New grant program expands innovation at 20 neighborhood schools

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The loud cheering starts as soon as the big blue banner unrolls to reveal four words: “We are Innovation Engineers!”

Cuellar Elementary has just learned they are one of 20 neighborhood schools selected by the Office of Transformation and Innovation (OTI) for the Innovation Engine Grant Program, which provides $50,000 in seed money to help each campus explore and implement innovative education models.

“This seed money will go a long way toward what we are trying do to this school and make it a top choice for families,” Cuellar Elementary Principal Lonnie Russell says to students at the pep rally. “We are very excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”

From creating a space for social and emotional learning to training staff on next generation instructional strategies, the schools can use the funding in a variety of ways to support innovation on their campus. The grant program aims to deepen and expand innovation in neighborhood schools across Dallas ISD, with the ultimate goal of preparing campuses to become official Dallas ISD “Innovation Schools”. This grant program provides critical planning year funding to help school teams explore and find the best-fit model for their school community.

“We are committed to accelerating innovation in Dallas ISD by bringing more educational choices and innovative programs into our families’ backyards,” said Angie Gaylord, Dallas ISD Deputy Chief of Transformation and Innovation.

The schools selected, and the proposed academic model they will explore, are:

  • Lincoln High School (Virtual Learning)
  • North Dallas High School (Design Thinking)
  • Young Women’s STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School (G.I.F.T.)
  • Woodrow Wilson High School (Wildcat Way)
  • Terry Elementary School (STEAM)
  • Lee A. McShan Elementary School (STEAM)
  • John Ireland Elementary School (Exeditionary Learning)
  • Thomas L. Marsalis Elementary School (STEAM)
  • Gilbert Cuellar, Sr. Elementary School (Leadership STREAM)
  • Maria Moreno Elementary School (STEAM)
  • Arcadia Park Elementary School (Leadership)
  • John Neely Bryan Elementary School (STEM/STEAM)
  • George Peabody Elementary School (SEL)
  • James Bowie Elementary School (Global Service Learning)
  • Anne Frank Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Harry C. Withers Elementary School (STEM)
  • Bayles Elementary School (Leadership)
  • K.B. Polk Elementary School (Personalized Learning)
  • Oran M. Roberts Elementary School (Blended Learning)
  • Urban Park Elementary School (STEM)
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