Tuesday, September 6th, the school year begins here in Fern Ridge, and we are excited to see students back in the buildings!
With the return of school days, we also have the return of traffic congestion, especially at the beginning of the year when students are learning their new bus routes, pick up & drop off time, and bus procedures, not to mention while parents are learning and remembering parking lot procedures!
School buses are picking up their passengers, kids on bikes are hurrying to get to school, and harried parents are running behind due to the inevitabilities of life and trying to drop off their kids before work. It’s never more important for drivers to slow down and pay attention than when kids are present, ESPECIALLY at the beginning of the year when it is new for many.
- Slow down in the school zones.
- Know the drop-off and pick-up procedures at your school. If you have questions, call the school!
- If you have the ability to carpool, it REALLY helps AM congestion.
- Be extra alert when you encounter a school bus on the road.
Thank you for your help in ensuring all of our students are safe!
Gary Carpenter, Superintendent, FRSD 28J
Elmira High School offers career and technical programs to all students in the following program areas:
- Manufacturing Technology: Includes Intro to Welding, Welding II, Welding III, Welding IV, Independent Study, and Work Experience.
- Manufacturing Construction: Includes Intro to Carpentry, Carpentry II, Carpentry III, Carpentry IV, Independent Study, and Work Experience.
- Intro Film and Television
- Advanced Film and Television
- Intro to Motion Graphics
- Advanced to Motion Graphics
Elmira High School does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, marital status, age or disability.
Admission in the specific courses is determined by grade level, and in some cases, completion of prerequisite courses. Lack of English language proficiency will not be a barrier to admission and participation in career and technical education programs. For more information about career and technical programs and admissions criteria, contact Rick Gardner, High School Principal at (541) 935-8200 ext. 2201 or Jon Guldager, career technical education coordinator at (541) 935-8200 ext. 2203.
The following people have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:
Title IX Coordinator: Michelle Marshall
88834 Territorial Road, Elmira OR 97437
541-935-8222 Ext: 1220
Section 504 Coordinator: Brian Brands
24936 Fir Grove Lane, Elmira Or 97437
541-935-8200 Ext 1301
ADA Title II Coordinator: Gary Carpenter
88834 Territorial Road, Elmira OR 97437
541-935-2253 Ext 1201
The district is preparing to launch a new communication tool. It is called Parent Square. This tool is an easy-to-use communication tool that combines multiple communication streams into one easy-to-use app for families and staff. More information regarding this tool can be accessed under the “PARENTS” tab on the District website, directly at this link: https://www.fernridge.k12.or.us/parentsquare/ . Tomorrow night, prior to the regularly scheduled board meeting at 6:30, Mrs. Marshall will be presenting a 30 minute virtual training (on zoom) regarding this new tool. The meeting will be from 5:45-6:15 PM and can be accessed at the following link: https://fernridge-k12-or-us.zoom.us/j/88212696504
In addition, following a brief summer hiatus, the return of the community Q and A’s with Superintendent Carpenter will resume tomorrow at 5:30. Typically these are 30 minutes long, however due to tomorrow’s Parent Square training, this will only go from 5:30-5:45. The primary topic will the “visitor and volunteer” guidelines for the 22-23 school year. You can use the same zoom link as above to access this Q and A.
The Lane County Sheriff’s Office has informed the district that Kelsey Boren, an instructional assistant at Veneta Elementary, has been arrested on charges related to child pornography. No children known to Boren through her employment have been identified as victims at this point.
As a result, the Fern Ridge School District has suspended her employment with the district. Boren will be barred from school grounds or having contact with Fern Ridge students pending the outcome of the case.
Any allegation of a crime against children must be taken seriously. Such allegations are extremely rare, and when one occurs, we take immediate action. As a district we provide regular training to employees about recognizing and preventing sexual crimes against students. Our staff members work diligently in teaching our students and ensuring that they are safe and secure in their school environment.
These allegations leave everyone in our district shocked and dismayed. Counseling and support services will be available for any students or staff members who need them. Please contact us at the district office if such support is needed. Questions about the criminal case should be directed to the Lane County Sheriff’s Office.
Public schools remain under the restrictions and requirements of OAR 333-019-1030. Over the past several months, in conjunction with many partners, the district has finalized its plan for 22-23 in this regard. The plan is tied to the CDC community levels, and can be viewed under the Volunteer & Visitor Information section at the top of the page at this link: 2022-2023 School Information.
While circumstances may arise that require this plan to be updated, it is what we currently expect to be in place to start the 22-23 school year. To summarize, unvaccinated volunteers will need to submit an exception form, have it approved, and then sign an accommodation plan. The plans are tiered based on the Community levels as shared by the CDC. That community level guidance document as well as copies of the accommodation plans, can also be found at the link above.
