The Eagle Eye

September 15, 2022 - Eagle Ridge Academy - 2022-23 Issue 2

Upcoming Events

Friday, September 16

Tuesday, September 20

Thursday, September 22

Monday, September 26

Tuesday, September 27

Please note: only home games and matches for Gryphon Activities are listed on this calendar. To see a full list of Gryphon games, matches, practices, and meetings, please view the Activities Calendar.

Classical Learning Test Recognizes Two ERA Students as Top Performers on the CLT10 Exam

The CLT10 is a college preparatory exam and PSAT® alternative designed for 9th and 10th graders and offered by the Classic Learning Test. Evaluating English, math, and critical reasoning skills, it provides a comprehensive measure of achievement and aptitude and engages students with classic texts from the most influential authors and thinkers across time. Since its inception in 2016, Classic Learning Test has sought to offer assessments steeped in more intellectually rich and rigorous content than other standardized tests.

Each year, Classic Learning Test recognizes top performers on the CLT10. Distinguished Scholars are those who earned the top score at their respective school, Regional Scholars landed in the top 5% of their respective region, and National Award recipients are the top 50 high school sophomores across the United States. National Award Recipients who matriculate to a CLT partner college are awarded $2,500 to help cover the cost of tuition and room and board.

2022 Classic Learning Test National Award Recipient Carter Anderson

School of Rhetoric junior Carter Anderson has been recognized as a 2022 National Award Recipient, Distinguished Scholar, and Regional Scholar for his outstanding performance on the CLT10 assessment. Carter was also recognized in 2021 as a CLT10 Distinguished and Regional Scholar. Out of the thousands of students who take the CLT10 every year, Carter has made a remarkable achievement and Eagle Ridge Academy is incredibly proud of this accomplishment.

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2022 Classic Learning Test Regional Scholar Gabriel Grabanski

School of Rhetoric junior Gabriel Grabanski has also been recognized by Classic Learning Test as a 2022 Regional Scholar.

Congratulations to these two scholars for demonstrating perseverance and excellence academically. We can't wait to see what you both accomplish in your final two years at Eagle Ridge Academy!

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Classical Corner: Introducing our New Classical Coordinator Suzannah Toso

Dear Families,

While many of you may know me as a kindergarten teacher, I have recently changed roles, now focusing my energy between being a Classical Enrichment teacher for grades K-2 as well as a Classical Coordinator for grades K-12.

This year, the School of Grammar introduced a new Classical Enrichment course. As a Classical Enrichment teacher, I am privileged to not only teach our youngest scholars in K-2 but also write the curriculum for this exciting course that focuses on building communication skills through writing and oracy and prepares scholars for the oracy skills we expect later in the Schools of Logic and Rhetoric.

Our first weeks have been thrilling as I have introduced our scholars to Orator 5–key skills for speaking, Copia–an abundance of vocabulary, and how to seek Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in our studies. It is truly a joy to delve deeper into each grade’s studies, developing lessons and activities that form connections, broaden understanding, and challenge our students.

My other role this year is as the new K-12 Classical Coordinator. Classical education has been a longtime passion of mine. I became hooked when I landed my first teaching job in a Classical school. Future roles in K-12 administration, curriculum and program development, and teacher mentoring only solidified my belief. It was when I came to Eagle Ridge that I found a home in Classical education. Eagle Ridge is a special place that has contemplated its role as a Classical school and worked to define its unique philosophy to all stakeholders. It is a place that demands the best from its students, but also its teachers, its curriculum, its programs–understanding that we are always learning and growing. It is a place that understands its mission and vision in the broader community and holds fast to the idea that Classical Education is for Everyone.

As the Academy enters a new phase, with expansion felt throughout the three schools of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, I come on as Classical Coordinator–excited to partner with you in the education of your children and work with you in keeping our Classical traditions, mission, and vision at the forefront of all we do. If you are seeking a Classical conversation, know that I am always just an email away and would love to connect!


Suzannah Toso

Classical Enrichment Teacher K-2

Classical Coordinator K-12

Classical Education Parent Night Wednesday, October 19

Eagle Ridge Academy and local Classical schools are holding a Classical Education Parent Night on Wednesday, October 19, at the Airport Marriott Hotel across from the Mall of America (2020 American Blvd. East, Bloomington, 55425).

Food will be provided during the social hour, 6:00-6:30 p.m. A presentation will be held 6:30-7:30 p.m., featuring Dr. Anika Prather.

Join us to learn more about the importance of Classical education and meet other parents and school leaders. RSVPs preferred but not required. RSVP here today!

