South Oak Cliff High’s Soaring Popularity Sign of Good Things to Come

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Currently in the middle of a complete remodel and upgrade, South Oak Cliff High defied expectations this year and actually increased enrollment (photo courtesy Dallas ISD)

Just a few scant years ago, saying you were buying a house in Oak Cliff would elicit what some called the “Oak Cliff Oh,” as if moving to the area required a thoughtful, tactful response. But times have changed.

And perhaps one of the biggest success stories in Oak Cliff is the public school choices available there. For instance, take South Oak Cliff High. Almost two years ago, the community banded together to demand that the school building reflect the school’s successes. Now, as the students reported in August to temporary quarters at Village Fair School, the 70-year-old building they fought for is now being renovated and improved.

But even more important is its increased popularity. Dallas ISD reported last week that the school’s fall enrollment jumped from 1,096 last school year to 1,322 — a 200-student increase. It’s also significantly higher than the district’s projected enrollment of 963 students.

Why the uptick in interest? In a story published on the district’s news page, Principal Willie Johnson attributed it to a rebranding of sorts.

“We are resetting the culture of this school, resetting expectations for academic performance, behavior and accomplishment,” Johnson said. “I think our increase in enrollment is a testament to the work we are doing and the belief our community has in our quality of instruction and quality of opportunities we provide. It’s a great time to be at South Oak Cliff High School.”

“The community has looked into what’s going on here at South Oak Cliff High School and they are bringing their kids back from the suburbs,” Dallas ISD school board trustee Maxie Johnson said. “They are choosing South Oak Cliff High School because they want their kids to get a top-notch education.”

In this year’s Texas Education Agency ratings, South Oak Cliff High met state standards, with three distinctions.

But what does the housing stock look like? As luck would have it, you’re getting a two-fer glimpse into that, because our Weekend One Hundred is also in the SOC feeder pattern. However, it’s a diamond in the rough. We thought we’d also show you something move-in ready, too.

In fact, 4205 Cardinal Drive is completely new construction in an easy-to-care-for 1,433 square foot package. The three-bedroom, two-bath home has a big living area, generously sized rooms, and a big yard (big enough, in fact, that one could consider building small guest house or office).

The oversized galley kitchen is open to the living room has plenty of room for a couple of cooks at the same time.

All the bedrooms are carpeted, but common areas are wood or ceramic tile. A neutral color palette means you can move right in, but it also means that if you eventually decide you want a statement wall, or a pop of color in say, the kitchen, you have a blank canvas.

Sandon Smith Keller Williams Realty Dallas Preston Road has this listing, which is priced at $185,000.

Want to see more of the listing? Click here. For more about South Oak Cliff High, click here. To look up your school’s grade, click here. To see more featured schools, click here.


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.

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