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SEPTEMBER 2011 >> SEPTEMBER 5 Labor Day No school 7 SAC meeting 6 p.m.


Welcome Back Grizzlies!


SEPT. 19-24 Homecoming See page 4 for details of this fun-filled week. 23 No School Professional Development Day

>> OCTOBER 7 Senior Yearbook Photos due 3 p.m. No students Teacher Work Day 12 Parent Teacher Conferences 4 - 7:30 p.m. Explore/PSAT PLAN tests 17-21 Fall Break 25 Parent Teacher Conferences 4 - 7:30 p.m.

Students leave ThunderRidge after classes are over. Dear ThunderRidge Students and Parents:


Welcome back to another exciting new school year! Our administrative team, faculty, and staff look forward to developing a unified partnership with students and parents throughout the 2011-12 school year! At the beginning of each school year, it is a very inspirational and electrifying experience to observe the building’s “transformation into an active learning environment” as enthusiastic students and staff return from their summer vacation. As we begin the 2011-12 school year, the ThunderRidge High School community will continue the tradition of “building upon” our current exceptional reputation that exudes high rigorous academic expectations and achievement, an inviting school climate and culture, and fostering a strong student and community connection. Collectively as a school community, ThunderRidge High School continually strives to graduate learners and leaders who are responsible and productive citizens that embody the skills and foundational knowledge to embrace and positively contribute to a global society. On a daily basis, our distinguished faculty and staff strive to provide focused learning opportunities that will prepare students to successfully navigate the transformative innovations of the future. In addition to acquiring a thorough foundational base of knowledge, students will also learn how to think critically and creatively across the continuum; develop the necessary skills to become information seekers, analyzers, and evaluators; demonstrate the ability to problem-solve across the spectrum; effectively collaborate with peers in a group setting; learn how to communicate using a variety of mediums; understand how to marshal relevant evidence and judge credible sources; demonstrate financial literacy, and develop into informed, ethical, and contributing global citizens. In today’s society, no longer is it acceptable for students to solely memorize and regurgitate information to acquire a high school diploma. To enhance future opportunities, it is important that today’s high school student not only comprehend but also understand how to utilize and apply the knowledge learned in a real world setting. At ThunderRidge, we are committed to graduating students who are academically, emotionally, socially, and universally prepared to meet the rapidly evolving innovations of the future. see story on next page






Welcome continued from previous page We continue to celebrate many noteworthy accomplishments and achievements. A few of the many highlights from the 2010-11 school year include: • ThunderRidge High School was rated by the Washington Post (May 2011) as one of the Nation’s top 1,200 high schools. That places ThunderRidge in the top 3 percent of high schools in America; • ThunderRidge High School celebrates 10 National Merit Qualifiers for 2011-12 (May 2011), two National Merit Scholars (2010-11), 44 AP Scholars (July 2011); 30 perfect ACT scores on individual tests; and a 75 percent IB assessment pass rate. • ThunderRidge High School has demonstrated consistent growth for five consecutive years in all four content areas of the National ACT Examination with an overall composite score of 22.3 (September 2010). • ThunderRidge High School boasts a 93 percent graduation rate and a 96 percent attendance rate; • ThunderRidge High School celebrates our parental partnership and support efforts that logged over 11,800 volunteer hours; Students leave ThunderRidge after classes • ThunderRidge High School’s Class of 2011 ac- are over. JESSIKA LANDIN crued over 20,000 service learning hours by giving back to our feeder schools and local community; • In addition to our outstanding in-state colleges and universities, ThunderRidge graduates also attend a variety of out-of- state prestigious colleges and universities (many included in Forbes America’s Best 100 colleges) that include Yale, Stanford, Duke, U.S. Air Force Academy, MIT, West Point, Pepperdine, Carnegie Mellon, Cal Poly Tech, Reed College, United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of California at Berkley, Brown, Columbia, Dartmouth, NYU, Cornell, Hillsdale College, University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, Vassar College, Whitman College, University of Southern California, and Villanova to name a few. • ThunderRidge High School also boasts numerous awards and championships in our performing and practical arts, competitive extra-curricular programs, and athletic programs. • ThunderRidge High School has an amazing partnership with our Feeder Middle School and Elementary Schools who provide a strong educational foundation that prepares students for their current and future success. We are very proud of our students, our faculty, our staff, and school community at ThunderRidge High School for creating an environment that focuses on student success and preparation for the future. As we enter our first day of school, I want to take this opportunity to communicate and highlight several upcoming important dates and informational items.

