Join Us for Take Your Parent to PE Week on September 24th – 27th

Prairie Ridge is participating in Take Your Parent to PE Week!

Sponsored by the Active Schools movement, Take Your Parent to PE Week is a nationwide campaign that highlights the importance of physical learning in schools and helps keep parents involved in all aspects of their child’s education.

Ridge PE video

We invite you to come participate in PE class to witness the fun and engaging ways we are helping your kids feel better, work together as a team, reduce anxiety, maintain focus in the classroom and develop lifelong healthy habits.

Check out for more information, including a toolkit for parents, and once you’re here, be sure to tag #ParentsLovePE and @ActiveSchoolsUS to share the fun!

Hope to see you soon!!!


Mrs. Becky Sorg

Prairie Ridge P.E. Teacher



News form Mrs. Bennet’s Kindergarten Class

The beginning of the year covers just about every emotion there is for the newest Ridge Rock Stars every year. Learning about a new school and all of the expectations that come along with it can be a really overwhelming thing. Knowing this, the last couple years, we have been exploring how to get back to some more basic enjoyments. One of the things we have begun to implement is remembering to learn to love reading. Reading for enjoyment is a life long skill that we hope to instill in all of our students. One of the ways we are trying to do that is by helping each student develop their reader identity. Reader identity involves helping students see themselves as readers, finding books for enjoyment, and sharing that excitement with someone else. Some of the ways we tackle these questions is by modeling. Finding books we love to read and sharing that excitement with kids gets them excited. We try to expose them to different genres like fairy tales, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and non-fiction to name a few. We like to share silly books so we can laugh and serious books that help us deal with our emotions, as well as learn rules, how to be a friend, and how to appreciate all diverse kinds of friends. You can find a book about just about every topic! It is important for students to see themselves as readers. We talk about how you can read a book in several different ways, like telling the story you see in pictures. So even if you can’t read all the words yet, you can still be a reader when you “read” the pictures. Lastly, we try to give them time to read for enjoyment and talk about the books they are interested in. My favorite day of each month is our READ Day. We celebrate reading by welcoming our Third Grade Buddies into our room. We spend one-on-one time with them, just reading. They read to us and, later in the year especially, we read to them. We talk about what we are reading, we appreciate the illustrations, and we share what we love about the stories. It is pretty cool to watch happen. I have included some photos from our first Read Day. I hope you can all find some time in your day sometime soon and just read for pleasure – just because you want to! Happy reading!


Mrs. Benke’s 2nd Grade Classroom

Welcome to Second Grade at Prairie Ridge! I am so excited that the new school year has started! As I was thinking about new beginnings I decided I would like to try starting each day a little bit differently than I have in the past. Instead of the kids coming in first thing in the morning and getting right to work on some sort of morning job, I wanted to try a softer, less stressful start with some daily theme routines. I am sure there will be tweaks along the way and each second grade class is putting their own spin on it but here is what I am thinking our daily themes will be…
Monday Munchies and Mingling: Monday mornings will be a time where kids can visit with their classmates and catch up on the fun things they did over the weekend while enjoying a little extra breakfast treat. We can practice our speaking and listening skills in a fun, low stress manner.
Book Talk Tuesday: Each student will be assigned a Tuesday of the month where they will share with the rest of the class a book recommendation.. A variety of options will be given for how kids can share. We also hope to work with Mrs. Haskin in the library to create QR codes of book reviews. The QR codes will be attached to the library books for others to enjoy.
Wednesday Wisdom: Students will be writing and sharing on a variety of topics. This is a great way to learn more about each other and build community.
Thoughtful Thursday: It is my hope to help the kids be more aware of the really amazing people that surround them each day and to give them the opportunity to recognize them for their acts of kindness.
Friday Favorites: When students come into the classroom they may choose a favorite activity for a few minutes and then our community circle theme will be sharing our favorite things from the past week or favorites on a variety of topics.
It is my hope that this less stressful start will ease us into our day and help us build a really amazing classroom community that is ready to take on second grade together!

Welcome New Staff


Prairie Ridge is excited to welcome these new staff members joining our Ridge team in helping provide education for your children.

Jenn Meier – 1st Grade

Jenn Meier graduated from Coe College with a degree in Elementary Education.  She received her Master’s Degree in Collaborative Teaching and Learning from Graceland University.  This will be Mrs. Meier’s 21st of teaching.  She taught 15 years in the Cedar Rapids School District and will be going into her 6th year here at Prairie.

Mrs. Meier and her husband have 3 children.  Sophia is a freshman at UNI, Reid is an 8th grader at Point, and Emma is a 7th grader at Point.  When not at school Mrs. Meier and her husband enjoy watching what their 3 children love to do soccer, basketball, or baseball.

Kylie McDermott – 2nd Grade

Kylie McDermott grew up in Cedar Rapids and attended the Cedar Rapids school district. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Mercy University with a degree in Elementary Education and a focus in the area of reading and special education.  Prior to joining the College Community School District, Mrs. McDermott worked In the Cedar Rapids school district as a special education, 1st grade and 2nd grade teacher.

Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her daughter, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes!

Paula Heber – Special Education

Mrs. Heber earned her Bachelor of Arts degree of Buena Vista University in 2000 and went on to further her education and graduated from Viterbo University with a Master’s in Education.  Mrs. Heber is a certified K-8 teacher with endorsements in reading and special education.  Prior to joining Prairie Ridge, Mrs. Heber taught 7th grade reading, language arts and special education at Prairie Point Middle School and Ninth Grade Academy for the last seventeen years.

