COVID-19 Response Plan

The safety of our students and staff is our primary concern during uncertain times over the spread of the Coronavirus. We are monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis and will do our best to keep you updated about the school’s preparations to best protect our community. 

In monitoring information and guidance from the DIS Medical Taskforce, recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas Education Authority (TEA), the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) and observing best practices of schools around the world, it is our priority to put in place procedures that ensure we offer a safe environment for our students, teachers and staff at Dallas International School. 

This resource page will provide you with the latest communication on our plans.
 

General Questions

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  • What are DIS's plans for reopening?

    Following orders from Dallas County issued July 16, 2020, Dallas International School will start in the fall on August 24 and continue offering Distance Learning to its students until September 7. Dallas International School will welcome its students back on September 8th adopting one of four learning models based on their grade levels and preference.
     
    The four learning model options are:
    1. On-campus full time (face to face): Maternelle and CM2 students ONLY
    2. Distance learning full time: for all students who are not comfortable returning on campus
    3. Hybrid learning model A: students will be divided into two groups. Each group will learn one week on campus and then one week at home online.
     
    1. Hybrid learning model B: students will be on campus full time and be divided into two groups. Each group will learn one week with In person teacher and then one week in another classroom online. Designed for
     
    Based on the back to school survey sent in August, 76% of parents have opted for their child to return on-campus in the fall in some form. 24% of parents plan to keep their child at home to continue with distance learning.
  • How will Hybrid learning model A work?

    Available to 1st-4th & 6th-9th grades:
    This model divides students into two groups based on a 1-week rotation:
     
    Week 1:
    • Group A would receive face-to-face learning on-campus with a teacher in class.
    • Group B would follow the same class as group A via a live-stream at home.
     
    Week 2:
    • Group B would receive face-to-face learning on-campus.
    • Group A would follow the same class as group B via a live-stream at home.  
    In efforts to reduce risks of cross-contamination, students will remain in the same groups until the end of October break. We will reassess the situation and may then have the flexibility to adjust groups accordingly.

Hybrid Model A

    • Hybrid Learning Model A

      Available to 1st-4th & 6th-9th grades

      Hybrid Learning Model A

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  • What about Hybrid learning model B?

     Also available to 1st-4th & 6th-9th grades:
    • This model will allow students to be on-campus on a full time basis.
    • This model is designed for students who need to be at school at all times due to child care constraints at home.
    • For example, both parents are unable to work from home and are mandated to work from their office premises.
    • Students will be divided into two classrooms to respect social distancing ratios. The two groups would rotate on a weekly basis.
                Group A: students would receive face-to-face learning with a teacher in classroom A.
                Group B: students would follow the same class as group A via a live-stream in classroom B. (See diagram above).
    • A member from the student affairs department will ensure there is adult supervision during live-streamed classrooms.
    • PLEASE NOTE: Students will still be expected to work independently as though they were at home. The group may also be mixed with other grade level students.

Hybrid Model B

    • Hybrid Learning Model B

      Also available to 1st-4th & 6th-9th grades

      Hybrid Learning Model B

Class Arrangements

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  • How do I most effectively protect myself from contamination?

    In line with recommendations from the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and other state and local authorities, face coverings are mandatory for all employees, students, and visitors (when permitted) while on campus. Masks must be worn at all times except while eating, drinking water, and during explicitly designed "mask breaks" when physically distant from others
    • Always wear your face mask (add face shield if you prefer)
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
    • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Follow social distance guidelines (especially with others of a different grade/cohort)
  • How will classrooms be arranged at Churchill Campus?

    • Students between CP to CM1 will return to campus following strict social distancing protocols. These students will adopt either hybrid learning model A or B.
     
    • Classes will be divided into small groups. Depending on the classroom size, these groups may vary between 5 to 11 students. This will allow us to respect the social distancing safety guidelines and the ratio of children to adults. This will also mean a limited number of students per room.
     
    • These groups will remain the same throughout class time and recess. 
     
    • Each group will be assigned to a room. Each group will either be with a teacher or a teaching assistant (TA). We will rotate between teachers and TAs so that each group has equal time with the teacher. 
  • How will sickness be handled if it should occur on campus?

