DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas ISD’s plan to launch a new International Baccalaureate school on the campus of Paul Quinn College was met with both excitement and enthusiasm.

Now the work begins to recruit students looking to be challenged.

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“We are looking for a student who is inquiry based, driven, a critical thinker– a student who is a problem solver and also one who can collaborate with their peers,” explains the school’s founding principal Christopher Barksdale, Ed.D. “We always tell kids to go be productive citizens, go be leaders of the next generation, but this now really gives students the tools that they need to be our next generation leaders.”

Principal Barksdale will meet prospective students and parents in a series of “virtual” open houses to explain more about the IB curriculum, and how students can benefit.

The first gets underway at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday and another is scheduled for Friday at 9:00 a.m.

“Students will be able to go through the middle year program as well as the diploma program right on the same campus,” explains Barksdale. “Students can matriculate from 6 – 12 and even through college, in their backyard.”

The application window for the new school is open now.

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The school will launch with space for 150 students, split between 6th and 7th grades. An additional grade will be added each year.

The IB program is internationally recognized for academic rigor and excellence and supporters are eager to see those opportunities available to more students in the district’s southern sector.

“We already have families signing up,” says Principal Barksdale. “I am just excited for what is to come,” calling the effort a tangible effort on the part of the district to bring both racial equity and excellence to the community.
DISD has several IB campuses sprinkled throughout the district.

But the school expected to be named for southern sector pastor and activist Rev. Frederick Haynes, Senior Pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church, is the first district partnership with an HBCU.

“Just with the name and the partnership itself, already a lot of excitement behind what we are getting ready to do at Paul Quinn College,” says Principal Barksdale. “So we look to continue to develop change makers and give them the tools they need to be our next generation leaders.”

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