The Wise Owl

The Official Newsletter of the Park Ridge School District

January 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

  • January 15 - MLK Jr Day (Schools Closed)

  • January 26 - HS Mid-Terms (Early Dismissal - PRHS Only)

  • January 29 - HS Mid-Terms (Early Dismissal - PRHS Only)

  • January 29 - BOE Meeting (7 PM)

  • January 30 - HS Mid-Terms (Early Dismissal - PRHS Only)

  • January 31 - West Ridge Kindergarten Orientation (6:30 PM)

  • February 1 - East Brook Kindergarten Orientation (6 PM)

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 New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays and found time to spend with family and friends. It looks like the beginning of 2024 is going to be filled with a variety of winter weather. Please review the information below regarding schedule changes or closings to our regular school day.

We are currently piloting new science materials and manipulatives with our students in grades 2-6. The program puts an increased emphasis on investigation and critical thinking. Hopefully, this will build the desire for students to become young scientists and promote hands-on learning in our elementary science program.

At the high school, Mr. Lederman will be recommending several new classes to the BOE for the 2024-25 school year. Cybersecurity and Introduction to Guitar will be offered as electives to students in grades 10-12. And AP Macro Economics will be added to the course catalog in our Business Department. Please be assured that we continue to update and add to our course offerings whenever possible at PRHS.

Lastly, our winter sports teams are off to great start! As a former basketball coach, I always enjoy leaving my office and watching games in the gym. Our students and coaches on all levels never disappoint in the way they represent Park Ridge. If you have time, please be sure to cheer on our student-athletes. Go Owls!

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 well underway, let's take a look at what's going on with our teams!


Boys Basketball: The Boys Team are also putting together a solid campaign in the beginning of the season with an overall record of 5-4 and a 3-1 record in the NJIC. They come off a big win against rivals Emerson, and their most recent win being against Waldwick. Senior Deron McLaughlin and Sophomore Sam Fasola continue to shine day in and day out leading the team in points. The team has a busy schedule with 4 games in the upcoming week.


Girls Basketball: The Park Ridge Girls Basketball team are living up to the hype as they are sitting with an undefeated record of 8-0. They come off of a big tournament win, taking 1st at the Garfield Holiday tournament and have earned themselves potentially one of the biggest wins of the season against a tough Cresskill team. The girls team continues to dominate and looks forward to an exciting state run.


Wrestling: The Emerson/Park Ridge Wrestling team started off the season by defeating rival Pascack Hills in dominating fashion, by a score of 47-22. Since then, the team has gone on to wrestle in 7 more matches going 5-2, giving them an overall record of 6-2 heading into mid-January. The team looks to make a statement in the coming weeks, as they wrestle key league matches against Becton and Lyndhurst.


Winter Track: For the girls the team is led by Stacy Caracozza, Amanda Cicero, Lauren Amorese, and Nicole Freiler, who topped the team in 55 and 200 meters at their first meet. The boys standouts include Trent Plattel, Josh Pena, William O’Donovan, and Patrick Tallman. Pena topped the team in the 800 and 4x400 meters to start off the season. The track team participates in meets at Rockland Community College, Ocean Breeze in Staten Island, NYC armory, and the Toms River Bubble.


Bowling: The bowling squad is off to a red hot start, with an outstanding 6-2 record. Key standouts on the squad include Benjamin Danenza, Jameson DeTitta, Ethan Spurr, and Ronny Yun. Yun is leading the team in average score and holds the record for highest game this season with a score of 205.


Ice Hockey: The Pascack Valley hockey team (Pascack Hills, Pascack Valley, Park Ridge) are 3-4 so far. A strong attacking style has kept the team in most games, and has shined the brightest in a 10-0 win over Paramus Catholic, and a 10-2 win against Clifton. They play games several times a week through early February so they will look to continue to improve over the next month.

Competitive Cheer: The Owls Competition Cheer Team will kick off its season on Tuesday at New Milford HS at 6pm. This is the start of the 2024 NJIC MIni Meets hosted weekly, around the conference. The Owls will host a meet on Tuesday, January 16th at PRHS, 7pm start. Come out and see some of the best competitive teams in the county, while cheering on the owls. #TalonsOut 


Park Ridge Winter Sports look to continue their historical success by achieving individual and team awards all season long. We wish the Winter Teams good luck with their ongoing season!

  • Matt Constante & Andrew Welsh


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

Amplify Science Pilot Program

Dr. Bernardo, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Technology

Good news for our youngest investigators! In grades 2 through 6, a small sample of our teachers are piloting one unit of a new set of science materials. Amplify Science is an investigative, student-centered material set that challenges students to solve authentic science dilemmas and answer questions using scientific method and design thinking. These materials are fully aligned with the NJSLS for Science, and could help to provide a basis for deeper understanding of how science helps us to understand our world. While our teachers do a wonderful job with incorporating experiments into our current curriculum, we wanted to see if more focused materials could help support the investigative spirit in all of our students. If the pilot is successful, there will hopefully be more news to come on science in Park Ridge! 

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 Mid-Term Exams

This is just a reminder to mark your calendars. Mid-term exams will take place on Friday, January 26, and Monday, January 29 from 7:50am – 12:15pm. Tuesday, January 30 will also be a half day of instruction with the afternoon reserved for make-up exams and conflicts. Details and procedures for each grade level will be distributed by Mr. Lederman and Mr. Tashian.

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 have been hard at work on the Locker Room Addition Project. The underground piping work on the project has been completed. The sanitary and storm sewer piping has been installed and tied into the existing building in accordance with the project documents. The temporary shoring work has begun with the contractor drilling in the shoring piles. Once the shoring is complete the building construction will begin. 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 new PRSD Website will be live on January 16th! 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