middle school students

News

There's a lot happening in our vibrant and growing community! From important reminders to noteworthy events, we’ve included all the latest news here on one page. Make it your first stop when you visit our website to ensure you are always aware of what is going on.

School Start Times Project Update

At the May 22 Board of Education Meeting, Superintendent Baldwin and the Strategic Planning Committee presented their plan for reviewing school start times across the district and the opportunity to change them to align with current research on adolescent sleep and be responsive to elementary level feedback.

We invite you to visit our new webpage dedicated to the School Start Times project.

Teacher of the Year 2017-2018

Ridgefield Public Schools is delighted to announce our teacher of the year for the 2017-2018 school year, Jennifer Roth of East Ridge Middle School! Director of personnel, Karen Dewing, and Superintendent Karen Baldwin surprised Ms. Roth during the teacher appreciation luncheon at East Ridge Middle School on May 5. Watch the video!

In her nomination, one of Ms. Roth’s colleagues commented, "Beyond Jennifer's creative approach to teaching science lessons and activities that stir curiosity, wonder, and inspiration in her students, one of her most unique gifts is an extraordinary ability to deal with people, including, excellent communication, patience, empathy towards others, and a willingness to work together to solve any problems." 

Read more about this exciting announcement here!

Scotts Ridge And East Ridge Middle Schools Receive Digital Citizenship Accolade

Common Sense, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has recognized both Scotts Ridge and East Ridge Middle Schools as Common Sense certified schools in the area of digital citizenship. 

Both Scotts Ridge and East Ridge Middle Schools have demonstrated a commitment to taking a whole-community approach to preparing its students to use the immense power of digital media to explore, create, connect, and learn while limiting the perils that exist in the online realm such as plagiarism, loss of privacy, and cyberbullying. 

"We applaud the faculty and staff of both Scotts Ridge and East Ridge Middle Schools for embracing digital citizenship as an important part of their students' education," said Jessica Lindl, head of Common Sense Education. "They deserves high praise for giving its students the foundational skills they need to compete and succeed in the 21st-century workplace and participate ethically in society at large." 

Ridgefield’s middle schools have been using Common Sense Education's innovative and research-based digital citizenship resources, which were created in collaboration with Dr. Howard Gardner of the GoodPlay Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The resources teach students, educators, and parents tangible skills related to internet safety, protecting online reputations and personal privacy, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyright. The free resources are currently used in more than 90,000 classrooms nationwide. Take a moment to view our Common Sense press release for more information.

Parent Math Night

Please join us April 20, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. to hear from Dr. Yeap Ban Har. This event will take place in the East Ridge Middle School Auditorium. Dr. Yeap is one of the world’s leading trainers of Singapore Math and the Math in Focus program. For additional information, please take a few moments to read the event flyer. Ridgefield is thrilled to welcome Dr. Yeap to our school district. We are looking forward to his work with our parents, students, and teachers.

6th Grade Orientation Presentation

ERMS is excited to welcome the incoming 6th grade students for the fall of 2017. We invited students and parents to an orientation program on March 30. You can view the 6th grade orientation presentation, in case you missed it.

A Day in the District - A Visit to Ridgefield High School's Project Lead the Way Classroom

We invite you to enjoy a day in the district with students at Ridgefield High School participating in Project Lead the Way classes, a multi-level series of engineering courses for high school students. Project Lead the Way is just one of many electives at Ridgefield High School that offers students outlets for creativity, skill building in areas of personal interest, new challenges, and fun! We invite you to view our electives video to learn more about the electives offered at RHS. We hope you enjoy!

8th Grade Panoramic Photo

It's not too late to order your 8th grade panoramic photo! You may view and order your class portrait online.

