Dallas ISD Board of Trustees Dan Micciche, District 3

Exciting new Dallas ISD partnership with Dallas Arboretum

I am pleased to tell you about a new partnership between Dallas ISD and the Dallas Arboretum.  The Jonesville Pathway for Science Education (JPSE) is the Dallas Arboretum’s newest initiative to deliver exploration-based, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in partnership with Dallas ISD. 

Thanks to the generous support of the Jonesville Foundation and others, Arboretum teachers will provide in-school lessons to all 3rd-, 4th-, and 5th-graders in 10 East Dallas elementary schools over the course of three school years. Schools involved include all of the elementary schools in the Bryan Adams feeder pattern (Charles A. Gill, Bayles, Casa View, Victor H. Hexter, Edwin J. Kiest, Martha Turner Reilly, Reinhardt, Alex Sanger and Larry G. Smith) and Mount Auburn. 

The program is near and dear to Pat Vaughan, president of the Jonesville Foundation. Ms. Vaughn started her teaching career many years ago as a substitute in the Bryan Adams feeder pattern before becoming a full-time teacher in Dallas ISD. 

JPSE launched this fall and will complete its pilot period in May 2021 with hopes of sustaining it further. The program will impact up to 2,800 students a year delivering life and earth science- based, TEKS-aligned lessons in the classroom and at the Arboretum.

Each school year, working alongside Dallas ISD classroom teachers, Arboretum staff will deliver four in-school, life and earth science lessons to each 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade class of the partnering schools, followed by a field trip to the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden (RMCAG) in the spring. This garden is an 8-acre outdoor science museum full of interactive displays, laboratories and specialized learning galleries. Its hands-on, K-6 science curriculum-aligned activities juxtapose the gardens and their surrounding ecosystems with informal scientific observation and inquiry. Arboretum staff will teach a minimum of 600 individual earth and life science lessons at the campuses along with an additional lesson in the RMCAG in the spring providing five individual lessons per student throughout the school year.

JPSE is modeled after the Arboretum’s long-running, United Way funded, metrics-driven after school programs, STEM First (SF) and STEM in Action (SIA), which provide weekly after school enrichment STEM-based lessons to 3rd- and 5th-graders over the course of 18 weeks in the fall and spring at four Dallas ISD elementary schools: Ignacio Zaragoza, S.S. Conner, Urban Park and Thelma Richardson.

Each grade-level lesson provides a pre- and post-assessment to help determine science knowledge content growth and engages students in STEM-based, hands-on activities related to their state required curriculum. To share some of the lessons, at the 3rd-grade level, students explore the physical properties of seeds, discover energy sources and use and learn about landforms. Fourth-graders learn about decomposition and decay as well as how circuits work and how some foods can generate electricity. Fifth-graders will learn how land forms are created over long periods of time by modeling processes that create canyons, valleys and much more. Students will also be assessed in the 5th grade and compared to a similar demographic of students not receiving the program.

Thank you, JPSE and Dallas Arboretum. To learn more about the educational opportunities at the Arboretum, please visit https://www.dallasarboretum.org/events-education. You may also email education@dallasarboretum.org or call 214.515.6533. The Arboretum provides field trips and outreach experiences to area schools working with over 100,000 students a year.

In other news, kudos to the 16 students who advanced to the semifinals of the 27th annual Gardere Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition. Students at participating Dallas ISD schools wrote their own speeches based on this year’s theme, “What would Dr. King say to children of today’s world?” Special kudos to District 3 semifinalist, Jada Wilson, from L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School.

Congratulations also to BA student Daisy Sosa who is one of the nine Dallas ISD students selected for Texas Dance Educator’s Association’s (TDEA) All-State Dance Team. The team is made up of dancers representing schools from across the state. All-State dancers will each receive a $10,000 scholarship toward their higher education and will participate in a TDEA convention in Houston, January 9-12. 

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