RISD's Class of 2016 will graduate on June 5 & 6 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. Tickets for each of RISD's four graduation ceremonies are available to graduating seniors through their high school. Each event will also be available to watch via video stream at no cost.
Sunday, June 5
Pearce High School – 12:30 p.m.
Berkner High School – 4:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School – 8:30 p.m.
Monday, June 6
Richardson High School – 7:30 p.m.
Learn more & see links to the video streams
Board Members Sworn In, Growth Discussion
At the May 16 meeting, three RISD trustees who recently won election were sworn in, the Board reorganized, and several topics were discussed, including enrollment growth and potential solutions through the bond.
Patterson Sworn In
New trustee Katie Patterson was joined by re-elected trustees Eron Linn and Kris Oliver in being sworn in to three-year terms by District Court Judge Dennise Garcia. The Board voted to reorganize, with positions now including:
Kim Caston, President
Kris Oliver, Vice President
Justin Bono, Treasurer
Dr. Kristin Kuhne, Secretary
Jean Bono, TASB Delegate
Eron Linn, TASB Delegate Alternate
Student Enrollment Growth
Acting Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone led a discussion about next steps in managing enrollment growth in Lake Highlands. Discussion centered on:
- The five schools that are at or approaching capacity, and two other schools that could be part of potential solutions.
- Possibilities to specifically address White Rock Elementary as the school with the highest projected growth and most immediate need.
- The possibility and viability of constructing a campus at the White Rock Trail/Walnut Hill site and the options that doing so could provide to area schools, depending on grade configuration.
- Enlarging the cafeteria and adding classrooms or portable classrooms to Stults Road Elementary.
Trustees reviewed initial architectural plans for different options, and discussed different possibilities in-depth. Staff reiterated that plans for all possible options began to be developed in February to provide the Board with information and options. The Board then went into closed session to learn about other current land options in the Lake Highlands area, which remain very limited.
Members of the Board concluded the meeting with additional discussion that centered around the overall size of many elementary schools in the Lake Highlands area. Some expressed concerns that adding on to schools over the years in an effort to accommodate the neighborhood school model was creating elementary campuses that were too large. Balancing those concerns was information from staff that in the northern portion of Lake Highlands, there are currently no suitable parcels of land for sale, and therefore limited ability to construct an additional K-6 school. Discussion occurred about evaluating scenarios where adjustment of attendance boundaries could provide relief, but with space concerns and student overflow at a number of current schools, changing boundaries on a large scale is not an effective solution.
Trustees agreed that a districtwide strategic growth plan was necessary. The Board authorized staff to move forward with plans for the addition of two portable classrooms at Stults Road Elementary and expansion of the cafeteria. Trustees also concluded that further expansion of White Rock Elementary was not an option based on its projected size, and that a new school in the southern portion of Lake Highlands was necessary, either at the White Rock Trail site or a different site to be determined.
Learn more about the May 16 Board meeting, including video
Teachers at Merriman Park Elementary recently learned how to better help students cope with their sensitivities and differences through two new professional development sessions from RISD's Department of Advanced Academics. "Eye on Overexcitabilities" and "Hammering Out GT Truths," were presented by district gifted specialists and sponsored by the SAGE (Special and Gifted Education) Committees of the RISD Council of PTAs and Merriman Park PTA. Teachers learned about research on the development and needs of gifted students and discussed strategies helpful for the learning environment of all students.
This professional development opportunity is now available to additional RISD schools and PTAs. For more information, contact Monica Simonds, Director of Advanced Academic Studies.
Acceleration Summer Program Deadline Extended
Registration for RISD's Acceleration Summer Program has been extended until May 22. The program allows students to work ahead over the summer by earning credits toward graduation and is a popular option for students who want to free up time during the school year for electives and extra-curriculars.
RISD's Summer Camp page lists district- or school-affiliated summer camp offerings, including opportunities from RISD partner organizations.