School Times Now!
2010 RISD Invention
Superintendent's Update
Bond Update
What was in the water?
PACE Students Score Big
Through Service Learning
RISD's Eggs & Issues
34 RISD Students
Earn Selections as
All State Musicians
The Silver Award Project
Severe Weather Notification
WJH Welcomes New Student
All Star Bowie Mustangs
Bowie Elementary
Sport Stacking
2011 Project Based
Learning STEM Kickoff
Rachel's Challenge – Jan. 28
at Richardson High School
PHS Pacesetter
Dance Workshop
LHHS Presents:
The Music Man
This Weekend in RISD
Follow RISD on Twitter
2010-11 Academic Calendar
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2010 RISD Invention Convention
RISD held its 26th annual Invention Convention before the break, with students across the district and grade levels imagining, creating and marketing unique inventions for judges and sponsors.

Thirty-five RISD schools were represented by more than 600 student inventors from five to 17 years old, and as usual, most were exceptionally creative entries.

The purpose of the RISD district Invention Convention is to recognize the outstanding inventors from each RISD school, and to provide them with the opportunity to present their inventions to each other and the public. Outstanding inventions were selected by judges from among the entries to receive awards. Each invention was evaluated on its uniqueness, usefulness, research, construction/design, salesmanship and effectiveness of display.

The invention judged Best of Show was Northrich Elementary first grader Joshua Vu's Kitty Fun House, a cardboard entertainment center for cats. The Most Patentable invention was judged to be Brentfield Elementary fourth grader Max Pincu's Quick Release 3000, a device that automatically releases the burglar bars on all windows when the sensor detects heat, fire or smoke, allowing those inside to escape and fire personnel to enter. Max's creation earned him the services of Baker Botts, L.L.P. in pursuit of a U.S. patent.

For a complete list of winners, please click here.

2010 Invention Convention Sponsors include M&A Technology, The Container Store, Baker Botts, L.L.P., Whataburger, the Richardson Environmental Action League, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, and Arapaho Road Animal Clinic.

Thanks to all the students, volunteers, campus coordinators and especially sponsors for another outstanding Invention Convention. >Top
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Superintendent's Update
Greetings! Over the next few months, we will share updates regarding the district's 2011 bond proposal, the legislative session and 2011-12 budget planning process through School Times Now. As you are aware, the 82nd Legislature convened Tuesday in Austin and faces a daunting budget deficit.

From our local representatives to Governor Perry – all have stated that budget cuts will impact every area across the state, including public education. In a recent news article, Perry stated that the message sent by voters in the November elections was clear: Don't raise taxes, and make state government leaner and more efficient.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Steve Ogden, the new Senate president pro tempore, said, "It is impossible to balance the budget without making cuts (in education and health and human services)." A news article included his comments that a blueprint for budget cuts will be necessary – especially in education and human services programs – to make up a shortfall that could be as much as $27 billion.

Since public education funding accounts for approximately 45% of the state's operating budget, all Texas school districts, including RISD, will be affected.

What does this mean for RISD? We do not know specific legislative outcomes, but we will stay abreast of legislative proposals and keep you informed. If you have questions and/or comments, please let us know by sending them to our Communications team at We also invite you to attend one of the upcoming Bond Town Hall meetings. Details are available at

Thank you for your support of RISD!

Kay Waggoner >Top
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Bond UPdate
As the RISD Board of Trustees and administration have continued to consider district needs and collect input from community and staff members about priorities for the proposed 2011 bond, the amount of the proposed package has been reduced to approximately $170 million, which reflects the community's priority of not increasing the current tax rate.

Additional details related to the proposed 2011 bond are now available at, in advance of 2011 Bond Town Hall Meetings, which begin next week.

We invite all RISD stakeholders to attend one of the four sessions to hear a presentation about the proposed bond items. The meetings offer an opportunity to provide input and ask questions. The RISD Board will consider calling a May bond election at the February 21 meeting.

The 2011 Proposed Bond Town Hall meetings begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be facilitated at the following locations:

Wednesday, January 19 - Lake Highlands High School Library
Thursday, January 20 - Berkner High School Library
Tuesday, January 25 - Pearce High School Corral
Wednesday, January 26 - Richardson High School Library

Click here to download the 2011 Proposed Bond Town Hall Meeting handout.