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Community Updates: School of Grammar

School of Grammar Back to School Yearbook Sale

Purchase your School of Grammar yearbooks for the lowest price of the year! Through September 23, yearbooks are $30. Order online for a $5 discount.

Additionally, personalize your yearbook cover for $7 and you can add four icons for FREE!

Order School of Grammar yearbooks here.

Gryphon Groups: K-5 Small Group Counseling Opportunities with School Counselor Mr. M

What are Gryphon Groups?

A Gryphon Group is a safe space for students to learn and practice skills for success and deal with challenging situations and feelings. Groups will meet once per week over lunch for eight sessions. No class time is missed.

Who leads Gryphon Groups?

Zac MacLean (Mr. M), K-5 Counselor leads Gryphon Groups.

Please contact Zac MacLean at if you are interested in having your child join a Gryphon Group.

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Community Updates: Schools of Logic & Rhetoric

Schools of Logic & Rhetoric Notes - Erin Johnson, Principal

Schools of Logic & Rhetoric Families,

We are approaching the end of our fourth week of school. Students and staff alike have gotten back into the routine, and we continue to Sweat the Small Stuff. We've seen a tremendous change in school culture, all for the better. We are excited to see where this year leads us.

The fourth week also marks mid-quarter; please check on your students' progress by looking at their grades, contacting teachers, and diving deeply into their assignments and assessments so we can work together to help students if they are struggling. We are a team, and we will work with you to help your children be successful.

Please mark your calendars for conferences in October. You will have a chance to meet individually with all of your children's teachers and discuss their progress. Conferences will be held Monday, October 17, and Tuesday, October 18. More information is coming soon.

Please encourage your children to join a club, activity, or athletics. We truly believe our pillars are shown in many ways and extracurriculars provide many avenues to continue to grow in these areas.

Go Gryphons!

Erin Johnson

Schools of Logic & Rhetoric Uniform Policy Clarification

We have seen an amazing to start to our Sweating the Small Stuff year. Students are showing us that they are developing virtue by being in class on time, wearing their proper uniforms, leaving their phones away during class, and cognitively engaging from the first minute of class all the way through the end. Teachers are noticing the level of calm, on-task learning with our content-rich curriculum. Keep it going, gryphons!

A point of clarity we would like to make at this time is regarding the uniform policy for uniform polos as well as formal dress shirts and ties. For the everyday Logic & Rhetoric uniform, students are required to wear a uniform polo. Uniform sweatshirts, sweaters, vests, and cardigans are optional layers on top of the polo.

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Please be sure that your children are wearing a uniform polo every day. Polos can be ordered through any of our approved uniform vendors – Educational Outfitters, Lands End, or Tommy Hilfiger. With Tommy Hilfiger being a new vendor this year, please see the image below for information about their fabric choices. Students who have been accustomed to wearing only the uniform sweatshirt may find that the fabric from Tommy Hilfiger is similar to the fabric of the sweatshirt.

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For formal dress days, note that a uniform tie must be worn with any Oxford-style shirt. Oxford shirts have full-length sleeves and a pocket. The only shirt that does not require a tie is the pinpoint-cut blouse which is a three-quarter sleeve. Our next formal dress days will be the week of September 26. Please check your child’s planner for which day they are required to be in formal dress.

Thank you all for your diligence in ensuring that this year is one of virtue development and academic engagement. Should you have any questions regarding the uniform, please reach out to Mrs. Missy Madigan at

Notes from the Academic Advising Office - Mary Johnson, College and Academic Advisor

Dear School of Rhetoric Families,

I am writing to you today to let you know of some changes on the horizon for the ERA School of Rhetoric Counseling Department. It is with my deepest regret that I have resigned my position as the Academic and College Counselor for Eagle Ridge Academy, effective September 23. Life circumstances have necessitated my move out of state. I will be working remotely and returning to ERA a few times to help train my successor, Mrs. Linda Kaiser, over the next few weeks. I have truly enjoyed working with the students and families of Eagle Ridge Academy over the past two years. You have chosen an outstanding school to attend that will prepare you for whatever path you choose in the future. I wish you all the best!


As always, view scholarship information and information from multiple colleges at this link.

Application fees should not be a barrier for high school students to apply for college. There are many opportunities for students to apply to Minnesota institutions for free. Check out this list to view free application opportunities at Minnesota colleges and universities.


Ms. MJ

Looking for Activities Leaders - Kris Babler, Activities Director

Dear Families,

There are few better ways to improve the ERA student experience than through participating in activities. For the past several years, this has been our message to students. Play sports. Make music. Act in a production. Build a robot. Join a team. These experiences enrich life for students and tend to improve academic achievement.

