Preston Hollow Elementary School

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Preston Hollow Elementary School
6423 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, Texas 75230
Type Public, Primary
School district Dallas independent school District
Principal Tom Brandt
Grades PK5
Number of students 601[1]
Color(s) hunter green and white[2]
Mascot patriot[2]
Information +1 (972) 794-8500[3]
Fax: +1 (972) 794-8501[4]
Trustee dist.  2, Jack Lowe[5]
Area   4, Dr. Robin S. Ryan[6]

Preston Hollow Elementary School is a public primary school in the Preston Hollow area of north Dallas, Texas. Preston Hollow Elementary School enrolls students in grades pre-kindergarten5 and is a part of the Dallas independent school District.

The school is located within the Preston Hollow North subdivision.[7] The school serves homes within the homeowner associations of Glen Lakes, Lane Park, Preston Hollow North, Sorento, and Windsor Park. It also serves The Meadows Neighborhood Association and a portion of the Caruth Hills Home Place Neighborhood Association.[8]

In 2006 the school lost a civil lawsuit over a plan to group White students into the same classes and over-classify Hispanic students as ESL learners in order to group Anglo White students in the same classes.


In 1987 Preston Hollow Elementary School parents stated that they wanted a voluntary busing program established so the school could attract racial and ethnic minorities.[9] During the same year Preston Hollow participated in a Save the Children Foundation school to school partnership with the village school of N'Dimi, Cameroon. It was the first Dallas school to do a Save the Children Foundation partnership.[10]

In 1989 the DISD board proposed the re-opening of Arthur Kramer Elementary School. Under the plan, portions of the attendance boundaries of Pershing, Preston Hollow, and Rogers would have been modified.[11] In 1991 the Kramer, Pershing, and Preston Hollow schools had a combined total of 32 portable buildings to house excess students. Parents from those schools supported plans to re-open Hotchkiss Elementary School as a neighborhood school, so it could house excess students.[12] In 1992 federal judge Barefoot Sanders blocked the plan. The president of the Preston Hollow parent-teacher association (PTA), Terri Piacenti, criticized Sanders' decision.[13] Hotchkiss opened as a neighborhood school in 1994. Glenna Taite, a specialist from DISD who analyzed enrollment data, stated that many North Dallas apartments saw population increases because previously singles and couples only apartments were required by law to open housing to families in 1989, so the area saw a surge in families.[14]

In 1999 the PHES had almost 200% of the number of students that it was designated to house.[15] In 2000 the E.D. Walker Math, Science and Technology Vanguard opened, taking some students from Preston Hollow.[16]

In August 2006 Jack Lowe, Sr. Elementary opened, relieving Preston Hollow.[17] Lowe opened, the section of Lakewood Elementary School's boundary that was within Vickery Meadow became a part of Lowe's boundary; therefore Preston Hollow no longer served any sections of Vickery Meadow.[18][19] As of 2000 PHES had at least 20 portable buildings used to house the excess students.[20]

Class-assignment policy controversy[edit]

In 2006, Preston Hollow Elementary School achieved notoriety after a lawsuit claiming the school's class-assignment policies violated the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision. Judge Sam Lindsay ruled in November that the school's practices were not legal because they attempted to keep white students together even if minority students had to be placed in inappropriate courses; this ruling was mis-cited in at least one local paper as indicating that all-white classes had been created.[21]

Prior to the lawsuit the Hispanic Preston Hollow parents had formed the Organización Para el Futuro de los Estudiantes (OFE, "Organization for the Future of the Students" in Spanish). The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) represented the plaintiff parents.[22] Defense noted that not a single whites-only class existed in the school, and that placement was based on test scores; however, Latino claimants in the suit argued that their children were placed in bilingual or English as a Second Language classes even when test scores suggested they should be in a general education program.[23] Richard R. Valencia, the attorney arguing for the plaiantiffs, argued that the segregation had no pedagogical basis.[24]

The district's attorneys also argued that no harm had been caused to the minority students, prompting the judge to write, "The court is baffled that in this day and age, that [DISD relied] on what is, essentially, a 'separate but equal' argument."[21] The policies were criticized in the judge's ruling and in subsequent news articles as being an attempt to lessen white flight by attracting more parents from the surrounding, mostly white community to keep their children in the local public system rather than sending them to private schools.[25] The duration of the bench trial was from August 9, 2006 to August 21, 2006.[24]

