The Wise Owl

The Official Newsletter of the Park Ridge School District

February 2023

“Owls Together: Community, Friendship, and Kindness”

The Owl Mission

The Park Ridge School District is committed to educating and empowering all students to think critically and creatively to express their full potential. We cultivate a community of lifelong learners and nurture all students to be kind, ethical, and responsible citizens, as well as independent, productive members of an increasingly complex and interconnected world. As a district, we embrace individuality and value cultural diversity, equity, and mutual respect.

The Owl Vision

We are dedicated to creating a culture and climate of collaboration and acceptance, where all members of the district are encouraged to challenge themselves and learn from their experiences. We recognize the importance of interconnection and encourage development of multiple intelligences and divergent thinkers. We strive to support our students as they grow academically, socially, physically, and emotionally, and recognize that this process is enhanced through collaboration within the larger community. The Park Ridge School District strives to advocate for the individual needs and goals of every member of the school community, by fostering an environment where growth and well-being are paramount.

Upcoming Dates

  • March 13 - BOE Meeting (7 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • March 23-25 - HS Musical "SpongeBob" (7 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • March 28 - EB/WR Report Cards (2nd Trimester - PowerSchool Parent Portal)

  • March 30 - Gr. 5 DARE Graduation (6 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • April 7 - Schools Closed (Religious Holiday)

  • April 10-14 - Schools Closed (Spring Recess)

Important Reminders

BOE Test Score Presentation

At the BOE meeting on January 23rd, Dr. Bernardo and the administration presented our 2022 NJ Start Strong Assessment results to the public. The complete presentation can be found at this link Click Here

2022-23 District Testing Information

For a complete listing of all assessment dates, please Click Here

Black History Month

As Black History Month draws to close it is important for us all to continue to learn the fullness of Black history and culture. But, that learning cannot be contained in just one month alone. It is important for our school community to continue to mobilize resources and create space for students of all backgrounds and cultures to thrive. HS Students are encouraged to join our E.R.A.S.E club to continue to explore Black History, freedom movements and the inclusion and rights of all the diverse members of the Park Ridge School District.  

From the Superintendent of Schools ...

Dear School Community Member:

Who would have predicted that the first snowstorm of the year would wait until February 28th? Suffice it to say that for snow lovers this winter has certainly been a disappointment. I just hope winter is not waiting for us in March or early April, because that's when it's time to start watching our spring sports teams take to the fields and track.

As a district, we continue to provide more opportunities for students in the classroom. Next year, the HS Business offerings are being revised and will include Entrepreneurship, Media Marketing and Sports Entertainment Management. In Science, we will be offering AP Environmental Science. And future plans include the introduction of AP Macroeconomics during the 24-25 school year. The teachers, administrators and curriculum office continue to move us forward in these areas.

We are moving closer to bidding our HS Locker Room addition and renovation. This project will provide a much needed facelift to our current facility. Not to mention, a full size weight room and wellness center for our student-athletes to utilize during and after school. Unfortunately, the bid opening has been delayed until early May, but construction is still scheduled to begin at the end of June and will continue through August of 2024.

For college hoops fans, nothing beats the month of March. And in my opinion, March Madness is the greatest sporting event of the year. Unless of course the NY Giants are in the Super Bowl, which might be a closer reality than Mr. Stokes is willing to admit. Every year there is always a surprise underdog who advances to the Sweet 16 or beyond. If you know who this year's St. Peter's is going to be, please let me know. My brackets will thank you.

Owls Together,

Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

2023-24 Kindergarten Registration & Orientation

Park Ridge children who will be 5 years old on or before October 1, 2023 will be eligible for full day Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year.

Children living west of Pascack Road will attend West Ridge Elementary School. Children living on or east of Pascack Road will attend East Brook School.

If you have not registered your child for September, please do so ASAP. The earlier we have an accurate account of the number of students who are enrolling, the easier it is to plan for next year.

Please access the on-line portion of registration at: starting on Friday, February 3, 2023.

You can access and print the following required forms which you will need to bring into the school during registration hours.

