Falcon Ridge Elementary Newsletter

October 2020

Important Information:

Office/Main Line: 952-758-1600

24/7 Attendance Line: 952-758-1605

FR Nurse: 952-758-1606

Fax: 952-758-1699

Principal's Perspective - David Giesen

Falcon Ridge Families,

The start to our 2020-21 school year has been a very good one. As we prepared during the summer months, our district priorities were centered around maintaining a safe environment and promoting high levels of learning for all students. Our first weeks proved to be very good ones, as both families and our staff adjusted to 50% capacity at school, hybrid at home, distance learning, along with some of the other adjustments that have been made. Please know that safety and student learning will continue to be priorities for our students and staff, as we continue to look at the best ways to deliver instruction moving forward.

Attendance: Please remember to enter your child's attendance for their hybrid at home days. We know this is an additional step for parents to take this year, but your help is appreciated with this.

Picture Retakes: These will be done on Monday, October 12 and Wednesday, October 14 from 9:15 a.m - 12:00 p.m. You will be able to park in the front entryway at Falcon Ridge, and signs will direct you to the proper room when you enter the building.

Band: At this time, our 5th grade band lessons are taking place virtually on the hybrid at home days ONLY. Mrs. Spindler is working to secure a schedule that works for her and her students. More information will be coming soon!

Mrs. Julie Spindler


Please bring these things to school every day:

  • two masks - just in case you need an extra one
  • water bottle - so you can stay hydrated
  • charged Chromebook (grades 2-5) - so they are fully charged for your "at school" days (Please leave the charger at home.)

What to do if you're sick: COVID19 Health Screening Tool.pdf (see pdf above, also)

Specialists: Our specialist teachers are working hard to bring you content that is aligned to their grade level standards while students learn at home. Please encourage your child to try the activities that are provided from our specialist team on their hybrid at home days to foster a connection between our learning at home and at school.

Apex: We want to thank all of our families for their support as we wrap up our school fundraiser. Asking for donations during this time isn't easy, so any little bit that was done to help our students and staff at Falcon Ridge is appreciated.

Have a great month of October!


David Giesen

Falcon Ridge Elementary Principal

(952) 758-1601 and dgiesen@isd721.org

Staff Perspective - Amy Borwege, Grade 4 Teacher

Building a Classroom Community

As the school year begins, teachers spend hours preparing academic lessons and activities to ensure their students are getting everything they need. What is often overlooked and under-acknowledged is the incredible amount of time teachers spend planning and preparing for their classroom community. Some of this planning happens prior to the day, such as morning meetings, while others are on the spot. The environment that is created in the beginning of the school year filters into each month, growing and evolving as our students get to know each other.

While the school year has delivered a unique challenge juggling two different groups of learners in two different formats, teachers at Falcon Ridge continue to preserve the importance of building a strong sense of community with 50% of our students. Teachers continue to have Google Meets for morning meetings, live lessons for reading and math, live read-alouds, and daily video greetings for their hybrid-at-home days. Teachers are finding creative ways to host successful morning meetings with activities that honor social-distancing. The work goes beyond fun games and activities in our classroom; it’s building an environment where students can trust their teachers and peers, take risks, speak up, and make mistakes.

Our specialist teachers are bringing their craft to unique spaces, all while continuing to develop their own classroom community: Music is outside under a pavilion; Phy Ed is outside, no matter the elements; Art is on a cart, traveling to each classroom; and Maker Lab has also been brought into the classroom. These teachers are working tirelessly to make their classroom a space where our students can release and build their individual talents outside of reading and math.

As a parent of a high school, middle school, and elementary student, I have been in AWE of what my colleagues have produced for my children. They see their teacher’s face, even when they aren’t physically with them. This alone gives my children an opportunity to still feel connected to their teachers, while continuing with their learning at the same time. Though the classroom community is in two different places, at home and at school, they are still feeling a connection to their school.

The success of a positive school community extends beyond the work of a classroom teacher. Our paraprofessionals, nurses, office staff, custodians, nutrition service staff, bus drivers, administration, and directors all play a vital role in the success of our schools. A strong and supportive community is the heart of everything we do.

Fundraising Made Simple

In working with our Falcon Ridge PAC, I want to make all of our families aware of some easy ways to support our students at Falcon Ridge by using a few simple steps with businesses that you may already be spending money with:

  • Coborns School Rewards - Coborn's, Inc. is committed to donating $150,000 to local entities during the 2019-2020 school year. The points your school earns will help grow their share of the $150,000 total. It's like a pie; the size of your school's slice will depend on how many points they have received. Schools should encourage their supporters to register for their location at moreRewards.com: 1. Go to moreRewards.com, 2. create a login, 3. proceed to login, 4. go to "manage my membership," 5. choose school rewards, 6. select Falcon Ridge, and you are done! It is just that easy! You can also easily add it through the More Rewards phone app: 1. go to rewards, 2. slide the school rewards button to green, 3. below the button there should be an option for you to change to your school, 4. search for Falcon Ridge, and 5. select Falcon Ridge.
  • Amazon Smile - when you shop online at Amazon. This will help raise money for the Falcon Ridge PAC, which supports all students and all staff! Again, it's easy to do so: 1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com in your desktop or mobile phone browser, 2. from your desktop, go to "Your Account" from the navigation at the top of the page, 3. select the option to "Change your Charity" from the options at the bottom of the page, 4. choose Falcon Ridge Elementary PAC. For every eligible purchase you make on smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% directly to our Falcon Ridge PAC.

2020-21 Falcon Ridge Monthly Character Traits

R-espect (September)

E-ffort (October)

A-ttitude (November)

P-ride (December)


C-ooperation (January)

A-ssertion (February)

R-esponsibility (March)

E-mpathy (April)

S-elf Control (May)

Falcon Ridge Archived Newsletters