Jan. 25, 2019 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 3:03pm

For PTA News, Upcoming Event Dates, Counselor's Corner, and Community News, click here.

Student News...

Congratulations to these students, who were our Eagle Egg winners for this week: Nallely D., Sabina P., Charlotte D., Andrew S., Rosselin R., Jonathan B.

From the Green Team

Dear FRES community,

We, the 4th grade Green Team at FRES, have been researching about the hazards of plastic straws. Using plastic straws harms animals, humans, and the environment. Plastic straws are non-biodegradable. They cannot break down and decompose like other materials (for instance: paper). Imagine this…straws broken into many pieces floating around in the ocean. If you have ever held a snow globe and given it a good shake, you would have noticed tiny materials floating around the globe – kind of like snow. This is what our ocean will look like if we continue polluting it with plastic. Fish eat the plastic and then we eat the fish. This is harmful to the fish, as well as their environment. It isn’t exactly a healthy diet for humans either. If we keep polluting our ocean with straws, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish!! WHAT!? That’s crazy!

There are options that could eliminate the reason for using plastic straws. If it is absolutely necessary to use a straw, instead of using plastic straws, you could use straws made out of other materials that are recyclable or materials that will decompose. For example, there are paper straws, bamboo straws, and metal straws. Our recommendation is to say “no” to straws. You really don’t need a straw to drink out of a glass.

Plastics are very harmful to our environment. We can reduce some of the damage by eliminating plastic straws from our consumables. Challenge yourself to eliminate straws from your daily use. We think that you will find this task incredibly simple and that you really don’t need straws – not to mention that you will save money by not buying straws. The other benefit will be to the environment and sea life. Help make our environment a cleaner, safer, and healthier place.
FRES Grade 4 Green Team:
Smrithi K., Madhav P., Daksh B., Antonia C., Darshan B., Jonathan M.

Forest Ridge Forerunner - School News...

Important Things to Know:

  • Monday, January 28 is a three-hour early dismissal day.  FRES will start dismissal at 12:34 p.m.
  • The office phones are answered 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 on Friday.
  • The PVMS meeting for parents of incoming 6th graders has been postponed to January 30 @ 6:30 p.m.  Please note, 2nd date change.
  • 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.
  • Students go out for recess when the temperature with wind chill is 20 degrees or more.  Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather.
  • To get text alerts from FRES or HCPSS, you must opt in to receive those alerts. Text "YES" to 67587 from the cell number that is on file in HCPSS/Connect.
  • If your child's dismissal changes, due to a change in transportation, an after school class, etc., please email the teacher, and copy Dr. Varlack, Ms. Pazornik, Ms. Traini, Mrs. Jackson, and Mrs. Farrell.  All the emails can be found in the "Our Staff" section of our website.  We want to make sure the message is received!
  • If you recieved a Federal Impact Aid form, please return it ASAP.  Thanks!

From Dr. Varlack, Our Principal
Greetings FRES Community,

We had an incredible week. Our 5th graders had the unique opportunity of being an audience to a speaker, named Tiffany Davis, who spoke to our students about coding and futures in computer science. Ms. Davis holds two degrees from Georgia Tech, works for Boeing in their efforts with NASA and is a mentor in the "Girls Who Code" program. Her title is Aerospace Engineer but she is, honestly, a rocket scientist. They students loved hearing about her journey and interacting with her with never ending questions... So awesome! We appreciate Mrs. Edmondson and our media staff for bringing this opportunity to our students.

Our 5th graders also had an opportunity to participate in a mock legislative session regarding plastics in HoCo. This was on the heels of 3 of the 5th graders and a few a staff members appearing at the listening session last week with Dr. Calvin Ball (see video here).  Councilwoman Christiana Mercer Rigby, her Special Assistant Colette Gelwicks, and others from the County Council's office arrived at FRES to take students through a mock process in understanding how a bill is passed. As you are aware FRES is a green school. This year, staff and students are highlighting the use of straws and the impact they have on our world. Taking this one step further, staff and others have broadened their research to the use of plastic bags in the county. They even went on a field trip to the recycling plant. We appreciate the leadership of Mrs. Judith Major, one of our media staff members in this journey of helping our students apply their learning to real action in our County!

We wanted to share a few items with you that you may not be aware of:
Did you know that: The Incoming 6th Grade Orientation for students attending Patuxent Valley Middle School for the 2019-2020 school year has been rescheduled? Please save Wednesday January 30, 2019 at 6:30 pm for the PVMS Parent Orientation. During this meeting, you will meet PVMS School Administrators and Staff, learn about the timeline for transition to PVMS from FRES and learn about the middle school schedule.

Are you aware of: Supports for Families During Federal Government Shutdown

The ongoing shutdown of the federal government has caused financial hardship for too many of our friends and neighbors. Additionally, we know that students are experiencing anxiety and fear for their family's financial situation. I wanted to let you know of a few supports that are in place to help at this time.

Families that are adversely impacted, including those who do not receive FARMs assistance, will have the remainder of the school year to pay off any meal balances incurred during the government shutdown.

