The Situation

Voters in District 2 (North DeSoto Schools) rejected a bond proposal for capital improvements in a November 2023 election. Because of the urgency of overcrowding and growing enrollment, the DeSoto Parish School Board has approved an April 2024 election with a revised plan for voters to consider. In a recent survey, ​​78% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the DeSoto Parish School Board needs to do something about the growth in the North DeSoto area. Another survey was conducted for staff in the North DeSoto schools where 100 staff members provided valuable insights and results that mirrored the opinions of parents and community members.

Rapid growth and overcrowding challenges are not going away. Action is needed to have a solution in place before both become bigger issues. The North DeSoto community and the DeSoto Parish School Board know that something needs to be done to best serve students in District 2.

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We have a lot to be proud of!

Students with principal

3rd in the state!

The Louisiana Department of Education released the 2022-2023 School and District Performance Scores and DeSoto ranks 3rd in the state of Louisiana, and is one of only 10 school systems with an overall grade of “A.”

DeSoto received a District Performance Score of 93.7. The District Performance Score is calculated by combining performance in LEAP 2025 state assessments for grades 3-8 and high school courses, ACT scores, graduation rates, strength of diploma, and interests and opportunities. DeSoto Parish Schools ranks 4th overall in the Progress Index with a letter grade of “A” and an index of 96.8. This index is a measure of individual student growth when compared to their peers.

Excellence in District 2

Schools in District No. 2 continue to stand out as excellent. North DeSoto Middle School and North DeSoto High School each earned an “A” letter grade for overall SPS, while all four North DeSoto schools earned an “A” in student growth and have exceeded 2019 pre-pandemic SPS scores.

NDHS is 2024 NIET Founder's Award winner

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) announced that North DeSoto High School is the recipient of the 2024 NIET Founder's Award and its $50,000 grand prize. The Founder’s Award honors one school in the United States each year for exceptional implementation of NIET’s principles: to build educator excellence and advance student success.

North DeSoto High School was just one of five schools across the country selected as finalists for the grand prize. Founder’s Award recipients are selected based on several factors, including their efforts to make instructional excellence the cornerstone of school improvement, plans for regular professional learning focused on the real-time needs of teachers and students, creating a culture of collaboration and reflection, and leveraging teacher leaders to drive student growth.

Growth is impacting all grades and providing challenges

Schools in the North DeSoto area continue to face the challenge of accommodating the community’s rapidly growing population. The area has seen tremendous growth and there is more on the way. More than 143 new addresses have been approved and an additional 12 subdivisions with up to 431 lots are currently in the planning or development phase since January 2023. The DeSoto Parish School Board has had to increase capacity in District 2 before and is once again giving the community a chance to decide what happens in the future.

NDHS was built in 1980 when the district had 1,028 students, with additional facilities added in subsequent years to accommodate a growing population. The four North DeSoto schools are currently serving more than 2,700 students and the projected enrollment for 2027 adds nearly 1,000 additional students. Current facilities will be unable to accommodate this type of growth.

Students together

North DeSoto Lower Elementary

Students and teacher

North DeSoto Lower Elementary is facing challenges, including the inability to have the same 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio that is seen in other parts of the parish. 

  • While we are proud to have lower class sizes than elsewhere in the state, creating a standard for the Parish creates a strong sense of community and support for all of our students. 

  • The building originally housed students in kindergarten through sixth grade and now serves PreK through first grade. 

  • Each year over the last several years, the lower elementary has seen a growth of 30-50 new students per year, with a large amount of growth in kindergarten. 

  • Unlike in other parts of the Parish, the North DeSoto PreK three- and four-year-old programs are unable to serve all students and have waiting lists. Programs also currently use mobile classrooms, which provide additional challenges, including safety and security. 

North DeSoto Upper Elementary

Students working on the floor

North DeSoto Upper Elementary also struggles with class sizes due to space constraints. 

  • While the parish standard for these grade levels is 20:1, we are seeing higher class sizes in District 2, simply because there is no capacity for additional sections.

  • The school once had four homerooms per grade level but is now seeing 10 per grade level.

North DeSoto Middle School

Crowded cafeteria

North DeSoto Middle School has seen exponential growth in all grade levels.

  • Space constraints create challenges for students to be able to participate in different activities and programs due to capacity issues and limitations. 

  • Grade levels have grown in population up to four times what they were in the early 2000s and classes and hallways are simply overflowing with students.

North DeSoto High School

Crowded hallway

North DeSoto High School gives students chances to grow, learn, and thrive through AP and dual enrollment options, and strong participation in athletics and extracurricular activities.  

  • Current spaces are creating limits to the ability to offer classes in important areas like career and technical education with less students being able to experience these hands-on learning activities than would like to. 

  • There is simply not enough capacity to serve our growing study body.