Ector County ISD One of 400 to Adopt District of Innovation Plan

District of Innovation

About 400 school districts and counting have adopted District of Innovation plans, including Ector County ISD.

Dallas, Highland Park, and Ector County schools recently became the latest districts to opt for the “District of Innovation” status. Districts across Texas are grabbing hold of a 2015 law that allows them wider flexibility and control of everything from the start and end dates for the school year, class size, and length of a school day,  to who they can hire to teach.

Highland Park ISD’s board of trustees voted a District of Innovation plan in March. Ector County ISD passed its plan in April.

The District of Innovation concept was provided for in 2015 when the state legislature passed House Bill 1842, which allows districts some flexibility in seeking exemptions to state education code on various facets of curriculum, governance, accountability, and finance.

To begin the journey, a board adopts a resolution to examine the issue, then holds public hearings and appoints a committee to develop the district’s plan.

Proponents point to the local control, and to the opportunity for the same flexibility charter schools have. Opponents frequently say there is the potential for a slippery slope scenario that would lead to hiring unqualified teachers.

There is also a fair amount of fret about what teacher contracts would look like on a District of Innovation landscape, but so far districts that have passed plans have insisted teacher contracts would not be affected. (more…)

Crime Report: Football Fans Were Hooked After Games at SMU

Jordan Towing

As if anyone needed an additional reason to buy a house in Highland Park, here’s one more: The town’s police are not going to let a bunch of rowdy football fans park their cars in front of your house.

During the past two weekends, SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium has hosted three high school playoff games. As noted by our friends over at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate, Highland Park enacted a “residents only” parking zone in the neighborhood immediately south of the stadium on each game day.

Saturday night’s game was the real barn-burner of the three. Allen erased an 18-point deficit to defeat Skyline and earn a berth in the Class 6A Division I state championship game. After watching that comeback victory, fans must have been euphoric as they made their way back to their vehicles. But that euphoria was short-lived for at least seven people whose vehicles were not where they left them. Highland Park police had the following cars and trucks towed from Drexel Drive, Cornell Avenue, and Sewanee Avenue:

  • A black Toyota Tacoma registered to a Garland address
  • A white Ford Explorer registered to a Richardson address
  • A gray BMW 530 registered to a Preston Hollow address
  • A white Chrysler 300 registered to a Duncanville address
  • A white Chevrolet Camaro registered to a Murphy address
  • A white Chrysler PT Cruiser registered to a Pleasant Grove address
  • A black Dodge Journey registered to a Northwest Dallas address

If anyone reading this happens to be missing a vehicle matching any of those descriptions, you can find it at Jordan Towing’s impound yard in Plano.

This home on Armstrong will certainly be a tour favorite.

This home on Armstrong will certainly be a tour favorite.

To say that we were bummed about last year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour getting canceled due to inclement weather is an understatement. We full-on mourned, y’all. This year, though, not only can you use your tickets from last year to see four incredible Park Cities homes (including D’Andra Simmons’ gorgeous contemporary on Lindenwood!), but you can still buy your tickets at the advance price of $20! That’s a $5 discount over the price of tickets on the day of the tour!

Or, you could stay tuned right here to CandysDirt.com for our ticket giveaway! We’ll be giving away two pairs of tickets to this year’s ABPA Homes for the Holidays Home Tour, and you don’t want to miss your chance!

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Ultimate House For Entertaining on Sought After Windsor Place

4420 Windsor Front

Last week’s Supper Club really threw you for a loop, didn’t it? It was your first time hosting a dinner for five couples in your home, and it made the space feel over-full and claustrophobic. This house that was a wonderful place when your children were small is starting to feel as if it’s bursting at the seams now that your kids constantly have their friends over. Weekends seem like a never-ending stream of sleepovers and fundraisers. You’ve finally faced facts: it’s time to upgrade your living space.

Yes, some brave souls would take the time to hire an architect, find a builder, and perhaps remodel or expand their current home. But for you? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Why not find a fantastic home that will entertain crowds of all ages, with tons of open space an upgrades, that will fit your family for years?

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IHOTW Belfort
First of all, LOCATION! 4557 Belfort Avenue in Highland Park EAST of the Dallas North Tollway. Can you find a sweeter spot? Then you have this stunning, creamy, ivy-covered charmer with a garden courtyard that has been remodelled and redecorated by award-winning interior designer extraordinaire Emily Summers. Summers, along with Dallas design legend Laura Hunt, is one of the very few designers in town to have been named to the top 100 best designers in the world by Architectural Digest numerous times. Both are well loved by AD’s haute editor, Paige Rense. Summers is also the only Dallas designer to have served on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation from 2002 to 2006, by Presidential appointment, from President George W. Bush. She served as Chair for the Communication, Education, and Outreach Committee. Her signature work has been said to possess “clarity of vision” and the resulting spaces “luxurious yet restrained”.

Take a look inside this house, you’ll get it in about 5 seconds. (more…)

4504 Bordeaux Front

This is just such an amazing opportunity to live in an amazing home! Were you looking for the perfect rental for your relocation to Dallas? Have a couple of kids and want to be in a great school district? Love architecture and midcentury modern design? There could be no more perfect home for you!

This Howard Meyer-designed three-bedroom, three-bath modern dream home was recently on the market for $1.2 million and you can rent it today for $6,495 a month! It’s listed with the gorgeous Dave Perry-Miller agent Charme Gallini.

Now, I may be biased, but I think that this wonderful time capsule of a home showed a lot better when it was on the Spring Modern Home Tour. There was furniture! Color! Perspective! The space was alive.

Today, well … it’s all very, very white.

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5801 Hillcrest Front

If you’re looking for high-end residential leasing in the Park Cities, just go ahead and dial up the Dave Perry-Miller offices, because it seems like they have curbed the market! Seriously, just about every single lease I’ve found in Highland Park and University Park is listed with a Dave Perry-Miller associate. (more…)

House_2013_012

We were so bummed when the Armstrong-Bradfield Preschool Association’s annual Homes for the Holidays Home Tour was shut down due to the ridiculous weather from Icemaggedon on Dec. 6. It was the first time in the tour’s 15-year history that it was canceled.

There were some AMAZING homes slated for the 2013 tour, including D’Andra Simmons’ gorgeous contemporary in Highland Park, which we profiled. It is just phenomenal, and does an excellent job of showing off an incredible collection befitting world travellers.

“We want to thank all of the home owners and the preparation they did to make their beautiful homes ready for the tour,” said home tour chairs Suzi Ellis and Claudia Williams.

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However, despite the difficult decision Ellis and Williams made to cancel the tour, the fundraiser was still a resounding success. ABPA managed to raise $78,000 to principals Skip Moran and Chris Brunner of Armstrong and Bradfield elementaries.

“It was really hard to decide not to hold the tour given all the work that had gone into being ready – especially from the home owners who were so willing to offer up their homes,” said co-chairs Ellis and Williams. “We couldn’t believe that in the same week the temperatures went from 70 degrees to sleet and freezing rain.”

House_2013_013

Still, the gift will be appreciated by the Highland Park elementary schools. ABPA has managed to raise more than $400,000 for Armstrong and Bradfield since its inception in 1998.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to gift $78,000 to our elementary schools given the extreme weather situation we faced this year,” said ABPA president Tracy Wallingford.  “We look forward to a sleet-free home tour in 2014, and hope everyone will come out once again and enjoy our community’s beautiful homes, while helping support our schools.”

 

We’re looking forward to it, too!