Falcon Ridge Elementary Newsletter

December 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

Falcon Ridge Attendance

Please call our Falcon Ridge attendance line at 952-758-1605 if your child will not be logged into distance learning for any reason.

2021 Science & Nature Conference

SCSC (Virtual) Science & Nature Conference Coming Soon!

Dec. 14, 2020–Jan. 15, 2021

Live and Pre-recorded Sessions

Recommended for Grades 3–6

The Science & Nature Conference is designed with the student in mind! Our presenters are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and anxious to engage your students. Perfect for any learning model or at home during winter break! Please feel free to share the 2020 Science & Nature Conference information with others. It will be available on the SCSC website soon!

Some important conference information is outlined below:

  • The event will be a mix of "live" and pre-recorded online sessions.
  • No need to choose this year, you can attend as many of the sessions as you wish!
  • This year's discounted price is only $15/student for the full month of access.
  • A schedule of the live sessions and listing of the pre-recorded sessions is coming soon!

We look forward to bringing science and nature to you!


Please contact Mary Hillmann at mhillmann@mnscsc.org or 507-389-2509.

South Central Service Cooperative • 2075 Lookout Drive, North Mankato, MN 56003

Principal's Perspective - David Giesen

Falcon Ridge Families,

We are quickly concluding the first 1/3 of our school year. Similar to the way the schoolyear started, we are in the middle of embracing new changes. Our move to distance learning has once again forced our students, parents, and staff out of their comfort zones. I want to thank our families for all that you are doing to partner with us as we face yet another challenge. I truly believe we will be stronger because of the hurdles we are facing this year.

With these changes, our staff is in dire need of time to adequately prepare for new and non-traditional approaches to instruction. Our school board has approved two-hour early releases each Wednesday, beginning December 2. The sole purpose of this time is to provide additional planning time for our staff. Additionally, students will not be in session on Monday, December 7 and Tuesday, January 19.


  • Monday, December 7 - NO SCHOOL, Staff Planning Day
  • Tuesday, December 8 - Material Pick-Up (hybrid students only), 7:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, December 9 - Early Release (1:45 pm)
  • Wednesday, December 16 - Material Pick-Up (distance learning students only), 7:00 am-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, December 16 - Early Release (1:45 pm)
  • Wednesday, December 23 - Early Release (1:45 pm)
  • December 24-January 3 - NO SCHOOL, Winter Break

Please know that we will be communicating either as a building, as a district, or both on our plans for the learning model we will be moving forward with in January once we have more information. Thank you for your continued support and partnership with us at Falcon Ridge!


David Giesen

Falcon Ridge Elementary Principal

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

Staff Perspective - Dan Wagner, Phy Ed Teacher

I find myself as an educator, coach, and father wondering how I can help all the kids involved in my life with all the changes and challenges going on right now. We have asked so much of our kids. We have asked them to change the way they communicate, the way they learn, and the way they interact. They are probably feeling so many different emotions inside because of what they are not able to do right now. I keep asking myself over and over: How can I help? How can we help?

How we respond to the challenges will directly affect the attitudes our children have about what is going on. As difficult as this may be for our kids and ourselves, we need to step up to the plate and parent harder than we have ever parented before. I am choosing to focus on what we can do and not what we cannot do. Right now, we can still impact our children in a positive way and help them become better people. We all know it’s not about the product, but rather the process that will make them successful men and women in life. Kids are resilient and will back from all of this. They are full of grit, wonder, and life! Let’s use this as a learning opportunity, a chance to introduce something new, an opportunity to develop character, and a way to strengthen relationships.

What I have learned from teaching and coaching is that kids not only like sports and school, they thrive off of interaction. I challenge myself and you to interact with the children in your lives. Work out with them; take them fishing; play a board game; have a family movie night; play catch with a football; engage in an art project; build a snowman together; have a winter campfire; build a giant fort; lay in bed with them and just listen; go snowshoeing; and/or shovel the neighbors driveway. The list is endless of what you CAN do with your children to help them deal with what they are missing out on right now. If you do this, I promise that this will help them physically and emotionally. It will help the time go faster for not only them, but yourself, until we can get back together safely again.

The greatest man I know once put a poem on my door when I was a young and impressionable high school student/athlete. My father noticed I was needing some words of encouragement and some perspective in life. The poem is called “Attitude,” by Charles Swindoll. I will not post the entire poem but encourage you to look it up. I want you and our kids to focus on one sentence: “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” Right now, we may be feeling as if we are being controlled. However, nobody can EVER control your attitude!

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:

  • NEW! Shutterfly - Simply click on this Shutterfly link and start shopping. A percentage will go directly to our Falcon Ridge PAC.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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