Today I attended our East Dallas MLS (Multiple Listing Service) meeting. The featured speaker was Michael Ruiz, the new principal at Geneva Heights Elementary school (formerly Robert E Lee Elementary) in East Dallas. His talk was very informative. In the spirit of sharing, and because home buyers are always asking me about schools, I thought I’d use this platform as a means to pass along what I learned from his talk.
I learned that Geneva Heights is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, what IB means, and which schools in the Woodrow Wilson High School feeder pattern are also IB schools. Lipscomb is the other elementary school within East Dallas and DISD to offer IB. It is continued through the middle school level at JL Long, and then on to the high school level at Woodrow Wilson. I learned that the IB concept was born out of the need for internationally mobile families to have consistency in the schooling of their children. This link will take you to an IB informational page within the DISD website. Here is another link to learn more about IB outside of the information provided by DISD.
I learned that Geneva Heights also has a dual language program - Spanish and English. I asked if there were any plans to open the school to second language adult learners after school hours, and that is something that they are working on. They will also be starting a robotics program in the 2019/2020 school year.
I learned that there are certain schools within DISD that serve homeless children and that some of these schools also have what they refer to as Peace Pantries. It’s literally a storeroom that holds gently used and new uniforms, non perishable food items, school supplies, etc. Homeless students have access to these supplies so that their learning and education are not compromised as a result of their homelessness.
I learned that some of the popular websites we use to determine school ratings often rely heavily on demographics and socioeconomic information to determine how they rate a school. If you truly want to know if a school is right for your child, the best thing to do is to arrange for a tour of the school so that you can discuss your child’s needs with the people who know the school best. Personally speaking, this is what my mom did when we relocated to Texas.
Several years ago, the superintendent of DISD spoke at our MLS meeting, and at that time he mentioned DISDs plans to transition the district to school of choice. This is not something that is see being marketed to the community, but perhaps that is because I do not have children, so I’m not their target market. Nonetheless, DISD is a school of choice district…..so long as the school that you want to attend is not already at capacity like Lakewood Elementary or Mockingbird Elementary, and you live within DISD. This give parents a lot more flexibility and the ability to stay in their home longer as they are no longer confined to the feeder pattern of one specific address.
Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I learned more my community and ways that I can get involved to help make a difference.