Fern Ridge School District

Fern Ridge School District Colleagues and Families,

Over the past week we have observed our nation react to the senseless death of George Floyd while in police custody.  While this event didn’t take place here locally, it is certainly felt everywhere and by everyone, including our local law enforcement that care about our community. Everyone in the Fern Ridge School District stands with people of color that make up our students, staff, and families. While our thoughts are with our entire community, they are especially with those who are most affected by the recent news and events. While it is impossible for many of us to fully understand what it is like to live in a world where racism exists, and how that manifests itself in the daily experience of the communities that experience it, know that all of us in Fern Ridge stand with you.

As a district, we stand by our mission to “Provide excellence for every student”. In recent years, staff have had extra training on supporting students that have experienced trauma and the implicit biases that we all have. We have started Black Student Unions at both the Middle and High School to afford our black students an opportunity to discuss challenges they are presented with and to problem solve solutions. Having said that, it is clear we must do more.   For example, as a rural community it has been difficult to hire staff that look like all of our students. How different and disheartening must it be for our students of color to attend school every day, for 12+ years, yet rarely if ever have an instructor that looks like them? Schools are to be a safe place for all students, and we have both an obligation and a unique opportunity to ensure we graduate students that prioritize kindness and equity in all of their interactions.

I look forward to a future when communications like this are not necessary, as I certainly know I am growing weary of seeing our country torn apart by injustices, just as many of you are.

To our families of color, we stand ready to support you any way that we can. You are invited to talk with us about your experiences within our school system, or the experiences of your children at any time.

Professionally,

Gary E. Carpenter, Jr. Superintendent, FRSD 28J

In stressful times, parents can help children feel safe by openly discussing issues that are impacting them. Below are some links to resources that some may find useful at this time:

  1. “Talking to children about violence”: (visit link here)
  2. Tips for educators: (visit link here)
  3. Tips for parents: (visit link here)
  4. A shared call for action to end racism and violence against people of color: (visit link here)

Below is some general information about our graduation ceremony this Friday, at EHS.  Late Wednesday, or early Thursday following a test/run-through we will be sharing additional information for folks that will not be able to attend, and how they can access a live broadcast of the ceremony.

  1.  The graduation ceremony will be taking place in the EHS Parking lot at 7:00 PM on Friday Night.  We have a stage set up extra high so that hopefully everyone can see from their cars.
  2. We are working in conjunction with KOCF 92.7 FM to broadcast the ceremony.  Attendees at the ceremony will listen via their car radios.
  3. Unfortunately, each graduate is only allowed 2 vehicles max.  One that they are in, and one additional vehicle.  These “2nd vehicles” must have a pass (the graduates will get them Wednesday night) you must have this pass in order to enter.  All of these “2nd vehicles” must enter EHS via Fir Grove Lane off of Territorial.  The gate to enter will open at 6:00 PM.
  4. Folks not in attendance will be able to listen to the broadcast via KOCF 92.7 on their radios (if local) or through a streaming of the KOCF broadcast at:  http://kocf.org/live-stream/
  5. We hope to have a live video stream of the ceremony through either facebook live, or youtube live.  More information on how to access that will be coming out shortly.
  6. We are working on expanding our wifi capabilities tremendously for this event, in the parking lot.  This will allow attendees in cars to view the stream.  However, with 180 cars, all streaming….limiting to one device per car (phone, tablet, laptop, etc…) will be VERY helpful.  Thank you for your assistance.
  7. The nature of this ceremony is undoubtedly going to take longer than the traditional hour.  Please be patient, and there will be port-a-potties available on site.
  8. Please maintain social distancing guidelines when in attendance.
  9. Masks are recommended for visitors and graduates, but not required.  All staff assisting with the ceremony will be wearing masks.

We look forward to celebrating the class of 2020!  Go Falcons

  1. Today is DOUBLE meal day.  Meals will come in larger bags that include 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches.
  2. No Meal Service Tomorrow.
  3. No Meal Service Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.
  4. Meal service and packet-pickup/deliver continues on Tuesday, May 26th!

PARENTS AND STUDENTS

Over the last week, I have been working closely with the leadership of our teaching and classified staff unions.  The primary topic has been to  brainstorm ways to save dollars in anticipation of possible significant cuts to our State School Funding for the 20-21 school year.  Going into those discussions, the goals of all the parties were to minimize the impact on students and families, while saving as many dollars as possible in payroll.  We have been able to negotiate and agree on the plan described below.

Furlough Days:  All staff are taking three furlough days.  These days will save the district our employee wages for three days (about $50,000 a day, $150,000 total,  with all 162 employees).  The unions agreed to make these days be days that DO NOT impact students.  All employee groups, classified, certified, administrator, and confidential employees, will be taking these three days in lost wages.

