Category Archives: Grand Prairie

Dog reunited with owner in Grand Prairie after being stolen along with the car he was in

Courtesy of Grand Prairie Police Department

Mackenzie Koch was in the parking lot of her apartment complex in Grand Prairie on Tuesday evening when she got out of her Chevy Tahoe to make sure that her apartment door was locked. She left the car running with her Golden Retriever, Riggins, inside since her apartment was only steps from her car. In that short amount of time, a man jumped into her car and took off with it, and unknowingly, with Riggins in the back seat.

“I turned around and this random man is getting in my car. I just started screaming and got behind my car,” said Koch. It became clear that the man was not going to stop, but with Koch in the way, he drove through bushes and over sidewalks to escape.

“I chased him on foot but that didn’t last very long,” Koch said. “You’re looking at your dog in the back of the car while this random man drives it away.”

She got in touch with TCU police, and they were able to identify her car on campus surveillance footage with the thief behind the wheel.

“I didn’t care about the car. I just cared about the dog,” Koch said. “Honestly, nobody in my life has slept since that dog was taken.”

Grand Prairie Police Officers R. Gray and A. Monroe found her Tahoe running, with the air conditioner on and Riggins inside, parked at a Grand Prairie gas station the next day.

“I don’t know, maybe he had a bonding moment with my dog,” Koch said of the thief. “My parents actually pulled up to [Riggins]. He was sitting shotgun in the cop’s car. He was smiling, like, ‘Where have you guys been?’”

Riggins enjoys a ride in a GP Tahoe/Photo: M. Koch

Koch’s experience serves as a good reminder to never leave your vehicle running and unlocked, even for a few seconds. Make sure you always lock the doors. Otherwise, you’re just inviting thieves to come take your vehicle!

Annual GPPD Car Show on Sunday, September 19th

Mark your calendars for the annual GPPD Car Show on Sunday, September 19th! This will be a family-friendly event that is open to the public. If you have a classic car, truck or motorcycle, you can enter the competition for $25.00. All proceeds will be donated to Children First Counseling Center – a local non-profit organization dedicated to counseling families who have been victimized by crime.

WHEN: Sunday, September 19th from Noon-5:00 P.M.
WHERE: Epic Waters – Parking Lot, 2970 Epic Place, Grand Prairie

Dubiski Instructor Completes Inaugural Ag Mechanics Academy

Lot Burdick and Divid Disselhorst after reassembling their Briggs and Stratton Engine (Photo courtesy of GPISD)

Lot Burdick, Welding Instructor at Dubiski Career High School in the Grand Prairie Independent School District, has successfully completed the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy, a national agricultural educator training event hosted at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Mr. Burdick was one of twenty participants from across the United States selected to participate in the 2021 Agricultural Mechanics Academy. 

The Academy was an intensive 10-day training that included hands-on learning and train-the-trainer-style lessons in agricultural mechanics focused on small gas engines, residential wiring, and welding. This first-of-the-kind training was held from July 27 through August 5 under the direction of Dr. Ryan Anderson, assistant professor in agricultural education and agricultural mechanics at Texas State University. Dr. Anderson was able to develop and host this training at no cost to the participants through funding by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (AFRI Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy Priority Area, award #2020—08590).

“The Agricultural Mechanics Academy provided a tremendous opportunity for teachers across the nation to receive the training and skills necessary to be successful in the agricultural mechanics courses that they teach,” said Dr. Anderson. “Agricultural mechanics is a critical component of many rural communities and a core part of many agricultural education programs. This is an opportunity I wish I had as an early career educator.

Participants of the Academy received numerous classroom items and teaching resources for being selected and participating. Those items included classroom sets of small gas engines, curriculum, and tools from Briggs & Stratton with training provided by Power Distributors; welding gear packs, curriculum, and training from Lincoln Electric; and Agricultural Technical Systems and Mechanics textbooks from American Technical Publishers. Participants in the academy exceeded over 120 Continuing Education Credit hours for participating.

“The training I received from the Agricultural Mechanics Academy is invaluable. This training really helped prepare me for teaching my students for years to come,” said Mr. Burdick. “The classroom materials and supplies that were included with this training will be a tremendous benefit for my students and the Agricultural Mechanics program at Dubiski. I am very grateful to Dr. Anderson, USDA, Briggs & Stratton, Lincoln Electric, and everyone else that helped make this training possible.”

