Dallas ISD Rising: J.N. Ervin Elementary students, staff talk school’s turnaround

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While teaching math at Kennedy-Curry Middle School, Annette Powers kept encountering students from J.N Ervin Elementary School unable to add, subtract or multiply.

When Ervin became a Dallas ISD ACE School, which incentivizes high-performing teachers and campus leaders to voluntarily work at low-performing campuses, Powers signed on to help transform the school.

“I wanted to change the school’s culture and change the feeder pattern so students would leave knowing how to do the basics of math,” she said.

Dallas ISD Rising: Thirteen schools grab spotlight for tremendous turnaround

Thanks to Powers and the other outstanding teachers and campus staff, Ervin Elementary is now a much different school than it was just two years ago. The school is not only no longer on the Improvement Required list, it earned two academic distinctions.

For a first-hand look at how the school has changed, the Hub asked the school’s students, teachers, staff and volunteers.

Annette Powers, Math Teacher

“It’s all hands-on deck, and everybody empowers the kids—as well as we empower each other—to make sure the climate is what it needs to be at the school.”

Amazing, Fifth-Grader

“What I love about (this school) is that it’s a community where people can learn together.”

Daniel Crisler, After-School Program Coordinator

“Kids are happy to be at school, parents are starting to get more involved, and the community is really starting to come around to invest in these kids, which is really cool to see.”

Melanie Jenkins, Office Manager

“We have more parent engagement, more activities going on for our students.”

Derrick Wesley, Physical Education Teacher

“It seemed like in the past that students were okay with just getting by. With the staff we have now, we are not allowing them to just get by. We want them to thrive.”

Gregory Chapman, Community Liaison

“This school year things are fixing to just blow up because all of our new partnerships—the church and the community—coming back to J.N. Ervin makes a huge difference for the students.”

Toyota and TutorMate team up with J.N. Ervin Elementary School

James Wallace, Principal

“We are excited to build upon and exceed these gains, and I’m thankful to be a part of a wonderful staff and excellent school community.”

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