Retriever Report April 28, 2023

Fri, 04/28/2023 - 9:48am

Message from Dr. TRESler and Mrs. Moraff:

Dear Retriever Families,

April is Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month. At TRES, we continue to strive to ensure that our students with and without Autism are included, accepted, embraced, and celebrated for their differences. During our SEL time, we talk about how to help all of our friends to feel welcome and cared for in our classrooms. We encourage you to consider checking out some children’s books at our local library to help you have a conversation with your child at home about Autism Acceptance. We also thank TRES parent Pam Stiner for sharing her personal message below!

Dr. Tiffany TRESler, Principal TRES
Mrs. Heather  Moraff, Assistant Principal TRES

TRES Twitter Handle: @hcpsstres

Hello Retriever Family!

I’m thrilled to be providing an article for the Retriever Report in the Month of April, which happens to be Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month.  Having a child with Autism, this cause has become near and dear to my heart.

As an older mom, I had plenty of years to envision what parenting would be like and to identify all of the things I would and definitely would not do as a parent.  It was a perfectly painted, naïve picture in my mind, full of expectations for myself, my husband, and my child.  

When my son was about 2 years old, I started to realize my painting was going to be a bit different than I had envisioned.  We officially received a diagnosis at 2 ½ years old, and our journey in the Autism world began.  

I had some familiarity with Autism, and my husband and I had even discussed what if we had a child with special needs?  We thought, no problem!  We can handle it.  We’ll be great parents regardless of the scenario.  I must admit, this still feels like a very presumptuous, pre-parent thought! I was not prepared for what it meant in letting go of the expectations I had.  I did not anticipate the grief and worry involved with letting go of those expectations, nor had I thought that parenting might not be natural and intuitive for me.  

It has taken time, energy, and lots of support from therapies, family and friends, teachers and the community around us…our village.  Through all of this, I have learned to appreciate the journey that we are on.  My son is happy, healthy, funny, smart, playful, and not surprisingly, stubborn.  He does things a bit differently than most of us are used to, which can be hard to understand and accept.  However, I have come to appreciate his individuality along with that of all other individuals that I encounter.  I actually wish I had a little more of his lack of care for what other people think!  

Many people ask how can I help a parent with an autistic child?  Here are a few suggestions that come to mind:

1)    Don’t judge – parenting a child with different abilities defies most things I was taught or saw modeled in parenting.  When you see a child on the floor in the middle of a restaurant, resist the urge to think that child just needs some good old-fashioned discipline!  My husband and I actually have parent coaching to teach us how to better navigate our child’s way of thinking.  We are becoming quite adept at redirection rather than simply saying no, a trigger word for many autistic children.  
2)    Include us – we may say no to a lot of social events as we have anxiety ourselves over our child’s behavior, but please keep including us!  Just the thought of being invited means a lot and eventually we will build the confidence to actually attend more and more events.
3)    Be kind – The greatest thing I hope for is kindness.  For my son.  For my family.  For others struggling to navigate a life that is a bit different than the norm.  We all have hopes and dreams of happiness just like yours.  Our family is different, not less.

The most important thing is to be a role model of these ideas for your children.  They are watching and listening.  They are going to grow up with more peers that are different than we all did when we were children.  Our example of inclusivity, where everyone can unapologetically be themselves, will help build a better future for children of all abilities!

Upcoming Events

Please visit the TRES calendar webpage to view important upcoming dates.

  • April 28 - Last Day to Complete IEES Survey (see below)
  • May 2 - Deadline for Square One Art Orders (see PTA info below)
  • May 5 - PTA Retriever Rally, 6-8pm (see PTA info below)
  • May 10 - Virtual PTA Meeting
  • May 11 - 4th Grade Field Trip, Annapolis
  • May 12 - Simulated Congressional Hearing, 5th Grade
  • May 18 - Field Day
  • May 19 - Schools Closed, Professional Learning Day for Staff
  • May 23 - Beginning and Advanced Spring Orchestra Concerts
  • May 25 - Kindergarten Field Trip, Piney Run Park
  • May 25 - Spring Band Concert
  • May 26 - TRES Spirit Day
  • May 29 - Schools/Offices Closed, Memorial Day

News and Information

Help Us Prevent False Alarms - Please Spread the Word

TRES received a false alarm notification from the Howard County Police for a recent Sunday afternoon. We were able to determine that the cause was children pulling on the locked front doors. If you are at TRES after hours for sports or other reasons, please make sure that your children are not pulling on any of the building entry doors. Thank you for your help!

Last Day to Complete IEES Survey

As part of our school improvement process, we are asking families to provide input about their equity priorities at our school. Please use the link below to complete the HCPSS Indicators of Educational Equity Survey by April 28, 2023. We will use your input, along with other school data, to refine our school improvement plan for next year.

This survey is anonymous and available in multiple languages. If you have children at more than one school, please complete one survey per school.

English survey
Spanish survey
Chinese survey
Chin survey
Korean survey

Register by June 1 for 2023-2024 Bus Service

Families whose students are eligible for HCPSS-provided transportation are required to register by June 1 to receive bus service for the coming 2023-2024 school year. Families who reside in non-transportation areas and those who have students who receive transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan do not need to take any action.

