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October 1, 2017

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Important Upcoming Events
Washington DC Parent Student Meeting
10/1 @ 4-4:45pm
10/2 @ 7:30-8:15am

Late Start 
10/5 school starts 10:40am

6th Grade Adventures EMPOWER Meeting
10/5  @ 8-8:30am

Chaska High School Homecoming

8th Grade Explorers EMPOWER Meeting
10/10 @ 7:30am, 3:30pm or 4pm
OR 10/12 @ 7:30am, 6pm or 6:30pm

Chanhassen High School Homecoming

Education MN Break 
10/19 - 10/20  

Washington DC Trip
10/19 - 10/21

Band/Choir Concerts

Picture Retakes

Deep Portage Parent Chaperone Meetings
11/1 @ 3:45pm or 6pm

No School - Workshop 

Deep Portage - Adventures
11/6 - 11/8

Deep Portage - Explorers
11/8 - 11/10

11/9 or 11/14

If your child is absent, late or needs to be picked up early, please email our Attendance Line at:
Or call: 952-556-7899

See our Attendance Procedures here:
PRMS Attendance Procedures

Donate to Innovate the Ridge to help PRMS reach its $15,000 goal.

Important Phone Numbers


Kris Moe (A-L): 952-556-7833
Ryan Newell (M-Z): 952-556-7832

Terri Tompkins &
Mary Alice Mayerle:


Positive Connections Bus Company: 

Transportation Dept:

Food Service:
Pioneer Ridge MS
1085 Pioneer Trail
Chaska, MN 55318

Main Office: 952-556-7800

Attendance: 952-556-7899

Fax: 952-556-7809

New Office Hours:
8:00am - 4:30pm

New School Hours:
8:40am - 3:30pm

Si necesita una traducción en español de este documento, por favor llame a Maria Johnson al
 (952) 556-7881.

Looking Forward to an Exciting Year at PRMS! a whirlwind we are completing our first month of school.  I know for myself and the PRMS staff, we are both exhausted and excited for the year in front of us.  Overall, we had a great kick-off with our 8th grade WEB leaders welcoming nearly 200 6th graders while 7th and 8th graders built community with their advisories.  We have continued to build momentum and have been adjusting to our new start time, new student bell schedule with additional WIN time, the extended use of the Flex Scheduler and ePass, and reteaching and refocusing our PRIDE program and overall PRMS community expectations.  Students have done an amazing job with the adjustments and have earned nearly 200 Pride tickets, rewarding positive behaviors, already.

We also continue with the focus on standards-based instruction and learning as well as the implementation of Empower to support standards-based learning and reporting.  You should have received an email from me on September 21st talking about our Empower implementation.  If you did not, please take a moment to read over the Empower Parent letter . Also, take some time to acquaint yourself with the parent page on the PRMS website, where Empower information can be found by clicking on the Empower Orange.  This site includes how to login, how to look at grades, how grades are calculated, and a parent Empower presentation. Additionally, on the parent page, you will find the district's personalized learning site which also contains a wealth of information about personalized learning. Lastly, many of our teacher teams are hosting parent information sessions before school to further support this work.  As always, if you have questions please reach out to your child's teacher or an administrator.

We are also completing our fall NWEA MAP testing.  This is valuable information to provide a benchmark of where your child is starting the year off in math and reading.  We do this assessment again in the spring to measure your child's growth in these areas over the year.  This data is not only valuable to you as a parent and to your child, but is also a tool for us to evaluate our programming.  

Lastly, thanks for your cooperation as we manage our traffic flow (see diagram) and learn to zipper merge in the afternoon!  We have worked to create a system that has moved our parent traffic through in about 15 minutes while allowing our buses to arrive and depart on time. Please continue to be courteous and good role models for your child by taking turns at the merge and not asking your child to come down the parent line to get in your vehicle.  This is unsafe and creates unnecessary traffic congestion. If you need to be gone sooner than the 15 minutes after school it takes for our traffic to taper off, then we ask that you park in the far north side of the lot, walk by the flagpole to student pick up and walk your child back to your car.  This insures both you and your child are safe while allowing our traffic to continue moving.  We will not be able to staff this area to the level we have been all year so it will become incumbent on you as parents to simply be Minnesota nice and follow the new procedures.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.  