About the Agricultural Mechanics Academy
This was the first year of the Agricultural Mechanics Academy. Through the USDA, funding has been obtained for annual training through 2024. For more information about this opportunity and to apply for training, please visit https://ag.txstate.edu/outreach/Agricultural-Mechanics-Academy.html

About Dubiski Career High School
John A. Dubiski Career High School is a GPISD public high school of choice with a focus is on equipping students with the skills they need for 21st-century professions. Students choose a sequential course of study designed to prepare them for a 2-year, 4-year, or technical college. In addition to their high school diploma, students are also eligible to complete programs that award them with advanced certifications, industry training, and internship and career-field experiences. Dubiski offers HB5 endorsements including STEM, Business & Industry, and Public Service. 

Face Masks Again Optional in Grand Prairie ISD

In compliance with yesterday’s Texas Supreme Court ruling temporarily blocking the mask mandate in Dallas County, face masks will again be optional for all GPISD students and staff in all District schools and facilities. However, we strongly encourage students and staff alike to wear a mask at school as part of our efforts to keep them safe from COVID-19.

Face Masks Now Mandatory in Grand Prairie Schools

In compliance with an executive order issued on August 11 by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, face masks will be mandatory for all GPISD students and staff in all District campuses and facilities effective at 11:59 p.m. tonight (August 11, 2021). The District will update our health and safety plan to reflect the mask requirement for all students and staff in any GPISD facility.

Seamless Summer Option Free Meals in Grand Prairie for the 2021-2022 School Year

Grand Prairie Independent School District announced its policy today that this school year, healthy meals will be offered every school day to all students at no cost. Typically, a student’s household must meet income eligibility requirements to qualify for free or reduced-price meals; however, the United States Department ofAgriculture (USDA) issued guidance that allows schools to offer meals to all students at no cost for the 2021-2022 school year.

While no application or eligibility determination is required for students to receive free meals this school year, income eligibility requirements will likely resume in the 2022-2023 school year. As such, Grand Prairie ISD will process household applications during School Year 2021-2022 to ensure student eligibility for free or reduced-price meals during the first 30 days of the 2022-2023 school year while 2022-2023 applications are being processed. Each school/site or central office has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed upon request.

Starting on August 1, Grand Prairie ISD will begin distributing letters to the households of the children in the district about these 2022-2023 eligibility benefits and actions households need to take to apply. Applications are also available at www.gpisd.org/mealbenefits, at all children’s schools, and at the Child Nutrition Department at 2341 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie, TX 75051.

Criteria for Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits to Start School Year 2022-2023

The following criteria will be used to determine a child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price meal benefits at the beginning of School Year 2022-2023:

Income: Household income that is at or below the income eligibility levels:

Categorical or Automatic Eligibility

  • Household receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); or Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

Program Participant:

  • Child’s status as a foster child, homeless, runaway, migrant, or displaced by a declared disaster
  • Child’s enrollment in Head Start or Even Start

Income Eligibility:

For those households that qualify for free or reduced-price meals based on income, an adult in the household must complete the free and reduced-price meal application and return it to the child’s school or to the Child Nutrition Department at 2341 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie TX 75051. Those individuals filling out the application will need to provide the following information:

  • Names of all household members
  • Amount, frequency, and source of current income for each household member
  • Last 4 digits of the Social Security number of the adult household member who signs the application or, if the adult does not have a social security number, check the box for “No Social Security Number.”
  • Signature of an adult household member attesting that the information provided is correct

Categorical or Program Eligibility:

Grand Prairie ISD is working with local agencies to identify all children who are categorically and program eligible. Grand Prairie ISD will notify the households of these children that they do not need to complete an application.

Any household that does not receive a letter and feels it should have, should contact the Grand Prairie ISD Child Nutrition Department at (972) 343-4410 or www.child.nutrition@gpisd.org.

Any household that wishes to decline benefits should contact the Child Nutrition Department (972) 343-4410 and/or www.child.nutrition@gpisd.org.

Applications may be submitted anytime during the school year. The information households provide on the application will be used to determine eligibility. Applications may also be verified by school officials at any time during the school year.

Determining Eligibility:

Under the provisions of the free and reduced-price meal policy, Raquel Loya, Food Services District Clerk, will review applications and determine eligibility. Households or guardians dissatisfied with the Reviewing Official’s eligibility determination may wish to discuss the decision with the Reviewing Official on an informal basis. Households wishing to make a formal appeal for a hearing on the decision may make a request either orally or in writing to Tracy Ray, Interim Deputy Superintendent of Business Operations, 2602 S. Belt Line Rd. Grand Prairie, TX 75052, or by phone at (972) 237-5500.

