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As we look at bringing more public school choice programs to students across the Dallas Independent School District, the power of our neighborhood schools cannot be overlooked. These schools provide a common touch point that strengthens communities and gives neighbors an opportunity to work, live and grow together.

Those of you who grew up walking to your neighborhood school along with your friends next door can remember the sense of community and oneness that experience allowed. Today, the district has a strategic focus on school choice, which provides students wonderful opportunities to find and attend an educational program that fits their interests, regardless of where it’s located.

However, we cannot allow our neighborhood schools to be overlooked. These schools are at the heart of every community, and we must continue to find ways to strengthen them. If we fail to do this, we will find ourselves with schools that are underutilized and missing the mark on serving its surrounding community.

There are several neighborhood schools in or near District 7 that are retooling their educational programs to attract more neighborhood students by offering a special academic focus. Felix Botello Elementary offers a personalized learning curriculum that focuses on college readiness. DeZavala Elementary offers a Montessori format. Reagan Elementary offers a STEAM focus (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math). L.O. Donald Elementary will offer a leadership school beginning next school year. Rosemont Elementary will offer a talented and gifted program in addition to FLES (Foreign Language in the Elementary School). And, of course, Lanier (grades 4-8) and Greiner (grades 6-8) continue to offer outstanding fine arts programs.
You owe it to your children to check out these exciting options close to home.

Other news in District 7:

Summer fun is around the corner If you missed the Dallas ISD Summer Resource Fair earlier this month, there’s still time to register for free or low-cost summer programs for your children. Dallas ISD is joining with Big Thought, Dallas City of Learning and the city of Dallas to offer more than 100 fun-filled activities and camps for all interests. To find out what programs are available, check out the Discover Summer guide.

Future Focus Camps taking applications
Be sure to check out the Future Focus College and Career Readiness Camp for current sophomores and juniors. For two weeks (June 11-22) students get hands-on experience to sharpen their skills in business, professionalism, interviewing, resume writing, career exploration, company visits, technology and more. Apply by April 27 at www.UnitedWayDallas.org/FutureFocusCamp
or call 214.978.0032.

Mark your calendars for Class of 2018 graduations
W.H. Adamson HS – 7 p.m., June 1, Ellis Davis Field House
Trini Garza ECHS – 7 p.m., May 26, Ellis Davis Field House
Molina HS – 7 p.m., May 30, Alfred J. Loos Field House
Sunset HS – 7 p.m., May 29, Ellis Davis Field House


Audrey Pinkerton, District 7