RISD stakeholders unable to attend one of the town hall meetings are encouraged to provide feedback or submit questions to the RISD Communications Department at 469-593-0300 or >Top
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What Was in the Water?
Twenty-three members of the Pearce High School junior class are included in the most recent edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Their achievement? Being born within minutes of their sibling(s). According to Guinness, Pearce H.S. has more sets of multiples (twins or triplets) in one class than any school in the world. Ten sets of twins, and one set of triplets are part of the 11th grade class. In addition, the school has 31 sets of multiples in grades 9-12, which is more than the currently-listed Guinness record holding school with 29 sets. That documentation has not yet been submitted to Guinness, but another record could be on the horizon.

A number of media outlets have visited Pearce recently to prepare news stories about the world record. All of the recent attention has been met with a shrug by many of the students, a number of whom have known each other since elementary school. Summing up the bemused attitude was junior Jordan Richardson, "The record has been fun to be part of, but really, all we did was be born."
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Aikin PACE students collected more than 1,000 canned goods for their SLANT 45 project.
While the Super Bowl game is still weeks away, students in RISD's PACE after-school program have been talking about the game since early fall. But these students weren't talking about which teams might play or who would win, they were talking about how they could participate in this North Texas event and score big for their schools and communities.

More than 35 elementary school and five junior high PACE programs began in September working on SLANT 45 projects. SLANT 45, named after an actual Cowboy football play from the 1990's, stands for Service Learning Adventures in North Texas. The program, organized by the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee, is estimated to involve 20,000 elementary-age students who will log a combined 45,000 hours of service across North Texas.

Each RISD PACE team planned and carried out its SLANT 45 project in the fall. Projects included starting school recycling and energy conservation programs, picking up trash and beautifying outside environments, collecting canned food for local families or a food bank, making items for children's hospitals, honoring soldiers, firemen and veterans, and much more.
The Greenwood Hills Elementary PACE students organized a school-wide sock drive, asking everyone at the school to bring a new pair of socks to donate to HUG (Humanity United in Giving Internationally). At the end of the sock drive, they held a 50's Day and Sock Hop to celebrate their success. "Our kids have realized than anyone can be a hero and help others," shared Angie McWhirter, Greenwood Hills' PACE site coordinator.

PACE students at Prestonwood Elementary collected toys for Children's Medical Center and made busy-books for the young hospital patients. Krysten Jackson, a Prestonwood 3rd grader, said, "I helped by making a coloring book. I think it will help these kids by giving them something to do while they're in the hospital."

"With the economy being the way it is and lots of people out of work, our students wanted everyone to have food at the table for the holidays," shared Rosie Mayin, Aikin Elementary's PACE site coordinator. "'Helping hands delivering cans' was our slogan." Aikin collected more than 1,000 canned goods to help re-stock a local food bank.

Thinking about how they could make a difference, developing a plan, and then actively participating in a project to help others, their environment, or their community provided hundreds of RISD PACE students with a sense of accomplishment and positive feeling of altruism.

Gigi Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought, the organization that helped lead the SLANT 45 initiative, said, "SLANT 45 provides a chance to build community, connect kids to their community, and empower them to understand that they can make a difference and change things."

Congratulations to all of these students for their thoughtful work and amazing accomplishments. >Top
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RISD's Eggs & Issues
Dr. Kay Waggoner, Superintendent, and the RISD Board of Trustees recently invited Texas legislators who represent RISD to a morning "Eggs & Issues" discussion about topics expected to affect school districts in the current legislative session.

State Board of Education Member George Clayton and State Representatives Angie Chen Button, Stefani Carter and Kenneth Sheets were joined at the event by staff members from the offices of State Senator Florence Shapiro and State Senator John Carona.

"We want to work with you as you confront the very difficult decisions you'll be facing in the months ahead," said Dr. Waggoner. "We're a student-focused school district with a history of success, including sound financial management of the public dollars entrusted to us."

Dr. Waggoner and Board members shared information about RISD, and legislators asked questions and spoke about issues expected to arise in the 82nd Legislative session that began this week.

Legislators received information about data-based ratings and indicators that demonstrate RISD's academic and fiscal performance from a variety of sources, including the Texas Education Agency, the State Comptroller, non-profit groups, private firms and two major bond ratings agencies.

