Dallas ISD school on UT Southwestern campus offers students different way of learning

Students at a new Dallas ISD school on the campus of UT Southwestern had one mission Friday, which was to bring joy to children who are in the hospital. 

Dallas ISD’s Biomedical Preparatory at UT Southwestern isn’t a typical school.

It takes STEM learning to a new level. 

"We are partnering with the hospital, so our students, on top of the STEM education, they can go to the UTSW simulation center," principal Roberto Gonzalez explained. "We have students with severe allergies, so students can run that simulation and practice with an EpiPen."

With the campus connected to the hospital, students are learning firsthand from doctors and nurses.


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The mission on Friday, even at a very young age, was learning empathy. 

Students made Valentine’s Day cards for children in the hospital. 

"When they grow up and be professionals, they will know they have to go back and help," said Gonzalez, who is the founding principal of the school that opened two years ago. 

"I feel I am making other kids happy," 8-year-old John West said.

In their own way, the 2nd graders worked to bring joy to kids, some of whom are their age. 

"I feel happy and a little bit nervous because I don’t know if they will like it," one student said.

"I hope they think it’s the most wonderful present they ever got," Estella Santillan said.

While science, technology, engineering and math are the foundation of the school, Gonzalez said the real focus is on making each student "whole."

"If you don’t serve your community, you are not whole," he said. "That’s what I want them to understand."