Parenting the #Selfie Generation: Raising Successful Adults

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. for the final parent workshop in this outstanding series from Project Resilience entitled "Sexting, Tweeting, Snapping, & Other Teen Realities: What Parents Need to Know about Teens and Social Media." Speakers include Tom Dardis, Ridgefield Police Department; Tim Salem, principal, Scotts Ridge Middle School; Robert Miller, PhD, RPS director of technology; Colleen Keenan, student, RHS; and Chris Parrot, MS, president, Your Self Series. Learn more about the event on our program flier.

NWEA MAP Parent Toolkit

Learn more about the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Parent Toolkit. This is a guide to a parent's understanding of the NWEA Assessment.

PTA Special Services Meeting

Mark your calendars for a PTA special services meeting on April 4, 2017, from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. at ERMS LGI. There will be a presentation on "Executive Functioning" by Dr. Melanie Pearl. We hope you will make plans to attend. 

East Ridge Middle School Outdoor Track Team

Calling all runners! Registration is now open for the East Ridge Middle School outdoor track team. Please register online and then click on the "Middle School" button the right-hand of the page to register athletes. The season is set to begin on Monday, March 27. Practices are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and we will meet in the middle school gym. If you have any questions about the program, please e-mail Mrs. Bathrick or Ms. Nappi for more information. We are excited and looking forward to this season! 

eCybermission Science Fair

The 8th grade Science Department is hosting an open house eCybermission science fair to celebrate and share our children’s work. Due to the pending storm threat, the eCybermission science fair will take place on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. We hope that the new date will still allow everyone to participate. View our flyer for all of the details. We can’t wait!

A Day in the District: The East Ridge Middle School Library Learning Center

It’s a makerspace, a TV studio, a collaborative classroom, and more. Learn all about the ERMS Library Learning Center in this A Day in the District article.

New Parent Workshop on February 22

Join us for a new parent workshop in the Parenting the #Selfie Generation series: “The A to Zzzz’s of Managing Sleep With Kids and Teens.” The event will be on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. This workshop will help parents to understand the importance of sleep for kids and teens, recognize the key differences in sleep patterns throughout the life span, and develop effective strategies to promote healthy sleep routines for kids and teens.

As always, admission is free, but registration is requested. You can register online or call (203) 438.2282. Please see our “The A to Zzzz’s of Managing Sleep With Kids and Teens” flyer for additional information.

Coming in March, the next presentation in this series will be "All our Children, Understanding the LGBT World" with author, educator, and editor of Out & Allied, Cathy Plourde, MA. View the All Our Children flyer for more information.

Eighth-Ninth Grade Transition Presentation

Learn more about the transition from eighth grade to ninth grade. Our eighth-ninth grade transition meeting presentation reviews the transition process for our students. Topics include high school skills, course selection, and math pathways.

Parent Workshop on Tuesday, February 7

Our learning continues as we offer our Parenting the #Selfie Generation series, "Interning for Adulthood: Special Skills Kids Need for Success." You won't want to miss this free workshop on Tuesday, February 7. The workshop will help us gain strategies for teaching money management skills to kids of all ages, time management, organizational skills and the importance of chores. Take home ideas to help kids learn skills in problem-solving, self-advocacy, and resolving peer conflicts. Please see our "Interning for Adulthood: Essential Skills Kids Need for Success" flyer for more information.

Capacity Study Press Release

The Ridgefield Board of Education continued its deliberations of the school capacity study during the January 9 board of education meeting. To learn more about the study, we invite you to view the links below.

American Red Cross Babysitter's Course

The American Red Cross will be conducting a babysitter's course here at ERMS. The purpose of the American Red Cross babysitter’s training course is to provide youth ages 11-15 with the information and skills necessary to provide safe and responsible care for children in the absence of parents or guardians. This training will help participants develop skills in leadership and professionalism, basic care, safety, safe play, and first aid. Space is limited to ten people per session. For additional information, please see the registration form or contact Mrs. Lohse. To confirm your space, please leave a check and registration form in the office addressed to Mrs. Lohse’s attention.

There will be three sessions. Each session takes place from 3:00-6:00 p.m. in room 124.

