School Times Now!
First Day of School
RISD ACT Scores Increase in
All Areas - Exceed State
& Nation
Board Hears District
AYP Report
New Teachers Recognized
by Richardson Chamber at
Annual Event
Desegregation Case Update
Visits to RISD Environmental
Studies Center Delayed as
West Nile Precaution
Foundation Honors Principals
2012 AP Scholars
Visitors from China learn
about American Education
2012 College Fair
Destination Imagination Kicks
Off 2012-13 Season
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
<empty> <empty>
First Day of School

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Smiles, photos and a few tears (mostly from parents) marked the beginning of RISD's 2012-2013 academic year on Monday. The district welcomed back a projected 37,500 students. Overall, the first day went safely and another successful year of achievement and learning in RISD has begun! >Top
<empty> <empty>
RISD ACT Scores Increase in All Areas - Exceed State & Nation

Average scores of 2012 RISD graduates on the ACT college entrance exam increased in every academic area, and again exceeded Texas and U.S. averages.

In addition, the number of RISD students taking the ACT increased for the fourth consecutive year.

RISD 2012 Average ACT Scores
RISD English21.2
Texas English19.6
U.S. English20.5
RISD Mathematics23.4
Texas Mathematics21.4
U.S. Mathematics21.1
RISD Reading22.3
Texas Reading20.8
U.S. Reading21.3
RISD Science22.3
Texas Science20.8
U.S. Science20.9
RISD Composite22.4
Texas Composite20.8
U.S. Composite21.1

The ACT college entrance exam is one of the two primary college entrance exams taken in the United States and seeks to evaluate how prepared a student is for college-level courses.

For more information, please visit the ACT website here. >Top

<empty> <empty>
Board Hears District AYP REPORT

RISD Board members heard a report about this year's No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results for the district and schools at the August 20th board study session.

Click here to read about AYP results and other board activity in the August 21 edition of Board Brief.

Letter to parents from Dr. Waggoner:

Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, a Title I, Part A-funded local education agency (LEA), or school district, that has not met AYP for two or more consecutive years in the same indicator (reading, mathematics, attendance rate, or graduation rate) is subject to LEA-level Title I School Improvement Requirements. Based on the 2012 LEA AYP Status released August 8, 2012, Richardson ISD is subject to the LEA-level School Improvement Program (SIP) requirements for Stage 2 during the 2012-2013 school year.

The NCLB statute requires the district to notify you of this status and to provide you with the following information. Please be advised that the district has the opportunity to appeal this district improvement designation. However, the requirements described in this letter must be implemented for the entire school year, regardless of the outcome of the appeal.

If an LEA that is receiving Title I, Part A funds does not meet AYP for two consecutive years for the same indicator that LEA is subject to certain SIP requirements. For additional information about the AYP definition please visit TEA's website at

Within three months after being identified for improvement, an LEA must develop or revise its district improvement plan in consultation with parents, school staff, and others. The district improvement plan must meet certain requirements, one of which is implementing strategies to promote effective parental involvement in the district. To view additional district improvement plan requirements, please visit this link: If you do not have access to the internet, please call the contact person listed at the end of this letter and this information will be provided to you.

The district will be implementing the following activities to address the reasons the district has been identified for district improvement: Strategies grounded in scientifically based research that will strengthen instruction in core academic subjects with emphasis on math and reading; intensive and sustained staff professional development to include Response to Intervention, differentiated instruction, and best practices in the classroom; strategies to promote effective parental involvement; and provide student learning activities before school, after school, and during the summer as needed.

You may become involved in addressing the reasons the district is identified for improvement by assisting in the following ways: Participate in parent involvement activities, join the district/campus improvement planning committees, and volunteer in the district.

If you have questions concerning this letter, would like to volunteer to help revise our district plan, or need us to provide you with paper copies of the material referenced in the web sites, please contact Joyce Wilson at 469-593-0280 or

Click here for a copy of the letter in Spanish. >Top

<empty> <empty>
New Teachers Recognized by Richardson Chamber at Annual Event

The Richardson Chamber of Commerce recently recognized and welcomed RISD teachers new to the district at their 54th annual New Teacher recognition events.

Please click here to read about the event.

RISD is thankful to have such a supportive Chamber of Commerce! >Top

<empty> <empty>
Desegregation Case Update

The district has received a partial ruling in the ongoing desegregation litigation following the evidentiary hearing that occurred in June. Federal District Judge Reed O'Connor has ruled that RISD has complied in good faith with the original order of 1970. Judge O'Connor further ruled that RISD has attained unitary status in the areas of faculty and staff recruiting and hiring, and student assignment at the junior high and high school level.

In addition, the Court ruled that the Department of Justice did not carry its burden of proof to establish that RISD had engaged in unlawful actions toward students with respect to student discipline or in the quality of education for all students.

Unitary status is a desegregation-era legal term that means a school district operates using a single system for all students, rather than operating dual, racially-based systems which were common in many school districts in the 1960s.

Judge O'Connor deferred his ruling in other areas pending submission of additional evidence or response from RISD. Those areas include student assignment at the elementary level, and faculty and staff assignment.

