March 15, 2024 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 03/14/2024 - 12:34pm

Important Dates
March        20       6:30-7:45 Family Reading Night at FRES
March 23-Apr. 1  Spring Break!  Schools closed
March        27        Sweet Frog Fundraiser. View the flyer.
April            2        Students and staff return   
April            2        Wendy's Fundraiser.  View the flyer.
April            9        PTA Meeting

View the HCPSS Calendar in English                
View the HCPSS Calendar in Spanish
View the HCPSS Calendar in Korean
View the HCPSS Calendar in Chinese

  • Want to receive HCPSS text messages regarding weather-related closing info, late bus info, etc.?  You must opt-in.  FRES parents will need to opt-in from the phone that receives messages on the number we have on file for them.  Text YES to 67587.
  • Will your child be absent?  Email

School Spirit Days for 23/24
We are excited to share our school spirit days calendar for the 23/24 school year! We hope this helps families plan ahead. There may be spirit days that pop up here and there based on activities that are going on in the building, but this calendar is what we will be following. You may want to print it out, put the dates on your personal calendar, hang it on the fridge - whatever works for you to remember these fun days!

From our Administrators...

Dear FRES community,

Another successful week is on the books and there are only 5 school days left until Spring Break! Our students will be learning right up to the last day, so attendance is very important. Please make sure you have your children to school starting at 9:10am each day. Our classes begin at 9:25am and if students arrive after this time, they are marked late. Your help with attendance is much appreciated.

Student attendance is a major point of focus for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Starting in the school year 2022 -2023, MSDE lowered the chronic absenteeism rate from 20% to 10% which means that at 10% a student should be receiving support and interventions to improve their absenteeism.

With the collaborative effort of parents, staff and students, we are confident that all students can have successful attendance. If you receive a letter about attendance concerns and you have questions, you can reach out to Ms. Pazornik or Ms. Graham.

Reasons for an excused absence are the following: Illness of the student (please provide a note stating that your child was ill); death in the immediate family; state of emergency as declared by the governor; observance of a religious holiday. Notes for excused absences can be sent via email to your child’s teacher; to or on a piece of paper.

Parents/guardians are provided with 3 ‘discretionary’ absence days to use as needed during the school year to excuse a child’s absence. Please GO HERE to find the form to complete for a discretionary or religious absence request.

Students must be in school prior to 9:25am to be considered on time. If they are late, an adult is required to come in the building and sign them in. We need to ensure that all attendance is accurate, and if you do not sign your child in late, they could be marked absent. We also need to ensure that all students are safe, so having an adult escort them in the building is necessary.

When you need to pick your child up early from school, please come into the school and someone in the front office will get your child for you. You will need to sign them out while you are waiting for them. Do not call ahead and request that your child be pulled out of class prior to your arrival. You must come into the building and sign them out first. Please remember that after 3:40pm, we will not be able to get students for early dismissal because they are in transitions for the end of the day. If you need them for early dismissal, please pick them up prior to 3:40pm.

We thank each and every one of you for partnering with us to ensure that every child attends school so they do not miss out on instructional opportunities.

Warm regards,

Mrs. Lannon & Ms. Pazornik

Forest Ridge News...

2024-2025 Kindergarten Registration is OPEN!
Registration for the upcoming school year, 2024-25 is now available.  All registrations will be completed online,  After submission, the registration will be reviewed, and the registrar will reach out to you to schedule an in-person appointment to complete the registration. Please upload the required documentation if able.  Kindergarten is a mandatory grade in Maryland. Children must be 5 years old by September 1 in order to enroll in Kindergarten. Every child who is 5 years old by September 1 must be enrolled in a Kindergarten program this fall or have an approved waiver on file. (Waiver form for the 2024-25 school year will be available March 1st) Parents or guardians are to register their child at the serving school for their residence.

Current HCPSS families may log into their Parent CONNECT account and select Online Registration once in their parent account to begin the registration process for their new family member.  Please exclude all current students, they do not need to be re-registered. This includes students currently enrolled in a HCPSS PreK program.  The student will automatically be enrolled for Kindergarten. For all new students, new documents must be submitted.  We can not use documents submitted for a previous student enrollment.

New families to HCPSS, please click the following link to begin the registration process.

Helpful tips:

  • Please use Chrome or Firefox as your browser on a laptop or desktop. Must allow pop ups.
  • Please scan the requested documents and save as a separate PDF if possible. You will then upload your saved PDF. Most phones have scanning capabilities.
  • Please make sure to complete and answer ALL sections.
  • Please contact the school office for assistance, 410-880-5950.

Informational links:

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

PreKindergarten Programs  Registration begins March 11, 2024

Please do not hesitate to contact the school office if you have any questions, 410-880-5950.

2023-2024 FRES STEM FAIR
We are excited to be offering the opportunity for FRES students in grades 2 - 5 to demonstrate their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics through this year’s STEM Fair. All student participants will have the opportunity to celebrate their work by sharing their STEM projects as part of our STEAM Night event held at FRES on Thursday, May 30th, 2024.

