Parents, Students, Staff, and Community members,

Over the past few weeks, the punches seem to continue to come.  As we approach the start of the school year, in a variety of forms for our students next week, I ask for your continued patience and grace.  We began the technology roll-out today, and it has gone very well, but there are hiccups.  As we begin to meet with students next week, these “hiccups” will continue to arise, and challenges will continue to be thrown at us all.  Please remain patient and be prepared to show a high level of grace to those that are working hard for our students.  I have asked the same of our staff, in regards to having patience and grace with our students and families.  We all know you also are navigating this new environment and the stress level is high.  Thank you in advance, and please know that the impact the current situation is having on all of us, is certainly recognized and acknowledged.

Today I spent over an hour hearing from Superintendents from Mckenzie, Mill City, Santiam, Phoenix-Talent, and others who have had their communities decimated. They, like us, are within a week of starting school.  Many of their communities have had 50% or more of their students and staff lose their homes. Entire communities and neighborhoods gone.  Lives lost. Realities altered. Basic needs are going unmet. Unable to return to their communities for possibly weeks to come.

As we continue to move forward and navigate the upcoming challenges we are surely going to experience, a reminder that we have a lot to be thankful for in Fern Ridge.  Take care of yourselves, and reach out to the District if we can support you in any way.

Gary E. Carpenter, Jr.

Superintendent, FRSD 28J

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