Woodrow Wilson High School students won’t be following a traditional class schedule next year. Instead, the school has decided to pilot a block class schedule.

Under the block schedule, four classes will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and four other classes will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday. The exception is athletics, which will continue to be offered every day.

The schedule is similar to most college and university class schedules.

Woodrow and Sunset High School are the first DISD schools to implement the block class schedule. Garland high schools have been using the block schedule for four years.

“We were able to look at the successes and mistakes of the other schools who were using the block system,” says Woodrow teacher Betty Parrett.

“Hopefully, we will have worked out all of the bugs by the time school starts in August.”

The new schedule allows students to take a broader scope of classes and accumulate more credits per year, if desired, Parrett says.

In addition, some students would be able to graduate after three years of high school, instead of the traditional four.

Teachers must still teach a minimum of 5 classes with one hall duty period. Under the new schedule, teachers can teach six classes.

“The faculty is very excited,” Parrett says. “Of course, there is always some apprehension with change, but I think the students will react positively.”

Stonewall Teacher Wins Excellence in Teaching Award

Stonewall Jackson Elementary kindergarten teacher Dana Lund is one of four DISD winners of the 1993 Excellence in Teaching Award.

Each winner underwent weeks of classroom observation by contest judges and was selected on the basis of demonstrated skills, accomplishments and relationships to students.

Since its establishment in 1971, the Excellence in Teaching awards have recognized and encouraged excellence in the classroom.

Lund won the award in the Pre-Kindergarten through third grade category. She will receive $1,000.

Woodrow Seniors Honored by Exxon, State Fair

Michelle Lee Stackhouse and Sheanikie Moneek Kelly, graduating seniors at Woodrow Wilson High School, are among 20 DISD students who have been selected to receive $1,000 scholarships from the State Fair of Texas and Exxon.

The awards are part of a program established last spring by the State Fair of Texas to benefit students attending DISD high schools in the Fair Park area, as well as students participating in State Fair livestock activities.

The scholarship recipients are graduating seniors who have a demonstrated need for financial assistance and have been accepted at an approved institution of higher learning in Texas.

Stackhouse ranks fourth in Woodrow’s graduating class and plans to attend Southern Methodist University. Kelly plans to attend East Texas State University.

Alex Sanger Students Join Geography Contest

As part of a geography contest sponsored by the Rand-McNally Map and Travel store, students from Alex Sanger Elementary exhibited their geography savvy.

Kindergarten students identified all of the U.S. southern states, while first graders named U.S. states, capitols, abbreviations and language origins.

First, second and third grade prizes were awarded to children from each grade level.

Following the contest, Rand McNally geographer Larry Killan talked to the students about cartography (map making). Students also met Randy McNally, the company’s cartoon mascot, a “cook kid” who loves geography.

Enthusiasm for geography began at Alex Sanger several years ago, when parents painted a large U.S. map on the playground blacktop.

Last fall, in honor of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas, the school’s PTA sponsored a Geography Festival with 25 booths depicting maps and facts about various states. Children sampled chocolate from Pennsylvania, ate peanuts from Alabama and tried on grass skirts from Hawaii.

“Many children don’t know that Oklahoma is north of Texas, or the country of Canada is in North America,” says Nocona White, one of Alex Sanger’s first grade teachers.

Geography will continue to play an important role at the elementary school, says principal Mary Bolden. Next fall, the PTA will sponsor another Geography festival featuring the other 25 states.

News From Bishop Lynch

Bishop Lynch High School senior Gwen Dorn has been named a National Merit Finalist. Gwen is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey Dorn.

In addition for qualifying as a finalist, Dorn also won first place in science at the Texas Association for Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) state competition, marking the second consecutive year Gwen has won in this category. She dominated the competition by scoring 30 points above the second place winner.

The Bishop Lynch Jazz Band also placed first at the state TAPPS music competition and received the Outstanding Jazz Band Award for all divisions. In the solo divisions, Bryan Boyce placed first in the piano competition and placed second in percussion. Ed McGough placed first in percussion. New members for the Bishop Lynch National Honor Society include: Meg Galligan, Nick Larson, Rebecca Bellamy, Leanne Digby, Jeanne McCullough, Leslie Mazoch, Cheyney Larkin, Lisa Carr, Shelly Hennigan and Nikki Ann Ventura.

Schools Offer Variety of Summer Classes

Although some students will be singing “School’s Out for the Summer”, others plan to head back to the classroom to take advantage of the many courses offered during the summer.

If there was concern that the defeat of Proposition 1 would prohibit schools from operating this summer, DISD acting superintendent Chad Woolery explains that the district’s fiscal year begins in August, and money already was budgeted for summer programs.

The following is a partial listing of DISD area summer schools, registration dates, tuition and classes. For more information, contact the school or DISD administration offices.

Stonewall Jackson Elementary: Offers core courses plus enrichment courses June 7-July 1. Tuition, $100. Class time, 8 a.m.-noon.

Bonham, Fannin and Mount Auburn elementaries:

Offers tuition-free classes for any student retained in kindergarten through sixth grade June 3-July 15. Class time, 8 a.m.-noon.

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