A world of information is available via the Internet, and Lakewood Elementary can now explore it. Last month, parents and corporate volunteers spent a Saturday at the school, 3000 Hillbrook, wiring the building for the Internet during NetDay ’96, a national event that encourages communities to help schools install the equipment necessary for students and teachers to use e-mail and access the World Wide Web. Lakewood is the first Dallas public school to have Internet access throughout its building.
“Last year, President Clinton established the goal of wiring every school by the year 2000,” says Lakewood teacher Janna Murphy, who helped coordinate the school’s NetDay.
“It’s very grassroots.”
Although some of Lakewood’s computers are out-dated, the school is fortunate enough to have at least one computer in each of its classrooms and five in its library, Murphy says. The school also has a computer lab with 28 machines.
Now, every classroom inside the building is wired to the Internet, Murphy says. The computer lab also has Internet access, as well as the library.
But not all machines can actually go online, even though access is available, Murphy says.
“Some of the rooms have computers, but they are not fast enough to hook up to the Internet,” Murphy says “Our goal is to upgrade those.”
Computers in the school’s portable classrooms do not have Internet access yet, but the goal is to connect them in 1997, Murphy says. Connecting the portables will require additional funds, she says.
Lakewood’s Internet hook-up was made possible by several corporate sponsors, Murphy says, including Apple Computer Inc., Anixter Inc., N-Sight Group Inc., Sabredata, Southwestern Bell Telephone, Digital City Dallas/Fort Worth, American Online and On-Ramp Technologies, which is donating free access time during the school’s initial months on the Internet. The Lakewood Early Childhood PTA, the Lakewood PTA and the Friends of Lakewood (a school support group founded by dads) also provided support.
But the person most responsible for the effort is neighborhood resident Todd Copilevitz of the Dallas Morning News, Murphy says. Copilevitz, who writes the “Life Online” column for the Morning News, knew about NetDay through his work and approached Lakewood Elementary about participating. He also contacted the corporate sponsors.
Lakewood fourth-grader Marc Miller says he is excited about using the Internet. It will help him with his homework, he says, by providing the information he needs for reports.
Murphy plans to use the Internet to help teach her students about the 1996 presidential election and U.S. government, she says.
Teachers also will use the Internet to talk to other classrooms around the world, Murphy says.
“The opportunity for what we can access is unbelievable,” Murphy says. “If we’re studying a foreign country, we can log on there.”
Lakewood Elementary also will have its own Web page. The address is http://www.lakewood/school.org.
The first NetDay was held in California last year when a quarter of the state’s 32,000 schools were linked to the Internet. NetDay is meant to become an annual event, with new schools connecting to the Internet each October.
Neighborhood Students Recognized in National Merit Scholarship Competition
Matthew G. Liebman of Woodrow Wilson High School and Paul S. Bossart of Bryan Adams High School were among nine students in the Dallas Public Schools selected as semifinalists in the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Two neighborhood students at Bishop Lynch High School also were named semifinalists: Matt Burns and Elizabeth Jardina.
These students will compete for approximately 7,000 scholarships worth a total of $27 million.
Bishop Lynch’s Justin Dickstein and Abigail Baca were recognized as commended scholars in this program.
Woodrow’s Jonathan Roberts also was named a finalist in the National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program, which is part of the scholarship competition. Bryan Adams’ Samuel Garcia received an honorable mention.
Students are recognized in the National Merit Scholarship Program based on their preliminary SAT scores, grade point averages and counselor recommendations.
News & Notes
Dealey Students Perform in All-City Choir: Four neighborhood students who attend George B. Dealey Montessori were selected for the 1996-97 Dallas Public Schools All-City Elementary Choir, which performs a free concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at A. Maceo Smith High School, 3030 Stag Road. The students are Emma and Stephen Arnquist, Olivia Charbeneau, and Kathy Alonso.