  • American Red Cross Session I: Session I cancelled
  • American Red Cross Session II: Monday, January 23 and 30, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., room 124
  • American Red Cross Session III - Wednesday, February 15 and February 22, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., room 124
8th to 9th Grade Transition

We are entering an exciting time for you and your child as we prepare for your child's transition to Ridgefield High School. Please view our transition timeline for more information on upcoming meetings and registration information.

January Holidays And Important Dates

In the month of January 2017, Ridgefield Public Schools will close on Monday, January 16 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please review the district calendar on our District Calendar page. Board of education (BOE) meetings will take place on Monday, January 9 and Monday, January 23 at 7:30 p.m. Please visit our Board of Education page to learn more about the BOE and how to view meetings live online.  

December Calendar Reminders

Please keep these holiday calendar highlights in mind!

All RPS schools will have early dismissal on Friday, December 23 to begin our winter break. All schools will close December 26, 2016, through January 2, 2017. District offices also close during that time, except on Thursday, December 29 and for a half-day on December 30. This month’s BOE meeting is on December 12. Happy holidays everyone!

Strategic Coherence Planning

Ridgefield Public Schools is seeking your participation and feedback as part of its Strategic Coherence Planning process. Please plan on attending a facilitated focus group session for the purpose of providing your perspective and feedback relative to the district’s survey and the steps the district is initiating to prepare all students for their future in the global society. Focus group questions will target four key areas: the district's (1) Goals for Learning, (2) Teaching and Learning, (3) Measures of Student and Faculty Learning, and (4) External/Organizational Factors.

Focus Group Sessions (choose one)

  • Monday, December 5, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. at the Town Annex, 66 Prospect Street, Ridgefield, CT
Ridgefield Public Schools Annual Rube Goldberg Innovation Expo

Please join us on Monday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m. at Scotts Ridge Middle School for our fourth annual Rube Goldberg Innovation Expo. This event is for all eighth grade students. Please see our flyer for more information. We hope to see you there!

RPS Enrollment Projections and Capacity Study Update - December 7, 2016

View the full presentations online:

The consulting firm of Milone & MacBroom have completed their report of enrollment projections for 2016-17 through 2026-27 and recommends that we do not close an elementary school at this time. These projections (see page 19) are based on many different factors and assumptions including birth rates, home sales, and unemployment rates. 

They also provided an update on the capacity study, a strategic review of how our buildings are being utilized. For an interesting view at how a school built in the 1960’s can support only half the population it was designed for in the 21st century (see pages 29-30).

In creating the capacity report, the firm of Milone & MacBroom have studied floor plans, classroom use by grade level/subject, classrooms used for special education programs, specialty classrooms/labs, the presence of shared spaces, and accessibility such as elevators or barriers. That combined with teacher contract limits, class size guidelines for k-8, industry standards in educational design, and Connecticut School construction grants guidelines has resulted in a report on the projected capacity percentage for each building over the same 10 years (see pages 37, 40, and 43). Please note that Milone & MacBroom define capacity at 90% to build in necessary flexibility, thus a school at 100% capacity is actually not full to the brim but at a number that warrants a red flag indicating a need for  close monitoring and strategic space utilization; this is a standard industry model.

The firm asked the board of education for direction on the various models of school configurations they wished them to apply to the capacity study data. The board chose several, from moving 5th into a 5th-8th grade configuration, creating a 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade system and others. They presented the results in a report to the board of education at the November 28 meeting, and there were no big standout models for how best to reconfigure, but a few possibilities that warrant deeper inquiry such as how the various options would affect bus scheduling and specialty class availability. 

Our superintendent, Dr. Karen Baldwin, thanked them for their continued diligence in testing the assumptions our current policy is based on and they will make a report to the board of education on January 9, 2017. The board of education will discuss the planning assumptions in the capacity study and potential impacts of decision making at the December 12, 2016, board meeting. The board of education will determine what capacity study plan options to move forward for public input and administrative modeling inclusive of financial savings/impacts and educational innovations by January 23, 2017.

