On Monday, September 24th, the district will be launching “FirstView,” a new bus tracking and parent communications app for your smartphone or desktop.
We are starting by launching this at Elmira Elementary School. Today, all EES students will come home with an informational flyer on a green piece of paper that describes this service, and how parents can access it. It allows parents to track their students bus “live,” as well as have the ability to receive bus proximity notifications and custom alerts and messages.
We are hopeful that this small test launch goes well, and we will be prepared to send home information with all students K-12 and role it out in all buildings within a week or two. You can visit the FRSD Transportation website for additional information at: https://www.fernridge.k12.or.us/transportation-services/
We’ve created a couple graphs that show the number of staff and students currently in isolation (COVID-19 positive), currently in quarantine (a close contact of a positive), as well as the number of staff and students attending school/work every day.
The document shows district-wide data, not data specific to a particular school. You can access the link by clicking on the top left tab of the FRSD website titled: “2021-22 School Year”. The graphs are the first link on the top of that page. The direct link is here: (CLICK HERE). We hope this data is helpful to our families in the weeks to come.
As we approach the first day of school, the staff in Fern Ridge School District would like to share one more WELCOME BACK!
For the 2021-2022 school year, all meals will be served to all children ages 0-18 in the community at our daily Grab & Go pick up site in the back high school parking lot from 11:30 – 12:00 Monday thru Friday. You’ll also receive a breakfast for each child for the next school day. All meals are free of charge.
Student meals at school are also served free of charge with additional entrée items students at the middle school and high school may purchase.
We are excited and ready to open our doors to students in the coming days, we are also fully aware of the challenges we may face and need to be prepared for.
Please know that the continuing to provide in-person instruction is our top priority. To do that, keeping our students and staff as safe as possible is imperative! The best way parents can help support that is by keeping students at home when they are showing any symptoms of being sick. Below you will find resources that will be helpful in answering any questions you may have. We appreciate your support in reopening our schools and look forward to working together in the year to come.
- When to keep my student home?
- FRSD Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan
- Frequently Asked Questions for Families
- Schools and COVID-19 FAQ
- ODE Face Coverings in School
- K-12 Face Covering Rule One Pager
- COVID-19 Exclusion Summary Chart
Continue to check FRSD school and district websites for more information.
To Our Fern Ridge Students, Families, Staff, and Community-
We hope you have had an enjoyable Summer Break so far!
Both the State of Oregon and the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have released their new COVID-19 safety guidance for schools. You can read through the Resiliency Framework for the 2021-22 School year here.
As we prepare to open our doors and welcome back our K-12 students, we wanted to share our reopening plan. Follow the link below to see FRSD’s draft Operational Plan regarding fall 2021. This plan will be discussed with the School Board on Monday, Sept. 20, at 6:30 p.m.
While trying to prepare for every scenario is nearly impossible, we feel confident that our district plan will create a safe learning environment for students and staff. The health and safety of our students and staff are our highest priority. To protect everyone’s health, we will open schools using safety measures that we have all grown familiar with:
- Physical distancing
- Face coverings
- Ventilation and airflow
- Hand washing
- Staying home if ill or exposed to someone with COVID-19.
We will continue to communicate with you as the new school year begins. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to building administrators or district office staff if you have any questions or concerns.
Below, you will find the FRSD Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. Please contact Michelle Marshall at email@example.com if you have any questions or would like to provide feedback.
*To continue reading in the boxes that are full, click in the text box and use the arrow down to see remaining text.
Lane County Public Works wants to be sure that parents have a voice in potential herbicide use near school bus stops. You can enroll your child’s bus stop into the No Spray Area program by filling out a short form available on the Lane County website at www.lanecounty.org/vegetation or by calling 541-682-8521 to request a paper application.
Due to Governor Kate Brown’s mask mandate, masks are required at all indoor registration tables
Elmira/Veneta Elementary Schools
Wednesday, August 18th (New Students/Kindergarten) 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Tuesday, August 24th (All Students) 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 25th (All Students) 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Thursday, August 26th (All Students) 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Incoming Kindergarten and New Students: Please bring a copy of your student’s birth certificate, proof of residency, and current immunization information.
As in past years, Elmira and Veneta Elementary Schools will have a school supply fee of $30. The school supply fee covers all needed classroom supplies.
Elmira Elementary School: 541-935-8214
Veneta Elementary School: 541-935-8225
Fern Ridge Middle School
New and returning families can start the registration process online. Families will still need to stop by the school to pay the registration/activity/planner fee of $10 and purchase a PE shirt for $7.
Wednesday, August 18th (New Students/Incoming 6th Graders) 12:00pm – 8:00 pm
Tuesday, August 24th (All Students) 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
Wednesday, August 25th (All Students) 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Thursday, August 26th (All Students) 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
Families new to Fern Ridge will need to bring your student’s birth certificate, proof of residency, and current immunization information.
