The Eagle Eye

Dec. 3, 2020 - Eagle Ridge Academy - Volume 17 | Issue 6

Eagle Ridge Academy is currently in FULL SCHOOL DISTANCE LEARNING.

All students in grades K-12 must stay at home in distance learning until notified of a change in the learning scenario. Essential childcare will remain open for Tier 1 Critical Care Workers.

The Minnesota Department of Health data updated today shows that Hennepin County is currently at 131.86 cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 people. Please see the data below for the reasoning for the switch to full school distance learning.

According to the Eagle Ridge Academy Learning Scenarios based on 14-day case rate range (see page 4), 40 or more cases puts the full school in distance learning.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health Recommended policy options based on 14-day case rate range, the recommended policy option for 50 or more cases is full distance learning.

Upcoming Events

Friday, Dec. 4:

  • All students are at home in distance learning.
  • Materials Pick-Up at Door 2 (School of Grammar) and Door 3 (Schools of Logic & Rhetoric), 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
  • Join us for the last Gryphon Conversation of 2020 at 10:30 a.m. here.
  • Take Home Meals Pick-Up at Door 2, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Monday, Dec. 7 - Friday, Dec. 11:


Friday, Dec. 11:

  • All students are at home in distance learning.
  • Take Home Meals Pick-Up at Door 2, 11:00-2:00 p.m. Please pre-order meal bundles ahead of time.

Monday, Dec. 14 - Friday, Dec. 18:


Wednesday, Dec. 21 - Friday, Jan. 1:

  • NO SCHOOL due to Winter Break.

Technology Information

*If you are using an Eagle Ridge Academy-issued tablet and are unable to download Zoom, you may have to update your tablet. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

*Starting January 1, 2021, Infinite Campus will no longer support Internet Explorer. Please use an alternate web browser.

If you need help with Canvas or have another technology issue, you can visit to troubleshoot your issue and see who to contact for help.

You can also call the Academic & Technology Hotline Monday-Thursday at 952-746-7760, ext. 1704 or email

Community Updates

Schools of Logic & Rhetoric Notes - Erin Johnson, Principal

Dear Families,

November is traditionally the month of giving thanks. This year, I’ve been increasingly grateful for the families we have at Eagle Ridge Academy. You have been kind, shown grace, and have allowed for this unusual transition.

Now that we have one quarter under our belts, we’ve been able to analyze data and look at additional ways to support our students. This includes a change to advisory for the foreseeable future. This is, in part, because we want screen breaks for students. This is also an opportunity for our teachers to use that time to reach out to struggling students. Teachers will reach out to students and parents about grades and connect with students on Fridays for individualized time and relationship building.

Additionally, we are adjusting the way final exams will look for students, as well as the percentage breakdown per quarter, to reflect the changes students and teachers needed to make this year. In collaboration with the Leadership Advisory Team (the Department Chairs and Team Leads for the Schools of Logic and Rhetoric), the decision was made to change the percentage breakdown. (Please note that you may choose to follow the original percentage breakdown if you prefer, as long as you communicate this to your child's teachers.) For this first semester, due to learning the new technology, issues with technology during the first month and a half, and the inability to sync Canvas to Infinite Campus until after fall break in October, the breakdown for semester grades will be as follows: 40% 1st quarter; 55% 2nd quarter; 5% final exam. The changes will be reflected in Infinite Campus before the end of the semester. Second semester will be reviewed by the same Leadership Advisory Team to determine the breakdown as we continue to improve engagement and instruction.

We thank you for your dedication to your children and our school and appreciate the kindness, patience, and understanding you constantly afford us.


Erin Johnson

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The ERA Annual Door Decorating Contest is Back! - Janelle Mellgren, Principal

Eagle Ridge Academy Families,

We are pleased to announce that we will be holding our Third Annual (First Virtual!) Door Decorating Contest starting next week. Students in all grades will be able to participate in two ways. They can participate with their class and their classroom teacher and they can participate at home! This year's theme is Eagle Ridge Academy's own version of "Where's Waldo?" called: "Where is Gus the Gryphon?". Students will work to hide Gus in the door decorations, which will be based on something that the students are learning about this year. Gus may be hiding in Ancient China, on one (or more) of the seven continents, or even in Homer's backyard!

We will be providing a paper copy of Gus the Gryphon for all students. It will be available for you to pick up at school tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 4. If you wish to have your child participate at home (parent’s choice), then you may pick up however many copies you need for your children.

The decorating will start next Monday, Dec. 7. We will be accepting photo submissions the week of Dec. 14 from families who choose to participate. Some may be featured on Eagle Ridge Academy's Facebook and Instagram pages! We are looking forward to celebrating this popular event in a new an exciting way this year – Go Gryphons!