Mrs. Heber enjoys reading, swimming, exercising, working in her yard, camping/traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Faith – Certified School Therapy Dog

My name is Faith and I am a 16 month old yellow Labrador. I am thrilled to join Taxi at Ridge this school year as another certified therapy dog.  I have previously lived in South Dakota and Kansas where I received my training.  Miss Klekar traveled to Kansas this summer and we trained together and graduated through the CARES (Canine Assistance Rehabilitation, Education and Services) Program.  I enjoy going on walks, being read to, and playing fetch to burn off my puppy energy.  During the school day, I will be alongside Mr. Marshall, and have the opportunity to go into all of the classrooms and interact with all students throughout the day!  I am looking forward to a fantastic school year.

Prairie Ridge also welcomes two new paraprofessional , Lisa Metzler and Breonna Patrick.


2019 / 2020 School Supplies order online

Attention Prairie Ridge Parents! It’s time to start thinking about school supplies for NEXT YEAR.  Save time and money with EPI School Supply Packs!  These teacher approved school supply packs are on sale NOW and parents can save up to 40%!   It’s a great way to avoid the stress of last minute shopping!

Order online at and enter our school ID PRA109.  School supplies will be placed in your child’s classroom prior to Open House in August. DEADLINE TO ORDER IS JUNE 16TH!  For questions, please contact Tina DuBois

2019 Supply List from  EPI

Cory Heaberlin Named Principal at Prairie Ridge Elementary School


College Community Schools is pleased to announce that Cory Heaberlin has been named Principal at Prairie Ridge Elementary School pending Board approval.

Heaberlin, a native of Des Moines, comes to College Community Schools from the Des Moines Public School System where he has served for 16 years and most recently as the building Principal at Madison Elementary School. For the past six years while leading Madison Elementary School Heaberlin was selected to work with the Presidential Committee of the Arts to be a Turn Around Arts School and was chosen to work with Learning Services International to be a model school for rigor. He also created a MTSS system for behavior that was a model for the Des Moines metro schools.

“Cory is an experienced leader with demonstrated success in the areas of school culture and academic success,” said Superintendent Dr. Douglas Wheeler. “Cory also brings leadership experiences in personalized learning that are a great fit with the journey established in our strategic plan.  Cory is an experienced student-focused leader and I am excited to welcome him to College Community Schools and Prairie Ridge Elementary.”

Prior to Madison Elementary School, Heaberlin worked in the Des Moines Public Schools as a Dean of Students, Instructional Coach and Classroom Teacher. Heaberlin is also a veteran of the U.S. Army, where his commendations included the Bronze Star for Valor.

“I am excited to join the College Community School District as it is well known in Iowa for having high expectations for all students as well as a long history of innovation in education,” said Heaberlin.  “I look forward to serving your community as the building principal of Prairie Ridge Elementary and am excited to get to know the staff, students, and families there.”

He received his Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Iowa State University and his Masters of Science in Education from Drake University.

Summer Reading Opportunities

Dear Families:

As we approach the end of another school year, it is time to gather all library books and return them to the Ridge Library. Please take a look around your house and in your child’s backpack for any books that are still checked out. Books found after June 7th can be returned to the Ridge office throughout summer.



  • Summer BINGO is a fun way to keep reading ALL summer long! Bring the paper back to school in August for a prize.



  • BARNES & NOBLE bookstore encourages children to read 8 books. Fill out the participation form and take it into the store for a free book!



  • The Cedar Rapids Kernels already presented to Ridge during our morning announcements. Information was sent home that day on how to win prizes for reading throughout the summer!


  • Participate in the reading promotions sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Public Library & neighborhood libraries. Win prizes for reading! Thank-you Cedar Rapids Public Library for the reading skit. Information about their summer DARE reading program was sent home.


  • DISTRICT summer library hours:  The Prairie Heights library will be open for book checkout on Mondays from 12:00 – 3:00pm, June 10 – August 12.


Students received a new BRAG (Books and Reading are Great) book this week. Please join me in thanking our awesome Ridge PTO for helping provide books for all students. This is a book your child gets to keep. It is not a library book.


It has been a pleasure working with everyone this year. I hope you and your family take advantage of the many opportunities provided in our area to have fun with books and reading this summer.



Mrs. Haskin


Future Problem Solvers

On April 5th and 6th, a Ridge Team (Macey Burns, Cole Carrizales, Chloe Detterbeck, Blake Hay-Tarrence) participated in the Iowa FPS State Bowl in Ames.  With critical and creative thinking skills the team placed 6th out of 21 teams in the skit competition!  Each one of them have already stated that they are ready for next year’s problems.  We are so proud of all fourth graders who participated in FPS for the first time, and especially the state team for giving it their ALL–Prairie Style!!

Reminder: school day extended

Beginning Monday, March 25th  the district will be extending the school day by 20 minutes  to accommodate the multiple days missed due to winter weather. In response to this time, we will be adding a 20 minute block of intervention and extension to the start of our school day. Teachers and staff are working diligently to make this a productive, meaningful time that allows us to ‘gain back’ some of the instructional time lost.  At Ridge the extension block will happen first thing in the morning. This change will bump back students’ lunch and recess times by 20 minutes, so if you visit or join your child for lunch, you will want to plan accordingly. Our dismissal time will be at 4:03 pm. Please recognize this for your after school arrangements; buses will drop off 20 minutes later, parent pick up times adjusted, etc.

Thank you for everyone’s flexibility with this unusual winter schedule. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ridge office.

The latest news from Prairie Ridge Elementary.