Another small group of students were able to come to school today at Veneta and Elmira Elementary! Teachers welcomed this group of K – 3rd Grade students from 8:00 – 10:00 this morning.
We are excited to have some of our youngest students back in class. Looking forward to seeing these students again next week!
Today, half of our Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students were finally able to come to school. Students had two hours of instruction at Veneta and Elmira Elementary. Our second group of K-3 students will be in for two hours tomorrow morning. Our teachers loved having some of their students back in the classroom and had a few fun projects planned:
Kindergarten students started practicing names.
Rylin is in 2nd Grade, she wrote a recipe and made Jitter Juice.
Blake, a 3rd Grader, got to start his meal worm project.
He named his worm Flash!
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
As a reminder, the district holds a virtual google meet each Wednesday at 3:30. These meetings can be accessed through the following link: https://meet.google.com/wro-ifnp-ans
Thanks to everyone that participated and asked great questions in our virtual meeting yesterday. I mentioned that I would type up something today in response to questions I did not have the answer to or simply missed in the chat box. Below are those 3 questions and answers:
1. Will traditional grading be used in 20-21 (or Pass/No Pass like in the Spring of 2020)?
The final answer to this might take a little more research/work. In the ODE guidance, under the Assessment and Grading sections is where this is addressed. Under the “required” segment of this guidance it states (among other things), that in hybrid or Comprehensive Distance Learning models, districts must “develop and implement an equitable grading policy.” Under the recommended section it states (among other things), “Use assessment to celebrate student strengths, identify needs, document learning as it progresses, and verify student performance in comparison to levels of expectation or proficiency.” To summarize, I would say this gives our teachers and administrators some flexibility and will be something that is decided in the coming weeks. While grading scales and how we assess may be modified some, letter grades on a transcript are important for many reasons at the High School level so I would anticipate that to continue. Having said that, know there will be more information to come.
2. Was there a survey sent out for staff preferences (like the one given to parents)?
There was not. The survey was given to the community and students, the people that all FRSD employees serve. However, there was plenty of staff input, and continues to be, on how our staff will meet the needs identified by our community and students within our capabilities, as safely as possible, and in compliance with all the guidance we are receiving. Our current “model” was what was recommended by the teams of certified, classified, and administrative staff (including M.S. and H.S. student representation) as a part of our re-opening committee that met at each level (Elementary, M.S. and H.S.). Staff continue to be involved in sub-groups (and make decisions and recommendations) on a wide range of topics.
3. Finally, there was one question that I missed answering the second part of. It was around the topic of well-being and stress on staff and students.
Support around this topic will be incorporated. What that looks like exactly hasn’t been determined. However, we have a sub-committee (titled Social Emotional Health) who will be addressing this issue. Luckily we began some mindfulness practice last year. In addition, we have a district staff wellness committee whose work will look differently in 20-21. There are many resources on this topic, including a section on the ODE website at the following link: https://www.oregon.gov/ode/students-and-family/healthsafety/Pages/COVID19.aspx titled Mental Health & Social Supports. Our sub-committee will be using these resources and as our teachers return to work it will be something that can be discussed at the beginning of the year at the building level as needs will vary.
Thank you to everyone for their participation, as additional questions arise, the best point of contact will be building administrators. See you next Wednesday for the latest updates.
It appears that beginning Monday, June 29th through August 28th, Food for Lane County will be running a summer lunch program from 11:30-12:30 at Territorial Park. As I get more definitive information and/or promotional materials on this it will be posted here.
Finally, a big thanks to all our families that utilized this service, your patience, and participation was greatly appreciated!
A quick thank you to everyone that had a role in making the EHS graduation 2020 ceremony a success. It took MANY folks. The list is too long to name everyone, but rest assured it was a small army of teachers, classified staff, administrators, technology staff, and a long list of parent volunteers!
A typical graduation takes significant work and planning, however, we have staff who have done it for years, and we have practices, protocols, and experience to fall back on. This undertaking was something entirely new, and it took weeks of planning, 100’s of hours of work, and continual adjustments.
Thank you again to everyone that was involved, and congratulations to the class of 2020!
During these uncertain times we are doing our best to keep you updated on our plans for celebrating our 2020 graduates. We know that nothing can replace the loss of prom, senior trips, and a traditional graduation ceremony, but we are striving to create an experience that will be memorable and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates.
Last week we received additional guidance from ODE, OHA and the governor around what is allowable for graduation. These guidelines drastically impact our ability to stage a traditional graduation ceremony, we also received word from the governor that it is unlikely that any large group gatherings will be allowed to occur until after September. We feel that this limits us to sticking with the original graduation date of June 5th. We are fearful that too many graduating seniors would be unable to participate in a postponed ceremony, and we also believe that the date of that ceremony would be too open ended and make it difficult for families to plan.
We believe that we can create a memorable graduation ceremony on the original June 5th date and we will be attempting to keep as many of the traditions of graduation intact. We will be providing more details next week, but for now we wanted to share some of what has been decided. The following are important things for you to know:
- Graduation will take place as scheduled on June 5th at 7:00 PM.
- Graduates and their families will remain in their vehicle for the majority of the ceremony.
- Each graduate will be allowed a maximum of two vehicles, no exceptions.
- Each vehicle must be able to fit in a standard sized parking spot in the EHS parking lot (no RV’s trailers or buses will be allowed).
- Pickup trucks are allowed but no one will be allowed to sit in the bed of the truck.
- We will conduct a rehearsal on Wednesday, June 3rd that we would like students and parents to attend.
- The Lane County Sheriff will be in attendance to ensure the safety of all of our guests and graduates.
We are excited to celebrate the accomplishments of our seniors and we feel confident that we can do that in a safe manner that honors many of the traditions of graduation. We will be in touch next week with additional information.
Mrs. Herbert and Mrs. Perrier from EES are planning a 3k virtual fun run! The flyer below includes most of the information you need. Also included at the bottom of this post is a “virtual bib” and a “virtual finished picture banner.” You do not NEED either one of these items, but they are there for your convenience and fun if you want one. The bib can be printed (with any number you want)–and worn when you run, and the “banner” can be held up when you and or your family finish your run and want to take a picture! The pictures can be emailed to the email address on the flyer. Anyone that sends in a picture will be eligible for a grand prize drawing of a one year Family Pass to Willamalane Parks and Recreation. The pictures sent in will also be used in a video that will go out on social media. If you want to be included in the drawing, but not in the social media posts, just mention that in the email that you send.
Fern Ridge School District uses Public School Works for part of the annual training that each staff member participates with. These training modules cover several different areas including bullying prevention and child abuse prevention/education.
As a district parent, you are welcome to login and view the same training modules through our Parent Info Center. There is a link located in the Parents tab of our website or you can click here to login or create an account. In addition to viewing the staff training modules, parents can also access trainings that are meant for students along with crisis hotline information.