The school and the president of the school's Parent Teacher Association, Meg Bittner, were also called to task for development and use of a promotional brochure that – according to the suit and to e-mails from Bittner introduced into evidence – intentionally featured almost exclusively white children, despite the school's enrollment being predominately minority.[26][27] The ruling was affirmed by Lindsay in April 2007, following his granting of a motion to amend a finding regarding the date on which the principal, Teresa Parker, had announced the planned ending of the special class assignments; the judge stated that this detail had not affected the decision and also denied defense motions to amend the conclusion of the judge's opinion and to amend the punitive damages assessed against Parker.[28] The judge criticized both motions as follows:

The judge ruled that the school was "in effect, operating at taxpayers' expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominately minority."[29]

Parker initially retained her position despite the court's having found her personally liable for violation of the 14th Amendment with regard to specific children. News stories near the January 17, 2007, deadline for implementation of policy changes reported that Parker had been moved to an administrative position with the school district and the principalship would be taken over by interim principal Enid Rosenfeldt.[30][31]


In 2013 the percentage of White students was 7.9% and the percentage of economically disadvantaged was 85.9%, compared to the 19% and 75.9% in 2007. In 2013 DISD board trustees were taking steps to add an International Baccalaureate program to Preston Hollow.[32]


77% of the students at Preston Hollow are classified as economically disadvantaged, 8% enroll in special education, 13% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 42% are considered "limited English proficient."[33]

The ethnic makeup of the school is 66% Hispanic American, 18% White American, non-Hispanic, 13% African American and 3% Asian American/Pacific Islander American.[33]

The average class sizes at Preston Hollow are 17 for Kindergarten, 12 for 2nd grade, 15 for 3rd grade, 22 for 4th grade, and 30 for 5th grade.[33]

Teachers at the school carry, on average, 16 years of teaching experience and 0% of the teachers on staff are first-year teachers.[33]

Neighborhoods served[edit]

The PHES attendance zone mainly consists of areas north of the Northwest Highway, south of Royal Lane, east of Preston Road, and west of the North Central Expressway. Housing within the attendance zone includes single-family houses with wealthy white residents, several middle class houses, and apartment complexes which are mostly minority.[21] PHES serves a portion of Preston Hollow.

School uniforms[edit]

All DISD elementary school students [1], including Preston Hollow students, are required to wear school uniforms.

The Texas Education Agency specified that the parents and/or guardians of students zoned to a school with uniforms may apply for a waiver to opt out of the uniform policy so their children do not have to wear the uniform; parents must specify "bona fide" reasons, such as religious reasons or philosophical objections.[34]

Feeder patterns[edit]

As of 2008, Preston Hollow feeds into Benjamin Franklin Middle School and ultimately into Hillcrest High School.[35]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Kraemer, Richard H., Charldean Newell, and David Forrest Prindle. Texas Politics. Cengage Learning, 2008. ISBN 0495501131, 9780495501138.
  • Sánchez Pérez, Alma. Bilingual Education Policy in Texas: Pride and Prejuicio. ProQuest, 2007. ISBN 0549266119, 9780549266112.
  • Valencia, Richard R. Chicano School Failure and Success: Past, Present, and Future. Taylor & Francis, December 17, 2010. ISBN 0203835980, 9780203835982.
    • Article also available in: Valencia, Richard R. Chicano Students and the Courts: The Mexican American Legal Struggle for Educational Equality. NYU Press, October 1, 2008. ISBN 0814788254, 9780814788257.


