The Wise Owl

The Official Newsletter of the Park Ridge School District

May/June 2024

“Owls Together: Community, Friendship, and Kindness”

The Owl Mission

The Park Ridge School District is committed to educating and empowering all students to think critically and creatively to express their full potential. We cultivate a community of lifelong learners and nurture all students to be kind, ethical, and responsible citizens, as well as independent, productive members of an increasingly complex and interconnected world. As a district, we embrace individuality and value cultural diversity, equity, and mutual respect.

The Owl Vision

We are dedicated to creating a culture and climate of collaboration and acceptance, where all members of the district are encouraged to challenge themselves and learn from their experiences. We recognize the importance of interconnection and encourage development of multiple intelligences and divergent thinkers. We strive to support our students as they grow academically, socially, physically, and emotionally, and recognize that this process is enhanced through collaboration within the larger community. The Park Ridge School District strives to advocate for the individual needs and goals of every member of the school community, by fostering an environment where growth and well-being are paramount.

Upcoming Dates

  • May 20 - BOE Meeting (7 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • May 21 - Renaissance Dinner (6:30 PM - Seasons, Wash Twp)

  • May 24 - Unused "Snow" Day (Schools Closed)

  • May 27 - Memorial Day (Schools Closed)

  • May 28 - Unused "Snow" Day (Schools Closed)

  • May 30 - PRHS Senior Awards (7 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • June 14 - Owl House Graduation (11 AM - Cornerstone, Hillsdale)

  • June 17 - BOE Meeting (7 PM - HS Little Theater)

  • June 19 - EB Grade 6 Promotion (10 AM)

  • June 19 - WR Grade 6 Promotion (11:15 AM)

  • June 20 - PRHS Graduation (6 PM) / Last Day for Students & Staff

Important Reminders

BOE Test Score Presentation

At the BOE meeting on August 30th, Dr. Bernardo presented our 2023 NJ Graduate Proficiency Assessment results to the public. The complete presentation can be found at this link Click Here

At the BOE meeting on October 16th, Dr. Bernardo presented our 2023 NJ Student Learning Assessment results to the public. The complete presentation can be found at this link Click Here

2023-24 K-6 Student - Parent Handbook

Please be sure to review the information contained in the handbook Click Here

PRSD State Assessment Calendar

Please click on the link below to view the NJ State Assessment Calendar ...

2023-24 State Assessment Calendar

From the Superintendent of Schools ...

Dear School Community Member:

Hello to all! We are officially in the home stretch of the school year. The calendar for May and June is filled with events that showcase all the hard work completed by our students and staff.

On May 6th, the BOE held its annual Budget Hearing. I am pleased to announce that the 2024-25 school budget maintains all current programs and services. The budget also includes funding for the following new programs and resources:

  • Additional section of first grade at West Ridge
  • Elementary Guidance Counselor at West Ridge
  • Three new HS electives (Introduction to Guitar, Cybersecurity and AP Macro Economics)
  • A new Therapeutic Classroom at PRHS, including the appropriate support staff and counselors from West Bergen Mental Health
  • New K-6 Language Arts - Literacy resources, plus updated resources in Mathematics and Science
  • New HS Honors Biology textbook

The faculty, staff and administration work tirelessly to bring the most current teaching resources and instructional methodologies to the classroom. Our Curriculum Office (Dr. Bernardo and Ms. Ballaera) is always on the lookout for new programs and professional development opportunities for teachers. For a small K-12 district, I know we make the most of the education we provide to our students.

Last week we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week in all of our schools. I am sure you will agree that we have an incredible faculty and staff working with your children. They are a highly dedicated group who create a wonderful learning environment for the students entrusted to their care. Please join me in thanking them!

In closing, I want to thank you for helping to make the PRSD a great place to learn and grow. Enjoy the extended Memorial Day Weekend!

Owls Together,


Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Matt And Drew Sports Media Spring Athletics Update

Written by Drew Welsh and Matt Constante (PRHS Class of 2024)

Here is what has been going on with the spring sports at Park Ridge High School:


Boys Lacrosse: After a rough 0-9 start to the season, at the time of this writing, the boys lax squad is riding a 3 game win streak, with wins over Bergen Tech, Eastern Christian, and Clifton. Juniors Andrew Rozzi and Brendan Burns are the team leaders in goals, with defenders Matthew Rozzi and Ayden Schecter helping out goalie Zack Moser. The Owls look to ride this late season win streak into the end of the season and possibly the state playoffs.


Girls Lacrosse: The Girls Lacrosse team has had an immense amount of success this season with an overall record of 11-5. Offensively, the team has well over 100 goals with seniors Mary Grace Craffey and Kayla Hunt leading the team with a combined 120 goals so far. The team looks to make strides in the final stretch of the season, with the overall goal being to make a run in the postseason.


Softball: Park Ridge Girls continue to dominate in sports, this time in Softball. The team has a very impressive 12-4 record, 5-1 in NJIC. Seniors Erika Stewart, Amanda Cicero, and freshman Lauren Stewart lead the team with hits this season, combining for a total 70 hits. The team is poised to make a big run in the State Tournament this year.


