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East Dallas Community School

924 Wayne Street
Dallas, TX 75223

Phone:
(214) 824-8950

Website:

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East Dallas Community School is a Montessori school primarily for low-income children. We support families during the first nine years of life, beginning with a Parents As Teachers program that focuses on helping families from the time someone is pregnant until their child is 3 years old. For children 15 months to 3 yrs,East Dallas Community School offers a 3 hour M-F toddler program for children in the nearby area. No full day care available for children under kindergarten age. EDCS also offers a charter school Montessori program for children age 3 - 9. Open enrollment- Admission is through lottery.

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Montessori

From the Director:

Children choose their own activities, but the classroom is most definitely NOT unstructured. Instead, a stable and predictable structure facilitates independence and maximum learning in all areas. Classroom activity is child-centered, NOT teacher-led, althought the children are individually instructed and guided in all subject areas by the teachers.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught

From the Director:

Special apparatus designed by Maria Montessori are in the classroom, as well as supplemental learning marterials. Most of the thime, the children are taught through individual, small or large group lessons. Often times, this approach to learning is seen by the child as fun and exciting, so they interpret their lessons as a positive experience. It is not common to see all children working on the same thing at the same time in a Montessoir classroom, as all children develop at their own pace. Holiday projects, group times, etc. do exist, but do not encompass the entirity of the schol day.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

In the Montessori approach, all teaching is "individual," and all children are "different" in that each child's personality, abilities, interests, and learning style are respected and valued. Children are not compared to each other, and cooperation and collaboration is encouraged, rather than competition. Each child is an important and valued member of the community, with the ability to contribute much to others as well as learn from others. Younger children learn from the older children in the classroom, as well as from lessons given by the teachers, and the older children have the priceless opportunity to experience a leadership role in helping the younger children.

Each child's individual pace of development is respected and protected. Teachers make detailed daily observations and keep records of lessons given and work chosen by the children. Because the children stay with a teacher for three years, the relationship with the child and the family is a deep and close one. Frequent and detailed communication about each child and his/her progress enables teachers to monitor the children's progress and recommend testing and/or evaluation in specific areas when the child is old enough, if there is a perceived need.

Speech and occupational therapy can be provided on campus for children who can benefit from this, and we also provide a play therapy program for children with emotional issues. Reading Recovery, a program of daily individual reading tutoring, is available at the first grade level for those children who need extra help to move into independent reading.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

East Dallas Community School's mission is to provide an outstanding education to culturally and economically diverse groups of children from primarily low income families during their first nine years of life.

A Typical Day

Montessori education is characterized by multi-age classrooms, a special set of educational materials, student-chosen work in long time blocks, collaboration, the absence of grades and tests, and individual and small group instruction in both academic and social skills. A child's "typical day" would involve work and lessons (individual and group) in the areas of practical life (care of the self and the environment), sensorial, language, math, and cultural subjects such as geography, art, music, and botany. A hot breakfast is served each day, and the children bring their lunches and eat as a group. Each day includes periods of free play outside, and free access to our outdoor environment for gardening and working in the fresh air. Montessori education nurtures independence, self-motivation, creativity, responsibility, cooperation and respect for others, and self-confidence.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

In the Montessori approach, all teaching is "individual," and all children are "different" in that each child's personality, abilities, interests, and learning style are respected and valued. Children are not compared to each other, and cooperation and collaboration is encouraged, rather than competition. Each child is an important and valued member of the community, with the ability to contribute much to others as well as learn from others. Younger children learn from the older children in the classroom, as well as from lessons given by the teachers, and the older children have the priceless opportunity to experience a leadership role in helping the younger children.

Each child's individual pace of development is respected and protected. Teachers make detailed daily observations and keep records of lessons given and work chosen by the children. Because the children stay with a teacher for three years, the relationship with the child and the family is a deep and close one. Frequent and detailed communication about each child and his/her progress enables teachers to monitor the children's progress and recommend testing and/or evaluation in specific areas when the child is old enough, if there is a perceived need.

Speech and occupational therapy can be provided on campus for children who can benefit from this, and we also provide a play therapy program for children with emotional issues. Reading Recovery, a program of daily individual reading tutoring, is available at the first grade level for those children who need extra help to move into independent reading.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences

Separation

Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

Children who enter our preschool program from our Toddler Community or from our Parents as Teachers 0 to 3 parent education program have had monthly home visits from certified parent educators.

Once they are ready to enter the 3 to 6 classroom, each child visits the classroom with his/her parent before school starts. New children are "phased in" to the classroom during the first few days of school. Teachers communicate with parents daily to give advice about easing separation concerns. We don't usually have much problem with children being excited and happy to come to school. Usually we have the opposite problem -- they don't want to go home!

Contrary to the note on this web-site that "parents are not encouraged to drop in," we do encourage frequent appointments for parent observations, as soon as the children have become secure in the classroom environment. Two observations per year are required at a minimum, and parents are always encouraged to volunteer at the school and help with materials making, substituting, field trips, etc.