December 18, 2020 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 12/17/2020 - 2:28pm

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Important Dates

December 24-January 3 Winter Break - Schools Closed
January   4    Schools Re-open 
January   6    PTA Restaurant Night:  Noodles & Company in Laurel
January  12    7:00 PTA Meeting (rescheduled date)
January 13    FRES School Restaurant Fundraiser:  Chick-fil-A Johns Hopkins Road (6 a.m. - 10 p.m.)
January 21    PTA Virtual Bingo
January 28    Family Book Club

February  3    PTA Restaurant Night:  Chipotle in Maple Lawn

From our Administrators...

Dear FRES Community,
As we approach the Winter Break we are reminded of just how appreciative we are for all the support and generosity our FRES community has shown over the past few months.  We want to wish everyone a wonderful and safe winter break. Have a great last few days and we'll see you all in 2021.

Stay safe,

Mr. Conroy and Ms. Pazornik

Winter Break Meal Adjustments
Schools will be closed for winter break from December 24 through January 1. To ensure children have access to essential nutrition during the holiday period, families may pick up additional meals in advance of the break. Pre-ordering will not be available for meals picked up December 21-23 or January 4-6. See all service and schedule adjustments.

Elementary Student Workload During Virtual Instruction
Families, particularly of primary students, have expressed concerns about the virtual elementary workload including the complexity of asynchronous lessons, the number of content areas taught, and the number of weekly asynchronous assignments.  In order to support elementary students with successfully navigating during virtual instruction, the following adjustments have been made:

  • Students will only have asynchronous assignments in social studies, science, or health during a given week. There will not be an overlap of instruction or assignments for these content areas.

  • Health lessons will be taught for one week during the marking period and include two synchronous lessons and two asynchronous lessons instead of five asynchronous lessons as assigned  in the first quarter.

  • The length and complexity of social studies, science, and health asynchronous assignments have been reduced.

  • Related arts asynchronous assignments have been streamlined.

Forest Ridge News...

Media Matters and Tech Tidbits

  • FAMILY BOOK CLUB: The family book club is back and will take place on Thursday, January 28, 2021! The book selection is Me, Frida and the secret of the peacock ring by Angela Cervantes. Students in grades 3-5 are invited to join the book club. Thanks to a VERY generous donation from the FRES PTA, we have 50 free copies to give away to our students. Students can register for the event by using the BOOK CLUB REGISTRATION form. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. E at

  • If your Chromebook has been having audio or video issues, try the Refresh and/or Reset process over break.  The link provided has video directions to guide you.  

  • Over the holiday, remember to power off your Chromebook and take a much needed break from technology!

Inclement Weather Policy for 2020-21 School Year
As the weather gets colder, we begin to think about how inclement weather will be handled this year.  Please take a look here to get familiar with this school year's inclement weather procedures.

From the Health Room
Check out this flyer about pediatric eye exams with one year of follow-up for uninsured or under-insured children.

From the PTA...

This month's PTA meeting had guest speakers from LightSpeed and Howard County who talked about the new LightSpeed instructional support and  monitoring tool that helps teachers keep students on track and safe as they navigate online learning. A recording of the discussion with parent questions and answers can be found here.  You can also view materials from the meeting. 
It's been fun seeing the Spirit Week pictures. There's still time to post a picture on the FRES PTA Facebook page or Guardians page with #FREShasSpirit for a chance to win a treat basket. One entry per day, open to all FRES families and staff. Drawing will be held on Dec. 21. Dec. 18 - Wear your favorite holiday colors
Teacher/Staff Gifts: Some guidance on gift giving during the pandemic: If you wish to drop off a gift at the school, someone will be in the building each day from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. and can meet you in the car loop if you call when you arrive. Online gift cards are also an easy option. For safety reasons, please do not include homemade food items at this time. "Favorite things" lists can be found here.  Students can also send notes, virtual cards, or a video greeting. 
Tutoring Help:
BioMonkey is a group of student volunteers from RHHS who are providing virtual tutoring for our community.
The organization’s mission is to bridge the gap in education by providing cost-free tutoring in the community. Their 100% virtual program is not only a cost-free service and a safe alternative to learning during the pandemic but is also run by highly motivated and responsible high schoolers who hope to inspire leadership among youth. Additionally, all tutors are screened to ensure that they are A-students in the subjects they teach and have previous tutoring experience, making them very qualified mentors. You may learn more about them at .
Virtuassist is a FREE local program in which K-2 students can be paired with a high school volunteer. They will meet virtually, one-on-one for 30 minutes, up to twice a week. During these individual sessions, volunteers, aka Virtuassists, will be able to provide academic support, do a homework check-in, simply chit chat with your student, and much more! Your student will also be placed in a  Virtupod, a group of 3-5 students, moderated by a Virtuassist, in which they will meet virtually every Wednesday and be able to freely talk with one another and do fun activities! Sign up and learn more about the program at: . If you have any questions, contact

Wellness Kits: If your child hasn't received one yet, it is still possible to arrange a time to pick one up at the school. Please send an email to Ms. Schuck to coordinate a time.

Save the Date:
Upcoming PTA Meetings: Tues. January 12 (Rescheduled date) February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and have the passcode frespta. 
Virtual Bingo Night will be held on January 21. Volunteers are still needed for this event. 
PTA Spirit Nights

Jan. 6 - Noodles and Co. Laurel

Feb. 3 - Chipotle Maple Lawn

PTA Request: We are looking for a donation of a newspaper vending type box that we could use at FRES for picking up/dropping off items. If you have any ideas, please email me at

Feedback: Please let us know if you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions either by email or via our suggestion box. Suggestions are anonymous, so if you would like a reply, please include your email address. 

If your plans include admiring Christmas lights, here is a printable Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt for some family fun. 

Have a great weekend, a Merry Christmas, a Joyous Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year!

In the Community...

Does Your Child Need Online Learning Help?
Four of our former Forest Ridge Students are offering to help our students with online learning, while working toward their Girl Scout Silver Award.  Check out their flyer here.  You can request their help by filling out their survey here.

Community News and Programs
Be sure to check out the Howard County Community News and Programs page here!

Reservoir High School Young Activists Toy Drive
This group of young people at RHS is dedicated to doing good works in the community.  Check out the flyer here.

HCC Kids on Campus: 
HCC’s well-known Kids on Campus program provides enrichment education for youth ages 8 to 17. Topics range from Art from Around the World, Roblox, Nature Explorers, Math enrichment, World Languages, and SAT Prep. HCC Kids on Campus has something for every interest! This could be a great opportunity for students to supplement around content areas they want to learn more about or need support in! Upcoming available courses can be found here.

A limited number of scholarships are available for families who need financial aid. If you believe you may be eligible for financial aid, please complete this application and submit it via email to as soon as possible.