Participation in the STEM Fair is optional and all projects are completed with adult supervision at home. These projects should focus on a science, technology, engineering, or mathematical investigation relevant to your life at home or school. We are encouraging students to choose their projects based on their interests.

To participate, interested students should begin by signing up for the grade-level GT STEM Fair seminar held once a week during recess. During the seminar, Mr. Whiteford will support students in selecting STEM projects, identifying appropriate research resources, and public speaking. Permission slips for participation in the STEM Fair seminar were shared with students in grades 2 - 5. Additional slips can be requested from homeroom teachers or by contacting Mr. Whiteford. These permission slips should be signed and returned to HR teachers by Monday, March 18th.

If you have any questions about the STEM Fair, please reach Mr. Whiteford at

FRES Regional Early Childhood Program
Learning Together Program for Children who will be 3 years old by September 1, 2024:

The Forest Ridge Regional Early Childhood Center (RECC) prekindergarten programs are making preparations for classes for the upcoming 2024-25 school year.  These classes include children with and without disabilities.  The program’s focus is helping all children develop communication, literacy, math, problem solving, motor, and social skills. Parents of children who will be 3 years old by September 1st, applications are available and are currently being accepted.  Please see the link below for information and link to the application:

HCPSS is committed to providing instruction based on the statewide Early Learning Standards which are in alignment with Kindergarten Readiness. The fees listed in the application will be collected monthly regardless of the learning model determined by HCPSS throughout the upcoming school year (virtual, hybrid, in person, or class quarantine).   If you have any additional questions, please contact Tricia Walls at

Income Eligible Pre-K for children who will be 4 years old by September 1, 2024:

In alignment with Maryland’s Blueprint for the Future, Forest Ridge RECC continues to offer a prekindergarten program for income eligible children who will be four years old by September 1. 

Applications are available in the front office and online.  Our program will fill up.  All slots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Applicants are not processed until all necessary paperwork has been received.

To apply, visit:

From the PTA...Get More PTA Info at the PTA Website

Read-a-thon – Update
Our read-a-thon ends on Monday, March 18th!  We are so close to our goals for this event.  Keep reading and keep sharing the link with grandparents and aunts and uncles.  It’s a great way to get family involved and encourage your child to read.

As of today we have read 31,181 minutes and raised $5,918.25.  It’s not to late to sign your student up using the link below.

Don’t forget to pick out your prizes next week!

5th Grade Families – Please Read
Attention 5th Grade Families!  Would you like a keepsake to commemorate your child's last year of elementary school and help support the Art department and 5th grade? The Art department and PTA have teamed up to help raise funds through Art to Remember.  Look for your child's personalized order form to be sent home soon!"  English FlyerSpanish Flyer

Sweet Frog (Laurel) – March 27th, 3pm-9pm
Meet your family, friends, and neighbors every 4th Wednesday of the month from January to May, at Sweet Frog in Laurel for a sweet treat from 3pm – 9pm.  FRES PTA will receive 25% of your order.  View the flyer.

Wendy’s Fundraiser – April 2nd, ALL DAY
What’s better than no cook Tuesday on the first day back to school after spring break?  Stop by the Wendy’s on Gorman Road all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and help out the FRES PTA. View the flyer

PTA Meeting – April 9th 7pm
Join us in the media center to vote on the year book cover for the 23-24 yearbook, hear updates on the upcoming spring auction and carnival along with the board election process. We hope you can join us!

The current members of the PTA Board of Directors will end their 2 year term at the end of the 2023-2024 school year.  As we prepare to elect a new board in June a minimum of 3 volunteers are needed to form a Nominating Committee to oversee the nomination and election process. It is required that you be a registered and paid member of the FRES PTA to serve on the Nominating Committee. If interested, please email Barbara Gumes at

Silent Auction – April 26-28
Our online silent auction will be on PTboard again this year.  If you would like to help source items for the auction or have a basket to donate to please

Spring Carnival – May 4
Planning for the FRES Spring Carnival is in full swing. We are exploring the possibility of having vendor booths at this year’s carnival and are seeking potential vendor interest. If you are a small business, independent consultant or crafter interested in selling your items or advertising your service at the event please reach out to Carrie at If we move forward with this, vendors will pay a small fee to the FRES PTA for their booth space.

WatchD.O.G.S Sign up
Here is the calendar of remaining dates available.  Please sign up to volunteer today!

Want to stay up to date on PTA information?  Follow us on facebook at Forest Ridge Elementary PTA (FRES) or visit our website at for more information.

In the Community...

Columbia Area Mothers of Multiples (CAMOM) Spring Consignment Sale, Saturday, March 16th
Follow this link for more information:

HCPSS Community News and Programs Site: 
In response to community requests for resources, HCPSS’ new Community News and Programs website makes it easy for families to find educational and recreational resources, events and after-school programs beyond the school day by non-profit organizations.  Community organizations requesting their announcements be shared in school newsletters should visit for more information. Questions should be directed to the Public Information Office at

HC Drug Free Events
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