Tag Archives: Rockwall ISD

After-school programs offered at six RISD elementary schools

After-school programs for prekindergarten through sixth-grade students will be operated by Rockwall ISD at six RISD elementary schools, beginning this week.

Featuring special interest classes, homework help, fitness fun and nutritious snacks, the “ROCK” (Reaching Out Connecting Kids) program costs $250/mo. per student or $125/mo. for students eligible for free/reduced price lunches. A discount is available for multiple students. There will be no charge for August or June.

Operating from 3 to 6 pm, the program is available at the Amy Parks-Heath,  Cullins-Lake Pointe, Hartman, Hays, Pullen and Shannon campuses. Parents can pick up their children at any time and must provide transportation.

According to the RISD website, the program was developed at the request of numerous parents with children in RISD schools.

For info, contact Karen Hunter at 469-698-7140 or karenhunter@rockwallisd.org

Rockall ISD schedules early childhood education informational meetings in March

Rockwall ISD officials say they will host two Early Childhood Parent Information meetings in March.

Parents can learn how their children can qualify for Head Start or state funded Pre-Kindergarten, March 2, 6:30 pm, at Pullen Elementary School, 6492 FM 3097, Rockwall.

Parents may register their children for the tuition-based Pre-Kindergarten Program March 9, 6:30 pm, at the Rockwall Administration and Education Center, 1050 Williams St. Rockwall ISD officials say this is an affordable, high- quality, early childhood program for which no qualification is required.

For more info, visit Rockwallisd.com or call 972-772-2073.

Rockwall ISD Superintendent pledges to help develop family, dating violence presentations

Rockwall ISD Superintendent Dr. Gene Burton pledged today in a meeting with members of the Rockwall County Coalition Against Family Violence to contribute RISD technology to help develop video and powerpoint presentations to combat family and dating violence across Rockwall County.

Dr. Burton said he agreed that public education can be of great benefit in the community to help prevent the growing problems of family and dating violence, and that he and RISD will do whatever is possible to assist.

RISD Communications Director Sheri Fowler will assist Lillian Smith members with the technology to organize the presentations.

Also discussed at the meeting were alternative options to best educate students at all grade levels, including the Expect Respect curriculum currently being used in Hunt County by the Women In Need Women’s Shelter, as well as the Love Is Not Abuse program created by the Liz Claiborne Foundation, which is being used by hundreds of school districts nationwide.

A dramatic presentation called “The Yellow Dress,” was recommended for consideration by Lillian Smith members.

Attendees at the meeting were representatives from Women In Need, Rockwall Presbyterian Hospital, RISD, the Lillian Smith Foundation, plus the incoming Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper.

AFter the meeting, she said she was very excited to learn about the Coalition and it’s workings. She added that she is anxious to take office so she can also help prevent and reduce family violence through the courts and criminal justice system.

For more news and information about Rockwall County, please visit our website newsmagazine at www.rockwallrocks.com.

Rockwall ISD partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters to increase mentors for children

The Rockwall Independent School District announced Aug. 12 that it will begin partnering with the nationwide non-profit organization “Big Brothers Big Sisters of America” (BBBS) this Fall so it can help increase the number of one-to-one mentors and role models for seventh, eighth and ninth grade students across Rockwall County.

According to RISD spokesperson Sheri Fowler, the school district has a lengthy history of successful partnerships with local and national outreach organizations – including “Rachel’s Challenge” and “Lift-Up America” – so working with BBBS should be reasonably easy.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is the largest youth mentoring organization in the United States, providing individual mentors to fatherless, motherless, and parentless children and at-risk youth since the early 1900s. The organization’s mission is to help children reach their potential through professionally supported, one-to-one relationships with mentors that have a measurable impact on youth.

It officially incorporated in 1977, when the Big Brothers organization merged with the Catholic Big Sisters. With nearly 400 affiliates across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Guam, it served 255,000 children in 2007 – more than twice the number of five years ago.

Research reveals that children who have Big Brothers and Big Sisters are 52 percent less likely to skip school, 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs, 27 percent less likely to use alcohol, and more likely to get along with their families and peers.

“The foundation and values of Big Brothers Big Sisters effortlessly reinforce the mission of Rockwall ISD,” Fowler said. “The organization has been the leader in one-to-one youth service for over 80 years and strives to help children reach their potential through professionally supported relationships.”

“BBBS has provided mentoring services to the children in the City of Rockwall and Rockwall County through their community-based program for years. However, this new partnership promises to grow the number of children served at levels never seen before.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters is equally happy with the arrangement.

“We are very excited about partnering with the Rockwall Independent School District to provide one-to-one mentoring for our students,” said Charles Pierson, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “There is nothing more impactful in youth development than engaged mentors.”

