Last week, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) had two substantive updates to share with schools.
The first was a change to the K-12 face covering rule (OAR 333-019-1015). This update revised the statewide outdoor face covering requirements.
The revisions have removed the outdoor face covering requirement for K-12 settings. This will mostly effect district athletics and other organizations that use district facilities for outside events, such as TSP sports and the upcoming tree lighting.
While individual schools/districts may continue to require students and staff to wear face coverings during outdoor activities, here in FRSD we will continue to operate as we have since the beginning of the pandemic. That is to say we will follow all mandates, administrative rules and other public health recommendations, but not go above and beyond the requirements absent some specific local metric or need to do so (such as case rates).
The second change was to reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days for students and staff that are close contacts.
Lane County Public Health is also looking at adopting a new “test to stay” option that is being recommended as an additional mitigation layer that will allow unvaccinated students and staff to maximize days spent in school learning. As soon as this becomes an option we will share more information here. This “test to stay option” is only allowed for close contacts who were exposed in a school setting. It is not allowed for exposures outside of school, or during athletics. This process could/would allow unvaccinated asymptomatic individuals who were exposed, to be tested twice during the 7 days following the exposure, and NOT have to quarantine.
At the links below you can visit all the information regarding snow routes, and school closure information. These links can also be found on our Transportation page.
As a side note, if we ever have a 2-hour delay on a Wednesday early release day-all schools would be released at their normal Mon/Tues or Thurs/Fri time.
There are two stated purposes for the funds distributed under the SIA:
1. Meet students’ mental or behavioral health needs, and
2. Increase academic achievement for students, including reducing academic disparities for:
• Economically disadvantaged students; • Students from racial or ethnic groups that have historically experienced academic disparities; • Students with disabilities; • Students who are English language learners; • Students who are foster children; • Students who are homeless; and • Any other student groups that have historically experienced academic disparities, as determined by the State Board of Education.
ALLOWABLE USE CATEGORIES
Expand Instructional Time
Address Student Health and Safety
Provide a Well-rounded Education
FRSD Budgeted Items Include:
Technology Support Asst.
Elem. PE Teacher
.5 CTE Teacher
.5 District – Community Liaison/
Family Supports Coordinator
Middle School Core Content
.5 HS School Counselor
Elementary School Counselor
1.0 MS PASS (Behavior Support)
Director of K-12 Programs (.2 FTE)
Free Athletics for High School Students (Eliminate “Pay to Play”)
K-12 School Farm Supports & Field Trip Allocation
Digital Subscriptions K-12
VES Walking Track – additional bark
FRMS Track – gravel
Supplies & Materials
Community Liaison Supports/Supplies/Materials
EHS CTE Supplies/Tools
Band Equipment 6th-12th
Science Lab Equipment 6-12
Athletic Trainer Equipment
Health Room Supplies (K-12)
Community Engagement Supplies
Computer Devices and Hardware
Professional Development Opportunities
Positive Approach to Student Success (PASS) Training
Targeted PD Funds (RTI, PLC, MTSS, etc.)
ONGOING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Ways to engage in the FRSD SIA Planning Process
We value your input!
-Sign up for 1-1 interviews to help our district better understand the needs of our underrepresented families
-Join us for FRSD Monthly Community Q & A
-Review board reports and updates
-Participate in family surveys as they become available
-Communicate your ideas, questions and/or concerns with Michelle Marshall
541-935-2253 ext. 1220
Earlier today, the district closed on the sale of 22 million in bonds. The District sold the bonds to refinance its outstanding 2014 General Obligation Bonds on October 7th, and it went exceptionally well. The district pursued this option due to the current 10 year treasury rates that made it advantageous for our taxpayers.
Overall, the District locked in savings of $1.3 million on a present value basis and over $1.57 million over the remaining duration of the 2014 bonds, by locking in a new borrowing rate of 2.27%. This rate was in contrast to the average coupon borrowing rate of 5% on the bonds being refinanced. The bonds were extremely popular with bond buyers – in fact, at the end of the order period there was $123 million in orders, even though the District was only selling $22 million! As a result, the underwriter, Piper Sandler, was able to reduce the interest rates from the original offering levels.
The high demand among investors was in large part due to the strong credit rating of the District, a level of “A1” from Moody’s Investor’s Service. In their rating write-up, Moody’s specifically cited the District’s solid financial position.
For the next three years, our bond rate is expected to be at the $2.19/$100,000 level (what was promoted when our last bond was passed in 2014) Following that, the rate for area taxpayers is predicted to drop below the $1.65 level through the duration of the debt. Below is a chart depicting this transaction, and the savings to local taxpayers.
I am so sorry to tell you all that one of our students, Corbin Sexton, has died. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends.
All of the students were given the news of the death by their teacher in first period this morning. I have included a copy of the announcement that was read to them.
The manner of death was suicide. Suicide is a very complicated act. Although we may never know why Corbin ended his life, we do know that suicide has multiple causes. In some cases, a mental health condition is part of it. But these conditions are treatable. It’s really important if you or your child are not feeling well in any way to reach out for help. Suicide is preventable and there are resources in our community support your child and family. I am including some information that may be helpful to you in discussing suicide with your child.
Members of our Crisis Response Team are available to meet with students individually and in groups today as well as over the coming days and weeks. Please contact the school office if you feel your child is in need of additional assistance. Note that children who have serious thoughts of suicide already may be at greater risk due to exposure to the suicide of a peer. If you or your child needs help right away, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), the Lane County Child and Adolescent Crisis Line at 541-689-3111, call 911, or take your child to the nearest crisis center or emergency department.
It is safe and healthy to talk to your child about suicide and grief, while these conversations may be uncomfortable they can also be lifesaving.
Information about the funeral service will be made available as soon as we have it. If your child wishes to attend, we strongly encourage you to accompany him or her to the service. If the funeral is scheduled during school hours, students who wish to attend will need parental permission to be released from school.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of the school mental health professionals. We can be reached by calling 541-935-8200.
Elmira High School
The American Rescue Plan Act, 2021 (ARP Act or ARPA) provides an additional $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (ESSER III or ARP ESSER). $1.1 billion will be awarded to Oregon. ESSER III Grants will be awarded to local education associations in the proportion they received funds under Part A of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in fiscal year 2020. ESSER III Fund grants can be used to reimburse eligible expenses incurred between March 13, 2020 and September 30, 2024.
The process and paperwork for engagement, allocation, and budgeting is important work. There are a number of requirements and factors that have to be considered when working with a team to decide what will be funded.
ESSER III Overarching Outcome:
Address student needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic and/or to emerge stronger post-pandemic, which may include reopening schools safely, sustaining their safe operation, and addressing students’ social, emotional, and mental health.
FRSD Proposed Activities:
- Additional Staffing to support District Initiatives
- Software and Curriculum
- Support for covering student fees and dues
- Afterschool Programming Opportunities
- Expand Summer Programming K-12 through the Summer of 2024
- Targeted Professional Development (Professional Learning Communities, Essential Standards, Equity, Response to Intervention)
- Stipends/Overtime Hours/Extra Duty
- Student Supports and Incentives
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
FRSD Ongoing Engagement Opportunities:
- Monthly Q and A
- Public Input at Board Meetings
- Building ESSA teams
- District Key Communicators
- Ongoing opportunity to call or email Director of K-12 Programs: email@example.com 541-935-2253
- Engagement Surveys
- Informational posts and updates to District website
- Targeted outreach via phone, home visits, etc.
Any student, parent, and/or community feedback on this work is appreciated. Please feel free to share public comments with Michelle Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be read at FRSD School Board Oct. 18th or email Michelle Marshall directly at email@example.com.
Today, October 11th, is the first Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrated in Oregon. Oregon lawmakers voted to make Oregon the 11th state to officially recognize this day. Oregon is home to nine federally recognized Indian tribes, seven of them have designated reservation land. The day is intended to recognize and honor the contributions that Indigenous and Native peoples have made to the state’s history and culture.
On Monday, September 27th, the district launched “FirstView,” a new bus tracking and parent communications app for your smartphone or desktop at Elmira Elementary. This launch has gone well, and students at VES and FRMS will be coming home with a flyer regarding this resource, tomorrow. It is available for EHS students as well.
The flyer will come home 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.
You can visit the FRSD Transportation website for additional information, as well as links to copies of the information that is on the flyer, 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: COVID-19 Cases in FRSD (updated each Monday). 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.