MST Magnet Elementary

Week of November 17th

Welcome Back!

Our theme for the 2015-2016 school year is MST Version 2.0: Uploading Excellence for 20 Years. This year marks our 20th anniversary! MST Magnet Elementary opened in 1995 at the Arapaho building and moved to the present location in 2005 after Richardson Junior High School was closed and repurposed. MST has built a legacy of innovation, creativity, and dedication to student learning that is immeasurable. It is through our partnership with our parents and community towards the devotion to student achievement and our genuine love for MST, that teach year has brought continued success.

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Abdo - SPED Teacher

Hi! My name is Cynthia Abdo. I have been teaching resource at MST for the past 10 years and I genuinely love it here! Prior to landing here, I taught 1st-3rd grades to non-native English speakers for 5 years at both a local private school and at an overseas private school.

I have been married to a great guy for 34+ years. We have 3 daughters and 1 son-who all graduated from RISD. Our three daughters live and work nearby and our son works in San Francisco. I also have 4 beautiful granddaughters.

I grew up on a family farm in South Dakota. I must admit; I do not miss the long, frigid winters!

My hobbies include reading, gardening, and spending time with my family and friends.

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Panzera - Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Helen Panzera. I grew up in San Antonio. I moved to Dallas after I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. I love spending time with my family, going to the movies, and baking. This is my ninth year to teach kindergarten. I love to teach!

Staff Spotlight - Ms. Abrams - 1st Grade

MST Art Night & Enrichment Cluster Fair this Thursday!

Join us at MST for the Students’ Art Show and Enrichment Cluster Fair. Come see the beautiful artwork created by your child under the direction of Mrs. Sara Larkin.

Thursday, November 19th, 6:00-7:30 pm

You may purchase a custom framed artwork by your very own young artist. Proceeds go to the MST Art Program.

2nd Annual Pumpkin Run & Canned Food Drive!

2nd Annual PUMPKIN RUN & canned food drive/P.E. fundraiser!

Thursday, November 19th, 1:30—2:45 pm

$5 per student and one non-perishable canned food or toiletry item

Parents may run with their student or stand and cheer them on as long as a district background check is cleared!

See the flyer that went home in last week’s Tuesday folder.

How do you know if school has been delayed or canceled due to bad weather?

There are several ways for you to get information in the event of inclement weather.

* Notification by an automated telephone call by 6:30 am

* RISD homepage at

* RISD weather line, 469-593-SNOW (7669)

* RISD Facebook page @

* RISD Twitter feed @

* Local news media outlets

Make sure that we have your correct contact information in order for you to receive the automated phone message from the district.

Congratulations to all our Reflections Art Contest winners!

K-2 Mejahbin Faruk in Ms. Price’s class

Honorable Mention Mominah Amjad in Ms. Price’s class

Gr. 3-5 Manha Chaudhry in Ms. Barrett’s class

Runner-up Vivien Hammer-Siano in Ms. Cross’ class

Honorable Mention Ibraheem Siddiqui in Ms. Brock’s class

Honorable Mention Ashley Riddle in Ms. Mays’ class

Gr. 6 Summaiyah Karim in Ms. Terry’s class

Runner-up Aniqa Amjad in Ms. Boone’s class

Honorable Mention Awwab Siddiqui in Ms. Terry’s class

The winners will continue on to the next level of the competition.

Hoop Shoot Winners

MST held a school Hoop Shoot contest in 3rd through 6th grades. The students who shot the most basketball free throws in their age group are: Chase Dai, Tanaysha McKoy, Zain Burney, Rita Araya, Joseph Choi and Maisoon Zazay. These students competed in the District Hoop Shoot contest at Berkner High School last week. All of our winners did a fantastic job of representing MST! Rita Araya in 5th grade, Mrs. Cave’s class, won first place in the 10-11 year old girls division after an exciting shoot out tie breaker round! Rita will move on to the next level of competition in January. Great Job, Rita, and good luck !!