The meeting's purpose was a way to share more about RISD and its priorities and to lay the foundation for a positive working relationship as the session in Austin progresses. >Top
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34 RISD Students Earn Selections as All State Musicians
After a rigorous audition process, 34 RISD students have earned the highest individual achievement available to high school musicians in Texas – selection as All-State Musicians, including all nine Richardson High School Choir students who auditioned.

"This achievement is the culmination of an incredible amount of work and dedication on the part of these talented students," said RISD Director of Fine Arts, Dr. Bradley Kent. "It's also a testament to RISD's tireless and gifted music educators who have helped these students pursue their best."

They will represent the RISD at the annual Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio in February.
RISD's 2011 All State Musicians
Laura Bach, Pearce H.S. Band
Thomas Baek, Berkner H.S. Orchestra
Brandon Baker, Richardson H.S. Choir
Hunter Balch, Berkner H.S. Band
Benjamin Beall, Pearce H.S. Band
Courtney Brown, Pearce H.S. Band
Tyler Busby, Berkner H.S. Band
Jay Cho, Berkner H.S. Band
Jordan Chumbley, Lake Highlands H.S. Choir
Nathan Collins, Berkner H.S. Band
Andrea Conditt, Pearce H.S. Band
Andrew Donaldson, Berkner H.S. Choir
Ellen Donaldson, Berkner H.S. Choir
Joseph Elandary, Richardson H.S. Choir
Molly Francis, Pearce H.S. Choir
Sebastian Grady, Richardson H.S. Band
Rachel Jones, Lake Highlands H.S. Choir
Drew Johnson-Scott, Richardson H.S. Band
Matan Kadosh, Pearce H.S. – Choir
Garrett Lindholm, Berkner H.S. Band
Dillon MacIntyre, Lake Highlands H.S. Band
Samantha Meril, Pearce H.S. Choir
Roman Milan, Lake Highlands H.S. Choir
Townsend Moore, Pearce H.S. Band
Bailey Myers-Morgan, Richardson H.S. Band
Samuel Njiru, Richardson H.S. Choir
Samuel Oliver, Richardson H.S. Choir
Ben Quarles, Pearce H.S. Band
Cristian Ruiz, Richardson H.S. Choir
John Stewart, Lake Highlands H.S. Band
Sara Sonom, Pearce H.S. Band
Grant Seiner, Richardson H.S. Choir
Katherine Smith, Richardson H.S. Choir
Sarah Watson Richardson H.S. Choir
Melissa Wright, Richardson H.S. Choir >Top
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The Silver Award Project
The Math / Science / Technology Magnet of Richardson’s 1st  through 3rd grade girls were treated to a free cheer and nutrition workshop put on by Girl Scout Troop 2258 to complete their Silver Award project. Cheerleaders and students from Apollo Jr High, West Jr High and Westwood Jr High held the workshop on November 19 after several months of planning. The focus of the evening was on healthy habits including exercise and making good food choices.

There was even a special appearance from West’s mascot, Bucky the Bronco! Many of the troop’s girls have been together since kindergarten and are graduates of MST and wanted to give back to their alma mater.

The girls in the troop are Kartika Ayyappan, Leah Gattus , Kelly Jones, Alyssa Leo, Hannah McKnight, Juliet Wallace and Dezeray Williams. >Top
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Severe Weather Notification
Just a reminder that in the event school is closed or delayed due to inclement weather, parents and employees will receive a telephone message at their designated number, typically before 6 a.m. In addition, the district website (, Inclement Weather Line (469-593-7669), Twitter and major media outlets will be notified if RISD is closed or delayed.

As with normal days, if you do not receive a phone message, and you do not see notification that RISD is closed or delayed at, the Inclement Weather Line, Twitter, or major media outlets, then RISD is operating on a normal schedule.

Because of inconsistencies among media outlets in how and when closure information is presented, RISD does not notify media outlets when school is open and operating on a normal schedule – only when the district is closed or delayed. Likewise, parents and staff will not receive an early-morning telephone call indicating that school is open, only if school is closed or delayed.

