Rice Middle School eNews

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rice's Choir Reaches a High Note!

On April 2, many of our 7th and 8th grade choir members auditioned for a spot in the 2016 All-Region Choir. We are excited to announce that Rice had 40 students earn a place in the choir!!! This is more than any other middle school in the Region (and more than Rice has ever had)!!! We are so proud of all the kids who auditioned!! Special thanks to Mrs. Farmer, Rice's choir teacher, for her dedication and leadership.

Congratulations to the Rice Raven Band!

Please take a moment to read Mr. Tucker's comments regarding the band's recent performance:

"The Award-Winning Rice Raven Band had an outstanding showing at UIL this past week. The kids did extremely well in all four bands, with special acknowledgement to our non-varsity groups, who had to perform the most challenging sightreading piece I have ever seen for their level.

  • Concert Navy earned straight 1’s on stage and a 2 in sightreading
  • Concert Maroon earned straight 1’s both on stage and sightreading for a Sweepstakes award
  • Symphonic Band earned straight 1’s both on stage and sightreading for a Sweepstakes award
  • Wind Ensemble earned straight 1’s both on stage and sightreading for a Sweepstakes award"

We are so proud of all of these students and for their hard work and achievements. We would also like to offer an additional "shout out" to Mr. Tucker, Mr. Lipe, and Mrs. Moore for amazing job they do here at Rice.

If you happen to be in the Dallas Arts District next weekend, the Wind Ensemble will be performing at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on Saturday, April 16th, at 1:00 PM. Admission is free. Hope to see you there!

Table of Contents

1. Traffic Reminders

2. Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day

3. Bond Proposal

4. Upcoming STAAR Testing Dates--Mark Your Calendars!

5. Open Positions Rice PTA for 2016-2017

6. Learn about PISD's New Mobile APP

7. Attention 8th Grade Students and Parents: 8th Grade Celebration!

8. News from the Nurse: Digital Eye Strain

9. News from the Nurse--Attention Parents of 6th Graders

10. Attention Parents of Current 6th Grade Boys

11. Teaching With Jamaica Drive!

12. Gateway to Technology Summer Camp

13. Plano Senior Summer Speech and Debate Camp

14. Interested in attending PISD's Summer Theatre Camp

15. Jasper Jazz News

16. Plano West Hockey Club Summer Season

17. Plano West Swim & Dive Team Tryouts

18. Plano West Softball, Future Lady Wolves Night--Tuesday, 4/12!

19. Moving or Planning on Moving?

1. Traffic Reminders

Attention Parents:

We need your help to ensure our students are safe during arrival and dismissal times. Below, you will find a link to Traffic Tips, please take a moment to reread these tips.

It is extremely important for you to be aware of the surroundings around the school when dropping off or picking up your child. We have over 1,000 students who either walk, ride their bike, or use carpool, so we need you to be patient and cooperative with other drivers in order for our traffic flow to be successful. Everyone plays a part in this success.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation, support, understanding, and most importantly patience.

2. Take Your Sons & Daughters to Work Day

Attention Parents,

Please click on the links below to view a letter from PISD regarding "Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day" on April 28, 2016.

3. PISD Bond Proposal

2016 Bond Information Meetings to be Hosted by Superintendent at Six High Schools this Spring

Plano ISD community members are invited to attend any of six information meetings to be hosted this spring about the district’s May 7 bond election proposal. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Binggeli will present information and answer questions. Meetings will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the district’s high schools on the following dates:

  • April 13 (Wednesday) - Jasper High School (presentation room), 6800 Archgate Drive, Plano, TX 75024

  • April 25 (Monday) - Vines High School (presentation room), 1401 Highedge Drive, Plano, TX 75075

  • April 28 (Thursday) - Shepton High School (library), 5505 Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093

About the May 7 Bond Election
On May 7, Collin County voters residing within the Plano ISD attendance zone will be asked to consider a single proposition to provide $481 million toward eight major project areas with no increase to the tax rate. If approved, all Plano ISD campuses will be impacted by district-wide security updates, renovations and facility upgrades, as well as technology improvements. Visit www.pisd.edu/2016bond for more information.

Bond Proposal Resources

Website: www.pisd.edu/2016bond

FAQ: http://www.pisd.edu/news/bond.programs/2016bond/FAQ.shtml

Video: https://youtu.be/kwMOd0qX8-s?list=PLVcNW-DvhSHXldsZ4Ky972k98pN7D3nfI

Presentation: http://www.pisd.edu/news/bond.programs/2016bond/documents/Bond_2016_Presentation.pdf

4. STAAR Testing--Important Information

Upcoming STAAR TESTING Dates Below:

May 5:


May 9:

STAAR Grades 6-7 Math

STAAR Grade 8 Math Retest

May 10:

STAAR Grades 6-7 Reading

STAAR Grade 8 Reading Retest

May 11:

STAAR Grade 8 Science

May 12:

STAAR Grade 8 Social Studies


Please be aware that students cannot leave the building and return later to complete their test. If your child has an appointment on any of the testing days that affects him or her, please try to change the appointment.

