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.
Each year US News and World Report puts out an article that ranks the nations top High Schools. A few years back, EHS made the list and earned a silver medal. The list of 2014 schools just came out and 28 Oregon High Schools made the list. Once again, EHS has made the cut, ranking as the 24th High School in the state of Oregon. For perspective, we are also the highest ranking 4A school on the list, and one of only two Lane County schools on the Oregon list (with the other being South Eugene). Thanks to all the teachers, staff, parents, students, and volunteers that make this possible. Go Falcons!
To Fern Ridge Community Members and Staff:
We have some very exciting news we want to share with parents and patrons of Fern Ridge School District. The news concerns an improvement in our bond project at Elmira Elementary School.
We are holding an informational meeting at Elmira Elementary School on Tuesday, April 28th at 6:30 p.m. Our Construction Project Manager, Lee Zumwalt, from LCG Pence Construction, and our Owner’s Representative, Rick Rainone, from Cornerstone Management Group will be on hand to share the good news. We hope you will be able to attend!
– Sally J. Storm, Ph.D., Superintendent and FRSD Board of Directors
Congratulations to Fern Ridge Middle School’s OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books) for being the 2015 Middle School State Champions. The team did a great job. The team consisted of Emily Eagle Eye, Josiah Lorenz, Megan Porter, and Jessica Woods. Thanks to Sherry Cooper for all her hard work as the Coach and also a thank you to Judy Peterson as the Honorary Coach during the competition.
Congratulations, as well, to the Elmira High School team for making it to the 2015 OBOB state semi final round. Having two teams from our District make it to the final round against schools with enrollments exceeding 1,500 students, was quite an accomplishment. EHS team members included Maddi Curtis, Brittany Falconer, Jeremy Cooper, and Cooper Barnes. Thank you to Sherry Cooper for coaching and Forrest Cooper for all his support.
The Fern Ridge School District will hold pre-registration for incoming kindergarten students on Friday, May 1st from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at both Elmira Elementary School and Veneta Elementary School. Parents are encouraged to bring their future kindergartener with them. Forms for kindergarten registration can be picked up at each school or they will be available online beginning April 27th. Forms will not be accepted before 9:00 a.m. on May 1st. Parents should plan on bringing copies of birth certificates, immunization information, proof of residency, and any relevant documentation related to custodial issues.
Parents of incoming kindergarten students are also invited to attend a Kindergarten Parent Information Night on May 13th from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at each elementary school. Kindergarten teachers will share more information about our full day kindergarten program and how parents can help their child prepare over the summer.
Just as the buses were leaving Elmira Elementary School Monday afternoon, the school received a bomb threat by telephone.
Staff and students in our after school program were immediately evacuated to Elmira High School. Lane County Sheriff’s Department was immediately on site checking Elmira Elementary School.
The school has been deemed safe, and no bomb was found. All students and staff are safe. School will continue as normal tomorrow.
The Oregon Legislature is currently discussing a State School Fund appropriation of $7.235 billion for the 2015-2017 biennium. This level of funding is significantly inadequate and would do nothing to restore previously reduced staff or programs, or to reverse the effect that less instructional time and large class sizes have on student achievement.
Per Oregon Department of Education estimates, Fern Ridge Schools will receive $96 less per student next year then what we are currently receiving. We will continue to operate at a deficit, and shifting more of our already limited resources to implement full-day kindergarten will come at the expense of all our students. When combined with increased costs and the addition of full-day kindergarten, the scenario being considered by the Legislature means we are facing more lost school days, higher class sizes, and further reduction of what few programs we have left. In the last twelve years we have eliminated all music and PE programs at our elementary schools, and over 20 course offerings at the middle school and high school.
Below is a link to a one page handout describing what a $7.235 billion funding level means for our district. Also provided is information on what a $7.5 billion and a $7.875 billion funding level means for our district, some facts about Oregon’s education system, and contact information for the senator and representative that represent our district. Superintendents from across the state are asking their staff, parents, community leaders and school board members to contact legislators and advocate for better school funding. Please consider reaching out to our legislators; our students deserve stable and adequate funding. Thank you for your support and action!
The EHS Mr. Falcon Contest is just around the corner!! Put Friday, April 3rd on your calendars for a fun filled evening. The cost is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for students if purchased before the night of, at the door, tickets are $10.00/$7.00. Good luck to contestants Tucker Barnes, Tristan Cornelius, Seth Johnson, Gannon Jones, Ramasas Labastida, Carlos Robertson, and Arashi Wahl. Head Coordinator is Bailey Mills. All funds raised stay in the Fern Ridge Community.
EHS did well when compared to other schools around the state in regards to Graduation Rate data recently released by the Oregon Department of Education. The most often used rates are 4 & 5 year Graduation and Completer Rates. The Graduation Rates for 13-14 (both 4 and 5 year) take into account the % of students that earned a regular or modified diploma in this time frame. The state average for 4 and 5 year graduation rates was 71.98% and 75.90 % respectively. At EHS 79.65% of our students graduated in 4 years and 81.65% graduated within 5 years. Completer Rates take into account students that also earn GED’s for example. The state average for 4 and 5 year Completer Rates were 76.90% and 82.15%, while at EHS those same rates were 82.30% and 86.24%. The staff at EHS continues to work to adapt the services and resources available to families to better meet the needs of our students and community. One of the primary indicators of graduation rates is attendance at school. This is also one of the best and easiest ways parents can support their students throughout High School. Ensuring the school attendance every day is a priority is critical and sends an important message to our students that an education is valuable. Thank you to all the parents that make school attendance a priority. NOTE: If you are confused by the Graduation Rate data in the Register Guard today that shows the FRSD as the lowest in the area with a 56.9% 4 year cohort rate, please be aware that is the result of the EHS rate of 79.65% being combined with the charter school rate (West Lane Technical Learning Center) of 14.04%.
The 2nd grade teaching team of Deanna Greene, Corinne Messman, and Angie Pebworth at Veneta Elementary School have been selected as the Veterans of Foreign Wars Teachers of the Year for VFW District 13 for their outstanding work in civic education during the past year. The 2nd grade team worked together to teach students about their local community with field trips to city hall, the Applegate Museum, Zumwalt Park, etc. Their students heard from descendants of some of the Fern Ridge founding families. Local leaders from the community also were guest teachers in their classrooms. The three teachers will be honored at a banquet at the Springfield VFW Post on December 14th. We are very proud of each of them and of the program they put together. Congratulations!!!