The Wise Owl

The Official Newsletter of the Park Ridge School District


October 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


  • October 9 - Early Dismissal (Students Only)


  • October 16 - BOE Meeting (7 PM)


  • November 7 - Staff Only Day (Schools Closed for Students)


  • November 9 & 10 - Schools Closed (NJEA Convention)


  • November 22 - Early Dismissal (Students & Staff)


  • November 23 & 24 - Schools Closed (Thanksgiving Recess)





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


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:


I hope you will agree the school year is off to a fantastic start. Despite the wet September weather, our students and staff members have hit the ground running in all aspects of school life.


Thank you to all of the parents who joined us at Back to School Night in each building. The partnership that is fostered when parents take an interest in their child's education is very much appreciated by our faculty. I know you have all heard the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." In Park Ridge the village is caring, enthusiastic and well-informed. Thank you.


Please take a minute to review the information from our Project Executive (Legacy Construction Management) regarding the HS Locker Room project. While the initial demolition of the old locker rooms was completed on time we have had to stall construction to work out an issue with the septic tank removal and connection of the sanitary lines. We hope to have a solution to both issues next week and look forward to the contractor getting back to work.


Following in the footsteps of Allie Schwartz (SchwartzCenter), Drew Welsh and Matt Constante will be providing the PRHS athletic updates in the newsletter each month. Please be sure to follow them on X (Twitter) @PrhsSportsMedia. They do a great job of keeping the school community informed of the latest scores, highlights and player/coach interviews.


Lastly, Owlwitness News is entering its 10th season. The videos, graphics and animation in each segment has been outstanding. If you have never watched an episode, please start with today's edition. CLICK HERE to view the latest from our Media Productions class at the high school. Who knew Mr. Tashian was such a natural in front of the camera?!?!?


Have a nice weekend!


Owls Together,

 

Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Matt And Drew Sports Media Fall Athletics Update

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


As we near the halfway point of the fall campaign, we take in another great start to Park Ridge Athletics. Let's take a look at how some of Park Ridge’s teams are doing to start their seasons. 

 

BOYS SOCCER: Coach Dennis and team are off to a solid 4-3 start. They have accomplished some large feats already, with key wins over division rivals Cresskill and Emerson, both of which required some late game dramatics. Emerson especially stood out as Park Ridge scored in sudden death overtime to defeat their arch rival. 

 

GIRLS SOCCER: The team started off hot, winning their first four games of the season, out-scoring their opponents 25-2. Since then, Coach Evans and the girls have fallen just short in their last three games against Hawthorne, Pascack Hills, and Saddle River Day. They look to turn it around as they face Waldwick, rivals Emerson, and Bergenfield in their next three games. 

 

FOOTBALL: 5 wins and 0 losses is the team's record as they are off to an electrifying start. The team has shown a near flawless performance on both sides of the ball, out-scoring their opponents 155-31 through the first half of the season. The team is looking forward to keeping the winning streak alive as they face Waldwick and Lyndhurst in their upcoming scheduled games.

 

GIRLS TENNIS: The Girls Tennis team currently has a record of 4-2, with impressive wins vs. Emerson and Waldwick, and sits currently in 3rd place in their division. The team has played some competitive matches and have won all of the close contests. With states looming, the team has a busy next three weeks in front of them, as they will have 4 matches each of the next three weeks, but they are ready for the battle.

 

CROSS COUNTRY: The boys team is 9-0 with huge wins over expected champions Hasbrouck Heights, and other strong teams like New Milford and Secaucus. They also had a 2nd place finish at the season opener meet. The varsity squad placed 1st this past Saturday at the Brett Taylor Invitational Meet! Girls are also off to a solid start at 3-3, with four strong runners looking to keep the team on an uphill trajectory!

 

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL: The volleyball squad is 7-3, with important wins over Emerson, Hasbrouck Heights, New Milford, and Midland Park. This strong team will look to continue the good work in their next two games against Waldwick, and Wood-Ridge.

 

With plenty of season left to be played, we cannot wait to see how our teams improve! Lets go Owls!

  • Matt Constante & Andrew Welsh

 

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


DEPARTMENT OF SPECIAL PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES



*PLEASE COMPLETE REGISTRATION BY NEXT WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2023



Pumpkin Decorating, Pizza & 

Park Ridge High School Football!


