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Grand Prairie ISD – A Model for Expanding Choice




Featuring Superintendent Dr. Susan Hull
  • Grand Prairie Independent School District (GPISD) is centered between Dallas and Fort Worth Metropolitan area, is the 17th largest school district in the state serving approximately 28,000 students, and is an open enrollment district, which means students and families do not have to live within the district’s boundaries to attend its public schools. They offer numerous traditional schools, schools of choice, and programs of choice at all grade levels.
  • In the late 2000s, faced with budget uncertainties and public charter growth in the area, GPISD formed a Choice Task Force (comprised of parents, students, staff, and community members) to study school choice models. The task force visited other choice-type schools, single-gender campuses, and leadership academies in Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and Texarkana to study best practices and gain insight.
  • After board deliberations and an outpouring of positive support from parents and the community at town hall meetings, GPISD adopted the recommendation to become an open-enrollment district, featuring a school choice model that would provide transportation for all GPISD students to their school of choice while also accepting all students meeting a defined criteria outside of the district.
  • GPISD is now in its fourth year of operating with the unique open-enrollment model and “programs of choice”. Demand for more options has proven resonant in the Mid-Cities region of the DFW Metroplex. With humble beginnings starting with a single campus pilot option, GPISD currently offers 27 schools or programs of choice where community interest continues to grow. In January 2015, over 12,000 visitors attended the district’s “shop for schools” event. Over 2,900 applications were successfully submitted and nearly 850 applicants were new to the district. 
  • Over 78% responded “satisfied” when asked their overall thoughts of the GPISD experience per internal exit surveys in 2015.