Falcon Ridge Elementary Newsletter

November 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,

Conferences/Book Fair

Parent/Teacher Conferences are coming VIRTUALLY in November. Please take a moment to sign up for a time that best fits your schedule by clicking here to be redirected to PTCFast. If you have any questions, please contact your child's teacher or call the Falcon Ridge Office at 952-758-1600. Your child's teacher will have more information on the format for which the conference will be held. The dates and times will be:

  • Thursday, November 12 from 5-8 p.m.
  • Friday, November 13 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (No School, K-5)
  • Thursday, November 19 from 5-8 p.m.

We will also be having an ONLINE Scholastic Book Fair from November 9-22:

Covid Information/Data

As many of you are aware, we are continuing to follow the guidelines of the Minnesota Department of Health as it relates to COVID-19 exposures and quarantine periods. If your child is considered to have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, you will be notified. If you have not been notified by the school district, your child's risk of exposure is no greater than the risk of contracting the virus in the general community. Please continue to monitor your children for symptoms each day prior to going to school. If anyone in your household is experiencing symptoms, keep ALL members of the household home and contact the Falcon Ridge attendance line. If you have further questions, please contact the Falcon Ridge main office.

Apex fundraiser

I want to thank all of our parents and families for your support of our recent Apex fundraiser. With your help, we raised over $27,800, which will go directly back to supporting the students and staff at Falcon Ridge. There are many unknowns this year, and the direction that these funds will go are no exception. Our PAC is meeting virtually next Thursday night, and this will be one of the topics that we will be discussing.

Colder weather

Like just about everything else in 2020, Mother Nature has made it difficult to predict what is coming next. We were forced to deal with a sneak peak at winter with over nine inches of snow last week. For the next week or so, our temperatures look to be more like normal for this time of year. Please be sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather; we plan to send our students out for recess everyday that we can. This includes boots, snow pants, hats, and gloves/mittens. If you're not sure whether to send snow/cold gear with your child, please do it.


David Giesen

Falcon Ridge Elementary Principal

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

Staff Perspective - Jim Cavanaugh, School Psychologist

Supporting Mental Health and Anxiety

by Monitoring your Child’s Social Media and Online Use: Tips for Parents

Growing up in the social media era can be very stressful for students. Students already have to juggle the demands and stresses of trying to excel in academics, arts, and athletics. In addition to these stressors, students have the additional stress of managing their social lives and social media. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, more and more students are turning to social media to connect with friends.

Managing social media increases stress and creates anxiety in many ways. Fear of missing out (FOMO) is one of the greatest contributors to anxiety. Students see their friends out having fun on social media and they wish they were with them and sometimes wonder why they weren’t invited. Social media pages are full of students’ highlights of their best pictures, fancy clothes, fun vacations, etc. Being bombarded with the perceived perfection of their friends and trying to live up those types of expectations can be very daunting and stressful. Students worry about the next time that they will the check their phone and social media pages. They also worry about losing their phone, breaking their phone, and managing battery life.

Parents need to support their children to alleviate some of the stresses created by social media and help foster healthy digital and social media hygiene. Students are not likely going to be able to avoid social media, and it might not be healthy for parents to completely take social media away. Social media habits need to be monitored by parents, so that parents can teach and parent their children as they grow up in a social media world.

Although many of our students at Falcon Ridge may not have cell phones or use social media yet, it is likely they will be exposed to it personally or by a friend/classmate by the time they leave Falcon Ridge. With the district's 1:1 digital initiative, our students are online using websites such Raz-Kids and IXL, among others. YouTube is a popular site for elementary students, as well. It is crucial that our students' early exposure to online content and social media use is guided and supervised by parents to make sure that good habits start early on.

The following are several tips that parents can use to help support their children and their student's online digital and social media habits:

  • Encourage kid-friendly and safe social media sites.

  • Keep the family computer in an open and central location. Have your student work in a quiet place that you can still monitor what they are doing.

  • Have your children stay away from online giveaways and sites with questionnaires that ask for personal information.

  • Monitor what your child posts online on their social media sites. They may tell you that it is none of your business, but you are the parent, and it is your job and right to know what they are doing on social media and online.

  • Be a good example for your child by not checking your phone at the dinner table or while driving, even at a stoplight.

  • Set age-appropriate limits on the amount of time your child is online or on their phone.

  • Teach kids about the permanence of posting online and the digital footprint that can follow them through life.

  • Have conversations about online dangers. It is better to be scared than unaware.

  • Stay educated on current technology, so you have a better understanding of the websites and social media sites your children are accessing.

Parenting: https://www.parenting.com/gallery/social-media-monitoring-kids?page=14

Time: http://time.com/4793331/instagram-social-media-mental-health/

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