Other Dealey students were selected for the district’s All-City Orchestra, which recently performed at Thomas Jefferson High School. Chosen at the elementary school level were Alonso, Stephen Arnquist, Vanessa Bahena, Timmy Barrus, Mariam Chaudhry, Daniela Garcia, Lorena Garcia, Carling Hale, Sharlene Herrera, Francine Lazo and Jean Abreu. Chosen at the middle school level were Clare Abreu, Catalina Aguirre, Luis Garcia, Phillip Luna, Kristen Newell, Victor Oviedo, Natalie Pietsch, Dora Vallejo, Diana Borja, Ava Farr, Ashlee January, Christian Martinez, James Arnquist, Matt Davis and Danny Garcia. Chosen at the high school level was Megan Chisom. Anh Tuan Le, a former Dealey student who attends Booker T. Washington, presented a solo performance.
Sanger Celebrates 40th Birthday: In October 1956, Alex Sanger Elementary, 8410 San Leandro, opened its doors for the first time. Last month, the school celebrated its 40th birthday with a community party that brought together former and current students, faculty members and parents. MEPC Properties, the school’s ongoing adopter, was also honored, as well as PTA life members and past PTA presidents.
Lipscomb Teacher Awarded $1,000: Anyse Tinner of William Lipscomb Elementary was one of 10 Dallas Public Schools teachers to receive a $1,000 grant from Hispanic Salute ’96, an on-going program that honors Hispanics in the North Texas area who make significant contributions to education and the effort to reduce illiteracy.
Dealey Improves State Rating: George B. Dealey Montessori, a Dallas public school that teaches kindergarten through eighth grade, earned a “recognized” rating from the Texas Education Agency for the 1995-96 school year, an improvement from the school’s “acceptable” rating the previous year. The recognized rating means at least 70 percent of Dealey’s students passed each section of the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test. Fourteen public schools in Dallas received this rating (including Victor Hexter Elementary), up from 11 the previous year. Dealey will receive a cash award for the accomplishment.
Silver Star Schools Honored: Seven neighborhood elementary schools received Silver Star awards last month from the Dallas Public Schools for campus improvement efforts. They were: James W. Fannin, Dealey Montessori, Victor Hexter, Stonewall Jackson, Dan D. Rogers, Alex Sanger and Ignacio Zaragoza. The district considers standardized test scores, attendance, grade promotion and graduation rates in awarding this honor.
Lakehill Accepting Kindergarten Applications: Lakehill Preparatory School, 2720 Hillside, is accepting applications for its 1997-98 kindergarten class through Feb. 13. Admission evaluations are scheduled Feb. 22. Children must turn 5 years of age by Sept. 1 to qualify for admission. Lakehill teaches kindergarten through 12th grade. For information, call Dianne Harris at 826-2931. Campus tours are available by appointment.
SMU Scholarship Winners: Three neighborhood residents were among nearly 400 students chosen this fall as University Scholars at Southern Methodist University, an honor which carries a scholarship of up to $12,000 over four years. They were freshmen Nhaila Rhiannon Hendrickse, Ryan Alfred Huber and Matthew Bradley Smith. Students were selected based on their academic record and extracurricular activities while in high school. Two other neighborhood residents are freshmen this year at SMU: Karly Michelle Barreiroa and Lark Angela Demler.
Free Training in Construction Field: Dallas Can! Academy is offering a free pre-apprenticeship training program in the construction field. Students can specialize in electrical work, carpentry or plumbing. After successfully completing the six-week course, students automatically will be placed in a position paying a starting salary of $7.50 per hour, according to the academy. Students must be at least 18 years old. Call 943-2244.
Secretarial School Reclassified as Junior College: Executive Secretarial School, 4849 Greenville, recently was accredited as a junior college by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The secretarial school is the oldest private career college in continuous operation in Dallas, says President Stephen B. Friedheim. Most students at the school are high school graduates or adults re-entering the work world, Friedheim says.