A Day In The District - Q&A With Our Superintendent Dr. Karen Baldwin

Superintendent Dr. Karen Baldwin joined our district in July 2015. Now in her second year she has created a strategic coherence planning committee with a big agenda, brought new insights to our capacity study, and continues to improve communication and collaboration within the district itself and the greater community. In light of our November 29 public film screening of “Most Likely to Succeed,” and the community discussions we hope will come from that, we asked Dr. Baldwin to answer a few questions about her work and contemporary education in Ridgefield. Read the interview here.

Question: What is a typical week in the district like for you as our superintendent?

Answer: My work weeks are filled with challenges, opportunities, excitement, and new learning. Leading a great school system on a pathway to growth, collaboration, and innovation for improved learning results necessitates several routines. Some of my weekly routines include meetings with the executive team (assistant superintendents, personnel, business, and facilities, technology leaders) to discuss our priority work and assess our project maps and deliverables. I try and think and guide the work with targets several months ahead, and all integral to a vision of providing all students access to engaging, relevant, and personalized learning opportunities. Connected to these weekly meetings is the need to build relationships with all members of the organization. Establishing a strong culture of trust and mutual regard is important if we are going to unleash the talent and potential within the system. I also meet weekly with the chairperson of the board of education to keep the administration’s work aligned and on course with the policy and governance role of the board of education. To assist with that aspect of my leadership work, the board has three subcommittees (policy, finance, and strategic planning) which also meet regularly. The best part of a typical week for me is the time I can spend in schools “seeing” the work in action. We have great students and smart, talented, and committed staff members. I learn every day that I am in a school. In any typical week, I am problem-solving with a school leader on student or staff matters that necessitate a broad and deep analysis of the issues and policy or statutory frameworks that inform our decision making.

Q: The strategic coherence planning committee includes administrators, teachers, board of education (BOE) members, and community members in an in-depth look at district practices in order to build coherence. Your focus will be on those “practices that have demonstrated over time to make the largest impact on student learning and preparation for life, learning, and work in a digital age.” Continued improvement is a goal for all successful businesses, but why is coherence across the district important to you as a means to greater success?

A: I think there are a couple of key ideas relative to the “why” of strategic planning and the need for coherence in the district. The district needs clear, measurable, understandable goals to guide our work with children and families for the foreseeable future. The strategic coherence planning process will result in goal development and will also produce the “Vision of the RHS Graduate.” One thing that we know through our work is that isolation is the enemy of improvement. We cannot improve and strengthen our work preparing students with the skills necessary for life in the global society by working alone. We need to create opportunities for teachers to work together in grade level and vertical (pre-k-12) teams, in and across schools and content areas, and look at instructional practices and student performance. This focusing of direction, and creating collaborative structures for teachers and leaders will lead to greater understanding of the core approaches that are used in the district to drive improved learning. We need to continue to strengthen opportunities to hear the parent voices and feedback in our work and communicate the direction of the district. Coherence is the depth of shared understanding about the key work we are doing in the district. 

Q: The capacity study is at the forefront of discussions at the BOE and its results may indicate some form of reorganization of our schools. This is an important issue for all members of the community. One of the interesting aspects of that study was the comparison of how building use has changed over the years and the resulting reduced capacity created by the need for dedicated space for special services and technology, the ability to organize a classroom for collaborative learning, and in Ridgefield, the class size requirements in our k-5 schools. What unique perspectives are you bringing to this process?

A: I think it’s important to keep the perspective on the learning experience of the child. The capacity study provides an in-depth look at facility utilization in all nine schools and allows for our vision of teaching and learning for all children to be captured. One key element of the capacity study is that the consultants are testing the assumption that when k-5 enrollment drops below 2,000 students, an elementary school can be closed. As the consultants presented to the board of education at the November 14, 2016, regular meeting, that is a flawed assumption based on the projection and the timing of the enrollment rebound.

