Toyota, Dallas Independent School District, and SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development formed a partnership one year ago to develop a new STEM-focused school in West Dallas. This past year, the partnership successfully laid the foundation for collaboration and planning.
“Our partnership works because Toyota helps us understand industry goals,” says Simmons Dean Stephanie Knight. “Dallas ISD, one of the largest school districts in the country, knows how to help public school students thrive and the West Dallas Community stakeholders provide insight into its needs. SMU is charged with providing research and evaluation that will enable us to improve public education.”
Six core teams have been actively engaged in co-design, focusing on curriculum, professional learning and distributed leadership, building design, community development, and research and evaluation. These teams also have participating members from West Dallas communities.
Additionally, support teams have focused on developing data infrastructure to support research and continuous improvements, developing communications strategies, and anticipating long-term sustainable funding.
Planning for the school is supported by a three-year, $2M grant from Toyota to Simmons. The school is expected to open in 2021.