Who can apply?

Transformation Schools:

Three types of Applicant Teams would be eligible to apply to become a Transformation School:

  •  An Applicant Team made up of existing Dallas ISD employees with at least three individuals (including the Lead Applicant) who plan to hold full-time positions at the campus
  • An Applicant Team made up of a mix of district employees and out of district educators/partners[1] who are looking to launch a Choice School with at least three individuals (including the Lead Applicant) who plan to hold full-time positions at the campus
  • An Applicant Team made up of only out-of-district educators/partners who are looking to design and launch a Transformation School in Dallas ISD with at least three individuals (including the Lead Applicant) who plan to hold full time positions at the campus

Unlike prior iterations of Public School Choice, the Public School Choice 3.0. competitive proposal process does not require an Applicant Team to have a proposed principal as part of their team in order to be eligible to submit a proposal. For example, a successful Applicant Team for a Transformation School could potentially only include a team of teachers who will use the planning year (under district guidelines) to search for/select their founding principal.

[1] Out-of-district Educators: Professionals who are formally certified (possess valid licenses/certifications) to teach and/or lead within a public K-12 school setting and/or individuals who represent an organization with a track record of verifiable success developing, supporting, and/or managing K-12 public schools. It is expected that educators who plan to move from another state to launch a Choice School in Dallas ISD meet all Texas Education Agency certification requirements prior to official school launch. 

Innovation Schools:

  •  Only an existing Dallas ISD neighborhood school leadership team can apply for its current school. Current principal must serve as the “Lead Applicant.”
  •  Six people must be on the Applicant Team, including the principal and two current classroom teachers at the campus
  • Applicant Teams for Innovation Schools are required to have their Executive Director endorse their Letter of Intent in order to be eligible to apply.  See signature line below.

Are current campuses who possess "Choice-like" attributes prior to the Public School Choice competitive process considered Choice Schools?

The district recognizes that there are several non-magnets that possess “Choice-like” attributes (i.e. schools with a dual-language programs, schools that have scaled innovative approaches to teaching and learning under an anchor model, etc.). The Office of Transformation and Innovation has developed a pathway for existing non-magnet “choice-like” options to go through a voluntary Choice School review process outside of the competitive proposal process that allows such options to be formally considered as part of the district's Public School Choice initiative.

The Public School Choice (PSC) Categorization Framework is a holistic approach to identify existing Choice offerings that predate the PSC competitive application process in Dallas ISD. It is essential that pre-existing Choice options meet the same expectations as those selected through the current competitive proposal process so that all Dallas ISD stakeholders can feel assured that the district has vetted for the highest quality. Specifically, the Categorization Framework process will be used to formally identify, assess, and ultimately categorize existing Choice Schools and in-school Choice Programs as part of the district’s PSC initiative.

What kinds of schools and programs will fall under the district's Public School Choice initiative?

Moving forward, all Public School Choice offerings in Dallas ISD will be formally placed under the following categories:

  • Magnet Schools: This is a fixed list. The schools will stay the same as well as the academic entry requirements. The success of the district’s Magnet offerings is a key driver in the district’s commitment to expand a “best-fit’ school for every child in Dallas ISD without academic entry requirements.

  • Transformation Schools: These are start-up campuses that design and implement a new school-wide Choice model. They do not have academic or parental entry requirements. They also showcase district wide open enrollment procedures (with a priority window for students residing within the vicinity).

  • Innovation Schools: These are current neighborhood schools that re-purpose the existing campus into a school-wide Choice model. They do not have academic or parental entry requirements. They stay in their existing facilities and primarily enroll students from their traditional attendance zones.

  • Choice Programs: These are small scale choice programs that exist within a school. They are not school-wide models and not every student in the school participates. They may or may not have entry requirements.

Can traditional comprehensive neighborhood schools propose grade-level, attendance boundary, and/or enrollment changes?

The Public School Choice process is not a way for traditional neighborhood schools to expand grade levels, change existing attendance boundaries, or change existing enrollment policies.

Is Public School Choice a grant to bring more programs to an existing campus?

Public School Choice is not meant to be a monetary grant for additional programming.  In other words, it is not an avenue to add one or more programs at an existing school.  To go through this process, Innovation School applicant teams need to be proposing a “strategic re-design” of their traditional school.  We are looking for a single anchor school model around which all teaching and learning happens, rather than just a few additional programs.

Will entire Feeder Patterns of schools be approved at the same time?

Public School Choice is a campus-by-campus initiative driven by the stakeholders at the campus (i.e., principal, parents, staff, etc.).  It is not a feeder pattern initiative.  Given that several years of careful planning and implementation is required, and given the need to ensure an equitable distribution of choice schools across the district, entire feeder patterns of schools will likely not be approved as a package.  However, over the long-term, as Public School Choice continues to grow and more campuses are selected year-over-year, vertical alignment of choice models will most likely develop, assuming that the demand exists.

Are schools applying for the district to come in and launch the Choice model at their campus?

No. Public School Choice is a ground-up effort. The campus needs to drive the planning and implementation.  Central office will play an important supporting role, but will not be in the driver’s seat.

Are existing neighborhood schools allowed to introduce new academic entry requirements?

No. Existing neighborhood schools are not allowed to introduce new academic entry requirements.  Public School Choice is designed to create more options for students regardless of academic ability.  Only existing magnet schools can keep their existing academic entry requirements.

Which types of schools stand the best chance of making it through the selection processes?

The selection process will be rigorous and competitive.  Schools that stand the best chance of approval will be those that have a prior track record of success and already have the right foundations to launch a re-design under an anchor program.  This means having a trend in student growth, a data-driven culture, strong evidence of buy-in, and a sophisticated level of instruction, collaboration, and professional development.

What if a proposed Transformation School principal is not a current Dallas ISD principal?

As part of the formal selection process within Public School Choice, proposed principals who are not currently Dallas ISD principals must make it through the Dallas ISD principal selection model. This is a required stage in the formal selection process for Lead Applicants who are currently not Dallas ISD principals, but are proposing to become one at a Transformation School.

It is possible that the quality of a proposal merits full launch, but that the proposed principal does not make it through the Dallas ISD principal selection model. In these cases, the district will work with the Applicant Team to identify a principal prior to launch.

What if I am current a teacher in another district who is proposing to become a Teacher Leader within Dallas ISD as part of our Transformation School proposal?

Other out-of-district educators who are currently not Dallas ISD employees, must also comply with the district's selection process and contractual requirements for various roles (e.g. Assistant Principals, Coaches, Teachers, etc.).

Responses to other FAQs related to Dallas ISD's Public School Choice initiative can be found HERE.