May 3, 2024 Forest Ridge Forerunner

Fri, 05/03/2024 - 2:33pm

May 4           PTA Spring Carnival (rain or shine)
May 6-10      Staff Appreciation Week.  View the celebration schedule here.
May 7           Orchestra & Chorus Concert at Hammond High School
May 14         Primary Election Day.  Schools and offices closed
May 15         5th Grade Simulated Congressional Hearings
May 16         6:30-8:00 "Stay Fresh This Summer' math and reading night
May 17         Staff Work Day - Schools close 3 hours early (12:55)
May 21         Field Day
May 23         PTA Meeting
May 27         Memorial Day Holiday - Schools and offices closed
May 30         STEAM Night.  View the flyer in English & Spanish
June 1          5th Grade Dance
June 4          5:30-6:30 Popsicles on the Playground for incoming (2024-25) Kindergarten students
June 5          Professional Work Day - Schools close 3 hours early
June 6          2:00-3:15 5th Gr. End of Year Celebration
June 7          Full school day
June 10        Full school day
June 11        Full school day
June 12        Schools close 3 hours early (12:55)
June 13        Schools close 3 hours early (12:55)
June 14        Last Day of School! Schools close 3 hours early (12:55)
June 19        Juneteenth Holiday - schools and offices closed

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...

Forest Ridge Family and Friends,

We are thrilled to share with you all the wonderful news that we recently celebrated our very own 2nd-grade teacher and team leader, Mrs. Donna Tiffey! Mrs. Tiffey was nominated for the HCPSS Teacher of the Year award, a recognition that highlights the exceptional dedication and talent of educators in our district. While she did not win the official title, we firmly believe that she is a winner in every sense of the word to us!

Throughout her time with us, Mrs. Tiffey has exemplified the qualities of an outstanding teacher and leader. Her commitment to her students' growth and success, her innovative teaching methods, and her unwavering passion for education have left an indelible mark on our school community.

Donna Tiffey embarked on her teaching journey in Prince George's County, nurturing young minds in fourth grade. Her dedication led her to Chicago, Illinois, for a year before returning to Maryland. From 1993 to 1998, she enriched both Special Education and General Education in Howard County, showcasing her versatility. In 2008, she assumed the role of a Special Education teacher at the St. Louis School in Clarksville, MD, marking the inception of her groundbreaking initiative: The Louis the IX Program, tailored for intellectually disabled students.

Recognition soon followed, with the prestigious Teacher of the Year Award from the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012, a testament to her unwavering commitment. Mrs. Tiffey's passion for inclusive education flourished further in 2008 at the St. Louis School, where she founded and oversaw The Illumination Program. This program, designed for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities, aimed to optimize the students' learning experience in the school's challenging curriculum.

Her educational journey took her back to Howard County in 2017, gracing Forest Ridge Elementary with her expertise in second-grade teaching. Throughout her career, Mrs. Tiffey's tireless efforts and innovative programs have left an indelible mark on the educational landscape.

As our Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Tiffey embodies the spirit of excellence that we strive for at FRES. She goes above and beyond to create a nurturing and inspiring learning environment where every student feels valued and supported. Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Donna Tiffey for her remarkable achievements and for being a true champion of education. Thank you, Mrs. Tiffey, for all that you do for our students and our school!

~ Mrs. Lannon & Ms. Pazornik

Forest Ridge News...

From our Registrar, Mrs. Jackson
Dear Parent/Guardian of 5th Grade students,
All students moving on to middle school in HCPSS must have records in compliance in accordance with Policy 9000:  Student Residency, Eligibility, Enrollment and Assignment.  Currently, all records are being reviewed for compliance.  We ask that if you receive a letter for a missing document/s, you provide the requested documents in a timely manner.  Please feel free to reach out to the front office if you have questions about the request if received.

Are You Interested in Purchasing a Yearbook?
The yearbook purchasing site is open for business!  Follow this link to place your order.

2024-2025 School Year Bus Transportation Registration is Open
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Parents/guardians whose children are eligible for bus transportation are asked to register to receive bus service each year to help the school system plan for student transportation needs. The transportation registration process will open at 9 a.m. Monday, April 8 through May 31, and will be completed online via HCPSS Connect Synergy. Registration must be done for each eligible child.

