Author: Lawana Porter

Update: Great news! STEM Day registration has been extended to Feb. 1. There are good reasons that the study of STEM-related subjects is all the rage these days. Forget all the stereotypes of how STEM is the lone preserve of nerds. Today, it’s widely recognized that excellence in STEM is the pathway to a wide array of interesting and lucrative careers. STEM is also documented to promote creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. From coding classes and math and science competitions to the new STEAM school at D.A. Hulcy and the Solar Preparatory STEAM School for Girls, Dallas ISD is…

Read More

Touched by the news coverage of the destruction wrought by recent tornadoes, Cathy Vernon was overcome with the need to do something to help victims who had lost everything. The day after the storms, Vernon, the student activities coordinator and student council sponsor at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, began calling her students and the school’s PTA president to arrange a donation drive. With school out and everyone on winter break, Vernon said she was unsure what the group could collect. Nevertheless, they put out calls to colleagues and families via social media asking…

Read More

Ask researchers how to best solve thorny problems like finding safe alternatives to fossil fuels and curing devastating illnesses, and chances are they will respond that we need more scientific study and more gifted minds searching for solutions. Challenging students to test their skills in math and science is one way Dallas ISD is preparing more students to enter careers in these areas. As early as elementary school, a growing number of students are attending weekend meets featuring tough math and science tests offered by the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association and coordinated by the district’s Student Activities department.…

Read More

The nine finalists for 2015 Principal of the Year are all rated in the top 3 tiers of the Principal Excellence Initiative. There are four elementary level finalists, two at the secondary level, and three from magnet and special programs. The winners will be announced at an event to honor their accomplishments Dec. 9. John Quincy Adams Principal Nancy Bernardino lives by the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” As leader of the southeast Dallas campus, she seeks to surround her students with a similar circle of support. “I know that I cannot do it alone,”…

Read More

If Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were a candidate for U.S. president, what would he be saying today on the campaign trail? It’s an intriguing topic and one that a number of Dallas ISD fourth- and fifth-graders have recently given a lot of thought. Students from 15 district campuses will recite their essays on the topic at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the semifinals of the annual Gardere MLK Oratory Competition. Dallas law firm Gardere, sponsor of the annual competition, challenged the students to combine their knowledge of current events and their understanding of Dr. King’s life and work…

Read More

Families searching for a best-fit school for their students should make definite plans to attend this Saturday’s Magnet and School Choice Fair showcasing the full spectrum of magnet and school choice options. The fair is set from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sat., Dec. 5, at Ellis Davis Field House, 9191 S. Polk St. Magnets and school choice programs have specially designed curriculums fashioned to respond to students’ aptitudes, career interests and learning styles. From middle schools that offer instruction in the arts and STEM to early college programs where students can take college classes while still in high school,…

Read More

The road to potentially earning the district’s highest effectiveness levels and the corresponding compensation as a Dallas ISD distinguished teacher starts with submitting a Distinguished Teacher Review (DTR) application. To earn a Distinguished effectiveness level, teachers must: Earn an effectiveness level of Proficient II or higher. Achieve high scores in teacher performance, student achievement and student perceptions. Meet additional performance criteria assessed through the Distinguished Teacher Review. This school year, more than 2,000 teachers have been identified as DTR-eligible and invited to submit an application with examples of their leadership, lifelong learning and contributions to the profession. Aspiring DTR-eligible teachers…

Read More