Welcome back, District 1 community, to the 2021-2022 school year! On Aug. 16, I had the opportunity to join Dr. Michael Hinojosa on his First Day of School event at Prestonwood Montessori at E.D. Walker. It was great to be able to welcome students personally at one of our brand-new schools and to see all those happy faces back in the classroom.
As we continue to navigate through the pandemic, we are working on different strategies to address unfinished learning. Learning inside the classroom is still the best option for students, because teachers can help those who need it most and include social and emotional learning practices throughout the day. Safety measures, including mask requirements, sanitation stations, and social distancing, will remain in place to ensure the health of our students. However, we know many families still have concerns about sending their children to school. To ease these concerns, the district recently announced a Virtual Academy, which started on Aug. 24th, for students under 12 years of age, who will receive virtual instruction for nine weeks. The program will be reevaluated near the close of each grading period.
Many thanks to the Junior League for funding teacher projects to the tune of $86,880
For almost three decades, the Junior League of Dallas’ Grants for Innovative Teaching project has funded dream projects for district educators to provide interesting and unique learning experiences for students. This year, 41 teachers received grants to cover the cost of dozens of projects – for a total of $86,880 in grants.
Many thanks to the Junior League of Dallas, and congratulations to the following District 1 educators who received grants: Yvonne Duque (Thomas Jefferson High School), Heather Dunlap (Thomas C. Marsh Preparatory Academy), James Peerson (George H.W. Bush Elementary School), Keesha Graves (Chapel Hill Preparatory School), and Jose Armendariz (John J. Pershing Elementary School).
Spanish Website for Dallas ISD Parents
As part of the Dallas ISD Hispanic Heritage Month campaign and the racial equity initiatives, the Dallas ISD Parent Advocacy Department has launched a Spanish web page, www.DallasISD.org/PADRES, to offer culturally relevant information for parents. The site includes the Spanish weekly information sessions broadcast live on Facebook, Spanish podcast episodes, parent resources and Dallas ISD department links, all on one page.
For the latest districtwide information and events, parents may also visit the district’s main Spanish web page: www.dallasisd.org/espanol.
Recognitions in District One
First, I’d like to welcome Mr. Ben Jones, the new Principal at Thomas Jefferson High School. Principal Jones has had a 14-year career as an educator, seven of those in Dallas ISD. I wish him the best to keep up the amazing work at Thomas Jefferson.
I would also like to congratulate John Erickson, a fifth-grader at Chapel Hill Preparatory School. His article on Roger Farkash, the mastermind behind the Trains at NorthPark display, won third place in the Best Profile Feature Story of the National Newspaper Association Awards.
And finally, congratulations to Mr. José Armendariz from Pershing Elementary School for being recognized as 2021 Region 10 Teacher of the Year. As you might remember, Mr. Armendariz was last year’s Elementary Teacher of the Year here in Dallas ISD.
For the most up-to-date news from the district, follow us on social media @Dallasisd and @dallasisdEspanol.
Dallas ISD Trustee
Edwin Flores, District 1