RISD School Times — January 24, 2020


RISD Digital Media
Jan 30 · 8 min read

Some of the best orthographers in RISD elementary schools and junior highs competed in the annual districtwide spelling bee this week.

Joshua Hamilton bested all others in the Richardson High School learning community, spelling “mediate” for the championship. He was the alternate from Westwood Junior High, competing in lieu of an ill classmate. Anna Capps finished as the alternate in the RHS zone.

The winners and alternates from each learning community now head to the Dallas County Regional Spelling Bee at Ranchview High School in Irving on Wednesday Feb. 19.

Madalyn Myers correctly spelled “ignoble” to finish atop the Lake Highlands area with Madison Filart coming in second. Cooper Forejt spelled “attributive” to edge Yejia Li in the Pearce learning community.

Shereen Qaralusi of Apollo STEAM Academy spelled “fratority” to win the highly competitive spelling bee among students in the Berkner learning community. Lucas Dyck of Yale Elementary is the alternate.

Congratulations to all our excellent spellers, and best of luck in the regional competitions.

Joshua Hamilton — Westwood Junior High, Madalyn Myers — Moss Haven Elementary

Board Hears Demographic Update

Several RISD schools are projected to approach or reach capacity in the next few years, according to the latest demographer’s report presented to the RISD Board of Trustees on January 23.

Bob Templeton of Templeton Demographics reported to trustees that Brentfield and Mohawk elementary schools are projected to approach enrollment capacity, while O. Henry and Prestonwood elementary schools are schools to monitor for future space needs if growth continues. Consistent with previous studies, enrollment projections also indicate capacity issues manifesting at Pearce High School in coming years.

Previous capacity issues in the Lake Highlands area have been addressed through additional classroom construction, most recently completed at White Rock Elementary and underway at Lake Highlands High School.

Templeton and district staff were clear that the enrollment projections in the update do not include the additional space that will be needed for Pre-K classrooms as RISD continues its Pre-K expansion initiative and compliance with the new Texas law mandating that full-day Pre-K is available to all qualifying families.

Richardson ISD’s 2019–2020 enrollment of 39,641 is up 1.3%, or 513 students, from the prior year. Templeton projects enrollment will climb to 40,836 in five years and reach 41,116 in 2030. RISD continues to be a destination district, as job growth in DFW remains strong with unemployment levels in the region below national averages and at historical lows, according to Templeton.

The demographic data is one facet for trustees to consider as the planning phase of RISD’s five-year bond cycle begins with identifying potential projects. As the final Bond 2016 projects are scheduled to conclude next year, adhering to a five-year bond cycle would mean a potential bond package before voters in May 2021.

Most RISD facilities were built before 1970, and RISD sells bonds to fund capital projects that ensure all students receive a 21st century education that prepares them for life after high school graduation. RISD will continue initial bond planning efforts, including evaluation of the recent facilities audit report, work of the grade configuration committee, and recommendations of the community strategic plan action teams.

The district will form a bond planning committee that will include parents and community members, and hold public meetings for ideas and feedback prior to the Board taking any formal action to call for a bond election.

View the 2020 demographic update here.

#RISDSaySomething about Instructional Materials

The annual review of RISD instructional materials takes place Monday Jan. 27 from 4:30 to 7:30 at the Arzell Ball Center, 410 S. Greenville Ave.

RISD stakeholders are encouraged to attend and review the components of the curriculum for various classes, including Social Studies for grades four, five and six; multiple English and Language Arts classes for grades seven through 12; Debate I,II,III; Creative Writing; Research and Technical Writing; Journalism; Photojournalism; and Advanced Journalism for the newspaper and yearbook.

Mayor’s Internship Program Now Taking Applications

The deadline to apply for the third Richardson Mayor’s Summer Internship Program is Saturday Feb. 29.

The paid internships are open to qualified juniors who attend RISD schools or live in Richardson. Modeled after the prestigious White House Fellows, the RMSIP is open to juniors with at least a 2.5 GPA who are eligible to work in the U.S.

Students admitted to the program must attend one of three professional trainings on Feb. 29, March 10 or March 26.

The program runs between June 1 and Aug. 7, as students are immersed in a professional environment at an area corporation, nonprofit or government entity. Interns work between 20 and 40 hours a week for eight weeks, earning at least $10 an hour. These placements rival college-level internships and are a wonderful way to boost a resume while learning life skills outside the classroom.

Last year, more than three dozen RISD students participated in the program.

A job fair is set for April 20, and if hired, students will attend two mandatory intern training days on May 28–29. Area businesses are encouraged to sign up now through April 1 to make an invaluable difference in the life of a Richardson teenager. Invest in Richardson’s future workforce by sponsoring an intern at your workplace or nonprofit, or support the program as a program partner. Learn more and sign up at rmsip.org or contact Angela Shellene at ashellene@thereedsprc.com or 214–871–0783.

Candidates Must File by Feb. 14

Elections for RISD 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 RISD.org/bot or in person at the RISD Administration Building, 400 S. Greenville Ave., Richardson, TX 75080 during normal office hours.

The window to file for a place on the May 2 ballot began last week, and the deadline to file is 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 14.

Key 2020 election dates:

  • Last day to register to vote in Texas primary — Monday Feb. 3
  • Early voting begins — Tuesday Feb.18
  • Texas primary — Tuesday March 3
  • RISD Trustee election — Saturday May 2
  • Last day to register to vote in presidential election — Monday Oct. 5
  • Early voting begins — Monday Oct. 19
  • Presidential election — Tuesday Nov. 3

District Calendar

Meetings, Events & Fundraisers


Technology Survey for Parents

RISD is once again using BrightBytes.net to survey parents, students and teachers about the use of technology in education. The survey is only available for parents on their school’s homepage.

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 closes on Friday Jan. 31.

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.

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.

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 your school’s 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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