Author: Lawana Porter

Hillcrest High School junior Jose Diaz is excited about the $21 million facelift his school is receiving under the district’s 2015 Bond Program.  Diaz, who has attended Hillcrest since freshman year, says it’s a good thing for the school even as he concedes his class will be all but out the door by the completion of the work in December 2018. “We’ll be the last class to witness the old campus, but we’ll be proud alumni when we come back from college to visit,” said Diaz, who was the sole student in attendance at the Jan. 10 community meeting held to…

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On Tuesday, January 10, parents and community members served by Hillcrest High School will have another opportunity to review the bond program improvements planned for their school. A community meeting is set for the campus at 6 p.m., Jan. 10, as a follow up to an initial feedback session held in August. Bond program architects and project managers are holding similar meetings at schools across the district to check in with stakeholders. The Construction Services department is working to ensure that improvements meet the needs identified as most important by staff and community members. Architects, principals and parents are walking campuses…

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Some 75 parents, students, community members and district staff recently attended a second community meeting devoted to construction improvements for David W. Carter High School. The project architect displayed drawings and walked the audience through an expanded plan of improvements that included several features beyond the originally proposed scope of work. The revised plan includes a total facility roof upgrade, new windows throughout the school, renovated science labs, a new school entry with expanded administrative offices, and upgrades to the auditorium and fine arts spaces. The expanded scope also calls for new landscaping at the front entrance of the building and…

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It’s said that the fear of public speaking tops the list of the world’s most common phobias. That may be true for many of us, but it was decidedly not true for the 24 fourth- and fifth-grade students who recited their original essays at the semifinals of the 25th annual Gardere MLK Oratory Competition held Tuesday, Dec. 6. An attentive and appreciative audience appeared to mostly include the students’ families, teachers, coaches and principals. During the two hours of speeches, the audience showed almost reverent attention to the orators who recited their original essays on the topic, “If Dr. King…

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Parents, students and community members are invited to provide input on several elements of Dallas ISD’s 2017-2018 instructional calendar. Two draft calendars featuring several variable options are available for review, comment and a vote. The options include the dates of winter break, bad weather make up days and teacher professional development on non-school days when students attend the State Fair of Texas. Go here to access the survey and indicate your preferences by close of business Wed., Dec. 7 Both calendar options propose the start of classes on August 21, provide a full week for Thanksgiving break and schedule spring break…

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The Dallas Independent School District salutes the more than 400 district employees who are veterans of U.S. military service. Assigned to district schools and departments in dozens of capacities, these heroes and heroines bring to their positions in Dallas ISD the same devotion to service and duty they gave to our country. In his Veterans Day message, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa calls on district students and staff to honor these deserving Americans for their service to our nation and to the students of Dallas ISD.

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On Thursday, Dec. 8, Dallas ISD will hold a bid preview session to provide information to construction firms interested in submitting bids for work related to the 2015 Bond Program. The meeting will feature an overview of the projects in the first phase of the $1.6 bond program and explain the competitive bidding process. Phase 1 includes $272 million in projects, including 19 school renovations, four classroom additions to existing schools, and three new schools. The bid preview session is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, at Jose “Joe” May Elementary School, 9818 Brockbank Drive. The district’s…

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The answer to the question, “What’s in a name?” depends on who you’re asking. In the case of students at the newly named Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L.  Academy, the answer is “a lot.” Students and community members in the Piedmont neighborhood in Pleasant Grove gathered at the former John B. Hood Middle School on Oct. 6 to celebrate the school’s new name and academic focus. The celebration was the culmination of more than six months of effort. Principal LaTonya Lockhart said the more her Hispanic and African American students learned about the school’s original namesake, Confederate General John B. Hood, the more questions they raised. When…

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. To increase the public’s awareness of domestic violence, the city and school district are joining forces to provide education and activities to get people involved in prevention. Statistics supplied by the Dallas Domestic Violence Taskforce indicate that nearly 20 people in the U.S. are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute with a sometimes deadly toll on families, children and communities. According to the Texas Council on Family Violence some experts and law enforcement officials are of the opinion that fatalities due to family violence are identifiable, knowable and preventable. These statistics explain…

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Next Tuesday, Sept. 27, is ACT School Day, an important day in the life of seniors in the class of 2017. On that day, at 9:30 a.m., all Dallas ISD high schools will administer the ACT Plus Writing tests to seniors during the regular school day. The district’s Postsecondary Success department has covered the cost of the in-school college entrance exam to help seniors meet college admission requirements. Students should know that all U.S. four-year colleges and universities consider the ACT exam an important benchmark of students’ ability to successfully complete college work. That means your score can determine whether…

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