Friday, September 16, 2016

Challenging Week, But With Celebrations...National Merit Semifinalists!

Hello Cedar Ridge Community!

It's Friday and we are ready for tonight's game at Temple! We are confident we will keep our winning streak rolling!

Despite a very difficult week due to the death of Ms. Rachel Colenda, a Cedar Ridge English-As-A-Second-Language Teacher in a car accident Monday night and the accident that occurred with one of our students who was hit by a car while riding home on his bike Wednesday afternoon, we've all pulled together and supported one another. Our students and staff have responded like champions, which has been inspiring.

Christopher, the student who was hit by a truck while riding his bike, is doing extremely well. His father has kept me updated on his condition and has given me permission to share that Christopher is responding very well. He has no broken bones, which is a miracle. He had significant bruising and 'road rash," but is expected to get out of the hospital in a few days. Christopher's father said the medical staff taking care of him is fantastic. The family is so appreciative of the outpouring of love and support they have received from the Cedar Ridge Community.

The accident has brought up the recurring idea of a school zone in front of Cedar Ridge. Although a school zone may not have prevented the accident, since it probably would not have extended down to the intersection of Double Creek and Gattis, there may be many advantages to having it. When I took over as principal three years ago, we contacted the city to request a school zone and we were told they didn't do that for high schools. Since safety is my first priority for our students, I am still hoping we can make this happen. I saw on KXAN last night they had an article about this very thing, so I'm sharing it for you to read, if you would like.- click on school zone

On a positive note, we were thrilled with the parent and student turn out for the Cedar Ridge Meet the Teacher Night this Tuesday night! We estimated more than double the number of participants than in the past. Thank you so much for coming out and meeting the teachers. I loved getting to meet many of you, too!

Another great thing that happened this week was the announcement of our National Merit Semifinalists. We are so proud of all nineteen Cedar Ridge students who prequalified last spring. Four of our students actually qualified as semifinalists this year. Congratulations to these students and their families! We will be celebrating with a special breakfast in their honor and they will be presented at a home football game, October 14th. We are so proud of you all!!!

From left to right- Sunitha Konatham, Matthew Pabst, Nicolas Escobar, and Arvind Raghavan.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Meet the Teacher Night Information

Please join us for Meet the Teacher Night, Tuesday, Sept. 13.  We have coordinated with all of our feeder schools, and this was the day that worked, so we apologize in advance for any conflicts you may have.
Our more relaxed “come and go” schedule was such a hit last year that we will be following the same format this year.  
  • 6:00-8:00 – Booster Clubs and School Clubs/Organizations will be set up in the cafeteria.  Some will be selling club items and some will just be sharing information.
  • 6:00-8:00 – Come and go in classrooms – Meet the Teachers
      • You may visit your child’s teachers in whatever order you wish.  There is no set timeframe.
      • Please remember, this is not a time to try and discuss specific issues you or your child are having with a class.  Teachers will have a sign in sheet that will allow you to indicate if you would like to be contacted for an individual conversation in the near future.
  • Grade Level Presentations will be offered at 6:00, 6:40 and 7:10 (same presentation offered at each time) presented by our Counselors, Assistant Principals and IT Specialists.
      • 9th Grade Session – Cafeteria
      • 10th Grade Session – Small Gym
      • 11th Grade Session – Lecture Hall
      • 12th Grade Session /FAFSA Information – C210
      • CRHS Social Media Session – Library Computer Lab
Important – In an effort to support the RRISD initiative to “Go Green” and not use so much paper, we will not be printing student schedules.  Please pull up your child’s schedule in HAC and take a picture of it or print it out.

We look forward to seeing you at Cedar Ridge!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

An Example of Outstanding Leadership Within Our Cedar Ridge Student Body- Sunitha Konatham

We have many talented and outstanding students on this campus. One great example of this, is Sunitha Konatham, a senior at Cedar Ridge. Sunitha was one of 70 students across the nation selected for an all-expense paid Leadership program with General Tommy Franks, which was held in July in Oklahoma. She also was one of the 12 students who received a scholarship. Below is a picture of the twelve scholarship awardees with General Tommy Franks. Sunitha is multi-talented who serves as a leader in our Health Science Academy and club. She also has sung the National Anthem at several of our athletic events, and is an active member in the Cedar Ridge Choir. Cedar Ridge is so fortunate to have amazing students like Sunitha! I have shared two articles below, that talk about the Leadership event Sunitha attended.

Top High School Students Selected for World-Class Leadership Program with General Tommy Franks
For Immediate Release: June 28, 2016
Top High School Students Selected for World-Class Leadership Program with General Tommy Franks

Students Awarded Scholarships from World-Class Leadership Program

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year, Raider Family!

Welcome back, Raiders!! The Cedar Ridge staff and I are so excited about the 2016-17 school year ahead! We anticipate great thing for our students and staff. We were thrilled to be included in an article in the American Statesman this week about RRISD’s strong performance with the state’s accountability ratings for 2015-16 recently announced.

The first day of class for students will be Tuesday, August 23. Students will find their alpha room assignment to pick up their schedule posted in the cafeteria. We will have lots of staff in the cafeteria to assist students with finding their assigned room. Once all logistics have been taken care of in the alpha assigned rooms, an announcement will be made for students to move to their first period class. The rest of the day will be a regular A-Day for students. The school day has been extended by 5 minutes, per Texas Legislation. Therefore, the school day will end for all district high schools at 4:15 pm. You can access the Cedar Ridge A/B Yearly Calendar and the Cedar Ridge Bell Schedule by clicking on the words.

The only students who will be allowed to see the counselors for a schedule change the first week of school are students whose schedules have one of the following- 1. a missing class for a specific period, 2. the same course scheduled twice, or 3. a mistake on the schedule. We built our master schedule and made teaching assignments for the 2016-17 school year completely based upon the classes that students requested at the end of the 2015-16 school year. All students and parents met with their counselor to discuss the schedule requests for the following year, and a Course Verification Sheet was sent home in the Spring as a last check to be sure the classes a student had requested were still the ones they wanted. Therefore, we will not be changing students’ classes unless there is a mistake or a problem with the schedule.

Please be aware that the counselors will be busy the first week enrolling new students and getting their schedules created, so they will have limited availability for other things.

I want to encourage everyone to communicate with a teacher directly if you have concerns about a class or your child’s progress in the class. You may email or call any of our teachers. Since some of our teachers rotate to different rooms to teach, it may be safest to email your questions, concerns, or request for a meeting. If after you have met or talked with a teacher, you still have concerns, then the next step would be to contact your child’s assistant principal or counselor for assistance. The best way to serve your child will be to build a partnership between teachers and parents, so please don’t hesitate contacting them. You can access the campus grading policies and the RRISD Student/Parent Handbook and Student Code of Conduct by clicking on the words in blue. You will find the RRISD policies, which the campus follows. Of particular interest would be the district Dress Code  and Cell Phone/Personal Device guidelines.

Mark your calendars for the Cedar Ridge Meet-the-Teacher Night, Tuesday, September 13. You will receive more details as we get nearer to the date.

Last week, we sent an email to all families sharing an update on the construction that has begun on the Cedar Ridge Performing Arts Auditorium. If you missed our email, please click on the link in the previous sentence to access the letter that was sent. We are excited about the new addition, and we hope everyone will do their best to be patient with any inconvenience caused by the construction. It will be worth it! If you did not receive your email, please check in the online registration system to be sure your email address has been updated.

I want to take this opportunity to brag on Ms. Karen Searles, long time Cedar Ridge Dance teacher and Next Gen teacher. She was published in the July issue of Dance Studio Magazine. Click on the link to access the article. We are so proud of her as a teacher and as a leader in her field. She is an incredibly creative and innovative educator who encourages those same qualities in her students.

Another teacher who deserves bragging on, is Ms. Belinda Jacobs, Cedar Ridge Science teacher. Recently, Ms. Jacobs was given the 2016 National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) “Outstanding Earth Science Teacher” award for the state of Texas. She has attended extensive professional development and presented at many conferences on topics related to Geoscience over the past few years. She has been involved in curriculum writing and development for the state and for the University of Texas On-Ramps Program for Earth and Space Science. We are so proud of her representing the state of Texas through this impressive honor.

I look forward to sharing lots of wonderful things our students and staff are accomplishing throughout the year. Please help support our campus by joining the Cedar Ridge PTSA. They provide grants for our teachers to do innovative projects and lessons with our students. Another important organization that needs all of our support is the Cedar Ridge Project Grad Organization. We are encouraging everyone to get involved and support Project Grad, regardless of what grade your child is in. Project Grad will be held at Cedar Ridge this year, for the first time, and we expect a big crowd! Please donate or volunteer for Project Grad! You can find links to both organizations on the Cedar Ridge High School Website.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Great things going on in Spanish classes at Cedar Ridge!

Our Spanish Language team is doing exciting things in the classroom, from dancing to reading stories in Spanish to elementary dual language classes!

Ms. Dacarett shared the following:

Spanish 2 & 3 PreAP End of the Year Projects:

My Spanish 3 Pre-Ap did independent projects on Hispanic Culture. They had 14 topics to pick from. Their personalities shinned through. Some choose woks of art or other composers and recreated their pieces, some cooking Hispanic dishes sharing with other students or their family members to have their feedback some even interviewed people in Spanish and they all reported back to us. We got some awesome work.

My Spanish 2 PreAp wrote Children's books in Spanish, two classes read them in person to Gattis Dual Language classes, My other 2 classes did google hangouts. The Cedar Ridge students were amazed by the Dual Language Program at Gattis and how those students ability in Spanish is so impressive. Also the Gattis Dual Language 5th graders did a research study of the importance of learning another language and they shared this with our students.


Pictures from the Spanish Honor Society Induction Ceremony last month.

Ms. Lone shared the following piece and pictures:

Ms. Lone talked to her Spanish 3, Spanish 3 PreAP and AP students about the importance of dance and music in latin cultures. Students then learned the basic steps of merengue, salsa, cumbia and bachata this past week. She collaborated with one of Ms. Colenda's class because many of her students are new arrivals from Spanish speaking countries and wanted to help teach something that is an essential part of their lives. And the other classes learned to dance from Ms. Lone with the help of video tutorials. All the students participated and were excited to learn more about the history and culture of dance and music. They had a blast!

video  video


Ms. Lone also shared the following piece and pictures:

This was May 3th, the day of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Exam. I provided my students breakfast at 6:30am. I made breakfast tacos, brought fruit, juice, coffee and assorted baked goods. I wanted to ensure that they were here early and ready to take on the very challenging exam. All the kids were excited and felt very prepared. They worked really hard all year!!!

Spanish National Honor Society held their annual ice cream social after school on May 18th. Members enjoyed ice cream and all the fixings. New and old members had a meet and greet. Officers were recognized for their outstanding commitment and service to the school and community. Ms. Lone and Ms. Dacarett, co-sponsors, honored the Seniors and presented them with their Honor Cords. French National Honor Society seniors were also in attendance and received the Honor cords. Spanish NHS members participated in several major service projects this year including: Coat for Kids, La Pulsera Project, Food Drive and Custodian Appreciation Week.