School Times Now!
 
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OTHER STORIES
Does the district provide
after-school care?
Freshman Programming
School Times Now!
Magnet Movement
Where's the bus?
Senior Citizen Cards
What are the rules?
Tenth Annual College and Career Fair
School Supplies

City of Dallas Mayor's Back
to School Fair
Beating the Tardy Bell
No Saving Seats!
2005-2006 Calendar (PDF)
AUGUST 15 - FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Richardson Independent School District encompasses approximately 38.5 square miles in the cities of Richardson, Dallas and Garland. Fifty-five schools house approximately 34,000 students in Kindergarten through 12th grades. To attend RISD, Kindergarten students must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the current school year and the student and one parent/guardian must be a resident of the district. First grade students must be 6 years old by Sept. 1 of the current year unless the child has completed public kindergarten in another state/country or has been receiving public first grade instruction in another state/country.

Enrollment occurs at your child’s attendance area school Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The first day of school for 2005-2006 is August 15, but enrollment should be completed as soon as possible. RISD does not accept students living outside the district on a tuition-paid basis. Bell schedules are listed on page 8. Call our administration offices at 469-593-0000, or visit www.risd.org for more information.

To enroll your child in RISD, the following information is required:

• Birth certificate
• Your child’s Social Security Card
• Proof of Immunization
• Proof of Residency
• Proof of withdrawal from your child’s former school
• Records from your child’s previous schools.
IS MY CHILD ELIGIBLE FOR PRESCHOOL?

To be eligible for the district Pre-Kindergarten Program, a child must be 4 years old on or before Sept. 1 of the upcoming school year. Additionally, English must be assessed as the second language spoken in the home, and/or the child must qualify for the free/reduced lunch program. To enroll your child in Pre-K, contact the school in your attendance area or call the Pre-K office at 469-593-3220. The Pre-School program is not provided at all RISD schools.

Please contact the RISD Child Nutrition Department at 469-593-0111 for information on free and reduced-charge lunch programs. >Top
FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN

For the first time last year, RISD offered a full instructional day of kindergarten to eligible students and it was extremely well-received by the community. More than 2,600 students were enrolled at the 39 schools offering the full day.

“Years ago, kindergarten students were coming to learn colors, numbers and the alphabet,” said Joyce Wilson, assistant superintendent for Elementary Curriculum & Instruction, “Today, the same-aged students are coming to learn how to read. Kindergarten provides youngsters valuable advantages heading into first grade.”

Parents interested in enrollment dates and times are encouraged to contact their home attendance school. >Top
DOES THE DISTRICT PROVIDE AFTER-SCHOOL CARE?
Some RISD schools offer an extended-day program which is usually provided by an outside organization for a small fee. Several junior high schools also offer after-school classes. Check with your child’s school for availability and specific class options. >Top
FRESHMAN PROGRAMMING
In August, Richardson ISD ninth-graders will no longer be in junior high, but will become Freshmen on all the high school campuses.
This major change in instruction has been a long time coming, but Freshman Programming is finally here –the program where ninth graders will become Freshman as they are housed on the high school campuses in all district high schools. Lake Highlands Freshmen are ahead of the game by having their own Freshman Center on the LHHS campus.
 

Because of voter approval in the 2001 bond referendum, that year’s fifth graders in feeder schools for Richardson, Pearce and Berkner high schools will be the first freshmen to attend these high schools.

In 2003, representatives from those classes were asked to actually dig up treasure chests at the official groundbreakings. (Photo at right). The tiny treasure chests held a scroll listing the promises of Freshman Programming. Chocolate coins were also in the treasure chests, but this fall is when the real bounty will be seen.

As stated before, the planning process was no small task over the past four years. Thousands of details were worked out to facilitate the moves. A partial list of considerations includes:
 
  • Placement of ninth-grade teachers and coaches from seven junior high schools
  • Placement of administrators, counselors, paraprofessional per student allocations
  • Transfer of textbooks for more than 100 different courses
  • Movement of classroom equipment for each individual teacher
  • Reconfiguration of transportation routes
  • Design of traffic pattern changes at the high schools
  • Expansion of extracurricular activities
  • Adjustment of athletic and cheerleading guidelines
  • Movement of technology equipment and library materials
  • Development of departmental budgets
 
The final details will be worked out by August 15, the opening day of school, when half of the student bodies of each of the three high schools will be new. (Both ninth and tenth graders are coming directly from the junior high schools.) Principals Bob DeVoll, Richardson, Karen Neal, Pearce, and Dave Casey, Berkner, are confident that their junior and senior students will be great role models for the new students and that the transition will be smooth across the district. >Top
SCHOOL TIMES NOW!
The word on the street is that in late August the Richardson Morning News will be dissolved into a Central Zone Metro section of The Dallas Morning News. To fill the gap of essential school news, the RISD ListServe has become School Times Now!, an electronic version of the community newsletter. Smaller hard copies will be published periodically, but the electronic School Times NOW will be the best source of current student/district information.
 

