Parents, Students and Staff of Fern Ridge:
As mentioned in a previous post, the District hopes to share the COVID-19 safety precautions that we will implement when school begins in September by mid-August. However, we would like to share with folks where we are headed so that families can prepare; our current thinking so to speak. These decisions are not being taken lightly, as every decision impacts families, students, and staff members differently. The decisions that will be finalized in mid-August when I share my recommendations with the School Board, WILL negatively affect some of our constituents. There is no way around it. We will do everything in our power to minimize those effects and support students and families in the best way that we can. In addition, it must be clear that our “plan” is subject to change at a moment’s notice. I have discussed the strategies outlined below with Lane County Public Health and our plan has received their support as they are based in sound public health practice and science. I have also discussed our plan with our insurance carrier, and with today’s information and conditions they are in support of it as well. I will be scheduling our insurance carrier for an onsite visit later in September for them to review the implementation of our practices, and to provide feedback.
On Thursday, June 22nd, ODE released their updated guidance, the Ready Schools Safe Learners Resiliency Framework for the 21-22 School Year (click here). The guidance changed very little, so with no update expected prior to mid-August, I am comfortable sharing what our current thinking is. Having said that, I want to repeat that it is not the final decision and even if we start the school year under what is described below, it may change quickly based on new guidance or variables we are experiencing in our schools. The district will CONTINUE TO WORK WITH LCPH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR AS CONDITIONS CHANGE.
MASKS: As described in the ODE guidance, we plan to strongly encourage masks for all staff and students K-12, but not require them. Masks are an effective way to slow or prevent the spread of disease. It should be noted that at this time, the CDC IS REQUIRING that masks be utilized on all public transportation, which includes school buses (click here). As long as that mandate is in place, we will comply with it.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING: As described in the guidance, the district will support and promote physical distancing in multiple ways, including:
- Maintaining at least 3 feet between students where possible.
- Consider physical distancing requirements when setting up learning spaces.
- Minimize time standing in lines and take steps to ensure required distance is maintained, including floor markings and one-way traffic flow in constrained spaces.
COHORTING: As described in the guidance, the District will develop cohorts to the extent possible. This will take place to some degree at all grade levels, with more of this at the lower grade levels, and less of it at the upper grade levels due to instructional constraints.
MEAL TIMES: In all buildings, increased distancing will be emphasized during meal times.
COHORT LOGS: Logs and attendance data will be kept and referred to. Cohorts help manage risks in the potential spread of COVID-19. In particular, the size of the cohort matters for risk management. Student cohorting:
- Limits the number of exposed people when a COVID-19 case is identified in the school.
- Quickly identifies exposed individuals when a COVID-19 case is identified.
- Minimizes the number of people who may need to be quarantined as well as school-wide disruptions in student learning.
ENTRY SCREENING: While we are not sure what this will look like yet, there will be entry screening. Not having sick staff or students come into the building is one of the best ways to stop the spread of any virus.
MERV-13 FILTERS: Prior to COVID-19, most schools (along with Fern Ridge) used MERV-8 filters in their HVAC systems. In 20-21 we upgraded (with a significant cost increase) to the use of MERV-13 filters. A MERV rating chart can be accessed by clicking here
INCREASED AIR EXCHANGE: We have been and will continue to work with our HVAC vendors and facilities staff to set our systems up for maximum air exchange of our spaces, as allowed by the constraints of the outside temperatures.
P.R. CAMPAIGN REGARDING KEEPING SICK KIDS HOME: This has always been something we have tried to do. It will be emphasized this fall. Please keep your students home if they are displaying any symptoms of illness.
USE OF SYNEXIS SPHERE SYSTEMS IN KEY SPACES: This is a hydrogen peroxide gas and Dry Hydrogen Peroxide Technology for occupied spaces. Several professional sports teams are using this technology in their locker rooms/clubhouses. We have purchased these devices for our health/isolation rooms at each school, as well as the locker rooms at EHS and FRMS. This technology uses ambient humidity and oxygen naturally present in the environment to create a safe level of hydrogen peroxide which reduces unwanted microbial contamination in the air and on surfaces. To read more about these devices you can click here.
HEALTH/ISOLATION ROOMS: As advised by ODE and OHA, the district will have exclusion and isolation protocols for sick students and staff identified at the time of arrival or during the school day.
EXCLUSION FROM SCHOOL: School administrators are required by Oregon law to enforce exclusion OAR 333-019-0010. Students and staff are required to isolate when they exhibit “primary symptoms” of COVID-19 per symptom specific guidance. They may return after a negative test, or 10 days if not exposed, 14 days if exposed.
HAND WASHING & USE OF HAND SANITIZER: Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. Each building will create protocols and systems to ensure access to soap, water and alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
INCREASED SANITATION BY CUSTODIANS AND ALL STAFF: Increased cleanings in particular of high touched surfaces both after school and throughout the day will be conducted.
COVID-19 TESTING: There are two types of testing programs discussed in ODE guidance. Those are diagnostic testing and screening testing. The district will not be participating in screening testing. Diagnostic testing is the testing of students or staff who develop symptoms at school. We are working toward having this option available for our staff and students.
TRAINING: Training for staff and students will occur at the beginning of the year regarding all of the safety protocols in place.