    Keeping a sick child home prevents the spread of illness in the school community and allows the child the opportunity to rest and recover. If a child is sick and out of school, please notify Student Affairs and the Nurse.

    Churchill:    Student Affairs: cwattendance@dallasinternationalschool.org
             Nurse   phnicol@dallasinternationalschool.org 

    If a child becomes ill, please follow the guidelines below regarding when to keep the child home from school:

    • Fever over 99 degrees,: must be fever free for 24 hours without -reducing medications.

    • Vomiting or diarrhea: no vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours before return 

    • Strep throat: home until 24 hours after first dose of antibiotic and fever free • Yellow or green drainage from the eye(s): note from doctor or symptom free for return • Uncontrollable cough that disrupts activity, shortness of breath or wheezing 

    • Heavy cold symptoms: A student with heavy cold symptoms such as deep uncontrollable coughing or significant lack of energy belongs at home even without a fever.  Please note that Dallas International School also follows guidelines for exclusion from and readmission to school as recommended by the Texas Department of State Health Services for communicable diseases for schools in the state of Texas. Parents and students can help reduce the impact of the cold and flu season by following these simple tips:

    • Get a flu shot. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.

    • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or more. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand rub/gel.

    • Cough and/or sneeze into a tissue or an upper sleeve, not into a hand.

    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.

    Dallas International School  will partner with and follow the guidance of Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) when handling any cases of COVID-19 that are identified in Dallas International students and employees. DCHHS uses detailed guidelines that are determined by the symptoms students have, the potential contact with a lab confirmed case or suspected case of COVID-19, and the amount of community transmission. Exact steps that the school will take will be determined on a case-by-case basis, but below is a high-level summary of what families may expect in the event of covid-19 cases on campus. Please note that this information may change at any time, due to the course of the virus and guidance from state and local officials.
  • What about nurse and clinic visits that are not related to COVID?

    • The clinic is still operable as usual during the day
    • Do not send multiple students to the nurse at the same time (a partner is not needed unless it is a head injury and an adult is not available)
    • Do not send a student to the Churchill nurse’s office when you can use your First Aid kit to remedy
  • What classroom measures should I follow to prevent contamination?

    • Teachers make sure to disinfect your desk area before students enter the classroom.
    • Do not have communal supplies for sharing
    • Keep general supplies at each student’s desk (minimize student’s walking around)
    • Wash or disinfect toys/items at the end of the day or after cross contamination 
    • Open windows when possible to improve air flow by allowing outside air to circulate
    • Encourage students to wash their hands periodically throughout the day (twice is the recommended minimum, not including before and after meals and restroom breaks) 
    • Check student’s masks to ensure they fit properly (covers nose and mouth)
  • What is an isolation room?

    This room is located behind the nurses office, separate from the clinic. Students and staff will be placed here when under observation for symptoms of Covid19 at the Churchill Campus.
  • What precautionary measures is the school doing to ensure staff and student safety?

    • Cleaning supplies in classrooms for immediate use (contact reception if supplies are low)
    • Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the school
    • Signs and posters are placed around the school to remind staff and students about precautionary measures to follow
    • Routine disinfecting of high touch/high traffic areas
      • *See High Touch/High Traffic Areas page
    • PPE worn by all staff and students (over age 2)
    • All staff and faculty are required to self-screen before entering campus
    • All staff and faculty are required to have their temperature monitored each time they enter the campus
    • Communal drinking areas are not available
    • Remote instruction is available for staff and/or students with any symptoms
    • Students have received instruction regarding best practices for being safe 
    • The school has eliminated assemblies and large gatherings until further notice
    • Parents and outside visitors are not allowed on campus
    • In-person After school activities are canceled until further notice at the Churchill Campus
    • Parents/guardians of students complete a pre-screening document before coming to school.
    • Students’ temperatures are monitored each day before entering the building. 
    • Desk shields are provided for student and teacher use in the classroom. 
    • Social distancing is maintained in each classroom.
  • Who is allowed on campus?

