MST Magnet Elementary

Week of September 21st

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 - Ms. Gruninger - Assistant Principal

I was born and raised in Highland Village, Texas and attended schools in Lewisville ISD. I was the youngest of three girls, and my dad was always surrounded by women, including pups! I grew up playing soccer and volleyball through high school. To my parents’ dismay (They are proud TCU Horned Frogs!), I attended college at Texas A&M (Whoop!) where I received my bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I began my teaching career in RISD at Bowie Elementary in 4th grade. After two years in fourth grade, I moved up to fifth grade for another four years. I loved every minute of my time as a classroom teacher! Following my tenure at Bowie, I moved to RISD Academy where I served as an Instructional Specialist.

I received my master’s degree from Texas A&M in Curriculum & Instruction in December of 2009. I knew I wanted to pursue administration so I continued my education at Texas A&M Commerce where I received my certification in Educational Leadership. In July of 2014, the day before my birthday, I was offered a position as the assistant principal of MST Magnet. Last year was filled with learning, successes, and a lot of joy! I love serving MST and our community. I am thrilled to begin my second year as an assistant principal here.

I enjoy running, reading, going to concerts, traveling, and anything that involves spending time with my friends and family. Sunday nights you will often find me at my parents’ house for family dinner with my parents, sisters, and their sweet families. I am an aunt to four nephews, all ranging from 9 months to 10 years. I am currently training for the Marine Corps Marathon at the end of October in Washington D.C., so my weekends have been consumed with a lot of training miles. I am looking forward to a fun and successful year at MST!

Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Skinner - Campus Reading Specialist

I am originally from Alabama (War Eagle), and moved quite a few times as the daughter of a Methodist minister. My final relocation was to Dallas the last two years of high school where I graduated from RHS (Go Eagles). I attended the University of Texas at Dallas (Go Comets) and joined the MST faculty upon graduation in 2005, starting as a 1st grade teacher, then moving up to teach 3rd grade for a few years before moving to my last classroom with 5th grade ELAR. I then transitioned to my current role as Campus Reading Specialist. The first decade of my teaching career has flown by, and I feel tremendously blessed to be a part of the Richardson ISD and MST community as I continue to grow and learn as an educator. It is a true joy & privilege to work with RISD students, teachers, and families each day, and to learn more about our exceptional kiddos in the afternoons as I lead our campus PACE program. When I’m not at school, I treasure game/movie nights spent with my hubby Ted and our loveable (deaf) dog Pinna, exploring new restaurants (we’re foodies), and having citywide adventures with my two precious Goddaughters, Maggie & Jojo.

Staff Spotlight - Ms. Gillum - Campus Reading Specialist

I am a born and raised Texan! I attended college at Baylor University...Sic’em Bears! I graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Upon graduation, I moved to Dallas to teach in Richardson ISD. This is now my 10th year in RISD. I have experience teaching in 1st, 3rd & 4th grades.

MST has been my “home” for the last three years & I love being a White Tiger! This year I have transitioned from being a classroom teacher into serving as one of our Campus Reading Specialists. I have a love for reading, so this is a great fit!

Outside of school I enjoy staying active with cycling, running & doing Camp Gladiator. I also enjoy going to concerts, checking out new restaurants & watching movies!

MST ranked 9th in Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools in the DFW area!

Most Diverse Public Elementary Schools ranks 49,032 elementary schools based on diversity statistics and more than 1.1 million opinions from 250,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the school is extremely diverse and fosters a community that accepts and promotes a diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and religious beliefs.

Read more here:

Reading Rocks!

We love to read at MST!

For more information on how you can support literacy at home, please watch the following video and visit our Edline page -

Focus Parent Portal Accounts Now Available

Parents are now able to create accounts to see their child’s grade and attendance information through RISD’s new student information system called Focus. Parents will need to know their child’s identification information in order to sign up.

To learn more and create an account, click the following link:

Bright Bytes Survey Available for Parents

Bright Bytes is part of the RISD District Improvement Plan evaluating student engagement as it relates to digital content and tools integrated within instruction and student learning. We need and value your input! The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete. Thank you for your continued support of MST and RISD!

