As many of you are aware, over spring break, the State released new guidance that allows for a reduction to “3 Feet of Physical Distancing under Certain Conditions.” Since that time, I have been in communication with building administrators, association leadership, and other partners to identify how this change could assist us in expanding our in-person instruction offerings. Unfortunately, the 6 feet of physical distancing requirement remains in tact any time students are eating, passing in the hallways, and between staff and students at all times as well as between staff and staff at all times.
A final decision on when/how we can expand our in-person offerings, and I do expect us to expand, will be made soon. As early as the next 24 hours and no later than the end of this week. Any changes would begin the week of April 19th (start of 4th quarter) at the earliest. Unfortunately the restrictions still in place will prevent us from bringing back all students every day. Having said that, I am doing everything in my power to get more students in, each day, at all levels, K-12. Stay tuned.
Cameron Robertson has worked as an instructional assistant in the Structured Learning Classroom at Fern Ridge Middle School since September of 2018.
Cameron helps out with small group instruction in reading and math, supervises students during lunch and has Zoom meetings to assist distant learning students one-on-one.
When not helping students, Cameron enjoys watching movies, playing Pokémon, writing music and poetry, and reading. His favorite things are burritos and his least favorite thing is stubbing his toe (we hear ya on that one!).
On Friday evenings, Cameron runs a free drop-in time for teens at the Veneta Alliance Church. This is a place where kids can hang out, eat snacks, and even play a vintage Star Wars arcade game.
When asked about his family, Cameron describes them as rambunctious but very, very close. He has two brothers, two sisters, and a baby nephew.
He tells us the best part of his job is when he gets to interact with kids, building relationships with them and being able to help out.
Thank you Cameron, our staff and students appreciate all of the work you do to be a positive role model for our students. Congratulations!
All Fern Ridge Schools will be closed from Monday, March 22 thru Friday, March 26 for Spring Break. Classes resume for students on Tuesday, March 30.
Food service staff are also taking a break next week – there will be no meal service March 22 – March 26. They will start serving meals again on Monday, March 29.
There will be no tech support during the break and the district office will be closed on Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26.
Everyone have a safe break!
As with much of everything else this school year, Outdoor School will be different. Due to health regulations, overnight camps are not currently allowed in Oregon. However, we are pleased to be working with Camp Wilani (located 5 minutes from Veneta) to offer a 4-day program to ALL 5th grade students, as well as all 6th grade students who were unable to have an outdoor school last Spring! Camp Wilani’s Leadership Team was trained at the BEETLES Institute at UC Berkeley and are excited to teach our FRSD students!
May 4th – 7th: ALL 6th grade students (FRMS, OPTIONS)
May 11th – 14th: ALL 5th grade students (EES, VES, OPTIONS)
- This is a DAY Program only, students (A day and B day) will report to school every day TUES-FRI for the week of their Outdoor School
- Outdoor School will happen rain or shine- outside! Please plan and dress accordingly
- Students will be in small cohorts at Outdoor School based on their A/B schedule
- Students, staff, and volunteers will be required to wear masks throughout the day
- Look for more information to come (permission forms, volunteer forms, etc.)
More Information Needed?
- Visit the Camp Wilani Outdoor School link: https://wilanicouncil.org/outdoor-school/
- Call or email the school with any questions:
Starting Monday, March 8th, FRSD’s food service will begin offering an additional weekly meal pick-up option.
Families with students who have returned to in-person learning are able to order an Add-On Meal Kit which will supplement the hot lunches our students are able to receive during their in-school days.
Each meal kits include 5 breakfasts & 3 cold lunches. We hope this will help to alleviate some of the logistical concerns for families’ meal options on their student’s non-school days.
If you’re interested in an Add-On Meal Kit for your family, please email Food Service Director, Alan Fullerton at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your last name, how many kits you would like to order and if your student(s) are on an A or B day schedule.
These Add-On Meal Kits will be available for pick up during our normal weekly pick-up time in the back EHS parking lot on Monday evenings from 5-6pm.