Enjoy this beautiful fall and thanks for partnering with us to grow your child socially, behaviorally, and academically.

--Dana, Austin and Ryan

Please continue to visit our website to keep up with news and events at Pioneer Ridge for the school year.  To get a glimpse into personalized learning at PRMS, see the social media links below.  See our news page for more detailed information.  You can also find our archived newsletters on this page.

2-Hour Late Start
Thursday, October 5th

Please continue reading the information below:
8th Grade Washington DC Trip MANDATORY Meeting October 1st or 2nd
Chaska Homecoming Parade Route Change
PRIDE is Everywhere at PRMS
New ePass System at PRMS
PRMS Advisory Overviw
Seeking Parent Volunteers to Serve as Advisory/Ambassadors
Student Picture Retake Day is October 27th
Bus Transportation
Join the PRMS Knowledge Bowl Team!
WEB Program for 6th Grade Students
PRMS Yearbook Orders due November 22nd
PRMS Apparel Available for the Holidays
District News
Nutrition Services Information
News From the Nurse
Counselors' Corner
Can You Help? PRMS PTO Needs You!
Set up Your Campus Portal Account Today
Family Breaks

8th Grade Washington DC Trip MANDATORY Meeting October 1st or 2nd
Hello parents/guardians of PRMS students going to Washington DC this month!  How exciting this trip will be for your child!!
There is a MANDATORY MEETING that takes place in early October.  The student traveler and at least one parent/guardian must attend.  Mr. Moran, our trip coordinator, will offer the same meeting two different times to give you some options.  We know you are very busy!  So plan to attend one of these meeting options please:
  • Option #1 - Afternoon meeting from 4pm-4:45pm on Sunday, October 1st in the Commons


  • Option #2 - MORNING meeting from 7:30AM-8:15AM on Monday, Oct 2nd in Room B203 (Mr. Moran's room).
If you are able to make the Sunday meeting, you might find it preferable to Monday morning when you will be facing a very full parking lot.
Itinerary, paperwork, trip procedures, schedules, and behavior expectations will all be covered in great detail at this meeting so we look forward to seeing you at whichever meeting fits your schedule the best.
*** The trip leaves PRMS at 3:45AM (show up by 3:30am) on Thursday, Oct 19th and returns to PRMS at about 8:15pm on Saturday, Oct 21st.
Mr. Joe Moran

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Chaska Homecoming Parade Route Change
T his year's Chaska High School Homecoming Parade has been moved from downtown Chaska to a route near the school. With road construction around downtown Chaska, the parade needed to relocate. The parade starts at Purple Brick and Hundertmark roads, proceeds north on Hundertmark Road, east on Pioneer Trail to end in Chaska High School's west parking lot
The parade starts at 4 p.m., Friday Oct. 6. Pioneer Trial will be closed for approximately 1/2 hour to accommodate the parade route.

PRIDE is Everywhere at PRMS
PRIDE is our system of implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS).  It's purpose is to provide a school-wide, district-wide approach for teaching, recognizing and rewarding positive student behaviors while identifying and discussing undesirable behaviors.  The PRIDE program also support the district's Behaviors that Support Learning which all teachers with be reporting on this year.  Read more...

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New ePass System at PRMS       
We are fortunate to be in our third year of utilizing Chromebooks to enhance learning at Pioneer Ridge.  This year, for the first time, all of our students have a district-issued Chromebook.  One of the benefits is our ability to use and electronic pass system.  Learn more about our new ePass System.

