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TOP STORIES
Message from Dr. Waggoner
Arapaho Classical Magnet
Garners Pogue Construction
Flame Award
2013-2014 Student Academic
Calendar Draft
Technology Parent Expo
November 15, 2012
RISD Requests Your Opinion
Congratulations to the
winners of the Cottonwood
Art Festival's Annual Fall
Art Contest!
Election Day is November 6
National FAFSA Completion
Pilot Project to Help Increase
College Attendance
Adult Literacy Classes at
Wallace Elementary
High School Highlights
Richardson ISD to Benefit
From $40.7 Million TIF Grant to
Improve Student Achievement
Nurses' Notes Newsletter
Fall 2012
First Grade Authors from
Prestonwood Elementary
National Take Your Parents
To Lunch Day
HPPM Pastors & Principal
Breakfast
Northwood Hills is revved
up with spirit
Bowie's Annual Fall Festival
Students at Mark Twain
Elementary Earn Free Books
LINKS TO REMEMBER
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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RISD thanks our 2012-13 scoreboard sponsors!

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Message from Dr. Waggoner

October has been another busy month. In addition to the usual activities, several state initiatives have required a time commitment to make necessary changes at the state level.

You may have read about the state finance lawsuit that is currently underway. RISD, like many Texas school districts, made the decision to join the lawsuit against the state to make a difference in the amount of state funding that we receive. The only circumstances in which state legislators have made major changes in state funding have been as the result of lawsuits. In addition to being a plaintiff in the lawsuit, we were one of the few districts actually asked to testify on behalf of the participating districts. Knowing that I was speaking on behalf of students across Texas and especially those in our district was a daunting opportunity for me.

Judge Dietz publicly recognized the wonderful and well-deserved reputation of RISD. I stated, and believe, that RISD provides our students with excellent opportunities. During the week of October 22, I was also able to meet with Commissioner of Education Williams to begin the discussion about the High Performing Schools Consortium. Our district, along with the other 22 districts in the consortium, will be sharing best practices with the state. In addition, we will be developing and evaluating alternative methods of accountability and assessment. We want to play a vital part in transforming education to benefit our students.

The great truth is that teachers in RISD classrooms are providing quality education for students. They are constantly training, preparing and searching for innovative ways to prepare students for college or career. RISD is on the cutting edge of education transformation through the efforts of everyone in the district and community. I am thankful to be part of this district and community and proud of the performance of our students and staff.



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Arapaho Classical Magnet - Pogue Construction Flame Award
Arapaho Classical Magnet was named the winner of the 2012 Pogue Construction Flame Award, which includes $10,000 for campus use. Staff learned of the award on Thursday, October 18 as foundation representatives and district officials burst into the school with balloons and a check.

Pogue Construction President & CEO Ben Pogue began the award as a way to recognize an elementary school that demonstrates the following criteria:

• Has earned a TEA Exemplary rating
• Superior integration of technology
• A nurturing learning environment and engaged student body
• High percentage of student success and achievement

The Pogue Construction Flame Award is administered by the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation. The elementary campus can use the award on resources to support the school and its students. Every RISD elementary school was eligible to submit an application.

Thank you to Pogue Construction for sponsoring the award, and congratulations to Arapaho Classical Magnet Elementary students and staff! >Top
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2013-2014 Student Academic Calendar Draft

The district is considering the 2013-2014 Student Academic Calendar. The school year would begin on Monday, August 26, 2013 and conclude on Thursday, June 5, 2014, with a second snow make up day on June 6, 2014, if needed.

Please click here to view the draft of RISD's 2013-2014 Student Academic Calendar.

Parents, staff and other stakeholders are encouraged to share feedback about the calendar draft, and may do so my emailing risd@risd.org or calling 469-593-0301. The final version of the 2013-14 calendar is likely to be considered for formal Board adoption in early 2013.>Top

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Technology Parent Expo - Thursday, November 15, 2012

Have you ever wondered how to make sense of your child's Twitter account or get his or her grades from EdLine? The RISD Instructional Technology and Professional Development Department is providing parents with the opportunity to learn these skills, plus many more, during the Technology Parent Expo from 6-8 p.m. on November 15, 2012.

Parents will have the opportunity to take several mini courses including Internet safety for the home, Photoshop, Publisher, Twitter and Edline. The classes will be a fun introduction to these topics and many more. The courses will be taught in English; however, translators will be available for those desiring the information in Spanish. Child care will be provided for children ages 2 and up.

All classes will be held at the RISD Professional Development Center, 701 W. Belt Line Road, Richardson, TX 75080. Please contact Vicki McIntosh, Coordinating Director, Professional Development, at vicki.mcintosh@risd.org with questions. >Top

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RISD Requests Your Opinion

The district is participating in a national survey related to the use of technology in education, and is asking stakeholders to consider taking a moment to complete an online survey.

