Dallas ISD’s George W. Truett Elementary is one of 13 campuses to get off the Improvement Required list, which is based on ratings from the state. There are several reasons Truett is a school where great things are happening.
One factor has been retaining much of the administration and staff the past several years, which has allowed them to focus on developing sustainable systems for helping to ensure student achievement.
“Our staff has a commitment to build a collaborative community that focuses on research-based strategies to ensure the success of all students,” said Principal Terre Evans. “Through this collaboration, our school was able to focus on data analysis and instructional strategies to increase our overall student achievement.”
But the success isn’t due solely to research and data, however. Implementing Social and Emotional Learning strategies allows staff to connect and build relationships with students and families. As a result, the collaboration has built a stronger school community.
Further, there are other ways students fall in love with learning.
“We offer a variety of extracurricular activities that keep all students engaged,” Evans said. “We have after-school clubs such as cheerleading, chess, basketball and soccer teams, debate team, Destination Imagination, Little Kids Rock, art club and many others.”
That approach means the campus can address the whole child’s needs on campus. That includes donated uniforms for students who need them; Brighter Bites, which provides nutrition and education for entire families; fresh fruit and vegetables on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and hot meals provided every day after school before club meetings and tutoring.
“Our teachers and staff are a cohesive group that collaborate to promote and support students’ academics, language and engagement,” Evans said. “The school has dedicated professionals who have a ‘can do’ and ‘will do’ attitude that will go the extra mile to foster a positive learning environment.”
Another factor is brining in parents to be a major part of the process. That includes, but is not limited to, a monthly coffee/breakfast with Evans to listen to the concerns of parents, provide clarification or explain school systems. Parents also visit the school during monthly PTA meetings, which include student performances.