September 7, 2011
Employee Newsletter of Richardson ISD
September 29
    Six Weeks Ends
October 10
    Fair Day Holiday
October 11
    Student Holiday / Staff Development
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West staff returns from summer

Even though we did not have a Convocation to bring us all together and get excited about last year's achievements and this year's students, West Junior High staff enjoyed staff development and team building after watching the Superintendent's message.

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USMC Educators Workshop

Six RISD staff members joined 80 educators from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas at the U.S. Marine Corps Recruitment Depot in San Diego, California over the summer learn about the variety of educational opportunities available to today's Marines.

The group participated in various "Boot Camp" activities, talked with recruits, learned about educational opportunities and vocational training, and witnessed the dramatic return from the hill of "The Crucible" after the enlistees completed a grueling 52 hour challenge to become full-fledged Marines. The final day witnessed 125 young men graduate from Boot Camp and see their families for the first time in 13 weeks.

Representing RISD were Aurora Mays from MST, Shameka Brackens from LHHS, Florence Woods from BHS, Shanda Key from RHS, Elizabeth Crusius from the Advanced Academics Department and Dr. Herb Ruffin, assistant principal from LHHS (not pictured).
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College Awareness dme

Dartmouth teachers raise awareness about college and support their schools on "College Colors Day."
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Aspiring Administrator Academy
Aspiring Administrator Academy applications are now being accepted by those professionals desiring to become future leaders in Richardson ISD. This program was previously known as Leadership Development Academy.

Selection for Criteria Includes:
  • Availability to attend class one day a month from 4:30-6:30 pm.
  • Minimum of three years overall successful teaching experience.
  • One year of successful teaching experience completed in Richardson ISD.
  • Currently hold valid principal/administrator certification or enrolled in principal certification program with projected completion in August, 2012.
Please return the completed form with resume and principal recommendation letter to the designee stated on the application no later than Wednesday, September 21, 2011.

Click here to download the secondary application. (PDF)

Click here to download the elementary application. (PDF)

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Medco Prescription Cards
There have been several questions about the effective date on the new prescription cards that were recently mailed out by Medco.

The effective date on the cards is the greater of 9/1/10 (the original effective date of the prescription card) or the member's effective date with their plan.

For example, if the member's effective date with the ActiveCare 2 plan is 9/1/07, the date printed on their Medco cards will be 9/1/10. If the member's plan effective date is 9/1/11, due to being a new enrollee or switching plans, then 9/1/11 will be printed on their cards.

Several employees have also reported receiving two sets of cards. These are likely members who switched from ActiveCare 2 to a different plan. New ActiveCare 2 cards were sent in addition to cards for their newly elected plan. If you erroneously received ActiveCare 2 cards, please disregard those and use the cards for your newly elected plan.

If you have any questions, please contact your assigned insurance representative:

If your last name starts with A through K: Susan Thomas / 469-593-0348
If your last name starts with L through Z: Pam Binkley / 469-593-0349

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Medical Center of Plano Screening Day - Sat, Sept. 17

Medical Center of Plano would like to invite you to come to their Screening Day 2011 event on Saturday, September 17th from 8am to 1pm in their hospital atrium.

Click here to download the event flyer.
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Sun Safety
The areas of the body most at risk are back of the neck, ears, face, eyes, and arms. These and other body parts can be easily protected by wearing proper clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. You will reduce your risk by taking precautions and avoiding repeated exposure to the sun.

Hats: Protection for the face and other parts of the head can be as simple as wearing a hat. A hat with a 2 or 3 inch brim is ideal. When selecting a hat, ask yourself the following:
  • How much of your face, ears, and neck are protected?
  • Will it stay on while performing various tasks?
  • Is it practical for the conditions under which you work?
  • Does it limit your vision or hearing?
Clothing: Proper clothing protects against damaging ultraviolet radiation and minimizes heat stress. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants in lightweight, tightly woven fabrics (preferably 100% cotton) provide both comfort and protection.

