MST Magnet Elementary
Week of September 7th
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.
A Message from Ms. Lopez
Hello MST Magnet Families!
I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and were able to relax and spend time with family and friends. We have had an awesome first two weeks of school! Thank you so much for supporting us by making sure your student gets a good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and fostering their independence. I come to school every single day eager to see our students’ smiling faces and watch them as they are immersed in learning. I’m looking forward to another year here at MST Magnet Elementary. I would like to extend a special welcome to our new families. We are so happy that you have joined us and want you to know that we truly believe that MST is the Place to Be in RISD. This year is especially exciting because we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary! MST Magnet was established in 1995. Our 20th Anniversary Celebration will be on October 16th from 5:00-9:00. We are very excited for this special celebration!
Our staff has been working hard to ensure that your child has a strong and positive start to the new school year. We had a wonderful turnout at our Meet the Teacher night and appreciate all of you who joined us! If you were not able to make it, you should have received an informational packet in your child’s take home folder. If you didn’t receive information from this event, please contact your child’s teacher. One of our goals at MST Magnet is to continue to build a strong partnership with all of our families and be a platform for connection, communication, and collaboration to ensure that your child’s time here leaves a positive and lasting mark on their educational journey. A great way to be connected is by joining our PTA. Thank you to those of you who have already joined and to those who have already logged quite a few volunteer hours helping our year get off on the right start. We appreciate you! If you are still thinking about joining and “Backing the Future,” you can do so at www.mstpta.org.
Please mark your calendars for our upcoming community events. We have our first commYOUnity dinner at Spring Creek BBQ in Richardson on Tuesday, September 15th from 5:00-9:00. Part of the proceeds benefit our school, so come and join us, have a yummy dinner, and see some of our teachers serving rolls. I will be there serving rolls from 5:00-5:30. We hope to see you there! We also have our Tiger Squad Kick-off meeting on September 24th from 6:30-8:00. Tiger Squad is a wonderful way for male role models to get involved and spend a day volunteering at our school. In addition, we have our first Parent Education Night on September 29th from 6:00-7:30. You will have an opportunity to attend 3 sessions that meet your family needs. We want your input as to what you would like those topics to be! There is a survey going home in the September 8th Tuesday envelope. We would love to hear from you!
Thank you for trusting us with your most valuable possessions….your children!
Meet the Teacher
We had a wonderful turnout at Meet the Teacher! Here's a look at our support staff table.
Back to School
Mrs. Lewis and her second grade class were busy working on math.
Sixth grade is already hard at work in the Science Lab with Mrs. Menifee!
Staff Spotlight - Ms. Lopez - Principal
I was born and raised in Dallas, TX in the Lake Highlands area with two brothers, one younger and one older. Being the only girl, I got my fair share of playing G.I. Joe, cruising the neighborhood on my Hot Wheels and Nintendo! I attended White Rock Elementary, Lake Highlands Junior High, and graduated from Lake Highlands High School. I love RISD! I attended Richland College and from there transferred to University of Texas at Dallas where I received my bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I began my student teaching at White Rock Elementary, and the following year, I was offered a first grade teaching position. I taught first grade at White Rock for 6 years and then taught fourth grade for 3 years. I loved every minute of being a teacher!
I received my master’s degree from Texas A&M Commerce in Educational Administration and was offered a position as the assistant principal of MST Magnet after my 9th year in education in RISD. I served as assistant principal for two years and am now beginning my 2nd year of being head principal. I absolutely love being at MST and am proud to be a part of such an amazing school! It is a place where the excitement about learning and the desire to continue to do that is contagious! Our staff genuinely believes in supporting every child reach his or her full potential, and when they leave here to move on in their educational journey, they will always look back and think fondly of MST memories.
I share my home with my sweet little dog, Lacey. The kids hear me talk about her often! She is a 7 pound, black and white, Terrier mix, and she is very spoiled. I enjoy taking Lacey on walks and sitting out in the backyard with her (when the weather is cooler, of course). I enjoy exercising, listening to music, reading, going to concerts, watching movies, and anything that involves spending time with my friends and family. I am looking forward to this school year and getting to you know and your family!
Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Price - 2nd Grade Teacher
I was born and raised in Richardson, Texas and attended RISD schools Kindergarten-12th grade. Fun fact: my husband actually attended MST himself! I graduated from Texas A&M University in December of 2011, with a Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Studies and a focus in Early Childhood. I accepted a job at MST a month later and have been teaching here ever since!
My husband and I bought our first house shortly after getting married in 2014, and we currently live in Richardson with our Beagle pup named Colbie. We love seeing movies, watching TV, and enjoying some house projects here and there. I personally love to work-out, read, and hang out with family and friends during my spare time. In June, I began a Graduate program for School Counseling at Lamar University and I'm expected to finish December of 2016.
My first love will always be teaching, and I count myself blessed everyday I come to work. My favorite part about teaching is creating relationships with coworkers, students, and families. The technology and differentiation at MST continue to make life interesting in the classroom and I'm always excited to try new things with both. I know this year will be amazing because MST really is the place to be!
Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Larkin - Art Teacher
I was born and raised in Garland, Texas where I attended St. Pius X School then Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas. At the University of North Texas, I started as a Communication Design major. However, after spending several summers as a camp counselor, I realized I wanted a career where I could work with children. I got a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on Early Childhood through 4th grade. I have been so lucky to call MST my home for the past 7 years. Those first 5 years were in the kindergarten classroom. I loved being a classroom teacher but I have a true passion for the Fine Arts. In 2013, I became certified to teach art for Early Childhood through 12th grade.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Jason. We live in Richardson with our vivacious 3 1/2 year old daughter, Hannah, and gregarious son, Wesley, who will be a year old in October. Also, we have two very entertaining cats named Mona Lisa and Dirk Nowitzki. When I am not keeping up with this crew I enjoy reading, creating artwork, and spending time with friends.
I am very excited to start my 2nd year in the art room. There are a lot of fantastic projects planned for this school year. If you would like to keep up with the artwork being created in our classroom please follow our social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter @ (MST_artroom).
Staff Spotlight - Mrs. Shaw - Campus Math Specialist
Born and raised in Louisiana, I’m really just a country girl. I went to College at ULM where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Education. I still love visiting and will always call it home. I’m a huge Saints fan through and through, although I can’t resist cheering on the Cowboys, too. And as the saying goes, I got to Texas as fast as I could.
I’ve been a teacher at heart since I was in Kindergarten. My Kindergarten teacher was a wonderful lady who inspired me to follow a need to help others in a compassionate, kind and productive way…and honestly, it was the only way to allow me to talk and it be more than a distraction. Since then, I’ve shared a lot of classrooms and have been touched by many loving, kind and compassionate students and families. I’ve taught first though eighth grades and all subjects at some point or another. This year marks thirty years and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I share my home life with three dogs, two cats (they adopted us), two fish, four children and my husband. This year I’m an empty nester and am returning to school myself to finish a long awaited master’s degree. My youngest child is attending LSU as a freshman (husband is an Aggie, so that’s fun), another is a senior at UTD and the other two are Marines contributing to their country and working to support themselves. I’m one proud mom.
I love my MST family. Working with the staff and students as a math coach is very rewarding. Although math wasn’t always my favorite subject, it has always been fun and even challenging at times. Even when I was struggling with a concept in college, I was too determined to just guess at solutions or give up. I had to find a way to solve it so that it made sense. I hope that by sharing my love of learning, supporting students and teachers, I can continue to help others in a compassionate, kind and productive way. Go math!
Parents, please label everything your child brings to school; jackets, lunch boxes, backpacks, binders, etc. This makes it much easier to get lost items back to their owners. If you are missing anything, check the Lost and Found in the cafeteria.
Morning Drop Off Procedures
Rainy Day Dismissal
Look in today’s Tuesday folder for your new Rainy Day car hanger. Please keep this in your car in case of a rainy or inclement weather day. The new hanger will have the year 2015-2016 on it. As the students move to a new grade level, they are assigned a new number that corresponds to that grade. This makes any old hanger invalid. Please throw away any old car hangers that you may have.
