Travis is a school for the academically gifted serving 4th - 8th grades. All students must be in the top 90% of their home school or testing just to apply which consists of a blind written essay. Parents show up at 5am to get their applications in on the first day usually sometime in January. Applying for 4th or 6th is the ideal w 4th all new and 6th adding 22 additional students. The fact that students are focused and parents are engaged makes this a wonderful learning environment. The school is in the heart of trendy Uptown district which makes taking the trolley to the many downtown museums a snap. This school teaches Project Based Education. Each grade takes a different topic and that culminates with each student presenting their research, usually in costume/character. Unlike other DISD schools the staff absolutely shows a love of teaching and generally treat the children and parents with respect. Being a part of DISD it sometimes suffers from tenure indifference. Often issues with teachers or staff are too difficult to correct given the system. PTA & School newsletter is very good. Most teachers could do better at using district program to post assignments and grades however
I've attended Travis for 4 years now and have a love/hate relationship with it. Some of the teachers are outstanding, while others are awful. I have one thing to say about the teacher's aid: pointless. They are way too strict and treat the children with no respect. My 8th grade friends tell me about the enormous homework load that they have consisting of 4-5 hours a night. That leaves no time to be a child and enjoy youth. Really, Travis? 4-5 hours?
My child has attended school here wrapping up on the fifth year and heading for high school. The school for the most part was good. However the 8th grade teachers with the exception of 3 have control issues. The office staff has one in particular that seems to have an issue , not very friendly nor accommodating.
6th grade is a wonderful year, with fun teachers and engaging work that is manageable. 7th grade is also a great year, with teachers who care and some wonderful programs. Some of the school's excellent teachers have recently retired, but there are still many talented teachers. The 8th grade teaching team is also excellent, but the homework load stunts the kids' development in other areas. The school offers some neat extracurricular programs, but many kids cannot even dream of participating b/c the homework load is so intense. Some of the teachers simply do not care about the kids being able to have any free time to just be kids; instead, the homework, esp that of one of the teachers, is all about the teacher's ego/need to feel like an academically rigorous teacher, not about the kids' actually learning. The kids in 8th grade start to shut down b/c they are overwhelmed.
My sister and I both attended Travis all 5 years. I am now in my last year of high school and she is in college. The best word to describe our experience at Travis is disappointment. I made the best friends that I ever will there, but that was the only good thing. The teachers are the worst that I have ever had in all my years in school. Not only do they rarely teach but they treat the students terribly. I remember several occasions of the teachers telling us "shut up" and "duh." Maybe this unbelievable behavior is caused by their role model, the principal. She is rarely seen doing anything of use, and when she does it is simply for punishment or morning announcements. The dress code policy is ridiculously strict. My friend got suspended for 3 days for wearing a jacket that had a logo bigger than 3 inches. (it was the middle of winter) Both of my parents are in education and they were appaulled by the terrible faculty of this school. When entering high school I was unprepared for the real life. I was amazed that teachers could actually treat you with respect, and my classes are actually more challenging in a regular public school. I do not recommend attenung this school.
I'm not a parent, but an anonymous, soon to be alumni. I go to Travis Academy and i am entering the 8th grade. My overall rating for the school is 4 out of a possible 5 simply because of some faculty issues, as always with students, although I will be unbiased for this review. Other problems include some false accusations from faculty, although they are only trying to make the school a better, more safe environment for both themselves and the students that they watch over and teach. If you are a student in grades 3-7, I would recommend applying to this wonderful, magnificent school. As a matter of fact, when I was in the fifth grade here, my whole class (as in grade) made 100% commended on the math TAKS test, which isn't very hard to do, due to our hard-working, diligent math teacher, who shall remain anonymous due to the regulations on this website.
Travis is the best elementary and middle school in Dallas ISD (and, indeed, always ranked in the top 3 in the entire State of Texas). The principal is outstanding; the teachers are dedicated and caring; the kids are fabulous. You don't have to be a nerd to succeed here. This TAG school is challenging but we found that the kids rise to the high bar that is set. You will not find a better school in Dallas ISD.
Great school! Great leadership and teachers! Some of the reviews sound like they are about another place. We have had nothing but a wonderful experience. The teachers and principals are all about education and not about stoking egos. Maybe that is why some of the negative comments. Evidently, their strategies work! The school has always been EXEMPLARY. Way to go Travis!
I've been going to Travis since fourth grade and this year is my seventh grade year. Personally, I regret not going to a big middle school where I could face real-world challenges. Travis tries to shelter you from the real world which will eventually hurt us. But the academics are great, sometimes its an overdose, though. I've made the best friends, and I will always stay in touch with them.
I have been attending Travis since the fourth grade and this is my seventh grade year. Personally, the school is wonderful in academics but I never really got to play the role of a normal middle schooler. We don't have a lot of dances, field trips or school outings. They shelter us too much here. That is why I am excited for highschool when I will find out what the world outside of Travis is really like. But overall, it is an alright school. I've learned a lot and I've made a lot of friends.
Wm. B. Travis is the best school academically for elementary and middle schoolers in the City and the price is right!
I go to Travis,and i really hate how people blame the teachers on their kids not getting all A's like they did at their home school. Travis is a challenge and if your not ready to accept the challenge....why are you here? dont expect to get the same grades you did at your home school. the first few weeks you may get a b or a c on your report card. get over it. you will catch on. i got my first C at Travis that was the wake up call for me. The teachers dont sugar coat anything. thats what i love. theyr real. tey will tell you that if you dont get it kicked up a notch you will fail out of travis. People also say you dont have time for homework. nioope
Over all, it's a great school and you make the best friends in the whole entire world!!!!!! YOU WOULD NEVER FORGET THEM!!! My class of 2009 have become the best family there is!! Now going off to different magnet schools, like Booker T and Townview (Mostly TAG and SEM), and private schools, like St. Marks, Hockaday, ESD, and Ursuline, we will physically be separated. We will still keep in touch because we have had the bestest times together!!! I will mostly miss my Math Competition Teacher, Drama Teacher, and Band Teacher!!!! But most of al, I will miss many of my friends!!! You need to go to this school!!! It's a great experience!!!!
Travis is always where I've felt at home. Yes, there are flaws, but overall I love it. The teachers are funny, great people that try to help, and as a group my classmates are great. I've learned how to write reports, study, plan, and I've learned how to work hard and not procrastinate. The teachers try as hard as they can to help and make the classes challenging but fun. I will be very sad when I have to leave this great school.
I've had two children go to Travis. One is now in college and the other in high school. Last year when I asked my daughter why she thought she was accepted at her Ivy League college, the first thing she said was 'Travis... They taught me how to study.' Travis is a no excuses kind of place that is for kids who are willing to put forth an effort. Teachers are good and sometimes unorthodox, and my kids thrived there. This place doesn't waste its time massaging parent egos, they prepare kids for college. In my experience at Travis, student problems arose when parents consistently made excuses for their kids. These parents always seemed to to blame the faculty and staff and not the comittment and work ethic of the student and parents. Both my girls learned a lot and had a great time at Travis.
Travis is a hidden gem that is not so hidden anymore! The teachers are excellent and so is the leadership by the school's principal. Parent complaints generally center around a lack of communication from the school, which was historically a problem, but has been improved greatly in recent years. The kids actually seem a lot happier at Travis than do some parents. The school is very matter-of-fact and doesn't spend a lot of time praising parents for their high-scoring TAG kids, like home schools and some privates do. And the communication is not always the best. But the bottom line is that the kids develop excellent study habits, learn a great deal, and appear to have fun along the way.
When our child got into Travis, our neighbors carefully said 'Well, if there is an issue, you can always go to the librarian; she is a good person'. We didn't think anything of it back then, but now, three years later, we know what they meant. There is just something odd about Travis that is hard to put a finger on. Maybe it's the distinctly bad vibes in the office? Maybe it's the attitude of some teachers ('you kids are smart, so we don't have to teach you, go figure things out on your own')? Maybe it's that the Principal thinks her principal function is to be invisible, except when she berates kids for minor violations of the school uniform dress code? Overall I'm sure Travis is a good school - some teachers like Ms. Oliver (science) and Mr. Colorado (math) are stellar. But others are not, and I think the way Travis presents itself at the annual Magnet Fair at Skyline is overhyped ('We're the best school in the nation! We're the best school in the nation!') In High School, our child met some old friends from Elementary who had spent their Middle School years at Dealey, where they had had a blast. And this is exactly what we did not have at Travis. And it was not that academics were too hard. They were not - it was something else. I wish I knew what it was.
I go to Travis and all i have to say is wow. Travis has its flaws but to me it is a great place. When I went to public school I was called the ' smart kid' and i was always the outsider who got good grades but now i feel like a regular kid. I am around people who are as smart as me so i fit in except that I am a 6th grader and short. I think that all the teachers I have had are awesome. They find fun ways to do work and by the end of the day we got it down. This school is a must go to
Travis is challenging, but still it can't force itself but to focus on TAKS. Pre-AP classes should be about helping kids prepare for the Advanced Placement tests they will take and not always on TAKS- especially for a school that serves the gifted. From what my son says, this Ivy League school of DISD also seems to think you need to be a genius or of certain races to earn an 'A'. But overall, it's the best free education he's going to get in Dallas.
My son completed the Vanguard program and is now in the Academy (6th - 8th grade). He has to work to maintain his 'A'average but he and his teachers, wouldn't have it any other way. The teachers are highly accessible and eager to help guide their students but they do not molly-coddle students or parents. Many parents believe their child is 'Talented and Gifted' and are upset when they have to work their butts off to survive an aggressive acedemic program. Welcome to the real world. Set the bar high and the kids will rise to it - some may struggle but all will learn. We love Travis but find it ever more difficult to support DISD. Allowing the State to break-up DISD is now a viable solution.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Join GreatSchools to participate in the parent community and other discussions on our site.
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of William B Travis Acad/Vangrd for Academically Tag on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!