The visuals in this video are decorative and do not provide additional information. This video does not contain audio.

pause play hide show

In June 2018 the Toyota USA Foundation, SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and Dallas ISD 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 existing Pinkston High School facilities (2200 Dennison Street) transformed the campus into the STEM-focused School, and Pinkston High School relocated. The partnership provides professional development, design of a STEM curriculum, coordination of community-based services, and comprehensive research and evaluation. Dallas ISD supports all building, staffing and operational needs of the new West Dallas STEM School (WDSS).

The Toyota Foundation followed its a sizable 2018 WDSS grant to the Simmons School with a second and larger grant to Simmons in August 2021.

As curricular and building plans get formulated for the new West Dallas STEM School, L.G. Pinkston High School students and teacher Elizabeth Blue-Allen talk about the need for a STEM school in their community. Dallas ISD's new, pre-K through 8 grade school is created in partnership with Toyota USA Foundation and Southern Methodist University.


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

Graphic showing key milestones for the West Dallas STEM school

The Planning Process

West Dallas STEM school planning session

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

Simmons STEM partners with high school students at Texas Rangers Youth Academy 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.