Pine Ridge Prep Update

December 14, 2021

Welcome from Mrs. Tanner & Mrs. Banzhaf

Dear Pine Ridge Prep Families,


This is the last week of school before we begin Winte Break! Students and staff have been having a wonderful time with holiday activities this week! We have been blessed with several community partners who have donated gifts for each student! We are so thankful!


As a reminder, we do not have school December 20-January 4 for Winter Break. Students will return on January 5. Enjoy the time with your loved ones!


Please ensure your children are coming to school with masks each day. It is a good idea to send a spare mask as well. We appreciate your support in ensuring students come to school prepared to learn and masks are essential to a safe learning environment. Additionally, please be sure your children are seated in the proper car seats, per Kansas law. If you need help with this, see the Family Resources section below!


As always, if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us!


Thank you for the privilege of serving you ~

Mrs. Gabrielle Tanner, Principal

Mrs. Shelley Banzhaf, Building Leader Intern

Upcoming Events

December Events

  • December 14: Parent Circle of Friends @ 9:15; Parent Committee @ 4:30
  • December 15: Holiday Celebration @ 5:30-7:00
  • December 16: Conscious Discipline @ 9:15; Board of Education Meeting @ 6:00
  • December 17: End of 2nd Quarter
  • December 20-January 4: NO SCHOOL - Winter Break
  • January 5: Students Return; 3rd Quarter Begins

Holiday Celebration

Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 5:30-7pm

1110 Southeast Highland Avenue

Topeka, KS

You are invited to the Pine Ridge Family Holiday Celebration on December 15th! There will be fun activities, crafts, cookies, spaghetti dinner, and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! A flyer with more details will be coming home soon. See you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Items That Need Your Attention

Students Leaving Early

The school day at Pine Ridge Prep runs until 4:15 with students being dismissed from 4:00-4:15. As you know as caretakers of toddlers, the transition to go home is a process! Classrooms are finishing their day, cleaning up activities, eating snacks, and packing to go home. It is very disruptive and difficult for us to dismiss children from school early, starting at 3:45. If you have to pick your child up for an appointment, please be sure it is communicated in advance and they are picked up before 3:45. We will be unable to release students after 3:45 until our car line process begins at 4:00. If a child has an appointment between 1:00 and 2:00, they need to be picked up prior to 12:45 or after 2:00. Children are transitioning into rest time and napping from about 12:30-2:00 each day. It is disruptive to that valuable rest time when we have to wake sleeping children to leave for an appointment. Patterns of leaving early are tracked just as tardies are and will have an impact on student attendance. Thank you for your attention to this!

Attendance Reminder

Attendance Policy

*As established by SCDC Head Start Policy Council and based upon Topeka Public Schools rules and regulations.


1. The Topeka Board of Education believes that attendance at school is a key factor in student achievement and success. Students are expected to regularly attend school, participate, and learn.


2. If your child is ill, has an appointment, or other reason that will constitute an excused absence, you must call into the office between 8:00-9:00a.m. Advanced notice is appreciated.


3. A phone call attempt will be made on any child that does not arrive at school by 10:00am and 11:00am on late start Friday.


4. Head Start performance standards require children to be in attendance at a minimum of 90% of the time. Students who drop below 90% attendance will be placed on an attendance plan to improve student attendance. Any child who has been absent for 10 consecutive days, or 15 cumulative days, risks being dropped from the program and placed on the waitlist.


5. After 2 days of unexcused absences, staff will conduct a home visit or make other direct contact with the child's family, determining what assistance is needed to remedy the problem.


6. Tardies are cumulative and can affect attendance just like absences do. Students must arrive at school on time each day. Excessive tardies may result in the family being placed on an attendance plan.


7. Although Kansas law does not require students to be in school prior to the age of 7, ANY child enrolled in public school does fall into the state truancy policies. Truancy reports may be made to the district truancy officer for any student with excessive absences and/or tardies.

School Information

Conscious Discipline Parent Information

Each week we will be sharing a piece of our Conscious Discipline curriculum with families. Please reach out if you have any questions!
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COVID Testing

***COVID Testing is currently on hold as we await a shipment of testing supplies.


Did you know that free Covid-19 testing is currently available in all school clinic offices and at the Service Center? Asymptomatic students and staff may test at their school clinic. Antigen test results are available in about 15 minutes and PCR test results are available in about 30 minutes. Flu testing availability is also coming soon. For more information, see the brochure in English, the Spanish brochure, or contact your school nurse.

Student Illnesses

Please be sure you are communicating with the office or your child's teacher when your child is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19. We are following all Shawnee County Health Department guidance when it comes to evaluating students being at school. We are keeping careful track of students who are identified as having COVID, as a close or household contact to ensure quarantine periods are being followed. Your communication is critical in ensuring we have the information we need to keep everyone safe and healthy! This page on the Topeka Public Schools website provides the most up-to-date COVID information for our families.

Time to Eat!

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Informational Items

COVID Protocols

The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education voted on August 5th to follow the CDC Universal masking guidelines to start the school year. This means that masks will be required indoors for all staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. Masks will not be required during outside times. Please be sure you send your student to school with a clean face mask each day. This is part of their required dress code and we appreciate your assistance with ensuring we are providing a safe environment for our students! We will also be continuing with frequent handwashing/sanitation, disinfection protocols, and maintaining a social distance of 3 feet. Follow this link to view the entire "TPS Safe to Return to School Plan".

Academic Calendar

You can find the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar HERE.

Family Resources

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Food Pantries

This updated document provides a list of food pantries and food resources available in English and in Spanish.

The Nest - Food & Clothing Bank

The Nest, Pine Ridge Prep's food and clothing bank, is up and running! Ms. Heather is available to assist families with needs. You can reach her at 785-329-7876.

Community Resources Council Directory

You can find the link to the 2021 Community Resources Council Resource Directory here. This directory provides contact information for a variety of community resources.