As the Education World Relies More on Data, Nonprofits Need Help with the Numbers

The education world is dense with data. And all those numbers can be numbing, especially for nonprofits trying to make a difference. One day each year, Fidelity Investments invites those groups to its complex near Grapevine Lake to help make sense of it all. A hundred or so people fill a big room on Fidelity’s sprawling, 5,400-person campus in Westlake. They’re all here to untangle mounds of confusing data that keeps piling up. One example: Regina Nippert says students are being studied to death. “Urban kids are,” says Nippert, who pauses, then restarts. “Somebody’s looking at them all the time. And so the school districts have begun to say, ‘Exactly how does this benefit the district?’” Read more.

Partner Survey Results for AY2016-17

In May 2016, an online survey was administered to The School Zone partners to help The Budd Center and its partners understand: 1) the impact participation in The School Zone has on individual partners and 2) the impact The School Zone has on students in West Dallas. Our partners also give their thoughts on the efficacy of The Budd Center as leader of The School Zone. Read more and download report.

Q&A with Dr. Marisol De Jesús-Pérez, Pastoral Counseling Center

During our first Networking & Learning Meeting of the school year, we invited Dr. Marisol De Jesús-Pérez, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with Pastoral Counseling Center, to discuss how socio-political issues such as immigration and deportation can affect the social, emotional and mental health of children. We also examined mental health disparities based on race and ethnicity.

As a follow-up to her presentation, we talked with De Jesús-Pérez about her career, gaps in social and emotional support of children, and innovative approaches to supporting students from marginalized communities. Read more.

2017 Entrepreneurship Workshop

The Budd Center first partnered with Mercy Street to integrate entrepreneurship elements into its Leadership Intensive program in 2016, as part of the Center's entrepreneurship task force efforts.  Collaborating with partners in The School Zone (TSZ), The Budd Center implements programming that encourages innovative thinking and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset within TSZ communities. The goal of this task force is to provide resources and environmental exposure that will nurture creativity and provide on-ramps and mentorship for TSZ students. And the Entrepreneurship Workshop for the Leadership Intensive students has become the annual capstone event for these efforts. Read more.

How We've Engaged this Year

By immersing SMU faculty, staff and students in The Budd Center’s partner communities, PreK-12 schools and nonprofit partners can expand their human and intellectual capital to better serve clients and strengthen their organizations. Equally as important, the SMU community becomes a learning partner through faculty research and teaching, student volunteerism and employment, and service-learning projects facilitated by The Budd Center.  Read more.

Partner Survey Results for AY2015-16

In May 2016, an online survey was administered to The School Zone partners to help The Budd Center and its partners understand: 1) the impact participation in The School Zone has on individual partners and 2) the impact The School Zone has on students in West Dallas.  Read more and download report.

Equipping Our Partners through Professional Learning Communities

In addition to providing training for our partners, The Budd Center is now offering coaching to help them implement what they learn. Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are a fixture within PreK-12 education. Schools use them as a way for colleagues to learn from each other - sharing resources and data, problem solving and addressing shared issues as they emerge. In an effort to improve collaboration and data use by The School Zone, The Budd Center hired two coaches, adopted the PLC model and took an innovative approach to its use. Read more.

Leveraging Students' Community Cultural Wealth

Last year, The Budd Center made a strategic shift in its programming to better equip its PreK-12 school and nonprofit partners in The School Zone (TSZ) in West Dallas. We decided to integrate professional development, training and coaching into The School Zone model because we recognized many of our partners faced shared organizational and human capacity challenges that we, as a University center, had the resources to address. Read more and watch video.

The Educated City

The George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Dallas Festival of Ideas and the Dallas Morning News hosted a panel discussion on January 24th, highlighted by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, local leaders and policymakers and our own Regina Nippert, executive director of The Budd Center. Speakers addressed topics including progress in Dallas education, deeply rooted historical challenges in low-income communities, and the gap between visionary policymaking and on-the-ground realities for teachers, parents and students. 


The Power of Partnership - Supporting Samuel

Many students served by The School Zone have varied social, emotional and academic needs that are best supported through the combined efforts of multiple nonprofits. Samuel, currently a third grader at TSZ partner school George W. Carver Creative Arts Learning Center, is one such student. We recently had a chance to speak with Lisa Dickerson, program director at TSZ nonprofit Readers 2 Leaders, about Samuel.

Based on data Lisa received from The Budd Center, the staff knew Samuel had been served by Rainbow Days and Big Thought in the 2014-15 academic year. The data also indicated that during the 2014-15 academic year, Samuel was classified as Tier 3, a categorization that indicates a high-needs student within the Student Advocacy Management (SAM) Tier Criteria system.Read more.

Exploring Entrepreneurship with West Dallas Students

In summer of 2016, The Budd Center teamed up with TSZ partner Mercy Street to host an all-day workshop exploring innovative thinking, networking and entrepreneurship. The workshop bookended Mercy Street's annual Leadership Intensive program, and featured local leaders, young entrepreneurs and faculty from the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship. Video highlights: Summer Collaborative with Mercy Street