School Closure

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In the last several weeks we have had a LOT happening in the District.  That, combined with all of the upcoming events, makes it seem like a good time to do a community Q and A from 5:30-6:00 PM on Monday night.

It will be virtual (via zoom).  You can log-in at this link:  https://fernridge-k12-or-us.zoom.us/j/89837770431

I will give a quick update on Summer School, chromebook check-in, our current hybrid instruction, what school might look like in the Fall, and end of year celebrations that are in the works.  Following that 10 minutes or so, there will be approximately 20 minutes to answer any questions folks might have (simply type them in the chat).  Please help spread the word.

Superintendent Carpenter

Here is the link to the community meeting for those that would like to listen again or could not attend live.

Good afternoon,

Elmira High School was notified today of a student testing positive for COVID-19, yesterday.  Thank you to the parent who quickly notified us, as it allows the District to begin our work that needs to be done, usually 4-6 hours before Lane County Public Health is notified by the lab, and has time to reach out to us.  The District has been working with Lane County in looking at this case. What has been found is that there were no close contacts at school due to strong COVID protocols, and as a result, LCPH is NOT requiring any student to isolate/quarantine.  This is not what is classified as a “school contact.” 

Although the student was in class this week, District staff have checked with EHS teachers and all safety protocols were followed. Lane County has directed that if students maintain the 3 feet distance, wear a mask and wash their hands, a classroom or cohort does not need to quarantine.  As an extra precaution, although not required, the High School will be notifying the parents who have students in the same classroom via email, so those parents can monitor their student for any symptoms. If you have questions, feel free to email the EHS Principal at rgardner@fernridge.k12.or.us and he will respond before Monday morning, or call EHS at 541-935-8200.

An additional element of this case is that there were multiple “close contacts” with friends/peers outside of school.  To include work, hanging out with friends, meeting at the lake, etc…  The family is very cooperative and supportive and is working with Lane County Public Health to get these names, and if your student was a close contact outside of school, either the family of the student, or LCPH will be reaching out to you to discuss the need to quarantine.

The schools have many protocols in place to help protect your student during the school day. However, the school cannot monitor students outside of school. Please help us keep students in school by encouraging them to wear their mask and keep 3 feet apart even when they are out with their friends. 

Thanks for continuing to do your best so that we may keep our schools open!

The district is about to begin the process of having students return their Chromebooks (including chargers and hotspots).  We are beginning with ALL Kinder-2nd grade students from EES and VES on May 17th (Not OPTIONS students).  The rest of the schedule is tentative, however our proposed timeline is below.  As each grade level gets fully organized, we will get the information out.

3rd-5th grade:  Beginning week of June 1st

6th -8th grade:  Beginning week of June 1st

12th grade:  June 8th/9th

9th-11th grade:  Beginning week of June 15th

OPTIONS:  Beginning week of June 15th.

 

As the flyer above describes, the turn-in for K-2nd grade students will be from 2:00-7:00 PM on May 17th AT VES, and you can reserve your timeslot by signing up here.  If your chromebook is damaged, please do not wait until check-in.  In addition, please bring your device to the check-in, fully “charged.”

Finally, if you can bring the student device check-in form (click here)  filled out when you arrive at your check-in time, it will make things go quicker.  The forms will also be available on site.

Recently the district was informed about a new program, the FCC’s emergency broadband program for low income families, and wanted to pass along the information to our FRSD families.  One of the “qualifiers” for this program is anyone that receives benefits under the free and reduced price school lunch program. Applications open a week from today.  Please spread the word to anyone that may be interested.

Benefit (per household):

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands
  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
  • Guidance if more than one household is living at the same address.

Eligibility

Outreach toolkit, includes Spanish language content

This is a temporary program and the benefit will end when the fund runs out of money or 6 months after the Dept of Health and Human Services declares an end to the COVID 19 health emergency, whichever is sooner. So, its best to apply on the front end and receive some benefit rather than wait and have that timeline decreased.

This and other resources can be found on the City of Eugene Community Support website.

FRSD Families,

Since we expanded a few weeks ago to bring more students back to full-time instruction, district staff have been following both the county COVID-19 infection rates, our local rates here in the school district attendance area, as well as the restrictions currently in place for our county based on the “extreme risk” designation.  That information, combined with the knowledge that to date we have NOT had transmission of the virus in our schools, that things are going well, and that the risk of shutting down in-person instruction becomes more likely should we bring all students back and transmission occur, we have made some decisions.

