Nov. 16, 2018 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 2:14pm

Forest Ridge Forerunner - School News
For PTA News, Upcoming Event Dates, Counselor's Corner, and Community News, click here.

Forest Ridge News...


  • Monday and Tuesday, November 19 & 20, are 3-hour early dismissal days for parent/teacher conferences.
  • On Sunday, November 18, The Howard County NAACP Youth Council invites you to "Fight Against Hunger"  Learn more
  • Students should arrive to school by 9:10 a.m. so that they are able to put their things away and be ready to start the day when the bell rings at 9:15.

From Our Administrators, Dr. Varlack and Ms. Pazornik

Greetings FRES Community,

American Ed week was a great success! It was wonderful to see so many faces in the building. Your partnership means the world to us!  We wanted to share a few items you may not be aware of:

Did you know that: Our Green Team helps us to maintain our Green School Certification? These amazing staff members and student leaders work tirelessly to ensure that we educate and recycle! Our focus this year is to reduce and work toward eliminating the use of straws in the cafeteria. Look for our recycling efforts update on our web page.

Did you know that: a great follow-up to our Student Shared Parent –Teacher Conferences are our Canvas pages? If you haven’t explored these yet, please consider following these links:

Grade PreK Family and Community Resources
Grade K Family and Community Resources
Grade 1 Family and Community Resources
Grade 2 Family and Community Resources
Grade 3 Family and Community Resources
Grade 4 Family and Community Resources
Grade 5 Family and Community Resources

Finally, did you know that: there is a policy for Grading & Reporting, Grades PreK - 8 (Policy 8010)? After reviewing the policy, please let us know if you have any questions. The policy is below:


  1. Grades in Pre K-8 are derived from a compilation of assessments from the entire marking period. These include the following:
    1. Classroom participation
    2. Teacher observation
    3. Quizzes, tests, projects and other teacher-made assessments
    4. HCPSS assessments
    5. Homework
    6. Classwork
  2. Effort codes/comments in Pre K-8 are derived from a compilation of demonstrated attributes. These include the following:
    1. Task commitment
    2. Class participation
    3. Quality and quantity of work
    4. Timely completion of class and homework assignments
    5. Class preparation
    6. Class attendance and punctuality
    7. I (Incomplete) Codes
      1. I codes will only be issued, upon approval of the principal/designee, when a student has not been able to complete required course work due to legal absences or other extenuating circumstances.
      2. I codes will be converted to the appropriate letter grade no later than the end of the succeeding marking period, except in the unusual circumstances as approved by the principal/designee.


  1. Interim/Progress Reports, Pre K-8
    1. At the midpoint of each marking period teachers have a responsibility to notify the parent in writing concerning student progress. All students will receive interim/progress reports.
    2. Teachers must also notify the parent, when appropriate, of unsatisfactory progress throughout the marking period.
  2. Report Cards, Pre K-8
    1. Report cards are distributed at the conclusion of each marking period.
    2. Final report cards will be distributed at the end of the school year.

Academic Intervention

  1. When a K-8 student performs below grade/curriculum expectations, the teacher/grade level team will, with the knowledge and appropriate participation of parents, provide additional assistance and opportunities for the student to improve his/her performance.
    • Interventions may include the following:
      • A conference with the student
      • Differentiated instruction delivered within the regular classroom/school day
      • A change in class/subject placement
      • The involvement of a multidisciplinary student support team (including IEP team for special education students)
      • The involvement of support staff
      • Participation in supplemental academic activities (e.g., before/after school tutorials, mentoring)
      • Enrollment in summer school
  2. Consideration for Promotion
    • The principal may, upon the recommendation of a school/grade team, promote a student who achieves at or above grade/curriculum expectations in the essential curriculum in core subject areas as measured by Howard County’s grade level assessment system, teacher-made or selected assessments, and by teacher observations.
    • A special education student will be assessed based on the provisions of his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP)
  3. Consideration for Retention
    • With input from the appropriate school/grade team, the principal will consider a student for retention when a student fails to meet standards appropriate for the grade level. The principal may also consider for retention a student who is recommended by a school/grade team or parent for other reasons. The principal must consider whether the needs of the student are best met through retention and offer the parent an opportunity to be included in the decision-making process.
    • The principal will make a decision based on a number of factors, which may include, but are not limited to the following:
      • Academic achievement level
      • Demonstrated progress in response to academic interventions
      • Age of the student
      • Previous retention(s)
      • Attendance record
      • Parental concerns
      • Developmental factors
      • Health factors
      • Emotional factors
      • Report Card
      • IEP
      • 504 Plan

