RISD School Times — July 30, 2020

Superintendent’s Update — Formal Instructional Commitment Process Now Open

Please click here to watch Dr. Stone’s weekly superintendent’s update. Highlights include:

  • RISD will continue to follow the expert guidance from Dallas County Health and Human Services, and the plan for the start of school has not changed.
  • RISD will begin school with 100% virtual instruction on Aug. 19 and currently plans to transition to in-person instruction on Sept. 8 for those families choosing that option.
  • The process for parents to formally commit to either virtual instruction or in-person instruction for the 2020–21 school year has now opened. Parents were sent an email message with a customized link for each enrolled child at the primary email address provided upon enrollment.
  • Parents are strongly encouraged to review RISD’s back to school blueprint for plans for details about each instructional model to help them make the instructional choice that is best for their family.
  • Parents who cannot locate the commitment process email should check their spam/junk filters and folders.
  • Parents can verify their email address by contacting their child’s school, and may be referred for support at learningmodel@g.risd.org
  • The process is open through Thursday, Aug. 6 and parents will be able to change their choice in advance of each new grading period.
  • All enrolled families will also be receiving information from their campus as part of back to school planning to re-verify their access to technology in advance of the virtual instruction beginning Aug.19.
  • RISD expects adults and students to possess and wear a face covering inside schools when in-person learning resumes. RISD will provide face coverings, or parents can provide their own for students. Some exceptions can apply, and parents can review The Blueprint for details.
  • Parents selecting in-person instruction are encouraged to begin working with their children now to get them used to face coverings and choose a mask that works best for them.
  • RISD teachers are caring, committed professionals. They will be well-prepared to teach children, virtually and in-person, when school begins.
  • Dr. Stone has provided weekly updates throughout the pandemic. Previous messages can be found here.

Liberty Science Teacher Named Region 10 Secondary Teacher of the Year

Helen Arceneaux, a science teacher at Liberty STEM Academy, has been named the Region 10 Secondary Teacher of the Year.

“What makes Mrs. Arceneaux so great is that she makes science come alive for her students. She makes it fun, engaging, and entertaining,” Liberty Principal Cecilia Galvan said. “Furthermore, she trusts her students to navigate their own learning.”

Arceneaux moves on to the state competition after finishing first among 113 teachers from the 63 school districts that are a part of Texas Education Agency Region 10.

“While we are all nervous about what education will look like during and after the waves of COVID-19, I am very proud to be a member of this profession who never quits and who is always ready to serve our nation’s children,” Arceneaux said. “I believe that in our hearts we strive to relieve as much inequity as we can — always endeavoring to do better.”

Congratulations, Helen! #RISDGreatness


RISD Names First Director of Virtual Learning

RISD named Dr. Bill Parker to the newly created post of Director of Virtual Learning, as the district prepares for the new reality of teaching all students while they’re at home.

Dr. Parker has held various teaching and leadership positions within RISD since 2007, most recently as assistant principal at Richardson High School, overseeing the magnet programs, CTE, AVID and athletics.

“I am really excited to serve in this new capacity,” Dr. Parker said. “We will be designing the RISD Virtual School, collaborating with campus principals to determine master schedules, teacher and student assignments while ensuring teachers and students meet the expectations of the program.”

New Faces, New Places

A number of RISD campuses will have a new principal in 2020–21, and a handful of long-time educators are moving into executive posts this year. Congrats to all these dedicated RISD staffers, and welcome to those new to the district. #RISDGreatness #RISDWeveGotThis

Henry Hall — Chief Technology Officer

Dr. Lauren Bolack — MST

Jennie Bates — Executive Director of LHHS Learning Community

Carrie Breedlove — JJ Pearce High School

Helena Lopez — Merriman Park Elementary

Pharah Hogan — Richland Elementary

Vince Dawes — Big Springs Elementary

Lyndsey Gammaro — Northrich Elementary

Mike Evans — Executive Director of RHS Learning Community

Katie Mottram — Westwood Junior High School

Denise Newman — Mohawk Elementary

Sharon Erickson — Audelia Creek Elementary

Shawna Ballast — Chief of Literacy & Intervention

Dr. Bill Parker — Virtual School Director

Misty Wilson — Executive Director of Human Resources

Erin Perkins — Spring Creek Elementary

Dr. Darwin Spiller — Executive Director, Title IX Compliance & Investigations

Kim Clark- Health Services Director

Tonya Anderson — Wallace Elementary

Martha Rodriguez-Staufert — Director, Language Learners & Data Driven Instruction

Please consider supporting our partners — The RISD Foundation, Network of Community Ministries and Café Momentum — through this t-shirt fundraiser.
“We’ve Got This!” shirts are available in multiple colors and sizes. #BetterTogether

Continue Culture of Reading Over the Summer!

The RISD Library and Information Technology staff encourages all students to read books of interest during the summer.

Students will share and discuss their reading when they return to school. Students may obtain curated lists of reading materials on this website.

RISD is focused on building a culture of reading, we encourage all parents, staff and stakeholders to join students in actively reading and discussing their reading. Here are some summer reading challenge boards for elementary readers and secondary readers.

Keep calm and read on!

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.

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

Additional Reminders

Summer Meal Services Change Aug. 1, Entire Program Ends Aug. 18

RISD will discontinue its summer meal service on Friday July 31.

Be A Champion will continue serving meals from Saturday Aug. 1 through Tuesday Aug. 18. The new school year begins on Wednesday Aug. 19. RISD is grateful our nonprofit partner stepped up to help close the gap on child nutrition during the pandemic. Be a Champion certanly fulfilled its mission of endless service to the community. Thanks to all the Be a Champion staff for their tireless efforts this summer.

For full information about free meals for children, and the list of RISD meal sites, please visit www.risd.org/freemeals

RISD meal service sites operate three days a week, while serving enough breakfast and lunch meals to feed children Monday through Friday. Due to increasing heat, the hours of operations of RISD meal service sites are now 11 a.m. through 12:30 p.m.

RISD Administrative Offices Summer Schedule

Monday — Thursday: 7:30 a.m. — 5 p.m. Closed Fridays through Aug. 14

Department Contact Information

Summer 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 mask in order to enter offices and facilities.

Census Offices Reopen, Deadline Now Oct. 31

Local Census offices reopened on Monday June 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 Oct. 31, 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. The Census Bureau has extended the deadline to respond to the questionnaire to October 31.

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.

Dallas County Cancels In-Person Summer Activities

On July 16, Dallas County ordered all in-person school-related activities and extra-curricular activities to discontinue in the county due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This impacts all RISD athletics and fine arts camps, clinics, programs, workshops and any other in-person RISD activity involving students. The order is effective through Labor Day, and therefore all remaining in-person summer RISD extra-curricular activities are canceled.

The July 18 ACT at Richardson High School was canceled due to the order. Students who registered to the take that test and would like to inquire about a refund or register for a future test should visit www.ACT.org.

District Calendar

RISD School Times — July 30, 2020 was originally published in Richardson ISD Newsdesk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.