Great Schools, Great Neighborhoods — and Great Prices for Every Budget

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The North Cliff Preservation District that feeds Salazar Elementary is the beneficiary of a district-rated “Excelling” school with promising accountability scores. (Photo courtesy Dallas ISD)

We all know the market is tight in Dallas. But when you’re looking for a home as a family, there’s another thing to factor in besides price and square footage: the schools.

Last year, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate asked me to take a look at the neighborhoods around some schools that might be more unfamiliar to buyers who traditionally look around the Lakewood, Rosemont, Stonewall Jackson, and Withers elementary schools. The neighborhoods I showcased were in attendance zones for some of Dallas ISD’s great schools — albeit schools that sometimes get less attention than their more well-known counterparts.

This week, I’m going to repeat the feat, and show you some examples of homes you and your family can plant roots in — and attend a great school to boot.

All of the schools we’ll look at are rated “Excelling” in the district’s School Performance Framework, and many of them offer the things parents get excited about — two-way dual language Spanish immersion, International Baccalaureate, personalized learning, and the like.

Some of the neighborhoods I’m going to recommend are holdovers from last year, so I thought I’d start with two new entries— Salazar Elementary in Oak Cliff and Sanger Elementary in Forest Hills.

Now, if you ask parents who already send their kids to either of these schools, they’ll tell you it’s unsurprising that their schools are on this list.

Take, for instance, Sanger Elementary. Sanger, a pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade school, which means a family that moves into the neighborhood could see their children only attending two schools their entire time at Dallas ISD.

That’s convenient enough, but the fact that Sanger has a very successful Spanish immersion program and great accountability scores is another reason more and more families are considering the school.

8817 Forest Hills Blvd.

There are lots of options. Check out this three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, newly constructed midcentury modern home at 8818 Forest Hills Blvd., for instance. You can have a brand-new home with an open floor plan and a great back deck for $610,000.

9474 Sherwood Glen

Or maybe this creek-side lot in Casa Linda is more your speed. Four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and a lush, heavily treed lot on 9474 Sherwood Glen, priced right at $599,000.

Salazar Elementary, in addition to being an Excelling school, is one of 19 schools added to the list of schools that will now offer paid pre-K spots, beginning this year. Tuition is $525 a month for all-day, quality pre-K, which most parents will agree is an unheard of tuition rate for that kind of program. I mean, we paid $545 a month for my son’s pre-k tuition, and that wasn’t even full day!

It’s a great school that is listed as “Excelling” with the SPF, and has encouraging accountability scores with the TEA.

2745 Ivandell Ave.

Listings in the North Cliff Preservation District that feeds Salazar can be a little rare, but when they do come on the market, holy cow, they’re cute. For instance, look at this Tudor at 2745 Ivandell Ave. Yes, it’s currently under active option contract, but it’s a great example of what you can find — it’s a great three-bedroom, two-bath, fully updated home for a sweet price tag of $265,000.

The agents at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate always have their ears to the ground, so letting them know you’re interested in the area will help you find that perfect house.

Now, I know these next neighborhoods and schools are repeats, but a girl can’t help it if the schools are still great and in neighborhoods where the inventory is both beautiful and varied and a little more plentiful (although you still have to act with at least a little haste).

For instance, let’s take Midway Hollow. Moving to the Hollow means you actually have the potential to pick between three schools — Withers Elementary, Foster Elementary, and Walnut Hill Elementary. The latter two are taking transfer students, which means you can potentially live anywhere in the neighborhood and no matter what, your kindergartener could join the Spanish immersion program.

While Withers has long been a favorite, Walnut Hill and Foster both have strong academic trajectories as well. Both schools offer the Spanish immersion program, just like Withers.

Foster has a Real School Garden and numerous choices for after-school activities, and a new principal — Irma De La Guardia, who was named the 2015 National Bilingual Teacher of the Year by the National Association for Bilingual Education.

