School Times Now!
RISD's Virtual School
RISD Board Approves
Unitary Status Process
H1N1 Flu Wrap Up
RHS Robotics - Another
National Title
LHHS Sports Wrap
Up - Another State
Title for Morrison
RISD DI Team Wins Construction Challenge
Top Richardson Student
Chefs Receive Scholarships
Eiland Collins Foundation
Again Helps HPPM
Earth Day at Parkhill
Junior High
WWJH Students Win Architecture Contest
Prestonwood Gives Back
Astronomy and Space Day
at the Planetarium
PHS Softball
This Weekend in RISD
Fine Arts Schedules
Athletics Schedules
Summer Program 2009
Open House Schedule
Excellence in Education
Custom Google Search
RISD's Virtual School
Richardson ISD announces a summer school pilot program to offer online courses to high school students.

In an effort to offer students a variety of ways to complete coursework, RISD is piloting a virtual school  program to provide high school students with the opportunity to take up to two semester credits (equivalent to one full-year course) online during the summer. 

What is a “virtual” school? A virtual or online school delivers course content and enables simultaneous communication between an online instructor and students via the Internet.  Because the course content is online, it can be accessed wherever and whenever a student has an Internet-ready computer.

Students can study at their own pace, and the course content is always available.  In RISD’s Virtual School, there is teacher support available from 8 am to 10 pm, and technical support is available from 8 am to 11 pm. Students have 24-hour access to assignments, grades, and research resources.  RISD is working in conjunction with the Virtual School Network to offer this program to RISD students.

Registration begins Monday, May 11th through Tuesday, June 2nd to complete online coursework by August 1st.  Students need approval from their counselor to take a summer school course through RISD’s Virtual School.

Tuition for each semester is $339.

Students interested in learning more about taking a summer school course through RISD's Virtual School must see their counselor for information and registration materials. 

For other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click here. >Top
RISD Board Approves Unitary Status Process
At Monday’s regular meeting, the RISD Board of Trustees voted 6-0 allowing RISD to seek a declaration of Unitary Status with a federal court regarding the district’s civil rights-era desegregation order. Seeking Unitary Status means that RISD is asking a court to agree that the district does not operate in a discriminatory manner, and offer programs and services without regard to race. It is the first step in what can be a lengthy process. To view a presentation regarding RISD’s efforts in seeking Unitary Status, please click here. >Top
H1n1 flu wrap up
Thanks go to RISD parents and community for working to keep our students healthy, and for their support and patience as RISD worked through an unprecedented situation, a possible pandemic of the H1N1 (swine) flu.
Parents and administrators in RISD spent the last few days of April and first week in May dealing with the H1N1 (swine) flu. Canyon Creek Elementary was the first school in the area confronted with a confirmed case of the H1N1 flu, and given the information and recommendations from health officials at the time, RISD leaders made the decision to close the school in the best interest of students and staff. Early the next week, eight students at Northlake Elementary had become “suspected” or “probable” flu cases, and that school was also closed.

In the following days, less than twenty cases of the flu were “suspected” or “probable” in the district, and by the time Canyon Creek was scheduled to reopen on May 6, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had reversed their previous recommendations and issued new guidelines indicating that “most U.S. cases have not been severe and are comparable in severity to seasonal influenza,” and therefore recommended that “the H1N1 flu be treated like the typical seasonal flu, with no need to close schools specifically for H1N1 cases.” For RISD, local health officials recommended that Northlake Elementary still remained closed until Monday, May 11 due to the high absentee rate and increases in the number of flu like illnesses.

RISD is now treating the H1N1 flu similar to the seasonal flu. Parents continue to be encouraged to keep their children home from school if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

Additional thanks to the Dallas County Department of Health & Human Services for working closely with RISD from the outset, providing guidance and recommendations to help the district protect student and staff health without over-reacting. >Top
rhs robotics - another national title
Last week, in San Francisco, California, the young engineers from RHS came from behind to defeat an arch rival to win the BattleBots National High School Championship for 2009. They also won the Best Engineered Robot award from the BattleBots group and another Best Engineering award from the judges.

The robot is named “The Blender,” and helped RHS win the national title in 2007. Max Morales is the director of the Robotics program at RHS and the sponsor of this group.

Congratulations to RHS Robotics and Max Morales, director of the robotics program at RHS. >Top
LHHS Sports Wrap up - another state title for morrison
LHHS Gymnast Sarie Morrison won her second consecutive state all-around title last month - an amazing achievement.

The LHHS Boys Golf team got to meet with professional golfer Justin Leonard, who spoke with them about hard work and working together as team.

Team Members:
Brad Mason
Andrew Weinberger
Travis Jaggers
Randy Appling
Bobby Ladtkow

Lake Highlands Softball won their first ever District Title, finishing 13-1 in district 9-5A and 20-6 overall.

Congratulations to all!
RISD DI Team Wins Construction Challenge
Last month, a Destination Imagination (DI) team, made up primarily of RISD middle and high school students took 1st place at the Construction Challenge Regional Rally held in Greenville, Texas, competing against high school teams throughout Texas. They are now preparing for the Finals Challenge in Knoxville, Tennessee the week of May 19th, where they will compete against 60 teams from across the nation.

RISD students on the team include Max Anderson (Richardson HS), Molly Francis (Pearce HS) Andrew Matsil (Pearce HS), Aaron Kawalsky (Pearce HS), and Kathleen Francis (Parkhill Junior High).

