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Student Spotlight

Congratulations to Westwood's Varsity Girls Choir and director Joel Price for being one of five middle school choirs in Texas selected to perform at TMEA's 97th annual Clinic and Convention in San Antonio.

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RISD & UNT Announce Partnership

High-achieving RISD juniors in the top 20 percent of their class will now be guaranteed admission to the University of North Texas through UNT's Eagle Advantage program. "We're excited to enter into this partnership with the University of North Texas," said RISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. "This is truly a win-win, as many of our students will enjoy the advantages of automatic acceptance into a top area university, and UNT will welcome graduates from RISD who are prepared to excel."

Learn more

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Secondary Online Enrollment Opens July 18

Parents of returning students entering grades 7-12 can enroll their student online from July 18 - August 2. An active Focus account is required for parents enrolling their students online.

Learn more or create a Focus Parent account


Board Approves Budget, Discusses Growth

The RISD Board of Trustees met on June 20 for a study session and public hearing on the 2016-17 operating budget.

2016-17 Operating Budget Approved
Trustees voted to approve the 2016-17 Operating Budget, which includes an increase of approximately $9.3 million and prioritizes core instruction and staff retention.

"This budget prioritizes instruction for students and hiring and retaining outstanding educators," said Board President Kim Caston. "At the same time, RISD continues to maintain one of the lowest tax levies among area school districts."

Highlights of the operating budget include:

  • A 3% raise for teachers and staff who qualify through performance evaluation (represents 64% of the budget increase)
  • 34 additional teaching allocations (19% of the budget increase)
  • No change in RISD's $1.04005 operating tax rate, which is at its lowest level since 1992*
  • No change in RISD's local optional homestead exemption of 10% - RISD is one of three districts in the area that still offers homeowners this optional property tax reduction
  • Additional compensation for classroom teachers in targeted, high-need schools (5% of budget increase)
  • Career pathways stipends (4.8% of budget increase)
  • Increased stipends for bilingual classroom teachers (2.5% of budget increase)

Trustees discussed the budget and staff confirmed that, unlike cities, counties and other taxing entities, schools district operating budgets do not derive an ongoing benefit from increased tax revenue due to increased property valuations. Under the Texas school finance system, if RISD collects additional tax dollars due to an increase in property values, the state reduces the amount of funding RISD receives by a corresponding amount the following year, and the state receives the additional funds.

RISD's 2016-17 fiscal year begins July 1. See the 2016-17 Operating Budget

*The debt service tax rate, which combines with the operating tax rate to create RISD's total tax rate, will increase to $0.35 per $100 of valuation, from $0.30. This change is driven by the recent voter-approved Bond 2016. The 5 cent increase, which keeps RISD's total tax levy the third lowest among districts in Dallas & Collin counties, makes RISD's tax rate $1.39005.

Enrollment Growth
The Board discussed the configuration of the planned new school to accommodate overcrowding at White Rock Elementary as part of the first phase of the plan to address enrollment growth in the Lake Highlands area.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone recommended that the school, to be located at White Rock Trail and Walnut Hill Lane, be configured as a K-6 school as the instructional delivery model best suited for student success and consistent with RISD's existing elementary schools. Trustees unanimously expressed support for Dr. Stone's recommendation, agreeing that the stability and fewer transitions required of students by a K-6 model is the best option for student achievement.

A K-6 configuration means that attendance boundaries for the new school will be created from White Rock's existing boundaries. District staff is expected to bring initial ideas for redrawn boundaries to the Board in August in advance of opportunities for parent & stakeholder feedback.

"We understand that changing attendance boundaries can be difficult," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. "Parents should know that we will do everything in our power to make the transition a positive experience for students and families. And at the end of the process, our students will benefit from a state-of-the-art school that is outstanding in every way."

An architect followed with a presentation of updated conceptual design options for the new school site. The plans are in the preliminary stage and provide an idea of how the elementary school would be situated on the site, including parking, green space and pick-up/drop-off queues. Depending on the design chosen:

  • The site would have between 1.95 and 2.13 acres of green space for student use.
  • The site would accommodate a large amount of parking, between 240-260 spaces, due to the lack of off-site parking options for parents and visitors.
  • The site would accommodate a very large pick-up/drop-off queue of between 230-250 cars to mitigate the impact of morning and afternoon traffic on White Rock Trail and Walnut Hill.

See the potential site plans
Learn more about the June 20 Regular Meeting, including video


STAAR Results Delayed - Survey Opportunity

STAAR Scores Delayed
The Texas Education Agency has notified districts that student results from May's administration of the STAAR test will be delayed. Results are now expected to be shared with districts in July. When RISD receives results, parents will be mailed a Confidential Student Report containing individual student scores within five business days. Accountability ratings and distinctions for schools and districts, which are primarily based on STAAR results, are expected to be announced in August.

State Board Survey
The State Board of Education is conducting a survey of parents, teachers and residents about the Texas Accountability System and STAAR test. This survey is an excellent opportunity for RISD stakeholders to share their thoughts about the way Texas tests students and how results are used.

Take the Board of Education State Assessments & Accountability Survey

Link to upcoming events

District Calendar

  • August 1 - Regular Board Meeting
  • August 15 - Board Work Session
  • August 22 - First Day of 2016-17 School Year


Summer Camps

RISD's Summer Camp page lists district- or school-affiliated summer camp offerings, including opportunities from RISD partner organizations.

Learn more

Summer Hours

RISD administrative offices are operating on an adjusted summer schedule through July 31, open Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., and closed Fridays. In addition, most RISD administrative offices will be closed for two weeks from June 27 – July 8.

Beginning August 1, RISD central offices will resume a normal schedule of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Elementary schools will reopen for enrollment on August 9.

2016-17 Student Academic Calendar Now Available

Link to academic calendar