1. New Student Medical Forms

2. New Student Home Language Form

3. New Student Owner/Landlord Affidavit Form

Please note, in addition to the forms listed above, the following documents are also required when you register your child for Kindergarten:

1. Original and a copy of your child’s birth certificate

2. Proof of residential identification

3. Most recent immunization history from pediatrician

If you need assistance, please contact Mrs. Syring at East Brook School at (201) 573-6000 Ext. 2000 or Ms. McCarthy at West Ridge at (201) 573-6000 Ext. 3000. 

Schwartz Center (PRHS Athletics Update)

Written by Allie Schwartz (PRHS Class of 2023)

The Winter Season is coming to an end… but the PRide in Park Ridge High School Athletics is everlasting. The teams have put in their best effort over these past few months and have been very successful at the end of their respected seasons.


WRESTLING: The Wrestling Team had a solid season, finishing 14-8. The team secured a Semifinal win against Newtown 39-36 to take them to the NJSIAA Final Round. While the team came up short, their motivation and enthusiasm were far from lacking.


COMPETITION CHEER: What a season for Competition Cheer!! The athletes finished off their season with eight 1st Place wins in COED Local Intermediate All Music. The team was awarded 2nd Place in the State Championship for COED All Music and 3rd Place COED Gameday!!


HOCKEY: An absolute grind for Pascack Hockey. The boys have an incredible bond, which made them so prosperous over the past couple of months. While their season unfortunately ended in the Semifinal Round, the team went 17-7-1, one of their most successful seasons yet!  


WINTER TRACK: The team has only one match left, the State Meet of Champions. These individuals have put in their best effort to power through the remaining meets of the season!


BOYS BASKETBALL: The Boys Basketball made a statement against their rival Emerson in the Quarterfinal Round of States. Their 47-35 win was a great moment for the team!! While the boys fell short in the next round, their commitment to the game is inspiring, and their love for the team and the sport leaves them with an unforgettable bond.


GIRLS BASKETBALL: An electric game during the Semifinal Round of States for Girls Basketball against Passaic Charter had the crowd in awe and the team jumping for joy! The girls have put up a tremendous fight against some of the most difficult teams in the region. The girls were able to experience the Final Round of States, something that has not been since 2019 in the program!


The weather may still be cold, but as we look to the future, the Spring Season is coming closer! Congratulations to all of the Park Ridge High School Athletic Teams in their seasons! We now transition from the Main Gym to the outdoors, heading to the fields to begin the final sports season!  


-         Allie Schwartz | SchwartzCenter

Follow on @SchwartzReport_ on Twitter to receive live updates, video coverage and stats from all PRHS Teams!

Focus on PRHS Science, Computers and the Arts

Written by Stacy Casatelli, Supervisor of Science, Visual & Performing Arts, and Computer Education

Park Ridge High School Science students have been busy attending different field trips this year. In October, the Environmental Science students participated in a real-world case study called Fishkill at the Meadow Lands Environmental Center. Students used problem-solving skills and other experimental fieldwork to gather water quality and soil samples to find answers to the FishKill problem in Pennsylvania and create a solution using the model creek at the Environmental Center. The Honors Anatomy & Physiology students had the opportunity to attend the Liberty Science Center in February to watch two neurological surgeries. Students had the chance to ask questions, see and touch the instrumentation, and experience different medical professionals' roles during surgery. Our 7th-grade science students will attend the Super Scientific Circus at the Bergen County Performing Arts Center on March 13. Students will witness the amazing things science can do, involving boomerangs, bubbles, beachballs, bull whips, and magic while introducing the principles of friction, inertia, centripetal force, aerodynamics, sonic booms, air pressure, and ultraviolet light. Lastly, our physics students will attend Six Flags Great Adventure in the spring to explore the mechanics and engineering of roller coasters and thrill rides. Students can apply classroom lessons to quantifiable real-world data while experiencing concepts such as zero gravity, friction, etc. 


