Fujitsu Trailblazer Award

MST Magnet teacher Stacy Menifee was surprised in her classroom recently with news that she was the 2015 winner of the Fujitsu Teacher Trailblazer Award.

Menifee and her sixth grade science students were surprised when a team from Fujitsu and the RISD Excellence in Education Foundation visited MST with a plaque, flowers and oversized check for $5,000.The award was established in the Foundation by Fujitsu Network Communications in 2010 and recognizes a teacher in grades K-6 who creatively and innovatively integrates the use of technology as part of the instructional process.

Thanks to Fujitsu for recognizing one of RISD's trailblazing teachers!

District Earns Top Rating for Financial Transparency

RISD has again earned the highest possible rating from the Texas Comptroller for financial transparency after receiving Platinum Leadership Circle recognition. The state program seeks to recognize public entities such as local governments and school districts that are committed to financial transparency by making a wide range of information easily available and accessible to the public. 2015 marks the fifth consecutive year that RISD has earned the highest level of recognition available.

RISD A Best Community For Music Education

RISD has again been named a Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. In earning the 2015 designation, RISD joins just 388 school districts around the Unites States "for outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum."

Congratulations to everyone who contributes to the tradition of Fine Arts success in RISD.

PHS, RHS Academic Decathlon Teams Fare Well at State

Pearce and Richardson high schools recently competed at the state Academic Decathlon large-school competition in San Antonio along with the other 25 highest scoring teams in Texas that qualified.

Richardson brought home medals from Lauren Amos (2nd place in essay), Daniel Thorne (2nd place in speech), Patrick Ralston (1st place in math and 3rd place in economics) while Pearce's Mark Saving won a 2nd place medal in math.

Congratulations to both teams and their sponsors.

Pearce Academic Decathlon

Richardson Academic Decathlon

Northlake Students Charting Their Course

Sixth graders at Northlake Elementary recently discovered it's never too early to start charting their course to college.

Spending the day touring the University of North Texas, visiting with counselors and talking with current students, attendees learned how to maximize their chances for admission to top universities and begin planning now.

Board Meeting Summary

At its March 23 meeting, the RISD Board of Trustees addressed a full agenda.

Board members heard an update about the district's innovative efforts related to Career Technical Education (CTE). The district works with area businesses in an effort to prepare graduates with skills, certifications and/or licensures geared toward employment in areas of regional need.

Trustees also heard an update on district progress related to last year's Social Studies and English Language Arts curriculum audit recommendations.

Trustees voted to cancel the May Board of Trustee election as none of the three places on the ballot are contested. Board president Kim Caston is running unopposed for re-election in Place 2, while Eron Linn and Jean Bono are running unopposed in Places 5 and 1, respectively.

The board also voted to submit a waiver to the Texas Education Agency so RISD students will not have to make up the third instructional day lost to inclement weather this school year. State waivers only apply to students, and staff members are required to make up the lost day.

The board finished with a discussion about the 2015-16 operating budget. Due primarily to enrollment growth, an increase in equalized state aid, and reduced transportation and utility costs, the district projects the availability of an additional $8.3 million in operating funds. Trustees discussed district recommendations for budgetary expenditures, highlighted by a 2.5% salary increase for teachers and staff who qualify through satisfactory performance and 23 additional teaching allocations.

Tree Planting Opportunity

RISD community partner State Farm is inviting district 4th- 8th grade families to participate in a service learning project involving tree planting and education with their Youth Advisory Board and the Texas Trees Foundation on Saturday, April 4 from 8:30am- noon.

The event will be held at Point North Park, 882 Synergy Park Blvd. in Richardson. To RSVP, email Amanda O'Neal or call 469-593-0307.

District Calendar

  • April 3 - Snow Make-Up Day
  • April 6 - Regular Board Meeting
  • April 10 - End of Grading Period
  • April 20 - Board Study Session
  • May 4 - Regular Board Meeting

Coming Up

  • Environmental Studies Center 40th Anniv. Open House - March 28
  • Hoops in the Highlands - March 28
  • Excellence in Education Foundation Gala - April 10
  • Stephanie Calams Memorial Golf Tournament - April 28
  • Berkner Booster Club Golf Tournament - May 15

EiE Foundation Gala - April 10

The Excellence in Education Foundation's annual Evening of Honors fundraising gala will be held Friday, April 10. The EiE Foundation provides supplemental funding that solely benefits RISD students and staff members through grants, teacher awards and scholarships. The Evening of Honors celebrates RISD's award-winning teachers and staff from 2014-15, and includes a silent auction among many highlights.