West Dallas Community School

Our History

Arrvel Wilson was no stranger to the poverty, violence, and desperation of West Dallas, one of the nation’s ten poorest communities at that time. He grew up in a public housing development designated for African-Americans. Arrvel left to join the Marines and vowed never to return.  A few years later, he was led to return with his wife, Eletha, and begin a ministry in the West Dallas Housing Projects.

Troubled by the poor educational choices in West Dallas, God began to lay on Arrvel’s heart the need for a school that promoted academic excellence while developing a worldview that integrated Christian faith in all areas of learning.

Unknown to Arrvel and Eletha, God was also impressing the same vision on Carole and Norm Sonju (co-founder & retired president/general manager, the Dallas Mavericks), and Robin and Michael Lewis (founder of Providence Christian School).

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In 1995, the three couples joined together to found West Dallas Community School, with each bringing a different critical element.  The Wilsons had the trust and respect of the West Dallas residents; the Sonjus were able to rally support from the greater Dallas community; finally, the Lewises brought the academic expertise and experience in starting a new school.

Much has changed since opening day in 1995 when 20 students walked through the doors. Today, our student body numbers over 250 students in grades pre-k through eight.