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TOP STORIES
Superintendent Update
Lone Star Challenge
Watch RISD Graduations
Live Via Web
Earth Day at LHFC
PACE is Enrolling -
And Expanding!
Clusters Enriching for
HPPM Students
School Nurse of the Year
Transition Services Employer
Appreciation Breakfast
SMU Athletes Visit Lake
Highlands Freshman Center
Student Returns to
Elementary Roots t
Encourage, Inspire
Prestonwood's
Recyclable Pets
High School Highlights
Wallace Carnival - May 21
Stults Road Elementary
is Celebrating, and
You are Invited
October 6 - Pearce Football
Game Vs Wylie East
LINKS TO REMEMBER
Follow RISD on Twitter
Like RISD on Facebook
2010-11 Academic Calendar
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Superintendent Update
Today we are sharing several updates regarding the future of Richardson ISD.

First, we were thrilled with the community's approval of the $170 million bond proposal on May 14 – 72.6% for and 27.4% against. Approximately 18,662 voted in the bond election compared to 5,154 in the 2006 bond election. We will begin work on numerous bond projects this summer and will keep all stakeholders engaged in this process via the bond website. Thanks to all who exercised their right to vote!

We are close to finalizing the 2011-12 budget planning process. The RISD fiscal year begins July 1, and we will recommend a budget to the Board on June 20. We are building next year's budget on a projected loss of $20 million in state funding – the first scenario on the revised budget reduction document that we have been updating on the district's website. To date, we have identified over $19 million of recurring budget reductions and/or increased revenue. The less than $1 million in remaining projected loss will be covered using the surplus created by the federal EduJobs money RISD has received. These additional federal funds will help us address the less than $1 million shortfall over the next two bienniums. These additional funds should allow RISD to forego both reducing work days for all employees by 1 day (furloughs) and eliminating compensation for advanced degrees for existing teaching staff.

As you may be aware, all week the House and Senate have worked to negotiate a budget and reach an agreement for school finance. These efforts have remained unsuccessful, and a special session on school finance is a strong possibility since the regular session ends May 30. We expect that a special session would begin in July. As we discussed above, RISD's new fiscal year begins July 1, so we anticipate adopting a budget prior to the state finalizing the shortfall.

We are proud of the collaboration between staff, administration, Board and community as we have worked through budget planning. We have been thoughtful and deliberate, and we will continue to make decisions in the best interest of students, staff and the district's Vision 2020 mission and goals. >Top
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Lone Star Challenge

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Recently, students from 21 RISD schools fielded 23 teams to compete in the district Lone Star Challenge (LSC), an academic competition for elementary students, based on the familiar Academic Decathlon in the high schools.

Teams of up to 12 students each competed in three areas: essay writing; written tests in Math/Science and Language Arts/Social Studies; and a live Super Quiz. Each team was coached by volunteer coaches from their respective schools. The coaches started work in January, and most teams began practice in earnest in March.

The topic for this year's LSC was The Dawn of the 20th Century
America: 1900-1920. Students focused on American Inventions and Discoveries during the Industrial Revolution. The information covered Math, Science, Reading, and Social Studies, while enhancing study skills, team work, and TAKS performance.

The Top Team winners were:
1st place: Richland Elementary Gold Team (1st in State)
2nd place: Brentfield Elementary (2nd in State)
3rd place: Richland Elementary Blue Team (5th in State)
4th place: White Rock Elementary (6th in State)
5th place: Bowie Elementary (8th in State)

All-Around Individual winners were:
4th grade, David Vallejo from Brentfield Elementary
5th grade, Nathan Mandell from Brentfield Elementary
6th grade, Ivy Njorge from the Richland Blue Elementary team

In addition to winning district, the Richland Gold team's effort earned them the top ranking in Texas, followed closely by Brentfield. RISD teams took five of the top eight state spots!

Thanks to all the additional coaches and volunteers who worked to make the competition a success, and special thanks to Elizabeth Crusius, District Coordinator of Academic Decathlon and Lone Star Challenge. >Top
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Watch RISD Graduations Live Via Web
RISD will again be showing all four high school graduations live through the district homepage on June 5 and 6. Viewers simply need to visit www.risd.org during the following times to automatically view a streamed video of the graduations as they occur at the Special Events Center.

Sunday, June 5
Pearce High School – 12:30 p.m.

Lake Highlands High School – 4:30 p.m.

Berkner High School – 8:30 p.m.

Monday, June 6
Richardson High School – 7:00 p.m.

