School Times Now!
Have a Safe Summer!
Partners Corner
A Birthday Surprise
to Remember
A Special Day for
Special People
EOC Results Mailed
This Week
Watch RISD Graduations
Via the Web
Free Online Safety
Presentation with
Author Richard Guerry
Legislative Update from
Dr. Waggoner
Early Voting Has Begun in
Board Place 4 Runoff Election
High School Highlights
AVID Senior Luncheon
2013 DART Student Art
Contest Winners
Board Brief - June 3
Career Day at
Northwood Hills
Hamilton Park College and
Career Day 2013
Aikin Students Are Proud
To Be Texans
Big Springs Fundraiser
Huge Success
RISD Job Postings
Follow RISD on Twitter
RISD on Facebook
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Raising Canes Ad
Methodist Ad

RISD thanks our 2012-13 scoreboard sponsors!

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Have a Safe Summer!

Jess Harben Elementary Kindergartner Olivia Guernsey received a last day ride to school on a Richardson Fire Truck after being the grand prize winner in the Read to Ride program.

Today is the last day of school across Richardson ISD. Thank you to students, teachers, parents, staff and community members for making 2012-13 a great year in RISD.

Have a fun, relaxing and safe summer, and we look forward to welcoming students and families back on August 26 for the first day of school. >Top

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Spring Creek Barbeque Shows Appreciation for Educators
Spring Creek Barbeque generously donated $10 meal certificates to every RISD employee for its Richardson restaurant. They also donated certificates to all of the elementary schools for use as student rewards and incentives for academic achievements.

"Since opening our first Spring Creek in Richardson back in 1980, Spring Creek Barbeque and the Carroll Family have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Richardson schools. We intend to continue our support of the teachers, students, support staff and administrators of the Richardson Independent School District. Thank you for all that you do for the children and families of our community," says Spring Creek's Founder and CEO, Chris Carroll.

The gift of delicious food is greatly appreciated. Thanks Spring Creek! >Top

Optimist Club Making a Positive Impact
The Optimist Club of Richardson is a civic organization that volunteers and hosts community and youth programs. Their motto is "Friend of the Youth." As their name suggests, the Optimists believe that a positive approach can make a world of difference. They aim to brighten spirits and instill hope and confidence in today's youth.

Thanks to community support, splash day at Dobie Primary held at the end of May was a lot of fun for kids and adults alike . The Optimist Club of Richardson and the Pearce Community Women's League provided donations for water slide rentals. WalMart store #5931 donated water, Gatorade, and food for a staff cookout following the event. Arapaho United Methodist Church supported the day with volunteers and popsicles. Student volunteers from Berkner High School manned the water slides and Optimist members busily filled and tied more than 600 water balloons.

The Optimists have also nominated several RISD students for awards and scholarships. Most recently, Shane Bono, a Lake Highlands High junior, was named the number one male in the state by the Young Texan program and received a $1,500 scholarship. The Young Texan/TexAnne program focuses on outstanding junior students who are very strong academically but who are also well rounded in other activities. Shane sings in choirs, is a peer helper for elementary students and is a member of the National Honor Society at Lake Highlands High. He is also an Eagle Scout, and raises money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

We appreciate the Optimist Club's continued support for RISD students. >Top


University of Phoenix Gets Their Hands Dirty for Aikin
upThanks to local University of Phoenix employees who donated gardening supplies and volunteered to help spruce up Aikin Elementary's garden. They pulled weeds and lined the garden with edging material which will help prevent mulch run off. They even continued to work in the rain. Students told the volunteers about what they have planted and learned about gardening. >Top

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A Birthday Surprise to Remember
Photo from

Merriman Park Elementary teacher Beth Lyons, hospitalized during her fight with Leukemia, recently had a birthday surprise to remember.

Please read the story at >Top

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A Special Day for Special People
It was a beautiful, sunny and cool day the perfect backdrop for egg races, frisbee tosses, face-painting, bubble-blowing and much, much more. The 16 Lake Highlands Elementary students with special needs enjoyed every minute of the games and were enthralled by their teen helpers. LHE teacher Kristina Crain said "I am so pleased to see these seniors come spend their time with our students. Having them make that sacrifice for others is so heart-warming. What an amazing group of students here in Lake Highlands!" The Lake Highlands High School Peer Helpers, Peer Mediators and Peer Tutors joined together to help with the Jesuit High School Special Games Field Day by partnering with an elementary student for the day. They stayed with them for the entire games and made sure everyone had a good time and stayed safe. Lucina Garcia, LHHS Peer mediator said "The students truly have the Wildcat Spirit and they have inspired me." >Top
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EOC Results Mailed This Week
Parents of students who took STAAR End of Course (EOC) exams in the spring should receive a letter this week from RISD with their student's results.

