Learning is more personal for Imagine 2020 students

Mike Miles | 4/21/2014, 10:39 a.m.
We believe that every student in the Dallas Independent School District can learn and achieve.
Mike Miles

Dallas Independent School District

We believe that every student in the Dallas Independent School District can learn and achieve. Our challenge is to provide students with a tailored education to prepare them for college or the workplace.

Our 159,000 students are unique individuals. They have different academic skill levels, live within a variety of home environments, and possess different personalities and talents.

Through our Imagine 2020 initiative more than 13,000 students in the Lincoln, Madison and Pinkston feeder patterns in South and West Dallas are raising their academic achievement and success. In fact, we’ve already seen great increases in progress at schools like Raul Quintanilla Sr. Middle School and J.J. Rhoads Learning Center. Dallas ISD is supporting that growth with the addition of more resources and support in more than 21 schools, an innovative curriculum and greater engagement of parents and the community.

The goal of Imagine 2020 is to support, innovate and engage our students with teaching and learning based on their needs.

Here’s how Imagine 2020 is doing that: At the elementary level, we provide support and resources with an emphasis on ensuring that students can demonstrate and implement lessons. To help keep lessons fresh and effective, several schools have introduced blended learning, a method that mixes skilled classroom teachers with online content using special software that reinforces the lessons. Specifically, sixth and ninth grade students are provided Chromebooks (think laptops) to work on assignments aligned with both their current and targeted skill levels.

Imagine 2020 also places a strong focus on one of the most challenging groups in K-12 education – middle school students. We’ve implemented an accelerated instruction program at both Edison and Dade middle schools that helps students two or more years behind their grade level not only catch up to their peers, but also succeed in the future.

These efforts will create a groundswell of high achievers that will populate Lincoln, Madison and Pinkston high schools. To ensure it, we offer in-school, personalized tutoring where students identified with high-needs work either one-on-one or in small groups with qualified tutors during the school day. The tutors focus on reading at the elementary level and math at the secondary level. To keep the momentum, an extended school day option is available for students at all three grade levels.

For these changes to be effective, we are providing students the attention and individual support they need. There are more psychologists and urban specialists at Imagine 2020 middle and high schools, complemented by assistant principals, department chairs and team leaders with roles that allow them to not only focus on students, but to support each other through team teaching and coaching.

Imagine 2020 supports our belief that all Dallas ISD students can learn and achieve. We are focusing resources and quality teaching in our South and West Dallas schools like never before. The time is now for our students to succeed.