Ensuring all students are served
Dallas ISD serves more than 3,700 homeless students, and I believe that we as a school district must do everything in our power to support these vulnerable kids to the best of our ability.
The district has Homeless Drop-In Centers in 12 high schools, including North Dallas High School and Woodrow Wilson High School in District 2. These Drop-In Centers provide a place for homeless students to get access to basic resources such as showers, meals and job training. The reality is that these homeless students can’t be expected to learn in school until their basic needs are met.
These Homeless Drop-In Centers at 12 high schools are a great start, and Dallas ISD is looking into how to provide each Dallas ISD high school with a Drop-In Center.
When talking with parents and community members about the needs of our homeless students, they often ask how they can help. With that in mind, we have started an Amazon Wishlist where people can help provide the food and basic necessities these kids need. These items are sent directly to the Homeless Education Program and make an immediate positive difference in these students’ lives.
Simplifying the school transfer process
Meanwhile, I am happy to report that, starting next year, a simplified school transfer process will mean more families can enroll in their best fit school. Students will now be able to transfer schools for any reason, whereas, before, they had to have a curriculum- or hardship-related reason. Also, students who have been approved for transfer into a school will no longer have to reapply every year to attend that school, as long as there are still available spots at the campus.
The district will establish a uniform approach to accurately determine student capacity at each campus. Once that capacity is determined, the principal can have some discretion to accept up to 105 or 110 percent of the building’s capacity, but no more. If there are not enough available seats at the school, priority will be granted in the following order:
1) Children who reside within the attendance boundary
2) Children who have been previously approved for transfer and attended the school last year
3) Children who will help maximize needed enrollment in certain academic programs (e.g., IB at Woodrow)
4) New transfer requests
As always, I remain committed to supporting our homeless students and simplifying the school transfer process to ensure Dallas ISD accommodates and supports every student, regardless of their background or zip code.
In other District 2 news…
Congratulations to Henry W. Longfellow Career Exploration Academy and J.L. Long Middle School for having teams advance to the Destination Imagination Global Finals being held in May in Tennessee!
Graduation season is quickly approaching, and here are the upcoming commencement ceremonies for District 2 high schools:
• Hillcrest High School: Thursday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium
• Woodrow Wilson High School: Saturday, May 27, at 4:30 p.m. at Alfred J. Loos
• North Dallas High School: Saturday, June 3, at 9 a.m. at Alfred J. Loos
Dustin Marshall is the District 2 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.
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