*Sponsored Post*

As we close out a successful school year, I am excited to look forward to how Dallas ISD will continue furthering its goal of preparing all students for success after graduation.

These are three new initiatives that could significantly positively impact students in the 2019–2020 school year.

Boosting middle schools

After growing high-quality pre-K for early learners and opening new collegiate academies for high school students, Dallas ISD is turning its attention to improving middle schools.

The new initiative would bring strategies proven to lift school performance–strategic staffing, instructional excellence, social and emotional support, extended learning and supportive partnerships–to 24 Dallas ISD middle schools. 

The initiative would cost about $10 million to implement. The funds will be available if Texas lawmakers pass House Bill 3 to increase funding for public schools. If House Bill 3 does not pass, trustees and district leadership will discuss alternate ways to potentially free up the funding.

Creating Accelerating Performance

Another initiative aims to accelerate the performance of students in critical grade levels who have not demonstrated proficiency in reading. 

Using targeted lessons over the summer and touch points throughout the school year, the Creating Accelerated Performance initiative will be available to about 700 African-American students and English language learners going into grades 3, 6 and 9 at identified schools. 

The classes will have a low teacher-to-student ratio and use a curriculum that incorporates creativity and fun into the learning. If the pilot program is successful, the district could scale the initiative to reach a greater number of students.

Career Institutes

Dallas ISD in August will launch two new career institutes for highly-motivated students who want to enter the construction trades and earn a living wage after graduating high school. The institutes will offer courses leading to certificates in construction, plumbing, electrical, and heating and air conditioning at locations in North Dallas and Oak Cliff. 

There is a high demand for those in skilled construction trades. The industry is offering entry-level salaries ranging from $14 to $20 per hour for high school graduates. Those with a certificate, associate degree or bachelor’s degree can earn double that amount.

In other District 2 News

State Fair Scholarships

More than 30 seniors from North Dallas and Woodrow Wilson high schools each earned $6,000 college scholarships from the State Fair of Texas. The State Fair of Texas Pete Schenkel Scholarship awards outstanding seniors from six Dallas ISD high schools surrounding Fair Park.

Counselor Recognition

At a May ceremony honoring some of the best counselors in Dallas ISD, Ben Milam Elementary School counselors were recognized for receiving the Outstanding Educator Promise Award. 

Graduation ceremony schedule reminder

Woodrow Wilson High School, 1 p.m., Saturday, May 25 at Alfred J. Loos Field House

North Dallas High School, 7 p.m., Friday, May 24 at Alfred J. Loos Field House

Hillcrest High School, 4 p.m., Saturday, June 1 at Alfred J. Loos Field House 

Dustin Marshall is the District 2 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.