School Times Now!
Numerous campuses across the district took time Monday to observe the fifth anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks.  Pictured are morning commemoration events at Stults Road Elementary, Arapaho Classical Magnet and Dartmouth Elementary. Each school commemorated the day by lowering the school flag to half-staff in memory of the victims.
The following schools and staff were recognized at last night's regular meeting of the Board of Trustees.

Richardson High School was recently recognized by the national education organization Just For The Kids as one of just three Best Practice High Schools in Texas. RHS earned the designation through academic performance across all student groups, and several months of site visits, observation, study and interviews. Principal Charles Pickett was present to accept the recognition, but deferred credit to Assistant Superintendent Bob DeVoll who was principal at the time of the study.

For the second year in a row, Lake Highlands High School has earned the Dallas Morning News All-Sports Award for district 10-5A and has been named one of the top 10 athletic programs in the metroplex. The award considers achievement in all UIL-sponsored athletics. Athletic Coordinator Scott Smith was present to accept the accolades.

Richardson North Junior High nurse Valerie King has been named the Texas School Nurse Organization School Nurse of the Year for Region 10. See story below.

Richardson West Junior High physical education teacher Jamie Ridgeway has been named by the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as their Texas Middle School Teacher of the Year. This recognition further demonstrates RISD’s ongoing commitment to active, healthy lifestyles for students and staff. She will be presented the award in December at the state TAHPERD conference in Fort Worth, and will go on to compete for the U.S. Southern District Award.

Apollo Junior High teacher and Language Arts Department Chair Melissa Harrison recently had her fourth book published, Mother to Son, Shared Wisdom from the Heart.

Board Action
The Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to participate in a Tax Increment Financing District with the City of Dallas. The TIF was established last fall to promote the development and redevelopment of the Skillman Corridor area. The TIF should encourage:

  • creation of more owner-occupied residential units
  • removal and redevelopment of structurally obsolete apartment complexes and retail centers
  • improvement of trail and recreation connections to the area
  • development of the Skillman/Walnut Hill DART light rail station, and
  • redevelopment of the property near the Skillman/LBJ DART light rail station.

Board members have studied the issues and possible manifestations of the TIF since last spring in order to make certain that the agreement was in the best interest of RISD and its families and students. The district worked with the City of Dallas to reach an agreement that would be amenable to both the city and the district. Please click here to read today's article about it in The Dallas Morning News.

In other actions, the Board approved the usual consent agenda that included an HR report, contracts, cumulative purchases and grants, and bond and budget status reports among other items.

Information reports on district goals #3 and #4 were also presented. >Top

Richardson Independent School District is again home to the Region 10 Texas School Nurse Organization School Nurse of the Year Award. This marks an amazing fifth time in the past six years that an RISD nurse has earned this distinction. North Junior High’s Valerie King has added her name to recent past RISD winners Tori Hoffman, Jessica Haas, Sharon Simpson, and Kathy Powell.

Ms. King is a Texas Woman’s University graduate who has been a nurse in RISD for the past 16 years. She is an active member of PTA, NASN, TSNO, TSNO Region 10, and is also a certified American Heart Association Instructor who teaches AED and CPR classes to her colleagues and RNJH staff. In her “spare time,” Valerie works part time at the health center of a local community college to broaden her nursing experience.

Having never thought of becoming a nurse, Valerie said she was fascinated by human anatomy courses during her high school years. It was then she realized that she wanted to be connected with people and make a difference. Since then, there have been no limits for her. “Every person has a story of their own, and when I work with students from all around the world and listen to their stories, it is very inspirational and encouraging to me because it makes me determined to go out there and make a difference,” she explains. Ms. King also says that it’s not simply one nurse who makes a difference, but the whole team of nurses working together.

Colleagues say Valerie’s strengths include her persistent resolve to find a solution to any problem. “She is a true advocate of her staff and students,” says Gloria Canham, RISD Director of Health Services. “She takes initiative and has the determination to search for and locate resources for children with special needs and problems, and she always comes through.”

So what makes RISD different from other districts when it comes to nursing excellence?  The answer lies in the comprehensive system of mentoring support and staff development. The district offers exceptional administrative support and understands the valuable role of school nurses in the educational setting. “School nursing is a unique branch of nursing that allows each of us to advocate,  teach,  comfort,  nurture, and  provide acute and supportive care for every student and make a special difference in their lives and well being,” says Ms. Canham.

RISD is proud to have truly dedicated nurses like Valerie King, serving thousands of RISD students with their love and care. A nurse’s touch or gentle word can really make a difference for a student, and Valerie is contributing toward making that difference. Story by Aishwarya KC, a Berkner High School student intern in the Communications Department. >Top

Texas Instruments and Lake Highlands Junior High invited members of the community and media to the school in August to share exciting news about the RISD/TI Mathematics Intervention pilot program that was implemented last school year.

