The answer to this question used to be relatively simple. If you lived within the boundaries for Lakewood Elementary or Stonewall Jackson Elementary, for example, that’s where the kids trotted off to each morning. Of course, middle school was a whole other issue! And high school, well, you get the picture. So, many parents opted for private schools. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But the times, they are a changin’!
DISD has its issues, admittedly. But it also has a few really good people with vision leading the way to the future. We’ll start at the top. Three of the DISD magnet high schools are consistently rated the top in the nation. Two of them are number one and number two. That’s pretty amazing! Now, Woodrow Wilson HS offers four specific Academies: IB (International Baccalaureate); STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math); CAPA (Creative And Performing Arts); BEF (Business, Entrepreneurship and Finance). All impressive options with so much to offer every student. Here’s where the leadership of DISD is thinking progressively: J.L. Long now offers a pre-IB program and Robert E. Lee Elementary and Lipscomb Elementary are in the process of applying for the IB program as well (and both already offer bi-lingual immersion). And it doesn’t stop there! Preston Hollow Elementary, Franklin Middle and Hillcrest High are following suit. Another great addition to the DISD family is Mata Montessori. The goal here is to offer a Montessori, bi-lingual education from PK through 8th grade.
These are great improvements for our schools, our district and our tax dollars! So, now we are back to the original question: to public or to private? The bottom line is that it’s a personal choice. It requires research and educating yourself on what’s best for students and teachers and what’s best for your child. It also requires dedication to a system that needs continuous support, starting in the home and working all the way to the top. But the options have become so much more appealing, that it may just make you think twice. And that’s good for our district, community, home values and our children.
Many thanks to Mike Morath, our District 2 DISD board trustee, for his amazing dedication to the public school system and its continued improvement.