TRHS Important Dates:

• Homecoming Week: The week of Sept.19 - 24, Please check our webpage for event dates and times. • Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences: Wednesday, Oct.12 and Thursday, Oct. 25 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

TRHS Informational Items:

• Dress Code & Electronic Devices: The dress code and electronic device policy will be strictly enforced beginning the first day of school. We ask that parents review dress code expectations and the electronic device policy with their student. Hats should be removed prior to entering the building


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continued from previous page and should remain off throughout the school day. In advance, thank you for your support in helping to maintain a positive and safe learning environment. • Student Pick-Up and Drop-Off We ask that you please be patient the first few weeks of school during student drop-off and pick-up as we iron out the primary areas of congestion. Both TRHS and RVMS begin their school day at 7:40 a.m. where approximately 3,000 converge onto both campuses. We ask that you consider dropping off your student before 7:15 a.m. and picking your student up after 3:10 p.m. to help ease the traffic flow congestion. Additionally, in an effort to minimize traffic congestion we encourage parents to drop off/pick up their student(s) in the following designated areas indicated below and on the TRHS Traffic Flow Map located on the TRHS Website. • High School Students Drop-off Only – the recommended drop off/pick up area is the “F parking lot” (NW corner of campus) and the “C parking lot” (NE corner of campus). The entrance to both the “C” and “F” parking lots are located on Foothills Canyon Road, north of the high school. • High School and Middle School students transported together are encouraged to use the drop-off/pick-up area located between the high school and middle school on Wildcat Reserve Parkway. We ask that you use the main TRHS entrance to access this student drop-off/pick-up area. • To ensure student safety and maintain a consistent traffic flow, we ask that you use the designated drop-off and pick-up areas in all three parking lots. Please remind your student to use designated crosswalk areas when crossing the street or parking lot. In advance, we appreciate your cooperation and patience in helping to manage the traffic flow. • Student Identification Cards In an effort to maintain a safe and secure learning environment, all TRHS students are required to be in possession of their school issued identification card at all times. Students were provided a temporary ID card at check-in on Aug. 2 and Aug. 8. All students will be required to show their identification cards to school personnel upon request. Please note that lost ID cards can be replaced for a nominal fee. • Bell Schedule: ThunderRidge High School utilizes a Modified Block schedule. All students are provided a 45-minute lunch period. • Open Campus: In 2009-’10 per Board of Education approval, all DCSD High Schools implemented an “open campus” policy for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. This policy provides the opportunity for students, who are in good academic standing, demonstrate responsible citizenship, and are on-track to graduate, to leave school grounds during their lunch periods and/or during a scheduled open class period(s). It is important to keep in mind that “open campus” is a privilege and can be rescinded at any time by school officials and/or per parent request. Per DCSD Board of Education Policy, all 9th grade students are required to remain “on campus” and within the school building” from 7:35 a.m. until 3 p.m. Student ID checks will take place periodically during lunch periods to ensure we adhere to our Board of Education Policy. • Attendance: Regular class attendance and parental involvement are the top two most influential factors that strongly contribute to a student’s academic success in school. An effective academic environment requires the continuity of instruction complimented by active classroom participation. With our new open campus policy, the accountability for regular attendance will primarily be the responsibility of the student and parent. We strongly encourage each student and parent to review the attendance expectations. Excessive unexcused or excused absences from any class may result in “withdrawal” from that class. Lastly, we look forward to sharing another outstanding school year with our ThunderRidge High School families. Our goal is to establish a strong and supportive partnership with each family throughout your student’s educational journey at ThunderRidge High School. If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our main office. We wish each of you a wonderful start to the new school year. Thank you for your continued support of and partnership with ThunderRidge High School. Kind Regards,