Visitors to the RISD website not wishing to view graduations will be able to access district web-based resources as they normally would through an additional click. There is no charge for viewing the live video stream of RISD graduations. >Top
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Earth Day at LHFC
The Lake Highlands Freshman Center recently observed Earth Day in several ways, but the most visible was the effort to raise awareness through decorative chalk drawings leading to the school. Members of the LHFC Student Council and Eco Club ensured that fellow students, staff and visitors were aware of Earth Day and the importance of recycling and conservation of resources. >Top
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PACE is Enrolling – and Expanding!
PACE, RISD's after school program, is making plans to expand. Beginning next school year, PACE will offer day long enrichment, curriculum and fun-based care for RISD students on most student holidays (called PACE Plus) and over the summer of 2012 (called Summer PACE). The expanded offerings will be fee-based.

The program is currently gathering information related to parent interest in the expanded offerings, and parents are welcome to take a survey to share their thoughts and level of interest.

While PACE is not yet enrolling for the expanded services, it is currently enrolling for 2011-2012 after-school programs at all RISD elementary schools.

Please visit http://paceafterschool.yolasite.com/ to take the survey and obtain enrollment information, or contact the PACE office at 469-593-7536 with questions. >Top
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Clusters Enriching for HPPM Students
Like many RISD elementary schools, Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet has incorporated enrichment clusters into the curriculum – regular sessions on a wide variety of topics based on student interests. Students are highly engaged in the clusters, which spark critical thinking and often involve project & team-based learning. The clusters afford students real-world, hands-on experiences to serve, perform, or create a product through authentic methods and advanced content.

The effort is reflective of RISD's 2020 Vision, which calls for students to graduate with 21st Century skills to be prepared for success in college, the workforce and as citizens.

HPPM teacher Bonnie Clark's Primary Enrichment Cluster, "You Too Can Be A Gardner," is a popular choice of younger students, who learn about science and agriculture through their made-from-scratch garden. Lettuce, beans, radishes, peppers, and flowers are among the fruits of their labor. >Top
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SCHOOL NURSE OF THE YEAR
Berkner High School registered nurse Sandra Wheeler has been named the Region 10 School Nurse of the Year for 2010-2011 by the Texas School Nurse Organization. Sandy represents school nurses in the entire Region 10 area and has worked at various schools for the past 22 years in RISD.

Her achievement upholds RISD's ongoing excellence in the area of school nursing, as the 8th RISD nurse to receive the honor in recent years.

Congratulations! >Top
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Transition Services Employer Appreciation Breakfast
Transition student Joshua Beasley, Business Appreciation Award winner John Kelly, and Transition Program Specialist Yvonne Davis
RISD's Transition Services Program recently held an employer appreciation breakfast to recognize and thank the many area businesses and organizations that employ a transition student.

The Transition Program assists students with disabilities by providing training, life skills and employment experience to help prepare them for independent employment and living as valuable, productive members of the community.

Many area employers have discovered that employing a transition student has made their workplace a more rewarding place for all employees.

Transition Services recognizes the following area businesses and organizations for their partnership through employment opportunities:
     
Academy
Albertson's
AMC NorthPark
Applebee's
Babies R Us
Big Springs Elementary
Bowie Elementary Library
Bruce Miller Nursery
Brumley Gardens
Bukhair Elementary Cafeteria
Calloway's Nursery
Cantina Laredo
Canyon Creek Country Club
Canyon Creek Elementary
Canyon Creek Gymnastics
Chili's
C&S Ace Hardware
CiCi's Pizza
CVS
Dobie Primary
Dollar Tree
Doubletree Hotel
Fellowship Bible Church
Furr's Cafeteria
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet
Kohl's
Kroger
Luby's
Marshall's
Mosaic
NorthPark Management
Paint and Party
Presbyterian Hospital
Presbyterian Village North
Richardson Animal Shelter
Richardson Heights Elementary
Richardson Methodist Hospital
Richardson Public Library
Richland College Mailroom
Rio Azul
RISD Science Center
RISD Security Row
RISD Professional Development Center
Ross Dress for Less
Springridge Elementary
Spring Valley Elementary
Spring Valley Cafeteria
Staples
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Styles the Salon
Taco Bell
Texas Health Presbyterian
Texas 2 Stitch Richardson
The Forum at Park Lane
Tom Thumb
Toys R Us
TJ Maxx
Walgreen's
Walnut Place
Wendy's
YMCA
 
For more information about the RISD Transition Services Program, please contact Yvonne Davis at 469-593-7490. >Top
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SMU athletes visit lake highlands freshman center

