Board approves reopening James W. Fannin site as Choice School

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At last night’s regular board meeting, trustees approved the reopening of the James W. Fannin school site as a new Choice School.

Reopening the site as a Choice School is a part of the district’s plan to launch a total of 35 new Choice Schools by the year 2020. Fannin closed in 2012.

The district is set to open the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy, which will be a new high school at the site located at 4800 Ross Ave. Beginning in August 2015, IDEA will start with approximately 100 ninth-graders, adding one grade each subsequent school year up to 12th grade with a maximum enrollment of about 400-500 students.

The Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy will follow a Personalized Learning model, which will have the following characteristics:

  • Students will receive personalized instruction based on what they need to know, when and how it should be taught, with content tailored to students’ needs.
  • Every student will be paired with a business mentor and have internship opportunities beginning in the 10th grade.
  • A major focus will be on 21st-Century skills to help prepare students to be innovators of the future.
  • Flexible furniture will allow personalizing the learning environment to suit those needs.

“We are thrilled that the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy is becoming a reality in August 2015,” said Mike Koprowski, Chief of Transformation and Innovation. “We believe that the school will be an attractive option for families of all backgrounds and that it will improve learning by tapping into individual student interests, learning styles, and aspirations.”

Last fall, community members and business partners weighed in on the design and planning of the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy. A total of 22 businesses and community partners have pledged support through mentoring and internship opportunities, and all of them are within three miles of the Fannin site. Additionally, the Fannin site was chosen partly because of its central location in the district and easy access to downtown.

Applications for incoming 9th graders are available as of April 24 and will need to be submitted by May 15th. IDEA will be open to all students districtwide, though students living within a 3-mile radius of the campus will have preference. To learn more about the application process, please see www.dallasisd.org/applychoice.

Funding to reopen a facility and convert it for the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy – about $1 million – was approved in March under the $135 million Interim Bridge Plan.

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