First Day of School

Smiles, energy, and a few tears marked the beginning of school Monday as RISD welcomed more than 38,000 students to the 2015-16 school year. Check the district's YouTube page for a video with more first day images.

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Arapaho Classical Magnet

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Big Springs Elem.

jess harben students

Jess Harben Elem.

lake highlands students

Lake Highlands Elem.

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Prestonwood Elem.

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Apollo JH

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Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet

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Bowie Elem.

yale students

Yale Elem.

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A Warm Welcome from Superintendent Waggoner

Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year!

On the first day of school I had the pleasure of visiting several campuses. I am happy to report that we welcomed more than 38,000 students to our 55 campuses. The first day went remarkably well. Staff, parents, and students were smiling and excitement was in the air.

Vision 2020 continues to guide our progress as we move forward with initiatives such as college and career readiness, becoming an employer of choice, and planning for a bond election in 2016. RISD’s commitment to students is demonstrated through their success in college, work, standardized tests, competitions, and more. The district's markers of distinction in realizing choice employer status will be evidenced in staff retention, clearly outlined career pathways and other milestones.

During the summer months, staff members worked diligently to prepare for the return of students and to enhance programs and services. Our leadership team began exploring a new management model to strengthen capacity. Instructional staff completed professional development activities designed to strengthen teaching skills, while our facilities staff members focused on a number of "behind the scenes" projects, including plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work to ensure our students have a safe, comfortable learning environment for the 2015-16 year. Click to watch the Summer 2015 Construction video. Our Board of Trustees also began thoughtful conversation with the district's senior staff about a bond election in 2016; look for public engagement opportunities in the coming months.

I am privileged to be a part of the RISD school family and I look forward to working with you this year. Thank you for your continued support of our students and staff. Best wishes for a wonderful school year!

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Kane Named Aikin Principal

Ms. Allison Kane has been named new principal of Aikin Elementary. Ms. Kane has been the assistant principal at Aikin since 2012 and has also served as an assistant principal at Dover Elementary. She has 14 years of experience with RISD, and began her career as a classroom teacher at Terrace Elementary.

Ms. Kane has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas and a master's degree in education administration from Lamar University.

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Operations Center

At its August 3 meeting, the Board heard information and viewed a preliminary site plan related to the proposed construction of an operations center on vacant district property between Abrams Road and Greenville Avenue. The facility would provide additional functional space for support operations and consolidate a number of functions currently housed at different locations around the district, including Facility Services, Child Nutrition, Bond Project Management, Purchasing, Testing/Accountability, Textbooks, Warehouse, Print Shop, and Transportation.

Learn More

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2015 RISD College & Career Fair - September 19

High school parents and students, don't miss the 2015 RISD College & Career Fair on September 19 at The University of Texas at Dallas. More than 130 colleges, universities and employers will be present to provide information and answer questions. It's never too early to plan for success after graduation - don't miss this major event for RISD students and parents.

Students should see the event's Facebook page or check with their guidance counselor for more details. Attendees are strongly encouraged to take a shuttle bus from their home campus to the fair as parking may be limited.

ACT Participation Rises to 99% as RISD Again Offers Exam Free to Juniors

In 2013, RISD was the first district in Texas to offer the ACT college entrance exam free-of-charge to all junior students at their home campuses during the school day. Last year, a number of districts in Texas followed suit, introducing the college entrance process to a much higher percentage of students than otherwise traditionally participate. Ninety-nine percent of RISD's Class of 2015 took the ACT, compared with 43% in Texas and 59% in the United States.

"When all students are able take the ACT for college entry at their own campus where they are comfortable, and without the barrier of cost, they increase their chances of attending college," said RISD Superintendent Kay Waggoner. “While we know that statistically, ACT performance usually drops as participation increases, we’re pleased that our composite scores this year remained steady as more students took the exam.”

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Destination ImagiNation Teams Forming Now

On September 24 in RISD, the Dal-Rich Region will host a DI interest session for parents and students. Children are invited to start a team in Destination ImagiNation (DI) and become part of the world’s premier creativity, teamwork and problem-solving program. DI has engaged more than 3 million participants worldwide.

Destination ImagiNation is an innovative organization that teaches creativity, teamwork and problem-solving. In DI, student teams participate in Challenges, exercises that socially and intellectually activate students by prompting them to use creativity and teamwork to solve problems. DI Team Challenges fall into seven categories: technical and mechanical; science and theater arts; theater and fine arts; improvisation and theater arts; structural and architectural design; Rising Stars! for early learners; and project OUTREACH, DI’s community service challenge.

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Support RISD Foundation on N. Texas Giving Day

September 17 is North Texas Giving Day. When deciding where to direct your gift, we hope you consider RISD's Excellence in Education Foundation, which exists solely to support Richardson ISD students and staff through awards, grants and scholarships.

To participate, visit the event homepage between 6 a.m. and midnight (Central) on September 17 and search "RISD Excellence in Education Foundation." This year you may give to a specific campus and/or make an unrestricted gift to the EiE Foundation. Gifts of $25 or more will be amplified by a pool of more than $2 million dollars in bonus funds and prizes.

North Texas Giving Day is an online event powered by the Communities Foundation of Texas.

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Upcoming Events

  • September 7 - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 14 - Regular Board Meeting
  • September 18 - Canyon Creek Elem. 50 Year Celebration
  • September 19 - RISD College & Career Fair
  • September 21 - Board Study Session
  • October 1 - End of First Six Weeks Grading Period
  • October 12 - Fair Day - Student Holiday/Staff Development
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