Carole Jennings, Principal




SAC Meeting Schedule

The purpose of the SAC is to provide opportunities for parent and community members to be involved in the school’s instructional program and quality improvement processes. The SAC is an advisory body. Final decision-making authority rests with the principal or other person or group receiving SAC’s recommendation. We would like to invite you to the School Accountability Council meetings listed below. The meetings begin at 6 p.m. in the ThunderRidge library. We hope to see you there! Sept. 7, 2011 Feb. 1, 2012 Oct. 5, 2011 March 2012 Nov. 2, 2011 April 4, 2012 Dec. 7, 2011 May 2, 2012

Yearbook Photos Senior Yearbook Portraits Senior portraits and $10 yearbook fee are due no later than Friday, Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. Submit a wallet size, color hard copy print (no CDs) with the student’s name on the back to the yearbook adviser, Mr. Jim Morris, or drop in his mailbox in the main office.

Yearbook Portraits for underclassmen

If a student did not have a yearbook picture taken during Check-In, the photographer will be at TRHS on Sept. 4 during both lunches. This photo session is ONLY for students needing an initial photograph. Picture packages will be delivered and distributed through Seminar Class towards the end of October. Picture RETAKES will be on Nov. 2 during all lunches.

Student Identification Cards It is VERY important that students carry their ID cards with them at ALL times during the school day and when they are attending ANY school related event or activity after school. If a teacher, administrator or member of the security team asks to see their ID, they should be able to present it immediately. We ask the students to carry their ID card for THEIR safety and security. In addition they will need their ID to check out all library books, textbooks and novels.


Homecoming will be Sept. 19- 24 Homecoming is the week of Sept. 19 - 24. The theme for the 2011-’12 school year will be A Tribute to the Armed Forces. Each of the classes will represent each of the different branches: Seniors will be Marines, Juniors will be Army, Sophmores will be Navy, and the Freshmen will be Air Force. Please mark your calendars for the following Homecoming events: Monday , Sept. 19 • Student Staff Softball 3-3:30 p.m. in the TRHS Softball Fields • Movie Night at dusk in “the bowl” behind TRHS Tuesday, Sept. 20 • Bed Races 5- 6 pm on TRHS track • Ruff n Tuff Volleyball Freshmen and Sophmores @ 6 p.m., Juniors and Seniors @ 7 p.m. in the main large gym Wednesday, Sept. 21 • PowderPuff Freshmen and Sophmores @ 6 p.m., Juniors and Seniors @ 7p.m. at Shea Stadium Thursday, Sept. 22 • Parade 4 -5 p.m. from Saddle Ranch to TRHS • Bands 5:30-7 p.m. in C Wing Parking Lot • Bonfire at dusk in the C Wing Parking Lot Friday, Sept. 23 • Homecoming Football Game vs. Heritage High School at Shea Stadium • Royalty during the half time show at Shea Stadium Saturday, Sept. 24 • Homecoming Dance 8-11:30 p.m. in the commons As we did last year, we will be doing a canned food drive for our Homecoming charity. We will be donating all of the food we receive to an organization that supports the military families. Our goal is to beat the amount of cans we received last year: more than 12,300 lbs! We will be collecting cans in two separate ways. First, seminars will compete to bring in the most cans during homecoming week. The seminar that brings the most cans of food will receive $7 gift cards to Chipotle for every member in the seminar class. We will also be placing buckets outside each of the Homecoming events during the week to collect food. Let’s do what we can to beat what we were able to donate last year! Please come show your TRHS Grizzly spirit during this eventful week. Thanks for your support! Madison Stolk, Student Body President



Students take tests to assess college readiness on Oct. 12 On Oct. 12, ThunderRidge High School students will be focused on the future and will begin getting ready for life after high school. ThunderRidge High has implemented a series of national assessments that provide information to students and parents about student college readiness. Freshmen will be taking the EXPLORE test. EXPLORE is a curriculum-based assessment program developed by the ACT to help 8th and 9th graders prepare for their post-high school goals. EXPLORE aligns with the sophomore PLAN and junior/senior ACT to provide information about student postsecondary preparation level. The EXPLORE, like the PLAN and ACT, contains academic tests in four curriculum areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. EXPLORE provides students with an early indication of their educational progress in the context of the post-high school educational and career options they are considering. The results of the EXPLORE, like the PLAN and PSAT, can be used to help students build a solid foundation for future success. Sophomore students will be taking the PLAN test. This test is a shortened version of the ACT college admissions test and exposes students to the same core areas of English, Math, Reading, and Science that will appear on the ACT. The PLAN provides important information that helps students focus on areas that need to be strengthened before taking the ACT in their Junior year. The PLAN also includes an interest survey that assists students in identifying possible career options. Some sophomores may choose to take the PSAT – Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test – which is preparation for the SAT, another high-stakes college admission test. Taking the PSAT as sophomores will prepare these students for the National Merit Scholarship Competition when they retake the PSAT their junior year. Sophomores taking the PSAT will take the PLAN test on Oct. 26. Junior students will be taking the PSAT. Juniors will be eligible to enter the National Merit Scholarship contest. National Merit Scholarships are prestigious national awards that carry with them opportunities for scholarships, honors summer opportunities, and other recognition for students. The National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Program and the National Achievement Scholarship for Outstanding Black Student also use the October PSAT as their qualifying test. Seniors check the TRHS website. There will be a modified schedule on Oct. 12. They can use this time to prepare for their Senior Project by meeting with mentors or doing field work. Seniors may also use this time to complete their community service graduation requirement. All freshmen, sophomore and junior students are required to attend school on Oct. 12.


Arts celebrations:

National Scholastic Art Awards

We are excited to begin another school year with the most amazing art students. We are celebrating our National Scholastics Art Gold Key winner, Justin Brown whose jewelry piece was exhibited over the summer at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Justin was Mrs. Sue Silverman’s fourth national gold key winner for jewelry!

National Art Honor Society

Our meetings are the first Tuesday of the month. Students can come see Mrs. Ruth Wilson or Mrs. Sue Silverman for more information. Our club supports and promotes the arts in the community and our school.


We are always in need of old digital cameras, antiques for still life and art magazines.





If students are interested in doing Random Acts of Kindness tell them to come and see Mrs. Ruth Wilson or Mrs. Sara Bury for more information.

FBLA exceeds expectations

In August, TRHS’ Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) held it’s first meeting for new and returning students. We are thrilled to report the auditorium was almost filled to capacity with interested students wanting more information on what this popular leadership organization is all about. FBLA provides students the opportunity to build their confidence and character through a number of different activities and events including charity work making Christmas stockings for kids at Childrens Hospital, to competing in over 50 areas of competition at the district and state level. FBLA KATIE KRUSE experienced huge growth last year (40 members to FBLA state qualifiers. 127) and is on track to smash many records this year. The organization provides a great way for students to build their 21st Century skills (communication, work ethic/teaming with others, technology and organizational skills to name a few). Example areas of competition include: technology, business, marketing, economics and math. Students are expected to choose an individual event and a team event. PLEASE support your son/daughter’s interest in this organization. For more information, see and /or visit Katie Kruse’s website on the ThunderRidge website. It should be a GREAT year!

Canine inspections keep DC schools safe Douglas County School District employs many strategies for keeping schools safe and drug free. The strategy of canine inspections is intended as a deterrent and searches are not conducted in secrecy. Rather, they occur at random times, during the regular school day. Students are aware of disciplinary consequences for breaking district regulations, as well as the likelihood of criminal charges. There is a high level of coordination between the school district and local law enforcement agencies. While we encourage voluntary reporting of any drug or weapons violations, and even provide an anonymous hotline at all high schools for that purpose, there are other appropriate ways to encourage student conduct. For several years, Douglas County schools have used random canine inspections to check lockers for drugs or drug paraphernalia. This will serve as advance notice to students, staff and parents that this may occur sometime during this school year and that there are consequences for having contraband stored in lockers or vehicles on school property. Using canine inspections serves as an effective deterrent for students who may consider bringing illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia into our schools. Unannounced canine inspections may occur at any time at Douglas County middle and high school and may include inspections of student lockers and vehicles. Canine inspections may occur multiple times during the year. There will be a school district representative from the Department of Safety and Security overseeing all inspections, along with a local law enforcement officer. These inspections are authorized by Board policy JIH. Noncompliance to requests by law enforcement or school district personnel to search student property can result in automatic loss of privileges in the school. If law enforcement determines that there is probable cause for a search of a student’s vehicle, any car on school property may be impounded.


Ridgeline September 2011  
Ridgeline September 2011  

This is the TRHS Monthly Newsletter