The Construction Challenge is a joint effort by The Association of Equipment Manufactures (AEM) and Destination Imagination whose goal is to develop the workforce of the future with teen participants competing and solving infrastructure, manufacturing design, and service tech Challenges using teamwork, creativity and problem solving.
At the Regional Construction Challenge Rally, participants competed and solved three hands-on, career-based challenges that were designed to engage middle and high school students in real-world, hands-on experiences found in the highly diverse construction industry. Through the Construction Challenge competition, students explored key elements of this important industry including new technologies, research, engineering, project management, product development, manufacturing, service support and career pathways.

For more information about the Construction Challenge, please visit >Top
Top Richardson Student Chefs Receive Scholarships
Pictured are, from left, Karen Hill (Richardson High School), Halima Tasiu, Jerry Walker, 2008-2009 Greater Dallas Restaurant Association President and Sandy Garza (Nationwide Insurance)
Pictured from left, Karen Hill (Richardson High School), Michelle Dykes and Jerry Walker, 2008-2009 Greater Dallas Restaurant Association President.
Two Richardson High School culinary arts students, Seniors Michelle Dykes and Halima Tasiu, were awarded scholarships by the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association this month.

Michelle was awarded a $5,000 GDRA Founders Club Scholarship, sponsored by Ben E. Keith Co and a $1,000 FS Prep Scholarship. She plans to attend Culinary Institute of America in the fall.

Halima was awarded a $5,000 GDRA Founders Club Scholarship, sponsored by Nationwide Insurance. She will be attending Johnson and Wales or the Culinary Institute of America in the fall.

North Texas students and restaurant industry member employees have received $84,000 in scholarships from the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, thanks to the Association's (GDRA's) Founders Club partners and the GDRA Scholarship Fund. The generous honors for highly accomplished culinary students were presented at the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association's Scholarship Dinner, held at CityPlace Conference Center.

Congratulations to these students and RHS Culinary Instructor Karen Hill. For more information, visit >Top
Eiland Collins Foundation again helps hppm
Once again, students at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet school will be able to experience field trips to NASA (6th grade) and Austin (4th grade), thanks to the generosity of the Eiland Collins Foundation.

Mr. Dwight Harry, Foundation Board Chairman, presented a $2,650.00 check to fund field trips for students whose families are facing economic hardships.

The Eiland Collins Foundation is named for one of the great leaders in the Hamilton Park community, and has donated more than $7,000.00 to benefit economically disadvantaged students at HPPM over the last four years.

Thanks! >Top
earth day at parkhill junior high
In observance of Earth Day, the Parkhill Junior High Art department celebrated their success with a classroom vermicomposting ecosystem. Art instructor Jeanine Gaston and her students help reduce landfill waste each day by composting paper products not worthy of recycling, such as used paper towels, napkins, tea bags, coffee filters and coffee grounds.

The students use these items, which were bound for a landfill, and feed them to the class worms. The worms do the hard work, transforming the waste products into beautiful compost that will be used around the school in the flower beds. What a creative solution for environmental problems! >Top
wwjh students win architecture contest
Westwood Junior High School students Garrett Alford and Katie Bywaters were recently recognized for their winning entries in the Dallas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Art of Architecture contest. Students from area junior high and high schools submitted entries in photography, drawing, sculpture, painting, printmaking and mixed media. Winners were announced at a reception late last month at the Dallas Center for Architecture.

Alford’s entry, a depiction of a gothic castle, won “Best in Show” in the junior high drawing category. Bywaters’ photograph of Dallas City Hall won a “Citation” award in the photography category. Both are students in David Leija’s art class at Westwood Junior High.

Congratulations! >Top
Prestonwood elementary Gives Back
The Student Council at Prestonwood recently sponsored a food drive and collected 699 pounds of non-perishable food items to donate to the Network of Community Ministries Food Pantry in Richardson.

Student Council members made posters and announcements to promote the event, and classes competed to bring in the most food. All classes did a fantastic job, and Ms. Mayerchak's fourth grade won the ice cream party for collecting the most items. The students were very excited that so much food was collected and that their school was able to make a donation of this size. The food drive was organized by Debbie Wilson, the Student Council sponsor.

Thanks Prestonwood students, ands staff and community. >Top
Astronomy and Space Day at the planetarium
In observance of the International Year of Astronomy and Space Day, the RISD Planetarium was open to the public. Videos were shown in the classroom, and Planetarium Director Dr. Jim McConnell presented Night Sky shows in the chamber. There were handouts and “squeezy” glow stars given away. >Top
PHS Softball
Congratulations to the JJ Pearce High School Lady Mustangs Softball Team who made the playoffs for second time in school history! >Top
This weekend in risd

The J. J. Pearce varsity cheerleaders will hold their annual car wash fundraiser tomorrow (Saturday, May 9) at Sonny Bryan's on Campbell in Richardson. It will be held from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Berkner High School Percussion Ensemble concert, Saturday, May 9 at 6:00 p.m. in the Berkner High School Auditorium.

Lake Highlands High School Band Concert ‘Jazz Under the Stars’, Sunday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lake Highlands high School Wildcat Stadium.

J. J. Pearce High School and Parkhill Junior High School Band Concert, Sunday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m. at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Ticket information is available at

J. J. Pearce High School Theatre presents its Annual Dessert Theatre and “Nunsense’, on Thursday, May 7, Friday, May 8 and Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. in the J. J. Pearce Black Box Theatre. Ticket information is available at

Football – SATURDAY, MAY 9
Lake Highlands will have their inter-squad football game at Wildcat-Ram Stadium at 2:00 p.m. >Top
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
Subscription Information