If you have questions about EOC or STAAR Testing, please contact Rice's guidance department.

5. Open Positions Rice PTA for 2016-2017

Open Positions Rice PTA for 2016-2017:

If interested, please contact Shannon DeWolf at president@ricepta.org


  • VP Membership- Recruit PTA members and maintain an accurate record of membership for the school year.

  • VP of Volunteers- Puts together lists of volunteers for the school year and contacts the volunteers to place them at events.

**Board Positions require monthly 1-hour board meetings & bi-monthly general 1 hour meetings**


  • Social Coordinator-Plan a fall and spring social for all grade levels (can be done with 2 coordinators)

  • Band Coordinator-Work with Band Director to help band with what they need

  • Multicultural Chairman-Organize event before spring open house

**No monthly meetings just complete job position requirements**

6. Learn about PISD's New Mobile APP

Attention Parents & Students

The FANS dept. has purchased an app that can be used by everyone. This app will provide information directly related to a particular school regarding menus, nutritional value,

and allergens. This will help your child make safe decisions as well as knowing what line to pick for their favorite foods.

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7. Attention 8th Grade Students and Parents: 8th Grade Celebration!

Celebrate your final year at Rice with an end-of-year 8th grade party at the Heritage Farmstead Museum on Friday, May 20th, from 7-9 PM. Plans are already underway, and we are currently looking for someone to create a video to highlight the past three years at Rice. If video creation is your thing and you would like to help out, please contact either Bethany Ulteig (gulteig@sbcglobal.net) or Cristi Dyer (cristi.dyer@pisd.edu). We will need lots of additional volunteers to make this event fun for our students. Please be on the lookout for announcements in the coming weeks with more information regarding 8th Grade Celebration.

8. News from the Nurse: Digital Eye Strain

Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain (also known as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS) is the physical eye discomfort caused by spending two or more hours in front of a digital screen. The symptoms are dry, red and irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain. Nowadays, our school-age children spend more time on computers or digital devices each day. This increased exposure puts them at greater risk for digital eye strain.

Tips to prevent your child from getting digital eye strain or lessen the symptoms-

  • The “20x4” (20-20-20-20) rule: keep your child’s eyes at least 20 inches from their screen and take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look at something at least 20 feet away.

  • Adjust the brightness of your child’s device. Consider changing the background color from bright white to cool gray. Overhead lighting should be no brighter than your screen

  • Check the ergonomics –

  • When using a computer, have your child sit in the chair and extend his/her arm. Your child’s palm should rest comfortably on the monitor, as if he/she is high-fiving the screen.

  • Avoid “turtling”. If your child can’t see the screen clearly with good posture, he/she probably needs an eye doctor visit.

  • The monitor should be slightly lower, approximately 20 degrees below eye level.

  • Keep hand-held devices a safe distance from your child’s eyes and just below eye level.

  • Remind your child to blink more often. Staring at a digital screen can affect the number of times you blink, causing eyes to dry. Consider wearing computer-specific lenses with a quality anti-reflective coating if your child uses digital devices often (discuss with the eye doctor).

  • Get a comprehensive eye exam annually.

9. News from the Nurse--Attention Parents of 6th Graders

Please click on the link below to view important information from Nurse Yang, regarding immunization requirements students who will be 7th graders in 2016-2017.

10. Attention Parents of Current 6th Grade Boys

All 6th Grade Boys Who Are Interested in Athletics Next Year:

There will be a brief informational meeting in the gym this Friday, 4/8, at 3:45. Parents don't need to attend as all information will be sent home with the athletes. If your son is interested in participating in Athletics next year but isn't able to attend the meeting, please contact Coach Green at chad.green@pisd.edu.

11. Teaching With Jamaica Drive!

Student Council is collecting school supplies for Teaching With Jamaica through Friday, April 15th. We believe that every student deserves to have an excellent education, and we can help! We are collecting the following school supplies: construction paper, glue (liquid kind), adult scissors, child scissors, crayons (crayola kind- the other kinds melt on us), markers, pencils, books, etc. Have your student bring the supplies to homeroom.

12. Gateway to Technology Summer Camp

Registration for The Gateway Summer Engineering Camp is now open! This camp is hands-on, project-based, and is designed to introduce middle school students to the fundamentals of STEM and recruit them into PLTW courses. Certified PLTW instructors provide expert instruction in small group settings. Students work together in a fun, exciting environment using leading-edge technologies to sample engineering related activities and projects and get a taste of how fun it can be to be an engineer.

