Author: Lawana Porter

The next few weeks should be a busy time for seniors still in search of funds for college. Many scholarships have application deadlines in March and April. Dallas ISD’s Counseling Services department maintains a scholarship web page with links to funding from a variety of organizations who want to support students attending a certain college or pursuing a specific discipline or career. Here are a few scholarships listed on the site that are available only to district students: Eric Louis Brown Memorial Scholarship-Available to a district student who has demonstrated excellence in academic and athletic pursuits: Deadline March 20 Dallas School…

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A ribbon-cutting followed student choir, band and drama performances as staff, parents and students gathered for the naming ceremony for the Young Men’s Leadership Academy at Fred Florence Middle School, the district’s newest single-gender school for boys. Math Instructional Coach Derek Thomas opened the event and served as emcee, and Principal Dawn Walker welcomed district and city officials and community members. Speakers included District 4 Trustee Jaime Resendez, who reflected on his experiences growing up in the same Pleasant Grove community where the school is located. He said he owed much of his personal and professional success to hours spent…

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District trustees voted at their February board meeting to approve the 23 Phase 2 construction projects and architects recommended by the superintendent and bond program administrators. The Phase 2 project list includes schools located in every trustee district with construction costs estimated at a total $275 million. Strongly encouraging bond program staff to continue pursuing savings on architectural fees, trustees voted 7-2 to approve the recommended list of primary project architects. Operations Chief Scott Layne and Construction Services Executive Director Tim Strucely noted that some projects would involve partnerships with minority subcontractors, but clarified that none are joint ventures. Concerned about…

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As progress on Dallas ISD’s $1.6 billion bond program moves forward, the participation of minority and women owned businesses is a major priority in awarding contracts for the dozens of campus additions, renovations and new school construction projects. In fact, the district’s board of trustees has set two goals to target the effort – 35 percent M/WBE participation in bond funded professional services, such as program management, architectural design, and land surveys, and 30 percent participation in actual construction projects. To achieve the goals, the staff charged with accomplishing M/WBE participation wants to spread the message that the door is…

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What do you get when you mix a prize-winning orator, book giveaways, music and dance performances, and students reading aloud from their favorite books? The answer is fun and education. The annual African American Read-In will offer all of the above this Saturday, Feb. 18, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for kids of all ages who love reading and books. Free and open to the entire community, the read-in will culminate with students selecting free books for their home library. The location for this Black History Month celebration of African American literature and literacy is Cornerstone Baptist Church, 1819 MLK…

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The proposed 2017-2018 student calendar presented to trustees Thursday features summer professional development for teachers in August with the first day of classes set for Monday, Aug. 28. School Leadership has recommended adding 10 minutes to the school day during breakfast in the classroom. With the expanded day, the district would reach the state-mandated total minutes of instruction by June 1, the last day of classes. Other features: 171 days of instruction for students starting Monday, Aug. 28 10 teacher professional development/planning days, five preparation/work days and one day’s credit for teachers who attend both parent conference nights Two fair…

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District trustees were briefed Thursday on a recommendation to proceed with phase 2 of the district’s $1.6 billion 2015 bond program. At Thursday’s board briefing, Operations Chief Scott Layne recommended a list of 23 school renovation projects for phase 2 that he said are among the district’s most critical infrastructure needs. The list includes seven high schools receiving renovations required to meet state requirements for implementation of career and technical programs. The total budget for phase 2 projects, listed below with the recommended architects, is an estimated $275 million. The proposed list of architects reflects a 50 percent participation of minority…

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Throughout February, Dallas ISD is celebrating Black History Month. In 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History founded Black History Week, which later grew into Black History Month. Schools this month will be full of music, exhibits, dance, and special speakers highlighting Black History Month 2017. A sampling of the events, many of which are open to the public, is listed below. Kennedy Curry Middle School students will showcase their public speaking skills at an oratorical event and fashion show in the school auditorium at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21. The school also plans to host its second…

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Much of life’s success is linked to reading and literacy, which is why schools and parents strive mightily to instill strong reading skills in children. In spite of all efforts, it can sometimes be a challenge to help children develop a love of reading. Like most skills, reading is a learned behavior that is strengthened with practice, so it makes sense that the earlier and more often parents expose their children to books and reading, the greater the likelihood those children will learn that reading is fun and pleasurable. Parents looking for opportunities to encourage literacy and surround their children…

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Parents who are looking for effective ways to support their children’s academic progress should be sure to take advantage of January parent-teacher conferences. Parent-teacher conferences for elementary students are tonight. The conferences are an opportunity for parents to check in with their child’s teachers, discuss their child’s classroom behavior, homework habits, and other factors that can impact student progress. Consider these tips to get the most from conferences: Most schools will hand out first semester report cards at the January conferences. Report cards are a snapshot of students’ progress and can serve as a good conversation starter. Whatever the grades,…

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