Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD), Toyota USA Foundation and SMU have joined together to collaborate on the creation of a new and innovative STEM-focused school in west Dallas. The aim is to inspire and prepare students for the next generation of STEM jobs through curricula that is project-based and business-aligned.
Toyota USA Foundation is granting $2 million to SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which will develop curricula, advise on state-of-the-art educational practices, provide professional development for teachers, coordinate nonprofits operating in the area, and monitor and evaluate the program. The future school will be operated and staffed by the Dallas ISD. The Office of Transformation and Innovation will co-facilitate the design of the school in collaboration with school leadership. The collaboration will also bring together nonprofits, including groups already working with Dallas ISD through the SMU Simmons School program, The School Zone, as well as Toyota Motor North America and Toyota Financial Services’ partners to address community issues like literacy, nutrition, transportation, and after–school care, each vital to creating successful outcomes for the community. “Collectively, our goal is to create a brighter future for students, help families become more resilient, and create a community and school model that can be replicated,” said President of of the Toyota USA Foundation, Mike Goss, “We want to help increase access to opportunity, connecting students to the millions of STEM jobs that exist today, and the many more that will be created as industry advances.” The school will begin a phased opening beginning fall 2021.