School Times Now!
STEM Award
More Than 99 Percent of RISD Teachers "Highly Qualified"
College and Career Summit
State Academic Decathlon
PHS Cheerleaders at Nationals
BHS Robotics
Success from RHS
Brentfield Bobcat Boogie
Giving Back at a Young Age
RWJH Students Visit UT
Prom Dress Giveaway
Parents Can Now Access Student Grades and
Attendance Online
Daylight Savings Time
STEM Award winner Karrie Kellerman poses with Apollo Junior High Principal Jack Noteware, TI's Torrence Robinson, and Apollo assistant principal Martha Beam.
"Believing in my students is what really counts."
Such is the teaching philosophy of Apollo Junior High's Karrie Kellerman, the 2007-08 winner of the prestigious Texas Instruments Foundation Innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Teaching Award.

Ms. Kellerman, a seventh-grade Pre-AP and block mathematics teacher, received the $10,000 award in a surprise ceremony at her campus last week attended by representatives from TI and the RISD Tomorrow Foundation, which presents the award.
"I'm so honored to have been chosen for this recognition," an excited Kellerman said. "But really, any recognition I receive is because my students have worked so hard, so this is as much about them as it is me."

The recognition is given to one teacher annually in RISD who is nominated by their school principal and teaches in one of the four STEM disciplines. The award includes $5,000 for personal use and $5,000 for use in the classroom for equipment, supplies, professional development or other needs to enhance Ms. Kellerman’s teaching expertise in mathematics.

“Ms. Kellerman is an innovative teacher utilizing technology and superior teaching methods," said Torrence Robinson, Director of Public Affairs for TI. “The Texas Instruments Foundation created the STEM Award to enhance the teaching experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, so that students can ultimately compete in the global economy in which we live.”

“She is a remarkable teacher and one that will represent Texas Instruments, the foundation and the district most admirably,” said Elizabeth Hart, President and CEO of RISD Tomorrow Foundation.
The Federal No Child Left Behind accountability system requires districts to monitor and report the qualification status of teachers as defined by No Child Left Behind legislation.

In RISD, 99.6 percent of all teachers have satisfied the requirement to be known as Highly Qualified.

"RISD has long been considered a destination district by quality teachers across Texas and the region," said RISD Superintendent Dr. David Simmons. "While the fact that our staff is remarkably well-qualified is gratifying to us, it comes as no surprise."

To be considered Highly Qualified under NCLB, secondary teachers must demonstrate mastery of each course they teach through either possessing a degree in that subject, or passing a specific state examination of content knowledge.

At the elementary level, teachers are considered Highly Qualified through demonstrated mastery of elementary school pedagogy and knowledge of reading, writing and mathematics instruction.

For more information on No Child Left Behind, please visit the United States Department of Education homepage at >Top
A BHS student tries her hand at welding while attending the College and Career Summit.
The Richardson Chamber of Commerce and Richardson ISD teamed up for the Third Annual College and Career Summit. Sixty-one businesses and organizations in the Dallas/Richardson area, ninety-five members of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of colleges, universities, and military personnel donated their time to speak to more than 400 juniors from each RISD high school.

The junior Rams, Mustangs, Wildcats, and Eagles visited an assortment of booths filled with college admissions representatives and business executives, attended a workshop on the importance of community service, and listened to the advice of adults who hold non-traditional careers.

A special thanks to the Richardson Chamber of Commerce for their dedication and commitment to making this event possible! >Top
Richardson ISD had two teams compete at the State Academic Decathlon competitions last weekend. Berkner High School (coaches Tanya Gregson and Dean Webb) went to the large school competition for the Texas 5A schools at Plano ISD. J.J. Pearce High School (coaches Carol Hewitt and Carol Whatley) competed in the medium school division for Texas 4A schools in San Antonio.

Both teams did very well at these high level competitions. Pearce High School won 5th place overall, and came home with 16 individual medals and $5,000 in scholarships. Individual medals include:
  • Parker Staats - Varsity, won 2nd place in Essay, 1st place in Math, 1st place in Science, 3rd place in Language & Literature, 2nd place in Economics, 1st place in Music
  • Michael Mohkamkar - Varsity, won 2nd place in Science, 3rd place in Economics, and 3rd Place in Music
  • James Anderson - Scholastic, won 3rd place in Math, 1st place in Science and 1st place in Super Quiz
  • Ian Campbell - Scholastic, won 2nd place in Language & Literature and 2nd place in Economics
In addition, Ian Campbell won 3rd place All Around Scholastic and was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. Parker Staats won 1st Place All Around Varsity and was awarded at $3,500 scholarship.

Congratulations to both teams for advancing from District through Regional to their respective State competitions. >Top
PHS varsity cheerleaders bring home another trophy.
The J.J. Pearce High School varsity cheerleaders traveled to Orlando recently to compete in the Contest of Champions Cheerleading Nationals, placing third.  They competed against eleven other medium varsity squads from Alabama, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Congratulations! >Top
The Berkner High School and Berkner STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy robotics teams successfully collaborated at the 2008 Southwest Regional FIRST Tech Challenge at the UT Arlington College of Engineering this month. This was the their final competition of the year and the members wanted to make their mark and they did, ranking 3rd overall and the winning the distinguished THINK Award for unique and innovative design created using the design process and a well-documented engineer’s notebook.

