2015 Graduation Ceremonies

Class of 2015 graduation ceremonies will be held June 7 and 8 at the Culwell Center in Garland.

Sunday, June 7
Berkner HS – 12:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands HS – 4:30 p.m.
Richardson HS – 8:30 p.m.

Monday, June 8
Pearce HS – 7:30 p.m.

As a security precaution, the Culwell Center is no longer permitting live streaming of graduation ceremonies. All RISD high school graduations will be recorded and accessible through risd.org. Graduations are ticketed events, available free through the school to graduating seniors. Attendees should be aware that all bags, purses or containers brought into the Culwell Center must be clear plastic.

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New Principals Named

Dr. Waggoner has announced four new elementary principals for the 2015-16 school year.

Ms. Kristin Strickland will be the new principal of Arapaho Classical Magnet, where she has served as assistant principal for the last four years. Ms. Strickland has been in RISD for 12 years, beginning as classroom teacher and serving as a math specialist and instructional specialist before becoming an assistant principal.

Dr. Patricia Tremmel will be the new principal at Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet. Dr. Tremmel comes to HPPM from Garland ISD, where she has served as a principal for the last 14 years, most recently at Shorehaven Elementary. She has 18 years of experience in education, and was named GISD's Principal of the Year in 2011.

Ms. Emily Good will be the new principal at Jess Harben Elementary. Ms. Good comes to Jess Harben from RISD's Richland Elementary, where she has been the assistant principal since 2011. She has been with RISD for 10 years, beginning her career as a classroom teacher at Jess Harben and has also served as an instructional specialist.

Ms. Megan Cox will be the new principal at Mohawk Elementary. Ms. Cox comes to Mohawk after serving as assistant principal at Hamilton Park since 2012. She has been with RISD for eight years as a classroom teacher and instructional specialist before becoming an assistant principal.

All four will assume their new duties in July.



Kristin Strickland

Dr. Patricia Tremmel

Emily Good

Megan Cox

Trustees Discuss 2015-16 Budget

At the June 1 regular meeting, RISD trustees continued discussions related to the 2015-16 operating budget. Dr. Waggoner and district staff discussed budget priorities and potential expenditures. The proposed operating budget is based on moderate enrollment growth projections and an increase in state aid.

Major proposed increases include:

  • additional staff allocations to keep pace with enrollment growth
  • additional staff allocations to serve students receiving special services
  • a stipend for special education teachers as an area of critical need
  • a 3 percent raise for teachers and staff
  • an increase in the district's contribution to employee health care premiums

There is no proposed increase to the operating tax rate, which would remain at $1.04 per $100 of taxable value on a home, unchanged since 2007 when it decreased.

The Board will hold a hearing on the 2015-16 budget & tax rate on June 22, followed by a potential vote. RISD's fiscal year begins July 1.

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Preliminary 2015 STAAR Scores Available

The State of Texas has released preliminary STAAR scores across 11 grades and subjects in grades 3-8 and the five high school End of Course (EOC) assessments. Parents should receive individual results for their students in grades 3-8 by this week, and individual EOC results will be mailed to parents by June 13.

The scores reflect passage rates after the first administration of the state assessment. Students who were unsuccessful on STAAR assessments in grades 5, 8 and on EOCs will have opportunities to retake the test. Passage rates are expected to increase prior to the final scores being released in August. STAAR mathematics results were not released by the state due to new curriculum standards.

This year the state eliminated the STAAR M (Modified) assessment previously available to qualifying students receiving Special Education services, and introduced STAAR A, an online version of the general STAAR test with built-in accommodations. In RISD, students who previously qualified for and took STAAR M were primarily tested on the general STAAR assessment and scores were included in preliminary results. In contrast, based on the preliminary results, most other districts tested previous STAAR M testers on the new STAAR A, and those results are not included in statewide or district results this year.

Compared to 2014, the number of students in RISD who are learning English in their first year in U.S. schools approximately doubled. The state requires that students in this situation be assessed on the STAAR exam, and most students in this situation understandably struggled. While their results are included in the overall STAAR results reported by the state, they will not be used to calculate the school accountability ratings released in August. RISD evaluates STAAR results as another tool in assessing ways to improve curriculum and delivery of instruction to students.

See preliminary district scores

Cumulative EOC Scores Released for Class of 2015

The State of Texas recently released information specific to the Class of 2015's performance on the five End of Course exams required to graduate from high school. Following the May, 2015 STAAR EOC administration, 96.3% of RISD seniors in the Class of 2015 have successfully completed all EOC exams required for high school graduation, compared to 92% across Texas.

Legislative Session Concludes, District Prepares for Implementations

The 84th Texas Legislature has finished its work in Austin, and numerous bills affecting public education await Governor Abbott’s decision. Governor Abbott has until June 21, 2015, to sign or veto bills passed during the regular session. Bills not vetoed or signed become law without his signature.

School districts around the state, including RISD, are working quickly to analyze the impact of this session on instruction and operations and to implement the new laws enacted by this legislative class.

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Spotlight on RISD

Click to watch the May edition of Spotlight on RISD

Upcoming Events

  • June 5 - Snow Make-Up Day / Last Day of School
  • June 7- Graduation - BHS, LHHS, RHS
  • June 8 - Graduation - PHS
  • June 22 - Board Study Session
  • August 24 - First Day of School