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…)

Lake Highlands WHITEROCKELEMENTARY SITE PLAN After a round of norovirus bludgeoned our house, I am finally able to come back to my original story about White Rock Trail Elementary – or rather, the proposed site for it.

In my previous two stories, I talked to a representative of “We Have a Voice,”  Lake Highlands neighbors who are heading the opposition to the site, and to a representative from Richardson Independent Schools. You can read the first story here. The follow up is here.

Next, I reached out to Nathan Jacks, of “We Need a School,” the Lake Highlands neighbors that are for the proposed site, for his take on the situation.

I emailed Jacks questions, and he responded. In the interest of complete transparency, my questions and his responses verbatim are below.

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Lake Highlands IHOTW

The love for Lake Highlands runs deep. It’s commonplace to find people that grew up there, moved away to begin careers then moved back as soon as they could to raise their families. Richardson ISD is also a big draw, with fierce school loyalty in every part of Lake Highlands. It has the perks of a suburb without really being one because it’s close to everything.

If you long for the TV series version of a neighborhood, where you are actual friends with your neighbors, the kids really run out to play after school, and people are engaged and active in the community, this Lake Highlands custom home is move-in ready!

Donald Wright with the Wrighthouse Group at Gilchrist & Company Real Estate just listed, this gorgeous two-story home at 9778 Spring Branch Drive for $1.12 million.

9778 Spring Branch Drive

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Lake Highlands school

Just a few things, after a day and a night of comments have rolled in, and after a few Lake Highlands friends and I talked.

Firstly, I’d like to congratulate most of you (save one, but we talked it out) for remaining civil. From what I understand, this issue is contentious and has even resulted in the ending of friendships.
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The Lake Highlands neighborhood that might be home to the proposed White Rock Trail Elementary is pretty adamant about its opposition, citing a deed restriction at the top of its list of reasons. (Photo courtesy Rahul Yodh)

The Lake Highlands neighborhood that might be home to the proposed White Rock Trail Elementary is pretty adamant about its opposition, citing a deed restriction at the top of its list of reasons. (Photo courtesy Rahul Yodh)

If you build a school, but most of the neighborhood is against it, will they come?

That was the question I was left pondering after conversations on both sides of a debate over whether the proposed site for White Rock Valley Elementary. On one side, you have Richardson ISD, who insists that the site – bordered by Walnut Hill, White Rock Trail and DART tracks is the most viable option. On the other, you have the parents and neighbors who insist the site is dangerous, expensive and potentially unallowable because of a public deed restriction in place since the 1970s.

The opposition has coalesced into a grassroots group – “We Have a Voice.” Rahul Yodh, its spokesman, says that the group realizes that overcrowding at White Rock Elementary means something must be done – but not at this site. (more…)

kevin twitty IBB

The master bathroom at Kevin and Brad Twitty’s house. They transformed a 1970’s ranch into an elegant, fun space with original character and modern looks and function.

Have you ever wondered if interior designers live in homes as fabulous as the ones they create?

One of our favorite designers, Kevin Twitty of IBB Design Fine Furnishings in Frisco, is giving us a sneak peek into his soon-to-be-listed house, and showing us before-and-after photos of the 1970s ranch he and his partner Brad bought three years ago. As you can see, Kevin and Brad have made exactly the kind of stylish, elegant, fun space you would expect of one of most creative designers in Dallas and his significant other.kevin twitty BEFORE living roomLocated at 9701 Vista Oaks Dr., this is a 3,314-square-foot home in Town Creek, near Royal Lane and Abrams Road (located in Richardson ISD). The couple made a conscience effort to enhance the charm that was already in the home by preserving original stonework and natural cedar in the great room atrium, master bath atrium, and covered outdoor patio.

“It’s amazing how the home’s original character can looks so fresh when you modernize the elements around it,” Kevin said.

Their partnership was perfect for creating this space—Kevin is an interior designer and very much about the creative inspiration; Brad is a project manager at an IT consulting firm and focused on the function side of things. Together, they made magic in this renovation.

This property will be listed Wednesday by Ray Mach of Raymond Leon & Associates for $524,900, and there is an open house Sunday, April 24, from 12 – 2 p.m.

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2835 Lee a

One of our five featured open houses this week is this contemporary new build in Knox Henderson at 2835 Lee St.

Take a peek behind the curtain with our CandysDirt Open Houses of the Week column. Every Thursday, we give you the insider’s pick of  five fabulous open houses in Dallas (and the ‘burbs from time to time) you shouldn’t miss!

This week, our five houses range in price from $519K to $769K, and cover a broad array of styles. Think historic M-Streets Tudor, Knox-Henderson new-build contemporary, a truly lovely Greenway Park Traditional reduced $106K from its original list price, and more.

Mark your calendars to revel in this real estate.

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8829 Hackney a

On the eastern-most edge of the popular Lake Highlands neighborhood is Highland Meadows, a community of 1,390 houses and 17 subdivisions, built from the early 1950s to 2003. As you can imagine, that means a range of  architectural styles and lots of variety in home choices.

Our Tuesday Two Hundred at 8829 Hackney Ln. was one of the earliest built in the area, constructed in 1956 on a corner lot and offering lots of cute Midcentury charm. It’s a 3-2 with 1,619 square feet, close to White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum, and with easy access to most of DFW with its proximity to LBJ Freeway.

This home is zoned for the Richardson ISD, and is in the Wallace Elementary attendance area (this school earns a “7” out of 10 from GreatSchools.org).

It was listed Feb. 19 by Phillip Tilger with Nathan Grace Real Estate for $290,000, and went under contract three days later. Wow. Let’s take a look inside before this one is off the market.

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