May 8, 2020 Forest Ridge Forerunner Stay at Home Edition

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 2:26pm
  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month
  • Quarter 3 Report Cards Ready for Viewing (see below)

Dates to Remember

May 13          6:30 p.m. Virtual Book Club for Families of Students in Grades 3-5 (see below)                 

From the FRES Administration...

Dear FRES Community,

Thank you to all the families that helped participate in Staff Appreciation.  The staff loved the video and wordle.  Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers out there.  

On May 6th, Dr. Salmon announced that due to health and safety concerns, MD schools will remain closed for the rest of the year. While this decision was widely expected by many, it does not take away the sadness and disappointment that many teachers, students and community members may feel as we cope with our new reality. Please know that our dedication to you and your children's education and well-being has never wavered and will remain the same. Our teachers and staff will continue to think of new and innovative ways to stay connected with your children during this most unusual time. 

Please review part of Dr. Martirano's email from May 6th:
"Since the initial closure announcement, HCPSS staff have been working on contingency plans. Now that the decision has been announced regarding the remainder of this school year, there are several updates that we will be providing to you in the near future. These include updates related to the process to enable students and staff to retrieve any items left behind in schools and offices. In addition, as we receive further guidance from MSDE regarding summer school programs and other instructional items, those details will be provided to you. We will continue to review our COL instructional model, looking to learn from our teachers about opportunities for enhancement."

Change in Canvas Completing Weekly Tasks
Canvas pages and tasks for Science, Social Studies, and Health now have a link for students to visit to mark the completion of the weekly task. The link on the page will appear as a button to students. When the student clicks the “button,” it will take them to a single question box. Here, they will select “yes” and click “Submit,” indicating that they have completed the task. You should have seen this change on assignments this past week.  

The task will be counted as complete by the appropriate teacher. Students are to be trusted that they completed the task so long as the complete box has been clicked. Submission of an assignment is a “P" (or pass) in content and related arts. Students will receive a “P” for the quarter if approximately 50% of the assignments are completed from the week of May 4 - the week of June 8, 2020. If students are not completing content assignments, families should be notified, so students have an opportunity to complete tasks.

On Monday, May 11, 2020, the K-5 related arts pages will also have a link for students to mark the completion of the task. 

Reminders about LexiaCore5 and Dreambox
We are so proud of how hard our students are working on their eLearning tasks! As was shared by your child’s ELA and Math teachers, HCPSS recommends using LexiaCore5 and Dreambox for 15-20 minutes daily. Teachers are actively monitoring your child’s progress, and will remain in communication with you if your child needs support. Additionally, please continue to monitor your child’s minutes while using these applications, as it is important to balance instructional experiences with the amount of screen time students have each day. Thank you very much for supporting your child’s virtual learning! 

Have a great weekend,

Mr. Conroy and Ms. Pazornik

FRES News and Events...

We have a number of videos that we put together for you to reference if you are having difficulty.  

  • If you need to recover your username or password, click here.

  • If you need assistance with Google Meet, click here.

  • This document can be used as a resource for Google Meet as well.  

Class Pictures
We've had some inquiries about what's happening with the class pictures that were taken shortly before our extended closure.  Our photographer has informed us that the pictures are at the processing plant, which is currently closed.  Once the plant and schools re-open, we will arrange to have the pictures delivered to FRES, and we will let you know how we'll get them to you.  We appreciate your patience!

We are still wishing happy birthday to our FRES students during this new distance learning phase! Select this link for this past week's celebrations!

From the "Virtual" Media Center
Mrs. E and Mrs. Tordella will be hosting a Virtual Book Club for Families of grades 3-5 on Wed, May 13th @ 6:30 PM via Google Meet. We will be discussing the book El Deafo.  Check your Media Canvas Page for more information! Send Mrs. Tordella or Mrs. E a message letting us know you plan to attend. You can do this using the canvas inbox on the left side of your Canvas screen.

