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TOP STORIES
New 2012-13 Calendar
Option Proposed
Veterans Day Observed
Across The District
2011 Invention Convention
RHS Culinary Students
Win Iron Chef: North
Texas Competition
Conference Teaches Ways
To Integrate Technology
Into Curriculum
GIS Day Introduces PHS
Students To Growing
Technology Field
Lake Highlands Junior
High Celebrates Moments
of Service
RHS Dedicates College
& Career Readiness Center
Arapaho Classical Magnet
Holds Annual Election Day
Parkhill Junior High Welcomes
Moroccan Visitors
Partnership To Strengthen
RISD College Readiness
Programs
Cottonwood Art Festival
Chair Art Contest Winners
Southwest Dairy Farmers
Visit Yale Elementary
White Rock Student
Wins Raise Your Hand
Texas Photo Contest
Lake Highlands Elementary
Playground Auction
Lake Highlands Elementary
Artwork Installed
at Recreation Center
Mark Twain Elementary
Garden Expansion
Event Highlights District
and Community Resources
Available to Parents
Pearce Seniors Celebrate
Successful Cross Country
Season
High School Highlights
3rd Annual Berkner Bazaar
is Coming - Nov. 19
Eaglettes to Perform Before
Stars Game - Nov. 21
LINKS TO REMEMBER
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
2011-12 Academic Calendar
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New 2012-13 Calendar Option Proposed
RISD is continuing the planning process for the 2012-2013 Student Academic Calendar, and has been soliciting input from parents, staff and the community. After initially proposing two calendar options, staff and parent feedback regarding winter break and the end of the school year has led the district to create another option.

The new option (known as Option 3) will maintain the traditional two weeks of Winter Break while extending the school year into the first week of June. In order to accommodate the new option, 2013 graduations would be moved to June 9 & 10, 2013.

Under any option, the 2012-13 school year cannot begin earlier than August 27, 2012 (the fourth Monday in August).

The originally proposed calendar Options 1 and 2 were similar, and for purposes of clarity, Option 2 is no longer being considered.

The district has created an online survey for stakeholders to express their preference between calendar Option 1 or Option 3.

The major differences between the two options are the length of Winter Break and when the school year ends.

Option 1 has a shortened Winter Break with the school Year ending May 31, 2013. To view Option 1, please click here.

Option 3 has the traditional two week Winter Break with the school year ending June 6, 2013. To View Option 3, please click here.
Parents or community members without online access may express a calendar preference by calling RISD Communications at 469-593-0301.

The Board of Trustees is expected to vote on a final calendar in December or January. >Top
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Veterans Day observed Across the district

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Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet
Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet held its 10th annual Veterans Day Parade on Thursday, Nov. 10. Members of the community, city and school district leaders, veterans, parents and students turned out for the parade through the neighborhood.

Bowie Elementary
Bowie students honored local veterans with a special assembly on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Sergeant John Hudson of the U.S. Army was a special speaker during the assembly. Sergeant Hudson spoke of his recent tour in Afghanistan.

The Bowie community would like to thank all veterans for their service to our country!

Northwood Hills Elementary
Northwood Hills is proud of P.E. teacher Ms. Janet Ellis, who served in the Air Force! >Top
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2011 Invention Convention
Yale Elementary fourth grader Sadie M., with her award-winning invention The Zinger.
More than 600 students from 35 schools showed off their creativity in RISD's 27th annual Invention Convention.

Inventions were judged on uniqueness, usefulness, research, construction/design, salesmanship and effectiveness of display. The district Invention Convention recognizes outstanding inventors from each RISD school, and provides them with the opportunity to present their inventions to each other and the public. They were judged by representatives from event sponsors, local elected officials and area business representatives.

Dartmouth Elementary kindergartener Connor Neighbors garnered multiple awards for his Pop Up Hanger, including the Outstanding Grade Level award, the Best Invention Related to Storage and Organization and the Most Patentable. It helps shorter kids be able to reach hangers onto closet rods that might otherwise be out of their reach. The law firm of Baker Botts will assist in securing a patent for the Pop Up Hanger.
     
Best In Show went to Yale Elementary fourth grader Sadie Meador The Zinger, which also won an Outstanding Grade Level award. The Zinger is a robot that serves both as an alarm clock and a nightlight.

