School Times Now!
Superintendent's Message
The Heights Baptist Church
Three Trees Event
2011 Inside RISD Graduation
Hamilton Park Students
Give to the Network
Partners Corner
Prestonwood Elementary
Supports Operation
PKU - Color Me Happy
High School Highlights
Thurgood Marshall Students
Helping Others
Live the Dream Expo-Jan. 7
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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Superintendent's Message
We've had a busy and positive semester across the district and I know staff and students alike are looking forward to some well-earned rest and time with loved ones. As we close out 2011, please let me thank you for your support of RISD. Students, parents, teachers, support staff, community partners and taxpayers all have an important role in our continued success. Have a wonderful, safe and restful winter break! >Top

The Heights Baptist Church Three Trees Event

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With more than 700 volunteers, the Heights Baptist Church recently held its seventh annual Three Trees event for more than 300 RISD families. Each child received a new toy and gift card to Payless Shoes, and each family received a Wal-Mart or Target gift card to help with food for Christmas dinner.

This phenomenal event benefitted several campuses in RISD including the Heights partnership school Carolyn Bukhair Elementary. Students who attended with their parents enjoyed fun and games while their parents shopped for a gift in the Church's main hall. The gifts were then wrapped by Heights volunteers for the parents to take home and give to their children during the Holidays.

Thank you to the Heights Baptist Church for their dedication and generosity to the students of RISD! >Top
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2011 Inside RISD Graduation
The newest group of Inside RISD graduates finished a year of study of the inner workings of their school district this week.

More than 80 community stakeholders – parents, business leaders and community partners – took part this year. They join hundreds of others who have completed the Inside RISD program since it was created in 2006.

Betsy Davis, Richardson High School PTA volunteer services chair, said she was most impressed with career preparation training programs and Berkner's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Academy.

"Every avenue we explored was extremely interesting to me, and I hope the program continues for many years to come so others can experience what an impressive school district we have," Davis said.
Inside RISD was created to foster a closer relationship between RISD and the community it serves. The program includes school tours and detailed presentations about all facets of district operations, including finance, school accountability, academic programs and extracurricular activities.

Planning is under way for next year's Inside RISD, including compilation of the class roster. For more information about Inside RISD, please click here. If you are interested in joining Inside RISD, please contact Celina Cardenas at or 469-593-0307. >Top
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Hamilton Park Students Give to The Network
The Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet "Sweet Kids" enrichment cluster taught students about community service with a sweet twist. They sold baked goods and raised $50 to donate to the Seniors' Net program of the Network of Community Ministries. >Top
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Allstate Team Gives Food, Coats To
RISD Academy Families In Need

Since joining RISD as a partner this year, Allstate Insurance Company's Richardson Catastrophe Office has already had a significant impact on students and the community.

Allstate has enthusiastically embraced RISD Academy, providing 100 large boxes of nonperishable food plus gift cards for groceries at Thanksgiving, 62 winter coats and 50 more boxes of food before Winter Break. In addition, Allstate contributed bikes and $600 in gifts for the school's Pride Rally.

"It's been a blessing for us," RISD Academy Principal Keith Forte said. "We didn't know what to expect at first, but it's really flourished."
In addition to supporting RISD Academy, Allstate has expanded its partnership to other RISD schools, donating coats to students from Audelia Creek Elementary and Thurgood Marshall Elementary.

Thank you, Allstate Insurance Company, for being such a strong community partner for RISD Academy and RISD! >Top
Kindergartners Visit Santa's Village
The city of Richardson recently welcomed kindergartners from throughout RISD to its Santa's Village for a morning of fun.

Class members and alumni from Leadership Richardson helped to make the day special, staffing each station of the village. Students could stop by Santa's Post Office to mail a letter, Santa's Library to see a storybook character brought to life and much more.

Thank you to the city of Richardson for giving RISD students the chance to visit Santa's Village and to Leadership Richardson for providing entertainment for the students! >Top
Aikin Principal Sandra Pointer and Aikin ESL teacher Sara Fox with all the donations.
Junior Women's League Helps Aikin and Skyview Students
The Lake Highlands Junior Women's League provided much-needed help this month to students at Aikin and Skyview elementaries.

League members provided Angel Tree gift packages to 100 Skyview students and 39 Aikin students that each included a school uniform, shoes, jacket and a toy.

Thank you to the Lake Highlands Junior Women's League for going above and beyond to support RISD's students and schools. >Top
KPMG Donates Books To Thurgood Marshall Students
Thurgood Marshall students will have plenty to read, thanks to an ongoing partnership with KPMG. Four times a year through the First Book program, KPMG gives students a book that they get to take home and keep. KPMG representatives recently gave new books to second, third and sixth graders and even read to the second and third grade classes.

