HightlandParkHS Jamie Ford

By now, you are probably aware of the contretemps that occurred when author Jamie Ford spoke at an assembly for freshman and sophomores at Highland Park High School as part of  the school’s annual LitFest. It’s been making the rounds on Facebook, CandysDirt.com, and the Dallas Morning News covered the story almost minutes after Ford posted remarks about his impressions of that assembly.

But just in case you don’t, the Cliff’s Notes version is this: Ford (whose book “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” which depicts life in internment camps during World War II, should be required reading for everyone) spoke to the underclassmen that day, and then was also scheduled to speak at an evening event and to conduct a writing workshop with students the next day.

From what I have ascertained by talking to several students, he began the discussion by taking a selfie of himself from the stage.

Everything after that, however, is a matter of perspective. First, we have Ford’s words, where he talks about how things were apparently going OK at first. Students even clapped and cheered as he shared stories. (more…)

University Park Contemporary 2941 University Blvd a

HGTV, are you paying attention? Not only do we have an incredible University Park contemporary for you, we’re pretty certain we have your next design stars.

John and Whitney Coke own this terrific two-story home at 2941 University Boulevard. It’s just across from Burleson Park and a few blocks from SMU. It didn’t look anything like this when they bought it, however. They have remodeled the original 1940 house to absolute perfection. (more…)

HightlandParkHS

Even Highland Park ISD scored a C in a category in the state’s new A through F ratings system.

It’s been about a week since Texas released its first “what-if” A through F grades for school districts and schools — a measure adopted by the last Texas legislature, ostensibly as a way to tell parents how their district and schools were doing.

And in that time, 219-and-counting school districts have adopted resolutions against it. Why? Largely because even typically high-performing schools are getting Ds and Fs in at least one of the categories that formed the overall grade. For instance, the Highland Park Independent School District, where nearly every kid goes to college and the overall tally of scholarship dollars earned by a graduating class is routinely worked into the commencement speeches, scored a C for postsecondary readiness.

Dallas ISD earned a B in the same category. In addition, the district earned a D in student performance and Bs in student progress and closing the achievement gaps between poor students and their peers. The district earned a B overall. (more…)

 

Southern Ave. IHOTW

We know you love getting a sneak peek at properties as much as we do, so we’re giving you an inside look at 4517 Southern Avenue in Highland Park today. Jason Couch with Epic Direct Realty is listing this gorgeous three-story, five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,766-square-foot Mediterranean on June 30 for $2.449 million. (more…)

dallas open house listings

The modern marvel at 47 Vanguard Way in Urban Reserve is one of our five featured open houses this week.

Every Thursday, we pick five hot North Texas properties with our CandysDirt Open Houses of the Week column.

This week, our houses range in price from $474,700 to $899,999. We’ve picked some impressive properties, from a rare 1920’s Craftsman in East Dallas’ Greenland Hills, to a magazine-worthy Midcentury in Hillside. Let us know what you think of our choices, and if you know of any we should feature next week!

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3314 Dartmouth Front

If you love surrealism, then this house is the Dali to your Breton. From the curb, this stark contemporary actually looks like a cubist’s take on the modern American dwelling. It is, in fact a home for art.

It’s easy to fall in love with this house, not only for its enviable Highland Park location, but for the bright and open rooms that flow easily and allow for both the art and the architecture to stand out. And unlike many contemporary designs, this home feels warm and inviting.

If you are looking for the perfect space to show off your collection, this Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty listing could be just the home for you. And when it comes to closing, don’t waste time — call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans first so you can sail through closing without a worry. Go ahead and start imagining your art lining the walls of this stunning Highland Park contemporary and call Lisa Peters at Caliber Home Loans today.

Jump to see all of the amazing space — both indoors and out — that this home has to offer.

3314 Dartmouth Front Porch

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Durham Street to be overtaken by a drop-off/pick-up student valet service

Durham Street to be overtaken by a drop-off/pick-up student valet service

On February 25th the Caruth Hills Homeplace Neighborhood Association held an update meeting on the proposed school to be built on land HPISD acquired from the Northway Christian Church on Northwest Highway across from Sparkman- Hillcrest (talk about the circle of life). The new school is the result of a $361.4 million bond proposal passed last November that also includes rebuilding and refurbishment of other HPISD schools.

HPISD is an interesting bunch who take pride in probably exactly what you’d expect. For example, string together these puzzle pieces …

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Photo Courtesy "I Will Graduate."

Photo: “I Will Graduate”/Larry Young Photography

Strong schools make strong communities. It’s no real secret – and if you need a local example, just look at Highland Park ISD. I don’t think anyone can argue that having strong Dallas public schools is bad for their city. I mean, I’m sure someone will argue it, and probably in the comments. But much like good roads, well-maintained utilities and inviting parks, public schools fall under infrastructure.

And yeah, I know we all know what it feels like to hit a giant pothole and mentally calculate the time remaining on your suspension, or come home to find the water is turned off because a main broke in your neighborhood. Those things are thanks to deferred maintenance.

But the difference between potholes and water main breaks and public schools is that public schools can grow stronger in spite of their communities, or thanks to them. The latter makes the growth and improvement speedier, I would wager, though.

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