Mesquite 
Chamber of Commerce

617 N. Ebrite
Mesquite TX 75149
Phone (972) 285-0211
Fax (972) 285-3535
info@mesquitechamber.com

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 
9am to Noon, 1pm to 5:00pm

Friday
9am to Noon, 1pm to 4:00pm

 

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2016 Directory and Referral Guide

CITY MAP OF MESQUITE

EDUCATION

While many factors can play a role in a family’s or company’s decision to relocate, one always seems to top the list—the availability of high-quality education. A strong education system ensures parents and patrons that schools are a priority and helps provide a future workforce ready to meet the growing demands of a global economy.

 

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Quest for Excellence

Mesquite ISD’s vision statement, Quest for Excellence—Success for All Students, conveys a continuing effort to seek new heights of achievement while ensuring the best educational experience for every student, preparing him or her for continued success beyond graduation. These themes are also incorporated into the district’s mission, which is to educate all students and empower them to expand their opportunities to enrich our community. Each school day, 40,000 students on 46 quality campuses are exposed to caring, highly qualified teachers and the most current technological learning innovations. Five core values guide all daily decisions and interactions affecting students and their families. MISD values all children; all employees; family involvement; continuous improvement and accountability for all; and lifelong learning.

In 2005, MISD began using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as part of its strategic planning process. Since then, the district has realized dramatic improvement in all areas of academic and operational performance. 

Mesquite ISD earned the Texas Award for Performance Excellence in 2011. Presented by the Quality Texas Foundation, the state’s arm of the national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the award goes to a role model organization demonstrating exceptional performance in all areas of organizational management. 

District leaders look to objective, research-based agencies, such as the Education Resource Group (ERG), to determine how MISD is doing and where it must improve. ERG examines all academic performance and financial efficiency indicators for the 200 largest districts in Texas, rank ordering them from best to worst. Through focused attention to critical areas, MISD is now ranked sixth among those 200 districts.

The MISD Board of Trustees is also the recipient of high honors. In 2011, the Board earned the Council of Urban Boards of Education’s Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence. This national award recognizes a school board that exemplifies excellence in governance, builds civic capacity, successfully closes the achievement gap, and demonstrates academic success. In 2013, Mesquite ISD’s 

Board was selected as one of five finalists in the Honor Board Award Program sponsored by the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA). The award criteria emphasize evidence of support for educational performance improvement. Mesquite ISD’s Board has received this recognition three times. 

Outstanding Fiscal Management

The bond rating companies of Standard & Poor’s and Fitch IBCA give the district a rating of AA and AA+, respectively, two of the highest ratings for any school district in Texas. Community confidence is also noteworthy. The Mesquite community has never failed to approve a district bond referendum; historically, passage rates are greater than 70 percent.

For three consecutive years (2010-2012), MISD earned the highest rating (five stars) in the Financial Allocation Study for Texas (FAST). Created by the state comptroller, FAST identifies Texas school districts that produce high achievement while maintaining cost-effective operations. MISD was one of only 11 public school districts (out of 1,031 statewide) to earn five stars all three years. In addition, Mesquite ISD is a member of the Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle, which recognizes local governments across Texas that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online. The “gold” designation highlights those entities that are setting the bar with their transparency efforts. Further, for 12 consecutive years, Mesquite ISD has received a rating of “Superior Achievement” from the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas. The Superior Achievement rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of the Mesquite ISD’s financial management and reporting system. 

A Great Place to Work

In 2012, Mesquite ISD was selected for the Dallas Business Journal’s annual list of Best Places to Work. In addition, The Dallas Morning News included Mesquite ISD in its Top 100 Places to Work for 2012; Mesquite ISD was the only public school district to make the competitive list. Both of these recognitions were determined by anonymous survey responses provided by hundreds of MISD employees. These honors were following by national recognition in 2013 when MISD was selected as one of the Top 150 Workplaces in the country.

MISD also boasts a lower-than-average turnover rate, and in the most recent workforce survey, 92 percent of employees said they would recommend the district to others as a good place to work. Mesquite ISD’s Board of Trustees strives to keep salaries and benefits competitive so that the district can attract and retain the best educators and other staff members.

