Friday, September 4, 2015

West Dallas & 2015 DISD Bond Election

Please help spread this message about this meeting Saturday:

==== Meeting below led to the meeting 9-12-15 above ======

The 9-9-10 meeting went well.  Now for the next meeting about more details on k-8 education and transition, hopefully with Rosemont parents who love their k-8 school.  We may have a meeting all in Spanish as well as translators at all meetings.

Full room at 9-9-15 Anita Martinez Rec. Center meeting on DeZavla & 2015 DISD Bond Election

================ Archived is below ============
Attend 9-9-15 meeting at 6 PM at Anita Martinez Recreation Center, next to DeZavala Elementary, to hear the confirmation that DeZavala will NOT BE CLOSED! But we must ask why this plan was ever made to begin with.

The photo below is of about 1/4th of the people who attended the 9-3-15 community meeting at Carr Elementary about the possible closing of both Carr and DeZavala.  (
Trustee Blackburn is back row on the left side.)
A similar gathering for the DeZavala Elementary community will happen next Wednesday, 9-9-15 at 6 PM at the Anita Martinez Recreation Center next to the DeZavala Campus.  The main purpose of this meeting as advertised is to present the Pk-8 alternatives.  Here is one presentation of what the benefits of a Pk-8 transition would be for West Dallas.

======= Just confirmed 9-8-15, NO West Dallas schools will be closed!  More details at 9-9-15 meeting ====== 

===================== Background ========================

Months ago, with minimal public input, if any, DISD Administration claimed the volunteers on the Future Facilities Task Force (FFTF) came forward with recommendations that would devastate the West Dallas Community east of Hampton Road.

There are 7 elementary schools that feed into Edison Middle School and then Pinkston High School. The FFTF is recommending that two of these 7, Carr and DeZavala, be closed and the children moved into a new K-8 school possibly to be built on the current Pinkston site.  There are many questions about this plan:

1) Why would DISD want to close two schools well located inside West Dallas neighborhoods that have served nearby homes in the community for generations and leave the entire community east of Hampton Road without a public school near their homes?

2) Why would DISD want to close two of the most well-utilized, almost filled to capacity schools in West Dallas?

3) Why would DISD want to close two of the schools in the best condition and least in need of repair according to the Parsons Report? Other schools in the Pinkston Feeder Pattern had much lower utilization and are in much worse shape.  See chart below.

4) Why would DISD want to close schools with priceless City Recreation Centers next door to each of them as a critical resource?  There is even a swimming pool at one.

5) How could DISD have made such plans with minimal if any community input?

What is the reasoning behind these plans? 

Below is data taken from the 8-5-15 plans published by the Future Facilities Task Force that illustrates the data in the above questions: 

Again, the next meeting to confirm that neither Carr nor DeZavala will be closed is this Wednesday, 9-9-15, at the Anita Martinez Recreation Center next to DeZavala Elementary starting at 6:00 PM.   Information about the benefits of Pk-8 schools will be shared so community can decide.

This copy of the meeting notice includes a map of this area of West Dallas:

Map of DeZavala and Carr attendance areas in West Dallas

==================== 9-7-15 update ========================
Conflicting message have been received with one community leader saying that Michael Koprowski, the member of Superintendent Hinojosa's Cabinet in charge of Transformation and Innovation, said that neither Carr nor DeZavla will be closed.  Many are now trying to get that allegation verified.

The two members of Superintendent Hinojosa's Cabinet were at the 9-3-15 meeting with Trustee Blackburn.  All of them were speaking as if the closing both schools was still being considered. They also all affirmed that community desires would be paid attention to in the decision making process.  It was very clear 9-3-15 that none of the 30+ adult community members present wanted Carr closed, only improved and probably transitioned into being a Pk-8 school. 

Due to these conflicts the following email was sent to Michael Koprowski on 9-5-15:

Sent: 9/5/2015 9:34:31 P.M. Central Daylight Time
Subj: DeZavala and Carr Closing?
There appears to be great confusion about the plans for Carr and DeZavala Elementary Schools.   Are they being closed?
It was clear in the documents the Task Force was releasing from June through 8-5-15 that such closing was the plan.  What was the thinking behind that plan?

Then I saw the 8-21-15 update with that closing taken off.  Then at the 9-3-15 Carr Elementary meeting it was back on the table according to all DISD staff present, Wanda Paul and Dr. Bravo.  However, they seemed to accept the request of the majority present that Carr be transitioned into a Pk-8.
But we left that meeting thinking it was still on the table for DeZavala.  See for a blog containing notices being circulated in the media and copied for parents in the DeZavala neighborhood.  Hopefully we will have a very good turnout.  
What is the truth?
What was the justification made, and by whom, for the closing of these two valuable schools?
Bill Betzen

Dallas ISD Achievement Data

Dallas, Texas

Mr. Koprowski has responded that NO schools in West Dallas will be closed.  Hopefully he will also tell us why this was ever on the table for discussion.