100 Days and Counting

Elementary schools across the district recently observed a traditional school year milestone - the 100th day of school. Each year, early elementary teachers find creative ways to use the day as a way to engage young students in learning about numbers and counting, including coming to school as a 100 year old.

Fine Arts Students Score Big

Congratulations to RISD students for performing well in two recent visual arts contests.

Visual Arts students captured 15 awards in the 2014 City of Richardson Photography Contest, led by Pearce HS student Jessica Kaye Lord's entry that earned Best of Show. Madelyn Moorehead and Hannah Summers from Pearce, and Luke Garwood from Lake Highlands HS earned first place finishes.

District students also won five categories in the 2015 Richardson Civic Art Society Young People's Scholarship Show at the Richardson Public Library.

Audrey Brown, Richardson HS - First in Portfolio
SiQi Huang, Pearce HS, First in 12th Grade
Isabella Fanucci, Pearce, First in 11th Grade
Sofia Conde, Richardson, First in 10th Grade
Felipe Ortiz, Richardson, First in 9th Grade

Science Fair Success

RISD was well represented at the recent Elementary Regional Science Fair that included projects from seven area school districts. "Projects were judged on creativity, scientific thought, and final display," said Elementary Science Director Laney Arndt.

Congratulations to all of the students from RISD who advanced to the competition. First place including first place awards were earned by:
Ted Y. - Northwood Hills El.
Jacob M. - MST Magnet
Joshua F. & Wesley P. - Arapaho Classical Magnet
Nicora P. - Richardson Terrace El.

Harkleroad Among Top Financial Executives

RISD Deputy Superintendent of Finance & Support Tony Harkleroad has been selected by D CEO as a finalist in its 2015 Financial Executives Awards.

Harkleroad, a CPA, has been with RISD for 23 years and is known statewide for his expertise related to the complex Texas school finance system.

Under his tenure leading RISD finances, the district has continued its tradition of academic success while embracing a conservative fiscal philosophy and balanced budgets. Some of RISD's financial highlights include:

  • RISD's financial bond ratings from Moody's and Standard & Poor's for underlying fiscal strength are the highest in Texas, shared by just four other school districts.
  • The district has earned the highest possible rating (Platinum Leadership Circle) for financial transparency from the Texas Comptroller.
  • RISD is one of just three districts in Dallas & Collin counties to offer a local optional homestead exemption to reduce property taxes for homeowners.
  • The district's tax rate has remained unchanged since 2007, when it was reduced to its current level. RISD has the fifth lowest tax rate of 28 ISDs in Dallas and Collin counties, and the third lowest tax levy on residential homeowners.

Board Election Filing Update

The filing period for residents interested in running for the RISD Board of Trustees closes on February 27 at 5:00 p.m.

In 2015, the three-year terms of Place 1 (currently held by Adam Meierhofer) and Place 2 (currently held by Kim Caston) will expire, and both seats will be on the election ballot. Mrs. Caston has filed to run for re-election in Place 2, and Mr. Meierhofer has announced he is not seeking re-election.

An election will also be held to fill the unexpired final year of the term for Place 5, which was vacated when Karen Holburn resigned. Place 5 will then be on the ballot again in 2016 for a full three-year term.

In addition to Mrs. Caston filing in Place 2, Mr. Eron Linn has filed to run in Place 5 and Ms. Jean Bono has filed to run in Place 1.

More information about RISD Board Elections.

All State Performers

Seventeen RISD students were recently selected to participate in Texas Music Educators Association All-State performing groups. Based on a rigorous statewide audition process, the number of student musicians selected as All-State performers represents the top 0.5% of all of students participating in fine arts in Texas.

Congratulations to:
Robert Burns, Pearce HS - Band
Peyton Cabaniss, Lake Highlands HS - Choir
Griffin Camacho, Richardson HS - Choir
Darren Carter, Pearce - Orchestra
Becca Shea Davis, Richardson - Choir
Brady Diffee, Lake Highlands - Band
Lucas Havelaar, Berkner HS - Band
Emily Hughes, Lake Highlands - Choir
Bethany Jelinek, Richardson - Choir
Dylan Kirk, Richardson - Choir
Samantha Laner, Pearce - Choir
Jared Marble, Pearce - Band
Donovan Mirelez, Berkner - Choir
Lance Moore, Pearce - Band
Zoe Moore, Pearce - Choir
Brennan Moran, Pearce - Band
Jason Rodriguez, Berkner - Band

Thank you to RISD Scoreboard Sponsor

Christy Norcross Thomas Real Estate Group

Weather Reminder

The safety of students and staff is the top priority when poor weather creates hazardous travel conditions.

In the event that travel conditions may require classes be delayed or cancelled, parents and employees will be notified directly by telephone message before 6:30 a.m. Parents are encouraged to ensure their child's campus has up-to-date contact information.

In addition, stakeholders can check the RISD homepage, the district Facebook page or the district Twitter feed. RISD also notifies local media outlets of closures or delays.

If unsure, parents, employees and students should assume a normal school day unless notified of a closure or delay by RISD. The District does not send a message verifying a normal operating day. Parents are encouraged to ensue their child's school has up-to-date telephone and email information.

Upcoming Events

  • February 13 - End of Grading Period
  • February 16 - Student Holiday/Staff Development
  • February 16 - Board Study Session
  • February 23 - Board Study Session
  • March 2 - Regular Board Meeting
  • March 9-13 - Spring Break
  • March 23 - Board Study Session
  • April 3 - Student/Staff Holiday (Snow Make Up Day - If needed)
  • April 6 - Regular Board Meeting
  • April 10 - End of Grading Period

Coming Up

  • PTA Used Book Fair- February 12-15
  • Prairie Creek Blood Drive - February 13
  • LH Highlandettes Community Dance Clinic - February 16
  • Lake Highlands Black History Month Program - Feb. 20
  • FAFSA Super Saturday Financial Aid Workshop - Feb. 21
  • LHHS Show Choir Espree 35th Anniversary Show - Feb. 27-28