Dallas ISD is partnering with an HBCU to open a new secondary IB school

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The new Dallas ISD school operating in partnership with Paul Quinn College is now accepting applications for students entering sixth- and seventh-grade next school year.  Families can apply by visiting www.dallasisd.org/choosedallasisd and filling out the online application.

A partnership with Paul Quinn College will provide rigorous programs and more school choice options for Southern Dallas students.

The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees approved an agreement on Nov. 19 to open a new 6th-to-12th campus, which will operate under the International Baccalaureate model (IB), at Paul Quinn College. The school will work toward becoming an IB campus through the IB school authorization process.

“As we think about the opportunities for our students, one of the things that we talk about all the time is the need for our students who oftentimes need the most, to get more,” Dallas ISD Chief of Strategic Initiatives Brian Lusk said during the October board briefing. “This fits right into that space. We believe that it’s the right thing and a good fit for the community. It adds to all the great offerings that we already have in Southern Dallas.”

Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year, liberal arts-inspired university that has stood in Southern Dallas since 1872. This is the only institution that has received the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) accreditation within the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

The U.S. Department of Education grants HBCU status to universities and colleges that were established prior to 1964, and its principal mission was, and is, the education of Black Americans. HBCUs offer all students, regardless of race, an opportunity to develop their skills and talents. These institutions train young people who go on to serve domestically and internationally in the professions as entrepreneurs and in the public and private sectors.

“We at Paul Quinn College are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Dallas ISD on this project,” said Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, at the October board briefing. “I had the opportunity to talk to Dr. Lusk, and I was blown away. It had exceeded what I dreamed about. And to have the opportunity to bring something of this caliber to a community, which quite frankly has been adrift of these kinds of opportunities for far too long, is just incredible.”

The school will be located within the Paul Quinn College campus.

“We’re talking about impacting kids in low-income households,” said Dallas ISD Trustee Maxie Johnson, who represents District 5, the area that covers the proposed school. “Some of them in our community feel like they’re not going to be able to go to college, or they are excited about college, but they can’t afford the tuition. This is a step forward, partnering with an HBCU. When you talk about doing great things for kids, this is what it looks like.”

Innovative opportunities

The school will be a 6-12 Transformation School, operated under the International Baccalaureate model (IB).

The IB model focuses on teaching students to think critically and independently and how to inquire with care and logic. IB’s internationally-renowned programs and curriculums are implemented in over 5,000 schools globally every day, in over 150 countries around the world.

Christopher Barksdale, who has served as the principal of the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Fred F. Florence Middle School, will serve as the school’s principal.

Dallas ISD Transformation Schools offer specialized academic programming, similar to Magnet Schools, but they do not have academic entry requirements. These schools do not have attendance boundaries; 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.

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