As the district has grown, demand has increased. We are now at a point where we need to call for more involvement from our parent community. We are looking for leaders in a number of roles, several of which have state-caliber participants: Math Team, Mock Trial, Debate/Speech, Middle School Sports Coaches. Join our team and help us build Gryphon Activities.

Go Gryphons!

Kris Babler

Concession Upgrades

Enjoy some HOT food at the concession stand this fall, including Detroit-style pepperoni pizza made on the NEW food warmer!

Upcoming Events Sponsored by the ERA Booster Club



  • Attend the ERA Booster Club meeting at the Hopkins VFW, 5:30 p.m.
  • All are welcome!


  • Attend Fall Senior Night in the ERA Gymnasium.
  • Stay tuned for more information!

Join the ERA Booster Club on Facebook for activities updates and check out for more information and to register as a booster!

Still Time to Register for Fall Activities!

Clubs below are organized by grade level. Learn more about each club and register here today:

Discover Fall Session - Forest Lego League (FLL)

WHO: Grades K-1

WHEN: September 26-December 16, Monday-Friday, 3:20-5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Area outside the Guidance Counselor's office

ADVISOR: Derek Lutz

COST: $110

Chess Club

WHO: Grades K-12

WHEN: October 25-April 11, Tuesdays, 3:30-4:15 p.m.

WHERE: Various Classrooms/Solarium

DIRECTOR: April Grabanski

COST: $175

Explore Fall Session - First Lego League (FLL)

WHO: Grades 2-3

WHEN: September 26-December 16, Monday-Friday, 3:20-5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Area outside the Guidance Counselor's office

ADVISOR: Derek Lutz

COST: $130

3x3 Basketball

WHO: Grades 3-12

WHEN: October 9-23, Sundays, Grades 3-6: 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Grades 7-12: 7:30-8:30 p.m.


ADVISOR: Chad Flies; Assistant Director: Kalvin O'Neal

COST: $5 (Basketballs provided)

Flag Football

WHO: Grades 3-12

WHEN: September 16-October 28, Fridays, 3:30-6:00 p.m.

WHERE: ERA Soccer Field

DIRECTOR: Evan Johnson

COST: $80; Tryouts required

Challenge Fall Session - First Lego League (FLL)

WHO: Grades 4-6

WHEN: September 26-December 16, Monday-Friday, 3:20-5:00 p.m.

WHERE: Area outside the Guidance Counselor's office

ADVISOR: Derek Lutz

COST: $160

Choir Club

WHO: Grades 3-5

WHEN: October 3-December 12, Mondays, 3:30-4:15 p.m.

WHERE: Ms. Freund’s Classroom, 1609

DIRECTOR: Caroline Freund

COST: $70

Impart Art Club Session 1

WHO: Grades 3-5

WHEN: September 22-December 8, Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m.

WHERE: Classroom 1510

WHAT IS NEEDED: All supplies are provided. A spirit wear shirt is included as well.

DIRECTOR: Jamie Kruschke

COST: $110

Advanced Competitive Chess Session 1

WHO: Grades 3-12

WHEN: October 27-December 15, Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m.

WHERE: Various Classrooms/Solarium

**Must have completed one of these prerequisite options: Tactics Level (Included in Tuesday sessions), competed in at least three tournaments, OR approved by Mrs. Grabanski.

DIRECTOR: April Grabanski

COST: $105

Middle School Robotics - First Tech Challenge (FTC)

WHO: Grades 6-8

WHEN: September 27-January 19, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:20-5:30 p.m. | Students will participate in a tournament in Burnsville on the weekend of January 14.

WHERE: Upstairs Robotics Room

ADVISOR: Derek Lutz; The program will only have as many teams as we have mentors available. If you are available to mentor, please send an email to Mr. Lutz at

COST: $185

Adaptive Fitness Club

WHO: Students with disabilities in Grades 6-12

WHEN: September 19-April 24, Mondays, 3:15-4:15 p.m.

WHERE: Fitness Center (if available) or Room 2105 as needed

WHAT IS NEEDED: Workout clothes or clothes that are easy to move in

DIRECTOR: Kirsten Olson

COST: $0

Junior Classical League

WHO: Grades 6-12

WHEN: Late September-Late May, Occasional Fridays, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Room 2107

DIRECTOR: Betsy Bixby

COST: $55

Music Listening Club

WHO: Grades 6-12

WHEN: September 9-March 3, Occasional Mondays, 3:10-4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Room 1611

DIRECTOR: Rachel Finnes

COST: $40

Pep Band

WHO: Grades 7-12

WHEN: August 30-May 29, Tuesdays, 3:20-4:00 p.m.

