June 5, 2020 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Wed, 06/03/2020 - 2:01pm

Dates to Remember

  8  PVMS Virtual Visitation welcome video available at 8:00 a.m. with breakout sessions starting at 9:00
  8  Pickup/Drop Off of Essential Items (see below)
  9  Pickup/Drop Off of Essential Items (see below)
12  Pickup/Drop Off of Essential Items (5th Grade Students only - see below)
14  Flag Day
19 Half Day
22 Half Day
23 Half Day - Last Day of School!!            

From Mr. Conroy...

Dear FRES Community,

This has been a challenging week. We've found ourselves full of emotion, reflecting on what is happening in the world, and wondering how we can support one another.  This week, Ms. Pazornik and I created a safe space for our staff who wanted to process and discuss their feelings with other trusted colleagues. This work won’t stop here and our staff is committed to continuing to have these difficult conversations.  Last weekend, Dr.  Martirano and Board Chair, Ms. Ellis released a joint statement.  If you have not read it, you can find it linked here.

We know that these conversations are not easy, and we know that talking with children is even more difficult. We are including a resource that specifically addresses how to talk to children at any age.

Please feel free to reach out to any staff member if you have any questions.  We are all in this together.  Please stay safe and healthy.  Have a great weekend.


Mr. Conroy

PVMS Virtual Visitation
On Monday, June 8, Patuxent Valley Middle School will be holding a Virtual School Visitation for incoming 6th grade students, starting with a welcome video available at 8:00 a.m. and which includes optional sections where students will be able to ask specific questions.  Use this link for all the information.

Pickup/Drop Off of Essential Items
Next week we have assigned dates and times for families to come to FRES to pick up/drop off materials including medications and school pictures that were ordered previously as well as 5th Grade T-shirts and signs.  Please understand that no parents or students will be allowed in the building.

Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9 will be for all FRES students while Friday, June 12 will be only for grade 5 students. 

Please refer to the following schedule to see the time of your pick-up:

Monday, June 8 (all students in any grade)
Last Names A - B    11:30 - 12:45
Last Names C - F      1:00 - 2:15
Last Names G - I       2:30 - 3:45
Last Names J -  L      4:00  - 5:15

Tuesday June 9 (all students in any grade)
Last Names M - N     11:30 - 12:45
Last Names O - R       1:00 - 2:15
Last Names S - V        2:30 - 3:45
Last Names W - Z       4:00 - 5:15

Friday, June 12 (ONLY GRADE 5 STUDENTS)
Last Names A - F       1:00 - 1:45
Last Names G - J       2:00 - 2:45
Last Names K - P       3:00 - 3:45
Last Names Q - Z       4:00 - 4:45

Please remember …

  • No students or parents will be permitted into the building for any reason.

  • All students and families must stay in the car at all times.

  • All students, families, and staff must wear masks at all times.

  • You only need to drop off items if you will not be attending an HCPSS school next year.  

  • To help expedite the process, when you arrive at the school you will be given a paper to be placed on the front dash of the car or held up as the student/parent approaches each check in, so that it will be visible to staff.

  • Items to be returned to FRES should be placed in a plastic/shopping/grocery bag or box labeled with the student’s first and last name. (The bag/box will not be returned.) 

  • Students/parents must follow the directions of staff as they enter the school parking lot.  There will be cones set up to assist with the traffic flow.  At the different stations, a staff member will provide student belongings or collect any school items. Each student/parent will travel through the stations during this process.

If you have any questions, please email Mr. Conroy at scott_conroy@hcpss.org.

FRES News and Events...

From Nurse Kay in the Health Room

Medication Pick Up is on 6/8/2020; 6/9/2020 and 6/12/2020

Please note:

  • Please do not come to school if you are sick (temp of > 100 F, cough, shortness of breath) or if you have been asked to self isolate or quarantine.
  • Do not exit your vehicle.
  • You must wear a mask.
  • We encourage you to wear gloves.
  • Please email Nurse Kay at margaret_morris@hcpss.org with the name of the adult picking up the medication if it is different than a parent.
  • Bring an ID to verify the identity of the designated person picking up the medication - show through the car window.
  • After verification of identity, we will ask you to either pop your trunk or open a back window so that we can place the medication in your car.

