This time of the year is one to reflect on the things we are thankful for – a home, a family, a job, and many other things.
Personally, I am thankful for my family, for the community that has allowed me to serve Dallas’ children, and for the many educators who commit themselves to providing a quality education and nurturing environment to all students in Dallas ISD.
I am extremely thankful for the recent gains, academically and programmatically, which Dallas ISD has shown.
The district has steadily reduced the number of “academically unacceptable” or “improvement required” schools from 43 in 2014 to four in 2018.
Dallas ISD students outperformed the state average by five percent in achievement growth on the recent STAAR test.
The district also recently had 36 schools earning the maximum number of academic distinctions awarded by TEA, including the following schools in District 1:
- Harry C. Withers Elementary
- George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Academy
- Anne Frank Elementary School
All these academic gains were possible thanks to the dedication of outstanding educators and the variety of academic choices offered in Dallas ISD.
One of the programs that I am very passionate about is Two-Way Dual Language. I am very proud and thankful that Dallas ISD offers one of the largest dual language programs in the nation. Through these programs, students have an opportunity to master two languages. Spanish and English language instruction in every classroom teaches students to read, write and think in two languages, not only increasing their career options and lifetime earnings, but also helping them to become biliteral and bicultural. In District 1, you can find a dual language program in Nathan Adams Elementary, George H. W. Bush Elementary, F. P. Caillet Elementary, Everette L. DeGolyer Elementary, Anne Frank Elementary, Tom C. Gooch Elementary, Jerry R. Junkins Elementary, Arthur Kramer Elementary, Walnut Hill Elementary, Harry Withers Elementary, E. D. Walker Middle School, and W. T. White High School.
Collegiate academies in Dallas ISD have grown from five to 23 in a two-year period with over 4,400 students participating in one of the academies. Both high schools in District 1, Thomas Jefferson and W. T. White, offer collegiate academies though a partnership with Brookhaven College. The academies enable students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit, tuition free, while still in high school.
A very popular program in District 1 is the Montessori program offered at George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Vanguard and International Academy. Through Montessori programs, students have the freedom to choose how they learn while nurturing independence, social harmony and love of learning.
Thankfully, all the specialty or public school choice programs offered in Dallas ISD are also available to children outside the district’s attendance boundaries.
Now, is time to take advantage of the educational choices offered in our growing school district.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin the search for the right school for your child:
- Consider your neighborhood school: When researching school options, start with the schools in your neighborhood. Our neighborhood schools are deeply rooted in Dallas tradition and history and offer well-rounded academic offerings, fine arts and sports programs. Neighborhood schools will be hosting Preview Nights in the next few weeks to allow all parents and students to learn more about the programs offered at their campus. Contact your neighborhood school to find out the date and time for their Preview Night.
- Consider a school or program of choice that best fits your students’ needs and interests. You can find a list of the programs by school at: dallasisd.org/yourchoices.
- Prepare for enrollment: Once you have selected a campus for your child, follow the enrollment steps and requirements.
Application period for school choice programs in Dallas ISD will be open through the end of January.
And last but not least, I’d like to invite the District 1 community to join me on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m., at Everette L. DeGolyer Elementary, 3453 Flair Dr. I will be hosting a conversation about potential educational and facility opportunities for District 1 schools, and would love to hear everyone’s feedback and questions. Hope to see you there.
Happy Holidays to you and your families!
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