Mar. 15, 2019 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 2:33pm

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

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Forest Ridge Forerunner - School News...

Hello FRES families and community,

We had a busy week here at FRES.  On Tuesday, our Reading team and other staff members led a second round of our CRASH Course in reading.  Parents were able to choose from one teacher led session to attend and then were able to listen to four fifth grade parents share their experiences here at FRES.  What a great night! Then on Thursday night many of our students participated in our FRES Variety Show. Our students did an outstanding job. Thanks to our parent volunteers for assisting with rehearsals as well as the show.  

Did you know that beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, you will notice a minor modification to your child’s report card?  To align with changes recently made to HCPSS Policy 8010: Grading and Reporting, the PreK-5 Learning Behaviors section of the report card will be modified. Parents and guardians can review a full description and learn more about the changes here.

Did you know that K-12 students are eligible to enter the 2019 Choose Civility Poster and Video Contest, sponsored in partnership with the Columbia Association Art Center and Howard County Library System? The theme is “We Are All Welcome” here. The deadline for entries is March 17, 2019. Winning students will receive Target gift cards. Details can be found at

Did you know that all students in grades 1-5 will take either the MAP or PARCC assessment in the Spring?  Here is the schedule:

Grade 1:  9:20 - 11:20

  • 5/21 - MAP ELA

  • 5/22 - MAP Math

Grade 2:  12:00 - 2:00

  • 5/15 - MAP ELA

  • 5/20 - MAP Math

Grade 3:  10:20 - 12:20

  • 4/26, 4/30, and 5/1 - PARCC ELA

  • 5/28, 5/29, 5/31 and 6/3 - PARCC Math

Grade 4:  12:20 - 2:20

  • 5/7, 5/8, and 5/10 - PARCC ELA

  • 5/21, 5/22, 5/23, and 5/24  - PARCC Math

Grade 5:  9:20 - 11:20

  • 5/2, 5/3, and 5/6 - PARCC ELA

  • 5/13, 5/14, 5/15 and 5/20  - PARCC Math

Did you know that HCPSS has a Parent, Family, and Community Involvement policy?  The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the school system that endorse and encourage meaningful partnerships between and among schools, parents, families, and the community to support the social, emotional and academic growth of students.

Here are the standards from that policy:

  1. HCPSS staff will comply with this policy and related implementation procedures.

  2. HCPSS staff will establish programs, partnerships, and practices to cultivate a respectful climate and a safe and nurturing environment, promote open communications, and provide opportunities for effective parent and community involvement and engagement.

  3. HCPSS staff will develop appropriate programs, partnerships, and practices to promote the involvement and engagement of all parents and the community.

  4. The HCPSS will comply with the requirements of federal and state regulations related to parent and family involvement.

  5. HCPSS staff will encourage parents and families to be involved in their student’s education and assume a vital role in ensuring success in school for their students.

  6. Principals will include students and parents in decision making groups such as the School Improvement Team (SIT).

  7. The HCPSS Central Office staff will provide professional development and resources to enable staff to meet the expectations of this policy.

  8. The HCPSS staff will provide methods by which parents, families, and the community can contribute suggestions for the continued improvement of the school system, including providing opportunities for these groups to communicate directly with the Board, such as at public hearings.

To read the complete policy, click here.  

Important Things to Know:
  • 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 p.m. on Friday.
  • 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 received a Federal Impact Aid form, please return it ASAP.  Thanks!

Changes to Your Child’s Report Card in the 2019-2020 School Year
Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, you will notice a minor modification to your child’s report card. 

To align with changes recently made to HCPSS Policy 8010: Grading and Reporting, the PreK-5 Learning Behaviors section of the report card will be modified. Currently, the learning behaviors indicated on the report card are: 

  • Recognizes rights of others with courtesy 
  • Follows established rules 
  • Exercises self-control 
  • Works cooperatively with others 
  • Takes appropriate risks 
  • Listens attentively 
  • Responds appropriately to directions 
  • Persists when thinking through problems 
  • Works with accuracy and precision 
  • Writes legibly 
  • Completes classwork assignments 
  • Completes homework on time 

In alignment with the efforts outlined in Policy 8010, similar or closely related learning behaviors will be combined on the 2019-2020 report card, to support parents and teachers in identifying the areas of focus.  The learning behaviors on the 2019-2020 report card will be: 

  • Demonstrates Interpersonal Skills 
  • Demonstrates Responsibility 
  • Demonstrates Perseverance 
  • Demonstrates Collaboration 
  • Demonstrates Initiative 

In the chart below, you will find the indicators that identify specific behaviors, actions, and expectations that align with each learning behavior. Teachers will report student performance on each learning behavior based on developmentally and age-appropriate expectations and standards.  

Learning Behaviors 

Report Card Language 


Details to consider when reporting a learning behavior. All indicators do not have to be present to meet expectation.  Refer to Learning Behavior Examples for developmentally appropriate examples of these behaviors/indicators in the classroom. 

