RISD School Times — January 16, 2020

RISD Digital Media
Jan 30 · 9 min read

Paying It Forward

All 100 students in second grade at Bukhair Elementary were surprised with a brand new bicycle, courtesy of area high school student-athletes, including some from Pearce.

In 2016, high school students in Chicago started a campaign to begin “Making a Difference On AND Off the Field.” Buddy’s Helpers was formed as a nonprofit dedicated to uniting high school student-athletes, teachers and coaches in an annual community service effort. The campaign, which uses the “Power of Sports”, has engaged hundreds of high schools and thousands of students through the PepsiCo Showdown Series.

Joe Trost organizes the series and facilitates the nonprofit’s efforts. He said this is the first time a school outside the Chicago area reaped the benefits of the program. Trost said Bukhair was chosen “because of its impressive improvement over the past two years under the leadership of the district, the school and the teachers.”

Thank you to Buddy’s Helpers for this important lesson about paying it forward.

Two RISD Seniors Named Finalists for Davey O’Brien Scholarship

Osalodor Osawemwenze of Lake Highlands and Adam Tobin of Pearce are two of five finalists for the 34th annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship presented to an exceptional North Texas senior.

Both student-athletes rank fourth in their class. Osawemwenze plays football and runs track for LHHS. Tobin has been a varsity tennis player at Pearce for four years and has won the District 8–6A doubles title.

The recipient of the $30,000 scholarship will be announced Tuesday Jan. 21, during a luncheon at The Fort Worth Club. The Davey O’Brien Foundation awards $2,500 scholarships to each of the four other finalists.

Congratulations, Ozzy and Adam! #RISDGreatness

Donation Supports Students at PTA Reflections Ceremony

The Reflections art contest has been a staple of national PTAs for decades. RISD’s 2019–20 winners were announced last week, and Superintendent Stone received a book full of student literature entries.

Richardson High School alum Andrés Correa was on hand to present the RISD Council of PTAs with a donation to fund two $500 scholarships for Reflections winners.

Correa presented the donation on behalf of himself, his father, Jorge, and siblings Jorge, Simon and Camila, who also graduated from RHS. The family made the donation in honor of their mother, Patricia Inda, who passed away in 2015 after a lifetime as an educator and ardent supporter of the arts.

Huge thanks to the Correa family and the RISD Council of PTAs for continual support of the arts in RISD.

Do You Have an Amazing Counselor?

Last year, RISD established a counselor of the year award: Leader of the Heart. The recognition will coincide with National School Counselor week this year from Monday Feb. 3 through Friday Feb. 7.

Counselors who have been with RISD at least one full school year are eligible, and anyone can nominate a deserving RISD educator who embodies the heart of a school counselor. The winner will be notified during the first week of February, will represent RISD in the process to determine the Texas School Counselor of the Year and also get to attend the American School Counselor Association conference in Las Vegas in the summer of 2021.

Please use this link to nominate your campus counselors. The deadline is Friday Jan. 31.

Do RISD Students iDream of Electric Thunderducks?

Hundreds of seventh-graders gathered at Richland College last week as part of iDream 2020. This is the third year the Dallas County Community College hosted RISD junior high students, giving them some time on campus to experience the sights and sounds of college life.

RISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone told the students of her own path that took her to DCCCD’s Eastfield College, where she completed 80 hours while working to put herself through school.

“We want you all to know that we are preparing you for life after high school graduation,” Dr. Stone told the students. “Through a partnership we have built with the community college, you can come here for free. You can start your college career right in your own backyard at no cost.”

RISD is part of the Dallas County Promise program, which provides funds that close the gap on a student’s tuition after all other applicable state and federal grants and potential scholarships have been awarded and processed.

Managing Screen Time Event Tonight

RISD’s Instructional Technology Department is partnering with the Dallas Association for Parent Education to present “Connected: Navigating Screen Time With Children,” an educational event open to all parents, staff and stakeholders tonight, Jan. 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Professional Development Center.

Dawn Hallman of DAPE will present current information on the topic, as well as strategies for managing screen time at home.

Technology Survey for Parents

RISD is once again using BrightBytes.net to survey parents, students and teachers about the use of technology in education.

