DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More Dallas ISD students were able to return to class on Thursday and some did so at brand new campuses.
Students from the tornado-devastated Cary Middle School were split up and sent to Franklin and Medrano Middle Schools.
“It felt weird,” admitted a shy Cary 8th grade student who now attends Medrano. “I miss my friends,” says Stephanie. “We’ve been together since like 6th grade.”
She also says the new school community made her feel welcome.
“There’s a million ways to respond to this. None perfect,” admits DISD’s Chief of School Leadership Stephanie Elizalde. “But some are going to be better than others.”
She says visiting the campuses Thursday, she was pleased to see staff and students managing the transition well.
At Franklin, the newcomers were welcomed with homemade signs assuring them that they would “Cary on,” and that their schools are now “better together.”
“They haven’t accepted the new kids from Cary,” says Elizalde. “They have embraced them and that’s what’s so great about the response we have had throughout our schools.”
According to Elizade, when it became obvious that students would not be able to return to Cary, district leaders were tasking with making a decision quickly that would still have some permanence to limit the disruption for students.
Elizalde heaped praise on her team and for school staff for working extra long days and going many extra miles to make the students comfortable at the news schools.
“Our teachers and staff members are riding buses with the kiddos from Cary to provide them additional stability,” explains Elizalde. “That’s the kind of staff that we have, that said, ‘hey, some of these kids, now they’re coming to a new facility, let us be on those buses, so we can help them’.”
And now they’re asking parents of those transplanted students to trust the district with the transportation piece and allow them to ride those school buses.
“We know parents have to be at work,” says Elizade. “Trust us with the transportation. It really does help with all of the transitions that we have.”
And with the extra vehicle traffic near the now larger schools.