New schools and programs provide families more options

Dallas ISD opened two new magnet schools this fall—Trinity Heights Talented and Gifted (formerly Roger Q. Mills Elementary School) and Mark Twain School for the Talented and Gifted.

North Lake Collegiate Academy opened its doors to its first group of students who can earn a high school diploma and associate degree–at no cost to them–while still in high school. About 8,500 students are now enrolled in collegiate academies in Dallas ISD.

Seven additional schools are offering the two-way dual language programs this school year, providing more opportunities for students to learn to read, write and speak in two languages. Dallas ISD now has 68 schools that offer the program. In this program, English speakers can learn Spanish and Spanish speakers can learn English. Students grow to become biliterate and bilingual while gaining high academic achievement and cross-cultural competence.

Over the course of a day in a two-way dual language program, students who speak and students who are learning to speak English are taught together certain subjects, such as science, in Spanish and other subjects, such as math, in English. The program aims to have a fairly even split between students who speak English and those who are learning to speak English.

“These students can think like a scientist in Spanish, then turn around and solve a complicated math problem in English: it just blows you out of the water to watch,” said Cloris Rangel, the Dallas ISD director of Dual Language Programs.  “Being bilingual and biliterate gives these students a huge leg up not just in school, but in their lives well beyond graduation.”

The additional campuses that offer a two-way dual language program this year are:

  • Montessori Academy at Onesimo Hernandez
  • John W. Carpenter Elementary
  • Trinity Heights School for the Talented and Gifted
  • Mark Twain School for the Talented and Gifted
  • Frederick Douglass Elementary
  • Sam Houston Elementary
  • Bethune Elementary

H.S. Thompson Elementary will also offer the program when the school reopens next semester.

Other schools that offer dynamic opportunities for students are the eight new innovation schools designed as new academic models inside an existing neighborhood campus that keeps its traditional boundaries, bringing more education choices into families’ backyards.

An innovation school offers a new academic model inside an existing neighborhood campus that keeps its traditional boundaries. As part of the Office of Transformation and Innovation (OTI) proposal process, leadership at each of the eight schools spent months designing new academic models.

“These eight new innovation schools focus on our neighborhood campuses, bringing more educational choices into our families’ backyards,” said Angie Gaylord, Dallas ISD deputy chief of Transformation and Innovation.

The eight new innovation schools will have one of two academic models: Personalized Learning, which focuses on a student’s interests, talents and goals; and STEAM, which focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

The eight innovation schools this year are:

  • Ignacio Zaragoza Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Arturo Salazar Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Leila P. Cowart Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Birdie Alexander Elementary School (Pilot Personalized Learning)
  • H.B. Gonzalez Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Jack Lowe Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Kleberg Elementary School (Pilot STEAM)
  • Ronald E. McNair Elementary School (STEAM)


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