MAP Testing Results and 3rd Quarter Report Cards
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Home Reports - Winter 2019-2020
Home reports for students in grades 1-8 who participated in the February MAP assessment have been posted in Synergy. Parents/guardians may view/download MAP reports by taking the following steps:

  1. Log in to HCPSS Connect Synergy

  2. Select Academic Information from the left panel
  3. Select Student's Report Cards from the middle
  4. Near the top of the page, select MAP_2020_WINTER
Note: Students in Algebra I/II or Geometry, and English 8 G/T do not participate in MAP testing and will not have a report displayed.
Additional information on MAP testing and how to interpret the report can be found online.

Online 3rd Quarter Report Cards: The 2019-2020 quarter three report cards will not be printed. Find instructions for viewing report cards online.

Services from our School Counselor and Psychologist

  •  HCPSS Elementary School Counseling Connection Newsletter (Issue 2) is a great resource for students and parents to read together. Included in the School Counseling Connection newsletter are celebrations, activities for home,and self-care ideas. 
  • Mrs. Schuck, our school counselor, will have office hours every week day from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and then from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m.  You can schedule an appointment by emailing Mrs. Schuck at ( or completing the following request form.  
  • Our school psychologist, Dr. Eng, will be holding office hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2:00-3:30 p.m.  If you need to reach him, please email him directly at, and include the following:
  • Your name:
  • Student’s name:
  • Phone number:
  • Email:
  • A brief description of your concern:

PTA News...

Hello FRES families!

I hope you had a great week. We held our first virtual PTA meeting this Tuesday with about 30 families joining us and it was SO wonderful to see your familiar faces! It warmed my heart to connect with our awesome FRES community after weeks and we will definitely be scheduling another virtual meeting in June.

We love our teachers and staff at Forest Ridge Elementary School! Thank you for sending in picture and video entries for the Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week video! It turned out great and teachers and staff loved it! Check it out here:

We also wanted to show our love and appreciation through kind words. Take a look at our FRES PTA Facebook page or click here to see the word clouds made from your kind words for our awesome FRES teachers and staff!

If you’re looking for more ways to support our FRES teachers and staff, we have an online directory of the FRES Staff Favorite Things open to all interested FRES families and friends. You can send an electronic gift card for their favorite store or send a favorite treat to them!

Hope everyone has a great Mother’s Day weekend!

Khaleda Hasan, FRES PTA President

FRES Yearbook Ordering is Currently Open until Friday, May 15th!
The PTA has been working with the school and is producing a 2019-2020 FRES Yearbook! Yearbooks are NOW available for order! In order to keep everyone safely socially distanced, yearbooks will be shipped directly to your home this year and will not be available to purchase at the school. In order to get a 2019-2020 FRES Yearbook, you MUST place your order online by Friday, May 15th. It will arrive in home in June.

To quickly place your order, simply follow these instructions:
1. Visit
2. Enter the access key in the box: N5WE7VYW

Submit your own suggestions for FRES Yearbook Photos!

We are currently adding candid photos from the school year as well as adding a section for pictures from families at home doing distance learning! Please submit your favorite pictures to! In the email, please include some information (student, grade, event, etc.) to help identify the event and appropriate grade section. Thank you!

Attention ALL 5th graders!!!
We are excited to be continuing the traditional of gifting 5th graders with their end of year T-shirt. This year's 5th grade class is missing out on a lot of their capstone experiences, so PTA decided this was one way we could celebrate their end of elementary school. Each child's name will be on the back of the T-shirt inside "the 20". It is completely FREE for each 5th grader, we just need help with names and sizes. Please take the time to complete the google survey by Friday, May 15:

Invitation From the Bushy Park PTA

Ramadan and the Festival of Eid
Friday, May 8th, 6:30pm
Join us for a live family-friendly presentation on Friday, May 8th at 6:30pm about the month of Ramadan and the Festival of Eid, two of the most special holidays for some of our Bushy Park friends and families. We'll have a read-aloud, a Q&A, and a special follow-along craft too!
For the follow-along craft, children will need (2) colored sheets of paper, scissors, tape or stapler, and stickers/glitter/gems or other whatever materials on hand that can be used to decorate."

From the Howard County Library...

Howard County Library Resources
  • Created While Isolated: Students ages 13 and up and adults are invited to share photographs, art, music, creative writing, and personal stories from this unprecedented time in a collaborative creativity journal. 