  1. ^ Texas Education AgencySchool Directory Archived April 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine. – type in school number "057905195" and select "view report." Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b Dallas ISDPreston Hollow Elementary School. Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Dallas ISDSchool telephone numbers. (PDF). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  4. ^ Dallas ISDSchool fax numbers. (PDF). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  5. ^ Dallas ISDSchools by Trustee Archived October 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  6. ^ Dallas ISDSchools by Area Archived March 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.. (PDF). Retrieved on February 22, 2007.
  7. ^ "PHNHOA.gif." Preston Hollow North Homeowners Association. Retrieved on October 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "Maps." City of Dallas. Accessed October 12, 2008.
  9. ^ Connely, Richard. "PARENTS SEEK TO RECRUIT STUDENTS." The Dallas Morning News. February 14, 1987. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Powell, Larry R. "PUPILS FROM PRESTON HOLLOW, CAMEROON FORM PARTNERSHIP." The Dallas Morning News. April 13, 1987. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  11. ^ Garcia, Joseph. "DISD BOUNDARY CHANGES OUTLINED." The Dallas Morning News. March 9, 1989. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  12. ^ Garcia, Joseph. "DISD staff backs boundary changes affecting 53 schools." The Dallas Morning News. January 11, 1991. 30A. Retrieved on October 11, 2–11.
  13. ^ Garcia, Joseph. "U.S. judge vetoes plan for schools." The Dallas Morning News. April 23, 1992. Home Final News 35A. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  14. ^ Holloway, Karel. "STUDENT BODIES Enrollment surge prompts scramble for classroom space." The Dallas Morning News. November 15, 1994. Home Final Education Extra 22A. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  15. ^ "Dallas Superintendent Waldemar Rojas could be a winner." The Dallas Morning News. April 24, 1999. Retrieved on October 11, 2011. "For example, Preston Hollow Elementary School has nearly twice as many students as it was designed to hold."
  16. ^ "NOTES FROM SCHOOL." The Dallas Morning News. Tuesday May 23, 2000. Third Edition, Education Extra 20A. Retrieved on October 13, 2011.
  17. ^ "Jack Lowe, Sr. Elementary School Archived July 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.." Brochure. Dallas independent school District. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  18. ^ "Preston Hollow Elementary School" 2005–2006 Map. Dallas independent school District. Accessed October 8, 2008.
  19. ^ "Fall 2006 Jack Lowe, Sr. Elementary (PK-5) Attendance Zone." Dallas independent school District. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  20. ^ "Dallas Schools Board is still playing tag with superintendent." The Dallas Morning News. April 4, 2000. Retrieved on October 11, 2011.
  21. ^ a b c Kent Fischer. "Ruling: Classes divided by race: At Preston Hollow, principal tried to appease affluent parents, halt white flight, judge says," The Dallas Morning News, November 18, 2006. Retrieved on October 12, 2011.
  22. ^ Sánchez, p. 171.
  23. ^ Pulle, Matt. "Split Decision." Dallas Observer. January 11, 2007. 1.
  24. ^ a b Valencia, p. 62.
  25. ^ Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-692-L" (Judge Sam Lindsay's complete opinion). United States District Court Northern District of Texas (posted on The Dallas Morning News). Filed November 16, 2006.
  26. ^ "School ‘crossed line’ on student recruitment: Dallas public school illegally tried to attract white students, attorneys say," MSNBC, August 6, 2006
  27. ^ "Racial segregation alive and well in Dallas public schools ...," Daily Kos. November 19, 2006
  28. ^ Tricia Scruggs. "Judge Upholds Ruling in Segregation Suit: Meanwhile students, teachers focus on education, not litigation," Preston Hollow People, April 27, 2007
  29. ^ Kraemer, et al. p. 345.
  30. ^ Tricia Scruggs."Preston Hollow Elementary Welcomes Interim Principal: In wake of segregation ruling, parents, district ready to move forward," Preston Hollow People, January 12, 2007
  31. ^ "New PHES Principal Wants ‘School Without Disruptions’: Enid Rosenfeldt takes charge in aftermath of discrimination lawsuit," Preston Hollow People, January 25, 2007
  32. ^ Nicholson, Eric. "With Preston Hollow Elementary Losing More Rich Kids, Dallas ISD Eyes an IB Program." (Archive) Dallas Observer. Tuesday November 19, 2013. Retrieved on November 23, 2013.
  33. ^ a b c d Great SchoolsPreston Hollow Elementary School – Dallas, Texas. Information originally from the Texas Education Agency. Retrieved on January 4, 2007.
  34. ^ "DOCKET NO. 008-R5-901." Texas Education Agency. Accessed October 13, 2008.
  35. ^ Dallas ISD2008 School Feeder Patterns Archived May 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. – Hillcrest High School. Retrieved on October 8, 2008.
  36. ^ Rogers, Tim. "Barrett Brown is Anonymous." D Magazine. April 2011. Retrieved on May 30, 2014. "But then he mentions that he went to Preston Hollow Elementary School with George W. Bush's twin daughters. My mother taught the Bush twins at Preston Hollow. I tell him this, and he remembers my mother."
  37. ^ Matt Pulle. "Split Decision," p. 3
  38. ^ The First Ladies of the United States: Laura Welch Bush, Stockholm Embassy, November 2001

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°52′50″N 96°47′44″W / 32.880575°N 96.795486°W / 32.880575; -96.795486