    Only DIS staff, faculty, and students are allowed on campus. On occasion, additional maintenance or work crew members will need access to our campus; these individuals are screened at reception and isolated as much as possible. If possible, these individuals are encouraged to work on campus during non-school hours.
  • What about Maternelle (preschool) students at Churchill campus?

    • Students in TPS, PS, MS, GS will have the option to return on-campus on a fully time basis on September 8th so that we are also able to support parents in need of childcare facilities.
     
    • The learning and development of Maternelle students also heavily depends on the in person interaction with others to foster social and emotional skills: both of which form the foundation for a child’s development.
  • How will the hybrid model work on Churchill Campus for CP to CM1 students in l’Ecole Primaire/elementary school?

    Due to restrictions and social distancing guidelines, Churchill Campus is unable to accommodate all elementary students back on campus. Therefore, in order to ensure pedagogical continuity, we will adopt a hybrid learning model. What does this mean?
    • Classes will be divided into two groups to respect social distancing and ratios.
    • Each group will learn one week on campus and then one week at home online.
    • Hybrid learning model B will be offered to these grade level students who have personal exceptional situations where it is impossible to receive distance learning at home.
    • For instance, both parents work full time on the front line or are unable are mandated to work from their office premises. 
  • What about Waterview Campus for 6th to 9th grade students?

    Due to restrictions and the need to respect social distancing guidelines, Waterview campus is unable to accommodate all middle school students at full capacity.  Students between 6th to 9th grade will return to campus adopting the hybrid learning model.
  • What about CM2, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students at Waterview campus?

     CM2, 10th , and 11th and 12th  grade students will be able to return to Waterview Campus at full capacity. 
  • How will classrooms be arranged for 6th to 9th grade students on the hybrid model at Waterview Campus?

    • Classes will be divided into two groups to respect social distancing and ratios.
    • Classes will rotate every other week adopting the hybrid model to ensure pedagogical continuity. 
    • This means that each group will learn one week on campus and then one week off.
    • When a group is off campus, students will adopt distance learning at home.
  • Can students per class by between 5-8? We are concerned that a max. 11 students per class is too many.

    The number of students will be adjusted according to the size of each classroom with 6 feet social distancing between chairs.
  • What is the plan to ensure students get enough teacher face time?

    Please refer to the latest schedules as provided by Mr. Philipp at Churchill campus (lower school) and Ms. Grosjean at Waterview campus (upper school).
  • Is it possible to do one on one online sessions for the younger students if we have to distance learn again?

    Yes, we are planning for one-on-one online sessions with our younger students. 
     
    If your child needs a Chromebook, please complete the following form. Please send one form per child. Chromebook loan form.

Distance Learning/E-Classroom

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  • Will distance learning components of Hybrid learning in the fall be like what we experienced last term?

    No. Distance learning in the fall will be a completely different experience to the distance learning program experienced last term. Because distance learning will be incorporated into our hybrid learning models, we have invested in e-classroom technology that allows for students to follow classes from home as though they were in class on campus through live streaming.
     
    Hybrid learning will harness e-classroom technology including mobile platform cameras that allow students at home to see the teacher and follow written instructions. At the same time, there will be a virtual collaborative whiteboard that is touch screen capable that will allow students at-home to write on the board to interact with their teachers. These are just some of the thing that show our readiness and commitment to our student’s education – even in challenging times.
  • Will students be required to wear their uniforms online?

    Yes please! Although students may be doing online learning at home, getting them to put on their uniform every morning sets them up for the day. Not only do we feel that it will create a school routine for the students, seeing their friends wear the same will help them ignite the Tigre Spirit. Allez les Tigres!

A Healthy Environment

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  • What prevention health and safety protocols will DIS have in place?

