magnet Academy (Gr. 6-8)

•        East Medical Magnet Academy (Gr. 6-8)

•        McCowan Fine Arts Magnet Academy (Gr. 6-8)

•        Amber Terrace Discovery & Design Early Childhood Academy (pre-K)

•        Northside Business and Law Magnet Academy (Gr. 3-5)

•        Ruby Young Medical & Environmental Sciences Magnet Academy (Gr. 3-5)

•        Woodridge Fine Arts Magnet Academy (Gr. K-5)

•        Cockrell Hill Linguistics Magnet Academy (Gr. K-5)

•        The Meadows STEAM Magnet Academy (Gr. 1-5)

•        Frank D. Moates Blended Learning Magnet Academy (Gr. 2-5)


North Texas parents and students are encouraged to attend this informal, make-your-own-pace event. All of DeSoto’s 15 magnet programs will showcase their unique offerings and capabilities through breakout sessions, performances and Q&As.  Participants will also learn about the application and selection process.  Door prizes will include a $1,000 scholarship, iPads and gift cards. Free breakfast will be available from 8-9 a.m., and food trucks will be on-site with lunch available for purchase.

A grand prize drawing for a $1,000 scholarship will be given to ANY current DeSoto ISD student who meets the eligibility requirements and attends all the sessions.

Event information:

WHAT:     Magnets Attract: DeSoto ISD Magnet and Innovative Programs Showcase

WHO:       DFW metroplex parents and students grades pre-K to 12

WHEN:     Saturday, Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to noon

WHERE:    DeSoto High School, 600 Eagle Drive, DeSoto, Texas 75115

COST:      Free


Agenda for the DeSoto ISD Family Academy including Magnet Showcase:

7:30-8 a.m.                 Registration

8-9 a.m.                      Breakfast and Student Performances

9:10-9:50 a.m.             Session One

10-10:40 a.m.              Session Two

9 a.m.-noon                 Magnets Attract

11:15 a.m.-noon           Guest Speaker and Drawings *

     * must attend both sessions and three Magnet Showcase tables to win

Event registration for the Family Academy is available online at

About DeSoto Independent School District:

DeSoto ISD is a small suburban school district serving over 9800 students district wide just 15 miles south of Dallas

Specialized funding within the district such as the Let's GEAR UP grant allows DeSoto the opportunity to invest in its staff through professional development and in students with specialized education opportunities that enhance self-awareness and promote college. In addition, Let's GEAR UP offers parents with insights and training that promote financial literacy and preparation.

Through DeSoto's Magnet & Innovative Programs structure DeSoto ISD students can benefit from specialized magnet curriculum from kindergarten through the high school studies. Magnet programs focus on the arts, law, business, medicine, linguistics, leadership and offers iSTEAM 3D curriculum at all middle schools and high school.

DeSoto magnet school FAQ available here

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