District officials, parents, community members and representatives from organizations partnering with the new Solar Preparatory School for Girls celebrated the school’s opening on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The school launched in August in the former James Bonham Elementary School building on Henderson Avenue. This year, the school serves girls in kindergarten through second grade. Each subsequent year will add a grade, ultimately making the school a K-8 campus.
Khloe Scurry of Dallas ISD’s Office of Transformation and Innovation welcomed guests and gave an overview of the school. Solar Prep features project-based learning focusing on science, engineering, technology and mathematics.
Mike Koproswski, Chief of Transformation and Innovation, said that the process to open schools like Solar Prep begins with educators submitting their ideas. Two of the new types of campuses occupy buildings that had been mostly vacant: the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy at Fannin and Solar Prep are in older schools most recently used as office space. The student population at Solar represents one of the most economically and racially diverse in the district – a model created by design.
Principal Nancy Bernardino submitted the proposal for Solar. She noted that among other special features of the school, it offers Girl Scout programs during the regular school day.
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said Solar is a positive move for the neighborhood, once again playing host to a public school. For the girls, he said, it’s an incredible opportunity to begin preparing them for STEM-related careers. At the moment, women are under-represented in those types of jobs.
Students performed two songs during the special event, “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and “This Little Light of Mine” before officials cut the red ribbon.