Apr. 10, 2020 Forest Ridge Forerunner - Stay at Home Edition

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 1:38pm

Hello everyone, 

We hope you are doing well and you & your family are staying healthy and safe.  We have some information to share with you so we have created the "Stay at Home" edition of the Forerunner, in hopes that the regular Forerunner will return soon.  

5th Grade Yearbook News
Hello, 5th Grade Families!

During this challenging time, the PTA Yearbook Committee has decided it is doubly important to move forward with creating yearbooks for students this year!  In an effort to find ways to make this end of year still special for our dear 5th graders, we wanted to alert you that there is an opportunity to submit dedications and baby pictures of your 5th grader to be included in this year's yearbook!   We expect to announce more directions about how to order, pay for, and obtain a yearbook next month.  For now, please see the attached fliers for directions to submit a special shout-out in the yearbook to your 5th grader from you or another loved one.  Additionally, there will be a collage of baby pictures of the 5th graders included on a couple of pages of the yearbook.  Please submit a picture so your "baby" is included.  Thank you for your support and we hope everyone is safe and healthy.

Yearbook Baby Gallery, 19-20
5th Grade Dedication, 19-20

From Mrs. Morris, Our FRES Nurse
Ms. Nowell and I hope all our families are safe and healthy!

In addition to the Coronavirus, seasonal allergies are also a medical concern.  It is often hard to distinguish the reason for common symptoms.  Medical advice is best at this time.

Please seek medical attention should anyone in your home develop fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache or nausea.

If you need help finding medical care resources please email me at margaret_morris@hcpss.org

Asthma can worsen with Coronavirus.  Please read the attached information if you or a loved one has asthma.  This is a fact sheet from the Allergy and Asthma Network.  Information changes frequently and one update to this fact sheet is that asthma inhalers may be in high demand.  Please make sure you have an adequate supply by contacting your doctor and /or pharmacy.
Asthma Management Regarding COVID-19

Take care,

Kay Morris, RN

GT Placement News
As a result of the decision of Maryland State Superintendent, Dr. Karen Salmon, that all state schools will remain closed until April 24 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we have shifted several dates related to GT Placement:

  • Families of 3rd grade students who wish to submit a request for a placement review for 4th grade GT Math should email susan_hogan@hcpss.org with this request by April 15. Staff will conduct the review and communicate with families by May 1.

  • Students who were absent for CogAT testing in December or have entered HCPSS since that time will have an opportunity to take CogAT for potential GT Placement this summer rather than the previously communicated date of May 2. New dates will be determined as soon as possible and communicated to the school community. Students who missed testing will automatically receive an invitation to testing once the dates are finalized.

Parents of students that have tested in or have been placed into GT Math can email susan_hogan@hcpss.org  their permission for that placement.

Updates and Reminders From HCPSS (New information -- please be sure to read)

  • 2020 Census: Several HCPSS programs rely on funding based on accurate census information, so all families are encouraged to participate in the 2020 census, which may be completed onlineLearn more.

  • Howard County Library Online Classes and Tools for Students: Students can access many learning resources with their A+ student accounts through hcpss.me by selecting HC Library. 

    Elementary school students: Keep reading with a large selection of eBooks and audiobooks. Practice math with TumbleMath. Build skills in language arts, science, and social studies. Learn a new language. 

  • Supporting Language Needs: Find information on the ways that HCPSS is supporting the language needs of families through in-person and online resources.

  • Update on Device Distribution: Find details on the revised device delivery procedure for middle and elementary families. 

  • Continuity of Learning Updates: Find summaries of HCPSS work currently underway to resolve issues resulting from the coronavirus-related school closure, including 4th quarter grading, attendance, GT placement, and mitigation of learning gaps. 

  • Special Education Continuity of Learning: This new webpage provides an overview of special education services for continuity of learning, timeline for service delivery and links to online resources for family use at home.

  • Public Forums: Board of Education meetings are currently being held virtually due to the coronavirus-related school closure. Beginning with the April 16 Board meeting, Public Forum will be reinstated following a modified procedure. Community members may register by emailing written comments in advance; the first 10 submissions will be read aloud during the meeting. Detailed instructions provided online.

  • Meal Distribution: Free Grab-N-Go meals are served weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., through April 24 to anyone age 18 and under and/or any HCPSS student at locations countywide. Participants are encouraged to bring bags to carry meals home. Hollifield Station Elementary School will be added to the HCPSS meal distribution sites beginning Tuesday, April 14. Please note that parents/guardians may pick up meals for their children, who do not need to be present. 

Continuity of Learning Information

Elementary school students and teachers will engage in distance learning beginning Monday, April 20. Teachers will communicate their specific schedules to students and families. Students will have access to Dreambox and Lexia Core5 to engage in eLearning experiences.

Schools will host Family Orientation Google Meet virtual meetings to provide more information on the weekly schedules and expectations using the schedule below.

Wednesday, April 22

  • Grades K and 1 Family Google Meet Orientations: 9–9:45 a.m. and 1–1:45 p.m.
  • Grades 2 and 3 Family Google Meet Orientations: 10–10:45 a.m. and 2–2:45 p.m.
  • Grades 4 and 5 Family Google Meet Orientations: 11–11:45 a.m. and 3–3:45 p.m.

Families will not need to attend both sessions. School teams also will develop a pre-recorded orientation video for any family that cannot attend the live video conference. This video shows how you will access a Google Meet Session:


Comcast has opened free access to its Xfinity WiFi network, making hotspots across the country available to anyone, including non-subscribers, at no cost. Search by zip code or city to find a hotspot near you at wifi.xfinity.com. Comcast is also providing low cost internet access to eligible families through its Comcast Internet Essentials program.

Account Self-Service for Students: Students now have the ability to retrieve their usernames and reset passwords, independent of teachers and staff. Directions on using self-service can be found online.

Student Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year
Parents/guardians of new incoming students and those entering kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year (who are not already enrolled) can begin the enrollment process online, then complete the final steps of the enrollment process once schools reopen. Online registration is not required and parents may elect to complete the full registration in person at the time of reopening. Guidelines for Kindergarten registration, Kindergarten and 1st Grade early admission, and Pre-K applications are provided online

School Supplies 
Limited quantities of pens, pencils and notebooks will be available at the Hammond, Long Reach and Oakland Mills high school Technology Distribution sites, which students/families may pick up if supplies are needed for continuity of learning at home. Prepare for Success has donated its inventory of school supplies, which will soon be available at meal distribution sites. Please stay tuned as we gather this inventory this week and prepare for a wider distribution beginning next week.