It is time to think about the coming winter. Our District’s annual test of the FlashAlert weather closure system is scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, October 21, 2015. If you use the Messenger feature and you do not get a message that day, please verify that you still have an active account by going to www.flashalert.net/login.html. After two warning emails were sent to everyone affected, accounts that had not been logged into since July 1, 2014 were deleted in order to keep the lists clean.
Fern Ridge School District 28J is accepting applications to fill vacant Budget Committee positions. The following positions are open: Two three-year term positions (Expires 6/30/18), One two-year term position (Expires 6/30/17) and One one-year term position (Expires 6/30/16).
To be eligible for appointment, the appointive member must 1) live in the district; and 2) not be an officer, agent or employee of the district. Applications are available here or at the District Office, 88834 Territorial Road, Elmira. The applications will be received at the District Office until openings are filled.
The District continues to struggle with bus issues created by First Student. There appears to be a shortage of both drivers and substitute drivers, something the District feels should have been taken care of over the summer. We met again on Wednesday, September 16th, with the First Student Manager as well as her supervisor from First Student. We outlined their failure to follow the contract and bus students on time. We still find the situation intolerable and apologize to all students and parents. We appreciate the patience you have shown. – Dr. Sally J. Storm, Superintendent
The Oregon State Legislators made changes to student immunizations with a religious exemption in Senate Bill 895. Students who currently have a religious exemption on file will need to complete new documentation of immunizations, a medical exemption or a non-medical exemption. Please click here for more information.
Fern Ridge School District wants parents to know that we find the transportation problems which have occurred so far this year completely unacceptable. We have talked with First Student that things need to improve quickly. We apologize to all of our students and parents for the unprofessional way our students’ transportation needs have been handled. Please know that we are doing everything we can to change the situation. If you have further concerns, please contact Quanah Bennett, Business Manager at 541-935-2253 ext. 1202 or email@example.com. Thank you. – Dr. Sally Storm, Superintendent
Please join the Elmira Elementary School staff, parents,and students for the Groundbreaking Ceremony for their new school on September 17, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. There will be pizza, a magician, some students reading their essays about why they are happy about their new school, and a few shovelfuls of dirt! Hope to see you there!!!
Fern Ridge Middle School:
After nine weeks of construction, the project is taking shape and on track for the students return on September 8th. With most of the drywall work behind us, and the paint and ceiling work progressing, the school is starting to look like what the final product will be. The creation of the media center will enhance the students learning environment, while moving the administration area to the front of the building will increase safety, building functionality, and add new look to the main entry. All summer school projects have hurdles to overcome, and the general contractor, John Hyland Construction, has met these challenges head on and kept us on schedule.
Veneta Elementary School:
Veneta Elementary is undergoing a large renovation and addition project that will last until the winter break. There have been challenges to face for LCG Pence, the general contractor, but they have been met with the experience and knowledge we have come to expect. The largest hurdle was an unforeseen condition where the new commons will be built, where it appeared that reminisce of an old fire had been buried. Now excavated and back on track, the commons footings are beginning to take shape. On the other side of the school, the new 7 classroom wing is moving forward, as the new CMU walls are being erected. Inside the existing building, the remodel to the administration area and library are starting to see their finishes of paint and ceilings, and are on schedule to be ready for opening day.
Elmira Elementary School:
Since making the decision to move the new building out the footprint of the existing school, the design team has been busy making the necessary improvements to alter the project from a partial renovation, to a standalone building. The new site location in the southwest corner of the property has been selected, and construction of the site and utilities is slated to begin late summer/early fall of this year, with construction of the new building by fall/winter 2016. The most significant aspect of the new plan is that there is no impact to student safety or learning during construction, since the existing building will remain intact until construction of the new is complete.
Elmira High School:
The new auxiliary gymnasium and Title IX improvements for the high school are still in the conceptual design phase. With construction slated to begin summer of 2016, this project has the most development work of them all to get through. Locations for where the gym should be built, the entrance to the school and the improvements to the girl’s locker and team rooms are still in the design phase. We look forward to seeing how these designs develop and making information available as this project grows.
Thursday, August 6th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. will be Fall Sports registration night at Elmira High School. If your student is participating in Football, Volleyball, X-Country, Cheer, or Boys/Girls Soccer, please plan on attending. Athletes need a current physical on file on the OSAA form (within the last 2 years), paperwork (including insurance information), and $125.00 sport registration fee. All paperwork must be completed prior to Friday, August 14th to be eligible to participate on the first day of practices, Monday, August 17th.
The District leadership and school leadership has been looking at how best to increase instructional hours at the elementary level. We worked with the Transportation Department to ensure that the transportation of students from both the elementary schools, and the middle and high schools would work.
Additionally, the elementary staff had asked to have professional learning communities, or staff collaboration time on Wednesdays as the middle school and high school did in the 2014-2015 school year. There have been many changes in education, and many things the state is asking of us that are new. Staff needs time to implement changes and learn new things. They need time to meet with educational assistants to plan for the students as well. Therefore, this has also necessitated schedule changes.
We are pushing the start of the middle school to a later time, and having them get out later as well. This is for two reasons: teen brains need to sleep in later in the morning and the transportation time issues.
Therefore the times for the elementary and middle schools beginning with the 2015-2016 school year are as follows:
Elementary School Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 7:55 AM – 2:25 PM Wednesday – 7:55 AM – 12:45 PM
Middle School Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday – 8:45 AM – 3:04 PM Wednesday – 8:45 AM – 1:25 PM
The start of summer has signaled a huge amount of work throughout the Fern Ridge School District, thanks to the $26.7 million bond measure approved by voters in May 2014. Below are some of the projects now underway:
Veneta Elementary School is undergoing a transformation focused on safety and meeting needs due to growth. Classrooms are being added to the north side of the building and a new commons and kitchen are being added adjacent to the gymnasium. Getting out of remote portables, separating the bus loop from the parking lot, enclosing the library, and reconfiguring the office to face the street will also improve safety at the school.
Fern Ridge Middle School is undergoing an interior transformation as areas inside of the building are being reconfigured to better meet the needs of students and programs. The main office is being relocated to the west side of the building and will face the parking lot to provide better supervision and security, and the classrooms being displaced by this move are being relocated to where the main office used to be. In addition, the library will be enclosed to create a more suitable environment for learning.
For more information about bond activities, click here.