Sessions are offered at Robinson, Wilson, and Otto Middle Schools and each session is four days long.

Students and parents can learn more about the camp and can register at...


  • For Plano ISD students entering grades seven or eight only (No current 8th graders)
  • Each session is 4 days long (Mon. – Thurs.) Students can only attend one session.
  • Camp program time is from 7:45 am–11:45 am.
  • Tuition is $95.
  • Registration begins April 1st and each session is limited to 25 students (hurry because spots will fill up fast).
  • We will plan for new curriculum/projects from last year since we anticipate having returning students that attended last summer.
  • T-Shirts will be provided for all participants.
  • Each camper will be given a Certificate of Completion on the last day.
  • Campers will take home the projects they complete during the camp (if applicable).
  • The last hour of each session will be a student showcase for parents to come in and see what the campers did during the week.

Session #1 – Monday, June 13 – Thursday, June 16

Otto MS

Wilson MS

Robinson MS

Session #2 Monday, June 20 – Thursday, June 23

Otto MS

Wilson MS

Robinson MS

Session #3 Monday, June 27 – Thursday, June 30

Otto MS

Wilson MS

Robinson MS

Camp locations are Robinson, Otto and Wilson Middle Schools

For more information contact Linda Haltom (linda.haltom@pisd.edu

13. Plano Senior Summer Speech and Debate Camp

Don't miss this outstanding opportunity to get training this summer in various tournament events, come back to Rice in the fall ready for competition!
Go to this link for more information:

14. Interested in attending PISD's Summer Theatre Camp?

Please click on the links below to learn more information about both camps:

Center Stage Camp (9-12th grade): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-R1lGaDReDvc1JvT29BS0pQclU/view?usp=sharing

Star Power (6-8th grade)
: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-R1lGaDReDvWkxKdHEyUktLS1U/view?usp=sharing

15. Jasper Jazz News

A. Come Watch the Jasper Jazz's Award Winning Show, The Heist!

Come watch their award-winning, spring show performance, titled The Heist, at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29 or Saturday, April 30 at Jasper High School. Tickets are $10 pre-order or $12 at the door. We anticipate a full house, so purchase your tickets today at http://jasperjazz.dance/forms.html . Pre-order by April 15 to ensure your seat.

B. Calling all Jasper Jazz alumni and fans: Pre-order your commemorative t-shirt today!

The Jasper Jazz national champions are celebrating 20 years of dance and performance excellence since the drill team’s founding in 1996. In honor of the Jazz’s 20th anniversary, the members are calling all Jasper Jazz drill team alumni and fans to show their Jazz pride and pre-order the commemorative Alumni Spirit Tee featuring a black short-sleeve t-shirt with silver alloy lettering for $20. Pre-order by April 10 at http://jasperjazz.dance/forms.html . Email Dana Tocci with questions at dablue2560@yahoo.com . Sponsored by the Jasper Jazz Booster Club.

16. Plano West Hockey Club Summer Season

Come join the Plano West Hockey Club this summer!! Summer season starts May 1st and runs through July 17th. Playoffs start July 24th. CURRENT 7th - 11th GRADERS ARE ELIGIBLE. See the attached flyer for more details. Go to www.planowesthockeyclub.com to register.

17. Plano West Swim & Dive Team Tryouts

There will be a mandatory Parent Meeting for all parents of students interested in trying out for the Plano West Swim team: Wednesday, May 4th, at 6:30 pm in the Presentation Room at Plano West. (The team is open to students attending Jasper, Shepton and West for the 2016-2017 school year.) Swimmers are encouraged to attend this meeting.

New Swimmer Tryouts will be held Saturday, May 7, 7:00-9:00 am at Tom Muehlenbeck Center. This is for any swimmer who is not currently on the Plano West Swim Team. Tryouts will start promptly at 7am. Please RSVP to Coach Bobo at peyton.bobo@pisd.edu . Swimmers will need competition suits, goggles, and caps. The try-out will be a swim practice designed to assess the swimmers' competitive swimming skills (including all strokes), ability to work as a part of a team, and competitive drive. A flier with this information is available in the school office if needed.

The Diving Team works out at Oak Point Recreation Center at 7:00 AM Monday thru Friday. Come by and meet Coach Solow. For tryout information contact the coach at bob.solow@pisd.edu .

18. Plano West Softball, Future Lady Wolves Night--Tuesday, 4/12!

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19. Moving or Might Be Moving?

If you know you will be moving or withdrawing your student from Rice or Jasper (current 8th grader) at the end of school during the summer, please fill out an, "Intent to Withdraw" form as soon as possible. Contact Ms. Pinkston in the Counselor's office for a copy of this form. Please remember , that if you later decide to stay in the Rice zone, you always have a spot!

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