Here's the Scoop

Hamilton Ridge News and Events - October 2020

A Note From Mrs. Z

Hello Hamilton Ridge Families,

We've had a great start to the school year. I am enjoying getting to know your wonderful children. They are smart, resilient, and happy to be here. We are too. Each day I have morning announcements in which I share special events of the week, talk about our weekly Laker Learning Target, and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. I end the announcements with "It’s a GREAT Day to Climb at Hamilton Ridge!" The "climb" refers to making good choices and demonstrating cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control (C.A.R.E.S.).

With social-emotional learning (SEL) at the forefront of our work, we are teaching, modeling, and practicing SEL skills and strategies. We are focused on building your child's skillset and supporting the work you do at home. During September, the Laker Learning targets were say please and thank you, respond with words when someone greets you, and listen to learn. In October we will focus on taking turns and sharing, using self-talk to stay focused, following directions, and cleaning up after yourself.

Thank you for your support as we begin the 20-21 school year. While I know that there are many stresses and challenges, please know that your kids are happy, growing, and learning in this positive environment here at school. I see it every single day. Thank you for sharing your kids with us. It is a privilege to serve the students and families at Hamilton Ridge.

Have a great month of October!

Karen Zwolenski

Hamilton Ridge Principal

Learning Model Choice Deadline is October 9

On September 24 and September 28 important emails were sent from Superintendent Teri Staloch. The first email covered two important topics: 1) the upcoming learning model change request window, and 2) the process and factors involved in how we will determine if/when we "turn the dial" to a different district learning model for elementary, secondary or both. The request change window is September 28 through Friday, October 9. The second email gave you links to the form to request a learning model change. If you do not want a learning model change, no action is required.

Face Masks for Students

Hamilton Ridge Students have been doing awesome at wearing their face masks! Sometime a mask gets misplaced or broken...don't worry we've got you covered! We have been supplied with one cloth face mask per student. We have housed them here at school just in case a student needs it. So if you have a child that comes home with a navy blue mask, that is theirs to keep, wash and reuse. Keeping a spare mask in a baggie in your child's backpack is also a good idea.

Picture Days October 19 & 23

Get your smiles on! All learning groups in grades K-5 will have their picture taken by Lifetouch as follows on October 19 and 23. Fall Picture Retake dates are yet to be determined.

  • Monday, October 19 is picture day for Group A students
  • Friday, October 23 is picture day for Group B students
  • Hamilton Ridge Distance Learning Academy students with the last name A-K can have their picture taken from 8:00-9:30 a.m. on Monday, October 19
  • Hamilton Ridge Distance Learning Academy students with the last name L-Z can have their picture taken from 8:00-9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 23

    ***If the assigned day does not work for a DLA student, please plan on coming to the other arranged DLA picture time***

In order to maintain strict CDC guidelines, Group A and Group B students will be scheduled by class. Distant Learning Academy families who are coming during their arranged picture day should park in the main parking lot, enter through the main entrance and form a line by family in the gym, maintaining social distancing.

If you are receiving picture day emails from Lifetouch for your child's school in 2019-20, simply unsubscribe at the bottom. When you order online for Hamilton Ridge, your school will be updated in their system.

Lifetouch Flyer - Order Here*

*There is an up to $10 coupon coming home next week, so you may want to wait to order as it cannot be applied to past orders.

School Celebrations

Throughout the school year, Hamilton Ridge along with all PLSAS elementary schools will celebrate student learning, the seasons, ESTEM, and special school events. While we do not hold one-hour classroom parties for Halloween, Winter Holiday and Valentine's Day, we do provide a variety of celebrations and special events. In usual times, we have events that might include volunteer opportunities for parents. Once we can do this again, we will let you know!

Next week we will have School Spirit Week with a couple of special dress up opportunities. We will celebrate the seasons with outdoor and ESTEM activities throughout the school year. We plan to have Kindness Week, and I Love to Read Month activities throughout February. Other events and dress up days (such as hat or PJ day) will be communicated by your child's teacher or through the school office.

Additionally, teachers will hold special celebrations of learning, depending on the grade level learning outcomes. We will honor and respect family traditions and holidays and invite students to share their traditions during morning meetings, conversations, and share & tell activities. We look forward to a year of learning and a year of celebrating students!

Big picture

Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences

Conference Dates/Times for Grades K-5:

Tuesday, November 17 - 4:15-6:15 p.m.
Thursday, November 19 - 4:15-8:15 p.m.
Monday, November 23 - 4:15-8:15 p.m.

Teachers at Hamilton Ridge are looking forward to our upcoming parent-teacher conferences and the opportunity to learn more about your child(ren). We hope to provide options for parent-teacher conferences: in-person, phone call, or Google Meet. We will provide more information regarding options as we approach conference time.

The purpose of fall conferences is to gather information regarding your child’s educational strengths, interests and needs. Together, parents and teachers will set goals for your child so that your child can have the best year possible. A PTCFast link will be sent by email mid October.

As you prepare for parent-teacher conferences, you may want to consider the
following suggestions for this twice annual event:

Before the Conference — In preparation, talk with your child about the
conference, and most importantly, write down questions you would like to pose.

During the Conference — The conference is an opportunity to exchange
information with the teacher and develop ways to cooperate in educating your child.

After the Conference — Once the conference is over, follow up with your child as well as the teacher. Leave the conference having an understanding of what your child is like during the school day, and how he/she achieves academically.

No School - Grading Days - Professional Development

The best way to improve student achievement is to increase our teacher effectiveness. To provide professional development opportunities and time for grading for our staff, there are No School Days on four Wednesdays built into the district calendar:

All District E-12 students will not have school on the following Wednesdays: October 21, November 18, February 3 and April 14.

Student Assessments - FastBridge

Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools uses FastBridge Learning Assessments in grades K-8 three times a year (in fall, winter, and spring) to assess all students in grades K-8 in both math and reading. FastBridge replaces the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing that was previously administered in PLSAS. The primary use of the information is to learn more about each individual student’s current reading and math skills and identify students who need additional math and or reading support. Teachers look at the screening scores immediately after the testing and compare their students’ scores with other information about student performance. Results will be shared during parent-teacher conferences.

Hamilton Ridge PTC Update

Please join us for our first in-person PTC meeting on Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. We're going to host it tailgating style -- in our school parking lot! Bring a chair and a blanket, and we'll set up in a circle. We'll also have a link to join remotely if you can't make it in person: We'll talk about DOGS, ukulele racks, t-shirts and more. Can't wait to see you on Oct. 6.

Sign up for the Hamilton Ridge school directory. This is a great way to stay in touch with your children's classmates and parents. You can use this guide for sending birthday party invites, setting up playdates, or simply getting to know fellow parents and families. This is completely voluntary, and you're under no obligation to fill it out. But if you do, please do so by Oct. 9! Here's a link.

As always, please stay in touch with the PTC on Facebook. Happy fall families!

Contact Us

Attendance Line 952-226-7801

Main Office 952-226-7800

Fax Number 952-461-7849

Health Office 952-226-7806

Karen Zwolenski, Principal

Lindsay Comstock, Dean of Students

Kirsten Schoeller, Administrative Assistant

Beverley Null, Administrative Assistant (attendance)

Andrea Carin, Social Worker

Technology Helpdesk 952-226-0062 or

District Transportation 952-226-0050

Prior Lake Bus Company (after hours) 952-440-1166