Excited About Reading

student reading to students

Each game day, members of the Pearce football team visit and read with eager elementary students in the PHS feeder area (including Prestonwood ES, above) to promote literacy and a love of reading.

Courtesy Nissan, RISD Teaming Up To Drive Attendance

In addition to graduation and being as prepared as possible for college or the workforce, RISD seniors have another reason not to miss school this year - a chance to win a new car. Thanks to Courtesy Nissan, seniors who achieve perfect attendance with no unexcused absences or missed class periods will be entered into a drawing in May to receive a 2016 Nissan Sentra, plus tax title and license.

Seniors or parents may contact their senior principal for details and rules. Thank you to Courtesy Nissan for supporting RISD students!


image of a nissan car

peachjar graphic

New This Year - Peachjar

RISD schools are working with Peachjar this year to assist in the distribution of electronic flyers and information to parents. School-approved e-flyers can be viewed by clicking the Peachjar link on your school's homepage.

This initiative will reduce paper and copying costs for schools, and also save time. No action is required on the part of parents, but a Peachjar account may be created to manage delivery preferences. Parents will receive a welcome email from Peachjar that includes a username and password, but login is not required to receive or view e-flyers through Peachjar.

Learn more

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Board Activity Update

At its August 15 Work Session, the RISD Board of Trustees discussed several topics, including 2016 accountability ratings for schools and design options for the first of two new elementary schools in Lake Highlands.

Accountability Update - All RISD Schools Met Standard
The State of Texas released 2016 accountability ratings for schools, and trustees heard a report on how RISD schools performed under the accountability system. All schools in RISD received the highest rating of Met Standard, as did the district. Other possible ratings under the Texas system are Improvement Required and Met Alternative Standard.

"We're excited about our academic growth and it reflects the very hard work of our students, teachers, support staff and instructional leaders last year," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. "I'm confident these results are a first step toward ongoing growth and that's where our focus as district will continue to be."

Instructional staff and the Board discussed student academic performance under the accountability system, and including opportunities for improvement as well as areas of strength.

Highlights

  • Approximately 65% of RISD schools improved academic performance across each of the four measured indices of the accountability system in 2016.
  • Three schools rated Improvement Required in 2015 earned significant academic gains in 2016 and improved their rating to Met Standard.

Challenges

  • Achievement gaps remain among some student groups, including English language learners, economically disadvantaged students and students receiving special education services.
  • Writing and English/Language Arts remain areas of focus and additional resources to continue improvement among all student groups.

Academic distinctions, which are awarded to schools based on strong performance in specific academic areas compared to peer campuses, are expected to be available in September.

Design of New Elementary School
Trustees continued discussions about the preliminary design and configuration of the first of two new elementary schools in Lake Highlands, at the corner of White Rock Trail & Walnut Hill Lane (learn more about the background).

Survey Results
Staff reviewed results of a survey related to general design elements. Aggregate findings from the 527 respondents included:

  • No clear preference between a two story (51.2%) or three story (48.8%) design option
  • A clear preference that student play areas and usable green space be located behind the building (71.1%) compared to in front of the building (28.9%)
  • Aesthetically, a preference for a modern design (59.0%) compared to a more traditional design (41.0%)

The designs currently prepared are conceptual renderings, and once decisions are made about the layout and configuration of the site, schematic designs can be prepared.

Usable Outdoor Space for Students
Board members and staff questioned Corgan architect Steve Hulsey about the conceptual renderings, specifically as they relate to space on the site available for outdoor student use.

  • Mr. Hulsey confirmed the square footage amounts for outdoor play areas published as part of the conceptual renderings are accurate, and only include outdoor areas that would be usable by students.
  • The conceptual renderings are preliminary to illustrate logistical relationships and not developed to a precise scale.
  • Architects used computer-assisted design (CAD) to calculate the approximate amounts of usable outdoor space for students, but the conceptual renderings alone cannot be used to accurately calculate the usable outdoor space.
  • Final construction documents with exact dimensions are expected to be available by the end of the year.

Implications of Zoning Process & Timeline
A decision is needed by the September 12 Regular Meeting on preliminary design elements to stay within a timeline that allows the school to open for the 2018-2019 school year. If the three-story design is chosen, a request for a code variance will be required through the City of Dallas, while district legal staff have indicated the two-story option would not require a variance request.

The code variance process can be time consuming, and staff discussed contingencies to accommodate enrollment growth if the opening of the new school is delayed beyond 2018. White Rock Elementary is projected to exceed 1,000 students by the 2018-19 school year. Adding additional portable classrooms is not a viable option because the campus does not have sufficient space for central functions to accommodate that many students. The two most viable options to accommodate additional students would include:

  • Overflow to Other RISD Schools
    As enrollment grows that cannot be accommodated at a neighborhood school, additional students would be assigned to other RISD schools that have space in different grade levels. It's currently unknown what other schools would have capacity in different grade levels in 2018. One goal of overflow placements is to assign students to a school geographically close to their home attendance area. An issue that has occurred in Lake Highlands in recent years involves fewer campuses having room to receive overflowed students due to increased enrollment across the area, so some placements have been made to schools outside of the Lake Highlands area. Another challenge of overflowing students involves families with siblings that require space to be available in multiple grade levels in order for the family to remain together. This scenario reduces the number of possible schools with space to receive overflowed siblings, and can result in overflow assignments farther away.

  • Reassigning Attendance Boundaries
    One method used in the past to accommodate enrollment growth at specific schools has been to designate portions of attendance boundaries to other schools that are projected to have space. In this situation, a portion of the current WRE attendance area could be reassigned to a different RISD school that would serve as the home campus for those families, thereby alleviating enrollment at WRE.

Trustees are expected to make a decision on the design elements of the new school at the September 12 Regular Meeting, which will allow for schematic designs to be prepared.

Learn more about the August 15 Work Session, including video

Link to upcoming events

District Calendar

  • August 22 - First Day of 2016-17 School Year
  • September 5 - Labor Day Holiday
  • September 12 - Regular Board Meeting
  • September 19 - Board Work Session
  • October 3 - Regular Board Meeting
  • October 7 - Student Holiday - Staff Development Day
  • October 10 - Fair Day Holiday

Upcoming Events & Fundraisers

  • Highlandette Garage Sale - August 20

Back-To-School Supply Drive

The RISD Partners Program is collecting school supplies for families in need and to reduce the number of students who return to school in the fall without school supplies. Cash or check donations are also welcome.

Donations can be dropped off at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays through Friday, August 12.

Contact RISD Community Relations Manager Mary Worthington at 469-593-0307 or mary.worthington@risd.org for more information.

School Supplies Needed Include:
Facial tissues; Manila paper; Construction paper; Notebook paper; Wide-ruled notebook paper; Spiral notebooks (one-subject and three-subject); Folders with pockets and brads; #2 pencils; Erasers; Markers; Crayons; Black, blue and red pens; Colored pencils; Glue sticks/Elmer’s Glue; Scissors; Rulers; Binders (2 and 3 inch) Composition books

See school supplies by grade level

2016-17 Student Academic Calendar Now Available

Link to academic calendar