The School Zone – West Dallas (TSZ) is The Budd Center’s flagship project. It exists to ensure that West Dallas children have the educational tools they need to exit poverty as adults.
TSZ is a collective impact partnership between 34 nonprofits, 16 public, private and charter schools, the Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) and SMU. It leverages the power of collaboration, scale and data-based decision making to target resources and programs to areas of greatest student need. Our initial focus is the Pinkston High School feeder pattern in West Dallas; however, TSZ is a scalable model for other communities.
Our Longitudinal Study
In partnership with The Budd Center, CORE facilitates a seven-year longitudinal study that began in 2014 with a cohort of students in The School Zone. The study documents the educational progress as well as the academic, social and emotional needs of two cohorts — 600 kindergarten students through their sixth-grade year and 300 fifth-grade students through their senior year. Findings from the first-year assessment indicate that 50-80 percent of West Dallas students who attended public pre-K entered kindergarten with low or no academic risk factors in math and reading, yet by third grade, a majority of West Dallas students are behind academically.
Bridging the Divide with Resource Management
Using findings from the study, TSZ began targeting support for students in pre-K through 2nd grade, including additional resources for gifted and talented students, through a program called Resource Management. The Budd Center launched this program to pilot a student-level support system in select schools before expanding throughout TSZ. Working with their teachers, The Budd Center ensures students remain on track by monitoring the impact of academic and social supports they receive. Resource Management is operational in two public elementary schools: Lorenzo De Zavala Elementary and Sidney Lanier Expressive Arts Vanguard.