Bus tour spotlights successes of Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern schools


“Too many of our schools are what I describe as under-appreciated,” said Louisa Meyer, a parent and community member involved with Dallas ISD, after the recent Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern Bus Tour.

To properly appreciate the district’s schools is why Tim Hise, Division 1 executive director for the Thomas Jefferson feeder pattern, decided to organize the bus tour. He aimed to engage the community and shine a light on the positive things happening in the schools.

“We call ourselves the T.J. Revolution because we’re changing, drastically, the way we prepare our students for college and the workforce,” Hise said. “We have a lot to celebrate.”

The tour included stops at Leonides Gonzalez Cigarroa, Stephen C. Foster, and Sudie L. Williams elementary schools; Edward H. Cary Middle School; and, of course, Thomas Jefferson High School.

T.J. High School students, feeder pattern principals, and Trustee Elizabeth Jones joined other bus tour participants on the informational journey.

“Community support is vital to the life of all schools,” noted Meyer, whose children attended Dallas ISD schools, some of whom are now teachers in the district. “The schools are doing great things, but the community doesn’t know about them. There’s nothing like a personal experience to strengthen support.”

The tour kicked off at Cigarroa Elementary, where the group participated in the Morning Roundup in which students get energized for the school day and learning. Foster Elementary was the next stop, which highlighted the school’s fine arts integrated curriculum and college-oriented culture. A pre-kindergarten classroom at Sudie Williams Elementary then showcased early childhood education.

HOSTS volunteer readers greeted the tour at Cary Middle School, where community investment is strong. At T.J. High School, the group experienced performances from the award-winning modern band and drama arts students, and the ROTC cadets demonstrated a precise routine. The tour finale was lunch in the T.J. restaurant, Chez Pati, prepared and served by the school’s culinary arts students.

“Our objective was definitely accomplished,” Hise said. “I asked all of the participants to share what they experienced. I heard great feedback from everyone who participated.”

And don’t worry: If you missed this year’s bus tour, you’ll have another chance to join the excitement.

“We will most assuredly continue this tradition next year!” Hise said.

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