STARS Teacher Profile - Ron Crawford

Ron Crawford photo and link to video

Thank you to RISD's 2016 STARS teachers of the year for all you do for students!

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Focus on Instruction: Signposts Reading Strategies

Signs are everywhere, and this fall they are being used to guide RISD students to a deeper understanding of the material they are reading.

Introduced for grades 3-6 and for junior high students in age-appropriate ways, Signposts are ways to identify widely used storytelling tools – for example, the Aha! Moment where the main character solves a mystery – to increase deep thinking, as well as comprehension and retention of what students have read. “We’re really excited about the results our students are experiencing thanks to a strategy that will serve them for years to come," said Brenda Payne, assistant superintendent for elementary instruction and operations. "Students are interacting with text in a way that can enhance comprehension and allow for a deeper level of engagement when reading.”

See the image to the right for bookmarks that illustrate Signposts for fiction. Parents may wish to review the bookmark with their student as a vehicle for discussing the learning tool at home.

“Parents can reinforce the deep thinking happening at school by encouraging their children to explain their reasoning whenever they encounter a signpost in their reading at home,” said Ginny Hogg, director of elementary language arts.

The initial rollout of Signposts included fiction material; non-fiction strategies will follow later this fall. Signposts are part of the Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading teachers’ text developed by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst.

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Board Activity - October 3

The RISD Board of Trustees met on October 3 for their regular meeting, discussing several topics.

Campus Improvement Plans
Trustees voted to adopt state-required Campus Improvement Plans (CIPs) for every RISD school, which are used in RISD as a tool to promote continuous improvement at each campus measured by defined goals. CIPs are aligned with the District Improvement Plan each year, and major school initiatives are included in CIPs.

See the CIP presentation

Fine Arts Update
Trustees heard an annual update about RISD's Fine Arts programs. In RISD, Fine Arts includes visual art, band, choir, orchestra and theatre. Among the highlights of the presentation:

  • In RISD, 100% of elementary students and more than 54% of secondary students participate in Fine Arts
  • RISD has been named a Best Community for Music Education every year since 2012
  • 90%+ of RISD Fine Arts groups earned superior ratings at UIL competitions in 2015-16
  • On average, secondary students who participate in Fine Arts are more successful academically than their peers


See the Fine Arts presentation

Class Size Waivers
The state of Texas mandates that class sizes in grades K-4 may not exceed 22 students without a waiver. Trustees voted to submit two class size waivers, with both of the classes involved serving 23 students. After hiring additional teachers and constructing new classrooms over the last four years in response to enrollment growth, RISD's number of class size waivers has fallen significantly, from a high of 291 waivers in 2012 when RISD implemented a teacher hiring freeze in response to state budget cuts.

Learn more about the October 3 Regular Meeting, including video

Partner's Corner

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Beyond Birthday Presents
Bowie Elementary friends Hannah and Claire recently held a joint birthday party. Instead of a traditional celebration, they decided to host a donation birthday party, and they chose the RISD Partners Program and school supplies for students who were in need to be the beneficiary.

Thank you to Claire and Hannah, and their parents, for their generous hearts and willingness to make a difference in the lives of fellow RISD students. #RISDGreatness

Buddha's Light International Association group photo

Generosity Over the Years
For many years, the Buddha's Light International Association, located in Richardson, has partnered with RISD to support students who needed school supplies. Originally, members of the organization collected and donated actual school supplies to the RISD Partners Program. This year, a cash donation was made to the RISD Partners Fund to assist RISD students.

The district is grateful for the generosity, kindness and commitment of this longtime partnership.

About the RISD Partners Program
The Partners Program matches businesses or community groups with RISD schools to help our students have a fully successful educational experience. Throughout the year our campuses need volunteers, in-kind gifts and monetary resources.

To learn more about RISD partnership opportunities, please contact Community Relations Manager Mary Worthington.

Reminder - No School October 7 & 10

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There are no classes this Friday, October 7 as RISD has a scheduled staff development day.

Monday, October 10 is a student and staff holiday for Fair Day.

Have a safe long weekend!

Scoreboard Sponsors

Thank you to the following businesses and organizations that support RISD through scoreboard sponsorships at Eagle-Mustang or Wildcat-Ram stadiums. Please consider supporting these businesses that support RISD.


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Link to upcoming events

District Calendar

  • October 7 - Student Holiday - Staff Development Day
  • October 10 - Fair Day Holiday
  • October 17 - Board Work Session
  • November 7 - Regular Board Meeting
  • November 14 - Board Work Session
  • November 21-25 - Thanksgiving Holiday

Upcoming Events & Fundraisers

  • LHHS Highlandette Dance Clinic - October 7
  • LHHS Fall Choir Concert - October 11
  • PHS Cheer Clinic - October 15
  • PHS Pacesetter Holiday Bazaar - October 22-23