DALLAS (CBS11) – Getting a jump start on college– starting in Pre-K!
That’s the path for students at DISD’s Kramer Elementary in North Dallas. Following an arduous three-year certification process, the school is now an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program campus.
“We are trying to develop the whole brain of the child,” says Kim West, Kramer’s IB Coordinator. “I think right now there are a lot of kids out there who are just going to school and being told what to do and what to think, they’re not being asked to question.”
At Kramer, creative spaces like a colorful garden and outdoor classroom encourage what staffers call “inquiry based” learning: questions are encouraged and curiosity is an asset.
With the IB PYP designation, Kramer becomes DISD’s first primary school to begin shaping global learners early.
“We know it’s good for kids. We know it’s right for kids… and we know that if you trust us to bring your kids back to public schools, we’re going to set you on a pathway to success.”
Jennifer Burks lives nearby.
She says she has researched and could have chosen any of the prestigious private schools near her North Dallas home.
She chose Kramer, instead and chuckles when asked about the response she often receives when sharing that yes, her children attend the Dallas public school.
“Most people would say ‘ooohhh… Dallas? DISD?'” says Burks, while making a face that suggests something that smelled something bad. But, Burks says she knew that something really good was happening at her neighborhood school.
“The world doesn’t look like me,” says Burks, choking up and tears filling her blue eyes. “Our kids need to know that there is value in something that’s different from who they are.”
Burks says she wants for her children the same thing that other parents do — to prepare them for whatever they want to do in life. She and other parents believe that was happening at Kramer, even before the IB designation.
“We can give you everything that a private school can give you– for free,” says Principal Kate Walker. “I think Kramer is jut a hidden gem.”
Now the campus has a well-respected name to prove it.
“We do work he TEKS and we do work with the district and their expectations, but then we take it and we put it in a framework that really pushes the kids to think deeper,” says West.