RISD School Times — June 11, 2020

Congratulations Class of 2020!
Approximately 2,000 students from RISD’s four high schools graduated Friday and Saturday, crossing the stages with family and staff cheering them on, and heading into the next steps of their lives as graduates of the Class of 2020.

RISD stadiums were awash in the school colors of Lake Highlands and Pearce on Friday, June 5 and Berkner and Richardson on Saturday, June 6, as graduates and their families celebrated with photos, high fives, hugs and tears as they rotated through the events that were designed with social distancing in mind.

Congratulations to the RISD Class of 2020, their parents and families, and thank you to the teachers, support staff and administrators who helped and guided them on their journey since Kindergarten.

We are so proud of you!

Click to watch a video recap of RISD’s four Class of 2020 Graduations on June 5 & 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhQWnzcgLHM&feature=youtu.be

Superintendent’s Update

Click to see Dr. Stone’s weekly video update, covering the latest on school reopening planning, Class of 2020 graduations, and more: https://youtu.be/cjP1LAiEW9Y

2020–21 Operating Budget Presented
A formal proposal for the Richardson ISD operating budget for the 2020–21 fiscal year was presented to RISD Trustees at the regular board meeting the evening of June 8. The proposed operating budget was presented by Dr. Stone, and continued the budget planning process that began in the winter.

Highlights of the proposed budget and discussion included:

  • Projected revenue is slightly lower than last year due to a variety of factors, and the budget is projected to reduce the operating tax rate by 2 cents as a result of last year’s changes to the Texas school finance system in HB3.
  • Trustees and staff agreed that a conservative approach to using reserves is prudent this year to prepare for the likelihood of difficult financial times in the future due to the economic impact of the pandemic.
  • Academic and student performance priorities proposed for additional funding include the district’s emphasis on reading and early childhood literacy programs like Pre-K expansion, additional support for students receiving special education services, and remediation for students due to instructional time lost during the pandemic closure.
  • Teacher and staff compensation would increase by 1%. In addition, all full-time 2019–20 school year employees in allocated positions who return for the upcoming 2020–21 school year would receive a $750 retention stipend. Returning part-time allocated employees would receive a $375 retention stipend.
  • RISD’s share of health insurance coverage for staff would increase to help offset the rising cost of health benefits. About 82% of employees will experience either a decrease or no increase in health insurance costs next year.
  • While some one-time reserves would be used to fund non-recurring expenditures such as the retention stipend, the district would maintain some reserves to help prepare for the pandemic’s impact on the state of Texas budget and potential state funding reductions in 2021–22.

Dr. Stone noted that the proposed budget funds district academic priorities and provides a competitive yet sustainable compensation package for employees while preparing for the possibility of difficult economic times moving forward. “In last year’s budget, the passage of the TRE and state HB 3 legislation allowed us to correct some longstanding salary inequities for our teachers and staff, offering well-deserved raises of up to 5% for our veteran teachers,” said Dr. Stone. “This proposed budget protects those gains for our staff, and structures this year’s compensation package in a way that is more sustainable given the fiscal uncertainty ahead of us from the pandemic.”

The proposed budget was the result of trustee and staff budget deliberations at board meetings throughout the spring. The Board is expected to formally vote to adopt a 2020–21 operating budget at its June 15 Work Session in advance of the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

See the Proposed 2020–21 operating budget presentation here

Watch the June 8 Board meeting and budget discussion here

Reminder: School Year to Start Aug. 19

This spring’s pandemic closure will not impact the planned 2020–2021 school year start date of August 19.

An RISD task force continues to work on plans for the safe reopening of RISD schools on August 19. As school districts await expected final guidance and requirements from the state of Texas, the work in RISD is focused on creating a blueprint in order to be prepared for different possible reopening scenarios eventually permitted by the state, including an all virtual plan, an all in-person learning plan, and a hybrid learning plan that includes elements of both. Parent input and feedback will be an important part of the process. In-person school will consider guidance from health authorities to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff, and by extension, the community.

Dr. Stone will provide regular video updates in School Times and other RISD information platforms as work progresses.

Free Summer Online Learning Opportunities for All RISD Students

Focus 2020 en español

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 at this link.

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


Meal Service Available Through July

RISD meal service sites operate three days a week, while serving enough breakfast and lunch meals to feed children Monday through Friday.

Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the end of July.

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

Parents Can View Report Cards in Focus

2019–20 student report cards are published in Focus Parent Portal.

Parents who have not yet set up a Focus Parent account can do so by visiting www.risd.org/focus. Focus Parent accounts allow parents to see their child’s grades, attendance and more.

Elementary parents who would like to request a printed report card should contact their child’s school.

Secondary report cards were mailed to the student’s home address the week of May 27.

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.

District Calendar

RISD School Times — June 11, 2020 was originally published in Richardson ISD Newsdesk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.