Nov. 2, 2018 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 1:38pm

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


  • Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.  Please remember to turn your clocks back 1 hour on Saturday night.
  • No School on Tuesday, 11/6.  Don't forget to vote!
  • Wednesday, 11/7 is a Professional Development Day - No School for Students

Message From Dr. Varlack

Greetings FRES Community,

We have much to celebrate and be thankful for. With the changing weather, we are all reminded to check the weather forecast daily to ensure that our children are appropriately dressed. Please be reminded that outdoor recess occurs daily with the exception of inclement weather or temperatures below 32 degrees. I wanted to share a few items you may not be aware of:

Did you know that: Our physical educators, Mrs. Goodwin and Mr. Cassard really have the pulse of our students? They teach with an emphasis on increasing cardiovascular activity while having fun. Last week they had the Pumpkin Patch Obstacle Course in the gym. The kids had a wonderful time using all their muscles in various ways while going through the course.  To see the students working so well independently and following all safety guidelines… well it was pretty phenomenal!

Did you know that: Parent-Teacher Conferences are coming up? We actually call them Student-shared Conferences. That is because our students participate in the conference and discuss their learning progress, goals they are working toward, any areas of growth and any support they may need. This process helps our student eagles take more responsibility for their learning. Our conferences on November 19th and 20th will be for Language Arts. HCPSS Connect will be available soon. to schedule your teacher conferences. To schedule a conference, you must have completed your Family File.

Did you know that: there is a policy for Wellness Through Nutrition and Physical Activity (Policy 9090)? Here is a summary of that policy:

WELLNESS POLICY - Foods and Beverages

  • Nutrition education will be integrated in appropriate curricular areas
  • Schools are encouraged to consider wellness issues and student allergies when planning incentive and promotional activities.
  • Physical activity opportunities will be offered throughout the school day to support student learning and achievement
  • Staff members will not deny participation in recess or other physical activity opportunities as a form of discipline or punishment unless the safety of students is in question.
  • All staff will be provided professional development on physical activity breaks and encouraged to incorporate physical activity into classroom instruction
  • Physical activity will not be used as a punishment (e.g. running laps or doing pushups)
  • Access to water throughout the day
  • Foods and beverages should not be consumed as an educational tool except as defined in the curriculum for Family and Consumer Science, Academic Life Skills (ALS), and when indicated in a student’s IEP.
  • Foods and beverages should not be offered as a reward or withheld as punishment.
  • Foods of minimal nutritional value and all other candy will not be sold or given without charge to students during the school day with the following exception: Principals may give permission for candy to be given to students without charge after the end of the last lunch period for special events.
  • Lunchroom snacks cannot be canceled or restricted

Finally, Did you know that our students have both Tuesday and Wednesday of next week off from school? Involving them in understanding why we vote is pretty important. You may be surprised about the questions they may have. Next Wednesday is a professional work day for staff to work on grades and report cards. This opportunity helps us communicate with you the progress of your students. Report cards will come home on 11/14. Have a great weekend!

Genée A. Varlack, Ed.D.
Principal, Forest Ridge Elementary
9550 Gorman Rd, Laurel, MD 20723
(410) 880-5950 phone
(410) 880-5956 fax

Student News...

Congratulations to the following students, who were our Eagle Egg winners for this week:
Hayden H., Aiden B., Anderson Q., Courtney W., Hazqueel B., Angel J.

Forest Ridge News...

WANTED:  Enthusiastic, Patient Volunteers for Kindergarten!
Hello Parents,
Kindergarten is in need of parents to volunteer in all kindergarten classrooms from 9:30 to 10:30 and from 11:00 to 12:30.  If you are available, please contact Dr. Varlack at, or Ms. Pazornik at  Thank you in advance!  Please remember that to volunteer you must have completed two trainings: Confidentiality and Child Abuse Reporting, and printed, signed, and turned in the completion certificates.

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. Collier, Mr. Hopkins, Mr. Keller, Mr. Mackall, Mr. Nickens, Mr. Pulliam, and Mr. Runyen visited our students.  Thank you!

If you were not able to make the kickoff and 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.  Those links are also provided below.  Also keep in mind that after each training is completed there is a certificate that must be printed, signed, and brought to the school with you.  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-

Forest Ridge Elementary cares about plastic pollution! Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form. Fifty percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away, and enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. Plastic is a growing problem, and Forest Ridge Elementary’s student Green Teams, along with the Green School committee, want to make students and the community aware of this issue and take action. We will be implementing Straw-Free Fridays this fall to compliment Trash-Free Fridays. Students will be researching this topic and sharing their newly acquired knowledge in the Forest Ridge Forerunner.  During lunch shifts, all students will have the opportunity to view a presentation on the negative impact of plastic pollution on our environment. Stay tuned!

Reminders from the Office

  • Before you can volunteer at FRES or chaperone a field trip, you need to completelease print out the certificates at the end of the trainings and turn them in to the office.  Thank you!
  • You must complete the Family File through HCPSS Connect each year.  Your child will not be able to attend a field trip unless the emergency information is completed in the Family File.  Thanks for your help!

GT Parent Academy
On Thursday November 8 at 7-8:30pm at Mount Hebron High School (9440 Old Frederick Road Ellicott City, MD) the The Howard County Gifted and Talented Education Program Parent Academy is hosting a discussion on "Navigating the College Admissions Process."   In this session, discover how to prioritize the things that can best impact the process, focusing conversations and energy on the things that matter most. We’ll review important steps for preparation, key conversations to have as a family, and the best ways to prepare for the outcomes."  Check out the flyer here.