The survey is conducted by Speak Up, and will help RISD understand more about student, parent and employee attitudes related to technology.

Participation is anonymous and easy:

  1. Follow the link below.
  2. Select the survey for student, parent or educator.
  3. Select your state and find your school or district.
  4. If prompted, enter the password 'risd'.

The survey should take approximately 10 minutes - RISD appreciates your time and feedback! >Top

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Congratulations to the winners of the Cottonwood Art Festival's Fall Art Contest

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Every year, Cottonwood Art Festival holds an art contest during the fall show. Each year's contest has its own unique theme. This year’s theme was “Table Creations.” Entries were judged before the festival, and were on display (with the winners' ribbons) during the show.

Winners from Richardson ISD

Grade K-3
First: Emma Mallini - Brentfield Elementary; Caitlin Peters, teacher
Second: Sarah Hinojosa - Arapaho Classical Magnet; Carolyn McCarty, teacher

Grade 4-6
First: Madeleine Sullivan, Marie Bouffard, Isabella Tatum, & Abbey Masters - Bowie Elementary; Kim Page, teacher
Second: Javier Lopez, Precious Uzoma, Jocelyn Alvarado, Carla Cruz, Valerie Dixon, Diana Flores, Veronica Guerrero - Aikin Elementary; Teresa Parsons, teacher
Third: Abigail Lee & Meredith Freeman - Bowie Elementary; Kim Page, teacher
Honorable Mention: Drew Landry - Mohawk Elementary; Kim Page, teacher

West Junior High
Deborah Molotsky, teacher
First:
Fabiola Zuniga & Dafni Chin
Second: Roxanne Owens
Third: Andrea Fernandez
Honorable Mention: Zarah Harris and Gracie Hinojosa

Berkner High School
Patty McAlister, teacher

Second: Trinidad Navarro, Jordy Roldan, & Damien Ramos
Third: Josh Muzquiz, Bryan Lopez, & Jason Henley-Powell Honorable Mention: Andrew Chong

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Election Day is November 6

Thirty-nine RISD campuses will hold classes on November 6 while also serving as polling places for community members to vote.

RISD safety & security personnel work with each campus and Dallas County Elections to develop a plan for Election Day to accommodate voters, minimize the impact on school operations, and keep all students, staff and visitors as safe as possible.

Parents and guardians, please be aware there may be variations to pick up or drop off locations on this day, as well as changes to traffic patterns and parking availability. Your school will notify you if there is a significant change to morning or afternoon routines.

In general, the district requests that parents or potential visitors who do not have urgent business at a school on November 6 delay any visits to minimize the amount of traffic, parking and number of visitors on each campus that day.

RISD schools are proud to be able to serve as the polling location in many neighborhoods on this important day, and appreciate the cooperation and understanding of visitors, staff and students as we work to make the day safe and successful. >Top

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National FAFSA Completion Pilot Project to Help Increase College Attendance

Richardson ISD representatives attended an event that explained how to help students increase their chances of successfully attending college. The event, which was sponsored by Lumina Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation brought together representatives of 87 school districts from across the nation and focused on kicking off the US Department of Education FAFSA Completion Pilot Project.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that provides access to all types of federal financial aid, including Pell Grants and federal student loans. The FAFSA also acts as an application for state and institutional aid in many cases. Research shows that 90% of students who complete the FAFSA will enroll in postsecondary education within 12 months of high school graduation. The FAFSA Completion Pilot Project will enable participating districts to track student completion of the form, and target efforts to ensure that many more students take that step.

"Other districts that successfully implemented the FAFSA Completion Pilot Project have seen a significant increase in the number of students enrolling in postsecondary education," explains Mel Fuller, Executive Director of Secondary College and Career Readiness. "The districts have worked with their cities and communities to give students the financial ability to follow their dreams. We are excited about the possibilities that the program offers our students and our community." >Top

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Adult Literacy Classes at Wallace Elementary
Wallace Elementary is hosting adult literacy classes that meet twice a week on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Currently, more than 50 parents and grandparents participate. The following home languages are represented: Spanish, Karen, Karenni, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Chin. Trained volunteers from Richardson Adult Literacy Center and the Wallace PTA are facilitating the class that lasts through the school year. Thanks to RALC and the Wallace PTA for offering this fabulous opportunity to families. >Top
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High School Highlights
     

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  Berkner High School
Christine's Cause
Berkner Volleyball sold shirts to raise money for dear friend and colleague Christine Tobin and her fight against cancer. Please visit www.christinescause.org for her story and more information. >Top
     

BHS ROTC
Recently at Oak Point Recreation Center, the Berkner JROTC Raider Team participated in a swim event to train and assess team members on swimming, treading water, crossing a water obstacle with a poncho raft, Ranger Swim, and blindfold slide. >Top

     
Ryan Sanders Scholarship Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser
Please join Berkner Theatre in support for our annual Ryan Sanders Scholarship Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser.

