Last night, August 15, 2016, the school board accepted the resignation of Dr. Sally Storm for health-related reasons. We wish to convey to her our appreciation for her work with the District these past two years.
In order to move forward with the school year, Mr. Gary Carpenter was designated our Interim Superintendent to carry out the responsibilities of the position through June 30, 2017. He will remain the High School Principal as well.
Elevated levels of lead in school drinking water is making headlines in both local and national news. Effected school districts are frantically working to test their facilities and make corrections in response to the public’s outcry. But not here at Fern Ridge! For more than a decade the District has operated our water systems under the watchful eye of the Department of Human Services in their Drinking Water Program. All facilities whose water comes from District owned water sources, are on a set schedule for lead testing. A certified testing lab is provided samples from sinks and drinking fountains accessible to students and staff. Those results are sent to both the District and responsible State agency for verification of compliance. No elevated levels of lead are present in our systems.
To assure this trend continues, daily pH levels are monitored so heavy metals do not have a chance to leach into our systems. The only exception to this is Veneta Elementary School, whose water is provided by the city-wide system. Lead testing in that system is performed by the City of Veneta itself and reported to their governing agency. Recently, the Superintendent directed the maintenance staff to conduct independent testing of Veneta Elementary School’s drinking water. No elevated lead levels were found. All test results are public record and are available by contacting the District.
Fern Ridge Middle School is proud to be back to back Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) State Champions. Nice job Josiah Lorenz, Emily Eagle Eye, Jessica Woods, and Zola Walker. If you do not know about OBOB, it is a competition where students read 16 books in great detail and then have a competitions on their recall of specific details on each book. A special thank you to Mrs. Sherry Cooper for coaching this team and organizing the OBOB school competition.
The State released Graduation Rate data today, and EHS did fantastic! Big kudos to not only the EHS staff, but to all staff in the FRSD K-12 that play a role in graduating students. The article that was published in the Register Guard on this topic, can be confusing. The Register Guard breaks out the 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate data by schools for the larger districts (Churchill, Sheldon, Springfield, etc…). However, for smaller Districts they often just list the rate for the entire District. The rate for the FRSD (that takes into account all High Schools in the District – EHS and WLTLC) was 71.6% for the 4-year cohort rate, while the State average was 73.8%. However, the 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate for EHS was 89.83%. The only High School in Lane County that is our size or larger (4A) that we aware of that beat that, was South Eugene High School at 90.82%. Way to go EHS! You can see all of the State Graduation Rate data by following this link.
Bus #1 was rear-ended on Hwy 126 at mile post 28.5 this afternoon. The bus driver was the only person on the school bus at the time of the accident. Emergency personnel responded to the accident. There were no injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was cited by law enforcement personnel.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
A ground breaking ceremony to celebrate the start of construction at Veneta Elementary School will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at 12:30 pm. The building’s contractor, architects, elected officials, staff and students will help mark the start of construction. After the dirt has been ceremonially turned, the big equipment will be ready to move in and start construction of the renovations and new additions.
The District’s number one goal during construction is to maintain the safety of the public, students, staff, and the construction crews. As such, the building’s contractor will have dedicated access to the north portion of the property and the south portion of the parking lot starting June 15th. Temporary chain link fence will be installed in those areas to prevent any interaction between construction traffic and non-construction traffic. The south portion of the parking lot will be turned back over to the District prior to school starting in September, but the north portion of the property will remain closed until the classroom addition is completed in December.