The district remains committed to doing everything possible to ensure our doors can stay open for in person instruction. In the Spring of 2022, there were many days when due to large numbers of staff being out due to their own illness, or illness of their family members (with no substitutes available), the district was close to needing to close its doors for a period of time. Keeping our doors open remains the number one priority when in comes to COVID-19 protocols and requirements. If you have questions to not hesitate to reach out to the District Office or the administrator at a particular school.
Today, Lane County became one of 3 counties in Oregon to move into the “RED” Category in regards to the CDC “community level” chart. As a reminder, this data can be found on the right hand side of this page, on the District website at this link: https://www.fernridge.k12.or.us/2020-school-year/
When a county moves to red, two of their recommendations are as follows:
- Wear a mask indoors in public
- Additional precautions may be needed for people at high risk for severe illness.
Because these are currently recommendations, and not requirements, at this time the district is simply putting out the information, and recommending folks wear masks indoors and that individuals consider further precautions based on your personal circumstances.
Tonight is graduation in the EHS gym. Masks are recommended, but not required. For our final week of school, absent any changes in the requirements, or significant changes to the COVID environment, I would expect this to remain unchanged.
There is no school for students tomorrow, May 27th (teacher work sample day) and in observance of Memorial Day there is no school for students or staff on Monday, May 30th.
Hope everyone has a great (and safe!) holiday weekend.
A quick update on our current COVID situation — we continue to deal with many staff and students testing positive for COVID-19. We currently have over 30 folks out district-wide including 10 staff members who are sick.
One of the most impactful ways you can help us maintain in-person instruction is by keeping your student(s) home when they are are not feeling well. We all need to come together and work to keep school open for these final three weeks.
Thank you for your continued assistance and partnership!
We are deeply saddened by the tragic news regarding a school shooting earlier today at an elementary school in a small town in Texas. Our thoughts are with the Uvalde community and the families of those who lost their lives or were injured.
We recognize that news such as this can be shocking and can have a deep impact on school communities. We also know that such a tragic occurrence may bring school safety and security to the forefront of your mind. We want to reassure our community that schools are safe places, and we are always looking for ways to reinforce and improve the effectiveness of our district safety measures. These include securing our campus entrances and entrance securing systems, practice and regular review of physical security and emergency procedures, along with a close partnership with our local police.
As always, we ask families to be our partners in safety. Students are urged to speak up about any threat or other information that is concerning to them. They can tell a trusted adult at school or report information anonymously to Safe Oregon via text, call or email. Always notify the school if you know of an unsafe situation, and call 911 first if it is an emergency. Check in at the front office if you will be at the school, and if you see anyone unauthorized on campus tell school staff right away. Please also talk with your students about how to be safe at home, in your neighborhood, and on the way to and from school. Be alert to potential dangers. Provide the school office with your complete current contact information—if there is ever an emergency we will use email, mobile phones, home phones, websites or other communication to notify you with accurate information as quickly as we can.
If staff find themselves troubled by this tragic event or by any other concerns, free, confidential counseling and support is available through the district’s employee assistance program (EAP) provider.
Events like these also raise questions and fears in children. Families and staff can help children feel safe by talking with them openly if they have fears, establishing a sense of normalcy and security, and reassuring them that schools are safe places and dangerous events are rare. If families need support to help guide their discussion of these events with their children, they may find these resources of help:
- Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers – National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
- Helping Children With Tragic Events in the News – PBS for Parents
I know you join us in sending our deepest sympathy to the community of Uvalde, Texas, that is grieving this terrible event. Thank you for caring for yourselves and each other, as well as for our students.
Based on a request from building staff, the FRSD school board has altered the District calendar for the last week of school.
On the final week of school only – EARLY RELEASE day will be moved from Wednesday, June 15th to Friday, June 17th.
Wednesday, June 15th will be a full-school day.
This will be the only week that the early release day will change. If you have any questions, please reach out to your student’s school office.
Hello FRSD families
This week we have had a significant increase in the number of known positive COVID cases in the District, in particular among staff at VES. We are working on trying to stop the spread of COVID within the school community so that we can continue to offer in-person learning to all of our students.
Your assistance in the effort to slow the spread in our classrooms is needed:
- Please do not send your child to school if they are sick.
- Masking in schools can also be helpful in slowing the spread of illness.
- Please talk with your child to decide if masking is an option for your family.
With upcoming events in all of our buildings (talent shows, book fairs, and more…) there will be a great opportunity to show your effort by practicing social distancing and mask-wearing. A little extra effort today may mean the difference between in-person learning or online learning in the coming few weeks.
We have made it this far without losing a single day of in-person instruction in the 21-22 school year. Your help and support is needed.
Thank you for your ongoing effort and support of our school community.