As the school year winds down, it is a great time to reflect on the achievements we’ve experienced this year in Dallas ISD. We began the school year with a burst of energy as we launched new collegiate academies and expanded early learning and two-way dual language programs.
And as we close out the year, we can look with great anticipation to continued growth for the upcoming year. When school starts in August, DISD will open 10 additional collegiate academies, which have already received designation from TEA as official early college high school sites. Through this expansion, more students than ever will have the opportunity to earn an associate degree or up to 60 hours of college credit, while they pursue their high school diplomas.
In District 7 alone, three high schools — Adamson, Molina and Sunset — will now join Trini Garza to offer this life-changing opportunity to our students and their families. Bringing this kind of experience to more students is a huge boost, and it lays the groundwork for positive changes in our communities as more of our students will see college as a real option.
In addition to the higher education value, these academies provide students a chance to gain valuable workplace skills as they work with industry partners to mentor and prepare students for high wage jobs after high school. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has a need for more skilled workers, and this program provides career pathways for students to follow, complete with credentials. These certifications will enable students to achieve gainful employment in industries that are in high demand in our city.
Partners in District 7 are: American Airlines (partnering with Adamson), BKD (Molina), and Children’s Health, Dallas ISD and Baylor Scott & White (Sunset).
When you look at the workplace of the future, gaining workplace knowledge and/or college experience is more vital than ever before. This is a unique opportunity for our students to prepare for a successful life beyond academics and become more marketable in the workplace.
Summer is the perfect time to relax, but keep reading
Educators are familiar with the “summer slide,” the time during summer break when students step away from their studies to relax. However, if parents and students aren’t careful, this could be a time when learning can slide or students can forget some of what they’ve learned during the year.
There are a number of ways to fight that slide, including enrichment camps, and DISD has a number of opportunities (more on that here). But one easy step every student can take is to simply keep reading. A quick trip to the library a few times each month can be your child’s ticket to adventure, mystery, intrigue, exploration and discovery. Your local librarian can help point you in the direction of a great read for your child’s level, so take advantage of this great summer resource.
Thank you for supporting DISD all year, and I wish you a safe, fun summer.
Audrey Pinkerton is the District 7 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.