The Wise Owl

The Official Newsletter of the Park Ridge School District

February 2024

“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

  • February 12 - PRHS Q2 Report Cards Available Online

  • February 19-23 - Winter Recess (Schools Closed)

  • March 7 - HS World Language International Dinner (5:30-7:00 PM)

  • March 14 - EB/WR Parent - Teacher Evening Conferences (6-8 PM)

  • March 15 - Early Dismissal (EB/WR Only)

Important Reminders

BOE Test Score Presentation

At the BOE meeting on August 30th, Dr. Bernardo presented our 2023 NJ Graduate Proficiency Assessment results to the public. The complete presentation can be found at this link Click Here

At the BOE meeting on October 16th, Dr. Bernardo presented our 2023 NJ Student Learning Assessment results to the public. The complete presentation can be found at this link Click Here

2023-24 K-6 Student - Parent Handbook

Please be sure to review the information contained in the handbook Click Here

PRSD State Assessment Calendar

Please click on the link below to view the NJ State Assessment Calendar ...

2023-24 State Assessment Calendar

From the Superintendent of Schools ...

Dear School Community Member:

Happy Super Bowl Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed the big game and was able to spend time with family and friends. Apparently, no lead is safe when you are playing against Patrick Mahomes. Congratulations to our Chiefs fans!

Back in Park Ridge, it looks like winter is going to make one final push during the end of February and into early March. Despite what the groundhog predicted, cold and wintry weather will be back for the foreseeable future. It is important to note that all school-related closings, delayed openings and early dismissals are made in conjunction with surrounding districts. The superintendents from Pascack Valley, Emerson, Westwood, Montvale, River Vale, Woodcliff Lake and Hillsdale collaborate the night before or the morning of a significant weather event to decide if a closing or alternate schedule is deemed necessary. And, yes, we are aware that a storm is on the way this evening.

Last week students at East Brook and West Ridge celebrated the 100th day of school. It is hard to believe that we have already passed the midpoint of the school year. In just a few months we will be planning our end of year activities, celebrations and graduations, which is always a highlight for our students and staff.

At the next BOE meeting, I will be placing the new courses at the high school I mentioned in an earlier newsletter on the agenda for approval. Cybersecurity, Introduction to Guitar and AP Macro Economics should all be available to students in September.

We are also hoping to expand opportunities available to PRHS students through Bergen Community College. The Early College Program enables current high school students to earn an associate degree from Bergen Community College while attending PRHS. This will be a cost-effective way for interested students to get a head start on their college careers.

That's all for now. Enjoy the snow!

Owls Together,


Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Matt And Drew Sports Media Winter Athletics Update

Written by Drew Welsh and Matt Constante (PRHS Class of 2024)

With the Winter season underway, let's see how our Park Ridge athletics are doing!


 Boys Basketball: The Boys Basketball team stands with a winning record of 12-9 with standout wins against rivals Emerson and a very solid Pompton Lakes team. The Boys Basketball team continues to improve throughout the season as they have a few games remaining in their schedule. Senior Deron Mclaughlin and Sophomore Sam Fasola account for more than half of the teams total points this season as they put together a very solid 2023-2024 campaign for themselves.


Girls Basketball: The Park Ridge Girls Basketball team has been nothing but impressive throughout the 2023-2024 campaign. They are standing with a very solid 16-4 overall record and have had huge wins over teams like Creskill and Rutherford this season. Junior Allie Shenloogian has been an All-Star this year, reaching the 1,000 point threshold in the middle of the season and accounting for 478 points this year alone.


Wrestling: The Emerson/Park Ridge Wrestling team have put together yet another stellar season. They end the regular season with a record of 19-5, one of their best ending records in the last 5 years. Winning the league, conference, and both State quarterfinals and semi-final matches, they fell just short to Kittattiny in the Sectional Finals, losing 35-22. Seniors, Ryan Messick, Matt Constante, Jacob Shannon, Luke Macfie, and Cole Hughes all came up big this season having a combined 90+ wins and less than 15 losses throughout the regular season.


Winter Track: The winter track team is having another fantastic season competing in meets at locations such as the New York City Armory, Staten Island, and Toms River. Standouts include state-qualifying seniors Nicole Freiler and Patrick Tallman, as well as seniors Amanda Cicero, Jada Rios, and Joshua Pena. Juniors Ava Peirano and William O’Donovan have also played a strong role for the squad.


Bowling: Park Ridge Bowling is having a very good season with a 10-5 record. Junior Ronny Yun is having an incredible season with an average of 163.18, and a high score of 232. Senior Ethan Spur and Benjamin Danenza also are strong contributors. Best of luck the rest of the way!