Additionally, many students may be suffering fear or anxiety about their family’s current financial situation. Student Services staff at each school are prepared and available to assist students at any time during the school day. Additionally, numerous resources for families are identified on the HCPSS website, and other supports are available through the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services.

Finally, did you know that: there is an Attendance Policy *(Policy 8010)? After reviewing the policy, please let us know if you have any questions. The policy is below:

The purpose of this policy is to establish the requirements for student attendance, guidelines for attendance monitoring and recording, and procedures for supporting chronically absent and habitually truant students.

IV. Standards

  1. Annual Notification
    Attendance guidelines will be communicated annually to all students, parents, and staff.
  2. Attendance Expectations
    All students are expected to attend school regularly in accordance with state law and regulation and this policy and may be excused from class or school only for reasons as specified in state law and regulation and this policy.
  3. Denial of Credit
    Any high school student with absences constituting five percent (5%) of a semester or a yearlong course will be considered for denial of credit.
  4. Discipline
    Disciplinary consequences for unlawful/unexcused absences will be applied as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. Students cannot be suspended or expelled solely for attendance-related offences.
  5. Entry/Exit
    For enrollment purposes, students will be entered and exited using the procedures outlined in the Maryland Student Records System Manual.
  6. Exemplary Attendance
    Schools will recognize students with exemplary attendance.
  7. Make-up Work
    1. A student may make up work missed due to lawful absence and receive a recorded grade in accordance with Policy 8010 - Grading and Reporting: Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade 8 and Policy 8020 - Grading and Reporting: High School.
    2. A pregnant and parenting student may choose one of the following alternatives to make up work that the student missed:
      1. Retake a semester;
      2. Participate in an online course credit recovery program; or
      3. Allow the student six weeks to continue at the same pace and finish at a later date.
  8. Monitoring of Attendance
    Teachers will maintain daily/period attendance records for all students.
  9. Retention of Attendance Source Documents
    Attendance source documents will be retained in accordance with guidelines outlined in the Maryland Student Records System Manual.
  10. Support for Student
    Supports and interventions will be provided through school problem-solving teams for students who are chronically absent and/or habitually truant.

Daycare Providers in Our Community
As a service to our parents, we advertise daycare providers who are located in the Forest Ridge district:

Saira Ali
License #250550
Ages 6 weeks to 12 Years; Before & After School Care
Uses a State-Approved Curriculum
Phone:  240-463-8333

Jigna Bhatt(Just Like Mom Daycare)
Loving and caring, just like mom
Licensed day care in Stone Lake community
Care available for kids 2 years and older
Lic# 16-0504

Christine Hernandez (Christine's Family Daycare)
license  #130138
8 weeks & older
I can provide before/after care but I do not transport children to/from school. I watch school age children over the summer as well
Hours 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Afshan Masood
Busy Bee home daycare
Transportation: not right now but in the future
license # 254960
Hours: 6:30 am to 6:00 pm Monday to Friday 

Science Fair News
Just a reminder that the Forest Ridge Science Fair is scheduled for February 21 from 6:30-7:45. Any student not in the Science Fair seminar who would still like to participate can request a science fair packet from Mrs. Hogan or Mrs. Clawson. This project will be completed at home and will need to be turned in on February 20. Please contact us at kimberly_clawson@hcpss.org or susan_hogan@hcpss.org if you are interested. 

Watch DOGS
Our Watch DOGS dads this week were Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Malone, and Mr. Morrison.  Thank you so much!

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 dorseypremier@gmail.com or Jen Renkevens at trenkev@juno.com.

For Child Abuse- https://www.hcpss.org/f/employees/childabuse_ppt.pdf

From Howard County Recreation and Parks:
For Complete information on these Before & After School classes, including how to Register, please go to  www.howardcountymd.gov/afterschool

Forest Ridge ES Winter 2019 - Before & After School Classes with Howard County Recreation & Parks:

  • Abrakadoodle Art/5-12 yrs /Classes: 6/Mondays starting Feb 4/3:55-4:55pm/$99
  • Learn Now Music After School Drums/Grades K-5 Classes: 6/Tuesdays starting Feb 12/ 3:55-4:55pm /$139
  • Learn Now Music After School Viva Violin/Grades K-5 Classes: 6/Tuesdays starting Feb 12/ 3:55-4:55pm /$139
  • 3D Printing- The Mighty Amazon/Grades 1-3/Classes: 6/Fridays starting Feb 8/ 3:50-4:50pm/$115
  • App Attack with Black Rocket Productions/Grades 3-5 /Classes: 6/Fridays starting Feb 1 3:50-5:20pm/$119
  • TGA Premier Youth Tennis/6-11 yrs /Classes: 6/Mondays starting Feb 4 /3:50-4:50pm /$90

Parents of incoming kindergarteners are invited to attend an information session about kindergarten in the Howard County Public School System. The final session will be held January 30.  Click here for more information.

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Click here to learn how to get ready for kindergarten, including enrollment procedures.