June 16, 2008

DISD to Host Town Halls to Discuss ‘Unacceptable’ Schools

By Stella M. Chavez, The Dallas Morning News

Jun. 16--The Dallas Independent School District has scheduled town hall meetings this week to inform residents about its plans for three high schools that are likely to receive an "academically unacceptable" rating for the fourth consecutive year.

The schools are Spruce High School, Samuell High School and Comstock Middle School. The Texas Education Agency issues a rating of academically unacceptable when a campus does not meet state passing standards on one or more of the defined indicators including TAKS passing rates, dropout rate and graduation rate.

The district is required to submit a contingency plan to TEA that explains how the district will improve the learning conditions at the campus and what steps it would take to serve students if a school is closed.

If the state orders a school closed, the plan would take effect at the beginning of the coming school year. The state could also appoint a monitor, conservator or management team to oversee the campuses' school improvement plan.

At a meeting Thursday, district officials discussed options, including the possibility of moving more than 900 10th- and 11th-graders from Spruce High School as well as its principal and staff to Lincoln or Madison high schools. The ninth-graders would remain, and a grade level would be added each year until the school reaches 12th grade.

However, one school board member raised concerns about how the schools receiving additional students would be affected. He also cited concerns about rival gangs from the schools under one roof.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

--Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Spruce High School Auditorium, 9733 Old Seagoville Road

--Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Samuell High School Auditorium, 8928 Palisade Drive

--Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Comstock Middle School Auditorium, 7044 Hodde St.

For questions, call the schools directly or 972-925-5555.


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