SMU student athletes Ryan Smith & Chris Banjo were guest speakers for LHFC AVID students last week. They shared their experiences related to time management, study skills, balancing sports and academics, and college life in general. The two football players are pictured with AVID freshmen, Assistant Principal Ramona Powers, Spanish/AVID teacher Shola Ryan, and teacher/SMU alum Katherine Fullam. >Top

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STUDENT RETURNS TO ELEMENTAY ROOTS TO ENCOURAGE, INSPIRE
Jonathan Amaya along with younger sister Raquel and audience members.
Jonathan Amaya, a junior at Berkner H.S., recently visited with sixth grade students at Terrace Elementary, his former school, and shared his story to encourage current students. Amaya, a multiple award-winning artist, explained that he didn't realize his talent until he took his first art class in ninth grade.

Jonathan credits his teachers at Berkner for helping him see the relationship between a well-rounded education and art. He is now planning to use his ability to design automobiles and machines. He encouraged students to take advantage of opportunities and try new things as they prepare to enter junior high. >Top
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Prestonwood's Recyclable Pets
Prestonwood Elementary first graders have modified an old adage in an effort to reduce, reuse and recycle: "One kid's trash is another kid's treasure."

After collecting (and cleaning) everyday recyclable items, students used them as components to make their own toy animals. Bottles, cartons and caps make perfect pieces for creative kids to construct unique toys that they can't find in a store and are fun to make. The project brings home the lessons of conserving and reusing resources in a tangible way for young students. >Top
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High School Highlights
Berkner High School
Senior Derek Hammons recently won Texas Citizen's Bee competition in Austin, earning him $1,000. The competition is sponsored by the Texas State Bar Association, and assesses knowledge in six categories: The U.S. Constitution, historical documents, people, Supreme Court decisions, civic values, and current events. In addition to a written test and four rounds of oral competition, the top four at the state level were required to participate in a round-table discussion about the U.S. Government.

Derek, seventh in his graduating class at BHS, finished tied for first. His father is BHS teacher Greg Hammons.

Congratulations! >Top
     
Lake Highlands High School
Lake Highlands High School recently held an Academic Recognition Reception to honor National Merit Finalists and Commended students and National Hispanic Recognition students.

Back Row: Vince Karnes, Said Navarro, Sarah Pickett, Roman Milan; Middle Row: Alex Ziehm, Alec Duray, Alejandro Martinez, Katie North, Front Row: Emily Dawson, Libby Seeley, Emily Hillman, Sara Tuccio; Not pictured: Hana Ovcina

Congratulations to these outstanding students! >Top
     
Senior LHHS Peer Helpers recently accompanied special education students from Lake Highlands Elementary to the Jesuit Special Games. Students young and old had a wonderful time at the memorable event. >Top
     
Pearce High School
Congratulations to seniors Julianne Jackson and Yuji Soda for winning the 4A state tennis championship in mixed doubles recently in Austin! They defeated the regional champion team from Frisco Wakeland in the finals. They are coached by Jim Morrison and Sammi Gunter. >Top
     
Richardson High School
RHS members of National Art Honor Society, led by junior Emily Cromwell, recently worked with young students at Dobie Primary on a Mother's Day project. RHS artists completed portrait drawings of Pre-K and Kindergarten students and helped them wrap them so the children could present them to their moms for Mother's Day.

This was a National Art Education Association-sponsored project known as the "Memory Project.">Top
     
RHS debate recently competed at the UIL state championship at UT-Austin. Senior Rahfin Faruk finished as the UIL 5A state silver medalist in Informative Speaking, believed to be the first state debate medal ever for RHS. Faruk is graduating third in his class, and is coached by Jason Jordan. Congratulations! >Top
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Wallace Elementary Carnival - Passport to Fun
Saturday, May 21 - 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Games, bounce houses, rides, great food, face painting, crafts and silent auction and more!
Wallace School Grounds - 9921 Kirkhaven Drive
Everyone welcome!

Web: http://www.wallacepta.org/carnival.html

Click here to download a poster for the event. (PDF) >Top
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Stults Road Elementary is Celebrating, and You are Invited!
Please see the attached letter for details of the May 27th event.>Top
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October 6 - Pearce Football game vs Wylie East
Pearce High School will play Wylie East High School on October 6, 2011 not October 7. This schedule change is to accommodate students and fans who celebrate Yom Kippur. Season tickets will not be reprinted.>Top
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SCHOOL TIMES NOW! ARCHIVE
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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