RiverHawk Reminders

Week of October 4th

We hope you are enjoying your weekend. Here are a few important updates:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Spirit Week with RVHS
  • Parent Liaison Updates
  • Mental Health Resources for Students
  • Yearbook Updates
  • BEMS Assessment Calendar SY 21 -22
  • Academies of Loudoun Application Information
  • RVHS Tutoring Opportunities
  • Odyssey of the Mind Opportunities
  • PTO Updates - PTO Meeting, Spiritwear Store open until 10/6, and Staff Luncheon
  • The Little Known Secrets of Paying for College Virtual Presentation

All the best,

Mrs. Johnson


  • Tuesday, October 5th - PTO Meeting (In person 9am)
  • Wednesday, October 6th- “Sock It To Bullying” Activity: Students wear their favorite/craziest socks
  • Wednesday, October 6th - Growth Assessment Reading
  • Thursday, October 7th - Growth Assessment Reading
  • Friday, October 8th - PINK OUT - Wear PINK for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Monday, October 11th - Indigenous Peoples' Day (NO SCHOOL)
  • Wednesday, October 13th - Parents as Educational Partners Meeting (In person 6 pm)
  • Wednesday, October 13th - Growth Assessment Math
  • Thursday, October 14th - Growth Assessment Math
  • Thursday, October 14th - Little Known Secrets of Paying for College Presentation (virtual 7 pm)
  • Monday, October 18th - 7th-grade Counselor Presentations - Positive Relationships
  • Wednesday, October 20th and Thursday, October 21st - 8th-grade Counselor Presentations- Stopping Cyberbullying
  • Thursday, October 21st - Schools to Watch Redesignation Site Visit
  • Thursday, October 21st - 6th-grade Counselor Presentations- Anti-Bullying Lessons
  • Tuesday, October 26th and Wednesday, October 27th- 8th-grade Substance Abuse Prevention Presentation
  • Thursday, October 28th - Last Day of Quarter 1
  • Friday, October 29th - Professional Learning Day (NO SCHOOL for students)


Now that October is here, our thoughts turn to chilly weather. If you have coats and jackets that you no longer need, please consider donating to our winter wear closet! Items donated will be offered to those in the community who are in need of cold weather wear. I will accept coats, jackets, hats, gloves, and snow pants in mens, womens, girls', boys', and babies sizes. Items should all be clean and in great condition. There is a box for donations in the Belmont Ridge lobby, and you are welcome to drop off your items during school hours. If you are unable to drop off during the school day, please contact me at Susan.Ferguson@lcps.org to make other arrangements. THANK YOU!


The LCPS website contains important Mental Health Resources.

This website offers comprehensive mental health services, support, and resources provided by our Unified Mental Health Teams (counselors, psychologists, social workers, school nurses, and student assistance specialists) who can assist and direct families to the right level of services or interventions.

Available information includes:

  • How to contact your school’s United Mental Health Team

  • Resources for parents

  • Suicide prevention resources

  • LCPS mental and behavioral health services

  • Resources for families of LGBTQ+ students and families

  • Community resources

To access the mental health website created by the Department of Student Services, please visit: www.lcps.org/MentalHealthServices


The yearbook team is looking for any and all pictures related to the first few school-related events this year. This may include:

Bridge to the Ridge

Open House

First Day of School Picture

Family Night

Thank you for helping us capture our year together! If you have many pictures from the event, feel free to email sarah.w.anderson@lcps.org

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Thank you to everyone who signed up for BASAP classes through the PTO! The deadline to register for BASAP classes has now passed, but please note that there are many clubs that your student can still join. Visit the Clubs page of our website for a complete list of current offerings and contact information for club advisers. https://www.lcps.org/Domain/133


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Riverside NHS Tutoring Available

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Zoom Link: https://teachingstrategies.zoom.us/j/94485845160?pwd=aXdhNFlkZS9QYTJiVUlOTTZxcnhIdz09

The Odyssey of the Mind program at Belmont Ridge continues to grow both in numbers and success! We are proud of all that our students have accomplished, and we want to extend this opportunity to you!

