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Congratulations to Dawn Northey!  Dawn is the well-deserving May employee of the month for Fern Ridge. 

She started with Fern Ridge as an Instructional Assistant in the fall of 2013 before transferring into a secretary position at the middle school.  Dawn became the head secretary at Elmira Elementary in August of 2017 where she has been keeping the office organized ever since.

To list all of the wonderful ways that Dawn helps to take care of EES would take many more pages!  A few of her daily tasks include answering phones, helping families with in-person and on-line registration, processing all of the registration paperwork, collecting student body fees, tracking classified and licensed substitutes for the building and helping with time sheets, staff schedules, coordinating volunteers, keeping track of all the student transportation updates, and countless other jobs that make EES run as smoothly as possible.

One of the things she likes most about her job are the wonderful people she works with and the families she is able to serve.  “I enjoy doing it because I know that families appreciate it…..sometimes it involves searching the internet for a form or a phone number, or setting up transportation for them so they don’t have to make one more call in their busy day.  The list goes on, but it brings me great joy to serve them.”

When she is not welcoming families and running the office, Dawn enjoys spending time with her two fantastic girls, Maddie and Mackenzie.  Maddie is a senior and Mackenzie is a junior at Elmira High School.   She loves being outdoors hiking, exploring, and kayaking down the many wonderful rivers here in Oregon.   She also enjoys family game nights (with all you can eat ice cream!) family movies, traveling to new places, reading a good book, and anything chocolate.

A huge thank you to Dawn for all of the countless ways you help our Elmira Elementary students, families, and teachers.  Congratulations!

To Our Teachers:

You’ve learned to create virtual learning communities.
You’ve found new ways to connect with students.
You’ve re-defined what the words “pivot” and “unprecedented” mean for education.
You’ve got PPE down to a science, have sanitized e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, and know the square footage of your classroom by heart.

And yet, despite all of the challenges that came our way, the quality and dedication of our educators is unchanged.
You’ve been here, standing together, and taking care of our students so that each can continue to reach their greatest potential.

Thanks for all you do!

Teacher Appreciation



Look out for each other! With distance!Lane County Public Health has let us know that there has been an increase in the number of school age children who are testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The County has completed contact tracing and has found the  increase is not because students have returned to the classroom but because more school age children are going out and about. 

Reported cases are related to visiting with friends and family, attending parties, sleepovers or play dates. 

This is a confusing time for students. It is hard to understand why they can go to the school, but cannot go to be with their friends.  As a parent, trying to explain this to your child can be difficult. 

Some talking points that might help:

  • At school, masks are required to be worn by everyone in the building; when you are out with friends or family not everyone may wear a mask.
  • At school, staff help students keep their masks on; when out with friends or family you may forget to wear your mask.
  • Masks / face coverings help to keep you, your friends, and family safe.
  • At school there are reminders to stay 3-6 feet apart; it is hard to say 3 feet from your friends and family.

Parents of teens:  If you would like some additional talking points for teens, email me at tparsons@fernridge.k12.or and I can share some ideas with you.

Remember just because you cannot see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

A person can be infected with the COVID-19 virus and not have any symptoms. This is one of the reasons it spreads so easily. With the County numbers going back up, it can impact students being at school and being able to be out in the community.   It is not being at school that spreads the virus.  Spread happens when we stop guarding and protections against the virus.  As a parent we have to make choices for our children, sometimes they are hard but needed choices.

Keep up the good work and help to keep our community safe. 

Nurse Teresa

As many FRSD families may have heard by now, the U.S. Department of Education recently denied the Oregon Department of Education’s request for a waiver of summative testing for the 2020-2021 school year. Due to this decision, the Fern Ridge School District is currently beginning the process of readying our staff and students for state assessments.

ODE’s window for state assessments is April 13-June 11, however, each individual school will set their own testing dates within that window. Due to the nature of this school year, ODE has shortened the blueprint and the time each assessment takes, as well as reducing the number of required assessments at each grade level. The table of required assessments, optional assessments, and approximate test time frame is below. All students will have the opportunity to take all available grade level assessments.

If families do not want their child(ren) to participate in state assessments this year, the link to opt-out of the Math and ELA assessments is below. Please fill out and return to your child’s school as soon as possible. They will be accepted until the day before testing begins (dates vary by school). Science has a separate student exemption procedure. See note below for an explanation of that process. If you are not opting your child out, your child will participate in the required (not optional) state testing with their grade level. If you wish for your child to participate in the optional assessment opportunity, please contact your child’s teacher and/or school.

Thank you for your continued support!

Oregon Department of Education Summative Assessment Administration Information:

Grade Level Required Administration (except students opted-out of ELA and/or Math per ORS 329.479 or exempted from Science per OAR 581-021-009) and Approximate Testing Time per ODE (Hrs: Min) Additional (Optional) Assessment Opportunity and Approximate Testing Time per ODE (Hrs: Min)
3 English Language Arts (ELA) (1:10) Mathematics (1:00)
4 Mathematics (1:00) ELA (1:10)
5 Science (1:20) Mathematics (1:00)

ELA (1:10)

6 ELA (1:10) Mathematics (1:05)
7 Mathematics (1:05)

ELA (1:10)

8 Mathematics  (1:05)

Science (1:20)

ELA (1:10)
11 ELA (1:00)

Mathematics (0:50)

Science (1:30)

Opt-Out Link for ELA & Math Assessments:

If choosing to opt-out your child from state testing, please fill out and return to your child’s school before the start of the testing window (as designated by your child’s school).