  • TumbleMath is a fun and engaging way to learn math concepts through stories. Students can access this and many other learning resources with their A+ student accounts through by selecting HC Library. 

From HCPSS...

New Continuity of Learning Website and Help Function.
The HCPSS' Continuity of Learning website has been restructured to give you an even more user-friendly and easily navigated resource, providing information essential for ensuring students continue to learn and thrive. The new site features pages with schedules and information dedicated to high school seniors and students at each level. All of our previous content remains online and can be accessed via the new Continuity of Learning site. 

There is also a new HCPSS Help site, which is grouped by subject to allow quicker and easier navigation, and includes a convenient new keyword search function. This new Help site will make it easier for parents, students, staff and community members to quickly find answers to their most frequently-asked questions.

Device Delivery

  • Please complete this survey as soon as you receive the device.
  • What should I do if i received a defective device?  

    Broken Devices
    Students/parents should email their school principal, who will forward requests to the library media specialist and/or the elementary technology teacher to triage and attempt to resolve the issue. If it is determined that a repair is needed, school staff will engage HCPSS support technicians to manage the repair. If a repair cannot be done remotely, a new device will be sent to the student with a FedEx return label for the broken device to be sent back.

    Returning Devices
    Students who no longer need a borrowed device, should email their library media specialist, who will enter a return ticket. HCPSS Information Technology staff then will arrange for FedEx mail or in-person return.

Food Assistance

Food Access Resources  - Please see the following links for resources that you and your family can access as we continue through this time.

SNAP Benefits-Emergency Allotments Flyer-English

Apply for SNAP Benefits today-Flyer-English

Apply for SNAP Benefits Today-Flyer-Spanish

Grocery Delivery Flyer-English

Grocery Delivery Flyer-Korean

Grocery Delivery Flyer-Spanish

Food Pantries:

Pop-Up Pantry in Long Reach

Community Action Council Pantry

Open Doors Food Pantry

Free Grab N Go Meals 
Free Grab-N-Go meals are served weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. to anyone age 18 and under and/or any HCPSS student at Forest Ridge Elementary. Participants are encouraged to bring bags to carry meals home. Please note that parents/guardians may pick up meals for their children, who do not need to be present. Social distancing is in place during meal distribution.

Want to Receive Text Messages from HCPSS?
To receive text messages from HCPSS, please text the word "YES" to 67587 from the cell phone number on file in HCPSS Connect.

Canvas and Canvas Announcements
Teachers have and will continue to send messages to students using Canvas. Visit to ensure that your child is set up to receive notifications. This page is also a great resource to make sure that you understand Canvas and Synergy.  Parents/guardians unfamiliar with Canvas may find it helpful to review the features in this Canvas Orientation.

Setting Canvas Notifications to receive emails of all Canvas notifications.

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.

Internet Access
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 Comcast is also providing low cost internet access to eligible families through its Comcast Internet Essentials program.

3rd Quarter Report Cards
Third-quarter grading was previously scheduled to end on April 3. For all students, HCPSS will base third-quarter grades on work assigned on and prior to March 13, the last day schools were in session, as the majority of the quarter had already taken place when schools were closed. The new end to the 3rd quarter is April 24th and the 4th quarter will begin April 27th.  Teachers will be completing report cards and they will be available to parents at the beginning of May. Additional details can be found here.

Kindergarten Registration
Parents/guardians of new incoming students and those entering kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year (who are not already enrolled) are able to begin the enrollment process online, followed by completion of the registration process when schools reopen. Online registration is not required and parents may elect to complete the full registration in person at the time of reopening.

Once school buildings reopen, parents will be contacted to complete the registration at the child’s school. Parents or legal guardians must visit their child’s school and provide proof of parental relationship and any other documents not provided during the online registration process.

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.

Supporting Language Needs

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

There are four call centers families can use for language support:
  • Chinese 410-313-5920
  • Korean 410-313-1592
  • Spanish 410-313-1591
  • Chin 410-313-5968

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.

SECAC Awards
The Special Education Citizens Advisory Council (SECAC) annual awards  have been postponed until October. Families can continue to nominate their child's fabulous educators, related service providers, administrators, inclusive programs and student leaders at