Q: Collaborative learning is a key aspect of 21st century education. You also see it as a key means of working with the district leadership team. What is it about our contemporary life that takes the traditional hierarchical, top down method of leadership, be it teacher to student, or principal to teacher, for instance, that demands we have a more collaborative relationship if we want to be successful learners and educators? What does this mean for how we communicate with all of our stakeholders in the education of Ridgefield students? 

A: Our work is dynamic and challenging. The changes that have taken place in education over the last 6 years are the most widespread and demanding that I have seen in nearly 25 years as an educator. It necessitates a systems-orientation to the work and aligning our efforts on a few key goals all focused on improving outcomes and opportunities for children. All good ideas relative to how to progress in this environment or solve a problem or think about a task or a situation, don’t have to come from those who are “in charge.” One key aspect of my role is to be that of “lead learner.”  If we can think of ourselves in that way, as always learning, then collaboration is a natural outgrowth. The system (classroom, school, or district) must be structured in such a way so that we can learn from one another. This means valuing diverse perspectives, cultivating communication and collaboration skills, and analyzing tasks. We want people to draw upon the depth of their experiences as students, teachers, and leaders and contribute to the growth and development of the system as a whole. 

I think we need to continue to work on telling our story of the Ridgefield Public Schools. As part of that story, we need to be deeply focused on all of our children and their academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being. The world has changed; mere content knowledge is not enough for our students. They must leave school being able to communicate, collaborate, think critically and creatively, and embrace where they have come from and how they can move positively into the future.

A special thank you to Ruth W. Feldman, Ridgefield Public Schools communications coordinator, for this article

8th Grade Ski Trip

8th grade ski trip sign ups are on Tuesday, November 15 at 7:30 a.m. in the auditorium. Permission forms and payment are due at the time of registration.

Parenting Workshop on December 1

You won't want to miss our Parenting the #Selfie Generation series, "When Kids Won't Go: Coping with School Avoidance and Anxiety." Mark your calendars for Thursday, December 1, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ridgefield Library. This series is featuring Dr. Aaron Krasner, MD with Silver Hill Hospital. Please view our flyer for more information.

Strategic Plan Survey

Press Release - November 9, 2016

The Ridgefield Public Schools has embarked on a strategic coherence planning process to complete a deep, data-based review of current school district practice designed to create a system of schools all dedicated to the same high-leverage student success outcomes. The district’s strategic coherence planning committee was formulated in June 2016 and consisted of parents, teachers, principals, district leaders, town leaders, PTA leaders, and school board members. The strategic coherence planning committee is working to build consensus around a refined district mission, a vision of a successful RHS graduate and the key learning outcomes that accompany the vision.

The district is seeking input from all stakeholders on their perceptions and knowledge of the public school system. An electronic survey is available on the district’s website and all residents are encouraged to respond. You may also access the survey using the link below. The survey will be open for respondents until December 9, 2016. There may be questions that you do not have answers to and that is okay. For those questions, feel free to respond Not Sure/NA.

We will present the strategic coherence plan to the Ridgefield Board of Education in February 2017 for approval.

Parenting Workshop on January 24

Parents, you are invited to the Parenting the #Selfie Generation series, "How to Raise an Adult," on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Playhouse. This workshop will feature Julie Lythcott-Haims, author and former dean of Stanford University. This series is a collaboration of Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield Council of PTA’s, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Youth Commission, Fairfield County Bank, Books on Common, Project Resilience, Town Vibe, and Silver Hill Hospital. Please view the flyer for more details. You may also view the complete schedule here.

Highlights of November School Holidays and Parent/Teacher Conferences

This month our district will be closed for Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving, along with some early dismissals at the middle and elementary level to allow for parent/teacher conferences. Please make a note of the following dates:

  • November 8: Schools closed for Election Day and Professional Development Day.
  • November 9: Evening parent/teacher conferences.
  • November 10: Early dismissal for middle schools only to allow for day parent/teacher conferences.
  • November 11: Schools and offices closed for Veteran’s Day.
  • November 17: Evening conferences for middle schools.
  • November 18: Early dismissal for middle schools only to allow for day parent/teacher conferences.
  • November 23: Early dismissal at all schools for Thanksgiving holidays. 
  • November 24-25: Schools and offices closed for Thanksgiving.