WorkShare Days:  In addition, beginning Monday, May 18th, all staff will have their daily hours reduced by 20-25% through the remainder of the school year.  This will result in another four days of savings (although not quite as much as a furlough day, about $37,000 a day) for the final four weeks of the school year.  For these four days, staff will be participating in the Employment Department WorkShare Program.  This program allows businesses with more than three employees to reduce the hours of employees while maintaining their jobs and other benefits such as insurance.  The total savings for these four WorkShare days to the District General Fund will be another approximately $150,000.  The only way these WorkShare days will affect families and students is that K-8, teachers will be available to work and communicate with students for a little less each day, office hours will be approximately 8:00-2:30.  For our High School students, individual teachers may vary, but in general, will be available for about 90 minutes less each day at varying times.  Also, while school offices will remain open each day, the hours will be adjusted to be 8:00-2:30.  We hope that the direct effect on students and parents is minimal, knowing that the effects of our current situation is already tremendously impactful on our students and families.

The savings the district will see will begin to partly address the reduction the district is expecting to see in our State School Fund payment for the 20-21 school year.

Thank you to our staff for agreeing to participate in these reductions, and to our students and families for their continued grace and patience.

Please see the dates and updated information regarding the meal service and packet pick-up schedule through Tuesday, May 26th:

May 18th (Today):  Normal meal service + packet pick up routes taking place.

May 21st (Thursday):  Double meals being served this day (2 lunches + 2 breakfasts due to no deliveries on Friday).

May 22nd (Friday):  No service due to it being a non-contract day for FRSD Classified staff.

May 25th (Monday):  No service due to Memorial Day.

May 26th (Tuesday):  Normal meal service resumes  + packet pick up routes taking place.

This is to inform you that The Fern Ridge School District Budget Committee Meeting Agenda and Notice for the Tuesday, May 19, 2020  – Budget Committee Meeting at 6:30 p.m., has been posted. In response to the current health emergency resulting from COVID-19 pandemic, the District facilities are closed to the public and meetings are being held electronically at https://meet.google.com/bka-yggy-ggd?hs=122 or by dialing (‪US)‪+1 406-578-4644 PIN: ‪654 284 727#.

Agenda items include: Receive Superintendent’s Budget Message, Review Proposed Budget, Take Public Comment, and Approve Budget and Tax Levies.

To access the agenda click here.  This will take you to the Fern Ridge SD 28J BoardBook site where you can review board meeting agendas, attachments, and minutes. Included in the May 19th, 2020 Budget Committee Meeting Agenda is the 2020-2021 Proposed Budget Document.

Please email any questions to qbennett@fernridge.k12.or.us or gcarpenter@fernridge.k12.or.us at your earliest convenience and preferably prior to the day of May 19th, so that we can provide the most appropriate and accurate answer.

GRAD - balloons - Cap - in blueDear Parents and Students of 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.

Sincerely,

Rick Gardner

Principal

FRSD Families, in partnership with DHS and ODE, who have been enrolled in the Free/Reduced Lunch program or who may now be eligible with the current health emergency, will receive $5.70 per child per day in assistance on an EBT (Oregon Trail card for March-June).

person holding white ceramic bowl with pastaThe Fern Ridge School District and Chartwells staff are currently working on getting ODE our updated information.  They, in turn, will pass along to DHS to make this happen.

If you are currently enrolled in the Free/Reduced Lunch program, no further action is needed.  Our understanding is that those who already receive SNAP benefits will receive a supplement automatically on their EBT card.  Those who don’t have SNAP will receive an EBT card with the issuance by mail.  The payments will be retroactive to March 16th, 2020.

This program is only available to families with students currently enrolled in FRSD.  Parents/families who have not been on free/reduced lunch may now be eligible due to the current economic/job situation with COVID-19.  Families are encouraged to apply with the school district.  Your information will be picked up with a 2nd data submission to ODE.  The benefit amount will be pro-rated to the 1st of the month of the student enrollment date.  If you would like to pursue becoming eligible now, you should apply immediately.  For information on how to apply, as well as contact information for our food service staff, please visit the following webpage:  https://www.fernridge.k12.or.us/?page_id=337

This is to inform you that The Fern Ridge School District Budget Committee Meeting Agenda and Notice for the Tuesday, May 19, 2020  – Budget Committee Meeting at 6:30 p.m., has been posted. In response to the current health emergency resulting from COVID-19 pandemic, the District facilities are closed to the public and meetings are being held electronically at https://meet.google.com/bka-yggy-ggd?hs=122 or by dialing (‪US)‪+1 406-578-4644 PIN: ‪654 284 727#.

Agenda items include: Receive Superintendent’s Budget Message, Review Proposed Budget, Take Public Comment, and Approve Budget and Tax Levies.

To access the agenda click here.  This will take you to the Fern Ridge SD 28J BoardBook site where you can review board meeting agendas, attachments, and minutes. Included in the May 19th, 2020 Budget Committee Meeting Agenda is the 2020-2021 Proposed Budget Document.

Please email any questions to qbennett@fernridge.k12.or.us or gcarpenter@fernridge.k12.or.us at your earliest convenience and preferably prior to the day of May 19th, so that we can provide the most appropriate and accurate answer.

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Fern Ridge Schools are closed by order of Governor Kate Brown for the remainder of this school year.

 

Please visit the COVID-19 tab for the most up to date information.

 

 

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