Congratulations! >Top
Two members of the BHS/STEM Academy Robotics team compete at the 2008 Southwest Regional FIRST Tech Challenge.
Jud Bumpas, RHS alumni, holding the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, an honor his company won for film 'The Golden Compass.'
Jud Bumpas, a 1996 graduate of RHS, and his company were honored at the 80th Annual Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects for the film The Golden Compass. >Top
Time to dust off your running or walking shoes and welcome Spring with the 2nd Annual Brentfield Elementary Bobcat Boogie! Join our neighborhood community for this 5K Run and 1-Mile Fun Run on Saturday, April 12 at 8:00 am.

Sanctioned by USA Track & Field, this event is for both seasoned runners and beginners. Kids, parents, grandparents, pets and those just wanting to get out on a spring morning are invited to join in the fun!

All registrants will receive a Bobcat Boogie t-shirt. To register online, or for more information, visit >Top
Three RISD students were among 56 outstanding young student leaders from across the state recently recognized for serving their schools and communities at Education in Action’s Texas Independence Day Recognition Ceremony and Reception this week.
Each of the student honorees participated in the Lone Star Leadership Academy, a weeklong leadership development program offered each summer by Education in Action. As graduates of this program, they were invited to join Education in Action’s alumni program, the Lone Star Youth Leadership Council, to receive leadership training during the school year to support them as they created and led service projects in their schools/communities.

RISD's representatives included:
  • Lake Highlands Elementary student Kelsey Hohnstein, who created a bicycle safety program for younger students at her school.

  • Pearce High School students Haley and Jessica Junek, who restarted and revitalized the Junior Girls Program for the Richardson American Legion Auxiliary.
Congratulations to these students for exemplifying Education in Action's mission to empower young Texans to be informed and active leaders in their communities.

For more information, please visit >Top
West Junior High AVID students recently spent a day in Austin touring the University of Texas campus. While they visited various departments and dorms, this trip gave them the opportunity to see a major university and get a feel for the life of college students. >Top
West Junior High AVID students stand in front of one of UT's educational buildings.
BuzzFree PROMises volunteers gather for a photo at this years Dress Giveaway event.
The BuzzFree PROMises Dress Giveaway was recently held for the seventh consecutive year to reward high school junior and senior girls who pledge to stay alcohol and drug free. Eight school districts in the metroplex including Richardson ISD, in collaboration with the Alliance on Underage Drinking, the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse and a variety of other donors, teamed up to provide a free prom dress for every young lady who was nominated by their teachers and/or counselors for this event.

Many thanks to all parents and staff that donated dresses to reward these outstanding girls! >Top
Richardson Independent School District is excited to announce Star_Portal™, a new technology resource that will give parents secure online access to information about their student’s education. After an annual registration process, Star_Portal™ will allow parents to view their child’s up-to-date cumulative average, report card grades, period-by-period attendance, and unofficial transcript throughout the school year.

Student and data privacy is extremely important to RISD. Access to the information in Star_Portal™ is restricted by a secure logon and password, and the district has designed and maintains its system to offer the highest levels of security.

How to Sign Up

Star_Portal™ is a part of RISD’s Rportal website.  To access Star_Portal™ parents need an Rportal account, which can be requested online at, or by visiting the RISD homepage at A version of the online sign-up form in Spanish is also available at:

Parents will need the following information in order to request an account:
  • A personal email address. This personal address will become the Rportal user name and is required to set up an account.
  • Address and phone number information, exactly as it appears on the child’s current enrollment card.
  • Parent date of birth.
  • Child’s name as it appears on their current enrollment card.
  • Child’s date of birth as it appears on their current enrollment card.
  • Child’s grade level.
  • Child’s school of enrollment.
When the setup process is complete, RISD will email the Rportal account information, including a temporary password and Personal Identification Number (PIN), to parents requesting an account.  Parents should keep their PIN in a safe place in case the password needs to be reset. For security reasons, parent requests for Rportal account access may take up to two school days to process before parents receive account logon information.  Parents will need to renew their Rportal account at the beginning of each school year.

RISD employees who have students in the district, please note: As a parent/employee, you will use your existing Rportal account to access the parental portion of Star_Portal™.

How to See Student Information

Once an Rportal account has been established, log into Rportal at: (A link to Rportal is also available from the RISD homepage at After logging in, parents will be taken directly to the Star_Portal™ welcome page where they can click on the Parent/Guardian tab that will contain their child’s student information.

How to Get Help

For questions regarding the use of Star_Portal™, please see the help section of the Star_Portal™ home page at  or email the Star_Portal™ Administrator at >Top
Most people will trade an hour’s sleep this weekend for more sunlight in the evenings.

Officially the change should be made at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time, though most folks will reset their clocks and watches before going to bed.

The shift to daylight saving time also serves as a reminder to install new batteries in warning devices like smoke detectors and hazard warning radios. >Top
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