WHERE: Ms. Conklin’s room, 1612

WHAT IS NEEDED: Bring your instrument!

DIRECTOR: Grace Conklin

COST: $0

Book Club

WHO: Grades 7-12

WHEN: September 28, October 26, November 30, December 14, 3:20-3:50 p.m.

WHERE: Room 1200 (Library)
DIRECTOR: Carolyn Tillotson

COST: $30; If the library doesn't have copies of the book your group wants to read, they will need to be purchased.

D&D Gamers Club

WHO: Grades 9-12

WHEN: September 2-June 2, Fridays, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Room 2121 or 2136

DIRECTOR: Rachel Finnes (Co-Presidents: Gabe G. & Henry D.)


COST: $60

High School Robotics - First Robotics Competition (FRC)

WHO: Grades 9-12

WHEN: October 4-June 1, Tuesdays & Thursdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Upstairs Robotics Room

ADVISOR: Derek Lutz; The program is always in need of mentors. If you are available to mentor, please send an email to Mr. Lutz at

COST: $200

Collaborative Art

Around 550 students from Mrs. Kruschke’s kindergarten through third grade art classes worked together to accomplish a fun artwork! During their Collaborative Art unit earlier this month, students colored, cut, and glued sections of this 3’x40’ crayon banner, currently on display in the Forum.

Mrs. Kruschke was inspired by the book "The Crayon Box that Talked", written by Shane DeRolf and illustrated by Michael Letzig. With a little artistic license, Mrs. Kruschke quoted the final page in her display: “ERA is like a box of crayons, each one of us unique. But when we get together, the picture is complete.”

Mrs. Kruschke invites students in grades 3-5 to join her at Impart Art Club this fall on Thursdays, 3:30-4:45 p.m. Session 1 starts September 22; there are only 20 seats available, so register today: See more information in the poster below.

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Developing Connections

Ways to Get Involved and Give Back - Kelly Schiffman, Director of Development

There are several ways to participate in giving at Eagle Ridge Academy. Creating additional revenue sources and building community is important as we strive to create the best possible educational experience for our students while staying true to our mission. Enjoy giving from the heart for a good cause with the benefit of receiving a tax deduction.

For more information on how you may participate in developing Eagle Ridge Academy, please contact Kelly Schiffman at 952-746-7760, ext. 1107 or by email at Visit our website for online giving and other important information at

Volunteer Needs: Technology Cart Disassembly and Book Fair

Eagle Ridge Academy views parents and students as integral contributors and active participants in our school. The Academy is most successful when parents and students work together with the teachers and staff to create and sustain the best possible learning environment.

We have several opportunities coming up to lend your hands in support! Current needs are for technology cart disassembly and Book Fair support. For these and more volunteer opportunities, please check out the community opportunities link. Within this link is a separate sign-up for our monthly Volunteer Wednesdays, an opportunity to come in once per month to help with teacher and school projects.

Pledge Your Support

Pledge your annual support to Eagle Ridge Academy with an affordable monthly gift, broken down into smaller amounts, which makes giving easier, and allows a predictable revenue source for Eagle Ridge Academy. Click here to pledge your annual support.

Corporate Match Programs

Do you work for an employer who has a Matching Gift Program or supports community events as recommended by the employee?

Consider reaching out to your Community Relations or HR departments to ask about their community support and employee giving opportunities. Many organizations match employee gifts up to 100% (essentially doubling the impact of your gift to the Academy), donate to charities of choice based on volunteer hours, and sponsor events financially or with in-kind donations. Search this website to see if your workplace matches.

Be informed by asking today!

Shop with RaiseRight (formerly known as SCRIP)

Eagle Ridge Academy offers RaiseRight, a gift card program that gives back to Eagle Ridge Academy with purchases on everyday items such as groceries, restaurants, retail, and gas. Buy gift cards at face value from more than 750 retailers, and RaiseRight donates a portion of all purchases back to Eagle Ridge Academy. Orders go in on Fridays, with delivery to ERA the following Tuesday. Learn more here.


You can make a difference while you shop! Simply shop at or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app (go to "Settings" in the app, then click "AmazonSmile" to manage this) and AmazonSmile donates to Friends of Eagle Ridge Academy, Inc.

Save the Date: Eagle Ridge Academy is celebrating Give to the Max Day on November 17!

What if you could help our school receive $1,000 just by giving $10 or more?