For Children with Special Needs, Ages 3+


The Park Ridge TEAMM (Together Everyone Achieves More with Mentoring) Program is an opportunity for special needs students to participate in recreational and social activities that meet their needs. The goal is to support the educational, emotional and social development of our students, and to create an inclusive environment for children with special needs and their families, with the assistance of peer mentors.


Date: October 20, 2023


Time/Location:

Option 1: 5:00 - 6:30 PM High School Cafeteria

(Pick up after pizza and pumpkin decorating)


Option 2: 5:00 - 8:00 PM HS Cafeteria/HS Football Field

(Pick up after half time at Sulak Field- 18 Sulak Ln.)


Fee: $5


Students will gather in the HS Cafeteria to decorate pumpkins and eat pizza. They will then walk over to the high school football field and attend the football game as a group. Students will be assisted by High School and Middle School Volunteer Mentors. You may drop your child off at this event. Pre K age students may be dropped off for pumpkin decorating and pizza, however they must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at the football game. If you have any concerns about leaving your child, please indicate on the Sign Up form.


To sign up, please follow this link: Sign Up Form


Please send payment to:


Park Ridge Department of Special Services

TEAMM Program

2 Park Ave

Park Ridge, NJ 07656

 

Checks made payable to Park Ridge Schools.


No one will be denied participation due to a financial obligation - please email the TEAMM Advisor, Ms. Sarah-Kate Maskin ([email protected]) with any questions.

PRHS Financial Aid Night


The 2024–25 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) includes unprecedented changes to how students and families apply for federal student aid and how eligibility is determined. The 2024–25 FAFSA will be available in December 2023.

 

Learn about the changes and important Financial Aid information at this free event:

 

Financial Aid Night

Wednesday, October 18 @ 7 PM

PRHS Little Theater 

 

See FLYER for more information.


1:1 Laptop Update (Grades 3-12)


The MacBook Air laptops that our students and staff are using in school and at home are currently in their second year. Since they were distributed in September 2022, an unusual number of screens have needed to be replaced or repaired. The cost to the district for these replacement screens was approximately $40,000. Just as a reminder, if your child needed to have their screen replaced by the Technology Department you will have the option to renew your Owl Care insurance. The cost for renewal is $250. It is important to note that you are under no obligation to renew the insurance, however, you will be responsible for all repair or replacement costs moving forward if something should happen to your child's laptop. If your child has had their screen replaced, you will receive a letter next week asking if your are interested in renewing your Owl Care.

PRSD Demographics Study


In early August, the BOE received a draft of our Demographic Study from Statistical Forecasting LLC. The report includes a 5-year enrollment projection for the district, along with individual projections for each school. This information will help guide our decision-making in the future. As expected, the largest increase in students will be realized at West Ridge, due to the development of the Sony property. Our next step is to complete a Feasibility Study to determine the best approach to take when planning for the influx of new students during the next 5 years. Much more to come on this.

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 (www.parkridgeschools.org)


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. While we were hoping to have this ready for September, we encountered some delays over the summer and hope to have it online by early October.

Class III Special Law Enforcement Officer


Currently, all schools in the district are protected by a Special Law Enforcement Officer (Class III).


Officer Bossolt is a retired police officer from the Township of Montclair where he also served as a DARE Instructor. He has been working with the East Brook School Community as their dedicated security officer.


Officer Stallone is a retired member of the Bergen County Sheriff's Department where he served as the Commander of the Crime Scene Unit. He has been assisting the West Ridge School Community.


And Officer Solimano started working at PRHS. He has an extensive background in law enforcement and worked as a SLEO in the Westwood School District last year.


The Board wants to thank all of the members of the school community who have welcomed these officers to their respective schools.


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

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


Some unforeseen items were discovered while working on the Locker Room Addition Project. The septic system removal which was included in the contract, must be disposed of at a different facility than originally specified. All parties, led by the school’s Environmental Consultant, are diligently working on the proper removal. During the field verification of the existing conditions of the sanitary sewer system, a discrepancy was found. The architect, engineers, contractor, and construction managers have been working through all the options to provide the best solution for the Park Ridge School District. The entire project team is working tirelessly on both issues to reach a resolution, which is nearing final sign-off. Multiple on-site meetings, zoom calls, and emails have been conducted to find the best path forward. While the delays are not ideal by any stretch, they can happen especially for unforeseen items. We will continue to update the administration regularly.


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