Fern Ridge Middle School: 541-935-8230
Elmira High School
Seniors: Wednesday, August 25th 8:00 am to 11:00 am
Juniors: Thursday, August 26th 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Sophomores: Wednesday, August 25th 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Freshman: Thursday, August 26th 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Elmira High School: 541-935-8200
On July 23rd, the new guidelines referred to as the “Ready School, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 2021-2022 School Year” were released stating that there would be local control regarding health and safety requirements, including mask mandates. Over the course of the next few days I reviewed local health data, analyzed what had occurred and was currently occurring in our schools, and consolidated all of our safety precautions, which included strongly encouraging masks but not requiring them. I then presented that plan to Lane County Public Health and received their support.
On July 26th, I posted an update regarding all of the safety protocols the district was working on (and were approved by LCPH), to give parents at least a sense of where we were headed for school in the Fall. That post can be read by clicking here. The next day, the CDC revised its guidance on masks due to increasing numbers of infection due to the Delta variant. The guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html. On July 29th, the Governor announced that an OHA/ODE order would be coming soon, requiring masks in schools in the Fall. This has taken the decision out of our hands.
I attended a meeting this past Monday where it was made clear what the penalties would be for not following this order. Penalties include fines of $500 per day, per school, per student, loss of state licensure for administrators and teachers, loss of legislative liability protections for districts that were enacted during the last legislative session, and personal liability for Superintendents or board members that choose to defy the order. While a lot can change over the course of a few days, not to mention a month, as we have done since the beginning of the pandemic, I fully expect to follow the requirements that are being placed on us.
Below are some additional pieces of information in bullet form to help keep our parents informed of what is happening and their options:
- While this issue has developed into an extremely polarizing one for the community, know that our focus in FRSD continues to be on educating students, having full days of school, and supporting as many folks in different circumstances as we can.
- The order only applies to school hours, during the regular school day.
- What occurs after school, in extracurriculars for example, is still up for local decision making. I have sent a framework of what I could support to our High School Administrative team regarding athletics. They are working on forming a committee that will be meeting soon. The team is made up of parents from the EHS Booster Club, EHS Administrators, and Coaches. They will review the framework I have given them and provide their recommendations. I hope to have the results of this up/out by the end of the week.
- When ODE was asked about the differences of masking requirements once a student moves from 7th period Math, to volleyball (for example), it was shared that the differences in requirements are due to the fact that after school activities are optional, while students are required to be in school.
- The current mask requirement may cause some families to choose different educational options this Fall, including home school. We are here to help and support you if you choose this option.
- I would encourage families to pursue what works best for them and return when and if you and your children are ready to do so. As we did last year, we will continue to provide our online OPTIONS program K-12. Their website can be viewed by clicking here.
- I am hopeful that we will soon get back to a position of local control. That does not mean the mask mandate will go away immediately when that occurs. When local control returns, I will proceed as we did at the end of July. We will be reviewing local health data, analyze/review what is happening in our schools, and will look to get support from LCPH regarding any changes in our protocols.
- When masks become encouraged but not required (I am assuming this will occur at some point), it may impact other families that look to pursue different educational options. Just as we are doing now, we will also support those families as best as we can and trust that you are doing what is best based on your circumstances.
- Keeping our schools open, and our students healthy and in school is our number one priority. A significant help with that is the recent change in the definition of what a “close contact” is. An example of how this new order impacts keeping students in school: During summer school, we had a case of COVID-19 in a building. 19 students and 2 staff members were required to isolate/quarantine due to being a close contact. The fact that everyone was wearing a mask at the time, had no bearing on whether or not you were a close contact, based on the previous definition, and summer school ended for everyone in that classroom. The new definition states that even if a person in our schools develops symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, if we were maintaining 3 feet of distance and wearing masks, we DO NOT have to enforce isolation or quarantines. This will be a huge benefit that results from wearing masks, and will greatly reduce the number of times we have to contact families and inform them their student is now out of school for 14 days, and keeping us away from our primary focus of having students in school!
- Local current data has Lane County, and even our local community, experiencing an uptick in both the % test positivity and total positive tests. This has resulted in multiple local businesses closing. Closing our schools is the LAST thing we want to do as we understand the significant hardship that places on our students and families.
- It should be clear that the district decisions on safety protocols comes from the Superintendent, not from the school board, as do all of the daily operational decisions. I will continue to stay as informed as possible through meetings and conversations with parents, staff, Lane County Public Health, ODE, OHA and other local leaders. I, along with most of the Superintendents in Oregon, continue to advocate for local control as the circumstances and local metrics can vary widely from community to community.
We will continue to inform families as things change.
Gary E. Carpenter, Jr. Superintendent, FRSD 28J
We are excited to share with our students and families that Fern Ridge School District expects to fully reopen to full-day, five-day, in-person learning this fall. We maintain those expectations today in light of the Oregon Department of Education announcement of the Resiliency Framework for the 2021-2022 school year.
