Fox Flyer

Welcome Back to School Edition

Big picture

Important Dates in August

August 16: Open House (see info below)

August 18: First Day of School - Yippee!!!

August 23: STAR fall benchmarking window opens

August 18: Dunlap CUSD 323 School Board meeting (6:00 p.m. DHS)

August 25: Dunlap CUSD 323 School Board meeting (6:00 p.m. DHS)

August 26: Orchestra Night (4th & 5th grades only)

August 30: Fall Picture Day

Welcome Back!

I want to extend an enthusiastic welcome to all of our Ridgeview families as we return to a more normalized school year. We hope to make the transition back to school as smooth as possible for students, staff, and families. We are very excited to see all of our Foxes again. Although we will continue to be looking for guidance from IDPH, please be patient with us as we navigate through all of the recommendations and changes that present unique challenges to schools. Our focus will be keeping all students and staff safe while creating an engaging learning environment. I look forward to working with you and your children to create an experience where there is a love and excitement for learning! I have included below Dr. Dearman's return to school guidance which he sent to families in late July for your reference.

~Mr. Jefferson

"YOU BELONG, YOU MATTER, YOU ARE WORTHY!"

Approved 2021-22 School Year Guidance

The following information was sent to Dunlap families by Superintendent, Dr. Scott Dearman, on July 22nd and is being re-posted here for your review. In addition, you can review the summary guidance document through the following link: 2021-22 School Year Guidance document


The past year and a half has brought unprecedented situations, and yet with each new hurdle, we have adapted to make it over safely and successfully. The 2020-21 school year started with worry and concern as we welcomed students back to in-person learning during a pandemic, all while simultaneously offering a new remote learning environment. We learned as we went and I cannot thank you all enough for your patience, understanding, and--most importantly--your help to make the year the success that it was.


Evermore, I call upon the same patience, understanding, and help so that we can continue to offer our students the best quality education possible. As you may be aware, on Friday, July 9th, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) fully adopted the updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which gives districts the ability to make decisions to best fit their needs while providing guidance to monitor the spread of COVID-19. The flexibility along with continued vigilance will allow us to take a step closer towards what we consider “normal” and bring back many of the regular routines regarding lunch, PE, music, and other educational opportunities.


Throughout the upcoming school year, Dunlap CUSD #323 strongly encourages all individuals--students and staff alike--to wear masks; however, we do respect families’ rights to make a choice regarding mask wearing. Should the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in our schools increase to certain levels, we have a tiered plan for mitigation outlined on page 3 of the “2021-22 School Year Guidance” document. As with the 2020-21 school year, we will continue to monitor guidance and guidelines as they are released by federal, state, and local authorities and inform all families of any changes. Please continue to monitor the district website for updates.


We are dedicated to safely welcoming students and staff back to school in a few short weeks and are thankful for our continued partnership with families in monitoring student symptoms and communicating with school staff.


Enjoy the last several weeks of summer!


Dr. Scott Dearman, Superintendent

Class Lists / Bus Lists

You will be able to view your child’s teacher and bus information through PowerSchool on Wednesday, Aug. 11th at 4:00 p.m. If you are new to the district or have not yet set up a PowerSchool account and require your child's Access ID and Access Password, please email the secretary at mrohn@dunlapcusd.net. This information was sent home with existing students at the end of last year. Parent PowerSchool access information has been/will be emailed to all Kindergarten and new families in late July/early August. Please contact us if you need assistance to access your child’s information.

Kindergarten Families, Open House and Virtual Meeting

I remember the feeling of both excitement and anxiousness that comes with having your child start kindergarten. Your children are in good hands and, to that end, we want to establish a strong partnership with our kindergarten families (and all of our fox families) in order to ensure they get off to a great start to their academic career.