Walnut Hill was a recipient of the National Excellence in Urban Education Award by the National Center for Urban School Transformation in 2015.

3975 Highgrove Dr.

Midway Hollow really does offer family homes for multiple budgets. Like this three-bedroom, two-bath house at 3975 Highgrove Dr. It was fully renovated from the studs forward in 2009, and has extensive updates, but clocks in at a budget-friendly $495,000.

4064 Rochelle Dr.

Have a little more scratch, or need more room? This four-bedroom, three-bath urban farmhouse at 4064 Rochelle Drfeatures upscale finishes and appliances, vaulted ceilings and an open floor plan — all for $984,000.

Also south of LBJ but east of Central is the neighborhood that feeds into Kramer Elementary. You’d have to try pretty hard not to fall within Kramer’s attendance zone (it’s huge), but the homes within walking distance to the school often have private school signs in them.

The school has a lot to offer: Spanish immersion, International Baccalaureate, and a Real School Garden, just to name a few things. When you have a great school like this in your neighborhood, you can easily spend a little more if you’d like on a home, because you’re not going to need that private school tuition.

7131 Meadow Rd.

Can you fall in love with a house because of its entry? Because I love the walk-up to this modern ranch at 7131 Meadow Rd. It boasts five bedrooms and four bathrooms, plus a pool, and was extensively remodeled in 2016 — all for $700,000.

6910 Baxtershire Dr.

Hate mowing the backyard? Try this four bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home at 6910 Baxtershire Dr. that has adorable curb appeal and turf grass in its backyard oasis – meaning your family can kick back and enjoy time together without the worry of weeds and maintenance.

And yes, it has a pool, too — all for $835,000.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t round out our tour of great family neighborhoods with great schools with Dan D. Rogers Elementary. This quiet powerhouse of a school offers Personalized Learning, which is basically what would happen if a Montessori and a STEM school had a really smart baby.  

The school was named the 2017 winner of the Golden Psi Award by the Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association for its efforts to create an encouraging environment for students and its use of positive discipline techniques.

Principal Lisa Lovato was named Dallas ISD’s Principal of the Year last year, too.

6509 Danbury Ln.

There are plenty of great family homes nearby, too. For instance, this Ridgewood Park beauty at 6509 Danbury Ln. sits on a large creek lot with gorgeous views of that creek. It’s a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with an open floor plan.

The large master suite has two custom closets and a master bath with a jetted tub and separate shower. And it’s priced at an affordable $449,900.

6245 Chesley Ln.

For a little more ($565,000, to be exact), this University Manor four-bedroom, four-bath home at 6245 Chesley Lnhas large living areas and an open floor plan and sits on a gorgeous treed lot.

Perhaps the most impressive feature is that of those four bedrooms, three have ensuite bathrooms. Can you imagine school mornings without fights over the bathroom? Because this is the house for avoiding that.

In June, sales of preowned homes in Dallas were up 13 percent over this time last year  and broke a record for the area in single-month sales. And that undersupply of homes is potentially letting up a bit as well — there were 11 percent more homes listed for sale in June than last year.

We all know those popular neighborhoods are probably always going to be popular and quick-selling. So contacting an agent with Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and letting them know what schools you’re interested in can help make sure that no matter the school you have your heart set on, you’ll have a fighting chance of getting in the right home for your family.



Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson lives in a 1961 Fox and Jacobs home with her husband, a second-grader, and Conrad Bain the dog. If she won the lottery, she'd by an E. Faye Jones home. She's taken home a few awards for her writing, including a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Online News Association, the Education Writers Association, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, and the Society of Professional Journalists. She doesn't like lima beans or the word moist.

Reader Interactions


  1. Brooke Green says

    Great article and I love seeing public school options highlighted! If you want to check out another thriving public school opportunity, travel north on Central and head to Richardson! Prairie Creek Elementary was selected as the best elementary school in all of North Texas by think tank, Children at Risk ( and it feeds into JJPearce which means it’s great K-12.

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