Kind regards,

Janelle Mellgren

Academic Advising Notes - Mary Johnson, Academic Advisor

Hello Juniors and Families,

The Coolidge Scholarship is among America's most generous scholarship opportunities. It is a full-ride scholarship that covers a student's tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. Unlike other top scholarships, the Coolidge can be used by recipients at any accredited U.S. college or university. Any high school junior who plans to enroll in college in the fall of 2022 and is an American citizen or legal permanent resident is eligible to apply.

More information, including the application, is available at All applications must be completed online and submitted by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. Coolidge Scholars are selected based primarily on academic excellence. Secondary criteria include: an interest in public policy, an appreciation for values President Coolidge championed, as well as humility and service. A complete description of the scholarship's criteria is available at

Please note that the application process requires that applicants read The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge and complete a few other reading assignments. While the book is not overly long, applicants are encouraged to begin the application early so that they have plenty of time. ​Candidates who begin the application at the last minute are unlikely to be successful.​


Ms. MJ

Developing Connections

Thank you for supporting the ERA Playscape & Grounds Beautification Project on Give to the Max Day! - Kelly Schiffman, Director of Development

Thank you! We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from the Eagle Ridge Academy community during the Give to the Max 2020 celebration!

Nearly $25,000 was raised to support the new Playscape and Grounds Beautification project. The amazing generosity was overwhelming and we cannot say thank you enough. The students of Eagle Ridge Academy will one day be able to learn in the beauty of the outdoors and play in a place that inspires imagination and encourages activity in a safe space.

It’s not too late to support this project ( If you would like to help us meet our goal of $100,000, we invite you to donate in any of the following ways:

1. Cash or check (written to Friends of Eagle Ridge Academy), mailed to:
Friends of Eagle Ridge Academy
c/o Playscape
11111 Bren Rd. W
Minnetonka, MN 55343
2. Online donation by credit card:
3. Online donation through at

On behalf of all of us at Eagle Ridge Academy, we give thanks for YOU!

For more information on how you may participate in helping develop 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

Together, we have raised over $20,000 during Give to the Max! THANK YOU!!

Double the Impact of your Gift with 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 department to ask about their community support, social responsibility, and employee giving opportunities. Many organizations match employee gifts up to 100%, essentially doubling your donation to the Academy, donate to charities of choice based on volunteer hours, and sponsor events financially or with in-kind donations.

Be informed by asking today!

Shop with SCRIP

Are you doing your holiday shopping online this year? Eagle Ridge Academy offers SCRIP, a gift card program that gives back to Eagle Ridge Academy with purchases on everyday items such as groceries, restaurants, retail, or gas. You buy gift cards at face value from more than 750 retailers and SCRIP donates a portion of all purchases back to Eagle Ridge Academy.

Orders go in on Fridays, with delivery to ERA the following Tuesday:


You can make a difference while you shop for holiday gifts this year! 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.

2019-2020 Annual Report Available Now

In 2019-20…

…students attended Eagle Ridge from 31 different school districts

…we administered 141 AP exams, and 56 students scored a 3 or higher on them

…we had a 93% graduation rate for the Class of 2019.

Want to learn more? Check out the full annual report below here.

Register Today for Grades 6-12 Virtual Theatre Workshops!

Upper School Students,

Register today for our virtual theatre workshops:! Learn about audition coaching, stage makeup, radio plays, and approaches to Shakespeare with directors Ms. Michels and Ms. Bixby. You are also invited to join the one-act play and spring play! Make sure to register ASAP: the first deadline is TODAY, Dec. 3.

Grades 8-12: Join Dungeons & Dragons Club!

Eagle Ridge Academy is starting a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) Club this year! Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game, as seen on the hit Netflix TV show Stranger Things.

All students in grades 8-12 are invited to join the club. D&D Club will meet virtually on Zoom and will be student-run. Physical Education teacher Mr. Boegel will oversee the club.

Join Mr. Boegel for an informational meeting next Thursday, Dec. 10, via this Zoom link. Please contact Mr. Boegel at with questions prior to the informational meeting.

Virtual Chess Club

Eagle Ridge Academy will be running a virtual Chess Club this winter. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!

School Portraits Ready to View; Retake Days Canceled; Upper School Can Submit Yearbook Portraits through Dec. 18

Photos from our School Portrait Days for Team Lion, Team Eagle, and Distance Learners are now available for parents to preview. Please click on the link below to get started.


If photos are not appearing in your gallery:

  • You can find your School of Grammar student using event code: FE29020
  • You can find your Schools of Logic & Rhetoric student using event code: FE28820


You can personalize your photos with a variety of backgrounds and text.

Photos are shipped directly to your home.

High-res digital downloads are available.

If you have more than one child, you can order together and pay only once.

