Fearless Robotics Rolls On
The Berkner High School "Fearless" Robotics team is having another outstanding year and was recognized by the RISD Board of Trustees this week. Highlights this season have included:
- Won the VRC State Tournament in Greenville, TX.
- Won the 2016 World Engineering Division Championship in Louisville, KY.
- Have advanced to the TSA VRC national competition next month in Nashville, TN for the sixth straight year. They are the defending programming skills national champions and have earned five national titles overall.
Berkner Fearless Robotics is currently ranked among the top 15 robotics teams internationally out of more than 10,000 competition teams in 27 countries.
Board Discusses Initial STAAR Scores, Model for Lake Highlands Growth
At its May 2 regular meeting, RISD Trustees heard a report on initial STAAR scores and reached consensus on the instructional delivery model to accommodate current and projected enrollment growth in the Lake Highlands area.
Initial STAAR Results
Staff shared initial STAAR results with the Board from the first administration of the state's 5th & 8th grade reading and math tests. RISD scores improved from last year in most areas while the passing standard set by the state increased. Students in 5th & 8th grade are required to pass both assessments to advance to the next grade. Students who did not pass will have another opportunity to take the assessment before the end of school. STAAR results in other grade levels are expected to be available in June.
Consensus Reached on K-6 Instructional Model to Address Growth
Trustees concluded their discussion from previous meetings about a 5th/6th grade instructional delivery model compared to RISD's current K-6 model. Dr. Stone and instructional staff shared the results of research into the instructional implications of both models, and included some additional operational considerations. The compelling instructional implication of a 5th/6th model is the addition of a transition for students within the critical window of 5th-8th grade. The research indicates that the more stability a student is provided during that age range, higher school engagement levels are realized with lower discipline rates. Based on the research, Dr. Stone recommended that a K-6 model continue to be utilized by RISD as the preferred instructional option.
Based on the instructional recommendation, the work of the Lake Highlands Reflector Committee, and parent & community feedback, the Board decided not to pursue the 5th/6th instructional model as a solution and reached consensus that only options in support of RISD's existing K-6 instructional model will be pursued to address enrollment growth.
Trustees discussed the merits of constructing at least one new K-6 elementary school, adding classrooms on to existing K-6 schools, and the need to develop a long range growth/facility plan specifically in Lake Highlands. Trustees also discussed the community feedback received expressing concern with a school site at White Rock Trail & Walnut Hill. Staff indicated that additional sites in Lake Highlands continue to be evaluated.
Trustees emphasized the need to continue to engage the community related to solutions that support the K-6 model, including the site of a new potential K-6 school, the possibility of additional classroom construction at White Rock Elementary, adding a magnet program option centrally located in Lake Highlands and the potential impact on attendance boundaries of a new K-6 school.
The board requested additional information related to moving forward in support of a K-6 model and will discuss the topic again at their next meeting on May 16.
Learn more about the May 2 Board meeting, including video.
Congratulations to RISD's eight 2016 National Merit Finalists, 37 National Merit Commended students and eight National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars.
Congratulations to these outstanding students
More than 1.5 million juniors in 22,000 high schools entered the 2016 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2014 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. In September, the highest-scoring students in each state were named as Semifinalists and represented less than one percent of the nation’s seniors. To advance to Finalist standing, Semifinalists fulfilled requirements involving outstanding academics, extracurricular activities, awards, and leadership activities.
National Merit Commended students are named on the basis of outstanding performance on the the SAT.
The College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program designation is an academic honor that allows colleges to identify academically exceptional Hispanic/Latino students based on outstanding performance on the SAT.
May 7 is Election Day in RISD
Saturday, May 7 is Election Day. Residents are encouraged to exercise their right to vote at these Election Day locations.
To learn more about Richardson ISD's proposed Bond 2016, please visit the bond information website.