Here is the survey link:

MST Choir

Choir began last Wednesday, Sept.16th. We start at 3:00 and ends at 4:00. All parents need to pick up their child at 4:00. If a student is not picked up by 4:15, students will be taken to the music room. They can then pick up their child by coming to the music room in person.

Student Afternoon Dismissal

School does not officially end until 3:00 pm. It is important that you do not come to pick up your student between 2:30 and 3:00 pm as this causes disruption at the end of the day. If a student has a doctor’s appointment or needs to leave school early, you must check him/her out before 2:30 pm.

Fourth Grade Fundraiser

When: Thursday, October 1st

Where: Jason's Deli

101 S. Coit Road

Richardson, TX 75081

When: 5:00-9:00 PM

Come one, come all to enjoy a delicious, healthy dinner and help send our 4th graders on their annual trip to Austin. Please tell the cashier that you are with MST. Thank you for your support.

MST Needs YOU!

We still need Room Moms or Dads to work with your child’s class. Check the flyer in today’s Tuesday envelope to learn more about which classes need help or email Leanna at We would like to have 2-3 parents per class, so that planning parties is much easier. The parties include a Winter Party in December and a Valentine’s Party in February. This is a great way to get to know your child’s teacher, the other students in their class and other parents, too. Thanks for helping make MST the Place To Be!

Parent Ed Night

Thank you to all you gave input on the Parent Ed. Survey. Join us on Tuesday, September 29th from 6:00-7:30 for an informative night that is built all around your needs! Childcare will be provided.

Nurse's News

Medication Guidelines:

  • · All medications given at school must be accompanied by a “Parent/Physician Request for Administration of Medication” form. A separate form must be completed for each medication. A new form is required at the beginning of each school year and any time medication dosages are changed.
  • · For student safety parents/guardians are encouraged to transport all medication (controlled and non-controlled) to and from school. Do NOT send medications in student lunches.
  • All medications brought to school, including over-the-counter medication, are required to be in the original, properly labeled container. Medications brought in a baggie or tissue, out of their original container, will not be administered at school. Bring all medications directly to the clinic.
  • All medications are stored in the clinic, in a locked cabinet. Students are not permitted to self-carry ANY medications without express written permission from their physician.

Class Pictures

Tuesday, September 29th—Class group picture day – no order form will come home for this.

Tuesday, October 6th – Fall individual picture day.

Class and individual photos will be ordered on the same convenient form. On-line links and ordering instructions will also be available. Order forms will go home in the Tuesday envelopes

Invention Convention

This is your opportunity to use your creativity to invent something that could better the lives of people or animals. It is open to all grade levels. Projects are due to your teacher on October 14th. The Building-wide competition is October 15th. Get those creative juices flowing and good luck to all MST inventors! The winners will compete in the District Invention Convention on Saturday, November 7th, at Berkner High School.

The flyer went home in last Tuesday’s envelope. Return this with your parent’s signature to Mrs. Menifee by Friday, September 25th to receive your Invention Convention Inventor’s information packet.

Hearing & Vision Screening

Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 8am-3pm

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

MST White Tiger Squad Kick Off Meeting

Thursday, Sep. 24th, 6-7:30pm

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

Calling all MST Dads! Dinner is provided FREE! Have dinner with your kids, meet other involved men, and find out how you can play a greater role in our school community.

Fall Class Group Pictures

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 8am-3pm

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

Class pictures will take place today during school.

Parent Education Night

Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 6-7:30pm

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

End of the 1st 6 Weeks

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 8am-3pm

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

End of 1st 6 Weeks Assemblies

Friday, Oct. 2nd, 8:30am

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

8:30-9:00 Kindergarten-3rd grades

9:15-9:45 4th-6th grades

Fall Individual Pictures

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 8am

450 Abrams Road

Richardson, TX

Fall individual pictures will take place today.

Fair Day - Student Holiday

Monday, Oct. 12th, 8am-3pm

MST Magnet

Fair tickets will be coming home soon.

MST's 20th Anniversary Celebration & Carnival

Friday, Oct. 16th, 5-7pm

MST Magnet

Mark your calendar now for an event that you will not want to miss!
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