Grand Ridge Elementary E-news

December 4, 2019

Message from the Principal

December 2019

Dear Grand Ridge Families and Community:

It’s “that” time of year again….the very last month of the year! How did that even happen?! I hope that all of you were able to connect with friends and family and good food during our most recent Thanksgiving break and that you will find the upcoming conferences to be beneficial for you and your child/ren. As we head towards year’s end (calendar, not academic!), I hope that you will reflect on the year and say it has been a good one. We believe, here at Grand Ridge, that it has indeed been good. The hustle and bustle of so many students showing us what they know, the laughter (and tears…..) that we see on the playground, running a “Café” for 730 students daily where there is time for social interaction and re-energizing the body with fuel for learning….the list goes on and on. Thank you for your continued partnership as we support your students to become the very best they can be.

Report Cards & Conferences

By the time this letter hits your Inbox, many of you will have had the chance to connect with your child/ren’s teacher(s) and will have the most up-to-date information regarding your child/ren and their school performance. We are proud of the work that our students and staff do here on a daily basis. There is space for everybody to learn, at their very own level, in their very own way. And, that’s not just the students but the staff, too! Your Grand Ridge staff is dedicated to becoming the best educators they can be. We learn together through building-based professional development, district trainings and then there are many classes taught by our own staff after school. Our teachers are learning all the time and they are setting the example for your students about what it means to be Lifelong Learners.

Lifelong Learners. More than anything, that’s what we want for your students. We want them to learn every day of their lives. We want them to be happy and healthy and we want them to learn and grow. That’s what report cards and conferences are all about. We are sharing with you who your child is as a student and you, in turn, are sharing a bit with us about who your child is when he/she is not in school. It is that committed partnership that lifts a child up and supports them as they begin their journey toward their dreams and goals.

While report cards are important, please keep them where they belong and that is, a snapshot in time. They are one piece of data your child will accrue over a lifetime and, while report cards give us some insight into who your child is in this moment, it certainly does not define who they will become later in life. The elementary report card is more comprehensive than almost any other report you will receive about your child for the rest of their life. It not only includes academic scores but social/emotional/behavioral scores, as well. Once your child hits the secondary level, the quantified focus is on academics and by the time your child gets a job, there is no performance review out there that I’m aware of where one receives such in-depth feedback about one’s performance. Take the information that the report card gives you about your child; celebrate those areas of strength and work to support the areas of growth. We all have them; both areas of strength and areas of growth. What kind of report card would you get if you were scored in academic/social/emotional/behavioral areas? Do you see what I mean? We are a combination of strengths and growth and that’s a good thing! It keeps us connected to one another as we learn and grow together. And, it keeps us humble. Those areas of growth are not weaknesses but strengths that have not yet fully developed. Some skills take longer to grow and master; years or even a lifetime!

As a parent, I was most interested in the effort or perseverance goal. Was my child able to persevere, even when things got difficult and did he give his best effort? These are the kinds of lifelong skills that will serve him well, even when not in an academically-focused environment. How does your child do in those areas? Is he/she up for the challenge? I can tell you from walking the halls and visiting classrooms that I believe your children are up for the challenge. I see students working hard all the time; sometimes on their own, sometimes with a partner or small group and always, always, always with the support of their teachers.

I hope that you found your student-centered conference to be of great value to you; worth the time you made to come in and meet with the teacher. It is a chance to continue to build that school-to-home connection and partnership that will ultimately benefit your student. The staff at Grand Ridge take conferences very seriously. They prep and practice because they want you to know how special your child is in their eyes. They talk with colleagues and they revise and edit their conference notes so that they get it “just right”. They practice what they are going to say and how they are going to say it so that you are able to receive their message in the very best way possible. They walk away from these conferences with a deeper understanding of who your child is and a stronger connection with you and that means a lot to them.

Here's to 2020, to another year of learning and growing and to fun, some great laughter and strong partnerships!

Happy New Year!

Jill Ravenscraft


Grand Ridge

Lost and Found will be donated December 20th

Be sure to check out our lost and found! All items still in the lost and found on Friday, December 20th will be donated.

Keep Moving!!

Dear Grand Ridge Community:

When picking up or dropping off your child/ren at arrival and/or dismissal, please keep moving! Do not park in the pick-up/drop-off lane and then leave your car. This disrupts the flow for all students and their families. We have ~730 students at Grand Ridge, with many being pick up/dropped off on any given day so we have to keep our systems efficient.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

2019-2020 State Testing Dates

Highly capable testing for second grade students will occur at all elementary schools January 14 through January 17 and continue March 10 through March 13. Students who are identified as “most highly capable” will be invited to enter either SAGE or MERLIN in the 2020-21 school year. Second grade students attending private or home-based schools are invited to participate. Contact your neighborhood school for more information about how to participate. More information about the Issaquah School District Highly Capable Program and testing for second grade students is available on the Highly Capable Issaquah School District webpage.

2nd Grade Highly Capable Testing Dates
  • CogAT/TTCT: January 14 - January 17, 2020
  • IOWA: March 10 - March 13, 2020

3rd - 5th Grade Smarter Balanced Testing Dates

  • 4th grade: 4/29 ELA CAT, 4/30 ELA PT, 5/4 Math CAT, 5/5 Math PT
  • 5th grade: 5/7 Math CAT, 5/8 Math PT, 5/11 ELA CAT, 5/12 ELA PT, 5/21 WCAS
  • 3rd grade: 5/18 ELA CAT, 5/19 ELA PT, 5/28 Math CAT, 5/29 Math PT

Family Trips During Assessment Windows

As we have done in the past, family trips taken during assessment windows will be marked as Unexcused. This is because the data collected during these assessments informs our practice and supports your child's learning. Naturally, our preference is for families to travel during vacation periods outlined by the ISD. If your family needs to travel outside of those windows, please be aware of two things:

Absences during assessment windows are marked as unexcused

Per State Law:

5 or more unexcused absences in a month require a letter and a petition to be filled with the courts.

10 or more unexcused absences in a year require a letter and a petition to be filed with the courts.

Things to note:

Any absence is marked unexcused if you do not call prior to the absence.

A child arriving 2 hours or more after the start of the day is not a tardy. At that point, it is considered an absence.

Pre-Arranged absence forms are posted on our website. They are due to the office at least one week BEFORE the first day of the absence. Forms received out side of that window may not be received in time for processing and could result in an unexcused absence.

Pre-Arranged Absence Request forms may not be completed retroactively.

Important Dates for Parents of 5th grade students

5th Grade Camp Parent Meeting

Wednesday, Jan. 29th

6:30-7:30 Grand Ridge Commons

5th Grade Camp

Mon-Wed April 27-29th

Mark Your Calendar


December 3-6.......Scholastic Book Fair

December 4-5.......NO SCHOOL, Parent Teacher Conference Days

December 11........After School Movie

December 13........Popcorn Friday

December 13........1:40, Grizzly Guys, 2nd recesses

December 23 - Jan 3.....First Winter Break


January 10.......Popcorn Friday

January 13......6:00PM 1st grade Spelling Bee

January 13......7:15PM 2nd grade Spelling Bee

January 14......6:00PM 3rd grade Spelling Bee

January 14......6:30PM District Reflections Reception

January 14......7:15PM 4th grade Spelling Bee

January 15......7:45AM Java with Jill

January 15......After School Movie

January 15......6:00PM 5th grade Spelling Bee

January 16......7:00PM PTSA General Membership Meeting

January 20......No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 22......6:00PM Talent Show

January 27......No School, Teacher Work Day

January 29......After School Movie

January 31......1:40PM, Grizzly Guys, 2nd recesses