There will be many more details to work on before our staff and students return and those details will include things like COVID-19 safety measures. We will continue to partner with local and state health officials and will keep our families and community updated as we finalize those details over the summer. We are hopeful that we will be able to make final decisions and share with the community by mid-August.
Chromebook check-in continues for grades K-2 from 7:30 am -8:30 am at VES, the next 3 school days. For all other grades/schools, below is our plan! If you have questions, please reach out to the building. Pre-registering and bringing the “form” filled out are helpful, but NOT required!
CHROMEBOOK CHECK-IN SCHEDULE
|3rd-8th||June 1st||2-6 PM||EES Library||https://signup.com/go/PUmSdAv|
|3rd-8th||June 2nd||2-6 PM||VES Cafeteria||https://signup.com/go/iufguus|
|3rd-8th||June 3rd||2-3:15 PM
3:15-6 PM Parent sign-up
|3rd-8th||June 4th||3:15-5 PM||FRMS
|12th EHS & 12th OPTIONS||June 8th||12-4 PM||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/XEXWZuz|
|12th EHS & 12th OPTIONS||June 9th||5-6 PM
Right before graduation practice
|9th-11th EHS||June 17th & 18th||12-4 PM||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/nJvQJXz|
OPTIONS & ALL CDL
|June 15th & 16th||4-6 PM
|ALL-*Anyone that could not make it||June 21st||8-3 PM||District Office||No pre-registration needed.|
Please bring the form at this link: (click here)
If you are a 9th-12th grader using your Chromebook for summer school, you must STILL check-it in, and it will be signed right back out to you.
FRSD students and families,
Late Thursday, ODE put out new guidance on the topic of masks in certain situations (such as being outside). You can read it (HERE).
The FRSD has taken that guidance, along with feedback from staff, parents and the school board, and will be altering some guidance for the last month of the school year. Below is that guidance.
|AM Arrival Time||Prior: Staff and students needed masks on any time on campus
New: NO CHANGES FROM PRIOR REGULATIONS
|PM Dismissal Time||Prior: Staff and students needed masks on any time on campus
New: NO CHANGES FROM PRIOR REGULATIONS
|School Board Meetings||Prior: Meet in person at D.O., streamed on Facebook, open zoom meeting for anyone to attend, comments received VIA email to be read into the record, no in-person public visitors, all board meeting participants wear masks
New: Meet in person in EES Library, NOT streamed on Facebook, open zoom meeting for anyone to attend, comments will continue to be received via email to be read into the record, in-person visitors allowed, in person comments allowed at appropriate time on the agenda, all meeting participants and visitors will continue to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
|Indoor Athletics||Prior: Everyone, fans, athletes, contest management staff all wore masks—all the time
New: Athletes that are actively competing, as well as “on-court/mat” officials that have verified vaccination status, can compete/officiate without masks. Athletes and coaches on the sideline, fans, and other game management personnel must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. For wrestling, and other sports where wearing a mask could be a hazard or is not feasible, thee are some differences. If you have questions, speak to the coach who will have the most up to date information.
|Outdoor Athletics||Prior: Everyone, fans, athletes, contest management staff all work masks—all the time.
New: Students, staff, volunteers, and spectators are not required to wear face coverings at outdoor sports events, regardless of vaccination status. Until additional updates are provided, all previous physical distancing and capacity restrictions still apply.
|Athletics at “away” contests||FRSD Students, athletes, coaches, and fans will follow the protocols at the site we are visiting.|
|Inside School Instruction||NO CHANGES FROM PRIOR REGULATIONS|
|Outside School Instruction/recess||Prior: Masks worn by all students and staff, all the time.
New: There are some times, when wearing a mask outside is “optional” for staff and students. Those include: Recess, PE classes, or other instructional classes held outdoors. Social Distancing to avoid being a “close contact” is key. The definition of a close contact is being within 6’ of an infected person for 15 minutes.
|Staff when no students are present||Prior: Masks worn all the time
New: For staff for whom we have “verified vaccination status,” mask wearing is optional when students are not on campus.
|Graduation-other end of year ceremonies||New: Decisions on graduation and other end of year ceremonies will be finalized in the days/weeks to come, based on the county risk level and most current guidelines.|
-Wearing a mask is a personal choice. Students and staff are free to make a choice that depends on their circumstances. If a parent would like their student to ALWAYS wear a mask at school, even in instances where it is allowable to not, please communicate that to your student. At the K-5 level, if you have that request please share it with the classroom teacher and building principal. School staff will do their best to remind your student of this.
-This document was made considering input from our teachers, classified staff, administrators, community and our FRSD school board.
-A “Fully vaccinated individual” means someone who has received both doses of a two-does COVID-19 vaccine, or one dose of a single dose vaccine and at least 14 days have passed since the final dose.
-We have 16 school days left! Please continue to follow protocols, both in and out of school, to ensure our staff and students can remain with our current in-person learning instructional model. —LAST UPDATED 5-23-21