The Invention Convention is made possible by support from signature sponsor M&A Technology, as well as The Container Store, Baker Botts, Whataburger, the Richardson Environmental Action League, the Richardson Chamber of Commerce, Arapaho Road Animal Clinic, Community Coffee and Fujitsu Network Communications. McDermott Scholars, Terry Scholars and Chemistry Student Association members from UTD, as well as RISD employees, parents and alumni also offered their time to the event.

For the complete list of winners, please click here. >Top
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RHS Culinary Students Win Iron Chef: North Texas Competition
Students from the RHS Culinary Arts Magnet recently won the Iron Chef: North Texas Fall 2011 competition, sponsored by The Art Institute of Dallas and modeled after the popular Food Network show.

Using the secret ingredient celery root, students made a three-course meal with a salad, entrée and dessert. Kamryne Brooker-Littles, Lauren Domingos, Lindsey Mauldin and Catherine Miller brought home the honors, while Catherine Miller also won the Outstanding Student Chef award.

Their team is RHS Culinary Arts Magnet instructor Karen Hill. >Top
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Conference Teaches Ways to Integrate Technology Into Curriculum
From free resources on the Web to ways to truly integrate technology into the classroom, RISD curriculum leaders are learning to use every tool available to teach students.

Innovators from within RISD, district instructional technology staff and outside experts came together for the first-ever RISD Instructional Technology Integration Conference. Instructors showcased teachers in RISD who are already using technology innovation in the classroom and also introduced tools and tips that were new to those in attendance.

"The whole principle is to learn what's available," said Vicki McIntosh, coordinating director of professional development and a member of the committee that planned the conference. "What we're hoping will happen is to have conversations about this as they develop their curriculums."
     
Sessions included incorporating podcasts and blogs into the classroom, using iPads and educational iPad apps, and how to use technology to better teach students who are "digital natives" – children who have been immersed in a digital world from an early age. Others focused on specific subject areas, such as science and fine arts.

Dr. Bruce Ellis, a Texas Computer Education Association trainer, said in his sessions that truly integrating technology into instruction is important to reach students who have grown up in today's technology-driven world. Students now want to learn, but in a different way than people did years ago.

"It's not easy, but it's something that will help in education," Dr. Ellis said. >Top
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GIS Day Introduces Pearce Students to Growing Technology Field
Students get instruction from Jerry Bartz of Brookhaven College as they use GPS units to tag points at Pearce High School.
As a way to introduce students to geographic information system (GIS) technology, Pearce High School students geotagged and had the opportunity to hear from professionals about real-world uses for the technology.

GIS is one of the fastest growing technology fields, used by everybody from demographers to crime analysts. And over the past few years, the GIS program at Pearce has been growing as well. Students who take the elective classes are even attaining certifications, teacher Sue McClellan said.

This was the second year McClellan has held a GIS Day event, after the last one helped to increase enrollment in her classes. She said that to her knowledge, the GIS program at Pearce is the only one available at a public high school in Texas, and GIS Day is a way to expose more students at the school to what is being offered. >Top
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Lake Highlands Junior High Celebrates Moments of Service
The Lake Highlands Junior High faculty, student body and parents have wrapped up their first Moments of Service Food Drive Campaign. The Moments of Service Food Campaign benefitted the North Texas Food Bank, which distributes food to organizations that serve needy families in the DFW area. Everybody involved far exceeded the goal of 1,000 pounds of non-perishable healthy food, collecting more than 1,500 pounds in just one week.

To celebrate their success, the student body was rewarded with an Advisory Open House. >Top
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RHS Dedicates College and Career Readiness Center

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Richardson High School recently dedicated its new college and career counseling center, made possible by support from both parents and staff.

College and career counselor Alyson McGarity, secretary Sonja Deeds, RHS counselor Colleen Monier and RHS Magnet counselor Bill Witten were instrumental in organizing the RHS center, which received financial support from the RHS PTA. Even students contributed, with Arts Magnet students Jenna Caire and Edwin Chavez painting a mural inside the center's office.

Ms. McGarity's position is funded by an Advise Texas grant obtained by Assistant to the Superintendent for Post-Secondary Readiness Karen Neal.