Please visit the Connexion website for frequently asked questions about Chromebooks. 
PRMS Advisory Overview
*Did you have a conversation with your child(ren) about his/her Monthly Learning Reflection?
What is advisory?  
Every teacher at PRMS has a small group of students they meet with for the purpose of advising them on academic, social, and/or future-planning issues.  Relationships are necessary for students to feel connected; advisory creates that opportunity every day for students to connect with the same adult and be supported in their middle school journey.
Advisory Daily Themes
Our advisory has  daily focus themes building-wide:
  • Mondays - Team Building
  • Tuesdays - Building Processes (PRIDE review, behavior's that support learning lessons etc.)
  • Block day - Grade level focus on community service, character education, high school and career planning
  • Friday - School-wide day for reflection.  
Our advisory time has been moved to the middle of the day to support students in selecting their WIN time needs and offering a mid-day check-in with a caring adult.
Monthly Learning Reflection
On Friday's students spend time reflecting on their week.  They reflect on their academic pacing in their courses (ahead of pace, on pace, or behind pace), on their WIN time selections and their behavior throughout the week.  During this time, advisors are conferencing with advisees to support his/her choices throughout the week.  On the last Friday of the month, students complete a Monthly Learning Reflection on their overall progress.  This is completed during advisory by each student for the purpose of sharing at home.  The expectation for students is that they will bring their Monthly Learning Reflection home to discuss their progress with you.  We are not asking this to be signed or returned, we are simply asking you and your child to have some conversation about the progress and choices they are making in school.  Our hope is that this will allow you some greater understanding of their progress, choices, and behaviors at school.  During our November conferences, you will also have the opportunity to review and discuss this with your child's advisor.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your son/daughter's advisor.

Seeking Parent Volunteers to Serve as Advisors/Ambassadors
The Special Education Advisory Council needs parents/guardians to represent the interests of district learners with disabilities and advise the special education department.  Read more...

The Teaching and Learning Department is also looking for a parent/guardian representative for their advisory board.  If you are interested, please contact Dana Miller at

The District is looking for involved parents to join our 2017-18 Ambassador Program. This is a two-way program with involved parents--we share information with them and pay attention to their feedback, and they help us promote a positive image of ECCS to both prospective and current students, families, as well as to the community.  Please contact Dana Miller at if you are interested in becoming an Ambassador for our district. 

Student Picture Retake Day is Friday, October 27th
Once we receive picture packages from Lifetouch after our recent make-up day, your child will be bringing them home.  A Lifetouch photographer will be available Friday morning, October 27th, in the Commons to retake student pictures.  If you would like your student's picture retaken, send the entire original picture package to school with them to give to the photographer.  This is how Lifetouch ensures you get the correct packages printed of the student's retake pictures.

Any students who have not yet had their picture taken this year are also encouraged to have their picture taken that morning.  All students must have a picture taken for the school yearbook and for their ID.  Students should listen for their grade-level to be called over announcements.

Bus Transportation
With the change in school hours this year, Pioneer Ridge has become the second tier of bus routes.  This means that the high school routes must first be completed, so that those same buses can make their way to their PRMS routes.

We are also experiencing an increase in the needs for shuttles between schools as we honor grandfathering requests and other school change requests due to the recently enacted boundary changes.  All of these route changes and shuttles must be coordinated so that routes can run on time.  It takes time for drivers to learn their routes and for transportation to recognize needed adjustments.

We thank you all for your continued patience as transportation works to get buses running on time and all of our routes set up in the most efficient way possible.  As a school we will continue to support as much as we can to help students understand their bus schedules and get to the buses on time for pick up in the afternoons.

If you are experiencing continuing issues with late buses, inaccurate pick-up/drop-off information, or other issues relating to the logistics of your transportation, please contact our transportation offices at 952-556-6160.

