This week, EHS students and staff raised nearly $1000.00 that will be given to help support the Kiwanis Food Drive. Starting Monday, December 5th, the students and staff will be collecting non-perishable food items each morning before school. Thank you in advance for your participation in this valuable program for those in need in our community.
The District is looking for parent/community feedback regarding a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is that out of our approximately 600 Elementary students in the District K-5, approximately 380 live within the current VES designated boundary, and 220 live within the current EES designated boundary. The problem will continue to grow in the coming years, due to the vast majority of expected housing growth taking place within the VES boundary, as well as the fact that of our current 148 enrolled Kinders and 1st graders, only 46 live within the EES boundary. This problem manifests itself in different ways: transportation issues, unbalanced class sizes, loss of significant class time for students being bused and arriving too late to eat breakfast or are being pulled out of school early, additional costs and much more. To not address the problem would not be in the best interest of our students. For the past year, a District committee has met to discuss possible solutions. They are:
- Go to a K-2/3-5 model. Meaning one school would house all of the District’s K-2nd grade students, and one would serve the District’s 3rd -5th grade students. There are significant “pros” and “cons” to this model. A significant “pro” is that it would allow the District to have balanced class loads across a grade level. A significant “con” would be the difficulties and disruptions created for families with multiple elementary age students in different buildings.
- Re-drawing the District boundaries. This means taking the area that is currently identified as the VES attendance area and making it smaller. A significant “pro” of this model is that it would be much easier to accomplish this (vs. going to a K-2/3-5 model), and many people would not be effected at all. A significant “con” of this model is the tremendous disruption to families that would no longer be bused to their non-resident school, and that some families/areas that have always been “VES families” would now be “EES families.”
There are no easy solutions, but it is a problem that can be solved. And hopefully, once solved, will result in better services and educational experiences for our students. In the coming months the district will be communicating this problem in different ways, ending with a parent/community informational night, and survey to take place in late January or early February. Please share this information with your friends and family, and join the District in addressing this issue for the betterment of our students in the years to come.
Gary Carpenter-Supt., FRSD
Throughout the school year, State Testing information will be posted under the “Resources” category on the left hand side of the main page. Please visit this location for general information. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact the respective school directly.
With the 2016-17 school year well under way, I wanted to take a moment to provide some important information about this year’s state tests.
Last spring, students in Fern Ridge School District and around Oregon took state tests in English Language Arts and Math, called Smarter Balanced. The tests move away from previous fill-in-the bubble exams that focused on rote memorization, to a format which asks students to explain their reasoning and write out their answers. These new tests measure more complex, real-world skills such as critical-thinking, writing, and problem solving so that your child can successfully transition from grade to grade and be prepared for his or her next steps after high school.
Fern Ridge School District will give Smarter Balanced tests this spring. The tests are not timed so your child can take as long as he or she needs to fully demonstrate what he or she knows and can do. At the High School level, successfully passing these tests is a requirement for an Oregon diploma. The practice our students get in grades 3-8 by taking these exams, helps prepare them for the H.S. exam they will take in the Spring of their 11th grade year.
We know that an end-of-the-year test cannot possibly tell us everything about your child’s academic progress. However, the results do act as a snapshot of your child’s strengths and areas for improvement and can be used as a way to ensure he or she is getting the supports he or she needs. Additionally, the tests help Fern Ridge School District’s efforts to equitably distribute resources and support student learning. When fewer students take the test, we are left with an incomplete and inaccurate picture of how our students are performing, and this limits our ability to address issues, better serve students, and continue to improve our educational system. The participation of your student is greatly appreciated.
While we discourage opting-out of the exams for several reasons (a few of them mentioned above), included with this letter is a form that allows you to opt your child out of testing for the 2016-17 school year. The form is also posted online on our district website. Should you wish to opt your child out, please submit the form to your child’s school’s main office. You can read more about your rights to opt-out here: http://tinyurl.com/OR-HB2655.
In Fern Ridge School District, we are deeply committed to ensuring each and every student in our schools has the supports he or she needs to achieve at high levels and graduate prepared for his or her next steps. Our ultimate goal is to make sure that all students are set up to be successful from grade to grade and that will remain the focus of our district throughout the rest of the school year.
If you have general questions or want more information about the end-of-year tests, please see the attached factsheet. I encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) with any questions you may have about your student’s progress.
Gary Carpenter, Superintendent
Please see the information in the link below regarding State Testing in 2016-17. Direct any questions to building principals.
Elmira Elementary School and Veneta Elementary School will host their annual Book Fairs and Holiday Bazaars this week. Be sure to stop by and see all of the great books that will be available for purchase. The Holiday Bazaars will be held on Friday and Saturday in the school gyms and always offer a large variety of items for sale by community members and groups.
Come for an evening of fun to watch the Elmira High School Seniors vs Juniors Powder Puff Football Game on Thursday, November 10th at 6:30 pm. The admission fees received are a fundraiser for the Grad Night Committee to use in their work planning a safe, fun and Drug/Alcohol Free Graduation Party for our Senior Class. No ASB cards will be accepted. Come hungry! BBQ and concessions will be available sponsored by Elmira Booster Club.
Elmira Elementary School and Veneta Elementary School will hold their Parent/Teacher Conferences on Monday, November 21st from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and Tuesday, November 22nd from 8:00 am to noon. More information will be sent home with students. This is a great opportunity for parents to learn about the progress their child has made. The Scholastic Book Fair will also be taking place in each of the schools libraries. Families are encouraged to stop by and check it out. Thank you to all of the volunteers helping with the Book Fairs.
Fern Ridge School District 28J is accepting applications to fill a vacant Budget Committee position. The following position is open:
- One three-year term – Position #5 (Expires 6/30/19)
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. Budget Committee Meetings are scheduled for the following dates: April 12, 2017, May 24, 2017, and May 31, 2017 (if necessary). All meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Click here for an application or pick one up at the District Office, 88834 Territorial Road, Elmira. Applications will be received at the District Office until the opening is filled. Being a part of this committee gives a person an opportunity to learn more about the operations of the school district.
Your child may be eligible for free or reduced price meals (Breakfast and Lunch). This federally funded program is completely confidential and was created to ensure children from households that meet federal income guidelines have access to nutritious meals while at school.
• All information is confidential.
• Submit one Free and Reduced Application for all students in your household.
• Children in households getting Food Stamps or TANF and most foster children can get free meals regardless of your income.
• Children can get free meals if your household income is within the free limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.
• Your Children can get low cost meals if your household income is within the reduced price limits on the Federal Income Guidelines.
For more information please read the Q&A
Apply for the Free and Reduced Meal Program
At all schools in our District today, students participated in the “Great Shake Out” Drills being conducted throughout the U.S., and the world. You can visit http://www.shakeout.org/ for more information. Below are some pictures of EHS students and staff during our drill this morning. Nearly 500,000 people are participating in similar drills today in Oregon, and nearly 20 million throughout the U.S.