October 9, 2020 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Thu, 10/08/2020 - 1:58pm

Important Dates
October 14               MAP Math Testing: Grades 2-5 (Details below)

October 16               Schools close 3 hours early - Details below
November 3             Schools and Offices closed
November 6             Schools close 3 hours early - Details below
November 16           Quarter 1 Report Cards Issued
November 24-25     Parent Teacher Conferences (Details will be sent)

From Mr. Conroy...

Dear Families,

Over the past few weeks, it has come to our attention that some students are struggling with the appropriate use of technology during Google Meets. There have been several instances of students using a Google Meet feature to make outside calls during instructional times as well as students recording Google Meet sessions.   Both of these instances are against HCPSS policy and will result in consequences for students. 

Students who are disruptive during Google Meet sessions will receive appropriate consequences in accordance with the HCPSS Student Code of Conduct.  These expectations have been put in place to ensure that our virtual classroom is a positive, safe, and productive learning environment.

It is important that all students adhere to the following expectations during virtual live sessions throughout the school day.   

  • Always be respectful and courteous to other students and teachers during Google Meets.  

  • Google Meet tools must be used appropriately.  Tools like chat and video allow us to interact with each other during class time. Only tools specified for use should be utilized as outlined in the HCPSS Policy, as well as our school expectations.  

  • Students must use their HCPSS email account to log in to a Google Meet session.  This should be the only account used.   

  • Login information must not be shared.  Sharing login information violates other students’ and teachers’ rights to confidentiality, and could allow class participation by unauthorized persons.

  • Distributed chromebooks are the property of HCPSS.  Browser add ons should not be downloaded to computers unless directed by staff.

  • At the end of all Google Meet sessions, students should click the icon to leave the meeting and close the tab in order to exit the session completely. 

  • Video recording of any Google Meet is prohibited. 

Even though our current instruction is through a virtual learning platform, it is expected that all students follow school and HCPSS expectations in regards to responsible use of technology. For more information, please view Policy 8080: HCPSS Responsible Use of Technology, Digital Tools, and Social Media.

Thank you for your support,

Scott Conroy, Principal

Forest Ridge News...

Canvas Calendar Update
Students can now view up to 20 calendars within Canvas! There are a variety of views of the calendar (month, week, and agenda).  We encourage students and families to explore the best setting for them.  Learn more about the Canvas Calendar.

School Meals
A stopgap U.S. government funding bill signed into law last Thursday, which includes almost $8 billion in nutrition assistance, allows USDA to extend the meal waivers, previously due to expire at the end of December, through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. Thus, HCPSS will be able to provide meals at no cost to any HCPSS student, and all children 18 and under, through the entire school year, assuming continued availability of USDA funding.  
Beginning Monday, October 12, HCPSS will add a snack and dinner to each weekday meal, in addition to breakfast and lunch already being served. Additionally, weekend meals will be included with meals provided on Fridays, and in pre-ordered meals picked up on Thursdays.
HCPSS also has adjusted the pre-order process. Meals for multiple days need to be pre-ordered at least two days in advance for pickup on Mondays and Thursdays. Pre-order meal pickups will be offered only on those two days, to enable Food and Nutrition Services to improve service and efficiency while balancing staffing and food resources.

From Mrs. Schuck, our School Counselor

In addition to the FRES Virtual Wellness Night we hosted, The PTA Wellness Committee, volunteer staff and I have worked hard to provide EVERY STUDENT a Wellness Kit. The kit includes lots of tools to help you deal with hard emotions you may be feeling at this time of virtual learning. It's packed full of great resources for parents too!

Some items include:

A stress ball
Positive affirmation bookmarks
A FRES Friendship bracelet and more!

One important strategy to remember: TAKE A BREAK

Come take a break by visiting FRES during the breakfast (8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.) or lunch (10:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.) pick up next week!  If you don't pick up breakfast or lunch already, this is a great time to take a break from learning, get out of the house and grab a meal (this also supports our Food and Nutrition services)!  I will be there to hand out your FREE Wellness Kit and would love to see you! 

Please come by to wave from afar! Don't forget your mask! 

Thinking of you, 
Your Counselor, Ms. Schuck

Ver este mensaje en ESPAÑOL!

MAP Testing Information
Dear 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade Forest Ridge Families,
On Wednesday, October 14, students in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade will take the math portion of the Measured Academic Progress (MAP) assessment.  The MAP assessment is an online tool that will help teachers gauge where your child is starting the year academically.  The assessment is designed to adjust the difficulty of the questions based on student response.  It may appear that the test is too hard or easy for your student however as they progress, the test questions will be geared more towards their level.  The MAP assessment does not affect your child’s grade.   It is normal for students to only answer about half the questions correctly.  To learn more about the MAP assessment, please visit: https://www.nwea.org/the-map-suite/common-questions-families/ 

Please note that we are offering two time slots for your child to log into the Google Meet to take this assessment.  Your child only needs to attend one time slot and you can choose whatever is most convenient for your schedule.  Students should work through the assessment independently.  Students who require accommodations during the assessment will be contacted by a teacher prior to testing.

  • Wednesday, October 14th 9:00am-11:00am or 1:00pm to 3:00pm- Math MAP assessment

If your child is unable to attend, makeup testing will be offered during asynchronous learning times.

