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Elementary Experiences

Dallas ISD, TX

9400 North Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75231, USA
Dallas ISD
Category: Recruitment Event/Activity
Award: Gold, 2020

Project Description

The Elementary Experiences project of Dallas ISD provides elementary aged students in grades 2-5 opportunities to experience world class performing and visual arts organizations/museums once a year for four years. This initiative has led to an overall growth in visual and performing arts enrollment numbers in the secondary programs.

The grade levels participate in the following performances/museums:

  • 2nd grade: Dallas Children’s Theater
  • 3rd grade: Texas Ballet Theater
  • 4th grade: (choose one) Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Contemporary, or Meadows Museum of Art
  • 5th grade: (choose one) Dallas Symphony Orchestra or Dallas Winds

Target Audience

Every Dallas ISD student in grades 2-5

  • 2nd graders – 11,995 students
  • 3rd graders – 11,361 students
  • 4th graders – 12,095 students
  • 5th graders – 12,660 students

data from SY 2018-2019

Overview of planning and execution process for this project

Planning for these events begins in May of the previous school year. Contracts are written between the Visual and Performing Arts Department and the organizations/museums. Concerts/performances/exhibit admissions are then secured via payment of ticket admission for each students. In August of each school year, elementary music and art teachers are given the dates of the elementary experiences for the coming year. The teachers book all experiences before September 15.

Performance dates are as follows each year:

  • 2nd grade: Dallas Children’s Theater – ongoing throughout the school year
  • 3rd grade: Texas Ballet Theater – November of each year
  • 4th grade: Art Museums – ongoing throughout the school year
  • 5th grade: Dallas Symphony Orchestra – November of each year
  • 5th grade: Dallas Winds: February of each year

Community Impact

Dallas ISD 2nd – 5th graders are now attending world class performances and museums. These experiences are opening them to the world of the arts and serve as an introduction for enrolling in the Visual and Performing Arts in the secondary years.

Overall budget


Specific Budget Breakdown

  • 2nd grade Dallas Children’s Theater tickets: $109,988/transportation: $47,000
  • 3rd grade Texas Ballet Theater tickets: $44,000/transportation: $30,000
  • 4th grade Museum Admissions: $0/transportation: $50,000
  • 5th grade Dallas Symphony Orchestra tickets: $10,000/transportation: $6,100
  • 5th grade Dallas Winds tickets: $92,200/transportation: $47,000

What was your total program enrollment during the prior school year?


What is your projected program enrollment for the current school year?


New or recurring project?


How did you update/change this project from its previous occurrence?

Previously, we took reservations via Google Sheet, but given the volume of reservations, we started using Ticket Roar.

Challenges/obstacles that were encountered

The challenges that we face stem from the registration and bus ordering process. I spend the month of October ensuring that teachers have booked all experiences and buses for these events. Dallas ISD has over 150 elementary schools, so this is an extensive process. We have begun using Ticket Roar for the registration process which automates the orders coming in. I then contact schools lacking a reservation and confirm their date.

Measurement of the success/effectiveness of this project?

In 2017-2018 the following percentage of students in a particular grade level attended:

  • 2nd: 95%
  • 3rd: 97%
  • 4th: 87%
  • 5th: 100%

In 2018-2019 the following percentage of students in a particular grade level attended:

  • 2nd: 95%
  • 3rd: 96%
  • 4th: 93%
  • 5th: 97%

Advice for someone looking to replicate this project in their own community?

Establish meaningful relationships between your program and your community’s arts partners. Both Dallas ISD and our partners thrive on the relationships that we have build to enhance each other’s programs. These partnerships are a two way road – a true partnership.

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