Attention 3rd and 5th Grade Families
Students in Grade 3 and Grade 5 will be taking the CogAT in December.  The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is an assessment that measures learned reasoning abilities that have been developed through both in school and out-of-school experiences.  CogAT is a nationally norm-referenced ability measure that provides feedback on student performance as compared to students across the country. Please mark your calendars with the following dates and times:

12/3, 12/4, and 12/5 Grade 3:  10:40 AM - 11:40 AM
12/10, 12/11, and 12/12 Grade 5:  9:20 AM -10:20 AM

Attention 3rd-5th Grade Parents - Forest Ridge Elementary presents the FRES Drama Club production of Wizard of Oz, Jr.
Look for permission slips coming home for 3rd-5th graders interested in participating in FRES' drama club. Space is limited. Any questions contact or

Thursdays- 3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  
Rehearsal Dates:  12/6, 12/13, 12/20, 1/3, 1/10, 1/17, 1/24, 1/31, 2/7, 2/21, 2/28, 3/7, 3/14
Full Dress Rehearsals:  3/19 and 3/20 at (6 p.m. - 7:30p.m.)
Show Date: Thursday, March 21 at 7pm in the Forest Ridge Cafeteria

*Registration is due 11/29/18  SPACE IS LIMITED!

Smile Maryland will be holding a dental clinic at Forest Ridge on January 29, 2019.

This clinic will offer the following services: Mouth and teeth exam by a licensed dentist, X-rays,teeth cleaning by a licensed dental hygienist, fluoride treatment, sealants, fillings for cavities if needed.  Permission slips are due back to the health room on November 19, 2018.

Message from the 5th Grade Team

The Health Education elementary curriculum includes child abuse prevention education as part of the Safety and Injury Prevention Unit at every grade level, preK - 5. This curriculum helps students develop knowledge, skills, and behaviors that promote safe living in the home, school, and community. The list of 5th grade instructional objectives addressed in the lessons is included below.

Child Abuse Prevention Curriculum – 5th Grade

Instructional Objectives

  • Recognize characteristics of sexual child abuse.
  • Identify strategies for the prevention of sexual child abuse.
  • Identify intervention resources for sexual child abuse.

The Last Straw! - Green School Plastic Pollution Action at FRES

On October 17 students helped collect straws during all lunch shifts to get a baseline for a daily straw count--308 straws were collected!!  That translates into 55,440 straws per school year!

In preparation for the  Straw-Free Friday kick-off on November 16, videos that show the problems with plastic and solutions to reducing plastic pollution were shown on Wednesday, November 14, in the cafeteria during lunch. The following videos were shown:

How Much Plastic Is in the Ocean - PBS Digital Studios  for grades 3-5

Kids React to Plastic Pollution - The Eco Experts  for grades K-2

We hope you have the opportunity to watch these videos with your children and discuss with your family how to reduce the use of single-use plastics in the home.

Music Department Evening WINTER Concerts 

(performers must wear concert attire, white tops and black bottoms)
ORCHESTRA- Thursday December 20th, 6:30pm @ Hammond HS, please arrive at 6pm
CHORUS/BAND- Thursday December 20th, 7:30pm @ Hammond HS, please arrive at 7pm

Music Department Daytime WINTER Concerts 

(performers must wear concert attire, white tops and black bottoms)
CHORUS- Thursday December 13th, 9:30am in the FRES cafeteria
BAND- Thursday December 20th, 9:30am in the FRES cafeteria
ORCHESTRA- Thursday December 20th, 9:30am in the FRES cafeteria

Watch DOGS
Calling all dads, uncles, grandpas or other male role models!!  We had such a GREAT turn out for our kick off in early October and have had many Watch DOGS in our school as a result. This week, Mr. Aduwu, Mr. Collier, Mr. Dairsow, Mr. Dixon, Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Legler visited our students.  Thank you!

If you are interested in supporting this awesome program by signing up for a day, or even part of a day, we are looking for YOU!! Simply copy the links included and paste them into your browser.   Keep in mind, you will also need to complete the Howard County child abuse and confidentiality training online, complete the certificate for each, and turn it in. Those links are also provided below.  Finally, to help make the Watch DOGS stand out while you are here, we encourage you to purchase a Watch DOGS t-shirt.  When you arrive at the school, you will be able to purchase one for $12 sizes S-XL, $14 for 2XL and $16 for 3XL  If we are out of that size we will order and and it will be sent home with your child as soon as it comes in.   You are also welcome to send in your money ahead of time and we will send your shirt home with your child right away.  Send your payment in an envelope with your name, child's name, teacher, and your shirt size.  If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact Craig Dorsey at or Jen Renkevens at

Watch DOG sign up-