Information on Exemption from Science Assessment from ODE’s Website:

Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 581-022-1910 allows school districts to excuse students from a state required program or learning activity, including state testing, to accommodate a student’s disabilities or religious beliefs. This rule governs exemption requests for the state tests in Science and Social Sciences, the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA21), and the Kindergarten Assessment.

  • Are there eligibility requirements? Yes. Parents may request exemptions under OAR 581-022-1910 based on the student’s disability or religion.
  • What is the process for a parent to make this request? The authority to exempt students from state testing belongs to local school districts. In order for a school district to excuse a student from testing under Oregon law, the student’s parent or guardian must submit a written request to the school district listing the reasons for the exemption and proposing an alternative individualized learning activity for the student that meets the same goals that would be accomplished by participation in state testing. Appropriate school personnel must evaluate and approve the parent request.


Cameron Robertson PhotoCameron Robertson has worked as an instructional assistant in the Structured Learning Classroom at Fern Ridge Middle School since September of 2018.

Cameron helps out with small group instruction in reading and math, supervises students during lunch and has Zoom meetings to assist distant learning students one-on-one.

When not helping students, Cameron enjoys watching movies, playing Pokémon, writing music and poetry, and reading.  His favorite things are burritos and his least favorite thing is stubbing his toe (we hear ya on that one!).

On Friday evenings, Cameron runs a free drop-in time for teens at the Veneta Alliance Church.  This is a place where kids can hang out, eat snacks, and even play a vintage Star Wars arcade game.

When asked about his family, Cameron describes them as rambunctious but very, very close.  He has two brothers, two sisters, and a baby nephew.

He tells us the best part of his job is when he gets to interact with kids, building relationships with them and being able to help out.

Thank you Cameron,  our staff and students appreciate all of the work you do to be a positive role model for our students.  Congratulations!

All Fern Ridge Schools will be closed from Monday, March 22 thru Friday, March 26 for Spring Break.  Classes resume for students on Tuesday, March 30.

Food service staff are also taking a break next week – there will be no meal service March 22 – March 26.   They will start serving meals again on Monday, March 29.

There will be no tech support during the break and the district office will be closed on Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26.

Everyone have a safe break!Hello Spring Break with pink and yellow flowers


Drawing of two brown lunch sacksStarting Monday, March 8th, FRSD’s food service will begin offering an additional weekly meal pick-up option.

Families with students who have returned to in-person learning are able to order an Add-On Meal Kit which will supplement the hot lunches our students are able to receive during their in-school days.

Each meal kits include 5 breakfasts & 3 cold lunches.  We hope this will help to alleviate some of the logistical concerns for families’ meal options on their student’s non-school days.

If you’re interested in an Add-On Meal Kit for your family, please email Food Service Director, Alan Fullerton at and include your last name, how many kits you would like to order and if your student(s) are on an A or B day schedule.

These Add-On Meal Kits will be available for pick up during our normal weekly pick-up time in the back EHS parking lot on Monday evenings from 5-6pm.

To minimize waste, we will only be producing as many of these kits as are pre-ordered so please be sure to reach out if you would like to participate!

The ever changing environment of the past year has created an opportunity for our March Employee of the Month, Emily Bliven, to shine and take a leadership role at Veneta Elementary.

Emily has been a kindergarten teacher in our district since August of 2018.  In her three years she has already made a big impact!

As online learning became a reality, Emily stepped in with both knowledge and patience as staff members sought help for technology training.  From our PE teacher to our principal, staff at VES have turned to Emily for help.  She’s always willing to drop everything to take care of any request.

Emily has taken on a leadership role this year by serving on the re-opening committee and serving as the union representative for VES licensed staff.  She also lends a hand on the Talent Show Committee, Earth Day Committee and the Equity Committee.  In the classroom, she tells us she loves getting to build relationships with students and witness their learning in action.  She also enjoys learning from and collaborating with her co-workers “who make me a better teacher.”

When she is not teaching, helping out another staff member or serving on a committee, Emily is busy completing her Masters Degree and planning a July wedding with her fiancé, Chase.  She loves to be outdoors walking, hiking, playing with their one-year old retriever, Revel, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Congratulations Emily and thank you for always being willing to lend a helping hand to your VES team!


blackboard with thank you messageMarch 1 – 5 is the week that we take extra time to show our classified staff just how much they mean to our district.

These folks support our teachers at every building,  they ensure our operations run smoothly, they take care of our offices, student schedules, and state testing.

They mow lawns, maintain and clean buildings.  They help with food and staff our libraries, and district offices.

There isn’t a single aspect of the Fern Ridge School District that doesn’t involve a classified employee.  We are grateful for each and everyone of these staff.

The work they do makes a world of difference for every student in our district.

Thank you

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The FRSD is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/Veteran’t Preference employer.  The district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, disability, or age in its programs or activities.

FRSD Title IX Coodinator

Michelle Marshall (Principal EES)





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