Sunglasses: Ultraviolet-absorbent sunglasses can help protect your eyes from sun damage. When purchasing sunglasses look for the manufacturer's label specifying the ultraviolet rating of the lens. The best sunglasses should block 99% to 100% of ultraviolet radiation including the entire spectrum of UVA and UVB radiation. If no ultraviolet rating is specified, the sunglasses may offer minimal or no protection.

Sunscreen: Parts of the body that cannot be covered with clothing should be protected with a sunscreen, though sunscreens should not be a substitute for wearing proper clothing. Sunscreens recommended for outdoor work should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, be waterproof, and labeled broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. A SPF 15 rating means that your skin is protected from the sun 15 times longer than without the sunscreen. Be sure to read the label for specific application instructions.

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Congratulations to:

Irma Bautista, O. Henry Elementary, who married Ronnie Rocamontes on June 9.

Jocelyn Thomas, O. Henry Elementary, who married Sunny Varghese on June 20.

Debra Pope Scally, Aikin Elementary, who married Keith Scally on June 25.

Allyson Armstrong, Greenwood Hills Elementary, who married Chris Harrison on Sept. 3.

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Congratulations to:

Lindsay Stenberg, Prestonwood Elementary, and Doug Stenberg, Berkner High School, who welcomed daughter Alice Elizabeth on June 6.

Rebecca Ortiz, Aikin Elementary, and grandparent Sylvia Ybarra, Aikin Elementary, who welcomed daughter / granddaughter Samantha on June 13.
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Our thoughts and prayers are with:

Elaine Favre, Greenwood Hills Elementary, whose husband died recently.

Linda Armstrong, Bowie Elementary, whose father died recently.

Melissa Rongier, Richardson North Junior High and Pearce High School, whose mother died recently.

Debbie Stallings, Spring Creek Elementary, whose father-in-law died recently.

Norman Page, Westwood Junior High, whose mother died recently.

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Corporate Challenge T-shirt Competition
Voting is now open for the Corporate Challenge T-shirt competition. Get your votes in!
Click here to to visit the voting page.
Adult Children Under Age 26 May be Eligible for Coverage on September 1, 2011
Under the Affordable Care Act, effective September 1, 2011, employees may be able to continue TRS-ActiveCare coverage for certain dependent children until age 26, whether or not they live with their parents, are claimed as a dependent on their parents' tax return, or are married.

In July, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas mailed letters to parents of individuals whose coverage ended because they reached age 25 to let them know that their adult child may be eligible to enroll or re-enroll in the plan. If a parent wishes to add such a dependent, an Enrollment Application and Change Form must be signed, dated and submitted to their Benefits Administrator on or before September 30, 2011. If the eligible dependent is timely enrolled, his or her coverage will be effective September 1, 2011, the first day of the plan year.

If the former dependent child enrolled in TRS-ActiveCare COBRA continuation coverage when they lost eligibility due to attaining age 25, please know the following:
  • TRS-ActiveCare COBRA coverage for any adult child who is added as a dependent to an employee's coverage will be automatically terminated effective September 1, 2011.
  • This may cause a change in benefits for the dependent if their COBRA coverage is under a different TRS-ActiveCare option than the employee's.
For more information on the enrollment opportunity for adult children, refer to pages 24 and 39 of the 2011-2012 Enrollment Guide available online or call TRS-ActiveCare Customer Service at 866-355-5999.
Have a Student Who is a Good Kid?
Nominate them for the Dallas Morning News/Neighborsgo Good Kid feature, which runs every Friday in the Richardson / Lake Highlands Neighbors insert of the paper.

The application form is here.
Employee Giving Campaign Begins Sept. 1
The Excellence in Education Foundation's annual employee-giving drive -- "We've Got You Covered" -- kicks off soon, click here for the employee contribution form. Once again this year, a monthly payroll deduction is an option to contribute to the district's Foundation.

Last year, approximately 947 employees participated in the drive, and the EIE Foundation received $34,426. The Foundation, in turn, disburses these funds back to staff, classrooms and campuses for educational resources and professional development, for example.