Join the PRMS Knowledge Bowl Team! 
Does your student love trivia?  Join the PRMS Knowledge Bowl team for a group trivia competition.  We practice mid-Nov through mid-Feb before school (8:00-8:30) on Tues and Thurs.  There are 3 meets and the first one is at PRMS on Dec 7th.   Registration forms are due by Oct 13 to either Mrs. Kramer (A201) or the front office.  Please contract if you have further questions.

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WEB Program for 6th Grade Students
The WEB ("Where Everyone Belongs") program is off and running at PRMS!  The 8th grade WEB Leaders did an amazing job of working with their 6th grade students on the first day of school.  WEB Leaders worked with their small groups to teach team-building, create relationships, and share advice and insights about how to be successful in middle school.  The program will continue throughout the school year with WEB Leaders visiting their 6th grade advisory classrooms at the end of each month.  We are excited about the ways our 8th graders are showing leadership through this program and the positive effect it is having on our 6th grade community!

PRMS Yearbook Orders due November 22nd   
Please order your yearbook online by Tuesday, November 22, 2017.  Learn more...
PRMS Apparel Available for the Holidays    
Our initial PRMS apparel order window is complete, but watch for news later this month with a link to a new online store. You will be able to order until 11:59pm on Monday, November 27th with orders arriving prior to winter break.  Sample sizes are available in the main office, so you will be able to try on items prior to placing your online order.

District Newsletter
To learn about important information from the district, please click here.  Spanish translations are contained at the bottom of the article.

Nutrition Services Information
Please see the Nutrition Services Back-to-School letter.
The prices are as follows:
Breakfast K - 12:  $1.70
Lunch Middle School:  $2.75
The cost of additional milk will remain the same at $0.50.

You will be able to deposit funds into your student's account at the open house, or you may use the  MyPaymentsPlus site to deposit funds online.

New this year, is an Unpaid Meal Charge Procedure.  Please be sure to review this information.

For more information, or to apply for free/reduced lunch status, please visit the  Nutrition Services website.

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News from the Nurse
Children's Dental Services will be providing a low-cost dental clinic at myHealth in Hopkins on Wednesday, October 25th. Learn more here.

If you have any questions or need assistance with a form, please contact Terri Tompkins or Mary Alice Mayerle at 952-556-7819. 

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PRMS Counselors' Corner
As your child's school counselors, we want to make sure we are here to help all students throughout the year! We are here to provide academic, emotional and social support to all students.

If you would like to talk to either one of us throughout the year about any concerns you have about your child, please call us or send us an email. We are here to help!

To learn more about our recent student survey or the Backpack Food Program please click here.  
Kris Moe (A-L), 952-556-7833, 
Ryan Newell (M-Z), 952-556-7832,

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Can You Help? PRMS PTO Needs You!
We would love to have you join PRMS PTO! We have several active 8th grade parents who will be "graduating" out of PRMS in the spring of 2018. We are in need of a few leaders to learn the ropes and help grow the PTO.  We assist the school with parent communication, organize a small fundraiser and meet 5 times a year.  We would love to have YOU! Please e-mail us at with any questions you may have!

If you are interested in joining PTO, please watch for our meeting schedule in future newsletters.  If you have specific questions, feel free to call or email Ryan Meulemans, Administrative Dean, at 952-556-7812 or
--Tonya Bushey and Michelle Donahue

Set up Your Campus Portal Account Today 
As your child progresses to secondary school, it becomes very important that the district have at least one email address on file per household, as the majority of our teacher, school and district communications are sent using this method.

It is also recommended that each parent/guardian have a Campus Portal account, allowing you access to your child's schedule, other student information and to update your contact information.  To set up an account, please contact the main office at or call 952-556-7800. 

Family Breaks
Family breaks are times when students and families can count on no new assignments being due after a school break.  The first family break will be October 19-22 for the Education Minnesota break.  Our hope is that by clearly setting aside these times, families can make plans accordingly and students can enjoy time away from the stressors of schoolwork.

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