We have a kindergarten open house scheduled for Monday, August 16 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Details of this event are included below. In order to help ease the transition for our kindergarten families and our families, I am offering an opportunity to meet virtually with kindergarten parents on Sunday, August 15 at 6:00 p.m. This will be an optional meeting intended to discuss bus transportation, arrival and dismissal processes, lunches, attendance, the first day of school, etc. Kindergarten parents can access this meeting via the following link:

Welcome New Staff to RES

Emma Rush - 1st Grade

Madison Boland - Kindergarten

Hayley Caho - Kindergarten

Jennifer Walker - Music

Mary Musuruana - 5th Grade

Kyle James - RES Asst. Principal / Student Services Coordinator

Jeff Vacca - Social Worker

Brooke Troisi - School Psychologist

Kelly Ryon - Speech Pathologist

Our Ridgeview Teachers

Kindergarten: Ms. Boland, Mrs. Caho, and Mrs. Chambers

First Grade: Mrs. Cross, Mrs. Johnson, and Ms. Rush

Second Grade: Mrs. Aydt, Mrs. Birkey, and Mrs. McCauley

Third Grade: Mrs. Barker, Mrs. Serrahn, and Mrs. Weiss

Fourth Grade: Mrs. Hudson, Mr. Scheuermann, and Mrs. Whalen

Fifth Grade: Mrs. Kuethe, Mrs. Loser, and Mrs. Musuruana

Counselor: Mrs. Dando

Specials: Mr. Rankin (PE), Mrs. Blayney (world language), Mrs. Wright (art), Ms. Walker (music)

Band/Orchestra: Mrs. Ardner (orchestra) and Mrs. Long (band)

Special Education: Mrs. Barksdale, Mrs. Eppel, and Mrs. Hopkins

English as a Second Language: Mrs. Miller

Speech Pathologists: Mrs. Koch and Mrs. Ryon

Arrival and Dismissal

We will continue to have car riders dropped off and picked up in the front of the school and bus riders dropped off and picked up in the back of the building. We do encourage families to take advantage of bus transportation as this will greatly reduce traffic flow in front of the school (remember, we will have a full roster of in person students this year). Students will have assigned seats on the bus and will be distanced to the greatest extent possible while on the bus. **Masks are required for all students while on the school bus.

Arrival Process (Car Riders):

  • Students may not arrive prior to 7:24 a.m. - supervision is not available until that time.
  • All car riders enter through the front doors next to the gym.
  • Option 1: Pull up to the curb and kiss and drop. There will be a line so please pull up to the furthest available spot under the front canopy to drop off. Please be sure your child is ready ahead of time as parents should not have to leave their car for this process. You may drop off at any point when you reach the canopy area (again, pulling up as far as possible).
  • Option 2: Park in the front or side parking lot and walk your child to the front sidewalk or doors.


Dismissal Process (Car Riders):

  • The dismissal times are included below in addition to a diagram for dismissal.
  • K-2 car riders will be assembled along the front sidewalk before the canopy.
  • 3-5 car riders will be assembled along the front sidewalk under the canopy area.
  • Option 1: Pull up to curb to pick up. This option is for those who only have one child to pick up. Please be careful pulling in and pulling out. Parents should remain in their vehicle.
  • Option 2: This is the best option under most circumstances. Park in the front or side parking lots and walk to front sidewalk to pick up your child(ren).

Transportation Changes

All students are assigned a bus. It is policy that students are only allowed to ride the bus to which they have been assigned. Our default is to send students home on their bus each day. If your student will be doing something other than taking their bus home at the end of each day as part of their regular schedule, (car rider, day care – including Right at School, etc.) please complete a Transportation Change Form and turn it into the office. Parents may scan and email the completed form to mrohn@dunlapcusd.net. A new form will need to be completed each school year.


For Kindergarten Parents only – a parent must be at the stop before the driver will allow the Kindergarten student off of the bus. Kindergarten parents can complete a Kindergarten Parent Consent Form that will allow someone other than a parent to get their Kindergarten child from the bus. A copy of this form will be kept both in the office and on the child’s bus.

Kindergarten Orientation and Open House

Optional Parent Orientation: There will be a 30-minute optional Zoom meeting for new families with the principal, Mr. Jefferson on Sunday, August 15 beginning at 6:00 PM. The purpose of the meeting will be welcome new families as well as to go over procedures and policies at Ridgeview. A Zoom link will be sent to the following families to join in:

  • Kindergarten Families
  • New families to Ridgeview


Kindergarten Open House:

  • Monday, August 16 from 5:30 - 6:30 PM.
  • Parents and students will meet their teachers
  • Parents are encouraged to bring school supplies if they did not purchase them ahead of time.
  • Students can step onto the bus as well to see what it looks like on the inside.

