Students who attend Dunaway Elementary are exposed to out-of-the-classroom learning experiences and thrive in a colorful setting. A student-focused campus allows students to grow both academic and emotional life skills.
A unique aspect of the Dunaway campus is the lively garden that has been kept up since 2018. The first-grade teaching team spearheaded this year-round project as a hands-on strategy to engage students in science. The garden has also brought in local partners such as the Ellis County Master Gardeners and Woodmen of the World, who are able to interact with and mentor students. Dunaway students can look forward to trips to the state-of-the-art STEM garden at the Waxahachie Senior Activity Center, located less than a mile from campus.
Dunaway is all about exposing students to the world beyond the community. Each year, fourth-grade students load up on charter buses for the ultimate Austin experience. Students have the opportunity to see where legislation takes place at the Capitol, and textbooks are brought to life at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.
In fact, each grade level has special field trips planned to expose students to situations and experiences they might never have otherwise. Previous trips have taken students to the zoo, AT&T Stadium, the aquariums, the symphony, and more.
Another focus at Dunaway is student health and illness prevention. Dunaway is the only campus within WISD that participates in the national school health program that helps fight illness. With the help of smart thermometers, the flu and other illnesses are tracked in real-time through the FLUency program, which allows parents to keep abreast of school sickness by connecting smart thermometers to an app that obtains anonymous information about illnesses on the rise in their child’s grade.
Dunaway has been a participant of the FLUency program since 2018. Initially, the program was solely implemented in kindergarten but has now been integrated through the entire campus.
The campus is also one of the district's designated bilingual campuses. Students have the choice to enter the dual language program that divides time between English speaking/written curriculum and Spanish speaking/writing. Waxahachie ISD utilizes the Gomez & Gomez model of Dual Language Enrichment, which is based on a Gifted and Talented model that correlates language, content, and best practices in teaching. This model has been used in Waxahachie ISD since 2015 and is implemented at over 700 schools across the United States.
While on campus, students will find themselves in a safe, nurturing, loving environment where they feel surrounded by family. Dunaway principal Emily Camarena focuses the campus staff’s efforts on putting the student first. Teachers and staff exercise emotional awareness with students to create nurturing relationships and ensure positive engagement with the curriculum.
Dunaway students are known for leaving the campus and continuing a legacy of respect on their junior high and high school campuses, with good discipline a high expectation. The teacher turnover rate at Dunaway is extremely minimal, with most teachers on the campus boasting an impressive tenure with the district and a passion for their students.