Welcome to a new School Year! The summer was your time to relax and enjoy being with family and friends. However, we also hope that your children spent a little time practicing those skills they learned last year. During the last week of school last year, your child was given a “Summer Curriculum Packet.” This work was designed to help your child practice skills over the summer. While it was not mandatory, we did encourage students to complete the work. In fact, as a special reward for their efforts, those students that completed the packet and return it to their teachers during the first week of school will be invited to a Back to School Summer Scholar Party… a little something to reward them for keeping their minds active over the summer. If your child lost the packet but engaged in summer learning, they can still attend the party by writing an essay to explain all the learning that they did over the summer.
We did ask students to keep learning over the summer, and since leading by example is key to our culture here at Park Ridge, our teachers also engaged in summer learning! This summer the teachers’ participated in several different professional learning activities. Some of our training focused on the expansions to our STEM programs. This year we will continue to embed Discovery Education into our classrooms with a heavier focus on Engineering and Environmental Science. Our school gardening program will begin this year, more will be done with coding and robotics, and the Dolphin Discovery Cove will focus on inquiry based science exploration.
We are also seeking to expand our Positive Culture plan by becoming a “Leader in Me” school. Teachers participated in intensive training designed to bring Covey’s 7 Habits to our kids. This program will teach students to be proactive, set goals, and build leadership skills. Creating an academically rigorous environment is critical for student success but equally important is the need to develop a sense of commitment to our community and being responsible citizens that are prepared to lead our future.
We will continue to expand opportunities for parents to get involved in our school through Family nights, community events, parent education classes, and this year we will begin our PTA. We encourage you to register to become a volunteer.
Our entire faculty and staff are excited about all the changes taking place at Park Ridge and are looking forward to working with you to reach these goals. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for anything. We can be contacted by calling 754-322-7700. Together we can create a culture of academic excellence, which fosters lifelong learners and responsible citizens all of which will enable us to make a difference in our world. We are looking forward to another great year! Respectfully,
Joseph N. Balchunas