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Irving ISD School Expo Displays Schools, Programs

Irving — The halls of Jack E. Singley Academy were buzzing with parents and students learning about the Irving ISD’s schools. The district hosted its second annual school expo, Go Irving! representing each of the 37 schools in the district on Nov. 9.

“Go Irving! is the largest school expo in the city of Irving,” Nicole Mansell, chief of marketing and communications for Irving ISD, said. “Parents can discover their child’s next elementary school, middle school, high school, and learn about all of the offerings we have within Irving ISD.

“Two special things we announced this year are we are expanding to free, full-day pre-k for four-year-olds, and we are going to be offering free, half-day pre-K for three-year-olds. We’re expanding that across the district, so it’s going to be offered in every elementary school. We’re bringing pre-K for four-year-olds to your neighborhood school. The three-year-old program will be at our early childhood campuses.”

Joe Bauman, a parent, is interested in the pre-K programs, because he has two young children.

“One will be four next year, and [the other is] a toddler still in day care,” Bauman said. “I just discovered that pre-K will be housed in the elementary schools next year. The key thing [my wife and I] are interested in is that we get the sense of the teachers want to be there. We want teachers and faculty who appear to be involved.”

In addition expanding services for younger children, Irving ISD will be rolling out a new program in 2020.

“Another big announcement is the opening of Singley Collegiate Academy,” Mansell said. “[It] will open next August and will be housed [in Singley Academy]. Think of it as a school within a school. It’s open to any incoming ninth-grader. It will give students the opportunity to earn up to two years of college or an associate degree, tuition free when they’re in high school. They will walk across the high school stage with their diploma and a college degree. It’s a savings of about $50,000.”

“I’m most excited about creating an opportunity for students who are interested in starting college early and getting a jumpstart into going into a four year institution,” Harleigh Jones, associate principal of Singley Collegiate Academy, said. “We are really setting these kids up for success, and we’re going to work with them about their plans [after graduation].”

Applications opened for Singley Collegiate Academy on Nov. 11 and the deadline is Jan. 17. They can be found on the district’s website.

The event also showcased all of the district’s distinct Signature Studies programs.

“At every one of our high schools, we have incredible pathways that you can study,” Mansell said. “For example, Irving High School has an aviation program [where students] are learning and in cockpit simulations. If you’re interested in aviation, Irving High school is the high school to go to.

“One of my favorites is at Nimitz High School. They have a veterinary sciences program where you can go and have your dog groomed, get vaccinations, and these kids are learning how to become a veterinarian or a vet tech. There is something for every child.”

Other Signature Studies programs include automotive, architecture and construction, innovative technology, health and biomedical sciences, law and public service, cosmetology and more.

“We’re entering a new phase of education,” Mansell said. “We have moved into an age of choice for parents.”

“I’m really glad [Irving ISD] has all [the schools] in one place,” Bauman, a parent, said. “We’re able to pick out schools that may work out better logistically or have programs we’re interested in.”