Demonstrates Interpersonal Skills 

  • Shows respect to peers and adults 
  • Interacts positively with peers and adults 
  • Shares opinions respectfully 
  • Contributes positively to the classroom and school community 
  • Demonstrates digital citizenship  

Demonstrates Responsibility 

  • Follows established schoolwide and classroom procedures 
  • Follows oral and written directions 
  • Exhibits self-control and manages emotions  
  • Participates actively in learning 
  • Manages time effectively to complete work 
  • Organizes and manages materials 
  • Accepts responsibility for actions 

Demonstrates Perseverance 

  • Works through challenges  
  • Attempts new strategies when needed 
  • Solves problems 
  • Asks questions and seeks information 
  • Accepts and learns from feedback 
  • Demonstrates stamina  

Demonstrates Collaboration 

  • Works cooperatively in a variety of settings (e.g. whole group, small group, online, guided, and unguided) 
  • Thinks flexibly 
  • Acknowledge others’ ideas 
  • Demonstrates ability to reach compromise 
  • Shares responsibility  
  • Contributes to conversations and group discussions 

Demonstrates Initiative 

  • Takes appropriate academic risks  
  • Begins task without prompting 
  • Demonstrates self-advocacy  
  • Uses technology to demonstrate learning 
  • Selects appropriate tool(s) for the task  
  • Seeks to improve work 

There will be additional modifications made to report cards in subsequent years as we move toward reporting student performance that more closely aligns to our instructional standards and assessments. More information will be provided to families before changes are implemented to ensure that parents understand their child’s report card and can leverage it to support their child’s educational efforts.  We believe these changes will better enable parents and teachers to monitor each child’s progress. Please contact an administrator at the school if you have questions.

March is National Reading Month!
Week 3 (March 18 - 22) - Semi-final round of reading competition & Celebrity Readers in Media Classes
Week 4 (March 25 - 29) - Championship of reading competition and March Madness Reading Night (3/28 @ 6:00 - 7:30)  March 28th will be amazing at FRES!  We will have dress like a book character day and we will have March Madness Reading  Night!

Did you know that parents can update their child’s family file at any point during the year?  Now would be a great time to go on and check to be sure nothing has changed. To review your child’s family file, go to

Choose Civility 2019 Poster and Video Contest
Design a poster or create a video illustrating the theme. Use your imagination, creativity, and artistic talent to show how everyone is welcome in our school, neighborhood, and entire community. For full details, use this link

Two Items from Mrs. Tordella
  • Spiritwear order forms are coming home.  The online sale is already open.  Go to and click on Forest Ridge Elementary School. All orders are due by March 28th.
  • The April 25th media book club forms are coming home.  We will be reading Hello, Universe by Erin Estrada Kelly.  Please see this link for more information.

Hero Boys
is a youth development and engagement program for boys in 3rd–5thgrades.  Using running as a base activity HERO Boys inspires boys to discover the character and courage that resides inside each one of them to be brave, stand for that which is right, and use their talents and strengths to lead and set the positive example amongst their peers.  The school-based program is 8 weeks long and culminates with the HERO Boys 5K at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds, including boys from all schools participating in the program. 
FRES Contacts: Sam Cassard:  and Sarah Ports:
Season Dates:  April 3rd - May 29th
Days & Times: Wednesdays 3:45-4:45 pm at FRES
Fee : $75.00 *  (* assistance is available)
Location of 5k: Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds on May 19th at 9:00 am

Patuxent Valley Middle School-Music at the Valley
Patuxent Valley Middle School-Music at the Valley Please join us on April 4, 2019 from 6:30pm to 8pm to help support the Patuxent Valley Middle School Music Department. PVMS will showcase their talents during a "Strolling Concert at the Valley" Listen to a variety of performances throughout the school from band, orchestra and chorus. Silent Auction and Raffle Sponsor student musicians Proceeds benefit the PVMS Music Department. If you would like to show your support please go to to learn more.

The Kids Heart Challenge is Underway!
Help us in reaching our goal to raise $9,000 for the American Heart Association.  Information on how to sign up online or collect donations in an envelope went home in your folders, but here is an easier way to go straight to our school's donation site!

Attend a Free Screening of “Angst” and Discussion Around Anxiety in Youth, April 2, 4, 9, 10, 2019
Students and families are invited to a free documentary screening and panel discussion around anxiety in youth.

"Newsies" at Reservoir High School  View the flyer here.

FRES Students Show Support for Plastic Bag Legislation
The 4th and 5th grade Green Teams have written testimonies to Maryland lawmakers to support HB 1166, which, if passed, will authorize Howard County to impose a fee on disposable plastic bags. The Environment and Transportation Committee heard testimonies in Annapolis on Tuesday, March 12.  Details of the bill may be found here:
Under the guidance of Mrs. Clawson and Mrs. Hogan the following students prepared the testimonies, which may be viewed on the FRES Green School web page.
5th grade Green Team:  Grace E., Wilo D., Hiba A., Katie L.
4th grade Green Team:  Madhav P., Smrithi K., Antonia C., Daksh B., Jonathan M., Darshan B.
Thank you 4th and 5th grade Green Teams for helping to reduce the use of single-use plastics in Howard County, much of which ends up in landfills or as refuse!

Watch DOGS
Our Watch DOGS dads this week were Mr. Dillingham, Mr. Kipgen, Mr. Knutson, Mr. Krason, and Mr. Nagbe.  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 or Jen Renkevens at

For Child Abuse-

From Howard County Recreation and Parks:
For Complete information on Before & After School classes, including how to Register, please go to