Lake Highlands High School was the first RISD school to open a college and career counseling center, and now each of the four high schools has one open. They provide students with a one-stop location for help on applying for college admission and scholarships, registering and preparing for ACT and SAT exams, aptitude testing and more. >Top
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Arapaho Classical Magnet Holds Annual Election Day
ACM second graders cheer on their candidates.
Arapaho Classical Magnet second graders recently held their 5th annual Election Day. Ballots from the four classes were cast for president and vice president, with Matthew Moore of "Teagavania" (Mrs. Teague's class) winning the presidency and Ruby Mae Lauritzen of "Fickissippi" (Ms. Fickling's class) securing the vice presidency. Students enjoyed learning about participating in a democracy and casting ballots for their favorite candidates. >Top
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Parkhill Junior High Welcomes Moroccan Visitors
Parkhill students with their Moroccan visitors.
Parkhill Junior High's French, Art and AVID classes welcomed Moroccan performers and artisans to their campus recently. The performers played traditional Moroccan music, a calligrapher wrote students' names in Arabic, and a silversmith showed how he creates handicrafts. The Moroccan visitors were sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth and the City of Addison, which had brought them over for their international festival, WorldFest. >Top
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Partnership to strengthen RISD college readiness programs
Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend and RISD Board of Trustees President Kim Quirk are supporting the TxCAN college readiness pilot project.
RISD is partnering with the Texas High School Project in a pilot project of the Texas College Access Network (TxCAN), which will lead to new tools to improve RISD students' college readiness. Through the partnership, RISD and the other organizations will work collaboratively to increase access for students to postsecondary education and to ensure that they are prepared to continue their education at the college level.

The efforts of this alliance are an ideal fit with RISD's strategic vision to prepare each of its students for their global future. The tools developed through the partnership will give students, parents and schools more information they need to track progress toward college readiness.

RISD will create a "dashboard" for students that will be a single place for students, parents and schools to store and review items vital to college admission -- SATs, ACTs, PSATs, college applications and FAFSAs. It will allow counselors to review student information without having to find records manually.

The Dallas and Lancaster school districts are also involved in the partnership. To read a press release about the TxCAN partnership, please click here. >Top
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Cottonwood Art Festival Chair Art Contest winners

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For last month's Cottonwood Art Festival, students from across the district created art from chairs. The art club from Aiken Elementary won first place, while the Math/Science/Technology Magnet art club won second place. Students from Richardson West Junior High's arts magnet also competed in the contest.

The contest was open to all students throughout RISD, and winners' chairs were on display during the festival. >Top
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Southwest Dairy Farmers Visit Yale Elementary
On Nov. 11, Yale Elementary students were treated to an awesome presentation. Aaron Sanders from Southwest Dairy Farm brought their mobile presentation station and spoke to the students about how dairy products from cows are derived. The students even saw an actual milking demonstration a first for many of the city dwellers. >Top
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White rock student wins Raise Your Hand Texas Photo Contest
Elizabeth and Mrs. Kinzie, principal of WRE
White Rock Elementary student Elizabeth Stansberry entered and won the Raise Your Hand Texas (RYHT) Pick the Pic contest. The contest, open to all public school students in Texas, required contestants to submit a photo answering the question, "What two things inspire you to achieve success?" Elizabeth's photo expressed that her family and her faith inspire her to achieve success. Elizabeth, in second grade at WRE, won an Apple iPad for herself and $500 for her school. Thank you, Raise Your Hand Texas Education Fund! And congratulations to Elizabeth! >Top
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Lake Highlands Elementary Playground Auction
What do you get when you add parents + teachers + administration + community members + cool baskets + a taco truck? You get the Lake Highlands Elementary School auction!

What started as a small group of parents and LHE Principal Kim Sullivan wanting to better the school playground has reached beyond the walls of the attendance zone. Anyone in the area knows that the Lake Highlands Elementary school playground is more than just an elementary playground -- it is the community's playground.

Yes, it is where the kids play at recess, but it is also so much more. It is where families gather after school to catch up. It is where little ones' playgroups meet and get acquainted with their future classmates. It is where neighborhood soccer and baseball teams meet for practice. It's where neighborhoods have their ice cream social. It's where grandparents take their grandkids to give them some fun exercise on the weekend. And it is where neighborhood residents go to play (responsibly) with their dogs (even a cat too!) With so much activity, a more up to date playground is needed.

The LHE auction on Nov. 5 was the kickoff event for The Playground Project, a 3 to 5 year drive with a goal of $180,000. For the auction, parents, teachers and community members joined for fellowship and a meal from a taco truck, then walked up to Lake Highlands Elementary school for a silent auction. With live music as entertainment, people bid on everything from a full bookcase full of books to overnight stays at a hotel. To keep up with this awesome project check out the facebook page: www.facebook.com/LHEPlaygroundProject >Top
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Lake Highlands Elementary Artwork Installed At Recreation Center
Christen Zajac with Lake Highlands Elementary and Lake Highlands Junior High students who worked on a new mosaic with their LHE enrichment cluster. (Photo credit: Lake Highlands Today)
A three-mosaic artwork created by a Lake Highlands Elementary enrichment cluster with art teacher Christen Zajac is now on display at the newly renovated Lake Highlands North Recreation Center.

