Snowmageddon 2021 has ended, but its aftermath lingers. As I write this column, Bryan Adams High School is still without power due to extensive damages to the mechanical system. While the work continues, we do not anticipate the power will be restored before spring break; therefore, students will not be able to return to the campus for in-person learning until at least March 22. The campus will continue with 100% virtual classes until that time. The school is sending communications to parents and will continue to keep them updated on the progress.
Fortunately, neighbors and volunteers pitched in to help those affected by the storm. Volunteers distributed about 400 bags of donated food to Bryan Adams students and their families. And a truck full of produce and water arrived for the 300 families who showed up to receive supplies.
Thanks to Bryan Adams staff for hosting the food and supplies drive to collect canned goods, groceries and household items to help those affected by the storm. Thanks also to Vickery Food Pantry and to Vickery Library and Emmett J. Conrad High School for providing warmth after the storm.
NAF programs prepare students for the workforce of the future
If you’ve followed my recent columns, you know that I’ve been addressing the career training programs at our two District 3 high schools — an important offering that equips our young people for jobs of the future. I’ve looked at Dallas ISD’s Career Technical Education and P-TECH/Early College programs, and now I’d like to focus on the NAF program offerings at Bryan Adams and Emmett J. Conrad high schools.
NAF (the National Academy Foundation) is a national organization that partners with businesses to provide industry-based instruction that enables students to graduate with the knowledge and skills to be successful in their chosen field.
Emmett J. Conrad High School offers five NAF academies: in Engineering, Finance, Health Science, Hospitality & Tourism, and Information Technology. Each of these academies has attained the status of Distinguished — the highest awarded by NAF.
Conrad is only the second school in the nation to have earned all five Distinguished Academies. As part of their NAF academy experience, students are highly encouraged to participate in a paid summer internship. The internships can be as short as four weeks or as long as eight weeks, depending on the employer.
Preparation for the internships begins in the fall with online training, followed by interviews with prospective employers and workshops on such topics as time management, budgeting and business etiquette. All internship preparation is virtual this year. For more information, visit dallasisd.org/conradnaf.
Bryan Adams High School hosts four NAF academies on campus: in Engineering, Health Sciences, Information Technology and, coming to BA in the fall of 2021, Hospitality and Tourism. Students in NAF academies at BA have one NAF elective per year within their academy discipline and receive regular professional and industry guidance from local and national working professionals that will culminate with a paid internship for every student.
When students graduate with credit for their four NAF classes and complete the paid internship, they receive NAFTrack certification, which comes with a network of industry professionals and preferred hiring for NAF partner companies.
Bryan Adams leads the district in paid internships for NAF students and touts the personal growth seen and experienced by all students enrolling in the program. Please visit dallasisd.org/banaf for more information.
Each of these fine NAF programs is an excellent vehicle for getting our students future-ready.
In other news …
- Dallas ISD is moving forward in creating Student and Family Resource Centers for four target communities left behind by decades of disinvestment and neglect that led to poverty and negative outcomes for students and families. The centers — planned for construction in neighborhoods served by Lincoln, H. Grady Spruce, L.G. Pinkston and Franklin D. Roosevelt high schools — will be funded with $40 million allocated in the Bond 2020 construction plan, and designed to remove barriers to student achievement.
- Trustees have approved three calendars to help students catch up and combat learning loss caused by the COVID pandemic — two of which propose extending the school year to help students catch up on lost instruction. Parents are urged to participate in the decision-making by responding to the Time to Learn calendar survey. Please review the options explained at dallasisd.org/timetolearn and complete the survey at www.dallasisd.org/survey to express your opinion about the best option to help students get back on track.
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