The Visual & Performing Arts students have been busy! This fall, our high school students performed in the hilarious comedy Clue, while our middle school students performed the laugh-out-loud Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon. This month the Park Ridge Little Theater Players will present The SpongeBob Musical on March 24th, 25th, & 26th at 7 pm. In other news, this year, we had three students from Park Ridge chosen to perform in the Bergen County Band and Chorus. The students performed wonderfully and represented Park Ridge with pride. Our visual and performing art students will also participate in the Teen Arts Awards competition this spring.


PRHS offers new science courses and clubs! This year Mr. Lebreault introduced a new middle school elective called Engineering and Design. This course allows students to explore different engineering professions while participating in real-world problems such as bridge design and construction, and rocketry. Starting in the 2023-2024 school year, AP Environmental Science will now be offered at PRHS. 


Park Ridge High School now offers Esports in the fall, winter, and spring through the Garden State Esports league. Students participate against other schools at the junior varsity and varsity levels, playing different games and accumulating points as a team. Good luck to the spring Esports team and coaches Buscareno and Lebreault! Lastly, the Park Ridge Robotics team continues to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge. Student teams design, build, and code robots to compete against other high school teams in an alliance format. Good luck to the PRHS Robotics team as they continue to compete this year!

Winter Weather Reminder ...

To the disappointment of some and the joy of others, the winter weather has been unusually mild and rainy. As a result, we have not used any Snow Days this year. However, the month of March has always been a wildcard when it comes to snow and ice. As a result, all school districts will continue to watch the weather reports with a close eye. Snow, ice, and sleet can play havoc with school schedules and lead to disrupted school days. It is important to note that Park Ridge collaborates with Emerson, Westwood and all of the Pascack Valley districts for weather related decisions. Here are some general guidelines that we will follow this winter:

  • When facing reports of impending snow and/or bad weather, Park Ridge’s default position will always be to contact the community the morning of school regarding any weather-related change to the school schedule. The only exception is when there is a clear indication that an overwhelming storm is descending upon the region. 

  • It is important for our communities to remember that all school districts make the best decision based on the information available at that time. These are not clear-cut decisions and often information and data are changing up until the morning of a school day.

  • Often local or state officials will declare a “State of Emergency,” and it’s important to note that it is often more of an administrative matter allowing for additional funds to be released. For clarification, it is important to note that such a declaration does not require that schools close. 

  • Families are encouraged to monitor the weather and make plans for all eventualities. Park Ridge will communicate as close as reasonably possible to the start of school.

Note: The PRSD has three (3) emergency closing days built into the school calendar. If these days are not used, all students and staff members will enjoy a longer Memorial Day Weekend. Unused emergency days will be returned in the following order: Friday, May 26th; Tuesday, May 30th; Wednesday, May 31st.

Class III Special Law Enforcement Officers

On February 13th, the Board of Education approved the SLEO III agreement with the Borough. Later that week, the Mayor and Council did the same, which was the last step needed to install retired police officers in all of our schools. Special thanks to Mayor Misciagna and Chief Madden for their leadership and guidance during this entire process. The positions have been posted and the Chief will begin to screen and vet candidates who apply for the positions. Then, the BOE Security Committee and school administration will interview finalists and choose an officer for each building. It is important to note that a SLEO III is not a disciplinarian. Disciplining students is the sole responsibility of the school administration and faculty.

PRHS Locker Rooms & Fitness Center Update

The construction documents have been finalized and were shared with Anser Advisory, an advisor for capital projects. After reviewing the plans, they determined that the total project cost should be within our budget for the renovation and addition. Fingers crossed! Our architect plans to bid the project at the end of March or early April. Stay tuned ...

Click here to view Design Schematic

PRHS Online Cashless Payment Options for Lunch

Attention PRHS Parents/Guardians: 

Parents now have the option to prepay for cafeteria meals online, via credit card or ACH Electronic Checking, using Pay Schools Central. For more information click on the link below:

Cashless Payment

PRSD 2023-24 School Calendar

On November 21st, the BOE approved the 2023-24 school calendar. Please be advised that school will open for students after Labor Day. The calendar is available at the link below:

2023-24 School Calendar