It will take a team effort to ensure our schools can stay open to in-person instruction, and everyone has a responsibility to do their part. I am hopeful that the safety measures listed above provide us with an excellent opportunity to experience a full school year, and limit the spread of the virus. Finally, a few additional pieces of important information:
- The district is required to enforce quarantining and isolation protocols. When a case of COVID-19 is identified in our school, we will contract trace with the assistance of our staff and District Nurse. Any staff member or student that is unvaccinated and determined to be a close contact, will be excluded from school for 14 days. When primary symptoms are shown, there are strict guidelines we must follow before the individual can return.
- Instruction WILL be interrupted. One of the biggest challenges we will face is the disruption of instruction when required to isolate/quarantine. Simultaneous “live” instruction will not be provided when this occurs. However, we will work with individually families to support their students.
- Be respectful of others. Many staff and students will continue to wear masks. Most, if not all, certainly wish to be mask free but they have individual circumstances that prevent it. We have many medically fragile students. We have siblings of medically fragile students, and we have folks who have medically fragile family members living in their home. For many of these people the vaccine is either not advised, or unavailable due to their age. Mask “shaming” or “harassment” will not be tolerated in any form, and will be addressed directly and quickly.
Gary Carpenter, Superintendent FRSD 28J
Please use the following link to access pictures from graduation. The password is EHS2021 (case sensitive).
Junior Students and Parent(s)/Guardian(s),
In lieu of a typical “Junior Night,” a packet has been created for each Junior student. The packet includes valuable Senior Year information (i.e., Senior year timeline, graduation requirements, etc.) and Post-Secondary information (i.e., financial aid, CTE career paths, etc.). All of the EHS hybrid students will be hand delivered a Junior Packet by the end of this week. If you are a Junior student in the Options program you will need to swing by the EHS front office to pick up your Junior Packet by June 25th. Please contact EHS Counselor, Brittany McMillan if you have any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer SAIL is a FREE one-week program hosted on the University of Oregon campus, where high school students learn about various subjects from distinguished UO faculty members through fun social and interactive activities.
SAIL offers DAY Programs for summer 2021. We will offer hybrid programs, with a mix of in-person and virtual experiences, for summer 2021.
Win awesome prizes: gift cards, school supplies, Hydro flasks, SAIL swag, and more!
To apply, student must be an Oregon resident and meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Come from a low-income family (for example, qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch)
- Be the first in your family to attend college
- Come from an underrepresented minority background
- Unaccompanied youth (in state custody, foster care, homeless or not living with family)
- returning student
- Sibling of a returning student
Please send all SAIL questions to: email@example.com
Please use following link to watch the senior graduation video.
Here are the some important reminders for graduation tonight:
- Please make sure you have your tickets, you will not be allowed to enter without a ticket.
- Masks are required for all spectators.
- We do have chairs for each guest, you do not need to bring your own chairs this evening.
- We are asking everyone to check in using the QR code on your ticket. You are welcome to check in at any time today.
- It looks like we may have some rain today, please refrain from bringing umbrellas or easy ups as it will block the view of the people behind you.
- We will have ADA seating on the north side of the facility nearest the concession stand, please ask for assistance when you arrive.
- We know that some of you may have shared unused tickets with other families, we do ask that you keep chair shifting to a minimum as each space has been marked out for social distancing.
- Each block of seats is marked with your graduates name and are color coded, please use this guide to find your seats:
Please use the following link for the livestream of Elmira’s High School 2021 Graduation Exercises
We hope you will join us at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 8th for our Virtual Awards Night. Please click on the link below to watch the presentation.
As we near the end of the year we wanted to remind the Class of 2021 of some important upcoming dates.
June 3rd and 4th – 12th Grade Textbook Check-in
June 8th – Last Day for All Seniors (A and B cohorts need to report on this day)
June 8th – Chromebook Return in the Library from 12:00 – 4:00 PM
June 9th – Chromebook Return in the Library from 5:00 – 6:00 PM
June 9th – Graduation Practice at 6:00 PM (Attendance is mandatory if you want to participate in graduation)
June 11th – Graduation at 7:00 PM
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(students only)
3:15-6 PM Parent sign-up
|3rd-8th||June 4th||3:15-5 PM||FRMSLibrary||https://signup.com/go/QBJiuEq|
|12th EHS & 12th OPTIONS||June 8th||12-4 PM||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/XEXWZuz|
|12th EHS & 12th OPTIONS||June 9th||5-6 PMRight before graduation practice||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/XEXWZuz|
|9th-11th EHS||June 17th & 18th||12-4 PM||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/nJvQJXz|
|June 15th & 16th||4-6 PMBoth days||EHS Library||https://signup.com/go/wYfoPeF|
|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.
Season 4 (Winter Sports) contests begin today, we want to remind everyone of the spectator requirements for basketball and wrestling.
- Masks are required.
- We are only allowing 2 home spectators per athlete and a ticket will be required. No visiting spectators are allowed.
- All spectators need to enter through the ticket booth out by the stadium and check in with our door supervisor or the QR code on your ticket.
- All games and meets in the main gym will be streamed on NFHS, please go to https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/ to watch.
- Please do not arrive more than 20 minutes before the start of your designated contest, entry will be allowed up to 20 minutes after your contest has begun.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause, but we are still required to follow all OSAA and OHA guidance for our athletic events.