Special guests, after being escorted through the school by students, gathered in the media center to hear the news that the program has had a substantial effect on TAKS math scores.  Afterwards, guests were invited to observe the program in action in two classrooms. Pictured at right, State Senator Florence Shapiro tours a class.

Under the program, teachers receive additional, specialized training, schedules are blocked so students have 100 minutes of math instruction, and the classrooms utilize the TI Navigator system and advanced graphing calculators, which allow teachers to monitor, on a screen, each students progress as concepts are taught and problems are worked.  This allows for immediate feedback and opportunities for intervention.

It was also announced that due to the success the pilot initiative, it is being expanded to four additional RISD secondary schools this year.

Sincere thanks to Texas Instruments for this partnership and ongoing support of RISD. >Top

The Forest Meadow PTA held their annual “Step Out in Lake Highlands Community Walk.” Seven different schools were represented by parents, teachers, principals, friends and family to encourage parents in the community to join the PTA.  The Cowboy game did not keep the dedicated RISD staff and community members away. Participants went door to door educating parents on how to become involved.

Forest Meadow Junior High, Moss Haven Elementary, Merriman Park Elementary, Stults Road Elementary, Skyview Elementary, Aikin Elementary and Forest Lane Academy bonded together to support this event.  Nothing can beat that Lake Highlands Pride! >Top
RISD’s eleventh annual College Fair will be held on the University of Texas at Dallas campus, Saturday, September 16, 2006. Informational sessions will be from 4:15 to 5:00 p.m. and from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. College representatives will be available from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Almost 200 colleges and universities from across the country will send representatives to meet with Richardson secondary students and their parents. Opportunities are available for exploring college pathways based on individual needs and interests. RISD counselors will be on hand to facilitate the event and to answer questions.

A variety of informational sessions allow participants to learn about financial aid, NCAA, 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. >Top
Please consider helping our students reach new heights.  Become involved in the RISD Volunteer/Mentor program.  Volunteer your time once a month or once a week by reading to an elementary student or mentoring our secondary students through the obstacles of life.  Share your knowledge and skills and become involved. From our primary school to our high schools, all principals welcome community involvement.  Every little bit helps and your efforts to support public education are greatly needed.  Thank you to all who continue to be involved in our schools!  As a community we will continue RISD’s excellence. Pictured at right, STAPLES' general manager assist a Dartmouth student with donated supplies. >Top
Richardson Independent School District today announced that 16 seniors have been named National Merit Semiinalists for the 2006-2007 academic year, making them eligible for consideration to receive a National Merit Scholarship.

The students represent some of the top academic performers in the United States. More than 1.5 million juniors in nearly 21,000 high schools entered the 2007 National Merit Program by taking the 2005 PSAT which serves as the initial screen of program entrants. They represent less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors and the highest scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

“These outstanding students deserve congratulations for a job well done,” said Interim Superintendent Patti Kieker. “To be named among the best is a great boost for them in anticipation of their college years ahead. The district is proud of them.”

Students enter the National Merit competition by scoring well on PSAT tests, usually taken junior year, and advance in the program based on their skills, accomplishments and subsequent SAT scores. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,200 merit scholarships worth more than $30 million.

Richardson ISD’s 2006-2007 National Merit Semifinalists are:

Christina N. Auldridge, Berkner
Elizabeth R. Biasatti, Pearce
Odessa P. Hamidi, Pearce
Christopher C. Irvin, Berkner
Isabelle C. Jargowsky, Richardson
Sarah M. Jenevein, Pearce
Tammy J. Lee, Berkner
Jenna K. Nolan, Richardson
Rebecca A. Piroga, Pearce
Michael V. Sheetz, Richardson
Luke Shelton, Pearce
Kathryn P. Strong, Pearce
Elson Wang, Pearce
Kendra R. Woodall, Pearce
Albert Young, Berkner
Grace D. Yuan, Richardson >Top
Excited students, beaming family members and proud teachers and administrators gathered for RISD's Summer Graduation in August. In all, 79 students crossed the stage at the Lake Highlands Freshman Center, a site of this year's Secondary Summer Program, and received their diploma. >Top

The annual State of the District brochure is now available online.

Click here to view the PDF. >Top

Know someone who would love a part time job? The Dallas Police Department is still looking for individuals to work as crossing guards at several RISD schools within the City of Dallas. Applicants can apply in person at Dallas City Hall, Civil Service, 1st floor, 1500 Marilla, Dallas, Texas or online at the City of Dallas website. >Top
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