At Solar Prep, instruction and culture is designed intentionally to meet the needs of girls and ensure educational equity for all girls.
Solar Prep is an open-enrollment campus with scholars coming from across the city. We use a 50/50 socioeconomic diversity model to ensure that 50 percent of student enrollment is made up of economically disadvantaged scholars, and the other 50 percent is composed of non-economically disadvantaged scholars. We employ a weighted lottery to achieve this balance.
Student enrollment can have a huge impact on student achievement as it can shape the socioeconomic makeup of the student body, thus creating challenges for schools. There is a great body of research demonstrating that concentrating poverty in a school building creates serious challenges in terms of student achievement.
According to research, the likelihood of a school’s overall success is considerably reduced when the student body exceeds 50 percent low-income. There are three researched-based reasons for this:
- In economically diverse schools, low-income scholars are more likely to be surrounded by peers with larger vocabularies, from whom they learn “accidentally” through classroom interactions.
- Economically diverse schools tend to retain effective, experienced teachers more than high-poverty schools.
- Economically diverse schools are more likely to have greater levels of community involvement, including tutoring, PTA involvement, and fundraising.
Additionally, high-income scholars benefit from balanced diversity through interactions with a more diverse class of scholars, increasing their empathy and social abilities.
Dallas ISD’s Office of Transformation and Innovation, as part of its Whole Child Accountability Framework, will conduct ongoing equity audits of Solar Prep to ensure that all scholars — regardless of socioeconomic tier or race — are achieving academically at the same rate.