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.
There will be no lunch visitors for the first four (4) weeks of school to allow the students the opportunity to learn the cafeteria procedures and establish relationships with their peers. Parents may begin having lunches with students on September 21st.
In order to make sure we have enough room for all of our visitors, please follow the schedule below and eat with your student only on their assigned day. Please do not invite friends to sit with you as space is limited.
K—2 Monday, Wednesday & Friday
3—6 Tuesday and Thursday
School lunch prices have increased slightly this year. The student lunch is $2.40; the adult lunch is $3.50.
To apply for Free/Reduced lunch, go to www.schoollunchapp.com. It’s quick and easy and your information is protected.
If you pay for your student’s meals with a check, you must put your Driver’s License number and your date of birth on your check.
PTA Reflections 2015-2016
Express your artistic talents with PTA Reflections in the categories of dance, choreography, musical composition photography, visual arts, film production, and literature.
2015-2016 Theme “Let Your Imagination Fly”
Get entry forms from Ms. Larkin, MST Art teacher, or go to
Reflection projects are due Tuesday, October 27th.
If you would like to celebrate your child’s birthday at school, please bring non-food items such as pencils, erasers, stickers, etc. to share with the class. Food items for the class will not be permitted in the cafeteria or classrooms. Parents may eat with their child in the cafeteria on their birthday, even if it is not their designated day. Outside food at lunch is permitted for their child only.
If you are interested in being a Room Parent for your child’s class, please email Leanna at email@example.com. 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!
There are many opportunities to volunteer at MST, from stuffing Tuesday folders to working the Book Fair and many smaller ways in between. To volunteer, you must submit a background check each year by going to the RISD website, www.risd.org, click Parents, navigate to Volunteer Opportunities. From there, you will see the online form in either English or Spanish. Volunteer Criminal Background Checks may take up to 30 days to process. You must do a background check every year. There is a computer available in the front office for this purpose.
Join us for our Fall Parent Education Night on Tuesday, September 29th from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. See the flyer in today’s Tuesday folder. Fill out the paper copy or go to http://goo.gl/forms/QfsUWXhWXhW4c to help us create a night more meaningful to you.
How do you know if your child is too sick for school?
Mom, I don’t feel well today!” How many times have we heard this on a school morning? What do we do? How do we decide? Here are some guidelines that might help in deciding whether or not to send your child to school.
· Check temperature – If your child’s temperature is or has been over 100.0 within the past 24 hours, we ask that you DO NOT send him/her to school. Students must be fever-free (without fever reducing medication) for 24 hours. Please do not give your child Tylenol or Ibuprofen and then send your child to school.
· Vomited in the last 24 hours? – DO NOT send your child to school if he/she has vomited in the last 24 hours.
· Lack of sleep – If your child has been up half the night ill, then he/she will not be in any condition to go to school and learn. Consider allowing a day to sleep and get well.
It is our goal to find ways to keep your children safe from communicable diseases here at school By keeping your child home when he/she is ill, you are protecting others at school and spread of disease. We ask for your cooperation in helping us maintain a healthy environment for communicable diseases that affect school-age children. Please observe your child closely, and if he/she remain at home. Please consider the fact that over the counter medication such as cough syrup, decongestants and other cold remedies not only make your child feel better, but also help stop the spread of infection by controlling runny noses, sneezes, and coughs.
Spring Creek BBQ Fundraiser Night
Tuesday, Sep. 15th, 5-9pm
270 N Central Expy
Sign in at the front door and the class with the best attendance will be given a prize by Spring Creek!
Hearing & Vision Screening
Tuesday, Sep. 22nd, 8am-3pm
450 Abrams Road
MST White Tiger Squad Kick Off Meeting
Thursday, Sep. 24th, 6:30-8pm
450 Abrams Road
Fall Class Group Pictures
Tuesday, Sep. 29th, 8am-3pm
450 Abrams Road
End of 1st 6 Weeks Assemblies
Friday, Oct. 2nd, 8:30am
450 Abrams Road
9:15-9:45 4th-6th grades