The district calendar, as well as school hours and marking periods, are available in the about us section of the district website.

Ridgefield Public Schools Hosts Film Screening

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016, the Ridgefield Public Schools, co-sponsored by the Ridgefield PTA Council, the Ridgefield Library, and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, will host a screening of the film Most Likely to Succeed for the Ridgefield community to open up a discussion about what it means to “re-imagine education.” There will be two showings of the film. A matinee will take place at the Ridgefield Library program room at 1:00 p.m., and an evening showing will take place at the East Ridge Middle School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Following the evening screening, there will be an interactive discussion about the film and re-imagining education for the 21st century. For more information, please read the press release.

School Closings, Delays, and Early Dismissals

Parents, we would like to remind you of our communication and decisions regarding closings, delays, and early dismissals. The district will communicate the decision to parents to close school, delay the opening, or dismiss early using our electronic alert system. This system provides us with the capability to send a message to your home and cell phone by either text message, voice message, or e-mail. We will typically communicate Information related to delayed openings and school closures by 5:45 a.m. We will always post the district's status on the district’s website. Please take a moment to read our letter regarding school closings, delays, and early dismissals. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

STEM Club

The East Ridge Middle School STEM club is now looking for members! The club is open to 8th graders who have an interest in pursuing STEM projects and competitions outside of class time. We will meet approximately once a week. We invite 8th grade students to the first official meeting on Wednesday, October 26 after school from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in room 239.  

We limit enrollment to 20 members. Mrs. Sullivan and Mr. Bozzuto are the advisors. Please note that any 7th graders who have an interest in the STEM club should see Mrs. Sullivan. We will allow them to join if any openings are available.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Our parent-teacher conferences are fast approaching! We will be scheduling our conferences by team. Conferences will be available on a first come-first serve basis so be sure to schedule yours soon! Conference dates are as follows:

  • Evening Conferences
    • Wednesday, November 9 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
    • Thursday, November 17 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

  • Afternoon Conferences
    • Thursday, November 10 from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
    • Friday, November 18 from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

We will be using Canyon Creek's online scheduling program to schedule your conferences. You may begin using the online program starting on Tuesday, November 1. We will close online scheduling on Sunday, November 6. 

We will have early dismissal on Thursday, November 10 and on Friday, November 18.

Please take a moment to read more about our parent-teacher conferences, including instructions on how to schedule your conference. If you have additional questions, please contact us.

Online Forum

Please join our live online forum on data privacy on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. In this forum, you will learn more about the state of Connecticut’s new law on data privacy, what we are doing within the district to protect student data, and our expectations for our staff and students. We will host the event on Facebook; however, you do not need to have a Facebook account to participate. Please feel free to submit questions in advance, and keep in mind that you will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the live online forum. For more information, please see the flyer.

We would also like to thank the parents who attended our previous online forum on YouTube and internet filtering. If you missed the event, you can watch it on our district Facebook page.

A Day in the District: The German Language Program at RHS

We take the utmost care and concern for the students and our community when adding and/or removing classes from the Ridgefield Public School curriculum. We would like to offer insight into the recent decision to cut the RHS German Language Program from the schedule starting the 2017-2018 school year.

Parent Workshop on November 1

Please join us for the next event in the "Parenting the #Selfie Generation Series” as it continues on Tuesday, November 1 with “Sexting and Hooking Up: Talking with Your Teen about Sex and Healthy Relationships.” This event will feature Kay Ott, author of Sex & Faith: Talking to Your Child from Birth to Adolescence, and Ann Rodwell-Lawton, Director of Education for the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury. There will be a book sale/signing offered by Books on the Common. We will follow each workshop the next day by a brown-bag lunch discussion at 12:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library. 