For more information about RISD's weather notification process, please click here. >Top
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WHJ Welcomes New Student
West Junior High 7th and 8th grade ESOL students welcomed a new student from Venezuela to her new school by hosting a traditional Quinceañera celebration in her honor. Students learned and practiced the special dance and participated in traditional festivities that were held in the West JH cafeteria. The RISD Council of PTAs Clothes Closet assisted with the event by providing matching shirts and pants for the boys. With the help of RHS and WJH faculty and administrators, the night was filled with food, fun and families that came to welcome the new family into our community. >Top
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All Star Bowie Mustangs
Bowie celebrated its first Friday of 2011 with an All Star Assembly. Students were recognized for their All Star efforts and behavior during the fall semester with special privileges that Friday. All Star privileges included wearing a hat and slippers to school, as well as jamming out to great music during lunchtime. >Top
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Bowie Elementary Sport Stacking
Sport stacking has been termed a "track meet for your hands at warp speed." It is an exciting sport where students up stack and down stack 12 specially designed cups called Speed Stacks in predetermined sequences as fast as they can. Stacker race against the clock.

Last year, 276,053 stackers participated to break the previous year's STACK-UP! Record. Once again, Bowie students along with thousand of stackers, from various countries such as Germany, Japan, Egypt, Australia, Columbia, Singapore and the UK, are expected to contribute their sport stacking skills to help break the Guinness World Record in Sport Stacking.>Top
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2011 Project Based Learning STEM Kickoff
For a recent staff development day, Secondary Curriculum hosted the Project Based Learning (PBL) Kick-off Celebration for STEM teachers at Berkner HS and their feeder junior high campuses, Liberty Junior High and Apollo Junior High. Teachers who attended the kick-off gathered at the Professional Development Center and enjoyed a variety of presentations and activities, starting with a keynote address from Dr. Ken Berry from the Science and engineering Education Center (SEEC) program at University of Texas at Dallas.

Dr. Berry elaborated on the rapid changes in acquisition of information that our students are experiencing every day and challenged teachers to recognize the importance of, and plan for the delivery of, information in the Three C's of 21st Century Learning: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication. Teachers were then engaged in activities and games reinforcing the mission of the STEM program and its philosophy of Project Based Learning.
Various speakers, including Ms. Karen Neal and Dr. Terry Harris, shared with teachers that RISD is the single largest district in Texas participating in STEM in grades 7-12. They applauded RISD's current successes and future plans to "prepare ALL T-STEM students for success in post-secondary STEM pursuits, including higher education and the workforce."

The final portion of the morning provided gallery walks of twelve of the projects that had been created in the fall semester. STEM teachers displayed the work of their students and answered questions. The final activity of the morning was the culminating PBL Panel that offered a group of Berkner, Liberty, and Apollo students from grades 7 through 12 who addressed teachers and took questions.

The students offered feedback related to their STEM experiences, acknowledging their appreciation for opportunities to work on collaborative projects and to have more choice in the ways that they could demonstrate their learning in their content areas. Teachers were impressed with the frank and practical comments that all of our RISD students had to offer regarding the benefits of being a part of STEM and being allowed to work on Project Based Learning assignments. Attendees offered very positive feedback on the session, and the 2011 Kickoff Celebration for PBL concluded as a success. >Top
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Rachel's Challenge – January 28 at Richardson High School
Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Rachel's acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for the most life-changing school program in America.

The RISD community is invited to a powerful session of hope and positive change on the evening of Friday, January 28 at 7 p.m. at the Richardson High School Auditorium. There is no cost of admission.

In 2008 alone, more than 1.3 million students experienced Rachel's Challenge and had the opportunity to accept the challenges modeled after Rachel's life and writings.

For more information, please visit

This event is offered to the RISD community courtesy of the J.J. Pearce High School PTA. >Top
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PHS Pacesetter Dance Workshop
The JJPHS Pacesetter Dance Workshop is scheduled for Monday, February 21, 2011 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the JJPHS Gymnasium. Registration forms are available at JJPHS Elementary and Junior High feeder schools. Registration forms are also available to download on

The Workshop also includes a commemorative T-shirt and an invitation to perform at the 41st annual Pacesetter Revue on either Friday, April 15 or Saturday, April 16 dependent on the dancer's age/grade level.