To minimize waste, we will only be producing as many of these kits as are pre-ordered so please be sure to reach out if you would like to participate!
The ever changing environment of the past year has created an opportunity for our March Employee of the Month, Emily Bliven, to shine and take a leadership role at Veneta Elementary.
Emily has been a kindergarten teacher in our district since August of 2018. In her three years she has already made a big impact!
As online learning became a reality, Emily stepped in with both knowledge and patience as staff members sought help for technology training. From our PE teacher to our principal, staff at VES have turned to Emily for help. She’s always willing to drop everything to take care of any request.
Emily has taken on a leadership role this year by serving on the re-opening committee and serving as the union representative for VES licensed staff. She also lends a hand on the Talent Show Committee, Earth Day Committee and the Equity Committee. In the classroom, she tells us she loves getting to build relationships with students and witness their learning in action. She also enjoys learning from and collaborating with her co-workers “who make me a better teacher.”
When she is not teaching, helping out another staff member or serving on a committee, Emily is busy completing her Masters Degree and planning a July wedding with her fiancé, Chase. She loves to be outdoors walking, hiking, playing with their one-year old retriever, Revel, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Congratulations Emily and thank you for always being willing to lend a helping hand to your VES team!
March 1 – 5 is the week that we take extra time to show our classified staff just how much they mean to our district.
These folks support our teachers at every building, they ensure our operations run smoothly, they take care of our offices, student schedules, and state testing.
They mow lawns, maintain and clean buildings. They help with food and staff our libraries, and district offices.
There isn’t a single aspect of the Fern Ridge School District that doesn’t involve a classified employee. We are grateful for each and everyone of these staff.
The work they do makes a world of difference for every student in our district.
To further mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in Oregon’s K-12 schools, The Oregon Health Authority is supporting COVID-19 testing in public and private K-12 schools. Oregon schools offering partial or full in-person instruction may provide testing for students and staff who display symptoms of COVID-19 or who have been exposed to COVID-19 in the school setting. The Federal Government has allocated Abbott BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care antigen tests to states to support COVID-19 testing. These tests are available to support testing if needed in K-12 schools during the 2020-2021 school year.
The Fern Ridge School District now has these tests on site and will be using them as required. Currently, they are ONLY required for contact sports (football) when as described above, a participant is exhibiting symptoms while ON-SITE! Our District Nurse and EHS Athletic Trainer are our two trained school testing administrators.
Testing for students in grades K-12 will only occur (after March 1st), and IF, our schools are operating with in-person instruction while the County is outside of the recommended metrics (over 350/100,000 for elementary, or over 200/100,000 for grades 6-12). An additional example of when using these tests MAY be possible would be when in conjunction with Lane County Public Health (LCPH), it is determined that a cohort is required to quarantine, and LCPH recommends using these tests to help shorten the length of quarantine for exposed individuals. This can only be done at the direction of LCPH.
In order for any student to be tested, a “consent” form must be on file. In preparation for potential testing that may occur, it is recommended you print the consent form and drop off at the school. The forms are also available in every front office. Below is a link to the consent form, as well as a COVID-19 Testing in Oregon’s Schools FAQ Document. These documents will also both be located under the “2020 School Year” tab at the top, right of the District website.
Again, at this time, FRSD will only be using the on-site tests as required. Currently, this ONLY applies to our football players and the coaching staff. We ask that families continue to support our schools, students, staff, and community by keeping their child home when they are exhibiting symptoms. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your school.
Fern Ridge Middle School will open for 6th grade students this week. On Thursday/Friday February 25th/26th, 6th graders will be back in the classroom on an A/B schedule.
9th grade students return to Elmira High School next Tuesday/Wednesday, March 2nd/3rd with all grades in session on their A/B schedule beginning Thursday/Friday, March 4th/5th.
For more details on plans for returning to in-person instruction please visit this recent website post.
Bus routes can be accessed on the district transportation page, or by clicking on the links below: