Meeting recaps

Dr. Jeannie Stone

Last Friday 10/25/19, Dr. Jeannie Stone, Superintendent of RISD, presented an update on the Richardson independent School District. She began by updating everyone on the storm response efforts across the district. As she noted, the RISD team was determined to get kids back in the classroom and provide as much normalcy as possible under the circumstances. While the entire district was closed on the Monday immediately after the storm, most were back in their building on Tuesday when school resumed. However, Richland Elementary was especially hard hit and held class in the Professional Development Center building for a few days.

RISD has 39,600 students and it is a primary focus of the district to recognize and celebrate the many accomplishments of these students and the teachers and staff that make it happen. The social media hashtag “RISDsaysomething” is being used to allow anyone to curate all the many things happening in RISD during 2019-20. All of the activities, projects and initiatives should support the theme Dr. Stone noted, “We Love. We Listen and We Learn.”Dr. Stone explained a reorganization of the district to align all within a feeder pattern instead of by grade levels taught. That is, instead of aligning all elementary together the district is now organized by feeder pattern. This means all schools in the LHHS feeder pattern are working together which should allow for consistency and clarity as students move through their years. Dr. Darwin Spiller, who attended our meeting, is the Executive Director of the LHHS Learning Community. Before moving on to other elements of her update, Dr. Stone specifically took a moment to recognize the great work and leadership of our club member and LHHS principal, Kerri Jones. The audience agreed with hearty applause.

Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum was kind to assist Dr. Stone by providing the audience with an update on the ongoing major construction projects at LHHS and at White Rock Elementary. She noted the connector that will truly create one building out of our existing L and H buildings is expected to be completed by Spring Break. This space not only will connect the buildings, but it will provide new cafeteria and library space. As a result, the existing library and cafeteria space will be repurposed to become classrooms in time for the new school year in August 2020. Ms. Branum also noted that the Multi-Purpose Activity Center (MAC) is on schedule to be completed in the spring.

At WRE, the project is 95% complete. There is still some flooring to be completed over the Thanksgiving break and this long anticipated new space will be available to the students and teachers when it is completed.

Dr. Stone closed her presentation by thanking the club for our work with our schools and outlining how many in our club serve on RISD strategic planning teams. She invited anyone who is passionate about education to get involved with one of these committees. They are not exclusive and RISD welcomes anyone with a heart for kids to jump in and help.