School Times Now!
From the Superintendent
Lake Highlands Junior High Joins AVID Elite
January is Board
Recognition Month
Partners Corner
RISD Angel Tree Drive
Skyview Elementary's All
School Sing-A-Long
Pearce High School Wrestling
Aikin Elementary Spreads
Cheer at Healthcare Center
Semester Exams Next Week
Hamilton Park's Giving Tree
2006-07 Superintendent's Medallion Winners and Honorable Mention Awardees
During this week's board meeting, the Board of Trustees and I had the honor of continuing the tradition of awarding Superintendent's Medallions. This was the tenth annual recognition of stellar RISD schools, established by Dr. Carolyn Bukhair in 1998. A Superintendent's Medallion may be awarded to a school based on student performance and academic growth, with special emphasis placed on recognizing those schools that continue to close the "achievement gap" between student groups. In 2006-2007, passing standards for TAKS were raised again, making our schools' accomplishments even more significant. Gold Superintendent's Medallions were awarded to schools that have sustained their academic growth over a four-year period.
Six schools were extremely close to meeting all criteria, and they were presented with Honorable Mention certificates. Their achievements are definitely worth noting, and we are proud of the positive direction they are headed. Schools receiving Honorable Mentions were: Forest Meadow Junior High, Forestridge Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, MST Magnet, Parkhill Junior High, Prestonwood Elementary, Richardson Terrace Elementary, and Richardson West Junior High.

This year, 10 schools met all the criteria necessary to receive a Superintendent's Medallion. They are:
  • Apollo Junior High
  • Bowie Elementary
  • Merriman Park Elementary
  • Mohawk Elementary
  • Pearce High School
  • Richardson North Junior High
  • Stults Road Elementary
  • Wallace Elementary
  • Westwood Junior High
  • Yale Elementary

A Superintendent's Gold Medallion was awarded to four schools who achieved sustained academic growth. Those schools are:

  • Brentfield Elementary
  • Canyon Creek Elementary
  • Northrich Elementary
  • Prairie Creek Elementary
As Superintendent, I'm proud of the dedicated teachers and administrators at each of our 55 schools who work hard every day to ensure that each student achieves their best. >Top
After undergoing the rigorous examination and review process, Lake Highlands Junior High has been named RISD's fourth National AVID Demonstration Site - the highest honor an AVID campus can earn.

AVID, Advancement Via Individual determination, began in California as a campus-based philosophy to close the gap for students who traditionally face barriers to academic achievement. It provides academic and life-skill support for students in grades 5-12, focusing on college eligibility and success. While AVID is a program within a campus, it often changes the culture of the entire campus towards the tenets of AVID: "Hold students accountable, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge."

"I'm extremely proud of our students and staff for earning this honor," said LHJH Principal Lorine Burrell. "AVID has been such a positive program for this campus, and we're excited and honored to be named among the best."
LHJH students and staff gather for a photo in front of their new AVID national demonstration school banner.
While Lake Highlands Junior High joins Richardson West Junior High, Lake Highlands Freshman Center, and Lake Highlands High School as National AVID Demonstration Sites, they are the only campus in Texas to receive a three year AVID validation, placing them among the top three AVID campuses in the United States.

For more information, please visit

Congratulations Lake Highlands Junior High! >Top
LHHS's Espree performs at the January board meeting.
Lake Highland High School's Espree performed at the January board meeting where RISD Board of Trustee members were recognized for their volunteer service and dedication to the students and staff in RISD as a part of Board Recognition Month.

Seven RISD Trustees - Kim Caston, Luke Davis, Karen Ellis, Lanet Greenhaw, Carol Kent, Kim Quirk and David Tyson - volunteer hundreds of hours each year, advising, supporting and planning for our school district. Please thank them for their service to our district. >Top
Three Trees Are Better Than One
In December, RISD partner The Heights Baptist Church ended the year by making the holidays extra special for more than 800 district children and their parents. Each child that came to the "Three Trees Party" was able to unwrap a brand new toy and a gift card for new shoes.

In addition to the presents, each family received either a Target or Wal-Mart gift card for $20 or more. The Heights Baptist Church donated all the remaining toys to RISD for distribution to even more families. In all, more than 600 volunteers made the event possible.

Thanks Heights! >Top
Heights Baptist Church's Three Trees Party
A small sample of the toys and clothing RISD staff members donated to the first ever RISD Angel Tree.
This past holiday season the RISD Administration building hosted an Angel Tree Drive benefiting RISD students. Thanks to RISD staff and faculty, more than 100 students had their holiday dreams come true, each receiving both something needed and something wanted. This was the first year for the drive and because of the success, it will become an annual event. >Top
Skyview Elementary had an all school sing-a-long recently. The student's gathered in the cafeteria where the whole school got into the sprit of the holidays with some festive favorites. >Top
Skyview Elementary students get into the spirit of the holidays with a school wide sing-a-long.
PHS junior Mark Thorne-Thomsen works toward a second round pin in a December 20 match.
J.J. Pearce High School junior and third year wrestler, Mark Thorne-Thomsen pins his opponent from Quinlan Ford during his dual match on December 20. Mark was pleased with his second round pin and is excited about the upcoming wrestling events. He is coached by Tad Hazelwood. >Top
On December 17, kindergarteners at Aikin Elementary spread a little holiday cheer with a visit to Doctor's Healthcare Center.

The students sang to the residents then hand delivered a box of Kleenex that each child donated and wrapped.

The experience was very meaningful for the students and the residents. Aikin looks forward to making this an annual event. >Top
Aikin Elementary students deliver their carefully wrapped box of Kleenex to a grateful Doctor's Healthcare Center resident.
Semester exams will be given in all junior high and high schools next week (Jan. 14 – Jan. 17). January 18 is a student holiday and there will be no school. January 21 is the Martin Luther King holiday for students and staff. The spring semester officially starts on January 22. >Top
Mrs. Ulaszek's third grade class and their "Giving Tree."
Mrs. Ulaszek's Third grade class at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet were read the story The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. After the reading, the class put together a "Giving Tree" in their classroom. The students brought socks, mittens/gloves and hats for others.

They collected and delivered 36 pairs of socks, 15 pairs of mittens/gloves and two hats to the school's counselor to give to an organization that needed them. >Top
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
Subscription Information
Unsubscribe Contact Us