Schools in DeSoto

With a current enrollment of approximately 9,800 students, the DeSoto Independent School District is a small, suburban district 15 miles south of Dallas. The 23-square-mile district serves students in the communities of DeSoto, Glenn Heights and Ovilla with 12 campuses. The district enjoys small town support of academics and athletics, along with taxpayer support for upgraded facilities, technology and instructional support. For more information about DeSoto ISD, call (972) 223-6666

Mission statement

“The mission of DeSoto ISD is to prepare each student academically and socially to be a problem solver and productive citizen for a 21st century global society.”

The district’s mission, values, goals and objectives are clearly defined. The district and community have bonded to develop a system of schooling where all students are expected to graduate with character, intellectual preparedness and personal leadership as outlined in the district’s Portrait of a Graduate.

All campus, department and district improvement plans provide opportunities for students to achieve academic excellence. Every school provides outstanding academic instruction supported by pyramids of instructional intervention, enrichment, behavior intervention and privileges.

Growth and Facilities

DeSoto ISD continues to grow at a steady pace, adding approximately 300–500 students per year. While DeSoto ISD continues to grow and build new campuses, they also enhance existing schools with current technology and facility improvements for security and energy efficiency. Campuses are maintained at the highest standard for learning to be the top priority.

The district’s campus structure currently includes:

  • Early Childhood Academy (PreK):
    Amber Terrace
  • Elementary Schools (Grades K–5):
    Cockrell Hill, The Meadows, Frank D.
    Moates, Northside, Woodridge, Ruby
    Young, and Katherine Johnson
    Technology Magnet Academy
  • Middle Schools (Grades 6–8):
    East,Curtistene S. McCowan and West
  • Freshman: DHS Freshman Campus
  • DeSoto High School includes the main campus and an Alternative Education Program.
State and federal ratings

As of the most recent school year, several DeSoto ISD campuses have earned academic distinctions from the Texas Education Agency, including:

  • Three campuses earned Academic Distinctions in mathematics.
  • One campus’ scores were in the Top 25 percent Student Achievement.
  • One campus received Top 25 percent Student Progress.
  • DeSoto ISD met 50 out of 59 safeguards.
Excellence achieved
  • $14 million in scholarships offered to the Class of 2018.
  • DHS athletic training programs are “four-peat winners” of the Athletic Training Olympic Champions competition.
  • DHS Thespians qualified for the International Thespian Society National Competition.
  • State awards received in choir, CTE, track and dance.
  • DeSoto ISD received the A2E2 Grant worth $15 million to support magnet education in DeSoto ISD.
Private and charter schools

DeSoto also offers a wide selection of private and charter schools for children in preschool through 12th grade. These educational options generally provide specialized or religious environments
for students:

  • The Canterbury Episcopal School is a mission-driven, faith-based school. It is a college preparatory school built upon academic excellence, appreciation of diversity, spiritual development and social responsibility. In the most recent class, 98 percent of graduates were accepted to four-year institutions and 2 percent were accepted to two-year colleges.
  • The mission of Life School is to develop leaders with life skills through strong academics, character training and partnerships with parents and the community. Launched in 1998, Life School has grown to six campuses serving several thousand students.
  • Turning Point Christian Academy is a Bible-governed school serving grades K-4 through 12th grade that seeks to teach discipline, values, beliefs and principles that are consistent with the Word of God. Because these principles are taught first in the home, the vision of Turning Point is largely contingent upon parents educating their children, and teachers and staff members assisting them in this process.
  • NV Kids Academy is a licensed child care center preparing children for kindergarten. *Bilingual *CCA/CCMS Accepted *USDA (CACFP) participating sites. *STEAM-based Curriculum.

Other schools serving the area include Cross of Christ Lutheran School, DeSoto Private School, Faith Family Academy, Graduate School of Applied Linguistics, International Leadership Texas, Crossroads Academy, Vista Academy of DeSoto, Golden Rule Wintergreen Campus, Winfree Academy Charter School, and Uplift Gradus Preparatory Charter School.

Higher Education

DeSoto’s location makes it accessible to a number of public and private colleges for students seeking a higher education.

The University of North Texas at Dallas is the only public, accredited four-year university in the City of Dallas. With current on-site enrollment projected to be more than 5,000 students by 2021, the university isn’t just growing from an enrollment standpoint, but its 264-acre campus is evolving physically to accommodate the anticipated growth. The university’s first residence hall is now in place – transforming UNT Dallas into a residential campus – and a new $63 million student center was completed in 2018.

The main University of North Texas Dallas campus is now served by DART light rail, making it more accessible than ever and directly connected to downtown. Now housed in the fully renovated, historic former city hall, the UNT Dallas College of Law provides the only public law school in the city.

Cedar Valley College in neighboring Lancaster, just east of I-35, is one of seven colleges in the Dallas County Community College District. More than 7,000 students benefit from its comprehensive curriculum, which includes four credit academic transfer career programs and non-credit continuing education courses such as real estate, computer technology, foreign language and music.

Cedar Valley’s award-winning architecture and careful attention to landscaping have given the college a reputation for being one of the most scenic business sites in the Dallas area. The campus plan takes advantage of the site’s natural beauty, which includes a gazebo and a pedestrian walk along two sides of a 17-acre lake. Cedar Valley has a 350-seat performance hall, gymnasium, baseball field and a surgery facility and barn for the veterinary technology program. For more information, call (972) 860-8250.

As part of the Dallas County Community College District, Mountain View College is advancing Dallas’s tradition of excellence in education through high-quality programs in teaching, learning and service. Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave. in Dallas, offers a diverse learning community. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, the college has created programs geared toward increasing participation in higher learning, specifically in the arena of math, science, teacher preparation and nursing. For more information, call (972) 860-8700.

Northwood University, located at 207 N. Cannady Dr. in Cedar Hill, is THE business school for aspiring business professionals. The Texas campus opened in 1966 and is situated in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth. Its adult degree program offers a quality business education from a regionally accredited university. Whether students are out to finish a program started years prior or add a BBA degree to their resume, Northwood University has flexible options to fit busy lifestyles. Courses start every eight weeks with 15 different specialty options. Students can obtain up to 30 credit hours for prior experience. Community college partnerships make transferring easy – up to 92 previously earned credit hours.

For more informtion on Northwood University, call (972) 293-5454.

The DeVos Graduate School is where industry-leading faculty facilitate learning through a unique problem-based methodology. Students learn leadership essentials, transforming them into standout thinkers and problem solvers in today’s competitive business landscape. Options include the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master of Science in Finance. For more information, visit

In addition, DeSoto residents enjoy easy access to other Metroplex universities, including Dallas Baptist University, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas and Arlington.

Less than 30 minutes away, the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School/Children’s Medical Center/Parkland Health & Hospital System complex offers specialized higher education in medical fields.