Early Education

Commit Partner Named Elementary Principal of the Year

The Commit Partnership is excited to congratulate Julie Singleton on being named Dallas ISD’s (DISD) Elementary Principal of the Year. According to the district’s announcement, Ms. Singleton “has her staff and students laser-focused on college and career readiness. Every hallway of the Oak Cliff campus is decked with college banners, each door displays a college theme, and teachers sport their college attire weekly. At fifth grade, students are introduced to the college application process, and the school hosts a monthly College Café where students explore the majors and features offered by various colleges.”

Commit’s partnership with Ms. Singleton and her school began in 2013-14, with a focus on early reading. The partnership has centered on analyzing Kindergarten through 2nd grade reading data for continuous improvement, increasing usage of the Istation computer-adaptive reading curriculum, providing teacher professional development, and promoting a college-going culture.

Over the past two years, Holland Elementary has seen a 1,500% increase in the Istation computer-adaptive reading curriculum and a 20% increase in the number of Kindergarten through 3rd grade students finishing the school year reading on grade level. Of the nearly $100,000 in classroom supplies raised by the community via the Commit Partnership’s annual winter DonorsChoose campaign, $15,000 has been raised for Holland Elementary thanks to its teachers’ energies.

According to Andy Canales, Commit’s Director of Literacy Initiatives and Partnerships, Ms. Singleton’s leadership has been essential: “Principal leadership is critical to fully leveraging partnerships and community resources. Because of Ms. Singleton’s leadership, we’ve been able to effectively use the potential of our partnership to improve outcomes for our youngest learners. Commit’s partnership with Holland is a model for how organizations and schools can successfully work together to improve the odds for kids.”

Singleton’s supervisor, feeder pattern Executive Usamah Muhammad-Rogers describes the turnaround at Holland as “remarkable” and calls Singleton “a hard-working visionary who leads with courage and tenacity.”

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