The Parent Corner - The 4th "R" in Responsibility

Children learn the three “R’s” at school, but there is another very important “R” which children need to learn at home. . . RESPONSIBILITY! A sense of responsibility is an important key to success in all aspects of a child’s life.

Children learn RESPONSIBILITY. . .

  • When they are given responsibilities at home from an early age on.
  • When chores and tasks are age-appropriate
  • When they are expected to take care of their own responsibilities (brushing their teeth, getting their homework to and from school, making their beds, etc.)
  • When they are taught to help out in the family and the community (household chores, picking up after themselves, helping in community projects)
  • When parents avoid doing for children what they are capable of doing for themselves
  • When responsibilities are not tied to allowances
  • When they receive positive feedback and encouragement
  • When they see responsible role modeling from mom and dad

Find more Parenting Quick Tips in the office.

Let's Give Thanks & Help Families in Need!

Monday, November 16th through Friday, November 20th, MST students will donate non-perishable food items benefitting the Network of Community Ministries, an organization providing emergency services to children, low income families, and senior citizens in need within RISD


Some things that you could bring are:

Canned meats, pasta & sauce, soups, macaroni & cheese, dry pinto beans, rice, canned vegetables, jelly, tuna, cereal, flour, cooking oil, sugar, powdered milk, baby food, baby formula

Thank you to the volunteers, students, and staff for your support of the Scholastic Book Fair at MST. The Fair was very successful and our students will benefit from the sales with new books for the library shelves.

RISD Council of PTAs Used Book Fair

It is time to start thinking about the 2016 RISD Council of PTAs Used Book Fair! The sale will take place from February 11 – 14, 2016, and raises money for scholarships for RISD students and teachers. The sale includes all kinds of books, dvds and cds - not just children’s items. Now is the time to start collecting your items to donate to MST for this sale. Our school gets a percentage based on the number of items we contribute. Think about clearing out some of your bookshelf space to make room for new ones. A great way to collect books is to ask your friends, family and neighbors for their books left over from their garage sale. We will be putting collection boxes outside each classroom after winter break. Contact Laura Brownlee at if you have any questions.

6th Grade News:

AVID: Advancement Via Individual Determination

AVID is an academic, regularly scheduled elective class during the school day, based on writing as a tool of learning, inquiry method, and collaborative grouping. It is offered in grades seven through twelve at all RISD schools. During the months of November and December, AVID Junior High teams will be at MST for presentations to sixth grade teachers and students. Application forms will be given to students who request it. Additional information can be found at

AVID applications are due to Ms. Daniel by December 7th.

College & Career Readiness Event:

December 8th at Richardson High School

Pumpkin Run & Canned Food Drive / PE Fundraiser!

Thursday, Nov. 19th, 1:30pm

MST Magnet

MST Art Show & Enrichment Cluster Product Fair

Thursday, Nov. 19th, 6pm

MST Magnet

Join us at MST Magnet School for the Student's Art Show and Enrichment Cluster Product Fair. Come see the beautiful artwork created by your child under the direction of Ms Sara Larkin.

Thanksgiving Holiday

Monday, Nov. 23rd, 8am to Friday, Nov. 27th, 3pm

MST Magnet

Enjoy your time with family and friends!

MST Spelling Bee

Monday, Dec. 14th, 8:30-10:30am

MST Magnet

The school-wide Spelling Bee for grades 4-6 will be held on Monday, December 14th. The school winner will then go on to participate in the district bee.

To prepare, visit the website Look for the tab Words You Need to Know and find great words to use to study for the bee. You can also find spelling bee words at

MST Geography Bee

Tuesday, Dec. 15th, 8:30-10am

MST Magnet

The MST Geography Bee is Tuesday, December 15th!

A mini Geography Bee will be held for each homeroom and the top 2 scorers will be sent to compete in the school bee.

To prepare for this year’s Geography Bee, visit these websites:


· to study maps

· for additional links and preparation tips

You can always visit the MST library for geography related materials.

The winner from our school bee will take a test to potentially move forward to the next level. Let’s make 2015 a year we have a school winner advance to the state level!