Author: Jessica Coppedge

Social and emotional learning (SEL) builds the skills, knowledge and attitudes that students and adults need to be successful. SEL is a high priority in Dallas ISD, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it more clear the value SEL skills bring to the district’s individuals, classrooms, and families. While SEL does not replace needed mental health services, SEL can promote mental wellness in many ways. By fostering responsive relationships, emotionally safe environments, and social and emotional skills development, SEL cultivates important “protective factors” to buffer against mental health risks. SEL is for individuals of all ages and when schools…

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Despite all of the challenges this past year has brought to students and learning, the Dallas ISD Visual & Performing Arts Department has found innovative ways to thrive in the midst of the pandemic and beyond. “We are taking COVID lemons and making lemonade,” said Tim Linley, executive director of Visual & Performing Arts. At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, Linley’s team set out a lofty goal of 100,000 touchpoints with Dallas ISD students. The Visual & Performing Arts Department has more than quadrupled that goal, reaching 485,000 touchpoints this year. A touchpoint represents an individual student experiencing…

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With so many school choice options available to families today, deciding where to attend high school can be tough. For Kaci Anderson, the decision to switch from a private to public school was easy after she visited Dallas ISD’s Innovation Design Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) and learned about the school’s personalized learning model, NAF Academy, small class sizes, and opportunities for real-world experience. Not only has IDEA impacted and shaped Anderson into the person she is today, but she has impacted and shaped her high school as well. Anderson has served as student council president all four years and is chapter…

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Sunset High School varsity cheer caption Jourdyn Hawkins knows how to start and finish strong. Last fall, Hawkins made Sunset athletic history as she was one of four cheerleaders from Sunset High School to make the National Cheerleading Association’s (NCA) All-American team.  Now, as her senior year quickly comes to an end, it is on another high note as her team took first place in the Game Day category at the “Sock it To Em” Nationals competition on April 18. Hawkins made further athletic history this year when she was the first-ever Sunset student invited to apply to join NCA…

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The third annual Dallas ISD Poetry Slam will be held virtually on Thursday, March 11, at 2 p.m., and centers on this year’s theme: I Matter, We Matter, Words Matter. The top 10 finalists will perform their original poems in front of a live Zoom audience, as well as a panel of judges. Representatives from Flocabulary, an educational company that produces hip-hop videos and instructional activities that promote literacy and spark creativity, will be in attendance as well as the event’s sponsor, Roland Parrish. Parrish will provide $10,000 in scholarships and pizza parties for the top 10 winning classes. Flocabulary…

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Dallas ISD is one of six school communities across the nation that is a part of the Partnership for Social and Emotional Learning Initiative (PSELI), an initiative funded by The Wallace Foundation. A new podcast series from The Wallace Foundation shares findings and early lessons from a RAND Corporation study of PSELI. The five-episode series features in-depth conversations with school, district, afterschool and out-of-school time leaders about their experiences working together to help children develop social and emotional skills. PSELI is a comprehensive, multi-year initiative to explore whether and how children can benefit from intentional partnerships between schools and afterschool/out-of-school…

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Dallas ISD’s Social and Emotional Learning Department has a new discussion series just for teachers. The SEL In Action: Teacher Discussion Series will meet every fourth Wednesday, in February through May, to engage Dallas ISD teachers in informal discussions centered around important topics educators are facing. These open forums will be a safe place to discuss these topics, build community, form healthy relationships, and discuss social and emotional wellness. SEL In Action: Teacher Discussion Series Schedule: February: Celebrating Black Educators | *Wednesday, March 10, 4:45-5:30 p.m. February discussion articles: Teaching While Black: An Open Letter to School Leaders by Sharif…

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Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard está aceptando solicitudes de admisión para el año escolar 2021–2022. Visite www.dallasisd.org/lanier para más información. Cuando Jamie Nelson supo que había un puesto vacante de maestro de teatro en Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard, donde asisten sus hijos y es miembro activa de la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA), no dudó en preparase para solicitarlo. Empezó como voluntaria a finales del otoño de 2019, completó la certificación alternativa para maestros durante las vacaciones de invierno y fue contratada como maestra de teatro en enero de 2020, por lo que ha podido aprovechar su licenciatura…

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Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year until February 7. Visit www.dallasisd.org/lanier to learn more. When active PTA mom Jamie Nelson learned there was a vacant theater teacher position at Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard, where her two sons attend, she immediately told the principal she was stepping in.  Starting in the late Fall of 2019 as a volunteer, Nelson finalized her alternative teaching certification over winter break and was officially hired in January 2020, putting to good use her bachelor’s in drama and MFA in sound design as Lanier’s theater teacher.  In addition…

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Mark Twain School for the Talented & Gifted está aceptando solicitudes de admisión para el año escolar 2021–2022. Visite www.dallasisd.org/twain para más información. Cuando la COVID-19 transformó el mundo en marzo pasado, Pamela Rambert supo que necesitaba cambiar por completo la forma en que operaba la biblioteca en Mark Twain School for the Talented & Gifted. Los libros electrónicos fueron una gran parte de la solución de Rambert para hacer llegar la literatura a sus estudiantes. Cada estudiante tiene acceso a libros electrónicos y audiolibros a través de Sora, una aplicación de lectura para estudiantes. “Antes de la pandemia, hablábamos…

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