Images represent the community, including the Dallas skyline, White Rock Lake and even a Lake Highlands wildcat.

To read a Lake Highlands Today story about the mosaic, please click here. >Top
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Mark Twain Elementary Garden Expansion
The Mark Twain Elementary community garden is getting more room to grow, thanks to a grant from Plastics Make It Possible that is providing containers from the Wooly School Garden program.

Mark Twain was one of 10 schools in the United States and the only one in Texas to receive the grant, worth $1,000. The containers are made from recycled plastic bottles and allow the garden to go vertical. Jen Henderson, who leads the enrichment cluster of students who tends to the garden, said she plans to put them on chain link fence near the current garden.

"We're limited on our ground space so I like that it's utilizing the fence space," Henderson said. "They customized a plan for us for our area, and they provide a curriculum."

Food from the Mark Twain garden is donated to the Network of Community Ministries, as well as needy families at the school. >Top
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Event Highlights District And Community Resources Available To Parents
The RISD Newcomer Center's annual Parental Involvement Fair on Nov. 12 helped to familiarize hundreds of parents and students with community services, organizations and school programs available to them.

In addition to information booths and health services, parents were also able to attend classes to teach them how to better interact with their schools and their students' teachers. But it was also a fun event, with giveaways, food and entertainment. More than 300 students and 200 parents attended the fair.
"It's introducing them to the things the district provides and the community provides," said Edna Rodriguez, a bilingual program specialist and one of the organizers of the fair. "Parents don't know what services are available."
     
Martha Macias, whose children attend Liberty Junior High and Audelia Creek Elementary, said she attended so she can get more involved in helping the schools and so her children will do better in their classes.

District resources highlighted included the afterschool PACE program, the AVID program and magnet school programs. Organizations that participated included the Region 10 Education Service Center, Healing Hands Medical/Dental Clinic, Richland College and a dozen others.

RISD would like to thank all organizations and businesses that participated, as well as the numerous businesses and the community groups that supported the fair. For a full list, please click here. >Top
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Pearce Seniors Celebrate Successful Cross Country Season
Taylor Piske, coach Gregg Larimer and Kendall Howen celebrate a strong finish at Region II cross country championships in Arlington.
J.J. Pearce seniors Taylor Piske and Kendall Howen capped off a successful cross country season at the 4A State Championship on Nov. 12 in Round Rock.

Taylor finished 18th, while Kendall earned All State honors by placing 10th. Their previous accomplishments include Taylor placing third and Kendall placing second at the Region II championships and both winning the District 10-4A championship and both being named District 10-4A MVP.

This was the first time runners from the same RISD team have both won the boys' and girls' district championship in the same season.

Also, congratulations to six senior Pearce High School cross country runners, who were recently honored as Academic All-State by the Texas High School Coaches Association. Boys are Ryan Holstien and Taylor Piske, All-State Elite; and Joe Van Donk and Di Xie, All-State First Team. Girls are Kendall Howen, All-State Elite, and Christina Lloret, All-State First Team. >Top
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High School Highlights

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Richardson High School
Art Students' Work Selected for Dallas Cup Calendar

Three RHS art students' work was selected for the Dallas is Diversity 2012 calendar. Thirteen works of art are chosen each year from among thousands of entries from the Richardson, Dallas, Garland and Frisco school districts. The project is part of the annual Dallas Cup competitive soccer tournament, to be held April 1-8, 2012. It allows students to express on paper their perspectives on culture, diversity and soccer.

Julie Guldbeg Hulten, Jose Apolonlo and Jenna Caire each had their artwork selected. In addition, Jenna won a $500 Dallas is Diversity scholarship. Each of their teachers, Sonia Krusleski, Beth Grant-Field and Ryan Logan, will receive $200 to purchase art supplies. >Top
     
  RHS Programming Team Places 3rd at UTD Competition
The RHS Programming Team recently competed at the UT Dallas fall programming contest. The Advanced team – Eric Coldewey, Stuart Taylor and Eduardo Zapata – placed 3rd. Special recognition goes out to Noel Negusse for being a one-man programming team, outperforming several other 3-member teams in the Advanced division. >Top
     
RHS Students Advance to All State Choir Auditions
Richardson High School announced the following students placed in the Top 5 at the second round of Region choir auditions on Nov. 15. They will audition for the Texas All State Choir in January: Grant Steiner, 1st chair, Bass 2; Joseph Elandary, 1st chair, Tenor 2; Mariah Williams Roberts, 2nd chair, Soprano 1; Brandon Baker, 3rd chair, Bass 1; and Felicity Harries, 5th chair, Soprano 1.