For the final 6 weeks the District will remain in our current model, and NOT expand in-person instruction.  While this news may be disappointing for some, we believe it gives us the best chance to reach the 2nd week of June and NOT have a situation where we will need to return to CDL, even with rising county rates.  Having to return to CDL would be extremely problematic, as in two weeks we will begin a chromebook check-in process, starting with our youngest students (K-2) and ending the last week of school with High School and all OPTIONS program students (More information coming out on this in the coming days).

The primary thing that could mandate us to return to a CDL format, would be if significant transmission of the virus was occurring within the school.  I am hopeful, if not mildly confident, we have the ability to avoid that, regardless of whether or not the county rates continue to rise.  While we have had several students contact the virus in recent weeks through a wide variety of ways (most often through a positive parent, or a weekend gathering with friends), all of the protocols and safety measures taking place in schools have resulted in ZERO transmissions in our schools.  For us to make it through the end of the school year and be able to maintain what we are still doing, will require everyone doing their part.  Please continue to keep your students home when they have any symptoms, avoid large gatherings, and practice recommended protocols at all times.  The single biggest factor, besides all of our safety protocols, to ensure there is no spread in our schools, would be to have NO students testing positive!

A couple quick notes on the 21-22 school year.  While there is still lots of work to do before September, I fully expect the FRSD to have a normal school day and calendar in 21-22 (what that looks like will largely depend on ODE guidance, and the COVID-19 infection rate).  All of our staff will be doing whatever it takes over the summer to ensure to the best of our ability that occurs!  I was in a meeting today with ODE where it was stated that they will have the first iteration of Fall guidance out on July 19th.  Superintendents shared loudly and clearly that we need this guidance earlier.  Regardless of when it comes, I am committed to exploring any option that gets students to experience a normal academic calendar in 21-22.  Finally, our FRSD OPTIONS program will continue in 21-22 as an additional choice for our parents that would like that. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the district office, or your building principal.

Dear Families, 

Recently, we were notified of a small number of COVID-19 student cases in the District.  It is also important to mention that none of the cases were school related in regards to transmission.  As members of the school community, we understand that this might raise concerns, alongside a caring response. We are working closely with Lane County Public Health to respond to this news. 

Each situation calls for different protocols. In this case: 

  1. The school was notified on  April 27, 2021 that a member of the school community had tested positive.

The following protocols were put in place:

  1. The 4 students who tested positive are staying home from school.
  2. Anyone who was in close contact with the person who tested positive, has been notified and they are self quarantining.                                                                                                                                            

 The School has been working with our District Health Nurse and Lane County Public Health to review classroom logs.  Anyone who was identified as having a close contact with the person who tested positive has been notified.  

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through staying home when ill, wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and practicing good health hygiene habits. Be sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, cover your coughs and sneezes, and avoid contact with people who have signs of illness. Get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat a healthy diet. 

Protect the community by following the Governor’s safety requirements. Wearing cloth face coverings reduces the spread of viruses. 

We will keep you updated with any new information as it comes out, while meeting the requirements to honor everyone’s right to privacy. 

More information can be found on the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners page, and the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our District nurse at tparsons@fernridge.k12.or.us

Calendar DatesOn Monday night, the FRSD School Board adopted the 2021-2022 Calendar presented to them by the FRSD Calendar Committee.  The link is on the right hand side of our webpage.  The direct link is here: 2021-2022 Calendar

Absent any significant increases in restrictions put out by ODE or OHA as a result of COVID-19, we fully expect to return to a normal school calendar in 21-22 with every student attending every day, and having early release Wednesdays.  While there almost certainly will be additional safety protocols and practices in place for some time, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to maintain a normal calendar.

This year has continued to be like no other. The planning, prepping, communication, and working with others has never been so important. We could not do this work without the amazing administrative professionals we have here in FRSD. The work they do day in and day out has a big impact in many workplaces but definitely here in FRSD. They make our offices more efficient and productive every single day. Much of the work they do is behind the scenes so we want to make sure that we take a moment to thank them for EVERYTHING that they do!

 

 

Thank you Michelle Cook (District Office)!

Thank you Dawn Northey (EES)!

Thank you Becky Walton & Shelby Humphrey(VES)!

Thank you Tammy Eutsler & Casey Anderson(FRMS)!

Thank you Lorie Hafner(EHS)!

Thank you Tammy Boren(Special Services)!

Lane County Public Health will be holding a vaccine clinic for people 16 to 17 years old.

Where: Lane Community College

When: April 24 and 25 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

What: 2,400 doses of Pfizer will be made available for those 16 to 17 years old.  Additional doses will be made available to the general public.

How: This clinic is by appointment only, please go to http://lanecounty.org/vaxclinics to schedule your vaccine appointment.

Important: All Lane County Public Health clinics are free.  You do not need insurance and will not be asked for any financial information

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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)

541-935-8214 

 

 

 

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