Pine Ridge Prep Update

December 6, 2021

Welcome from Mrs. Tanner & Mrs. Banzhaf

Dear Pine Ridge Prep Families,

As a reminder, we do not have school December 20-January 4 for Winter Break. Students will return on January 5. Enjoy the time with your loved ones!

Please ensure your children are coming to school with masks each day. It is a good idea to send a spare mask as well. We appreciate your support in ensuring students come to school prepared to learn and masks are essential to a safe learning environment. Additionally, please be sure your children are seated in the proper car seats, per Kansas law. If you need help with this, see the Family Resources section below!

As always, if you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to us!

Thank you for the privilege of serving you ~

Mrs. Gabrielle Tanner, Principal

Mrs. Shelley Banzhaf, Building Leader Intern

Upcoming Events

December Events

  • December 6: QT with Your Cutie @ 8:30
  • December 14: Parent Circle of Friends @ 9:15; Parent Committee @ 4:30
  • December 15: Holiday Celebration @ 5:30-7:00
  • December 16: Conscious Discipline @ 9:15; Board of Education Meeting @ 6:00
  • December 17: End of 2nd Quarter
  • December 20-January 4: NO SCHOOL - Winter Break
  • January 5: Students Return; 3rd Quarter Begins

Holiday Celebration

Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 5:30-7pm

1110 Southeast Highland Avenue

Topeka, KS

You are invited to the Pine Ridge Family Holiday Celebration on December 15th! There will be fun activities, crafts, cookies, spaghetti dinner, and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus! A flyer with more details will be coming home soon. See you there!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Items That Need Your Attention

Students Leaving Early

The school day at Pine Ridge Prep runs until 4:15 with students being dismissed from 4:00-4:15. As you know as caretakers of toddlers, the transition to go home is a process! Classrooms are finishing their day, cleaning up activities, eating snacks, and packing to go home. It is very disruptive and difficult for us to dismiss children from school early, starting at 3:45. If you have to pick your child up for an appointment, please be sure it is communicated in advance and they are picked up before 3:45. We will be unable to release students after 3:45 until our car line process begins at 4:00. If a child has an appointment between 1:00 and 2:00, they need to be picked up prior to 12:45 or after 2:00. Children are transitioning into rest time and napping from about 12:30-2:00 each day. It is disruptive to that valuable rest time when we have to wake sleeping children to leave for an appointment. Patterns of leaving early are tracked just as tardies are and will have an impact on student attendance. Thank you for your attention to this!

Attendance Reminder

Attendance Policy

*As established by SCDC Head Start Policy Council and based upon Topeka Public Schools rules and regulations.

1. The Topeka Board of Education believes that attendance at school is a key factor in student achievement and success. Students are expected to regularly attend school, participate, and learn.

2. If your child is ill, has an appointment, or other reason that will constitute an excused absence, you must call into the office between 8:00-9:00a.m. Advanced notice is appreciated.

3. A phone call attempt will be made on any child that does not arrive at school by 10:00am and 11:00am on late start Friday.

4. Head Start performance standards require children to be in attendance at a minimum of 90% of the time. Students who drop below 90% attendance will be placed on an attendance plan to improve student attendance. Any child who has been absent for 10 consecutive days, or 15 cumulative days, risks being dropped from the program and placed on the waitlist.

5. After 2 days of unexcused absences, staff will conduct a home visit or make other direct contact with the child's family, determining what assistance is needed to remedy the problem.

6. Tardies are cumulative and can affect attendance just like absences do. Students must arrive at school on time each day. Excessive tardies may result in the family being placed on an attendance plan.

7. Although Kansas law does not require students to be in school prior to the age of 7, ANY child enrolled in public school does fall into the state truancy policies. Truancy reports may be made to the district truancy officer for any student with excessive absences and/or tardies.

School Information

Conscious Discipline Parent Information

Each week we will be sharing a piece of our Conscious Discipline curriculum with families. Please reach out if you have any questions!
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COVID Testing

***COVID Testing is currently on hold as we await a shipment of testing supplies.

Did you know that free Covid-19 testing is currently available in all school clinic offices and at the Service Center? Asymptomatic students and staff may test at their school clinic. Antigen test results are available in about 15 minutes and PCR test results are available in about 30 minutes. Flu testing availability is also coming soon. For more information, see the brochure in English, the Spanish brochure, or contact your school nurse.

