RISD School Times — Aug. 27, 2020

Superintendent’s Update — Return to In-Person Instruction

Click here to watch the weekly superintendent’s update. Dr. Stone talks about the first day of in-person instruction for those families who chose that option. Highlights include:

  • Students whose parents have chosen virtual instruction for the first nine weeks of the school year will continue learning as they have since school began on Aug. 19.
  • Students in Pre-K through grade 6 and centralized special education programs will resume in-person instruction on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
  • Students in grades 7 and 8 will resume in-person instruction on Monday, Sept. 14.
  • High School students whose parents have chosen face to face instruction will return to campus on Monday, Sept. 21.
  • In advance of each nine-week grading period, every student and family has the option to continue in their current learning framework or transition to the other option.
  • A review of the safety protocols and risk mitigation efforts that RISD will follow for face to face school.
  • An explanation of what will happen when positive cases are reported in a school, how the district responds, and how notifications will work.
  • Click here to see an infographic detailing some of the protocols that parents and students can expect when classes resume face to face.

Dr. Stone has provided weekly updates throughout the pandemic. Previous messages can be found here.

Universal Mask Expectation

As outlined in The Blueprint, all RISD students and staff are expected to wear a cloth face covering when on campuses or at RISD events.

Masks are expected to be worn as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air
and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.

This is called source control.

This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another, so the use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

CDC recommendations for masks will be updated as new scientific evidence becomes available.

Once Lake Highlands junior virtual student Ava McClung got her class schedule, she realized that she had teachers from all four RISD high schools.

That sparked an idea to create a Hogwarts-inspired crest for the RISD Virtual High School, as Ava felt the four RISD mascots work really well in the Hogwarts house colors.

The Latin translates to: “We do the best we can.”

Thanks for this slice of #RISDGreatness, Ava, and have a great year!

Board Cancels November Trustee Election

RISD will not hold a board election in November for Single-Member District 3 and At Large Place 6 because neither seat is contested. This action will save RISD the cost of holding an election, which is up to $350,000 in a typical election year.

Debbie Rentería is the only RISD resident who filed to run for the District 3 seat vacated by Dr. Kristin Kuhne when her term expired. In May, the board named Rentería interim trustee after the election set for that month was canceled due to the pandemic.

In June, Karen Clardy was voted RISD board president by her fellow trustees. The other officers for the 2020–21 school year are Jean Bono as vice president, Regina Harris as secretary and Kim Caston as treasurer. Clardy succeeds Justin Bono who decided not to seek re-election for At Large Place 6. Bono’s trustee seat was initially to be filled by the canceled May vote, but he agreed to remain on the board until the election of a replacement.

In August, Bridgett Hudson, who had previously filed to run, withdrew her name from the ballot, leaving Eric Eager as the only person running for At Large Place 6. RISD trustees serve three-year terms.

Learn more about the RISD Board.

Parent Corner
Please join us on the RISD Parent Corner as we journey from everyday parent involvement to meaningful family engagement.

This week, RISD hosted a virtual session to help parents create home learning environments to support virtual learning. Remaining scheduled sessions include:

  • Sept.1–1 to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. FOCUS: Accessing Grades, Progress Reports and Attendance
  • Sept. 3–1 to 2 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. Sustaining and Strengthening Home to School Connections

Please register using this form to receive the virtual meeting link. Registration ends one hour prior to the session start time. Past sessions will be posted to the RISD website.

Spanish interpretation will be available for all sessions.

Stay tuned for more information on other fall sessions coming soon!

2020–21 Enrollment Open

Families enrolling for the 2020–21 school year can do so online.

To enroll, or to learn more about enrollment requirements, please visit www.risd.org/enroll.

Enrollment is required under Texas law for students to attend school. Parents who have yet to enroll their students should take immediate action to do so.

RISD Enrolling Full-Day Pre-K For All

Richardson ISD now offers full-day prekindergarten for qualifying 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds.

High-quality Pre-K is proven to provide an academic advantage for all children, as well as giving our youngest learners a social and emotional head start.

RISD offers Pre-K at no cost for families who meet state-mandated criteria, including income, language, military and other factors. RISD will provide transportation, if needed, and breakfast and lunch is provided for qualified Pre-K students.

For more information and eligibility details visit www.risd.org/prekforall

District Calendar

Meetings, Events & Fundraisers

A/B Calendar

Under The Blueprint, one change for the 2020–21 school year includes all students in grades 7–12 following an A or B block schedule each day, with days alternating throughout the instructional year. Class periods have been extended to 90 minutes, and students will have half their classes on A days and the other half of their classes on B days, alternating each day.

The RISD Student Academic Calendar has been updated to note each instructional day as an A or B day. Schools will inform parents when specific schedules for each student are available early next week.


Sept. 4 Rescheduled as Student Holiday

Friday Sept. 4 has been changed from a virtual instruction day to a student holiday so RISD staff can further prepare for the return of students to campus on Tuesday Sept. 8.

Teachers and staff should check with principals and supervisors about training and schedules for Sept. 4.

Guidelines For Visitors

All visitors should have an appointment to enter RISD administration buildings and schools. Visitors should complete the RISD Health Screener Form before proceeding with their appointment. Visitors must wear a cloth face covering in order to enter offices and facilities.

Census Deadline Now Sept. 30

Local Census offices reopened Jun 1. All Census staff will be wearing masks and following the local guidelines for safety. The goal is to get a complete count of everyone in the United States by Sept. 30, which is the new deadline.

Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census were delivered in March. About 69 million households across the nation were sent reminder postcards in the mail.

Did you know? You can respond online in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more.

Respond Now

RISD is providing information to educate, encourage and engage our school community about the 2020 Census, and we encourage your participation. RISD will keep this website up through the extension.

Let’s Talk!

Richardson ISD recently launched Let’s Talk!, a new customer service and communication platform on RISD.org that will allow community members to submit a question, comment, concern, suggestion or compliment, and they will receive a timely response.

The primary goal right now is to relay vital information related to the COVID-19 impacts and to answer stakeholder questions in a timely manner.

Download the Let’s Talk! app for iOS and Android devices, and enter the RISD Let’s Talk! ID — RI2329

Click here for FAQs.

Meal Information For 2020–21 School Year

Applications for free or reduced meals are now open for the 2020–2021 school year on www.Schoollunchapp.com.

Meal benefit applications must be completed each school year, and all parents are encouraged to apply as eligibility requirements change yearly and many families have incurred significant life changes this year that may qualify them for free or reduced-price meals.

Regardless of eligibility, all completed applications contribute greatly to RISD’s mission to ensure every student receives nutritious meals.

RISD Child Nutrition staff members began providing curbside breakfast and lunch service on Tuesday Aug. 18. Curbside meals will be offered each Tuesday and Thursday at all school campuses. Curbside meals are available for all students, and pricing will be charged according to eligibility. Please verify that sufficient funds are in the child’s account to cover the balance.

RISD encourages parents to deposit funds into the student’s account through www.PayPAMS.com.

Parents may pick up curbside meals without students present, but they must provide documentation of their student’s enrollment in RISD, such as a school-issued student ID, report card, birth certificate or a district verification message emailed to all RISD parents April 1.

For more information or assistance, please contact the Child Nutrition Office at 469–593–0108.

RISD School Times — Aug. 27, 2020 was originally published in Richardson ISD Newsdesk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.