ACT Perfection

Pearce HS student Cameron Weir recently learned that he earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. A perfect score is earned by less than one percent of students taking the exam. Congratulations!

Board Hears Survey Results, Approves Bond Refunding

At its regular meeting on May 4, RISD trustees reviewed the results of comprehensive district surveys of students and employees. Teachers and campus staff members responded to questions before Winter Break about different facets of academics, instructional initiatives, school and district operations, leadership, safety, student support, technology, parent engagement and special services.

Students in grades 5-12 provided feedback in February on topics such as engagement, parent and teacher support, safety, discipline, learning preferences and school activities. Survey results contribute to district and school planning, and instructional and operational decisions.

The Board also approved issuance of general obligation bonds related to the final portion of the 2011 bond referendum, and approved the refunding of a portion of bonds already issued. Similar to how a homeowner might refinance a mortgage at a lower interest rate, the refunding will save the district at least $4.2 million in interest costs. RISD maintains the highest stand-alone bond ratings among Texas districts, shared by just four other ISDs.

Board members then heard a report about staff retention efforts, a district priority goal this school year.

Lone Star Challenge

The Lone Star Challenge (LSC) is an academic competition for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students designed to enhance mastery of the state curriculum. First piloted RISD in 2004, LSC is modeled on the successful Texas Academic Decathlon for high school students. This year's topic was The Middle Ages.

Fourteen RISD elementary schools competed in this year's Lone Star Challenge. Congratulations to White Rock, Bowie, Brentfield, Mohawk and Merriman Park on top five finishes.

Legislative Update from Dr. Waggoner

With less than three weeks left in the regular session, the Texas Legislature is quickly shuffling bills between the two houses. Many of these proposals affect public education. Just a few of the items we're monitoring include:

  • HB 2812, which would repeal the limit on the number of dual-credit courses in which students can enroll under certain circumstances. The bill now heads to the Senate.
  • SB 2046, which would require a public school that participates in University Interscholastic League (UIL) activity to provide a home-schooled student, who otherwise meets eligibility standards, with the opportunity to participate on behalf of the public school. The bill has been placed on the Senate Intent Calendar for a hearing.
  • HB 505, which would remove a limit on the number of dual credit courses or hours in which a student may enroll. It also removes limitations regarding the grade levels in which a student must be enrolled in dual credit classes. The bill was voted out of the Senate Education committee on Tuesday, May 5.

We also await a decision regarding SB 149; the bill is with Governor Abbott for signature. With his approval, the bill would take immediate effect, helping an estimated 28,000 Texas seniors who have passed all the required courses but who are at risk of not graduating in 2015 because they failed one or two end of course (EOC) exams. If he does not sign or veto the bill by May 12, the bill will automatically become law.

Visit RISD's legislative page

Inaugural International Festival A Success

Lake Highlands HS students, staff and community recently gathered for the First Annual International Festival sponsored by Peer Mediation students.

Twenty countries were represented by international students who hosted booths, and shared customs and cuisine from around the world. Lively music and a colorful atmosphere accompanied traditional dances and songs.

"This new Lake Highlands tradition is an outstanding way for our students to recognize the value of diversity and the different aspects of our multicultural community," said principal Frank Miller.

Math Operations Day at Prairie Creek

Second graders at Prairie Creek Elem. recently welcomed special math instructors, as third and fourth graders shared lessons designed to get the younger students engaged in, and excited about math.

The older students developed lessons about different math concepts, famous mathematicians and STEM careers, setting up stations around the school offering fun and engaging math activities for the younger students. Parents and teachers pitched in to make Operations Day a success.

District Calendar

  • May 18 - Board Study Session
  • May 25 - Student & Staff Holiday
  • June 1 - Regular Board Meeting
  • June 5 - Snow Make-Up Day / Last Day of School
  • June 7- Graduation - BHS, LHHS, RHS
  • June 8 - Graduation - PHS

Coming Up

  • Bowie Elem Springman Memorial Fun Run - May 9
  • BHS Band Shredathon Fundraiser - May 9
  • Parent Dyslexia Education Group - May 14
  • Berkner Booster Club Golf Tournament - May 15
  • LHHS Spring Choir Concert - May 15
  • PHS Choir Pearceapalooza - May 20