1st-5th Grade Open House

Parents and students of children in grades 1st - 5th are invited to attend our Open House Night on MONDAY, AUGUST 16. In order to limit the number of people in the building, we are offering TWO sessions:


  • 6:30 - 7:00 PM - Families with last names beginning with A - L
  • 7:00 - 7:30 PM - Families with last names beginning with M - Z


During this evening, parents will have an opportunity to meet their child's teacher in a "meet and greet" format. Students are encouraged to bring their school supplies to drop off in the classroom. School supplies purchased through the PTO will already be in your child's classroom. Students may also step inside one of our buses that will be available.

Lunches

School lunches will continue to be free to ALL families throughout the year this year. Individual milks can be purchased for .45 cents and bottled water can be purchased for .60 cents. Dunlap does not offer a breakfast program, so please make sure your child has breakfast each morning. Lunch menus can be found on the Ridgeview website under the Quicklinks heading at the top of the page. A list of ingredients can be found within the Food Service link on the District website. The August Lunch menu, a list of lunch procedures and a list of lunch prices can also be found within the Food Service Department tab at the top of the Dunlap District webpage. If you would like to apply for the free and reduced lunch program, and have not yet been approved, please utilize the online application feature found under the lunch menu link in the Quicklinks tab. Paper copies of the free and reduced lunch application are available in the Ridgeview lobby.

Snack Time During the School Day

A snack time is included during the school day. When sending a snack for your child, please ensure the portion is child friendly and the child can open/access the snack on their own. Snacks should be kept to one item that can be consumed within ten minutes and should not include a beverage.

Birthday Treats

Due to safety protocols, Dunlap elementary schools are not allowing birthday treats to be brought to school this year. Dunlap elementary schools are trying to limit, to the best of our ability, items being brought into school from the outside. Your child's birthday will still be recognized and celebrated within their classroom.

Curriculum Night for Parents

Ridgeview teachers will host a parent-only Curriculum Night on Tuesday, September 7 from 6:30-7:30. This night is intended to explain the following topics related to your child’s education this year:


  • Overview of the academic and social-emotional curriculum

  • How student progress will be communicated

  • Classroom expectations and routines

  • Overview of 1:1 chromebook usage

  • Communication methods and expectations


There will be 2 identical presentations in each classroom to help accommodate parents who have more than one child. The first presentation will take place from 6:30-7:00 and the second presentation will take place from 7:00-7:30. The evening will conclude at 7:30.

PTO News

We have a fabulous Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) that provides a multitude of supports for our school ranging from fundraising to provide additional funding for teachers to planning events to engage families in the school community. We will have limitations on volunteer opportunities during the school day this year but there will still be ways to help. Our primary fundraising efforts this year will be centered around raising money for the development of a certified outdoor education center (more information below on this). PTO meetings are generally held on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Meetings are from 6:00-7:00 p.m. and are held in the RES Commons. These meetings are listed on our school calendar. For more information on opportunities to get involved in our PTO, contact PTO President, Ashley Hayes at amhays84@gmail.com.

Ridgeview Outdoor Education Center Update

Did you know that this year is the 20-year anniversary of the opening of our school? Yes, Ridgeview turns 20 years old this year! In conjunction with this anniversary, we are revitalizing the original wetlands area that was created when the school opened. Unfortunately, over the years, the wetlands space had become neglected and overgrown. Efforts were created last year to clear and reclaim this unique space at our school. Our goal is to transform this space into a certified outdoor nature classroom by the end of the current school year. This will be an exciting addition to our educational program in the future!

2021-2022 School Supply Kits & List

School supplies purchased through the PTO will be delivered to your child's classroom before Open House on August 16. If you have questions regarding school supply kits, please email Ginger Cates at gingerpcates@hotmail.com.