The Pacesetters enjoy sharing their love of dance and a sneak peek into the high school drill team experience! Also, feel free to direct your questions to Director Jaclyn Weaver at or Dance Workshop Chair Tammy Hollowell at

Click here to download the flyer. >Top
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We got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in Lake Highlands. LHHS Theatre begins the New Year with The Music Man, the beloved story of con man Harold Hill's adventures posing as a band director in River City, Iowa and falling in love with Marian, the town's librarian. Come experience the Tony award winning musical first-hand. Reminisce over unforgettable favorites including "Goodnight, My Someone," "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "The Wells Fargo Wagon." You will be amazed by Lake Highlands' own barbershop quartet performing "Goodnight, Ladies." What talent!

Performances are scheduled for Thursday, January 20, at 7 p.m.; Friday, January 21 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, January 22, at 2 p.m.; and Saturday, January 22, at 7 p.m. All shows will be in the Lake Highlands High School Auditorium, 9449 Church Road, Dallas. Each two-act performance will run approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. The show is appropriate for all ages. >Top
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this weekend in risd
Fine Arts
January 16 – February 12 - Richardson Civic Society’s Young People’s Scholarship Art Show featuring the artistic accomplishments of art students at Berkner, Lake Highlands, J. J. Pearce & Richardson High Schools @ Richardson Public Library

High School Sports
Basketball, Friday, January 14
Berkner High School girls vs. Richardson High School @ Richardson High School, 7:30 p.m.
Berkner High School boys vs. Richardson High School @ Berkner High School, 7:30 p.m.
Pearce High School girls vs. Rockwall High School @ Pearce High School, 7:30 p.m.
Pearce High School boys vs. Rockwall High School @ Rockwall High School, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School boys vs Jesuit @ Jesuit, 7:30 p.m.

Soccer, Thursday, January 13     
Pearce High School boys to Coppell Tournament, locations and times TBD
Richardson High School boys vs. Mansfield in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Richardson High School girls vs. Rowlett in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 8:40 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School boys vs. Mansfield Legacy in RISD Ice Bowl @ Wildcat/Ram Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School girls to Red Bull/Nolan Showcase, locations and times TBA
Berkner High School boys vs. Waxahachie in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 6:20 p.m.
Berkner High School girls vs. H.S.A. in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 7:30 p.m.

Soccer, Friday, January 14
Pearce High School boys to Coppell Tournament, locations and times TBD
Richardson High School boys vs. H.S.A. in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 6:20 p.m.
Richardson High School girls vs. Garland in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School boys vs. Allen in RISD Ice Bowl @ Wildcat/Ram Stadium, 7:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School girls to Red Bull/Nolan Showcase, locations and times TBA
Berkner High School boys vs. Grand Prairie in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 7:30 p.m.
Berkner High School girls vs. Waxahachie in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 6:20 p.m.

Soccer, Saturday, January 15
Pearce High School boys to Coppell Tournament, locations and times TBD
Richardson High School boys vs. Berkner JV in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 12:00 p.m.
Richardson High School girls vs. Naaman Forest in RISD Ice Bowl @ Eagle/Mustang Stadium, 1:10 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School boys vs. Garland in RISD Ice Bowl @ Wildcat/Ram Stadium, 12:00 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School girls to Red Bull/Nolan Showcase, locations and times TBA
Berkner High School boys vs. Seagoville in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 10:50 a.m.
Berkner High School girls vs. Crandall in RISD Ice Bowl @ Berkner B Field, 1:10 p.m.
RISD Ice Bowl boys Consolation, 3rd place and Championship games @ Wilcat/Ram Stadium, 4:00 p.m./5:30 p.m./7:00 p.m.

RISD Ice Bowl girls Consolation, 3rd place and Championship games @ Berkner B Field, 3:30 p.m. & 5:00 p.m./6:30 p.m./8:00 p.m.

Wrestling, Thursday, January 13
Berkner High School Tri (McKinney Boyd & Highland Park) @ McKinney Boyd High School, 6:00 p.m.
J. J. Pearce High School Dual (Frisco Heritage) @ Pearce High School, 6:00 p.m.

Wrestling, Saturday, January 15
Pearce High School to Euless-Trinity Tournament @ Trinity High School, time TBD
Lake Highlands High School, Richardson High School to Trinity Christian Academy Tournament @ Trinity Christian Academy, 9:00 a.m.

Gymnastics, Thursday, January 13
RISD boys/girls @ Rockwall High School, 6:30 p.m.

For complete athletics and fine arts schedules, please visit RISD's online calendar here.
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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