This event is presented in collaboration with the Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield Council of the PTA’s, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Youth Commission, Books on the Common, Project Resilience, Town Vibe and Silver Hill Hospital. Please see our flyer for more information.

A Day in the District - Teacher Training Day

Our teachers recently had a training day on Friday, September 30. Please take a moment to read more about the training our certified and non-certified staff received. 

Parenting Workshop on October 4

Parents, add new tools and strategies to your parenting skill set to help your child gain effective coping skills in dealing with stress. You are invited to the next event in The Parenting the Selfie Generation Series as it continues on Tuesday, October 4 with "Stress Busters: Teaching your Kids to Cope Effectively" featuring speakers Tracy Masella, LCSW (Silver Hill); Leslie Cohen-Rubury, LCSW; Elizabeth Archibald, MPH, RD; and Kristin Kiles of Ridgefield Public Schools. This series is a collaboration with Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield Council of PTAs, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Youth Commission, Books on the Common, Project Resilience, and Silver Hill Hospital. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. at the Ridgefield Library. We will follow this event with a brown-bag lunch discussion the next day at the Ridgefield Library at 12:00 noon. Please view this flyer for more details. View the series flyer for the complete schedule.

Parent Workshop on September 27

On September 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Ridgefield Library, we invite parents to a community workshop: “The World of Work: Getting Your Teen Ready Begins Now,” featuring Jeffrey J. Selingo, with a book sale and signing. Jeffrey J. Selingo is a best-selling author and award-winning columnist who helps parents and higher education leaders imagine the college and university of the future and how to succeed in a fast-changing economy. His newest book, There Is Life After College (HarperCollins, 2016), explores how today’s young adults need to navigate school for the job market of tomorrow.  

This event is the first in a series of eight workshops entitled “Parenting the #Selfie Generation: Instilling Resilience” presented by the Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield Council of PTAs, Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Youth Commission, Books on the Common, Project Resilience, Town Vibe, and Silver Hill Hospital. View the series flier for the complete schedule.

National Merit Scholarship

Twelve RHS students are semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit® Scholarship Program. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) will be offering around 7,500 scholarships this spring, and the road to becoming a semifinalist is not an easy one. We are very proud of our RHS students! We invite you to learn more from our press release.

Board of Education Meeting

The next board of education meeting is Monday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the board conference room, Ridgefield Town Annex, 66 Prospect Street. Please view our Board of Education page for more information. 

A Day In The District - Highlights From The First Day Of School

There is a special feeling in the air on the first day of school. For many in Ridgefield the first signs of the school year are the buses on our roads or the children and parents waiting at bus stops. For our children it is the moment of arrival, the walking into the building, the excitement filling every open door from the bus, to the building, to the classroom. It is feeling all the anticipation of moving up to a new grade, maybe a new school, with new teachers, and hopefully, new friends. 

Since we can’t all be there, we asked our principals to share a highlight from the first day of school - a word, a sentence, or a paragraph. Some  principals shared comments they heard in the hallways. Enjoy!

Lisa Singer, VPES Principal
“Students smiling coming off of the bus; teachers smiling and supportive of each other, and [the] students.”

Student: “[I’m] so excited to be in fifth grade this year!”

Student new to VP: “I had a great day; I love my new school.”

Teacher: “Even an indoor recess was fun and happy.  No complaints.”

Jamie Palladino, Principal, RES
“We had a great day. Students and staff were excited to be back. Lots of hugs and high-fives.” 

Student:  “I love our school!”

Student: “My teacher is so nice.”

Student: “I can’t believe I am finally a fifth grader.”

Teacher: “We have a wonderful group of students.”

Teacher: “It is great to be back!”

