Middle School Choice Programs FAQ
Which Middle School Choice Programs and grade levels will be offered in 2020 - 2021?
The STEAM Academy at Kennemer Middle School (Grades 6 - 8)
The Health Science Program at Byrd Middle School (Grade 7 - 8)
The Business & Technology Program at Reed Middle School (Grade 7 - 8)
Who is eligible to apply for the Middle School Choice Programs?
The STEAM Academy at Kennemer Middle School - Any current Duncanville ISD 5th grader or current 5th graders that live within the Duncanville ISD boundaries.
The Health Science Program at Byrd Middle School and the Business & Technology Program at Reed Middle School - Any current Duncanville ISD 6th grader or current 6th grader living within the Duncanville ISD boundaries.
Will applications open for current 6th graders to apply for The STEAM Academy at KMS for grade 7 next year?
No, applications will only be open for current 5th graders to apply to be in the STEAM Academy in grade 6 next year.
Will applications open for current 7th graders to apply for The Health Science Program at BMS or the Business & Technology Program at RMS for grade 8 next year?
No, applications will only be open for current 6th graders to apply for the 7th-grade Health Science or Business & Technology Programs.
Note: Application Window for all three Middle School Choice Programs is January 4 – January 31, 2021. Notification, if the student is accepted or waitlisted, will be sent to parents, via email submitted in the application, on or before February 6, 2021.
When does the application window open and close for all of the Middle School Choice Programs for the 2021-2022 School Year?
The online application for the 2021-2022 Health Science Program at Byrd MS and the Business and Technology Program at Reed MS, and the STEAM Academy at Kennemer MS opens at 8 AM, January 4, 2021, and closes at 11:59 PM, January 31, 2021. The MS Choice application is available at www.duncanvilleisd.org/MiddleSchoolChoice.
The online application for the 2020-2021 STEAM Academy at Kennemer Middle School opens at 8 AM, January 6, 2020, and closes at 11:59 PM, January 31, 2020. The STEAM Academy application is available at www.duncanvilleisd.org/MiddleSchoolChoice
How do I apply?
Parents/Legal Guardians of eligible students must complete an online application during the application window.
Will transportation be provided?
Yes, any Choice Program student that lives within the Duncanville ISD boundaries and is more than 2 miles from the Choice Program will receive transportation.
What is your selection process for the “lottery” system? Demographics? Grades? Special Needs? What are ALL the parameters?
The lottery process is open to all students that currently attend a Duncanville ISD school, or that live within Duncanville ISD boundaries; there are no predetermined criteria for admission. The lottery is computerized and will select students at random. The open lottery process is in place to provide opportunities for all students.
Once a student is selected to attend a Choice Program, do they have to re-apply each year?
No. Students who are admitted will retain their spot in the Choice Program until the end of their 8th-grade year.
How much will parent support be required of parents at a Choice Program?
Parents at a Choice Program will be participating partners. Parents will be encouraged to monitor their student’s assignments, grades, and attendance; attend evening activities; stay up to date on school communications.
I understand that Choice Programs will select applicants by a lottery. However, in middle school, these kids have a history in the district. Why are grades and discipline not being used as criteria?
We believe that all students can learn if given the opportunity to thrive in an environment of support. We want all students in Duncanville ISD to have the opportunity to attend a Choice Program.
If student selection is entirely based on a lottery, not grades or test scores, how will you ensure rigor and learning opportunities that differ from any other classroom that struggles to bring along students whose grades and test scores are poor?
We will ensure rigor through differentiating and integrating lessons for each student in the class.
What if we work for the District, but live outside of the Duncanville ISD boundaries and choose to send our kid(s) to Duncanville ISD are they eligible for the lottery?
Per policy, a Duncanville ISD staff member’s children may attend DISD schools; therefore, their children are eligible to apply for Choice Programs. However, no preference will be given to them in the lottery; all eligible students have the same chance of being selected in the lottery.
Why are you not doing an aptitude admittance or looking at a proven record of academic success as opposed to the lottery system?
We want to provide choice for all students in Duncanville ISD. At the Choice Academies, we want to ignite a passion for learning in all of our students. Our goal is for the pathway of study at each Choice Program (STEAM, Health Science, Business & Technology) to be a source of motivation for all students.
Will parents also receive a letter notifying them if their student was not selected for a Choice Program?
Yes. Emails will go out to all students that applied to notify them if they have been accepted or put on the waitlist. (The email submitted for the application will be the email used for notification).
How will you ensure diversity when it comes to utilizing the lottery system for enrollment?
Our goal is that the random lottery will reflect the demographics of the DISD community.
Will the school day be longer?
The school day will be consistent with the other middle schools, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Are we still going to have our required classes, including reading, history, science, and math?
Yes, the core classes will be required at all Choice Programs.
Will there be Pre-AP classes available in the Choice Programs?
Yes, all Choice Programs will provide Pre-AP and regular courses.
Will students be able to earn High School Credit while attending Choice Academies?
Yes, students will have the opportunity to earn high school credits at all Choice Academies, courses will vary by Choice Program.
What kind of assistance will be provided for struggling students?
The Choice Programs will assist struggling students through the Response to Intervention (RtI) process. Teachers will regularly review student data to identify needs and support students with academic and/or behavior interventions.
How will the curriculum differ from what is taught at the other intermediate and middle schools?
Choice Programs will offer the state and district curriculum. Also, each Choice Program will have courses centered around the Choice Program Pathway (STEAM, Health Science, Business & Technology).
Will there be GT classes?
Choice Programs will provide gifted and talented instruction through the Pre-AP courses offered on the campus.
Will there be bilingual classes at the STEAM Academy?
Since the STEAM Academy will be a middle school, LEP students in grade 6 will not be in bilingual classes as they are at the intermediate school. Students in grades 6 – 8 will receive ESL (English as a Second Language) services with supports as identified by the LPAC committee.
Athletics and Band
Will students in the Choice Programs be able to participate in athletics?
Yes, students may participate in the athletic program in the 7th and 8th grades.
Will clubs be offered in the Choice Programs? If so, what clubs?
Yes. Student choice and Pathway of study will drive the clubs in the Choice Programs.
Will students attending Choice Programs be able to participate in band/choir?
Yes, students attending Choice Programs can participate in band/choir.
Will there be PE?
PE and Athletics will be offered in all Choice Programs to 7th and 8th-grade students.