Trustees Call Bond Election For May 7

At their February 15 meeting, RISD trustees voted unanimously to call a $437.1 million bond election for May 7.

"Families are continuing to choose our community to educate their children," said Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner. "From the beginning of our bond planning process a year ago, we have been focused on what we believe is best for our students, and I am very comfortable that this bond package reflects that focus."

"We are asking the RISD community to continue their investment in our students to provide the tools, technology and facilities they need in order to help prepare them to be successful in their global world," said Board President Kim Caston.

The single proposition bond package is broken down into three main categories:

Maintenance of existing infrastructure, technology and equipment - $215.71 million
This category includes capital items that have reached or are expected to reach end of useful life by 2021. Examples include roofs, HVAC units, student & teacher computer devices, and equipment for instructional and extra curricular programs. This category also includes maintenance and upgrades of safety & security equipment such as cameras, alarms and fire protection.

Construction, capacity and renovation - $107.27 million
This category includes new construction of classrooms and capital expenses to increase classroom capacity to accommodate enrollment growth and address outdated design, including:

$59.74 million would construct 24 classrooms at Lake Highlands H.S., 21 classrooms at Richardson H.S. and redesign/renovate three 1970s-era schools, Aikin, Prestonwood and Yale.

$47.53 million would accommodate additional enrollment needs over the next five years, potentially including purchase of land, a new elementary school to address enrollment growth in the Lake Highlands area, construction of new classrooms at existing schools and/or purchase of portable classrooms. A community reflector group is expected to submit specific recommendations to the RISD board in April regarding measures to accommodate growth in the Lake Highlands area.

Enrichments - $114.1 million
This category includes items and construction to improve the overall educational experience of students and/or enrich the teaching experience for staff, including:

  • $59.98 million - Multipurpose Activity Center at each high school
  • $19.42 million - Technology enhancements for RISD classrooms
  • $17.19 million - Transformation of libraries at each school to flexible learning environments
  • $9.88 million - Additional Career Technology courses and JROTC program at each high school
  • $6.13 million - Curriculum & Instruction materials
  • $1.5 million - Enterprise technology (business information systems, servers, hardware)

If approved by voters, the bond package would increase the debt service tax rate by an amount not to exceed 8 cents, which equates to a property tax increase of approximately $138.95 a year ($11.58 a month) for an average residential home in RISD valued at $220,758.

Because it is among the few districts to still offer taxpayers a local optional homestead exemption, RISD currently has the third lowest tax levy among the 28 school districts in Dallas and Collin counties for residential homeowners. If the bond package were approved, RISD's tax levy would remain the third lowest for residential homeowners.

RISD will hold community informational meetings in each high school feeder pattern in March & April.

For more information about specific items included in the proposed bond, including a school-by-school breakdown, please visit the 2016 bond website.

Lake Highlands Reflector Committee

At the February 15 Board meeting, Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone outlined details of the Lake Highlands Reflector Committee to evaluate enrollment growth.

The committee will be comprised of approximately 48 members, including representatives from each Lake Highlands-area school, with opportunities for educator, parent, student and community participation. The committee will have its initial meeting March 1, and work toward a goal of recommending capital measures to accommodate enrollment growth in Lake Highlands by April 18.

Dr. Stone confirmed that all options are open to consideration, including a combination of capital options such as construction of a new elementary school, construction of additional classrooms at existing schools, and/or the use of portable classrooms. Earlier in the meeting, the RISD Board voted to place a bond package before voters that included $47.53 million for capital options to address enrollment growth, primarily in Lake Highlands. RISD has additional sources of one-time operating funds that could also be used to address growth if enrollment grows more quickly than projected.

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District Calendar

  • February 29 - Regular Board Meeting
  • March 7-11 - Spring Break
  • March 21 - Board Study Session
  • April 7 - End of Grading Period

Events & Fundraisers

  • Parent & Teen Ed - Using Social Media Safely - Feb. 16
  • Prairie Creek Blood Drive - Feb. 19
  • Super Saturday College Financial Aid Workshop - Feb. 20
  • PHS Choir Chili Cook Off - Feb. 21
  • K-12 Art Showcase at the Eisemann - Month of February
  • Parent Ed - Social/Emotional Wellness Series - Body Positive - Mar. 4

Focus Accounts Needed for Online Enrollment

On March 1, parents of current non-magnet elementary students in kindergarten through fifth grades will be able to enroll their children for the 2016-17 school year online. To enroll online, an active Focus Parent account will be required.

Focus Parent accounts also allow parents to view their child's grade and attendance information online.

Online enrollment for secondary students will occur in late July, also through Focus.

Parents are encouraged to create a Focus Parent account
if they have not already done so.

Filing Period Open For RISD Board Election

Terms expire for places 3, 4 and 5 on the RISD Board of Trustees in May. The window is now open for residents interested in running for the RISD Board of Trustees to file for a place on the ballot for the May 7 election.

Place 4 incumbent Lanet Greenhaw has announced she will not seek re-election after 18 years of service on the Board. Place 3 incumbent Kris Oliver and Place 5 incumbent Eron Linn have both filed to seek re-election to three-year terms.

Potential candidates may pick up an information packet at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Avenue in Richardson during normal business hours. The deadline to return filing documents for the May 7 election is February 19 at 5:00p.m.

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