    Both campuses will respect the following guidelines recommended by the CDC, Texas Education Authorities (TEA), our medical taskforce made up of medical professionals in our DIS parent community and sister schools including the Mission Laique Francaise and the Independent Schools Association in the Southwest (ISAS). You can review our guidelines here for more information. Here are some highlights:
    • Social distancing must be maintained at six feet apart.
    • Cohorts: Students will remain in cohorts/groups throughout the day to avoid cross contamination.
    • Face masks for pre-k students and up will be mandatory inside the building.
    • The same applies to staff and teachers.
    • Face shields can be worn to complement masks. It should however, not be worn in place of face masks.
    • Signage: Social distancing signage to be placed across school campuses. 
    • Wash hands: Students, teachers and staff will wash hands regularly.
    • Hand sanitizer stations, temperature check points will be set up.
    • Self-screening forms must be completed before arriving to school for students, teachers and staff.
    • Fresh Air & A/C: our A/C system will be equipped with HEPA filters, which capture 99.7% of contaminants. We will also utilize the outside space as much as possible
    • At Home & In the Community: we ask all staff and families to continue to practice social distancing and parents to model COVID-19 mitigating strategies for your children. If you are in contact with someone who has COVID-19, you must notify the school and quarantine for 14 days before returning to school. (Reference DIS Document:
  • Will the school offer face coverings for its students?

    Students will bring their own masks to school every day.
    Students, teachers and staff at Churchill campus will receive a face shield (to complement their masks) from the school. We thank the Aung family for their kind donation. 
  • How will Maternelle students be mandated to wear masks?

    We kindly ask that our parents work together with the school to remind and encourage their child about the importance of keeping their masks on in the public space. In turn. teachers and staff will also be working hard to reinforce the message at school. Eventually, it will stick!
  • How will teachers teach with a mask on?

    Teacher training is underway where teachers will need to articulate clearer and speaker louder. CDC guidelines to wear a mask in public will be applied to classroom settings. In an indoor classroom setting when a teacher is likely to be speaking and projecting their voice, a mask is absolutely necessary.
    Schools in other parts of the world including Taiwan have been teaching with masks for longer than schools in the US and students can still recognize their teachers and where lessons proceed as usual. Teachers sing songs, tell stories and play games. It will just take a little time to get used to.  
  • What measures will be taken if young students fail to keep their masks on?

    Teachers and staff will help students put their masks back on and continue to reinforce the message about the importance of keeping their masks on in school. The mask may be removed when an individual is seated for snack or lunch. The mask can also be removed briefly to allow for drinking water throughout the day. If engaged in heavy exercise or sports activity, the mask can be removed (but 6 feet must be maintained between the individuals when masks are removed). We hope that parents will also work together with us to encourage their child at home.

    If a student refuses to wear their mask, please remove them from the vicinity of others. Teachers must send an infraction through MyDIS to notify the parents. If this behavior is consistent, the child can be sent home.

  • What if a child has taken off their mask and exposed bodily fluids to others?

    Do not be alarmed. Have the student and others that have been exposed washed hands or other exposed areas thoroughly with soap and water. Disinfect affected surfaces. The student who removed his/her mask can be considered for disciplinary action, such as parent modification or an infraction through myDIS if appropriate to the circumstances.
  • How will you ensure that everyone cleans their PPE?

    We trust that families will have the personal responsibility to clean their child’s masks and shields.

School Safety Operations

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  • What are the protocols in case that someone is diagnosed with the virus?

    Please click here to review our response plan and mitigation strategies for returning to campus.
  • What if a child has a continuous cough?

    If the cough is accompanied by other symptoms, the student must stay home until the symptoms subside. If fever occurs, a doctor’s note is required for the student to return to campus. The school nurse may decide to send a student home on a case-by-case basis.
  • What protocols will be taken for athletes and spectators during athletic events?

    As our fall athletics season begins, students and parents are reminded that the health and safety of our athletes remains important during game time. For parents attending soccer games this season, please review the DIS COVID-19 Game Protocols document by clicking here. Game day procedures for spectators and athletes include:
    • All players, coaches and personnel at participating schools will be screened prior to leaving their campuses
    • Face masks are required for athletes 
    • Spectators are required to wear face coverings
    • All shared equipment will be sanitized or replaced at halftimes and between games
    • All spectators must practice social distancing
    • Athletes and visiting schools will bring their own water bottles and a supply of water for games
  • What to do when a student or staff member gets a negative COVID test?