Residency, Immunizations, and Health Records

Please be reminded that all residency and health requirements must be met before the start of school. Health requirements can be found here. If you have any questions regarding health or residency requirements, please email Mrs. Rohn at mrohn@dunlapcusd.net.

5th Grade Band and 4th and 5th Grade Orchestra Sign Up

Sign up for Band (5th Grade Students) and Orchestra (4th and 5th Grade Students), will be on Thursday, August 26 from 3:30PM-8PM in the Ridgeview commons. This event is to help facilitate parent questions and instrument rental.


If you have questions regarding orchestra, please contact Mrs. Ardner at rardner@dunlapcusd.net.


If you have questions regarding band, please contact Mrs. Long at slong@dunlapcusd.net

Office Hours & Visitors

School & Office Hours: We will once again follow an early dismissal schedule every Wednesday throughout the school year. Wednesday afternoons are designed to allow teachers to work collaboratively as Professional Learning Communities with the ultimate goal of improving teaching and learning for all students. You can find more information about Professional Learning Communities on our district website at www.dunlapcusd.net. School is dismissed at 2:15 each Wednesday and at 2:45 on all other days of the week. We do have a few school improvement days during the year in which students are dismissed at 11:15 a.m. These dates are listed on the school calendar. Office hours at Ridgeview are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. M-F. Staff makes every effort to return emails and phone calls within 24 hours.


Visitors: In an effort to follow the guidelines set forth for our return to school, visitors will only be allowed in very unique and absolutely necessary circumstances. These visits would have to be pre-approved by building administration ahead of time. Lunch guests will not be allowed due to the factors indicated previously as well as capacity limitations. A drop table is located in the foyer outside the main office for items that need to be dropped off or picked up. Please contact the office ahead of time if you have an item to drop off and be sure to clearly label the item with your child's name and their teacher. The Ridgeview phone number is 309-243-7717.

Attendance

If your child is ill, he or she should not attend school. Children with fevers, diarrhea and vomiting should not attend school until they have been fever free without fever reducing medication for 24 hours and symptom free for 24 hours. Please notify the school office by phone 309-243-7717 or by email as well as your child’s teacher if your child will not be attending school. The Ridgeview website has an ‘email an absence’ feature under the parents tab for your convenience. Parental confirmation of every absence is required. If the office staff has not received confirmation regarding your child's absence, you will be contacted.

Communication

A monthly parent bulletin will be sent through School Messenger during the school year to update parents on important events, activities, and news involving school. This bulletin is sent electronically via email to your email address listed in Powerschool. The bulletin is also posted on our school website. Bulletins will typically be sent out on the first Friday of each month.


The quickest and easiest way to communicate with Ridgeview Staff is through email. All staff emails can be found on the Ridgeview website by hovering over the Quicklinks tab in the upper right corner; then clicking on Teachers and Staff.

Fall Photo Day

Inter-State Studio photographers will be on hand Monday, August 30, to photograph all Ridgeview students and staff. Photos will take place in the art room. These photos will be used in the 21-22 Yearbook.


More information will available on our Ridgeview website as that date nears.

Right at School / After Care Programs

Right at School provides after care and enrichment programming for students here at Ridgeview after school for those that choose to register. They are a separate company so parents would need to contact RAS directly for registration and questions. You can contact Right at School at (309) 241-5468. Other local after care providers that provide transportation from RES at the end of the day are as follows:

1, 2, 3 You and Me - (309) 692-3470

Cadence Academy Candletree (formerly Rogy's) - (309) 271-7242

Cadence Academy Big Hollow (formerly Rogy's) - (309) 271-4246

Little Friends - (309) 243-9000

Fun n' Fit - (309) 693-5757

Northminster (only if enough registrations are received) - (309) 691-6322

Ridgeview Information

School Start Time: 7:39 a.m.

School Dismissal Time: 2:45 p.m. (2:15 every Wednesday)

K Lunch = 10:30-11:00

1st Lunch = 11:05-11:35

2nd Lunch = 11:40-12:10

3rd Lunch = 11:40-12:10

4th Lunch = 12:15-12:45

5th Lunch = 12:15-12:45