Rockwall ISD and BBBS will host a rally and dinner Oct. 3 in honor of those who have volunteered as “Bigs” and their little brothers and sisters. Following the event, the mentors and students will be escorted to the Rockwall vs. Rockwall-Heath high school football game. In addition, a booth will be set up at the game to promote and increase the reach of BBBS in Rockwall and surrounding communities. Representatives from Rachel’s Challenge and Lift-Up America will be involved in the celebration, as well.

Fowler said the event will serve as a kick-off for the second year of the Rachel’s Challenge initiative, emphasizing The Power of One. Community members, businesses and families will be encouraged to get involved in mentoring through BBBS.

“One mentor can make an enormous impact on the lives of children,” she added.

For more information about volunteering with BBBS, please call 888.887.2447 or visit www.bbbstx.org.

For information about RISD’s participation, call Sheri Fowler or see the website at www.risd.org.

Six Rockwall County schools achieve “Exemplary” ratings from TEA

Reinhardt Elementary School

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Six Rockwall County public schools received an “Exemplary” rating – equal to an “A” – according to the Texas Education Agency’s annual performance ratings just released August 1.

The ratings were based on TAKS scores, as well as student dropout and high school completion rates.

School district superintendents, school boards, teachers and parents use the annual ratings as the primary measurement of how schools are performing. Parents and real estate agents typically use the evaluations to locate neighborhoods with the most effective schools.

The six schools – five located in the Rockwall ISD – were Amy Park-Heath Elementary School, Grace Hartman Elementary School, Nebbie Williams Elementary School, Sharon Shannon Elementary School and Virginia Reinhardt Elementary School.

Miss May Vernon Elementary School is located in the Royse City ISD.

Eight Rockwall and Royse City ISD schools received a “Recognized” rating – equal to a “B.” They were Amanda Rochell Elementary School, Celia Hays Elementary School, Cullins-Lake Pointe Elementary School, Dorothy Smith Pullen Elementary School, Dorris A Jones Elementary School, Howard Dobbs Elementary School, W R (Bill) Fort Elementary School and J W Williams Middle School.

Nine schools received an “Acceptable” rating – equal to a “C.” They were Davis Elementary School, Maurine Cain Middle School, Ouida Springer Elementary School, Rockwall ISD Alternative Learning Center, Rockwall High School, Rockwall Quest Academy, Rockwall-Heath High School, Royse City Middle School and Royse City High School.

For comparison’s sake, most area high schools within 20 miles received “Acceptable” ratings, except for Caddo Mills, all three Plano, plus Rowlett High Schools, which received “Recognized” ratings.

To see all of the school information released, visit http://www.greatschools.net.

High school Bible course passes state board of education

The Texas State Board of Education voted yesterday 10-5 to approve the teaching of Bible courses in Texas high schools beginning this Fall, but left it up to the local school districts to figure out how to design those classes so they don’t violate religious-freedom protections.

The course is supposed to be geared to academic, nondevotional study of the Bible, and cover such things as the influence of the New Testament on law, literature, history and culture.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has told the Board that his office can’t guarantee the classes will be constitutional because they haven’t been reviewed, but the state standards which they have seen do appear to comply.

Critics contend that the standards which are based on old guidelines for independent studies in English and social studies, are so vague and general that many schools might create unconstitutional Bible classes unknowingly that either promote the religious views of teachers or criticize the religious beliefs of some students.

For example, earlier this year, the Ector County school board had to quit using a Bible course curriculum at two high schools in Odessa that the American Civil Liberties Union said promoted Protestant religious beliefs not shared by Jews, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and many Protestants.

Visitor badges will be required before entering RISD schools this Fall

All visitors to Rockwall ISD schools will be required to obtain or show visitor badges before they can enter school buildings, beginning this Fall.

The new policy was made when the RISD Board of Trustees voted recently to increase school security by purchasing and installing a new Raptor Technologies V-Soft visitor identification program, which allows school receptionists to quickly scan the visitor’s ID against secure Texas Dept. of Public Safety and  national FBI databases to determine whether the visitor is a registered sex offender or has parental custodial issues which might cause schools to deny someone entry into their buildings.

The system is designed to protect students by tracking all campus visitors, including parents, volunteers, vendors and contractors, according to Sheri Fowler, RISD executive director of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing,

She said it will be fast and easy to obtain a visitor badge as long as the visitor has no problems which would cause school officials to be alarmed. Once the scan is completed, a visitor’s badge will be issued. Visitors must sign out when leaving the building. A visitor will need only to present the photo ID on the initial visit at each campus.

Valid forms of identification include a driver’s license, state ID card, concealed handgun license, military ID, Mexico consulate ID and alien registration receipt cards. Information pertaining to personal identification is protected and scanned through a secure site.

“We greatly value our parents, families, mentors and community volunteers,” said Fowler. “We are grateful that all those who visit our campuses understand our need to safeguard our students and our staff. It is our expectation that this new system will not hinder parents and volunteers, but add to the security of the school.”

For more information, please visit the RISD website at www.rockwallisd.com or call the communications office at 972-771-0605.