Parents can help by taking 10 minutes to complete the survey. Each school survey is only available for parents on their school’s homepage. Select your school’s homepage to take the BrightBytes survey.

Parent input is very important for instructional technology planning in RISD. There are no right or wrong answers to the survey questions, and everyone will have a different set of responses, depending on their experiences. All survey responses are confidential.

The survey opens Monday Jan. 20 and closes on Friday Jan. 31.

Bond Refunding Nets Savings of $12.8M

Richardson ISD refinanced nearly $34 million of bonds that resulted in total savings of about $12.8 million.

RISD maintains triple-A ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and an AA-plus rating from Standard & Poor’s. Only three other Texas school districts have this combination of high bond ratings. The gilt-edged ratings help the district get the best possible interest rate and also help lower the costs of issuance.

Moody’s analysts said the Aaa rating “reflects robust financial management evidenced by strong fiscal policies, a history of consistently balanced operations and the presence of ample reserves held outside the general fund.”

Moody’s outlook on RISD credit rating is stable due to analysts’ “expectation that the district will continue to exhibit strong financial management resulting in stable financial operations and that its debt burden will remain manageable.”

Standard & Poor’s said the school district’s “very strong levels of reserves are supported by a growing tax base and subsequent growth in property tax collections.”

Census 2020

Richardson ISD is providing information to educate, encourage and engage our school community about the upcoming U.S. Census, and we encourage your participation.

RISD will continue to update this website as we prepare for Census Day on April 1.

Study of Sixth Grade Reconfiguration Begins

The RISD grade configuration committee had its first meeting this week to study the possibility of moving sixth grade to junior high campuses and adopting a middle school model in the district.

More than 40 RISD stakeholders — teachers, campus administrators, central office leaders and parents — gathered to study current grade configurations, research possible alternatives and ultimately make a recommendation to the superintendent and board later this year.

This committee was formed to adhere to the RISD strategic plan and align with the facilities action team. The grade configuration discussion stems from space concerns at some elementary schools, as well as the desire to provide sixth-graders increased access to opportunities in academics, fine arts, athletics, and other areas of interest.

Participants volunteered to sit on one of four research teams: academic performance and curriculum; social and emotional considerations; facilities; and athletics and fine arts implications. The grade configuration committee plans to meet monthly.

District Calendar

Meetings, Events & Fundraisers


Candidates for May 2 Election Must File Between Jan. 15-Feb. 14

Single-Member District 3 and At-Large Place 6 will be on the ballot on Saturday May 2.

Prospective candidates can obtain election information packets via email by completing the request on the district’s website at risd.org/bot or at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75080 during normal office hours.

The first day to file for a place on the May 2 ballot is Wednesday Jan. 15, and the deadline to file is 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.

DCAD Tornado Damaged Property Reappraisal

Dallas Central Appraisal District has completed the reappraisal of properties damaged by the Oct. 20 tornado.

In December, DCAD mailed a special notice of appraised value for property damaged in natural disaster area letter and a special supplemental notice of appraised value. These documents will provide the pre- and post-tornado property values.

The deadline to protest the reappraisal is Jan. 21.

DCAD reappraised 1,207 properties in RISD with an overall decrease in value of about $29.1 million that led to a tax revenue decrease of about $412,000. The lost revenue won’t impact the district’s finances due, in part, to the equalization process included in the state’s funding of public education.

Read the tornado reappraisal FAQs.

Connecting With School

RISD administration and individual schools regularly provide messages to parents of enrolled students with school information, important dates, reminders, and safety information.

In order to reach parents, schools must have accurate contact information.

When inclement weather causes RISD to cancel or delay school, parents and staff are notified by telephone, email and text message.

If you have changed your phone number or email address since enrolling your child, please provide updated contact information to the school front office.


Your child’s school is the best resource for questions about school schedules and operations.

Parents may also contact the main RISD switchboard at 469–593–0000 or email the district at risd@risd.org.

Volunteering in RISD

A new background check is required every school year for all volunteers at RISD schools.

Parents, grandparents and community members must be cleared prior to volunteering at school activities, so the beginning of the school year is the best time to complete that process.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities at RISD schools and submit information for a background check.

Richardson ISD Newsdesk

Official news outlet for Richardson ISD

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