In addition, several students made alternate: Sam Njiru, 1st alternate, Tenor 2; Emily Lyons, 1st alternate, Alto 1; and Tamir Shargal, 1st alternate, Bass 2. >Top
     
Berkner High School
Berkner Robotics Team Secures
Spot in World Championships

The Berkner Fearless Robotics team is again headed to the VEX Robotics World Championships after a strong showing at the Houston VEX tournament on Nov. 12. Four Berkner Fearless teams were in the competition, and they won three honors: tournament champion, team led by Robotics Club President Humberto Adame and Steve Kim; tournament finalist, team led by Indy Vermeersch and Chistopher Chen; and the judges award, team led by Vincent Nguyen and Kai Hernandez.

The team is sponsored by Eon Meusa. >Top
     
Mighty Ram Orchestra makes State Finals!
The Berkner Symphony Orchestra recently competed in the Texas Music Educators Association State Honor Orchestra competition. In a highly competitive contest, the Symphony advanced to the final round placing 7th in the state!

This is the 7th time in six years the Symphony has made the state finals for either Full Orchestra or String Orchestra.

The Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Craig Needham. >Top
     
Lake Highlands High School
TWU Mobile GO Center visits Lake Highlands High School

Lake Highlands High School students recieved one-on-one assistance with college applications, financial aid, resume/essay writing and more when the Texas Woman's University mobile GO center visited their campus on Nov. 10. More than 70 students were able to take advantage of this great program. Pictured are LHHS seniors and counselors outside the TWU mobile unit. >Top
     
Lake Highlands Theatre Performs Annual Children's Show
Lake Highlands Freshman Center performed its annual Children's Show The Week of Oct. 31st. The production "Big Bad" tells the tale of the Big Bad Wolf on Trial for his crimes against inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest. Kindergarteners from Northlake, Stults Road, Lake Highlands, Skyview, White Rock, Terrace, Wallace, Thurgood Marshall, Moss Haven and Merriman Park attended shows throughout the week. An evening showing for friends and family was performed on Nov. 5th at LHFC. Cast members included students from both LHFC and LHHS and was directed by LHFC Theatre teacher Marnie Huff and assisted by teacher Tanja Dugas. >Top
     
Lake Highlands Volleyball Players Named Academic All-State
Congratulations to four seniors on the Lake Highlands High School girls volleyball team recently honored as Academic All-State by the Texas High School Coaches Association. They are Megan Garcia, All-State Elite; Matalee Reed, All-State Second Team; and Ann Jaggars and Katelyn Sefko, All-State Honorable Mention. >Top
     
Pearce High School
J.J. Pearce Fall Signing Day
Four J.J. Pearce student-athletes signed college letters of intent on Nov. 9. Students and coaches pictured from left to right:
Cade Storey, Golf – Texas Tech University; Coach Brandon Thomas
Trevor Renfro, Baseball – Texas State University; Coach Tim Benton
Shelby Sullivan, Volleyball – Texas A&M University; Coach Jason Nicholson
Adam Bull, Swimming – University of Florida; Coach Dan Hafner >Top
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3rd Annual Berkner Bazaar is coming! - Nov. 19
Mark your calendars for the weekend before Thanksgiving for the Berkner Bazaar! Get a head start on your holiday shopping with over 50 vendors and student groups. In addition to great crafts, jewelry, home decor and more, there will be bake sales provided by The Mighty Ram Band and Berkner Bandoleras. This event is sponsored by the Berkner PTA. Berkner is located at 1600 Spring Valley Rd.

Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9:00 to 4:00 and Sunday, Nov. 20 from 11:00 to 4:00 - see you there!>Top
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EAGLETTES TO PERFORM BEFORE STARS GAME - Nov. 21
The Richardson High School Eaglettes will be performing at Victory Plaza November 21 at 7:00 p.m. in advance of the Dallas Stars game. The public is invited to attend in support of the Eaglettes.

Click here to download the flyer. (PDF) >Top
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