For students not meeting the passing standard, RISD's EOC Summer Intervention program is strongly encouraged.

For more information, please visit the RISD Summer School page here. >Top
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Watch RISD Graduations Via the Web
All four RISD high school graduation ceremonies will again be streamed live at no cost through the district homepage.

Simply visit during one of the four graduation ceremonies and click on the Graduation graphic to watch a live stream of the ceremonies from the Curtis Culwell Center.

2013 RISD Graduation Schedule
All graduations will be held at the Curtis Culwell Center (formerly the Special Events Center), 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd. in Garland.

Sunday, June 9
Richardson High School – 12:30 p.m.
Lake Highlands High School – 4:30 p.m.
Berkner High School – 8:30 p.m.

Monday, June 10
Pearce High School – 7:30 p.m. >Top
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Public & Permanent: free Online Safety presentation with author Richard Guerry

RISD parents, community members, and employees are invited to a special online safety presentation at 6:00 PM on June 10, 2013, in the auditorium of the RISD Professional Development Center at 701 W. Belt Line Road. Guest speaker Richard Guerry, author of Public and Permanent: The Golden Rule of the 21st Century, will provide attendees with solutions for preventing:

Poor Social Media Behaviors
Other Cyber Issues

This multi-award winning program provides greater awareness of negative, irresponsible, and malicious digital behaviors and trends and the method to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-crime, cyberbullying, and digital exploitation.

Richard Guerry is a former interactive marketing executive and founder of the non-profit organization the Institute for Responsible Online and Cell-Phone Communication (IROC2). Guerry has been a featured speaker at many national conferences and conventions, including the National Conference on Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention, the International Bullying Prevention Association, and the National Symposium on Child Abuse. He has also appeared as an expert on CNN and MTV's Thin Line Campaign, as well as in Parade Magazine and in local, regional, and international publications.

The full program will last from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM, but it will be divided into two parts. If attendees cannot stay for the entire presentation, they are encouraged to come to Part I from 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM.

Click here to download event flyer.

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Legislative Update from  Dr. Waggoner

The House and Senate adjourned on Monday, May 27. By the end of the regular session, a total of 1,433 bills were sent to the governor for his signature. The governor has until June 16 to veto, sign, or let legislation become law without his signature.  Below are some of the highlights of the education bills that are on Governor Perry’s desk.

School finance was a major issue this session. The bills would make significant changes to the amount of funding districts receive; however, they would not totally restore the funding cut in the last legislative session. Including SB 1, the bills, if approved, provide the following:

  • Add $3.4 billion to formula funding
  • Set the Regular Program Adjustment Factor at 1.0 and increased the Basic Allotment from $4,765 to $4,950 in FY 14 and $5,040 in FY 15
  • Increase the Student Success Initiative by $24 million, bringing the total to $60.5 million;
  • Provide $838.7 million for instructional materials

Assessment and Accountability
HB 5 would make significant changes to high school graduation programs. 

As of this date, HB 5 provides the following:

  • Reduces the number of required EOCs from 15 to 5, including English I and English II, Algebra I, biology, and U.S. history (ELA reading and writing tests are combined into one test)
  • Eliminates the 15 percent requirement
  • Includes a foundation graduation plan of 22 credits: 4 ELA, 3 math, 3 science, 3 social studies, 2 foreign language, 1 fine art, 1 P.E., and 5 electives
  • Requires an endorsement in one of five areas: STEM, Business & Industry, Public Services, Arts & Humanities, or Multidisciplinary
  • Ensures that all high school graduates will be eligible to apply for admission to Texas public 4-year universities and eligible to receive TEXAS Grants
  • Provides that districts may administer Algebra II and English III EOC exams at their discretion for diagnostic purposes
  • Mandates that schools be evaluated on multiple measures, not just state standardized assessments
  • Establishes an accountability system that evaluates school performance on three components that include: academic performance, financial performance, and community engagement