Join us for Give to the Max Day on November 17, and you could help us receive $500, $1,000 or $10,000. Just make an online donation on and your donation will be entered into a drawing for a $500 Golden Ticket every 15 minutes for Friends of Eagle Ridge Academy. Donations will help support the students of Eagle Ridge Academy.

Here’s the really exciting part: One donation made on during the Give to the Max Day campaign will be randomly selected to receive a $10,000 super-sized GiveMN Golden Ticket. Starting in October, donors may "schedule" their gifts ahead of time. Please watch for more information.

Help us increase our odds and make the most of your gift by making a donation on November 17 on Search for Friends of Eagle Ridge Academy, then make your donation. Together, we hope to raise more than $10,000 on Give to the Max Day and you can help us reach our goal!

10th Annual Gala for the Gryphons - "A Night of Glitz and Glamour ~ Honoring Traditions"

SAVE THE DATE! This year's Gala for the Gryphons, A Night of Glitz and Glamour ~ Honoring Traditions, will take place at Hazeltine National Golf Club on Friday, November 18, 6:00-11:00 p.m. Online registration opens next week. Invitations will be mailed the first week of October.

The silent auction is a favorite part of the gala and we’d love your help! Consider a few ways to participate:

  • Pull friends or classroom parents together to create a themed basket.
  • Ask your place of employment for a gift or experience.
  • Do you have a timeshare or Airbnb, airline miles, or other unique experience to donate?
  • Do you have season tickets to Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, etc.?
  • Do you own a business and would like to sponsor the event?

Volunteer or attend! We welcome you as part of this fun planning team to meet new people, lend your voice and talents, and help make this night out special! Please email Director of Development Kelly Schiffman at to learn more.

Honoring Traditions with Eagle Ridge Academy Graduate Sri Guntipally

This year’s Gala for the Gryphons will honor the traditions of our many beautiful cultures. We will welcome 2021 ERA graduate Sri Guntipally, who will perform her traditional dance and share her experience at Eagle Ridge Academy!

Order 2022-23 Spirit Wear!

On Spirit Wear says, all staff and students K-12 can wear any spirit wear and uniform combinations. The 2022-23 Spirit Wear dates are Sept. 16, Oct. 7, Nov. 18, Dec. 9, Jan. 19 (Thursday), Feb. 24, March 10, April 20 (Thursday), and May 12.

Order 2022-23 PTO Spirit Wear here!

Save the Date: Rockin' the Ridge is on October 8!

Rockin’ the Ridge, the ERA PTO's popular community carnival event is on Saturday, October 8, 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Eagle Ridge Academy!

We are pleased to invite K-5 families to join us in making memorable moments with other members of the ERA community! Kids have a wide range of fun to choose, including a variety of carnival games, a photo backdrop with silly props, Henna, face painting, crazy hair, and so much more!

The unlimited wristband can be pre-ordered for $25 and picked up at the event or purchased at the door for $30. Click here to pre-order an unlimited wristband.

Families may also purchase a 10-punch card for $5 at the event. Point values vary between games and activities.

Since this is a community event, we are in need of lots of volunteers to help make it successful! There are many options for Rockin' the Ridge volunteers. Sign up here to join the fun!

Family Contributions

We appreciate the family contributions that have already been made to the PTO fund this year. You can always make a donation online or mail a check to the PTO at the school's address. The donations go toward building community and providing fun events for the children to enhance their school experience.

Stay Connected!

Support ERA Through Box Tops for Education and Coca-Cola GIVE Programs

Box Tops for Education

Box Tops for Education helps families earn money for Eagle Ridge Academy with products they already buy.

  • Download the Box Tops for Education app on your phone.
  • Follow the prompts to set up your account. Be sure to enter ERA as your school!
  • Scan your grocery store receipts in the app. The app automatically finds eligible items and credits them to ERA! You can even see in the app how much money has been given to our school this year and what products have special Box Tops promotions going on.
  • Visit for more information.

Coca-Cola GIVE

  • To contribute through Coca-Cola GIVE, simply look for a code on Coke products. It can be found under screw tops or inside the boxes of 12- and 24-packs.
  • When you see one, head to and search for Eagle Ridge Academy.
  • Enter or scan the code and you’re done!
  • Visit for more information.

Eagle Ridge Academy

Thank you for reading the Eagle Eye newsletter and for staying updated on what's going on at Eagle Ridge Academy. If you haven't already, make sure to like the ERA Facebook page and follow the ERA Instagram and Twitter accounts to see more frequent updates. The next issue of the Eagle Eye newsletter will be published on Thursday, September 29.