Spring MCAP Testing Continues for 3rd, 4th, 5th Grades

Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades will be taking the Math portion of their MCAP assessment this coming week. Students are encouraged to bring their own headphones for their comfort. Please see the schedule below:

  1. 5/1: MCAP Math - 3rd (9:00 am), 4th (10:15 am), 5th grade (9:00 am)
  2. 5/3: MCAP Math - 3rd (9:00 am), 4th (10:15 am), 5th grade (9:00 am)
  3. 5/4: MCAP Math - 3rd (9:00 am), 4th (10:15 am), 5th grade (9:00 am)
  4. 5/5: MCAP Math - 3rd (9:00 am), 4th (10:15 am), 5th grade (9:00 am)

Although we will offer make-up sessions, it’s always best for your child to take the assessment with their class on the designated day.

Text Messages

Texts are one means of communication our school uses to relay timely information.  If you are not receiving TRES texts, please note that to comply with wireless carrier requirements, parents/guardians must opt into receiving HCPSS and school text message alerts. Standard data fees and text messaging rates may apply based on your mobile plan. If you are unsure if you have already opted in, text the word “YES” to 67587 from the cell phone number on file in HCPSS Connect. Please contact our front office with any questions.

HCPSS Rainbow Conference - Register Now!

The HCPSS Rainbow Conference will be held on Saturday, May 6th, from 9am - 5pm.  The conference will be hybrid with opportunities for both virtual and in-person participation. For more information scan the QR code on the Rainbow Conference Flier and/or see the details below.  We hope to see you there! 

9:00am-1:00pm is VIRTUAL

  • 15 virtual sessions to select from
  • Register for up to four sessions
  • Target audience - high school students, educators, parents, and community members

1:00pm-5:00pm is IN-PERSON

  • Join us at the Homewood Center for in-person activities! (10914 Clarksville Pike, Ellicott City)
  • ALL are welcome to join us for the children and YA book talk sessions, Pride Outside session, Exhibition Hall, and outdoor activities.
  • Also featured will be "Prom wear Pop-Up" where high school students attending prom can take home party clothing, free of charge.
  • Target audience - The afternoon sessions and activities have a strong family focus.

Registration Information

  • Thanks to the It Gets Better Project 50States50Grants for funding this event! This conference is a FREE HCPSS event.
  • Participants must register to attend.
  • Register HERE

Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten Registration for 2023-2024 School Year

Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is underway.  Children must be 5 years old by September 1, 2023, in order to enroll in kindergarten.

Pre-Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year has also begun. Children must be 4 years old by September 1, 2023, in order to enroll in pre-kindergarten. TRES will have a pre-kindergarten program on site. Anyone wishing to register must first complete an application that the HCPSS Early Childhood Office reviews for qualification. You can review more information about eligibility on the HCPSS website.

Please visit the TRES Website and click on the front page link to learn more about enrolling for the fall.

Upcoming Events and News

Our TRES website is a valuable resource for all our families to find upcoming events including testing dates on our school CALENDAR.  Our school newsletters are also posted there for review/reference under the NEWS tab.

When Your Child is Absent From School

Please see guidance for reporting absences or early dismissals HERE.


Retriever Rally Volunteers Needed!

The Retriever Rally is May 5th from 6-8pm at TRES. This event is a great night to bring our community together and features a Live DJ, Face Painting, Balloon Artists, Photo Booth, Activities with KidzArt, Bounce House Maze, Carnival Games with Prizes, Popcorn and Cotton Candy, Cake Walk, Food Trucks, and LOTS OF FUN!!! However, this event can't run without your help.  Several volunteers are still needed! Please sign up HERE

*Please note - this is a new sign up.  Previous names have been removed from the sign up sent out at the beginning of the school year and you must sign up again.

Staff Appreciation Week May 8-12th

Help the PTA LIFT UP our wonderful TRES staff during Staff Appreciation Week May 8-12th.  Please sign up HERE  to bring in food for breakfast, desserts for a sweet day, or purchase items from our Amazon wish list (linked in the signup genius).

PTA Positions for the 2023-2024 School Year 

Please email if you are interested in being an active member of the PTA next year! We are seeking volunteers to fill the following positions:

Open Board positions are: President, President-Elect, Vice President of Social Events, Treasurer, Secretary and PTACHC Delegate.

Open Committee Chairs are: Retriever Rally, Trunk or Treat, Bingo, Yearbook, Volunteer Coordinator, Hospitality, Reflections, Community Outreach, Cultural Arts, Fundraising, and Staff Appreciation Co-chair.

Square One Art Fundraiser; Orders Due May 2nd

Celebrate your child’s artistic achievement by ordering timeless keepsakes to cherish for years to come. Check out  the Square One website for gift ideas! You can search by your child’s name or use the code on the back of your personalized catalog. Items are shipped directly to your home and every order raises funds for the PTA.

Additional Thanks to Harris Teeter....

We also want to add an acknowledgement of thanks to Harris Teeter which also contributed resources necessary to ensure the Walking Wednesday Arbor Day tree giveaway was a success!

Walking Wednesday Sign Up

Walking Wednesdays is a PTA sponsored walking/running program fully led by volunteers that gets our kiddos' hearts beating faster as they run/walk for prizes during recess. It is a great opportunity to encourage our children to be active as well as set goals and meet them! Please consider volunteering via this SignUp Genius.

**PLEASE NOTE**   Volunteer Slots are now for one hour rather than a half hour as in previous years.