Author: Tina Pania

We have a winner! Tristan Whitfield, a fifth grader at Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center, claimed first place Friday in Dallas ISD’s 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. Tristan and seven other fourth and fifth graders competed in the finals of the competition, which is co-sponsored each year by the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP and the school district. Jaliaha Rodgers,  a fifth grader at J.P. Starks Math, Science, and Technology Vanguard, captured second place this year, and Arianna Garcia, a fifth grader at L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School, claimed third. The student winners, and all the participants,…

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For the past few weeks, employees of Dallas ISD’s Operations Division—bus drivers, cafeteria and maintenance workers and custodians—have been conducting a donation drive to collect items for homeless students. Items ranging from face wash, hand sanitizer, hair products and cosmetics bags to coloring books, journals, socks, gloves, scarves and even earbuds and cable protectors have been donated at seven service centers and Operations facilities. “It’s incredibly generous of our population in Operation Services who really make the least amount of money in the district, yet are providing donations to help those who are in need, especially during the holidays. It…

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El Mes de la Concientización sobre la Juventud sin Hogar dio inicio este martes en Rusk Middle School con una donación de libros y una celebración. Los porristas de Rusk dieron la bienvenida a los estudiantes al llegar a la escuela y un donador repartió libros los cuales los estudiantes estarán discutiendo en grupos pequeños durante la semana. En la biblioteca de la escuela los estudiantes sostuvieron letreros para agradecer la donación de libros. En noviembre, los bibliotecarios llevarán a cabo lecturas y discusiones sobre la situación de la juventud sin hogar. Se anima a las escuelas a mostrar su…

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A book donation and rally at Rusk Middle School kicked off Dallas ISD’s Homeless Youth Awareness Month this week. Rusk cheerleaders welcomed students as they arrived at school on Tuesday, and a community donor stopped by to hand out books about homelessness, which students will be discussing in small groups throughout the week. Students with “thank you” signs greeted the donor in the school library. Throughout the month of November, librarians will hold readings and discussions about homelessness. Schools are encouraged to join in by wearing purple, the color of homelessness, every Friday. Last year, Dallas ISD counted 4,400 students…

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Ashley Marshall, gerente del Programa de Educación para Estudiantes sin Hogar de Dallas ISD, considera que su equipo de cinco personas es como un departamento de emergencias. Cada día la labor más importante del equipo es matricular a los estudiantes que no tienen hogar. El programa también ayuda a obtener transporte escolar, uniformes, artículos de higiene y útiles escolares, así como ayuda para conseguir recursos alimentarios, de vivienda, consejería y servicios médicos. Pero cuando pasa lo peor, como el reciente colapso de un edificio de apartamentos en el sureste de Dallas, la tormenta de invierno o la pandemia, y son…

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Ashley Marshall, manager of Dallas ISD’s Homeless Education program, sees her five-person team as a kind of “9-1-1- department.” On a day-to-day basis, the most important service the team provides is making sure homeless students get enrolled. The department also helps arrange transportation to school, provides uniforms as well as hygiene and school supplies, and makes referrals to additional resources for food, housing, counseling and medical services as needed. But when there’s a major catastrophe, such as the recent collapse of an apartment building in Southeast Dallas, or last winter’s storm, or the pandemic—whenever students are displaced—the Homeless Education staff…

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Michael Dixon-Peabody, maestro de Ciencias Sociales en Thomas Jefferson High School y patrocinador de la Alianza Gay-Heterosexual (GSA) de la escuela, TJ Pride and Equality, conoce la importancia de tener un espacio seguro donde los estudiantes sean libres de ser quienes son. En el Mes del Orgullo, Dixon-Peabody aprovechó la ocasión para reflexionar sobre el papel importante que juegan las GSA en la vida de los estudiantes que se identifican como LGBTQ. Dallas ISD cuenta con 30 GSA, la mayoría en preparatorias, en las que participan también aliados heterosexuales que apoyan a sus compañeros. “Cada estudiante viene buscando algo diferente”,…

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Michael Dixon-Peabody, a social studies teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School and sponsor of the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance group, TJ Pride and Equality, knows the importance of having a safe space where  students can “be who they are.” And as Pride Month winds down, he welcomed the opportunity to reflect on the crucial role the GSAs can play in the lives of students who identify as LGBTQ. Dallas ISD has about 30 active campus groups, most of them in high schools, where the meetings are also attended by those who consider themselves straight allies, there to support their peers. “Each…

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As the U.S. and countries around the world celebrate gay pride this month, Mahoganie Gaston wants to get out the word that Dallas ISD has its own program to support LGBTQ students. As coordinator of the district’s LGBTQ Youth Services, one question guides her daily work: How do we make our campuses inclusive for LGBTQ students? Gaston, who joined the district seven years ago as a coordinator in the Homeless Education Department, was tasked in 2019 with helping high schools provide outreach and support to students via Gay/Straight Alliances (GSAs), campus groups that aim to create a safe, welcoming, and…

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Did you know that Pre-K through second-grade students in Dallas ISD have been using technology in their class work since the start of the current school year? With iPads distributed by the district’s IT Department, and a partnership with Apple that provides two Professional Learning Specialists, the district’s Early Learning Department has been supporting professional development and training for teachers, families and students—as young as Pre-K through 2nd grade—to integrate the use of technology into classroom work. Some of that phenomenal work will be showcased in the department’s upcoming Early Learning Digital Palooza, and submissions of technology creations by students,…

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