If you do not pick up the medication (or send an authorized person in your absence) the medication will be destroyed in accordance with HCPSS Health Services guidelines.

Epi-Pen warning for Impax Auto-Injectors:
Some auto injectors do not have the safety stop mechanism in place and there is a risk of over dosing of medication.  See the link below for more details and on how to check if your epi-pens have the yellow safety stop mechanism.


Ms. Nowell and I look forward to seeing our parents and wish all the students a terrific summer vacation.

Nurse Kay

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!

Services from our School Counselor and Psychologist

  • 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 (alyssa_schuck@hcpss.org) 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 William_eng@hcpss.org, and include the following:
  • Your name:
  • Student’s name:
  • Phone number:
  • Email:
  • A brief description of your concern:

From the PTA...

Dear FRES families,

It has been a very rough several weeks for many members of our community following racist incidents at the national level and at the local level.  I am thankful for HCPSS leadership under Dr. Martirano and BOE Chair Mavis Ellis for their statement acknowledging the horrific incidents and the pain it has caused, and for stressing a commitment to healing and building a more empathetic and more inclusive school environment where all children can feel safe and nurtured.  I know we have had to have some very tough (but age-appropriate) conversations in our home and I encourage everyone to explore the resources provided by HCPSS about how to talk to children about traumatic events.

Shifting gears, I wanted to thank the yearbook committee for working tirelessly to finalize the design of the yearbook.  We think you’ll be VERY pleased by the final product!  Look for the yearbooks to be shipped directly to your home at the end of June.

I also wanted to give a HUGE shoutout to Adam K., Carrie P., Korin S., Mrs. Schuck, Ms. Pazornik, and Mr. Conroy for working together to apply for a Phase 1 COVID Relief grant from National PTA (sponsored by TikTok) on very short notice with tight deadlines.  The focus of the grant is to provide support in the area of Social Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health.  This week, we got word that we are one of the grant recipients!!  FRES PTA will be working with admin to plan an event for this toward August.

We have been looking for more guidance for conducting elections for next year’s PTA Board.  We may finally have some guidance soon!  Please see the statement below:

Message from the PTA Council Howard County

“…The document outlines steps the State PTA is taking and dates of compliance required. Of particular note is the section relating to elections. Early feedback from our local PTA survey indicates this is an item of growing concern. Earlier this year, we forwarded advice from the State PTA to place a hold on elections due to meeting restrictions from the COVID-19 virus. Later, an additional option for mail-based elections was provided by the State and posted on the PTACHC website. The most recent letter provided to our membership indicates that National PTA has provided advice for the State to develop electronic elections guidance and to deliver this advice by June 12, 2020.

There have been several inquiries about expediting the process. We hope that details and information arrive prior to the deadline, but in the meantime, we are still obliged to follow State guidance, just as they are obliged to follow National PTA guidance. It is suggested that local PTA units (including the Council) continue to operate their nominating committees to be best prepared for elections with the least amount of additional delay. PTACHC will share information as soon as it becomes available.”

In the meantime, we are continuing the search for nominees to fill next year’s board.  Please see below for more details!

Have a great weekend!

Khaleda Hasan
FRES PTA President

PTA Nominations
The FRES PTA still needs several volunteers to serve on the board next year! Technically, as of July 2020, every board position in the FRES PTA will be vacant. To date, we've received some interest, but we really need more parents to step up and lead our PTA.

Would you like to get more involved? Submit those nominations for officers and committee heads now. Do you know someone who would be a great candidate? Tell us! Or, nominate yourself for a position. We will get in touch with you to go over the details and answer questions. Check here for additional information or to nominate someone!

Attention ALL 5th graders!!!
The 5th grade committee has been working hard to end the year with something special.  The PTA is providing shirts for each 5th grader (as we do each year) and will also be distributing commemorative yard signs to our 5th graders!  These are covered by the 5th Grade Activities T-shirt line item and the Red Robin 5th grade fundraiser. Check emails for more details about pickup!

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.

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:

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 https://www.hcpss.org/connect/faq/#notify 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 wifi.xfinity.com. Comcast is also providing low cost internet access to eligible families through its Comcast Internet Essentials program.

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.