Student Illnesses

Please be sure you are communicating with the office or your child's teacher when your child is sick or has been exposed to COVID-19. We are following all Shawnee County Health Department guidance when it comes to evaluating students being at school. We are keeping careful track of students who are identified as having COVID, as a close or household contact to ensure quarantine periods are being followed. Your communication is critical in ensuring we have the information we need to keep everyone safe and healthy! This page on the Topeka Public Schools website provides the most up-to-date COVID information for our families.

Time to Eat!

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Budgeting and Meal Planning

Take a look at this great resource for budgeting and meal planning. Very helpful as food costs continue to increase!

Informational Items

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COVID Vaccinations for Children

We are excited to announce that Topeka Public Schools, Kansas Department of Health & Environment, and Shawnee County Health Department are partnering to provide optional Elementary Vaccination Clinics at Jardine and Meadows Elementary from 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. for children ages 5 to 11.

Saturday clinics will be held on November 13th and December 11th at Jardine Elementary, located at 2600 SW 33rd Street.

Friday clinics will be held on November 19th and December 10th at Meadows Elementary, located at 201 SW Clay Street.

We are asking those who will be receiving the vaccination to wear clothing (short sleeves) that will allow for the vaccination to occur with ease.

The Pfizer vaccine will be distributed after the consent form is signed. Consent forms will be distributed to those who register. All children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and have a signed consent form to receive the vaccination (a new consent form must be signed for each vaccination the individual receives). This free service is offered in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health & Environment and Shawnee County Health Department.

In addition, during the Saturday clinic, TPS in partnership with Harvesters will be providing food pantry items for those who have a need as we prepare for the winter holiday.

You can sign up for the vaccination at the following link. To learn more about the Pfizer vaccine, you can access the fact sheet here.

Thank you for taking steps for a safer community.

Flu Vaccinations

Shawnee County Health Department to Start Flu Shots

Monday October 11

Fall is upon us, which means so is flu season. Flu vaccines have just arrived at the Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD), and SCHD will begin giving flu shots to anyone six

months and older starting today Monday October 11th, 2021 with or without insurance.

Flu vaccines are available at our Clinical Services Division, 2115 SW 10th Ave, by appointment only. Individuals can call 785.251.5700 to schedule an appointment for the following clinic hours:

Monday, Thursday, Friday Tuesday Wednesday

8:00am - 11:00am 10:00am - 1:00pm 8:00am - 11:00am

1:00pm - 4:00pm 3:00pm - 6:00pm 2:00pm - 4:00pm

This year’s vaccination protects against 4 strains of seasonal flu. The flu shot will cause antibodies to develop in the body after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection from the flu virus. CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated against flu. It continues to be extremely important to protect those at higher risk for flu complications. Many of these people are also at high risk for COVID-19 illness or other serious outcomes. It is also important for caregivers and essential workers to protect themselves and those around them from flu by getting a flu vaccine.

In addition to getting vaccinated, SCHD encourages residents to take the following steps to help minimize the spread of germs:

• Wash your hands

• Cover your cough

• Stay home if you are sick

For more information on seasonal flu visit the CDC Seasonal Flu webpage:

Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian and everyone entering the building over the age of 2 is required to wear a mask. If accommodations are needed due to a medical condition please call 785.251.5700.

COVID Protocols

The Topeka Public Schools Board of Education voted on August 5th to follow the CDC Universal masking guidelines to start the school year. This means that masks will be required indoors for all staff, students, and visitors regardless of vaccination status. Masks will not be required during outside times. Please be sure you send your student to school with a clean face mask each day. This is part of their required dress code and we appreciate your assistance with ensuring we are providing a safe environment for our students! We will also be continuing with frequent handwashing/sanitation, disinfection protocols, and maintaining a social distance of 3 feet. Follow this link to view the entire "TPS Safe to Return to School Plan".

Academic Calendar

You can find the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar HERE.

Family Resources

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Food Pantries

This updated document provides a list of food pantries and food resources available in English and in Spanish.

The Nest - Food & Clothing Bank

The Nest, Pine Ridge Prep's food and clothing bank, is up and running! Ms. Heather is available to assist families with needs. You can reach her at 785-329-7876.

Community Resources Council Directory

You can find the link to the 2021 Community Resources Council Resource Directory here. This directory provides contact information for a variety of community resources.