Strong Partnerships

Life in our community is unique because of the supportive partnership that exists between the school district, the City of Mesquite and the Mesquite Chamber of Commerce. MISD has a long history of partnering with the city to stretch resources where and when it is mutually beneficial. For example, each MISD elementary school is located adjacent to a city park. These greenbelts not only provide recreation space for students, but they also give residents a place to enjoy the quality of life within our city. Other partnerships include establishing a health clinic for district and city employees, installing a citywide fiber-optic network, and creating and funding an image-building/marketing campaign to promote the community’s positive aspects.

Rich Academic Offerings

MISD believes that by challenging students with high expectations and offering abundant opportunities, students will excel. With the support of our community, MISD is singularly focused on providing students with skills, attitudes and knowledge they need to be successful lifelong learners and contributing members of our workforce and community.

Ensuring academic rigor is a key factor in the district’s vision of success for all students. MISD seeks to establish rigor both in what is taught to students and how it is taught. The district defines rigor as developing students’ capability to understand content that is difficult, complex and challenging, and applying that understanding to new situations and problems. Its goal is to bring this level of rigor to every classroom in MISD through a paced curriculum and innovative programs.

One of those innovations is the district’s new Technology Excellence Center, which opened in August of 2013. The facility houses several Career & Technology (CTE) Classes, including a project-based, applied mathematics and engineering course as well as an advanced video production course, both of which serve students from all five high schools.

A focus on college and career readiness is a hallmark of the district’s academic programs. In fact, Mesquite ISD is one of 14 Texas school districts and 477 in the United States and Canada to be honored by the College Board with placement on its 4th Annual AP® District Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes districts for increasing access to AP course work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP Exams. On a broader scale, FutureQuest/myfuture is a MISD-created program designed to cultivate a belief in all students that they are college bound. It promotes daily conversations between K-12 students and teachers about going to college and being college ready.

Thanks to a funding grant from the MISD Education Foundation, the district is able to offer the AVID program on select campuses. AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a rigorous program that transforms average students into high performers. This proven program uses mentoring and special learning opportunities to teach skills and instill attitudes that foster success in high school and college.

Career and Technology Education (CTE) in MISD provides a kaleidoscope of opportunities for students to explore and plan for future success. CTE courses offer opportunities for students to learn skills they may use in high school, in a career after graduation, or as a financial means to help pursue higher education. Many students begin their careers or earn occupational certifications while still in school.

The needs of nontraditional students are met through MISD’s Alternative Education Campus of Choice, the Mesquite Academy. Through its innovative class scheduling and individually paced instruction, students seeking an alternative to the traditional school schedule and environment can achieve educational success. More than 200 students graduate with a high school diploma from the Mesquite Academy each year.

Approximately 20 percent of Mesquite ISD students are limited in their English proficiency (LEP). LEP students are served by MISD’s 

elementary 50/50 enrichment bilingual program – with instruction in both English and Spanish – as well as English as a Second Language (ESL) programs at elementary and secondary levels.

The MISD Gifted and Talented Program serves students in all grade levels. Gifted students have different needs, and their needs must be met through a differentiated curriculum. Each of these programs is taught by teachers who have completed additional specialized training enabling them to lead these classes in exciting, motivating ways.

Broad Extra-Curricular Options

M1SD’s numerous extra-curricular programs give students opportunities to develop relationships with peers through a team environment, an awareness of health and fitness, and the ability to sharpen leadership skills while working with others. Extra­curricular programs include athletics, academic competitions, fine arts, and a variety of clubs and organizations. Because students who are involved at school tend to stay in school, one of the district’s objectives is to ensure that every student takes part in a school organization or extra-curricular program.

Studying the fine arts is a great way to get involved in a lifelong activity. Classes such as band, choir, orchestra, art and theater provide students the ability to realize their talents and the opportunity for individual and team recognition. On the elementary campuses, general music classes and fine arts field trips are part of the curriculum and expose students to a variety of cultural experiences.

While many factors can play a role in a family’s or company’s decision to relocate, one always seems to top the list—the availability of high-quality education. A strong education system ensures parents and patrons that schools are a priority and helps provide a future workforce ready to meet the growing demands of a global economy.