When: November 10th from 8 am - 10:30 am.

Where: Applebee's at 1610 East Belt Line Road

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Lake Highlands High School
LHHS Student Awarded $10,000.00 Nordstrom Scholarship

Lake Highlands High School senior Blake Lueder was recently surprised in Choir class with a visit from Tamica McGee, Scholarship Director at Nordstrom's, Jinnetter Dixon, LHHS Counselor, Peggy Dillon, Principal and Blake's mother, Lauri Lueder. Blake was awarded a $10,000.00 college scholarship in the form of a life size check and a laptop computer! Since 1994, Nordstrom has awarded college scholarships to hard-working high school students from across the country. In 2013, the company will again award 80 scholarships of $10,000. These scholarships are paid out in equal installments of $2,500 over four years to the college of the student's choice. This year there were a total of 1117 applications submitted for Texas and only three winners were selected. >Top

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Richardson ISD to Benefit From TIF Grant to Improve Student Achievement

Richardson ISD, working in conjunction with Education Service Center 18 (ESC 18), has been awarded a Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant by the U.S. Department of Education to improve student achievement. The five-year grant, known as the Texas TIF Project, will provide $40.7 million among the partner districts to improve student achievement by increasing teacher and principal effectiveness. The following RISD schools are slated to begin participating in this project during the 2013-14 school year: Audelia Creek Elementary, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Wallace Elementary, Forest Meadow Junior High and Liberty Junior High.

During 2012-13, the Texas TIF Project will operate a planning year to work with stakeholder groups of teachers, principals, and district personnel. Stakeholder input will be used to develop a Human Capital Management System (HCMS) that will meet the needs of the district. The HCMS will include a new teacher and principal evaluation system, an integrated data management system to assess student growth, professional development opportunities, and a performance pay system for educators.

The Texas TIF Project is operating in partnership with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and is aligned with efforts to revise Texas' current teacher evaluation system, known as the Professional Development Appraisal System (PDAS). TEA is piloting two evaluation systems during the 2012-13 school year – The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching's (NIET) Best Practices Center and Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching. >Top

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Nurses' Notes Newsletter - Fall 2012
Please click here for the Fall 2012 edition of the Nurses' Notes Newsletter. >Top
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First grade Authors from Prestonwood Elementary
Prestonwood Elementary first graders are busy each day creating "Teaching" books. They discussed their passions in life and chose a topic to become an expert on. Students have gone through the writing process and are now preparing the final draft of their books. Upon completion, books will be shared with classmates and housed in the class library. >Top
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National Take Your Parents To Lunch Day
School Board Member Adam Meierhofer joined his family at the Moss Haven Cafeteria.

Last week, Moss Haven Elementary joined thousands of schools around the country in celebrating "Bring Your Parents To Lunch Day" during National School Lunch Week. Moss Haven wanted to showcase their meals and provide parents with information about lunchtime.

In March, Moss Haven began its farm initiative and partnership with American Heart Association Teaching Garden program. This effort is expanding to include nutrition and health programs for the students and families to learn as much as they can about living and leading healthy lifestyles. >Top

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HPPM Pastors & Principals Breakfast

Principal Kellee Murrell addresses local Pastors and Hamilton Park Civic League members at their annual "Pastors & Principals Breakfast."

Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet School Principal Kellee Murrell recently hosted a group of local Pastors and Hamilton Park Civic League members for an annual breakfast meeting to provide an overview of the school's efforts and programs and suggested ways in which the community can help. Providing mentors for students was one of the main topics of conversation. >Top

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Northwood Hills is revved up with spirit

Northwood Hills' Award Winners

During a recent Pride Rally and Awards Ceremony, Northwood Hills Elementary Principal Roxxy Griffin rode in on the back of Mr. Randy Testut's motorcycle. Students dressed in 1950's era clothing and enjoyed a sock hop as a reward for their hard work
and good citizenship. Northwood Hills students rock! >Top

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Bowie's Annual Fall Festival

Bowie Elementary recently hosted its annual Fall Festival. Members from across the community, including the Dallas Police Department, participated in obstacle courses, carnival games, and bungee bouncing. At the end of the evening, the Bowie PTA raffled off an iPad as part of their effort to raise funds for a mobile iPad lab for the school. >Top

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Students at Mark Twain Elementary Earn Free Books

Proud students choose new books

Mark Twain is one of several Richardson ISD schools benefitting from an organization called My Very Own Book. MVOB provides free, new books to children who demonstrate they have been reading at home.

Lindsey Chalco-Paz has been spearheading MTE's efforts, and proudly announced last week that students received 229 books in exchange for a total of 195,531 logged reading minutes! MTE wishes to express extreme gratitude to their new community partner. >Top

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