    The parent must show proof of a negative outcome to the school nurse. The school nurse will email pertinent staff to notify that the student is allowed on campus.
  • What about lunch and recess?

    Students will be kept in their groups as much as practically possible.
    Lunch:
    • At Churchill, lunch will be eaten in the classroom for all grades.
    • At Waterview, lunch will be in the classroom, or  in the cafeteria, or outside in accordance with DIS COVID-19 Guidelines
    Recess:
    • At Churchill, each class will have separate recess zones outdoors and times will be staggered.
    • At Waterview, each class will have recess outdoors and times will also be staggered.
  • What happens to after school care, activities and Physical Education (PE) classes?

    Churchill campus:
    • NO on-campus after-school activities and aftercare at Churchill, until further notice.
    • Students will need to be picked up at the end of each school day. Drop off and pick up will be staggered to allow for safety and less congestion.
    • Online after school- activities will be offered from 4:30 pm.
    • Once students are enrolled in an activity, they will receive a link and information about the class. 
    • Registration is now open on Smart Tuition for fall 2020 activities.
    • Online activities will begin Monday, August 24, 2020.
    • For assistance, log into Smart Tuition, please contact Amber Shaikh in our Accounting department.
    • To view the updated scheduled of all afterschool activities, please click here.
    • Class registration and login information for all classes will be sent once the class list has been finalized.
    Waterview campus:
    • Sports will be limited to outdoors, until further notice.
    • Electives and some after-school activities will be offered online from 4:30 pm, until further notice.
  • What will happen with Maternelle if all schools must shut down?

    Maternelle students would resume distance learning until it is considered safe to return back on campus, following theas recommended by the CDC.
  • Will there be quarantine requirements for those who have travelled?

    Yes. Please refer to slide 5 ‘Self screening forms’ in our guide for returning safely to school. https://dallasinternationalschool.myschoolapp.com/ftpimages/852/download/download_5084119.pdf

Finance

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    • A look into hybrid learning at Dallas International School.

List of 3 items.

  • 2019-2020 Academic Year Wrap Up

    Dear DIS parents and families,

    It’s been quite a year for sure! As the school year of 2019-2020 comes to a close, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of you for the unwavering commitment to support our school. From volunteering, class-room monitoring, donating to chaperoning, your efforts to help our students have made huge contributions to the continuous growth of Dallas International School. Without your encouragement, endless positivity, generous knowledge-sharing and devotion to our teachers and staff, the journey getting here would not have been the same. We also recognize that communicating with DIS families extensively during this time has been key to ensure that we have stayed connected with one another in vulnerable times and we will continue to provide this level of community support.
     
    These past few months have shown how we are stronger and better when as a community we are united with the same goal in mind: the education of your children, our students. Let me say now again how thankful I am to our faculty, our school and campus directors for the way they led and supported day after day this new experience of distance learning.
     
    The recent turn of tragic events in the past few weeks has also reminded us of the importance of DIS’ core values including empathy, respect and integrity. As part of the school’s mission, we thrive on giving our students a culturally-enriched understanding of the world, highlighting the importance of inclusion of all backgrounds, ethnicity and religion. Discrimination in all forms including racism goes against the pillars of our institution and we will continue to educate our students to respect differences while celebrate cultural diversity throughout their entire educational career at DIS.
     
    Allow me to provide an update of plans as we break into the summer. Please refer to Q&As on the left for more details.

    Wishing you a well-deserved summer break! Look forward to having you back in the fall.

    Catherine Lévy
    Head of School, Dallas International School
  • Distance Learning Reflection

    Now that the school year has come to a close, we have taken the time to reflect on our work over the past 4 months making the transition from in-classroom to distance learning. The encouraging feedback from our students and parents has helped us persevere through these unprecedented times, making us even more determined to succeed in giving our students the best quality education they deserve.

    We are also taking this as a time to reflect on making the distance learning even better for our students in the fall. Based on one of our scenarios planned, many of you will be experiencing the hybrid learning of attending school in classroom and through distance learning. Using this time, we will at some of the latest e-education technology that will ensure our students make the most out of this period.
     