Ice Hockey: The hockey team is 9-8 with a strong 5-2 record in Big North play. Currently on a three game win streak, which includes massive wins over Old Tappan, Paramus Catholic, and Ridgewood. Austin Groves and Zach Groves have been leading the way with 28 and 46 points respectively. Sophomore Jack Sheehan has also tallied 16 goals and 15 assists on his stat line, with Owen Dargan sitting at 19 points. 

Competitive Cheer: The Owls continue to soar through the 2024 competition season. The team maintains a 10-1 record overall, including competitive routines in both the Gameday and All-Music categories. The Owls closed January out with the first-ever divisional title for the NJIC North Division, and will travel to Brookdale Community College at the end of February for the NJCDCA State Championship. 

  • Matt Constante & Andrew Welsh


Follow us on Twitter @PrhsSportsMedia to stay up to date with all Park Ridge Athletics Updates! 

NJ Learning Acceleration Program: High Impact Tutoring Grant

In September, the District applied for the High Impact Tutoring Grant from the State of NJ. Funding was requested for before and after-school tutoring at East Brook and West Ridge. The target group was third and fourth graders in English-Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. Last month, the district was notified that the grant application was approved in the amount of $38K. It is important to note that students will be offered this opportunity based on a set criteria. Once the NJDOE releases its official guidance on the use of these funds, parents of qualifying students will be notified and offered the opportunity for tutoring.

Winter Weather Reminder

The Park Ridge School District has contracted the services of Blackboard (reverse 911) to notify the school community about school closings, early dismissals, delayed openings or other emergencies. Depending on the contact information you have provided, the system will send out a voice, text and/or email to all parents/guardians. If warranted, this notification will be sent out in the evening, prior to the impacted school day. If not, the notification will be sent at 5:45AM on the morning of the impacted school day.

In addition to the Blackboard notification system, you can find school closing, early dismissal and delayed opening information in the following locations:


District Website:

District X (Twitter): @parkridgesupt

Channel 7 – ABC7NY


Early Dismissal Schedule

  • West Ridge - 8:35 AM - 1:00 PM
  • East Brook – 8:35 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Jr-Sr High School – 7:50 AM - 12:13 PM
  • Owl House - 8:35 AM - 1:00 PM

Pre-School Early Dismissal Schedule

  • Morning Session:            8:35 - 10:40 AM
  • Afternoon Session:        11:00 - 1:00 PM


Delayed Opening Schedule

  • West Ridge - 10:05 AM – 3:20 PM
  • East Brook – 10:05 AM – 3:20 PM
  • Jr-Sr High School – 9:15 AM – 2:44 PM
  • Owl House - 10:05 AM - 3:00 PM

Pre-School Schedule for Delayed Opening

  • Morning Session:           10:05 AM - 12:30 PM
  • Afternoon Session:          1:00 PM - 3:20 PM

PRHS Locker Rooms & Fitness Center Update

Provided by: Conor O'Brien, Project Executive, Legacy Construction Management

The Contractor along with the Architect and Construction Manager has been hard at work on the Locker Room Addition Project. The temporary shoring work has been completed allowing for the remaining sections of the existing locker rooms to be demolished. With the demolition complete the construction of the new locker rooms can begin. Currently, the contractor is working on the footings and foundations for the building perimeter. The architect, engineers, contractor, and construction manager work daily to progress the project towards its completion. 

Click here to view Design Schematic

A Message from Pomptonian Food Service

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has informed us that there is a nationwide milk supply chain shortage related to packaging issues. New Jersey is among the States affected. As a result, the district will need to temporarily switch to another vendor to supply milk. This change will result in the elimination of the skim milk and chocolate milk options. Only 1% milk will be offered for the near future. As soon as the issue with the supply chain packaging resolves itself, we will return to our normal milk offering options. 

Network Connectivity Update

The BOE has contracted with Millennium Communications Group Inc. to install a private fiber network between all three schools. This project will include a fiber run from East Brook to PRHS to West Ridge for a total of 2.65 miles. This will increase the speed and efficiency of our district network. We will also gain much needed flexibility in terms of designing the network, by updating switches and consolidating servers. We were approved at the end of August for $90,255 from the E-Rate program, which is equal to 40% of all eligible costs.

PRSD Website (

The PRSD Website was switched to a new platform on January 16th! Please check it out at Thank you to all of the parents and faculty who responded to the district website survey. The website committee now has input from 180+ school community members to consider while working on this revision. The new website will be ADA compliant, contain more information and be formatted in a manner that is more user friendly.

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 School Calendar

On November 21, 2022 the BOE approved the 2023-24 school calendar. The calendar is available at the link below:

2023-24 School Calendar

On November 20, 2023 the BOE approved the 2024-25 school calendar. Please be advised that school will open for students after Labor Day. The calendar is available at the link below:

2024-25 School Calendar