 

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Eastfield College serves students and communities through shared learning experiences, job preparation, economic and workforce development, service learning and community spirit. Eastfield serves people of all ages, from all walks of life, who want to succeed both personally and professionally. Since 1970, Eastfield has welcomed high school students and adults whose common goal is to earn a degree or a certificate and to use that knowledge to better them and their communities. In fall 2011, Eastfield had record enrollment serving over 14,000 credit students. 

Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) helps students succeed and communities prosper through education, access, workforce and economic development, and lifelong learning.

More than 60 percent of the students who attend Eastfield are enrolled in hundreds of freshman and sophomore academic courses that will transfer to four-year universities across the state . . . guaranteed. Eastfield offers more than 15 technical training/certificate programs that give students the skills they need to succeed in today’s job market. That’s guaranteed, too! Additionally, students are enrolled in adult education programs that include workforce development, continuing education, and literacy and other basic skills programs.

Diversity is reflected in the faces of students who attend Eastfield College. While the average age is approximately 27, students who enroll range in age from 16 to 90! They can begin taking dual credit enrollment classes in high school, and older lifelong learners are enthusiastic participants in several emeritus programs. The student population is diverse – 33 percent white; 27 percent African American; 34 percent Hispanic; 4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander; 1 percent American Indian; and 1 percent non-resident alien/foreign national. 

DCCCD is taking a pro-active approach to making learning opportunities accessible to everyone, focusing on how the district can best serve residents of Dallas County and planning for the future by preparing to welcome an estimated 20,000 additional students. As part of that response, the district proposed a $450 million bond package, which voters passed in 2004. This long-range plan enabled DCCCD to provide education, economic development, workforce training, and lifelong learning to residents of the communities it serves, now and for years to come. 

As businesses and industries need an increasingly larger number of well-educated workers and as more students enroll in college to pursue successful careers, those demands drive the need for additional facilities that promote student learning. In response, Eastfield’s expansive capital building program included the construction of four major education/learning facilities on its main campus – the Learning Center; the Center for Child and Family Studies; the Workforce and Criminal Justice Training Center; and the Career Technology Center expansion.

Texas faces a growing shortage of skilled workers to fill technical positions in engineering, science, precision production, mechanical, health care and other industries. In 2009, the Texas Legislature created the JET (Jobs & Education for Texans) program to help meet this demand and ensure a strong future for Texas. Two years ago Eastfield was awarded a JET grant. The award of $147,098 enabled Eastfield to purchase additional instructional equipment for the Alternative/Sustainable Energy programs. Part of the equipment purchased included a 50-foot wind turbine. The 3.5 kw wind turbine is not only being used for instructional purposes, it’s also tied into the college’s electrical system. When the turbine is not being used for instruction, the electricity produced flows back into the Eastfield system and helps power the Technology Building. 

In fiscal year 2010, Skills Development Fund grants awarded through the Texas Workforce Commission created or upgraded 26,718 jobs, which paid an average hourly wage of $26.07. These grants assisted 207 Texas employers with their customized training needs. 

Students are DCCCD’s top priority, and the district continues to provide educational opportunities for a diverse population, says Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor. DCCCD’s tuition – among the lowest of any community college system in Texas – puts a college education within reach. Access to higher education is the key to success, and the district seeks to eliminate financial barriers for students by offering scholarships, grants, loans and other programs.

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Columbia College - Mesquite started classes in January, 2015, on the campus of Eastfield College. Bachelor's Degrees on campus include Business Administration, Criminal Justice Administration, Human Services, and General Studies. Additional bachelor's and master's degrees are available  through the Columbia College Online Campus. A total of 26 degrees are available online to students around the world. In addition to the Mesquite and online campus, courses are offered at 36 nationwide locations. Columbia College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has 84,000 alumni worldwide.

2 + 2 Transfer Policy

Columbia College - Mesquite has a unique 2+2 relationship with Dallas Community College District allowing a student's first two years at any of the the DCCCD schools to transfer directly toward a Columbia College degree. An associate of arts or science will satisfy general education requirements for Columbia College and allow a student to complete their bachelor's degree in as few as two years.