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Pre-K Roundup is around the corner in Dallas ISD (April 3-7), and there’s no better time to talk about the benefits of early learning. We know that 90 percent of a child’s brain development takes place by age 5 making those early years one of the most important phases of a child’s life. Children who are exposed to quality educational experiences at the earliest stages of their lives are building a foundation that will set them on a path to academic achievement.

Research shows that students who participate in an early learning program are:

  • More likely to be prepared for kindergarten success
  • More likely to succeed in school
  • More likely to go to college
  • Less likely to drop out of school

Early learning continues to be a major focus for DISD as we expand this program to include more opportunities for 3 and 4 year olds. By continuing to provide a robust curriculum with experienced teachers and increasing our partnerships with day care centers throughout the city, providing teachers and curriculum to support their efforts, our youngest learners are already preparing for success.

Last year, DISD launched its tuition-based Pre-K program to provide access to students who were not eligible for the free program. After listening to community feedback, the Board of Trustees voted to expand the tuition-based program for 2017-18 and lower the cost from $700 to $525 a month. This option will be available at 19 elementary schools across the district. Four of these schools are in District 7: Hogg, Lida Hooe, Lanier and Salazar. Eligible students would continue to get first dibs, but vacant seats could go to families who can afford to pay for these programs. Families would need to live within the district boundaries.

Pre-K Roundup starts April 3. Check with your neighborhood school or the program of your choice to find out more or visit the Pre-K website. You can also text PREK to 972.687.7735.

Other news in District 7:

  • The excitement is on at John H. Reagan Elementary, which will be a STEM campus next school year! The staff is preparing to offer students a science, technology, engineering and math focused program. STEM careers are the wave of the future, and this is another great reason for parents to consider Reagan for their children. In addition to STEM, the school offers two-way dual language for students entering Pre-K3 through 1st grade. Thanks to the Bishop Arts Home Owners Association and the Bishop Arts Merchants Association for their continued collaboration and support of this great neighborhood school.
  • Neighborhood schools continue to thrive in District 7. Felix G. Botello Elementary was recently selected to become an Innovation School with a new personalized learning model beginning August 2017. The school is the only elementary AVID model campus site in the district and earned five academic distinctions from TEA. Students in the Botello attendance zone (Wynnewood North, Beckley Cub Estates and nearby areas) get first preference, but other families can apply for a transfer into the school as space is available.

There’s never been a better time to check out your neighborhood school to see the great programs DISD has to offer.

Audrey Pinkerton

Audrey Pinkerton

Audrey Pinkerton is the District 7 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.