HB 2836 addresses the testing system in grades 3-8. The number of tests given in these grades will not change; however, the system would undergo significant changes including:

  • Only the STAAR “readiness” standard items would count for accountability purposes. STAAR “supporting” standard items would count for diagnostic purposes only (beginning with the 2015–16 school year).
  • The STAAR tests would be designed so that 85% of students in grades 3–5 could complete the tests within 120 minutes, and 85% of students in grades 6–8 could complete the tests within 120 minutes although a student would be allowed an entire day to complete the test if needed.

HB 2824 allows the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium (THPSC) to move forward. RISD is one of 23 districts in the THPSC. The bill would enable the districts in the Consortium to develop recommendations that could be considered in future legislative sessions to transform the current testing and accountability system.

Charter Schools
SB 2 would allow the number of charters to increase to 305 by September 1, 2019. Principals and teachers of open-enrollment charter schools would be required to hold a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the bill would strengthen the authority of the commissioner of education to revoke a charter for failing to meet academic and financial standards.

School Marshals

HB 1009 would allow a school board to name school district employees as school marshals.  School marshals would be allowed to carry or possess a handgun on school campuses. The appointment of school marshals is optional for a district.

University Interscholastic League

Bills that would have allowed home-school students and students attending private schools to participate in UIL-sponsored activities did not pass. 

Teacher Retirement System

SB 1458 would make TRS actuarially sound within the 31-year funding period to ensure the continuation of a defined benefit pension system and provides a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for some retirees.

Provisions include:

  • No changes for vested TRS members currently in the system
  • Minimum retirement age of 62 enacted for new hires and non-vested members
  • 5% per year early retirement reduction factor for all new hires and non-vested members
  • 3% COLA increase for certain retirees
  • Incremental increases in employee contribution rates from 6.4 % to 6.7 % by 2017  
I am appreciative of the changes that our legislators have made to the state budget for the next two years. Although the full amount of funding has not been restored, a significant portion has been proposed to Governor Perry and now lacks only his signature to become effective. In addition, Judge Dietz’s stance concerning the unconstitutionality of Texas school funding should make a greater positive difference after he delivers his final ruling. We will continue to watch legislative changes and provide information since the governor has until June 16th to sign, veto, or allow bills to become law without his signature.

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Early Voting Has Begun in Board Place 4 Runoff Election

Early voting has now started in the June 15 Board Place 4 runoff election between Rachel Chumney and Lanet Greenhaw.

Early voting is open from June 3rd 11th. For more information and early voting sites, please visit the Dallas County Elections website at

Early Voting Times at Richardson City Hall and other Dallas County Locations
Monday, June 3 through Saturday, June 8 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, June 9 from 1:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10 and Tuesday, June 11 from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Please click this link for the list of day of election polling locations for June 15 Runoff Election.

Summer construction at some RISD schools will require a change in polling locations for some precincts.

Please click this link for day of election polling locations that have changed from the May 11 election.

On April 16, the League of Women Voters of Richardson and the Richardson ISD Council of PTAs co-sponsored a forum for candidates seeking election to the Richardson ISD Board of Trustees. Please visit to see candidate questionnaires and a video recording of the forum.

For more information, please visit the Dallas County Elections website at or the RISD Board Election Page. >Top

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High School Highlights

Berkner High School
Berkner Spring Signing Day
At Berkner's Spring Signing Day, Arien Hardin signed to run track at the University of Texas El Paso. She was joined by coach Lanny Boyd and Head Track Coach Erin Malone. >Top


Guest Speaker at BHS - Dr. Robert McClelland
Berkner HS World Affairs Council recently welcomed Dr. Robert McClelland. Dr. McClelland provided a lecture discussing his tales of holding JFK's head in his hands, operating in attempt to save his life; massaging Lee Harvey Oswald's heart; and his many experiences with the Kennedy Assassination. Dr. McClelland also brought the blood stained shirt he was wearing while assisting President Kennedy. We are very thankful for this lecture and are grateful that we were even able to shake his hand, thank him, and have photos taken with him.