Unexpected Circumstances:

If a household member becomes unemployed or if the household size increases, the household should contact the school. Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for benefits if the household’s income falls at or below the current income eligibility guidelines.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: https://www.usda.gov/oascr/how-to-fle-a-program-discrimination-complaint,and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to  USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for CivilRights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Save the Date Job Fair at Veteran’s Park Event Center July 30

Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce is moving forward with a multi-industry job fair, hosted with the help of the City of Grand Prairie, at the city’s Veteran’s Activity Center Building, located at 925 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75051

Because of the enormous need for employees, the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead to provide an event to help Chamber member and non-member employers fill the positions of which they are so sorely in need.

“We are in the business of building business and serving our community as a whole,” says Michelle Madden, President/CEO Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce. “When our member businesses have a need, it’s our duty to find solutions. As much as we serve our community business partners, we have been part of the Grand Prairie community for more than 75 years and have a commitment to the citizens and strive to meet their needs as well.”

“We are so grateful for our partnership with the Chamber and appreciate their efforts in helping us find great applicants to join our GPISD team,” said Karry Chapman, GPISD’s Chief of Human Capital.

The job fair will take place on Friday, July 30th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the City of Grand Prairie’s Veteran’s Park Event Center, located at 925 Conover Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75051.

Grand Prairie to Host National Night Out Kickoff Party on Aug. 28

As we gear up for National Night Out (NNO) on October 5th, and we return to the normal traditional block party format, the Grand Prairie Police Department is hosting a National Night Out Kickoff Party at the Epic Lawn from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 28th. We will have live music, a dunk tank, petting zoo, corn hole, face painting, balloon artists, food trucks, pet adoptions, a bicycle rodeo with a chance for a child to win a bike, and so much more!

The goal for this NNO Kickoff Party is to bring our commUNITY and police together, with the added intent to promote National Night Out block party registrations in Grand Prairie.

For more information, visit the GPPD website.

Grand Prairie PD Hosts Free Summer Sports Camp

The camp will run weekly, Monday through Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Officer Wesley Jackson at WJackson@GPTX.org or call him at 972-809-5806; or Chelsea Kretz at CKretz@GPTX.org or call her at 469-354-4703.

Grand Prairie ISD Will Serve up Good Nutrition for Local Children This Summer

This summer, Grand Prairie ISD will connect children 18 years old and younger with healthy meals at no cost to the child.

Seamless Summer Option (SSO) is a U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition program administered in Texas by the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). For the children who rely on school meals during the academic year, these meals offer a source of good nutrition when school is out for the long summer vacation.

“Grand Prairie children need good nutrition year-round so they can learn, grow and succeed in life,” said GPISD Child Nutrition Director Domenik Peterson. “With nearly 2 million food insecure children living in Texas, these healthy meals are vital to nourishing young Texans during the summer vacation.”

In Cafeteria meals:

WHEN:                 

  • Monday – Friday, June 1 – July 30 (closed the week of July 5- 9)
  • Breakfast: 8:00am – 8:00am
  • Lunch: 11:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE:

  • Grand Prairie High School – 101 Gopher Blvd.
  • Young Women’s Leadership Academy – 1204 E. Marshall Drive
  • Travis World Language Academy – 525 N. E. 15th Street
  • Seguin Elementary – 1450 S.E. 4th Street
  • Garcia Elementary – 2444 Graham
  • Whitt Fine Arts Academy – 3320 S Edelweiss
  • Bowie Fine Arts Academy – 425 Alice Drive
  • Daniels Elementary Academy of Science and Math – 801 SW 19th Street

Grab and Go meals for pick up:

WHEN:

  • Monday – Friday, June 1 – July 30 (closed the week of July 5- 9)
  • Breakfast & Lunch: pick up 10:00am – 12:00pm

WHERE:

  • Crosswinds High School – 1105 N. Carrier Pkwy
  • Marshall Elementary – 1160 Warrior Trail

Grand Prairie ISD is one of the nonprofit organizations partnering with TDA to serve meals across Texas. Families are encouraged to use these three tools to find a meal site anywhere in the state:

  • Call 2-1-1 to speak to a live operator
  • Visit www.SummerFood.org for an interactive site locator map
  • Text FOODTX to 877-877

Organizations partner with TDA to serve meals in areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, faith-based groups, nonprofit summer camps, government agencies and other tax-exempt organizations. All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA.

Summer food program meal sites help children succeed by providing the nourishment they need to return to school in the fall ready to thrive.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Contact: Grand Prairie ISD Child Nutrition Department – 2341 S. Belt Line Road – (972) 343-4410.