Dr. Stacey Gross, Principal, RHS
“The class of 2020 was welcomed by a collaborative team of upperclassmen, faculty, and staff. The students were introduced to the vast amount of extracurricular opportunities and academic experiences the high school has to offer. The freshmen were able to experience first-hand the welcoming and supportive community that is the backbone of Ridgefield High School. We are enthusiastic about grades 10-12 joining us tomorrow and beginning what we anticipate will be a positive and rewarding year.”

Susan Gately, Principal, FES
“[Our first day back was] joyous, calm, happy!”

Student: “This is awesome! I am so lucky!”

Student : “I love it here.”

Teacher: “It’s like we’ve been a class for months.”

Teacher: “I have such a great class.”

Teacher: “A little tired and a lot happy.”

Joanna Genovese, Principal, SES
“The day went very well! Smiles and chatter filled our hallways.”

Student: “This must be a lucky day. I just lost my front tooth!”

Student: “This year is gonna be awesome!”

Student: “I just remembered, in third grade it’s ok to not know everything yet.”

Teacher: “What a great day!”

Teacher: “I am just going to love them up!”

Tim Salem, Principal, SRMS
“Joy!”

Keith Margolus, Principal, BES
“Despite the rain, the climate at BES was anything but somber. It was amazing to see smiling faces bound off the bus and into their day. We look eagerly ahead to the highly engaging, relevant and personalized learning to take place this year.”

Rebecca Pembrook, Principal, BMES
“Welcoming our students back to school and having returning students lead new students through lunch orientations in order to have a ‘safe and friendly’ lunch for all students.”

And overheard in my neighborhood:

SES kindergartner: “I'm most excited about learning to read and write!"

SES 4th grade student: “I'm happy because I know everyone in my class! We opened up our school supplies and even did some line dancing with Ms. Lavender!”

To see pictures from the first day of school, visit Ridgefield Public Schools on Facebook. Have a great year, everyone!

A special thank you to Ruth W. Feldman, Ridgefield Public Schools communications coordinator, for this article.

Bus Route Information

This note is for all of our parents. You can find your bus route information on the PowerSchool Parent Portal. We no longer publish this information for security reasons. Thank you for understanding!

1:1 Digital Learning Initiative Parent Workshop

Please join us on Wednesday, September 7 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the East Ridge Middle School auditorium for a workshop about our new middle school digital learning initiative. There will be a presentation and a question and answer period with principals and with our director of technology. For more information, you can view our flyer.

Supply Lists

Our 2016-2017 supply lists are now available.

1:1 Digital Learning Initiative

East Ridge Middle School is implementing a 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative. Learn more about it, including frequently asked questions, insurance information, and information on parent workshops at the initiative’s web site.

Our New Websites

Ridgefield Public Schools is very proud of our new district and school websites. Take a moment to take a video tour of our websites to learn more. Please see our press release for additional information.

Open House

Each school year the staff at East Ridge Middle School and the PTA sponsor an evening when we encourage parents to visit our school, meet administrators and teachers, and learn about our educational program and practices. This year, we invite you to attend our annual open house on Thursday, September 29. The evening will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m. in our auditorium with a general greeting and some remarks. Please see principal Patricia Raneri's letter for more information.

Bell Schedule

Please take a moment to review the 2016-2017 bell schedule.

ERMS Cross Country and Football

Do you want to be a part of a team? Check out our cross country and flag football teams! East Ridge Middle School is excited for the beginning of its fall sports season. We can’t wait to have you join us! Sign up on our cross country intramural registration form and flag football intramural registration form, and we will see you at practice!

ERMS Cross Country t-shirt order forms are due by Friday, September 16. Ordering a t-shirt or sweatshirt for cross country is optional and not required.

News from the Nurse

If your child takes prescription medication during school hours, please visit our district Health Forms page for all the requisite medication forms. Parents must complete new medical forms each new school year.

*Note: please complete an authorization form for each medication your child takes.

For questions, please contact the health office.

Important Dates

Don’t forget new family orientation on Wednesday, August 24, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Also, 6th grade orientation is Thursday, August 25, 2016.