park forestOne of the great things about a neighborhood school is the fact that the neighborhood it is in is often very much a part of the fabric of the school, and vice versa. That is definitely the case with our School + House entry for this week, Dallas ISD’s DeGolyer Elementary, which sits just about in the middle of the tight-knit neighborhood of Park Forest.

DeGoyler is a school that is walkable from just about any of the 200 homes in Park Forest, and because of that, the neighborhood is fiercely loyal to the school. And parental engagement is robust — whether it’s Dad’s Club or the PTA.

The school is no slouch academically, either, earning a firm B from the Texas Education Agency’s A-F ratings, meeting state standard with two distinctions.

And Park Forest — a neighborhood tucked between Forest Lane, Northaven Road, Marsh Lane, and Cromwell Drive — is a darling spot to raise a family, too. From the community pool (memberships available) to the robust crime watch to the wide variety of price points, there really is so much to recommend the neighborhood full of Midcentury Fox and Jacobs homes.  (more…)

first homeWhen you’re a young family, you look for certain things in your first home — and first and foremost, you’re probably going to be looking for the home that can give you the most bang for your buck.

It’s one of the reason we bring our readers regular features like the Tuesday Two Hundred and the Thursday Three Hundred — and this week’s Thursday offering is a great example of how the $300,000 range can get you a great move-in ready first home with loads of potential for putting your stamp on the abode as well.

This North Dallas Midcentury Ranch at 3179 Jubilee Trail was built in 1961 and has a lot of the hallmarks we expect from the Fox & Jacobs era of Dallas — an open floor plan, a focal point fireplace, and bedroom layouts that provide generous bunking spaces.

It’s a floor plan that holds up to the ever-changing and cyclical vagaries of popular design choices over decades. The wallpaper may change, the tile may go from a country style mosaic to a sleek subway tile, and flooring choices may go from shag to laminate to Berber to wood, but that floorplan? What was family and entertaining-friendly in the sixties is just as family and entertaining-friendly today.

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Alyssa Ortega, who teaches at DeGoyler Elementary, is just one of several Dallas teachers who utilizes DonorsChoose to raise funds for items the ordinary budget doesn't cover.

Alyssa Ortega, who teaches at DeGoyler Elementary, is just one of several Dallas teachers who utilizes DonorsChoose to raise funds for items the ordinary budget doesn’t cover.

At first, the news sounded kind of perplexing and ominous. Late last night, I was apprised of a memo that went out to Dallas Independent School District principals. The memo, folks said, banned the use of certain crowdfunding sites to raise funds for anything involving the district.

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Donors Choose have become havens for teachers and schools who need to raise money for school trips, class projects, new books, etc. Needless to say, as word filtered out teachers were concerned.

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readingWhen I last wrote, we were waiting word from Harry Stone Montessori as to whether Tiny made the cut. And, well, while he passed the assessments, with hundreds of kids vying for 45 spots, we weren’t horribly shocked when the letter said he did not get in.

I mean, it would’ve been nice, yes. But realistically, we knew the odds were a longshot. Lots of kids apply for very few spots, first and foremost, and secondly, assessing three and a half year olds who are in a completely new environment with a bunch of new friends to make sounds something akin to herding greased, caffeinated kittens through a shopping mall built of catnip.

So what now? (more…)