Highlights of the 2010 campaign included:
Top 5 Campuses in Giving – Apollo Junior High, Forest Meadow Junior High, Forestridge Elementary, Pearce High School and Richardson High School
Top 5 Campuses in Participation – O.Henry Elementary, Prestonwood Elementary, Richardson Heights Elementary, Richland Elementary and White Rock Elementary

The EIE Foundation invites you to participate in the 2011 "We've Got You Covered" drive, starting Sept. 1!
  2011 Corporate Challenge
The Corporate Challenge is an Olympic style competition involving more than 20 athletic and non-athletic events held in late August through early October. All RISD employees, spouses and retirees are eligible. Join one or more of the corporate challenge RISD teams as we compete against  Blue Cross Blue Shield, Southwest Airlines and many others. For more information visit and contact Leslie Slovak in Athletics.

Bass Fishing
Miniature Golf
Punt, Pass & Kick
Table Tennis

15k bike race
5k run
Texas Hold Em
Flag Football
  Sponsor a Pace Student
Many of our students depart school at 3:00 p.m. and are alone or unsupervised until parents return from work in the evening. PACE is a safe and fun place for them, but we need your help! These students have an hour during PACE for snacks and homework assistance. They get to participate in very engaging educational centers using curriculum from Zula Science as well as KidzLit and KidzMath and KidzScience. After exerting energy during our Physical Activity time, they have a chance to participate in specialized classes such as Cooking, Team Building, Karaoke, and many more.

You can sponsor a child for $6 a day with a variety of installment plans available.

This student will need to meet the following criteria:
  • must be on free or reduced lunch
  • must be able to attend everyday that school is in session
  • must be able to stay until at least 5:45 p.m. each day
If you would like more information on how you can sponsor a student for PACE, please click on the following link:

Please consider helping to keep a child safe and engaged in the afternoons!
  Important Reminder for New District Employees

For example, if you were hired on August 9, your forms are due in the Insurance Services office by 4:30pm on September 8, 2011

Per IRS Section 125 Guidelines, benefit enrollment forms must be turned in to the Insurance Services Department at the Administration Building NO LATER THAN 31 DAYS FROM YOUR DATE OF EMPLOYMENT. Otherwise, you must wait until the next open enrollment period to enroll (May of 2012 for coverage effective September 2012).

If enrollment forms are NOT received within 31 days from your date of employment, NO COVERAGE IS PROVIDED.

You are able to modify your coverage election during the plan year only if you experience a valid status change and notify insurance services of your change within 31 days.
WFAA-TV's Project Green To Honor Eco-Educators
For a a second year, WFAA-TV will honor North Texas school personnel who have demonstrated innovation and creativity by executing a green initiative at their school.

Click here for more information. (PDF)
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Did You know?
Each week there are dozens of stories about RISD students & staff online at the Dallas Morning News Neighbors website. Each week, Morning News editors select some to be published in the hard copy insert in Friday’s paper. Check it out and/or submit news about your campus at Look under Richardson and/or Lake Highlands. Please remember that parental permission is required before student photos can be published. Questions? Please contact Communications at (3-0305).
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RISD notes archives
  Did you miss a week of RISD Notes? To view the archives of RISD Notes, click here.  
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Links to the submission forms are located on the right-hand side of this web page.
Due to the volume of submissions, RISD Communications can no longer accept news item submissions though email. Beginning with next week's publications, all news item submissions for both RISD Notes and School Times Now should be submitted using one of two online forms.

Links to these forms will be available in every edition of RISD Notes moving forward and on the Communications Intranet page.

Thank you for reading and contributing to RISD Notes and School Times Now!
  Not sure which form to use?
RISD Notes is a weekly employee electronic publication which features news, information and achievements of staff and school partners only. Some student events are highlighted so that employees may plan to attend. Also, only staff are included in Births and Weddings, and only staff, their family, and former staff are included under Sympathies.

School Times Now contains news and information pertaining to Richardson Independent School District and its students, staff, schools, teams, clubs, groups or organizations. Information about businesses, individuals, or organizations not affiliated with or sponsored by RISD is not eligible for inclusion in School Times Now.

Please remember that students appearing in photos submitted for School Times Now! should be cleared for district publication via their privacy elections completed at enrollment.
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