Dallas Isd Homework
Following a series of renovations at the Innovation, Design, Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA), 30 students are helping researchers discover how environmental changes impact their learning experience.
IDEA, one of five Personalized Learning schools in the district, has transformed their building at James W. Fannin into a space that helps students adapt to the more open, collaborative environment they will find in college.
“You can be yourself in the classrooms here,” said ninth-grade student Kerriyana Lawson.
Now, researchers from HKS are partnering with IDEA to determine the measurable impact of personalized space by erecting a pop-up lab at the school.
At first glance, HKS’ Sensory Design Lab looks more like a portable classroom than a high-tech research center. It is only upon close inspection that you find the lab’s network of sensors detecting temperature, lighting, sound, and humidity. A thermal camera tracks movement, and student participants wear wristbands to measure their heart rate.
Each research session is 30 minutes, during which students do schoolwork in the lab after choosing from a variety of furniture and equipment to personalize the space. As one of the first studies of its kind, the team at HKS doesn’t yet know what to expect from the study’s results. However, as students sink into brightly colored roller-chairs and work on a portable whiteboard, it’s easy to imagine that personalization of space will prove to be another positive step toward improving student outcomes.
HKS is partnering with Dallas ISD, the Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation (CADRE), and Herman Miller to conduct the study. Funding was granted by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
Dallas ISDs grading policy recognizes effort-based learning, provides coherence
In the 2008-2009 school year, Dallas ISD began using new grading procedures that better reflect the more rigorous and effort-based learning philosophy adopted by the district to improve student achievement. The districts grading policy and procedures also provide the parameters and guidelines for ensuring fair and credible evaluation of student learning from classroom to classroom and school to school across the district.
The new policy holds students accountable while providing them with limited opportunities to recover from short-term failure, which is recognized by several studies as one of the factors for long-term student failure. The policy also recognizes that not all students learn at the same pace and emphasizes mastery of knowledge and skills whether it takes place at the beginning to the end of a six-weeks grading period.
While the policy provides certain standards across grade levels, teachers and principals will have the opportunity to develop the grading procedures for each subject, grade, or school, such as the grade penalty or reduction for work that is not completed or not completed on time. Grading procedures become more stringent and student accountability increases with every grade level.
The districtwide grading procedures duplicate the efforts many of the districts best teachers already have been using in their classrooms to improve student achievement. The new procedures were developed as directed by board policy by a committee of teachers, principals, and instructional support staff.
The districts goal is to fully prepare students for college and the workforce, not to replicate college and the workforce in kindergarten- through 12th-grade setting.
Official District Grading Policy