The in-person portrait retakes scheduled for Dec. 1 and 8 have been canceled due to safety concerns as COVID-19 case rates continue to rise. Distance learning students have the option to submit their own school portraits for the yearbook if they did not get their portraits taken in-person at school.

Lower School portraits must be submitted by next Friday, Dec. 11. View Lower School (Grades K-5) instructions here. The Eagle Ridge Academy Lower School (K-5) 2020-2021 Yearbook is available to purchase here.

Upper School Portraits must be submitted by Friday, Dec. 18. View Upper School (Grades 6-12) instructions here. The Eagle Ridge Academy Upper School 2020-2021 Yearbook is available to purchase for $50 now through January 31, 2021 here.

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Eagle Ridge Academy Lower School Families,

This holiday season, give the gift of memories! If you haven't done so already, order your student a 2020-2021 yearbook for only $30.00 plus tax.

Orders must be placed online. The Eagle Ridge Academy Lower School (K-5) 2020-2021 Yearbook is available to purchase here.

Student yearbook portraits must be submitted online if they weren't taken in-person at school. Go to and type in User ID 415853965 to submit a K-5 student portrait. See below for more information, and email with questions. The deadline for submitting student portraits is next Friday, Dec 11.

Take-Home Meals Pick-Up, Application for Educational Benefits, and December Menus - Brittany Radtke, Chef

Tomorrow is a Take-Home Meals Pick Up Day. All students in distance learning qualify for the take-home meal program weekly. Please fill out the Take-Home Meals order form if you intend to pick up meals.

Free meals for children 18 years old and younger have been provided through The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This program is currently funded through Dec. 31, 2020. If it is not extended, Eagle Ridge Academy will start to charge for meals again upon the return to school in January. Those who qualify for Educational Benefits will continue to receive free or reduced lunches. It is imperative to complete your Application for Educational Benefits no later than Dec. 15 to ensure there is not an interruption in meal service.

Please make sure your family fills out the Application for Educational Benefits or the Alternate Application for Educational Benefits and returns it to the school before Dec. 15. If your household meets free or reduced-price meal income guidelines, filling out this form will help generate compensatory revenue for Eagle Ridge Academy. Schools must use compensatory revenue to meet the needs of students who are behind their peers, such as remedial instruction, instructional materials including digital learning and technology, bilingual programs, and additional teachers and teacher aides. These applications may also make teachers in your school eligible for the federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program if they have outstanding college loans. Please fill out the form as soon as possible so Eagle Ridge Academy can calculate eligibility and report to Minnesota Department of Education, and to ensure that your household will not have an interruption in meal service. Thank you.

You may email Head Chef Brittany Radtke at with any questions.

Stay Connected!

Follow the ERA PTO on Facebook! Search "Eagle Ridge Academy PTO" on Facebook or follow this link:

Join the K-12 Parent Directory! This is a one-stop app that will help families search, sign up, and connect through our PTO web and mobile app. PTO encourages you to register. Remember, this is the only way to connect with other families at Eagle Ridge Academy!

See below for instructions on how to connect through 'My School Anywhere' App

Step 1:

  • Create an account at
  • If you already have an account from last year, using My School Anywhere, you can use the same email and password to login. You can then confirm or edit your information.

Step 2:

  • Click “verify my email” and check your email for a link to complete the process.

Questions? Please contact Anu at

Get Your 2020 PTO Spirit Wear to wear on Spirit Wear Fridays!

PTO Spirit Wear is available for purchase online! During this school year, every Friday is a Spirit Wear Day and we've got you covered with this year's fun t-shirts and sweatpants. Items can be ordered here and picked up every other Friday during distance learning materials pick-up.

All Spirit Wear proceeds benefit PTO's events, services, and teacher support. Show your school spirit and order your fresh spirit wear today!

Three Things You Can do to Support ERA Athletics

1. Register on the ERA Booster Club website ( so the ERA Booster Club has a way to communicate with families based on the sports and activities they choose.

2. Become a Booster ( and choose from a variety of support levels, including the FREE Patron level.

3. Order your own ERA Booster Club winter gear, face masks, and mask-keepers ( to show your school spirit every day!

Learn more by visiting the ERA Booster Club website or by joining the Facebook group today!

See it, Save it!

Did you know how easy it is to earn money for ERA when you buy Coke products?

Go to and search for Eagle Ridge Academy. Check under the cap or inside the box of any Coke product. Enter the code that you find there (or scan it with your phone!) and you’re done!

Depending on the size of the product, you’ve just given up to $0.38 to ERA. That doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up quickly when we all work together!

Kipton W. is a student in the School of Grammar. Thank you for sharing this festive story with us!

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Eagle Ridge Academy

Thank you for reading the Eagle Eye Newsletter. The next issue will be published on Thursday, Dec. 17.