If you are interested in joining/forming a team, we would like to share more information with you. We will be holding a virtual informational meeting on Wednesday, October 13th at 7pm. This meeting is for anybody wishing to learn more information about how the Odyssey of the Mind program operates.

Please join the meeting at https://teachingstrategies.zoom.us/j/94485845160?pwd=aXdhNFlkZS9QYTJiVUlOTTZxcnhIdz09

Please be aware that in order to provide students with this Odyssey experience, we need coaches. Training and support is provided to coaches.

Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting their own interpretation of literary classics. They then bring their solution to competition on the local, state and World level. Thousands of teams from the U.S. and from about 25 other countries participate in the program.

What makes Odyssey different?

Odyssey of the Mind is a competitive program, but it’s nothing like your typical sporting event. The competitive element encourages kids to be the best that they can be, but it’s a friend competition. Kids learn from and even cheer on their competitors. Odyssey of the Mind is not a competition about knowledge. It’s all about creativity, an often overlooked element in the growth and development of many students. Kids are rewarded more for how they apply their knowledge, skills and talents, and not for coming up with the right answer. In fact, in Odyssey of the Mind problems, there isn’t one right answer. Ever.

How do students benefit from participation?

In Odyssey of the Minds, students learn skills that will last a lifetime. They work in teams so they learn cooperation and respect for the ideas of others. They evaluate ideas and make decisions on their own, gaining greater self-confidence and increased self-esteem along the way. They work within a budget, so they learn to manage their money. They see that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and that the process can be more important than the end result.

How does it work?

Each team has up to seven students and chooses one of five competitive problems to solve. The problems appeal to a wide range of interests; some are technical in nature, while others are artistic or performance-oriented. Under the guidance of adult coach, teams work on their solutions throughout the school year and present them in a regional competition in the spring. The “friendly” competitive aspect encourages students to be the best that they can be.

Odyssey at Belmont Ridge

Interested in joining Odyssey? Our teams are being formed now! Please contact Kristy Balwinski at kristy2500@gmail.com if you or your child is interested in becoming a part of this great program and you are unable to attend the meeting.


Our next general PTO meeting will be in person! Please join us if you can on Tuesday morning, October 5, at 9:00 am. We'll meet in the cafeteria. We will recap our busy month of September and discuss events and activities going forward.

Only a few slots remain for our mini photo sessions! Staged Photography is offering 20-minute mini sessions to photograph you and your family, for your holiday cards or just to capture special memories. See our website for all the deets and grab a slot before they disappear! www.bemspto.org

The deadline to order from our Fall Online Spiritwear Store has been extended to Friday, October 6 at midnight. Choose from hoodies, t-shirts, sweatpants, baseball caps, and more. https://www.bemspto.org/spirit-wear

This Thursday, October 7, is the first PTO lunch event of the new school year for teachers and staff. We are looking for several donation items including drinks, paper supplies, and desserts, as well as some extra hands to help out. Please visit the signup and consider helping us out where you can! If you are unable to drop off items at the school during the school day, please contact our VP/Hospitality, Heather Rhodes, at heatherrhea@gmail.com, to make other arrangements. Thank you!



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As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to our administrative team- Katie.Johnson@lcps.org, David.McKenzie@lcps.org, or Michael.Surma@lcps.org or your grade level dean if you have further questions.

At Belmont Ridge, we value Academic Excellence, a Culture of Equity, and a Safe, Supportive, and Positive Learning Environment. Thank you for all you do to support us as a school!

** Any messages sent from BEMS through our Blackboard account (noreply.belmontridge@lcps.org) come from an account that is not monitored. Please use our website to locate the email addresses of any staff members you need to contact. Thank you. **

Belmont Ridge Middle School

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