A new elementary school that will operate under the Montessori model is on track to open for the 2021 – 2022 school year.
The E.D. Walker Middle School campus has undergone renovations, including a new addition to the building that will eventually house more than 400 pre-K-through-5th-grade students.
The families in this North Dallas community have expressed interest in expanding Montessori opportunities, said Brian Lusk, Dallas ISD Chief of Strategic Initiatives.
“If you look at the data, you’ll see that Dealey, one magnet school that is down-the-street from Walker, has a significant number of applications,” Lusk said during an Oct. 8 Dallas ISD Board of Trustees briefing. “This opportunity of a school that is application-required, but doesn’t have entrance criteria, will allow for the families who are seeking this opportunity to have it in their community.”
Dallas ISD already operates five pre-K-5th Montessori schools: George Bannerman Dealey, Downtown Montessori, Eduardo Mata, Onesimo Hernandez, and Harry Stone. In last school year’s application count, there were approximately 2,500 applications for Montessori campuses to fill 700 seats. And just for George Bannerman Dealey Montessori Academy, 504 applied for 66 seats.
The new Montessori elementary will be a Transformation school. These schools offer specialized academic programming, similar to Magnet Schools, but they do not have academic entry requirements. An application is required. Any student can apply to attend a Transformation School, no matter where they live. Students are selected for enrollment through a randomized lottery, and transportation is provided within district boundaries.
The elementary school is scheduled to launch with 242 pre-K-through-second students next school year. Besides the Montessori model, the school will also offer a Two-Way Dual Language program.
The 6th-through-8th grades of E.D. Walker will remain designated as a neighborhood school.
This secondary school currently offers three different pathways, which are set up to align with the pathways at W.T. White High school: two in performing arts and a Two-Way Dual Language pathway.
The renovations are scheduled to end in the 2021 summer. Among the construction projects of the new parts of the building are:
- Two-story pre-K and elementary addition (20 core classrooms), which can add 440 new students;
- Extensive remodel of the existing building to integrate with the new addition;
- State-of-the-art Digital Media space for innovation and collaboration;
- Classroom, administration area, and athletic area renovations;
- New P.E./Gym area for new K-5 addition with storm shelter:
- Visual and performing arts UIL improvements;
- Updated entrances for elementary and middle school access;
- New playground area and play equipment for new K-5 elementary school addition