This is the second year that KPMG has partnered with Thurgood Marshall, and so far the company has already given students 5,000 books. The purpose of First Book is to promote literacy by providing students with reading material that they might not otherwise be able to afford. >Top
UTD LULAC Helps Spring Valley Families In Need
Thank you to LULAC students from the University of Texas at Dallas! This is the fourth consecutive year that organization members have donated food to families in need at Spring Valley Elementary. More than 75 families received assistance this year. >Top
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PWE's Student Council Supports Operation Kindness
Members of the Prestonwood Elementary Student Council recently collected paper towels for the Operation Kindness No Kill Animal Shelter as part of their fall community service project. On Dec. 1, students and parent volunteers delivered 125 rolls of paper towels to the shelter. Operation Kindness volunteers treated the students to a tour of the facility and gave them the opportunity to spend some time with the dogs and cats available for adoption. >Top
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PKU-Color Me Happy
The Primary REACH theme for the year is People Who Make a Difference in Our World. The month of October featured individuals, organizations and causes that are making a difference in our world by the way they use their time, talents and treasures.

One of the individuals in the spotlight was former Primary REACH teacher Sara Pearson and her family. Sara and David's daughter, Katherine, was born three years ago with a rare genetic disorder called phenylketonuria (PKU). Her family worked to established Team PKU in response to Katherine's diagnosis.

In an effort to raise community awareness and funding for medical research, Team PKU has adopted the motto of "Running, Riding, and Racing for a Reason."
Through the support of numerous members, hundreds of donations and countless volunteer hours, Team PKU has already made a presence within the Dallas-Fort Worth community. Part of the proceeds raised provides birthday baskets for PKU children. Coloring books, crayons, PKU cookbooks and other items are included in the basket. The Primary REACH students spent the month of November collecting more than 300 coloring books to donate to this wonderful organization.

The students, motivated and inspired by Team PKU, began planning their own service project. Some of these projects included creating a 'Hunger is Scary' food drive for the network at Dover Elementary, organizing their classes to write thank you notes to the military, selling hot chocolate to donate to several causes including Race for the Cure, a bake sale for an animal hospital that raised $129, and cheering for Komen 3-Day walkers. >Top
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High School Highlights
Berkner High School
Berkner Celebrates College and Career Center Opening
Berkner's College and Career Center has been helping students find scholarships, explore college options, research careers and more since the beginning of the school year, but BHS formally celebrated its opening Dec. 1.

School Board Member Kris Oliver, Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner, Deputy Superintendent Patti Kieker, Assistant Superintendent Bob Devoll, and Executive Director of Secondary Curriculum Dr. Terry Harris, joined Berkner Principal Ron Griffen, the Berkner counseling team and students at the ribbon cutting.
The center is staffed by BHS counselors as well as two mentor students from the University of Texas at Dallas. And it is decorated with an inspirational mural designed and painted by Berkner advanced art students under the direction of teacher Hope Lattauzio. >Top
Elizabeth Housewright, "Human", Lake Highlands HS
Lake Highlands High School
Tale of One City Competition
Elizabeth Housewright from Lake Highlands High School recently received an award for her "Human" photograph.

The art competition called "Tale of One City," sponsored by SMU's online literary magazine, attempts to spread diversity throughout the city through art and literature.

Out of 82 high school participants, Elizabeth won first prize of $500 and will have her photograph published on their website.

Her art teacher is Jason Young. >Top
E. Chavez & E. Cromwell from Richardson High School; Art Teacher: Sonia Krusleski
Richardson High School
RHS Students' Work Featured Texas House Christmas Tree
Emily Cromwell and Edwin Chavez from Richardson High School's Arts Magnet Program collaborated on an ornament design for the Lone Star Celebration Christmas Tree 2011 Ornament Showcase in the Texas Capitol's House Chamber.

The Honorable Stefani Carter state representative from District 102 provided the glass ornament to the Visual Arts Department for this event. The program promotes and showcases the talent and creativity of students and constituents across the State of Texas. The ornament will hang proudly on the Texas-sized tree in the Texas House Chamber from Dec. 2 through Jan. 6.

Their art teacher is Sonia Krusleski. >Top
E. Gonzalez & D. Largon from Richardson High School
National Thanksgiving Expressions Competition 2011
Congratulations to Elizabeth Gonzalez and Destin Largon from Richardson High School, who participated in the 7th Annual 2011 Thanksgiving Expressions Competition. The Thanks-Giving Foundation presents an annual opportunity to students to reflect and express their ideas on Thanksgiving and gratitude through art. This year's theme is "I Am Grateful to Be Here."

Their winning entries will be on display in the Thanksgiving Hall Nov. 18-Jan. 2 and in the Dallas Central Library from Jan. 2-Feb. 20.

Their art teacher is Beth Field. >Top
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Thurgood Marshall Students Helping Others
Thurgood Marshall classes have just completed the Fall session of their enrichment clusters. The "SLANT" cluster was all about helping others and making a difference by creating a community service project to help people in need.

The students chose the group they would like to help, then went to work. In this picture they are shown holding their final products. They made and decorated boxes stuffed FULL of useful gear for the homeless: toiletries, items to keep them warm and food. Every box had a hat, gloves, two pairs of socks, hand warmers, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, lip balm, flashlight, poncho, comb, granola bars and Pop-Tarts. What was most valuable was the lesson the students learned about giving to others less fortunate! >Top
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Making Resources Available For People with Disabilities
There will be exhibitors from special therapies, adult living facilities, day habilitations, employment programs, government agencies, arts programs and many more! There will be speakers on when to start planning your child's future, guardianship, transition from high school to the work place and social security income. Bring the whole family for face painting, balloon artist and fun for the kids.

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