The Voyage Program

Dallas International School defines gifted and talented students as those who excel consistently or who show the potential to excel in a combination of the following areas:  general aptitude, specific academic field, creative and productive thinking and ability, and leadership ability. These students require educational experiences beyond those normally provided by the regular school program.

"The term ‘gifted and talented,” when used with respect to students, children, or youth, means students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in such areas as intellectual, creative, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who need services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities." – Federal Definition of Gifted

The goals of the gifted program are to provide opportunities for developing:
  • Critical and creative thinking and problem solving strategies
  • Intellectual and creative abilities
  • Self-directed and life-long learning skills
  • Leadership and teamwork
The purpose of the gifted program is to identify gifted students and nurture their special abilities and needs; thereby, assisting them in translating their gifts of potential into productive performances and products that are commensurate with their abilities. Dallas International School will utilize many techniques with an emphasis on inclusion and co-teach in order to address this population while still benefiting others. It is our goal to address the individual needs of all students. 

The Character Education Program

Our values-driven international education is expressed through core principles and values which are woven into every academic and extracurricular activity at DIS. From our core principles, we extracted, live and breathe five core values. They embody our mission statement, and are the base of our character education program.
Character education teaches the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations. Character education is a learning process that enables students in a school community to understand, care about and acts on core ethical values.
 
Our core values are:
  • Empathy is the ability to move beyond ourselves, to identify with others, to walk a mile in another's shoes. 
  • Integrity is an extension of honesty; it is doing the right thing even if no one is watching. 
  • Respect is feeling regard for yourself and for others; it is being thoughtful and considerate of others.
  • Responsibility is being accountable, doing our best to meet our commitments, and to keep our word. 
  • Resilience is an extension of courage. It’s the ability to recover quickly, and to not give up when beset by setbacks and disappointments.
 
Why Core Values?

In How to Bring Vision to School Improvement, authors Jon Saphier and John D'Auria explain that "the collective power of a school facility united behind a few important, commonly prized outcomes for students is virtually unlimited."
 
They continue that it is in those families of our communities that are united around a few core values that "we see performance from almost all the children consistent with those values." Thus, DIS decided to create a more deliberate and powerful environment for young people.

A core value is a central belief deeply understood and shared by every member of an organization. Core values guide the actions of everyone in the organization; they focus its energy and are the anchor point for all its plans. An organization has a core value if there is evidence of it everywhere such that:

  • it permeates the institution,
  • it drives the decisions,
  • it elicits strong reactions when it is violated, and
  • it’s the very last thing you'll give up.
 
The outcome of establishing a set of core values is that these values will then be reflected in all members of the DIS community. Throughout the development process of these community core values, we were driven by the framework which held that the finished product would:

  • align with the school mission statement
  • align with DIS curriculum
  • reflect current data and research
  • include DIS community and school values
  • be implemented school wide - both in and out of the classroom.
 
The school counselor will conduct classroom guidance lessons throughout the year focusing on these core values (GS-CM1). Staff and teachers will support the teaching of these values through student recognition and various activities. Bullying and cyber-bullying will also be addressed through classroom lessons and school-wide actions. Please contact Kelley Loyd, our school counselor, if you have any questions.