In addition, we are not asking for parents to choose a time ahead of time, but rather to just ensure that your child is present at one of the blocks of time on the testing day.

Please reach out to Ivye Pazornik at ivye_pazornik@hcpss.org  or by calling 410-880-5950 if you have any questions regarding the administration of the MAP assessment.  Teachers will share Google Meet information and your student’s testing group as we get closer to the Oct 14th date.

Thank You,
Ivye Pazornik, Assistant Principal
Student Testing Coordinator

Media Matters and Tech Tidbits

  • HC Library System’s HiTech Virtual STEAM Carnival is virtual this year! This fun and hands-on event, for students in grades K-12, features five tracks of engaging and interactive activities, each with a different focus. Register for one track, then pick up your carnival-in-a-bag and get started! Activities can be completed individually and in conjunction with virtual classes. Register at http://hclibrary.org/new-a-main/hitech/hitech-carnival/

  • Congratulations to Lily Edmondson and Elle Hanfman for completing the Summer Reading Program. Way to go! If your student completed the summer reading program, please complete the  SUMMER READING Survey. 

  • Are you experiencing technology problems with your Chromebook or an app?  Follow these steps:

  1. Visit hcpss.me and scroll down to the self-help buttons at the very bottom.  Find your topic, and follow the suggestions.  There is a wealth of information here!

  2. If you don’t have success after following the direction from those links, complete the FRES Community: Tech Support Form for assistance from the FRES Tech Team.  This form is also available on the FRES School Website.

  • Take a break- Make sure your student is taking an at least 5 minute break between virtual class sessions. This is a great time for them to use the restroom, do an exercise or get a quick outdoor breath of fresh air.

GT News
Rube Goldberg, a popular engineering seminar that was regularly offered to 4th and 5th graders, will now be offered to ALL ages through the Howard County Library System. The HCLS will cover the registration fee.  Please check out this link for more information.   We hope that some of our families will participate. Mrs. Hogan and Mrs. Clawson would love to see your final project should you choose to participate. 

Schedule Adjustments for Scheduled Early Dismissal Days
The HCPSS 2020-2021 calendar includes four scheduled 3-hour early dismissal days:

  • Friday, October 16, 2020 
  • Friday, November 6, 2020 
  • Monday, November 23, 2020 
  • Tuesday, November 24, 2020 
The virtual schedules have been adjusted for these scheduled early dismissal days to provide students with synchronous learning for each class. Additionally, both full- and half-day PreK classes will meet on these days using a modified schedule.
Early dismissal day revised schedules for all elementary, middle, and high school grades are provided on the 2020-2021 School Year website.

Community News…

Free Food Distribution on Saturdays in October
See the attached flyer regarding free food distribution on Saturdays in October at Ducketts Lane Elementary School.

Council of Elders
The mission of the Council of Elders of the Black Community of Howard County is two-fold:

  • To develop, strengthen, guide and advance the educational and cultural well-being of the Black Community of Howard County.
  • To sustain and grow itself as a community of Elders that actively serves to advocate for the Black Community of Howard County in collaboration with parents, educators and other community leaders.

Save the Date!

The Council of Elders and the Howard County Public School System have partnered to sponsor the following 2020–21 parent workshop series, at 9–10:30 a.m.on the following dates:

October 17- Effective Home and School Communication
December 5 - Social Media, Peer Pressure, and Human Trafficking
January 30 - Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
March 13 - Suicide Prevention and Substance Abuse

Sessions will be held virtually, and additional details regarding each session are forthcoming. 

PTA News...

From the PTA President, Korin Sharp

Reminder: There is a PTA meeting on Monday, October 12 at 7 p.m. on Zoom  http://tiny.cc/fresptaoctmtg  Mtg ID 983 0999 7211 Passcode frespta  You do not have to be a member to attend. Hope to see you there!

Volunteer Need: We are in need of 1 or 2 parents to help Ms. Schuck pass out Wellness Kits in front of the school each day next week during breakfast and lunch pick up. Can you help sign up for a 1 hour shift? We will wear masks and practice social distancing. Sign up at http://tiny.cc/freswellness

Halloween Event: Save the date! We will be having a drive-through Halloween event on Friday, October 30th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Want to help out? Join our planning Band group https://band.us/n/afa449mb53mdR

Planning Survey: If you haven't yet completed our  5 question survey to find out what types of events, topics, and activities would be most helpful to FRES families, please take a moment to do so. Responses are due next Friday. 

Future General PTA Meetings (Via Zoom): October 12, November 9, December 14, January 11, February 8, March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14

Membership Update: We are now up to 54 members! This is a great start. FRES families, staff, and community members can join at www.frespta.org/join

After School Activities: All of last year's after school enrichment providers now have virtual offerings. Please check out their classes if you are looking for fun kids' activities.

Silver Knights Enrichment (Chess), The Language and Culture Club (Spanish), Pongo's Coding (Coding), KidzArt (Art),  I'm the Chef, Too, (STEM/Cooking) and Abrakadoodle (Art).

Communication: There will be several ways to receive communications including school communications, www.frespta.org, the FRES PTA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/FRESPTA/, and Twitter @frespta. Last year, there was a group formed for discussion and support. That can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2135313649893726/ and is for current FRES families. New this year, we will also be utilizing Band groups. These can be accessed via web or mobile app. 

Have a great weekend!