Richardson ISD is one of the best 100 U.S. School districts.

In a study commissioned by the Wall Street Journal, Offspring Magazine reviewed 15,892 districts nationwide, measuring student diversity, student achievement and cost of living in the community.

As the Offspring study pointed out, there’s more to wonderful schools than just TAAS rankings, even in Texas. Recognizing this three years ago, we designed another way to identify and reward high performing schools.

The Superintendent’s Medallion is given for academic growth of students as measured by a variety of factors. The Board of Trustees’ Silver Cup praises community volunteer efforts on and off campus.

Since its inception, the Superintendent’s Medallion has come to symbolize our finest educational efforts. We host a red carpet, Academy Awards-type celebration for principals, teachers and administrators.

Medallion evaluations are based on:

  • The two-year growth rate for each student in comparison to his/her grade level as measured by the Texas Learning Index (TLI)
  • The percentage of students exceeding the expected growth rate
  • The percentage of students mastering all objectives and obtaining a TLI greater than or equal to 85 percent
  • Maintaining an 85 percent TLI across two years
  • TAAS continuous improvements

In other words, we’re looking for demonstrable student-by-student gains.

This year, four schools in Lake Highlands won Medallions. Lake Highlands High School won for improvements in reading and math in all student categories. The Freshman Center also shared in the award, since there is no 9th grade test and because they are the building blocks for 10th grade testing.

Lake Highlands Elementary won a Medallion because every 6th grade student passed TAAS reading and math, and because of dramatic gains in learning for economically disadvantaged students at all grade levels.

Aikin Elementary won for signficant increases in all student groups in reading and math TLI. Both Aikin and Lake Highlands elementaries have won Medallions for the third year in a row.

Hamilton Park Pacesetter Magnet won first place in the two Silver Cup categories. The school’s extraordinary community outreach activities involved students in every grade and drew the community into the educational process.

We also congratulate the Lake Highlands High School Band for competing at the UIL state level and the Wranglers for being invited to perform at the inauguration in Washington, D.C., in January.

Strong community spirit strengthens our schools here in Lake Highlands, Texas. It is this partnership in learning that makes RISD outstanding.