Click here for more info about Dr. McClelland. >Top


BHS Cheer Garage Sale - August 6
This coming Saturday the Berkner Varsity Cheerleaders will be holding a MULTIPLE FAMILY (20+) GARAGE SALE! The funds raised will go towards helping the girls achieve their dreams of competing at UCA's National High School Cheerleading Championship in Walt Disney World Florida! >Top


Pearce High School
Pearce Spring Signing Day

The Pearce H.S. Wresting Program recently held a signing day for their four student athletes who committed to wrestle collegiately.

Juan Segura, a 3 year varsity starter and varsity captain, signed with Sierra College.

Jose Velazquez, a first year wrestler, signed with Sierra College.

Edgar Morales, a 3 year varsity starter, signed with Sierra College.

Elie Allen, a 4 year varsity starter at varsity captain, signed with the University of Alabama.

Congratulations to these students, their parents and Pearce H.S. Wrestling Coach Bryan Kenney. >Top

  Richardson High School
RHS College Scholarships

Four Richardson High School seniors received college football scholarships and were honored at the RHS Lift-a-thon on May 23, 2013. Parker Smith will attend Texas Christian University; Andrew Buckmeier will attend Rhodes College; Devante' Branch will attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University; A.J. Caufield will attend Texas A&M Commerce.

Congratulations to the students and their RHS coaches! >Top
  RHS Programming Success
Richardson H.S. programming competed in the recent Texas Computer Education Association programming contest at UTD.

Wilson "Panda" Yeh won 1st place in the advanced division by himself, defeating teams of 2-3 students from other schools and RHS.

In the novice division, the team of Kevin Sun and Blake Tarlton won 2nd place.

RHS Programming students are coached by Henry Vo. >Top

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AVID Senior Luncheon

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Graduating seniors in the AVID programs were recognized at a luncheon in May. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination and is designed to give students an extra boost to realize their full academic potential and prepare for college. Students shared personal stories on how being in AVID made a major difference in their lives for the better. They also thanked their fellow peers and AVID teachers for the support. Many will be the first in their families to attend college.  >Top

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2013 DART Student Art Contest Winners
Caroline Spence-5th Grade, Mohawk, won 2nd place in the 3-5th grade category
Elizabeth Spence-7th Grade, Richardson North Junior High, won 2nd place in the 6-8 grade category
Congratulations to the two Richardson ISD winners of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit's 2013 Dart Student Art Contest!

A total of 722 entries from 77 area schools in Dallas, Garland, and Richardson participated in this year's contest. This year's theme was "Your Adventure Awaits."

The DART Art Contest winners from Richardson are:
  • Caroline Spence-5th Grade, Mohawk, won 2nd place in the 3-5th grade category.
  • Elizabeth Spence-7th Grade, Richardson North Junior High, won 2nd place in the 6-8 grade category.
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Career Day at Northwood Hills

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Northwood Hills' students recently participated in their first Career Day. Students in all grades were able to learn about different careers from a variety of speakers.

Thanks to the speakers for volunteering their time and expertise.  >Top

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Hamilton Park College and Career Day 2013

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College and Career Day at Hamilton Park is an annual event which focuses on College and Career Readiness with 5th and 6th graders. Students attended four sessions to hear about various careers and professions.

Thanks to the speakers for volunteering their time and expertise.  >Top

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Aikin Students Are Proud To Be Texans
Aikin Elementary fourth graders recently travelled to Austin to participate in Education in Action's "Proud to be Texan" field trip at the Texas State History Museum and Texas State Capitol.

Through the program, students were able to enjoy a hands on experience in learning about state government and Texas history, including meetings with State Senator Ken Paxton (District 8) and State Representative Stefani Carter (District 102).

For additional information, please read the press release. >Top
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Big Springs Fundraiser Huge Success
Mrs. Gower, Mrs. Null and Mrs. Gonzalez's classes were the big winners.

The Big Springs Elementary PTA recently hosted a terrific fundraiser at Spring Creek BBQ. Mrs. Gower's, Mrs. Null's and Mrs. Gonzalez's classes finished in a three way tie for the most students attending. Each received Spring Creek Prize packs. Big Springs was presented a check for $1,400 proving to be a successful event and definitely a "repeat"! Thank you to Big Springs PTA and Spring Creek BBQ! >Top

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Did you miss an issue of School Times Now!? Click here to view the archives. >Top
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