Judge O'Connor ruled last year that RISD has attained unitary status in the areas of facilities, transportation, extra-curricular activities and special education.

RISD plans to submit a proposal to the court concerning submission of additional evidence and briefing related to the areas listed above on which the court has not issued a final ruling. >Top

<empty> <empty>
Visits to RISD Environmental Studies Center Delayed as West Nile Precaution

In an effort to be proactive and to prevent possible exposure to mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, RISD's Environmental Studies Center (ESC) will be closed to class visits until November 1st. Traditionally, all students in grades K-5 visit RISD's outdoor learning center at least once a year. During visits to the site, students walk through a system of trails that lead them through 12 acres of native trees, shrubs and grasses. The ESC also includes two water systems, Spring Creek and a man-made pond allowing students to compare the systems and the organisms that live in each.

Richardson health officials are urging citizens to take precautions — wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants; using insect repellent containing DEET; and avoiding outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when the disease-carrying mosquitoes are most active. Since mosquitoes hide in trees and bushes and lay their eggs in water sources, delaying visits to the Environmental Studies Center until after peak mosquito season is a precaution in the best interest of RISD students and staff. >Top

<empty> <empty>
Photo: Mark Twain Elementary Principal Carmen Casamayor-Ryan (C) and family are honored by EiE Foundation Board President Richard Ramey (L).
Richardson West Arts and Technology Magnet Principal Henry Hall (C) and family are honored by EiE Foundation's President Richard Ramey.

The Excellence in Education Foundation recognized two Richardson ISD administrators as their 2012 Administrative Excellence Award recipients. Henry Hall of Richardson West Arts and Technology Magnet was recognized on the secondary level and Carmen Casamayor-Ryan of Mark Twain Elementary was recognized at the elementary level.

Both Hall and Casamayor-Ryan bring diversity and passion to their education careers. Casamayor-Ryan studied French in college and was able to go abroad to study. She began her education career teaching English in Japan. Her first assignment as principal was in Dallas ISD but she soon joined the RISD team where she has served as teacher, grant manager, assistant principal and now principal.

Hall, a native of Louisiana, spent eight years in the Army National Guard. He earned an Associate's Degree from Southern University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from LSU. He began his teaching career at Richardson West Junior High and attended Texas A & M Commerce where he received his Masters Degree in Education Administration.

Congratulations to Carmen and Henry.

The Excellence in Education Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation set up to solely benefit the students and staff of RISD. The Foundation administers a variety of programs and awards benefitting RISD, including the STARS Teacher of the Year awards.

<empty> <empty>
2012 AP Scholars

More than 300 RISD students have earned the distinction of being named 2012 AP (Advanced Placement) Scholars. The AP Program offers several AP Scholar Awards to recognize high school students who have demonstrated college-level achievement through AP courses and exams. This achievement is acknowledged on any AP score report that is sent to colleges.

Award Levels

AP Scholar
Granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP Exams. RISD had 314 students achieve this level in 2012.

AP Scholar with Honor
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.25 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. RISD had 88 students achieve this level in 2012.

AP Scholar with Distinction
Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. RISD had 169 students achieve this level in 2012.

National AP Scholar
Granted to students in the United States who receive an average score of at least 4 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 4 or higher on eight or more of these exams. RISD had 35 students achieve this distinction in 2012.

Congratulations to all RISD students earning the designation of 2012 AP Scholars. >Top

<empty> <empty>
Visitors from China learn about American Education

Richardson HS and West JH recently hosted educators from China a part of the Richardson Chamber of Commerce Exchange Program. Our Chinese guests learned about American education and the variety of programs RISD offers its students. Many thanks to the Richardson Chamber of Commerce for the chance to show off our schools! >Top

<empty> <empty>
RISD College Fair - Saturday September 15, 2012

Students and parents in grades 9-12 are encouraged to attend the RISD College Fair on Saturday, September 15 at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Colleges and Universities from around Texas and the U.S. will be in attendance with information and to answer questions.

For more information, please see the attached flyer. >Top

<empty> <empty>
Destination Imagination Kicks Off 2012-13 Season

Destination Imagination's 2012-13 season has officially begun! Children are invited to Start a Team in Destination Imagination (DI) today and become a part of the world's premier creativity, teamwork, and problem solving program. To date, DI has engaged more than 3 million participants worldwide.

Destination Imagination is an innovative organization that teaches creativity, teamwork and problem solving. In DI, student teams participate in Challenges, exercises that socially and intellectually activate students by prompting them to use creativity and teamwork to solve problems.

DI Team Challenges fall into seven categories: technical and mechanical; science and theater arts; theater and fine arts; improvisation and theater arts; structural and architectural design; Rising Stars! for early learners; and projectOUTREACH, DI's community service challenge.

On September 18th at 7:00pm, the Dal-Rich Region, which serves RISD schools, will host a DI interest session. This meeting is an introduction to the DI program. The meeting will be held at the Richardson ISD Professional Development Center (701 W. Belt Line Road in Richardson).

For information regarding team registration deadlines, tournament dates, and how to start a team, please email For more information on Destination Imagination® please visit >Top

Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
Subscription Information