Dallas ISD Grows From 14 to 23 NAF Distinguished Academies

Dallas ISD now has 23 schools recognized by the National Academies Foundation, the district announced this week, including two from Thomas Jefferson High School.

The NAF named the 23 schools to its 2020 Distinguished Academies this month.

“Dallas ISD has grown from 14 Distinguished Academies to 23; this is the largest growth of Distinguished Academies over one year in the NAF network,” the district said in a press release.

“We are excited to have these additional Distinguished NAF Academies identified in Dallas ISD,” said Richard Grimsley, director of career education and workforce partnerships. “Our CTE teachers and programs have worked diligently to improve academy and program quality.  The results show their hard work.  I am proud of their progress.”

To reach the distinguished level, academies must be operational for four years, participate in work-based learning experiences, build professional relationships and secure internships, undergo site visits, observations, review of student data and complete cross-curricular projects.

NAF’s annual assessment measures an academy’s strengths and challenges in implementing a results-driven educational design that prepares students for success in college and careers. Site visits are conducted by a team of distinguished leaders and outside experts, while NAF staff verify academy scores.

Thomas Jefferson’s Academy of Engineering and Academy of Hospitality and Tourism were named to the list, as well as North Dallas High School’s Academy of Information Technology. Academies at Conrad High School, Bryan Adams High School, Spruce High School, Kimball High School, Skyline High School, South Oak Cliff High School, Adamson High School, Wilmer-Hutchins High School, Woodrow Wilson High Schooll, and the Innovation Design Entrepreneurship Academy.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, 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 Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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