The goal of School Times Now! is to bring up-to-the-minute photos and activities from across the district -- from the Wildcats of Lake Highlands to the Mustangs in the Pearce area, and from Berkner Rams to the Golden Eagles of Richardson High School -- and all the schools that feed into those four great high schools.

Sign up now by going to the district Web site at http://www.risd.org/SchoolTimesNOW. Don't miss out on all the latest information about your child’s school. >Top
MAGNET MOVEMENT

Two of the district's magnet schools are moving to new locations this summer. Classical Magnet is becoming Arapaho Classical Magnet and will be housed at the former Arapaho Elementary School on Arapaho at Mimosa in northwest Richardson. Their phone number is 469-593-6400. MST will be housed at the former Richardson Junior High facility on Abrams between Belt Line and Spring Valley, just east of Central Expressway. Their office can be reached at 469-593-7300.

Construction at both sites was in full swing this summer. Work at Arapaho Classical began during Spring Break, and workers swarmed over the MST site as soon as school let out in May.

On August 15, the building formerly known as Richardson Junior High will officially open as the larger, retrofitted elementary Math, Science & Technology Magnet. The building is undergoing some significant changes as preparations are made for the smaller, and more numerous new occupants. In addition to retrofitting physical facilities such as restrooms, MST is receiving newly-fabricated kindergarten rooms, three new science labs, and new paint, ceilings and lighting.

The entire building will become Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant. Exterior work includes new playground equipment appropriate for elementary students, modifications to make the building more secure, a new bus lane and an additional turn lane to relieve morning and afternoon congestion on Abrams Road. Those exterior projects are pictured here. The work is on schedule and will be completed when MST students return in the fall. >Top
NEWEST ELEMENTARY OPENING

Doors will open on August 15 at the newest school in the Lake Highlands area, Thurgood Marshall Elementary. Built from Bond 2001 funds, this school pulls from several surrounding overcrowded elementary schools, allowing several hundred overflow students to return to their home schools.

Located on Ferris Branch, just north of Whitehurst and just south of LBJ, the two-story elementary will house approximately 650 students, Pre-K through sixth grades. Former Northlake Elementary principal Wanda Watkins has accepted the position of leading the new school.

Design of the new elementary mirrors two recently built schools, Audelia Creek and Carolyn G. Bukhair, including the colorful mobile sculpture in the entryway. The sculpture by artist Mel Ristau welcomes students and guests at the front entrance with a whimsical shape, designed to inspire creativity in students and faculty. Coordinating sculptures hang in the hallways.

Dedication of the new school is set for early October and the community will be invited to tour the campus and meet the students and staff. Landscaping was completed in early summer, as shown in the photo.

Marshall will be part of the Teacher Advancement Program, TAP, a creative teacher and support incentive program sponsored by the Milken Foundation. Teachers from across the district were eligible to apply for transfers to the new school.

Two other RISD schools, Audelia Creek Elementary and Forest Meadow Junior High School, will also take advantage of the TAP program next year. >Top
WHERE'S THE BUS?
Bus transportation is provided for all students living two or more miles from the school they attend, for those in certain special education programs, and for those participating in a variety of extracurricular activities. For information about specific bus routes, call RISD Transportation at 469-593-5809 or 0090, or contact your child’s school. >Top
SENIOR CITIZEN CARDS

In an effort to say thank you to senior community members, the school district is once again offering special discounts through a Senior Citizen Card for those 55 and older. Cardholders will have access to free admission to any school activity except varsity football (UIL rules). The card may be used for admission to all RISD home activities and many RISD athletic competitions in neighboring cities.

Register for the card at the Athletic Department, Administration Annex, 400 S. Greenville Ave. or call 469-593-0124. You must be 55 or older, a resident of RISD and be able to produce a valid driver’s license. Last year’s cards may be used for this year’s events. >Top
WHAT ARE THE RULES

During the first week of school, each student should receive a Student-Parent Guidebook and Student Code of Conduct handbook for the 2005-2006 school year. This two-part booklet explains admissions, attendance requirements, grading, student programs and academic performance, discipline management, school records and parental responsibilities, general information such as weather closings, field trips, health services, lockers, etc., and the standard for student conduct.

Students are asked to take the handbooks home so that parents/guardians may become familiar with practices and policies within RISD. Parents are encouraged to read the entire handbook to better understand the partnership between home and school. This partnership is an important ingredient of student success. >Top
TENTH ANNUAL COLLEGE AND CAREER FAIR

Richardson Independent School District is making plans for the annual Richardson ISD College and Career Fair to be held on the Richland College Campus on Saturday, September 17, 2005 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  This annual event just keeps getting better!

More than 200 colleges and universities from across the country will send representatives to meet with Richardson students grades 9-12 and their parents.
 

Opportunities are available for exploring college and career pathways based on individual needs and interests.  RISD counselors will be on hand to facilitate the event and to answer questions.

A variety of educational sessions allow participants to learn about financial aid, NCAA, career opportunities, essay writing for applications and scholarships, services for students with disabilities and much more.  Bus service will be provided from each of the four high schools throughout the evening. 

Mark your calendars now and let your friends and neighbors know about this great community event sponsored by Richardson ISD, Richland College, and the RISD Council of PTAs. >Top
SCHOOL LUNCHES

School lunches are available for purchase daily at all RISD schools. The student plate lunch in the elementary school costs $2.00 and consists of an entrée, two side dishes and milk. The secondary student lunch consists of an entrée, three side dishes and milk, and costs $2.15. Adults pay $2.50.

Elementary and secondary grade levels may choose from a variety of their favorite entrée dishes and fresh fruits and vegetables. Each day, students may also purchase fruit juices, baked chips, ice cream and fresh baked desserts. Menus are analyzed and must meet nutritional guidelines set by the United States and Texas departments of Agriculture. The meals served must not contain more than 30% total fat and 10% saturated fat. Dietary levels of protein, calcium, iron and Vitamins A & C are also monitored.

RISD participates in “paypams.com,” an online site that handles prepayments of school meals. Parents may log on to the site directly or through the district Web site to put money into their child’s account, thereby eliminating daily lunch money being handled by the child. VISA, MasterCard and Discover cards are welcomed on the site.

This is the fourth year that RISD’s Child Nutrition Services has used an online service, and the response from parents has been positive. Parents may view their child’s account balance and receive an automated e-mail notification on balance status. In the future, parents will also be able to view their child’s account history.

The Child Nutrition Department, serving approximately 16,000 plate lunches and 6,000 breakfasts to students each day, operates on a three-week-cycle menu. Annual menus are issued during the first weeks of school in elementary and at secondary registration tables.

All students are encouraged to have money in their cafeteria accounts in order to speed up the lunch lines. In addition to the online service described above, parents can pick up envelopes from their cafeteria manager to send money back to the cafeteria. Cash, check, or money orders can cover multiple students in a family at one school when so designated.
Nutritious breakfasts are also available to students for only $1.25. Adults pay $1.40.

Secondary students can visit the cafeteria table during registration where students can pick up menus, put money into their student accounts, find out their PIN, and be ready for breakfast and lunch on the first day of school. >Top
SCHOOL SUPPLIES

For a general list of school supplies by grade, go to the RISD homepage at www.risd.org. More specific lists by schools may also be found on some individual school pages of the RISD Web site, or may be picked up at your neighborhood school.

Several PTA’s have put together school supply packets that can be purchased from the schools. Also, many teachers will have a list of needed supplies during the first week of school. Again, it is best to check with your local school for a complete list and for the best way to purchase the appropriate supplies. >Top
Dallas Mayor's Back to School Fair
CITY OF DALLAS MAYOR'S BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR
The City of Dallas is hosting the 2005 Mayor's Back To School Fair on August 11 at Fair Park. Income-eligible families that reside within Dallas city limits can attend and receive free school supplies, health screenings, social services and more. For more information, click here to visit the City of Dallas Web site at. >Top
BEATING THE TARDY BELL
Grades K through 6
8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grades 7 through 8
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Grades 9 through 12
9 a.m. to 4:10 p.m.
Some Magnet schools may have different schedules. Please check with those individuals schools. >Top
NO SAVING SEATS!

Even for those who have been pre-enrolled, it is critical for every student to show up for the first day of school, Monday, August 15. Only students who have been pre-enrolled and in attendance on the first day of school can be guaranteed a spot in their neighborhood school.

Students who are not pre-enrolled or who are not present the first day of school face the possibility of being overflowed to a school not in their neighborhood.

Please remember that pre-enrollment does not necessarily guarantee a spot in your neighborhood school, so start the year off positively by ensuring your child is at school on August 15. >Top

SCHOOL TIMES NOW! ARCHIVE
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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