School Times Now!
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Hope you saw the new Neighbors section inside Saturday’s Dallas Morning News. We are thrilled that they used our Freshman Programming as the cover story for their inaugural issue.

Freshman Programming, the move of all ninth grade classes to the high schools, was voter approved through Bond 2001. Those 2001 fifth-graders are now the first ninth-grade students to be at Richardson, Berkner and Pearce high schools. And according to all three principals, the transition has been as smooth as it could be with half of the student body at each high school being new – remember that last year’s ninth graders are now sophomores and new to high school, too.

Thanks to all current junior and senior students for their help in making the new students welcome as Eagles, Rams, or Mustangs. They are setting good examples for their younger classmates.

(The Wildcats of Lake Highlands have welcomed Freshmen on their campus at the LH Freshman Center for several years.)

We have included more photos of the ninth-graders turned Freshmen at the three campuses at lunch and in the halls. Don’t they look right at home?! >Top
The second special legislative session to reform school finance has met with the same fate as the first special session - legislators were unable to agree on a new funding format. While this is disappointing to RISD and districts across the state, it was not unexpected. RISD's budget, which included millions of dollars in additional cuts, and an expected Recapture payment of another $47 million, has already been approved by our Board of Trustees.

In the longer term, there is no way around it - if school districts are to carry out the mission of providing a quality education to all students, additional funds, not simply a reshuffling of funding sources, will be needed. Many are now looking to the Texas Supreme Court to determine the future of school funding, as a ruling is expected this fall. While RISD is a plaintiff in the lawsuit that brought this issue before our highest court, the fundamental matter of funding our schools is rightfully and appropriately a task of our elected legislators.

We will keep you posted.

Jim Nelson
Superintendent >Top
RISD Superintendent Jim Nelson helped 6th grader Natalie Cohen deliver Bowie Elementary's morning announcements last week. Nelson visited all 41 RISD elementary schools in the first two weeks of classes. >Top
Both students and parents enjoyed an evening of ice cream and socializing at Brentfield's PTA Ice Cream Social. The PTA held the event to cap off the first week of school. It was an excellent way to say, "Week One Done!" Gallons of ice cream were consumed with a buffet of toppings. The parents enjoyed meeting each other while the bounce house and large inflatable slide were the biggest hits with the kids. >Top
"Harben Alumni Wishing Kids Success"
If you are an alumni of Jess Harben Elementary, then the JHE PTA is looking for you to become one of the HAWKS. The school PTA has begun an alumni association as a way for former students to reconnect with the school, current students and staff. A great way to begin is by attending the "Back To School Dinner" on September 15. For more information, please contact the school at 469-593-8800. >Top
Pearce High School and Spring Valley Elementary volunteers enjoyed a pool party with students who participated in the Super Stars Fitness Program over the summer.
SVE students were encouraged by their nurse Sherry Freeland to follow a fitness program over the summer after a presentation last spring for students and their parents about healthy eating and fitness. The City of Richardson donated a swim party to those who participated. They are pictured here at the pool enjoying their reward for healthy living. >Top
Help RISD celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Math Science Technology Magnet at their Opening School Ceremony on Friday, Sept. 2, 2005 at 9 am in the MST main gymnasium. There will be a reception following the ceremony in the Learning Research Center. MST is located at 405 Abrams Road in Richardson. >Top
Have you seen the RISD Web site? It continues to undergo interesting changes. The content is more fluid and timely, with more student photographs than ever before. In addition, each time the page is loaded, the banner across the top of the site will feature students from a different school. Forestridge Elementary students, shown below, will appear in September.
The photos load at random from a collection that changes monthly and will feature each school in the district at least once each year, in a theme reflective of the current season. Be sure to bookmark and visit often for the latest. >Top
Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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