Student scientists win top award

By Lisa Loera

A record $264,300 in foundation support made the 2018-19 school year a very successful one at Dallas Academy, as we helped students with learning disabilities reach their full academic potential. 

Photo courtesy of Dallas Academy

A $30,000 grant from Constellation New Energy and a $68,932 grant from The Moody Foundation for STEM equipment, robotics kits and SMART board updates allowed 100 Dallas Academy (DA) students to work for a full semester to create a fully operational Carbon-Positive Model Home. 

The home features smart glass windows, ducted HVAC system with thermo electric coolers, solar panels, wind turbines, a green roof, solar tubes, geothermal floors, pump and rain barrel collection, and other systems to ensure the house uses less energy than it generates. Led by a small group of seniors and supported by science teachers Darren Carollo and Anna Smith, the project won the top award at the EarthX exposition in April, beating out other private and public schools in the area. 

 Scholarship grants from The Billie & Gillis Thomas Family Foundation ($30,000), ORIX Foundation ($16,600), 100 Men Who Give a Damn–East Dallas ($3,300) and East Dallas Networking ($1500), along with unrestricted grants from The Lennox Family Foundation ($40,000) and The Dorsey and Whitney Foundation ($9,000), helped make it possible for Dallas Academy to provide 45 tuition assistance scholarships to families who otherwise could not afford tuition this school year. 

All students receiving scholarships are advancing to the next grade and will continue to develop important character skills like organization and teamwork. 

 “Because DA is a small school for students with learning differences, we really need community support to provide students with these unique learning opportunities,” said Head of School Elizabeth Murski. “We are deeply grateful for all the support this year. We have some great ideas for projects this fall that will depend on philanthropic support, so we look forward to continued partnerships with donors,” she said.

Support for tuition assistance has helped Dallas Academy bring more ethnic and language diversity to the school. A portion of the ORIX Foundation grant and a $5,000 grant from the Yanigan Fund of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund provided diversity awareness programming to teachers and students to help ensure that all students feel welcome and a sense of belonging at Dallas Academy.

Because textbooks, testing and grading programs now live on the internet cloud, DA needed significant upgrades in technology. 

The Hillcrest Foundation provided $60,000 provided to assist with replacement of our computer fibers and switches ensuring faster, more efficient technology so students can focus on their studies when using classroom computers. 

Also, The Seay Foundation grant of $2,500 supported DA’s amazing Performing Arts programs, headed by music therapist Molly Grogan.

 Dallas Academy is a private school on the shores of White Rock Lake serving students with learning disabilities, more accurately called learning differences. Dallas Academy offers a structured, multisensory program for students with diagnosed learning differences that may include impairments in reading (dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), and math (dyscalculia), ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, and memory and processing disorders. 

Dallas Academy offers students and parents the best of both worlds by providing an effective program and strategies to meet the special educational needs of bright students with learning differences while including the activities of a larger, more traditional school.

 

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