Dallas Education Foundation A Finalist For 2021 STOP Award

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Dallas ISD Education Foundation 2021 STOP Award Finalist

(Washington, DC). Whoever thought schools and national officials would be revisiting school safety, COVID protocols, teachers’ mental health and staffing shortages so shortly after the prior year and a half’s devastating COVID impacts on students?

And how many leaders, media and pundits really thought the COVID-era innovations of educating students in numerous new ways, scattered throughout new and old kinds of space, virtually and beyond were made to last?

The answer is simple – the nation’s most dedicated educators, education providers, schools and innovative learning organizations who were best able to deliver for children throughout the nation almost overnight, with urgency and efficiency knew when they changed course they would never look back, and they’d be prepared the “next” time something happened to their community, their individual students or the world.

The STOP Award was conceived to honor and reward education providers who did just that – who, like our front line health care workers, sacrificed, outperformed, and perhaps not ironically, took a 20th-century enterprise and opened the public’s eyes toward the need for 21st-century education transformation.

From hundreds of applications, twenty semifinalists were chosen and today, the Center for Education Reform (CER), working with the Yass Family, and Forbes Media, is proud to announce the five STOP Award Finalists, from which the 2021 Inaugural STOP Award Recipient will be chosen on December 14th, 2021.

“It’s a good thing that we can count on the STOP Award’s first special cohort to show the way for educators and educational institutions who are stuck in systems that cannot or will not respond with urgency to student and family needs,” said CER Founder and CEO Jeanne Allen. “The STOP Award shines an important light on the heroes of education who fought valiantly to serve students and were often overlooked or dismissed. It’s our commitment that their example is seen, learned about and replicated all over the nation.”

They are, in alphabetical order, by state:

From Miami, Florida – CARE Elementary School – During COVID, this free private school for disadvantaged youth was an oasis of educational success, safety and hope for the kids of essential workers whose achievement rose above pre-pandemic numbers as a result of the individualized, innovative approaches used during COVID.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – Louisiana Key Academy – This public charter school which serves dyslexic students moved expeditiously and before anyone else in the state to deliver in-person instruction, utilizing new safety and educational approaches to serve their special population safely.

Springfield, Missouri – Discovery Science Center – One of the only two such centers to open during COVID, Discovery specializes in engaging STEM education. By March 2020, DCS had turned their museum into a school for 1,500 students and a community support center and a child care facility for the children of front-line workers.

National (based in New York) – Rock by Rock – This start-up condensed their program development work from 2 years into 5 months to deliver to thousands of underserved families whose children lacked effective education during COVID – free and affordable, relevant and engaging materials that made education come alive and connected to future life goals for kids.

Dallas, Texas – Dallas Education Foundation – Dallas ISD’s independent non-profit foundation developed the first virtual and hybrid academy in the area, and created an entire “metaverse” with an intelligent suite of game-based technologies that transformed student learning for students during and since COVID.

Like their cohort of 20, all five finalists stretched their capacity, persistently challenged every barrier they faced, and were among the very first to open, reopen, deliver and develop innovative solutions that are driving their future experiences and replication through their communities and into other states.

“We knew they were out there, these heroes who performed for kids during COVID,” said Janine Yass, STOP Award creator and benefactor. “They understand that families and students should always be the center of learning, that their choices should be paramount, that their parents should have the power to make fundamental decisions in their lives. We salute everyone who did outstanding, transformational work, who didn’t stop to ask for permission and who is seeking to sustain it. We need you now more than ever,” said Yass.

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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation