Contact Information:

Lauren Shively This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Teacher
Marisa Steiger This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Teacher


Water Safety Program: FAQs

Water Safety Program for Grade 5 Students 2019-2020

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is the purpose of this program?

The Water Safety program is a cooperative program in partnership between St. Mary’s County Public Schools (SMCPS) and the College of Southern Maryland (CSM).  The purpose of the program is to help fifth-grade students learn essential water safety skills that will help them protect themselves and others within our community.  The CSM pool in Leonardtown is the host of the program for fifth-grade students.  


  1. Why does this program take place during these months?

In establishing this program, we have to look at the other previously scheduled events and obligations of the CSM pool.  This window of time allowed us to implement the program and schedule the allotted fifth-grade students. Students will have ample time to dry off, change into warm clothes, etc. prior to returning to their elementary schools.  

  1. How much does this program cost and what does my child need to participate?

There is no cost to students.  Funding for the Water Safety Program has been made possible through a grant received by CSM.


Students will need to bring a swimsuit, two towels, and a hairbrush or a comb.  (Please help your child select a modest swimsuit appropriate for swimming.) They may choose to bring goggles and a swim cap but they are not necessary.  Students should also bring a bag lunch with a drink as this is an all-day trip. Any student who needs a meal provided by SMCPS should speak with the school staff. 


  1. What is the arrival time to CSM and departure time from CSM?

Arrival time to CSM is 9:45 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Departure time from CSM is 2:00 p.m.


  1. What if my child can’t swim and/or can’t get in the water?

Knowing how to swim is not a requirement.  The intention of the program is not to teach students how to swim, it is to help the students learn essential water safety skills that will help protect themselves and others in our community.  It is recommended that participating students get in the pool to benefit from the program. If there are concerns that would prevent a student from actively participating, they should be addressed with the school principal.  


  1. Will there be lifeguards on duty?

Yes, lifeguards will be on duty.  There will also be other CPR trained staff on site.  Appropriate supervision will be provided for students. 


  1. Will my child’s teacher attend?

Yes, classroom teachers will attend the field trip and support the program.


  1. What about other parents who want to attend?  Can I go along?

There will be SMCPS staff on site from your child’s school.  Two parent chaperones will be selected to accompany classes to the CSM pool and will have official chaperone duties.  


  1. Are there dressing rooms at the CSM pool?

Yes, there are male and female dressing rooms at the CSM pool.  Students will be able to change into their swimsuits upon arrival and into their street clothes at the end of the trip in a private changing area.  Appropriate adult supervision will be provided to ensure student safety. This may include chaperones.


10:  What if schools are closed due to inclement weather, a delayed opening, or an early dismissal?

If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the field trip will be canceled and rescheduled.  If there is a delayed opening, the field trip will be canceled for that day and rescheduled. If school begins on time but there is an early dismissal due to inclement weather, students will be transported back to their schools to ride their normal buses home.


  1. Can I just take my child directly to the pool at CSM?

No, this is a field trip experience, so all students should ride the bus to CSM. Students should follow their normal arrival procedures and go to their elementary schools in the morning for attendance and other morning activities.


  1. May I pick my child up for dismissal directly from the CSM pool?

There is a parent transportation form that is required to be filled out and approved prior to the scheduled trip.  However, students will return to school in ample time to follow their normal dismissal routines.


  1. What if my child has a disability?

St. Mary’s County Public Schools will make a certified adapted aquatics instructor available to provide additional support for students with disabilities that require extra attention in the pool, along with modifications to the instruction and equipment, as appropriate. Please contact your child’s Principal so that he/she can make the necessary arrangements prior to your child participating at the College of Southern Maryland’s pool.


  1. May I eat lunch with my child?

Due to limited space, eating lunch with students is discouraged.



SMCPS Outlines for Course Study:

  1. Math in Fifth Grade
  2. Reading in Fifth Grade


Ridge Elementary School is very proud of its great partnership with you. We hold high expectations for our students and know that together we can truly make an effective team.

We believe that students with positive behavior habits have a greater chance of success. Our students are expected to be Respectful, Responsible and Ready. We will continue to use the PBIS Behavior Policies throughout the school. Students will continue to receive Blaster Bucks that they can redeem for prizes at the Rocket Store.  Please note our family calendars for those store dates.  We hope you are finding Class Dojo a positive and easy way to stay in touch with your child’s behavior choices throughout each day and with us! Let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We will also continue to celebrate great behavior choices at the end of each month with our PBIS celebrations. We have set individual and whole class goals by week and by month to support being a part of that monthly celebration. 