Baseball: With a 9-8 record on the season, the baseball team has made a 1-5 record from the beginning of the season, to winning 5 games in a row, defeating big teams like Waldwick, and still continuing to show success throughout the end of the season. Park Ridge Baseball has shown large amounts of improvement and success and look to clinch a spot in the postseason.


Track and Field: Spring track has had a very nice 2024 campaign to date so far. With a fourth place finish at the Bergen County Relays in April, the team kept it up with a league championship win over Waldwick and Saddle River Day, with Patrick Tallman coming in first place in the 1 and 2 mile. The 4x400 team took a fourth place finish as well. On May 10th and 11th, at the Bergen County meet, Connor McAndrew and Matt Burns set new personal records in long jump, with Patrick Tallman and William O'donovan receiving first and second places finishes respectively. For the girls side on May 11th, Nicole Freiler finished in 1st in the 400 meter hurdles followed by medals for Ava Stefano and Katelyn Nilsen. At the league championship meet, the 4x400 team got first place.

Boys Tennis: The tennis team is enjoying a successful season, with a record of 12-4 at this time. Sophomore Steven Komoto has emerged as one of the league’s top players, and with freshman Matthew Komoto, and junior Noah Herring, they have led the team to quality wins over Leonia, Cresskill and Memorial. The team is now gearing up for the state sectional competition beginning next week.

Golf: PRHS Golf recently ended their season 2023-2024 campaign with a 1-7 record. Their triumph came on May 2nd, when they outshot New Milford by the score of 225-281. Key standouts from this year's team include Aidan Mulligan, Xander Nakamura, Breydan Gaccione, and Owen Amadeo-DeSessa. 

  • Matt Constante & Andrew Welsh


Follow us on Twitter @PrhsSportsMedia to stay up to date with all Park Ridge Athletics Updates! 

2024-25 Park Ridge School Budget

On May 6th, the Park Ridge BOE held its annual Budget Hearing and approved their budget for the 2024-25 school year. Please feel free to review the documents below to gain an understanding of what is included in next year's PRSD budget.

2023-24 PRSD Calendar Update

The district calendar includes three (3) emergency closing days for inclement weather. This year, due to the mild winter weather, we only used one (1) "snow day" in February. According to our BOE approved district calendar, all unused emergency closing days are to be returned around Memorial Day weekend (Note: This is a contractual requirement). As a result, all Park Ridge Public Schools will be closed on Friday, May 24th and Tuesday, May 28th.

A copy of the updated 2023 - 24 school calendar can be found at this link:

Note: Please follow the building principal updates regarding the HS final exam and early dismissal schedule for the end of the school year.

Kindergarten Hoot Camp

This summer Park Ridge will once again be offering Hoot Camp. Hoot Camp is an exciting introduction to elementary school and is available to all incoming kindergartners in Park Ridge. All Hoot Camp instructors are certified teachers. Hoot Camp consists of a fun-filled four-week curriculum full of activities and lessons that will help prepare your child for kindergarten. Each day, children will participate in activities that will help develop their confidence in reading readiness and math skills, social/emotional growth, and fine & gross motor skills. Hoot Camp provides a balance of learning and having fun, all while meeting new friends!

If you have any questions or would like additional information, you can contact Melissa Ballaera at

You can sign you child up here: Hoot Camp Link

PRHS Locker Rooms & Fitness Center Update

Provided by: Conor O'Brien, Project Executive, Legacy Construction Management

The Contractor continues to work on the Locker Room Addition Project with assistance from the Architect and Construction Manager. The building’s steel structure has been erected and the concrete deck has been poured. The concrete retaining wall is currently being backfilled to bring the upper parking lot area to the finished grade. Interior masonry wall work has begun allowing mechanical, electrical, and plumbing items to be installed soon. The construction team continues to move the project forward toward its completion.

Click here to view Design Schematic

Network Connectivity Update

The BOE has contracted with Millennium Communications Group Inc. to install a private fiber network between all three schools. This project will include a fiber run from East Brook to PRHS to West Ridge for a total of 2.65 miles. This will increase the speed and efficiency of our district network. We will also gain much needed flexibility in terms of designing the network, by updating switches and consolidating servers. We were approved at the end of August for $90,255 from the E-Rate program, which is equal to 40% of all eligible costs.

PRSD Website (

The PRSD Website was switched to a new platform on January 16th! Please check it out at Thank you to all of the parents and faculty who responded to the district website survey. The website committee now has input from 180+ school community members to consider while working on this revision. The new website will be ADA compliant, contain more information and be formatted in a manner that is more user friendly.

PRHS Online Cashless Payment Options for Lunch

Attention PRHS Parents/Guardians: 

Parents now have the option to prepay for cafeteria meals online, via credit card or ACH Electronic Checking, using Pay Schools Central. For more information click on the link below:

Cashless Payment

PRSD School Calendar

On November 21, 2022 the BOE approved the 2023-24 school calendar. The REVISED calendar is available at the link below:

2023-24 School Calendar

On November 20, 2023 the BOE approved the 2024-25 school calendar. Please be advised that school will open for students after Labor Day. The calendar is available at the link below:

2024-25 School Calendar