    I leave with you some moving testimonials left by our parent community over the course of the past couple months. A big thank you once again, to the DIS community for your ongoing support through these unusual times. We will get through this together. To read more about the parent experience at Dallas International School, please click here.
     
     
    “Merci pour votre message et pour votre leadership depuis le début de l‘ épidémie. Votre équipe fait un travail formidable en étant à l’ecoute, mais sans pour autant trop concéder à l’anxiété ambiante. Comme l’a justement dit Monsieur Philip, “one day at a time.” Nous travaillerons ensemble pour faire de cette situation sans précédent, un nouveau normal. Et les enfants s’adaptent facilement pour l’instant, c est le plus important.
    Bien à vous.”

    Virginie (Mar 18)

    “We greatly appreciate all your efforts and excellent management in DIS.”
     
    Minoo & Tahmoures Elyasi (Mar 16)
     
     
    “We fully trust you as you do the best for our children. The communication has been unprecedented. 
    Thank you!” 
     
    Dr Jessie Zarazaga.
     
    “You have all done an amazing job in a short amount of time. We appreciate your gallant efforts. Well done!! 
    Thank you,”
     
    Yvette Wheeler, Peter Everitt
     
     
    “Thanks for all your hard work and leadership.  Your emails are encouraging and we feel like you have rolled out this online learning really well.  We are glad to have our daughter at DIS at a time like this!”
     
    M’Liss Stringer (Mar 18)
  • Do you have any more questions?

    Please contact: news@dallasinternationalschool.org
    if you have any inquiries relating to the school's reopening plans in the fall.

Communication Updates

  • March 11 Stepping up health safety efforts
  • March 12 Preparing school for rising pandemic.
  • March 13 Texas declared a state of emergency - school classes suspended.
  • March 18 First test run on online update
  • March 20 Le Petit Waterview - pep talk Head of Secondary
  • March 21 Le Monde Virtuel de Churchill - Head of Primary update
  • March 23 Shelter at home effective March 23rd 
  • March 24 Waterview campus will remain closed to all visitors
  • March 26 Le Petit Waterview - pep talk from Head of Secondary 
  • March 30 Distance learning to remain until April 10th.
  • March 31 School to remain closed until May 4th. 
  • April 1 Message from Head of School to DIS Community
  • April 3 Le Monde Virtuel de Churchill - Head of Primary update
  • April 6 Stay at home orders extended until April 30th.
  • April 8 Le Petit Waterview - pep talk from Head of Secondary 
  • April 17 School to close - orders from Texas Authorities
  • April 22 Le Petit Waterview - pep talk from Head of Secondary
  • April 24 Le Monde Virtuel de Churchill - Head of Primary update
  • April 30 Le Petit Waterview - pep talk from Head of Secondary
  • May 3 Le Monde Virtuel de Churchill
  • May 4 Plans to Reopen for Next School Year 2020-2021
  • June 8 Recap for Reopening: Exam Release Dates
  • July 4 MATERNELLE survey
  • July 4 CM2,10th-12th grade survey
  • July 4 1st-4th, 6th-9th grade survey
  • July 19 Summer camp in person cancelled. Virtual camp continues
  • August 3 After school activities suspended til further notice
  • August 8 Back to school survey  - round 2
  • August 17 Welcome from Head of School/Back to School Preparations
  • August 18 Pick up of school material schedule - Churchill
  • August 20 Virtual Meet the Teachers - Churchill schedule
  • August 20 Superintendent Hinojosa’s Press Conference
  • August 24 No after or before school care until further notice- Churchill campus
  • August 27 Message from Head of School on how to proceed with returning to campus for on-campus learning on Sept 8
  • August 31 Letter from Head on Primary on important Churchill campus update
  • September 6 Letter from Head of Primary on how the first staggered week of on-campus learning will transpire on Sept 8

Lower School Campus

6039 Churchill Way, Dallas, TX 75230
Tel: (972) 991-6379; Fax: (972) 991-6608

Upper School Campus

17811 Waterview Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75252
Tel: (469) 250-0001; Fax: (214) 570-4900