Remind your student to place all agenda book notes in the teacher's box/on her desk first thing in the morning. The red folder and agenda book should travel with your student to school and back home daily. 

Homework is a great way to practice skills. Set a timer to maximize time management.  Break the nightly 30 minute reading into 2 parts with a 5 min. break in the middle, for example. This regular practice will reinforce current reading skills and improve their reading comprehension and fluency, especially if you chat with them about what they’ve read.

We are always here to discuss homework with you or to brainstorm options on work behaviors in general.  If we are made aware of your concerns and needs, we can be very flexible and offer advice.  It’s important to be sensitive to individual student needs. There are always considerations to make as we move through the year.  On that note, as we get to know the needs of your child better over the course of the year, we will provide lessons and practice that will more closely line up with their individual learning styles and needs.

Homework passes, computer time, and behavior bucks can be earned for consistent homework responsibility. This will be based on the monthly reading calendar to go home and come back to school daily.  Remember to ensure your student has a school-work buddy. Everyone forgets things from time to time, but fifth graders are expected to make a "plan B" at home to show continued responsibility in practicing current skills.

It is important for your child to attend school every day. New skills will be introduced regularly and they will build on the prior days’ lessons. All other students in class will be affected by your child’s absences. Do everything you can to avoid absences.  PBIS celebrations are also dependent upon good attendance.

Your child’s teacher will contact you for each absence, and the school requires notes for absences be turned in within 3 school days following an absence.

Students are responsible for completing and turning in any work missed during an absence.  They should ask a trusted classmate what they missed, because much of our work is not in hand-out or worksheet form.  Your student is expected to follow up with their teacher about makeup work within the same week upon return from any absence.  Set an expectation that they should report to you what they missed in each subject area—refer to the daily schedule.  Any work missed for an unlawful absence is not available for make-up.

The media specialist has organized links for interactive learning across all content areas for your child to use from home! So do the classroom teachers! :)  Visit these links:

A reminder for those students who choose to participate in chorus, strings, and band. Any instruction missed during these periods must be studied independently to the best of your student's ability the same day, or as additional homework. Your student must ask other students what topic/skill they missed in order to do so, just as when they have an absence from school.  Be ready to be dependable not only in Mr. Earley’s eyes, but in your classroom teacher’s eyes as well.  This is a commitment; be sure to honor it as such. 

If you need the password to be able to access HAC please contact your child’s teacher. If you ever have any questions or concerns about your child’s work or progress in a class, please contact your child’s teacher first. 

Our grades are based on two kinds of assessments, process and product. So that you may understand the progression toward middle school, here is the way this process develops over time:

The percentage of process and product grades must add to 100%.

Grade 3 Process grades account for 70% of an overall grade and Product grades account for 30% of an overall grade. 

Grade 4 Process grades account for 60% of an overall grade and Product grades account for 40% of an overall grade. 

Grade 5 Process grades account for 40% of an overall grade and Product grades account for 60% of an overall grade.

Middle School Process grades account for 30% of an overall grade and Product grades account for 70% of an overall grade.

Variations for special areas will be consistently communicated.

For more on the grading regulations for our school system, here are two links we hope you will find helpful to further detail the updated grading regulations:

Grading Guidelines

Reteaching and Recovery

If you have questions, please contact your child's teacher via email or agenda book. 

County School Website

  • You can find information pertaining to all St. Mary’s County Schools, current severe weather reports with school closings, and school calendars.
  • You can find out bus numbers and routes.
  • You can access RES from this homepage by selecting the “Our Schools” tab, then selecting Ridge Elementary.
  • This is a quick resource if you need our phone numbers or our street address, too.
  • PTA information, all contacts for school staff, and relevant information for school community can be found here.

We’ve had a couple of years of new PARCC testing now, and we want to remind you that PARCC and Common Core are not the same.  PARCC is just the test, like our old MSA.  Common Core refers to the set of standards the students will learn in school.  Teachers, in general, are fans of this new set of standards, especially when compared to the old state standards.  So, please don’t hesitate to ponder over these topics with your child’s teacher.  

For more information on PARCC, check out these sites:

Daily Schedule: 

9:00AM-9:30AM Breakfast/Morning Meeting/Calender Math
9:30AM-10:15AM Specials
10:20AM-11:05AM  Sciance/SS
11:05AM-12:40PM Language Arts+Bathroom Break
12:50PM-1:20PM Lunch 
1:20PM-1:50PM Recess + water + restroom
2:00PM-3:35PM Math
3:40PM Pack up and Dismissal