To be eligible for bus service, your child’s home address must be outside of a school’s walk zones. You can verify address eligibility in the HCPSS School Attendance Area Locator. After inputting your address, a window will appear that will indicate either bus or walk for each school level. Please note, the attendance area locator also includes a link for the bus stop locator, which is set for the current school year. Bus stop information for the 2024-2025 school year will be available in August.
You do not need to take any action if your child is not eligible for bus transportation, your child receives transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan, or your child is a graduating senior.
Details on bus transportation registration, including a guide to register and scenarios families may see when registering, can be found online.

From our School Counselors, Ms. Norris and Mrs. Braxton-Cheek
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Just like our bodies need daily nourishment and activity to stay healthy and functional, our mental health needs its own kind of nourishment! Here is a month of activities that you can do with your child to boost their mental health: May Mental Health Awareness Calendar (English)May Mental Health Awareness Calendar (Spanish)

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.

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

Silent Auction – Thank you!
Thank you to everyone that participated in our silent auction over the weekend.  We had over 70 items donated by staff, parents, and the community.

Your items are available for pick up at the school during school hours, or a the FRES Carnival on Saturday, May 4th at the ticket booth.  If you need to make alternate arrangements, please email

Spring Carnival – TOMORROW, May 4th
The FRES PTA Carnival is May 4th 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 each.  Due to the weather we will be inside but have many fun and exciting activities planned including face painting, balloon art, glitter tattoos, reptiles and small mammals by Wildlife Adventures, and DJ J-Nice.

Come see these food trucks in the bus loop:

Mike’s Gelato
Kona Ice
Between the Buns
Bennett’s Grill
Antojito’s Express

We need your help to make this event possible! Please sign up at the link below to volunteer to help at Carnival. Middle & High School Students are welcome to volunteer and volunteer hours will be verified. PTboard link: Carnival Volunteers

Signup Genius Link:

Do you love to bake???  Please consider donating a cake, cupcakes or other dessert for the carnival cake walk. Items can be dropped off at school on Friday 5/3 between 6:30 - 9:30 or Saturday 5/4 by 12:00. What's a cake walk? A cake walk is a game played at carnivals, fundraisers, and funfairs where participants walk around a circle of numbers on the floor while music plays. When the music stops, everyone lands on a number and the person that lands on the number called wins a cake. Sign up here Cake Walk Donations

Staff Appreciation Week – May 6-10
PTA will be celebrating Staff Appreciation Week starting Monday! Click here to see the flyer.

If you would like to donate items for any of these days please sign up and drop them off at the Carnival on Saturday, May 4th, at the front office during normal school hours, or email to make arrangements.  We appreciate all of your support in making this a Sun-Sational week for the staff and teachers at FRES.

Hydration Station!/showSignUp/8050849AAA82DA6F58-49340394-hydration


Trail Mix!/showSignUp/8050849AAA82DA6F58-49347250-trail

Favorite Things

If you would like to contribute towards any of these days monetarily please email or leave a donation with the front office by Monday, May 6th.

Attention Fifth Grade Families! 
Your child's personalized Art to Remember order form is now available, so ask your students if they received one!  This fundraiser is a great way to both get a keepsake to commemorate your child's elementary school years and to help support 5th grade activities and the Art department. Order by May 7, 2024.

Save the Date!  The 5th Grade Dance will be June 1, 2024 from 6pm to 8pm. This year's theme is "Glow," so break out those neon or white shirts.  Permission slips have been sent home. Please return the form to your child's homeroom teacher or bring it to check-in on the night of the dance.  All children attending the dance must be checked in and out by a parent or guardian.  Let's Glow it up!

FRES PTA Board Members Needed for 2024-2026 Term
The current members of the PTA Board of Directors will end their 2-year term at the end of the 2023-2024 school year.  Please consider running for the board and help the PTA continue to offer events and support like Carnival, Health and Wellness Fair, Fall Fest. Culture Fest, assemblies, field trip support, and so much more. For more information or to fill out the  form please visit, FRES PTA BOARD MEMBERS NEEDED for 2024-2026 Term | Forest Ridge Elementary School PTA

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...

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
Receive HC DrugFree's Free Newsletter: To receive HC DrugFree's free electronic newsletter packed with information for parents and opportunities for students, go to

Stay Informed about What’s Happening in Howard County: Sign up for HC DrugFree’s newsletter at to get updates on events as well as information to keep your family safe and informed.