Balloons, beats and big crowds were on the line at Edna Rowe Elementary School for the first day of the new Dallas ISD school year.
Mathematics, reading, writing: everything is on the table at Edna Rowe who has voluntarily signed up for a redesigned school calendar. There are now more days in class and more time with the students.
“We are able to incorporate club days where we stop teaching and work towards enrichment. There are cooking clubs and sewing clubs, giving students an opportunity they may not be not be exposed,” said Aaron Joseph, director.
They tried this revamped schedule last year as part of changes to help students. Campus test scores have gone from a low C to an A. It’s a huge turnaround, and parents say the new schedule has a lot to do with it.
“It took a bit of getting used to, but the kids learn more,” said Lizzet Alzada, parent of two boys at the school. “I think they’ve learned more with the pandemic and the shutdown they’ve had to make up for lost time.”
Dallas ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde came to see the opening bell. The new leader of Dallas ISD had first-day jitters herself.
“I felt like a little girl myself. I changed my outfit three times,” she said before sharing her injury with her first choice.
Elizalde said it was gratifying to see the school day revamped. She said that when she was part of Dallas ISD a few years ago, she helped develop the program, and the success Edna Roe has seen with it is gratifying.
Elizalde said it was not, however, the silver bullet to success in the district.
“We don’t want to make it one size fits all. We want to keep trying to personalize. We want learning to be personal and for each of our students to progress,” she added.
More schools start next week with a different calendar system and everyone on August 15.