This week’s front page includes my account of Tuesday’s Highland Park ISD board meeting, where the trustees were kicking around options for dealing with the district’s growing student population. They talked about building a fifth elementary school, constructing a kindergarten/preschool campus, and/or moving the football and baseball fields away from the high school. But nobody talked specifically about where more land could be acquired in the 6.2-square-mile district.
So let’s talk about it here. Off the top of my head, here are a few options:
- The boondoggle commonly known as the Chase Bank building has been off everyone’s radar for a while. The University Park City Council has never agreed to any of Albert Huddleston’s plans for the tower at the corner of Hillcrest and Daniel avenues. Maybe the district could take it off his hands?
- I’m told the Parks Department in University Park is responsible for about 60 acres’ worth of green space. Maybe the city could make do with only nine of its 10 parks. Do we really need two parks (Goar and Williams) right next to each other? And what about Caruth Park, which is halfway between two other parks (Curtis and Coffee) of comparable size? Perhaps that land is suitable for a school.
- I realize I’m about to put a stick in a hornet’s nest, but I called the two churches that my gut tells me have the smallest congregations in the Park Cities. Staffers at Preston Road Church of Christ and First Unitarian Church of Dallas told me that each one averages about 500 parishioners per Sunday. (To put that in perspective, Park Cities Baptist Church averages 2,800.) Well, the district’s smallest elementary school, Armstrong, has an enrollment of 572 this semester. From my secular seat, the numbers show that a school would be a better use for either plot of land. Could the school district make either church an offer?
- Let’s sacrifice an even more sacred cow by focusing on land the district already owns. Having an indoor practice field and tennis courts is nice, but having enough space to educate grade-schoolers is nicer. And it’s always seemed to me that the land occupied by the Seay Tennis Center and the Multi-Purpose Activities Center is about the size of an elementary school.
So, those are my suggestions. Your thoughts?
Four new courses at Highland Park High School were approved by the Board of Trustees last night, and three of them — Art IV: Commercial Photography, Sports Medicine I, and Sports Medicine II — have minimal costs. The kids who will be taking commercial photography presumably already own cameras, as the course was designed to accommodate students who have taken three years of photography and want to keep snapping pictures as seniors. And the lecture-based course in sports medicine has no textbooks; students will need to buy only “general taping and first aid supplies for practicing purposes.”
But the fourth course, Scientific Research and Design, is another story, as it will be taught during a 10-day trip to Costa Rica. Students will need to pay for an estimated $2,300 worth of travel costs, on top of summer-school fees.
Read the course descriptions for yourself after the jump.
Dallas ISD, Greenhill, Highland Park ISD, Jesuit, and Ursuline are going to be closed on Monday. But ESD, Hockaday, and St. Mark’s are expecting their students to be on campus by 10 a.m. — or at least, that’s what their websites said as I typed this.
The 10 a.m. start is also in effect for students at Parish Episcopal’s campus on Midway Road. The Hillcrest Road campus, however, will be closed.
Update at 8:46: Sure enough, St. Mark’s has canceled Monday classes. Look for the others to follow suit.
Update at 9:10: ESD and Hockaday have called off Monday classes. Parish remains the lone holdout … for now.
Update at 9:28: OK, now Parish has said there will be no classes Monday. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Cistercian, Hockaday, Jesuit, Ursuline, and Yavneh have all canceled Friday’s classes. The Jesuit Christmas Bazaar that had been scheduled for Saturday has also been called off.
When we last checked, ESD, Parish Episcopal, and St. Mark’s had not yet made the call, but each school’s website said the weather was being monitored. Given that DISD and Highland Park ISD have told their students to stay home, I imagine most private schools will follow suit.
Update at 7:55: My imagination came true. ESD, Parish, and St. Mark’s will be closed Friday.
Highland Park ISD just announced that schools will be closed Friday. A decision has not yet been made regarding the Scots’ football game against Wylie, set for Friday evening at Eagle Stadium in Allen.
Meanwhile, the Armstrong Bradfield Preschool Association has cancelled its Holiday Home Tour, which had been scheduled to happen Friday morning.
In case you haven’t heard, the worst weather in approximately 5,000 years is apparently bearing down on the Dallas area, with ice and such in the forecast and TV meteorologists getting ready to claim some serious overtime.
At any rate, Highland Park ISD will make an announcement by 6 a.m. tomorrow morning as to the fate of the school day on Friday for local kids. They will send out emails and text messages, and alert folks via the district website and media outlets.
As of now, the Scots playoff football game against Wylie, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow in Allen, will be played as scheduled.
However, some HPISD events already have been cancelled in anticipation of said winter-weather catastrophe. They include:
- HPMS basketball games scheduled for today
- HPHS freshman girls basketball tournament games for today
- HPHS wrestling match against St. Mark’s
- JV boys basketball tournament for the entire weekend
- HPHS boys golf tournament in Lufkin on Friday and Saturday
- Parents’ Night Out at Bradfield Elementary on Friday
- Adult oil painting classes for tonight
That’s it for now. We’ll keep you posted while we scramble to stock up on our non-perishables for the weekend.
Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the Nov. 22 edition of Park Cities People.
The Silver Spurs, the University of Texas students charged with handling Bevo, allow only one woman to wear their uniform on the sidelines of Longhorns football games. The same goes for the Texas Cowboys, the group that fires Smokey the Cannon after touchdowns.
This season, both of these women happen to be graduates of Highland Park High School.
“At a university with 20,000 girls, that it ended up being us is just kind of crazy,” said Caroline Cooper, who holds the title of Head Sweetheart for the Texas Cowboys.
Liza Yates, the Head Sweetheart for the Silver Spurs, has known Cooper since they were first-graders at Providence Christian School. When they found out last spring that they’d each won their respective elections, it was hard to believe.
“It was so funny when we first realized it,” Yates said, “because we were like, ‘What a coincidence,’ after knowing each other for so long.”
The Silver Spurs and the Cowboys are comprised of male students representing fraternities as well as non-Greek organizations. They and their female auxiliaries, the Sweethearts, act as ambassadors for the university at alumni and community events, and they also support charities. For the Cowboys, it’s the Arc of the Capital Area (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens of Austin); for the Spurs, it’s the Neighborhood Longhorns Program, an educational initiative with Austin ISD.
The Highland Park High School Alumni Association has announced the three graduates who will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards next April.
Two of them are members of the Class of 1953, and I recognized their names right off the bat: Mary Frances McClure Burleson is the president and CEO of the Ebby Halliday Companies, and James “Blackie” Holmes is a former mayor of University Park.
The name of the other honoree, 1957 graduate Barbara Lehde deRubertis, was not familiar to me, but she appears to be an author of children’s books.
The Distinguished Service Award will go to David “D” Smith. The Highlander Award will go to former Superintendent Cathy Bryce.
I first became aware of the “Harlem Shake” in February, when Bradford Pearson found a video of kids doing it all over the Park Cities. A few weeks later, a since-departed member of the Park Cities People sales staff tried to convince me that we should create one. I told her the meme was played out, but she insisted that it was still relevant, and she sent me a link to a “Harlem Shake” video created by Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign, thereby proving my point.
That’s why I was surprised to see an unusually long “Harlem Shake” video get posted to the HPHS Media site last week. At least the post comes with a disclaimer that says the “journalism students went old school.”
December 12, 2013
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November 27, 2013
November 26, 2013