The Toyota USA Foundation, SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and Dallas ISD have formed a partnership to develop a PreK-8th grade STEM-focused school in the Pinkston Feeder Pattern in the West Dallas 75212 ZIP Code area. Renovation of the current Pinkston High School facilities (2200 Dennison Street) will transform the campus into the STEM-focused School, and Pinkston High School will relocate. The partnership will provide professional development, design of a STEM curriculum, coordination of community-based services, and comprehensive research and evaluation. Dallas ISD will support all building, staffing and operational needs of the new School.
The Toyota Foundation awarded a sizable grant to the Simmons School in support of the West Dallas STEM School project in June 2018 and followed it with a second and larger grant in August 2021.
Toyota, Dallas ISD, and SMU Simmons are committed to providing curricula and academic support services that will prepare students for college and the workforce and to establishing a model that can be replicated for the benefit of other schools and communities.
The School will feature an evidence-based, industry-informed STEM curriculum, as well as targeted, community-embedded and co-located wraparound services such as summer and afterschool programming, socio-emotional support for students, and parenting support for families. The partnership will foster four key areas of development:
- Curriculum Development: STEM, project-based and industry-informed
- Professional Development: Support all aspects of PD programming for in- and out-of-school educators and providers
- Community Development: Increase capacities of community-based providers
- Model Development: Research and evaluation to support a replicable model
The Planning Process
SMU Simmons School faculty and academicians will lead a comprehensive and collaborative planning process over a 3-year period beginning in fall 2018. Their work will center on equitable inclusion and rigorous applied research. Multiple workgroups representing key stakeholders will collaborate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the broad initiative. The workgroups will represent practitioners and academic experts in educational pedagogy, STEM, equity, evaluation and community science, social services for students and families, industry, and workforce readiness.
The planning process will be anchored by the co-development of a full-scale implementation and valuation plan that will specify curriculum components, professional development and implementation needs, a research agenda, a formative and summative evaluation plan with specified metrics, and reporting timelines.
2018-21: Laying the Groundwork
The curriculum development, professional development, and campus design process will begin in 2018. Community relationships will be cultivated, and the principal partners will author a comprehensive implementation and evaluation plan that will guide the duration of the work. Simmons will work with DISD to provide STEM activities for the other elementary schools in the area.
2021 and Beyond
The School will pilot select STEM programs in 2020-21.