Michelle Cook has been an employee with the Fern Ridge School District for over 14 years! She started working in the district in September of 2006 and has been supporting FRSD staff, students and families ever since.
Beginning as an Elementary School Secretary, Michelle is currently the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and the School Board. She is a tremendous support to not only the board and Mr. Carpenter, but to all staff and families in our district. While her duties have a large scope and touch on a wide range of topics (especially this year), some of the consistent areas of support she provides include supporting staff and community members who come to the District Office, posting all of our jobs and setting up interviews, publishing board packets and taking minutes at board meeting, processing volunteer background checks and supporting staff with license renewals just to name a few. Michelle says one of the favorite things about her job is “helping our staff and families when they have a question or a problem.” She goes on to say that “being able to connect someone with a resource or information they need is always the best part of my day.”
Michelle has 2 boys, Coltyn (16) and Brendon (14). They have attended Fern Ridge schools since Kindergarten and are students at Elmira High School. When Michelle isn’t busy supporting all of us, she loves to hang out with her family, plan the remodel of a recently purchased farmhouse, and finding a quiet place to read. She loves hanging out at the beach, and says that “playing around in the mountains or backpacking are some of my favorite things to do.” Her favorite mountain summit memory is Shasta, and a hike she wants to definitely do again is the three sisters loop. She goes on to say that climbing Kilimanjaro is on her “mountain bucket list.”
Michelle is an outstanding employee who is hard working, super intelligent, and fun to work with. Mr. Carpenter mentions that she is “a tremendous asset not only to the board and I, but to all the staff students and families of Fern Ridge School District.”
Thank you for all that you do Ms. Cook. You are greatly appreciated, and congratulations on being our February 2021 employee of the month.
The District has finalized its return to in-person instruction plan. It was reviewed last night at 6:00 PM in a Community Q and A with Superintendent Carpenter. You can view playback of the meeting here. In addition, at 6:00 PM this evening, each elementary school principal will be hosting a Q and A for all parents. Links to those virtual zoom meetings can be found here:
To summarize, the District continues to use the Oregon Department of Education/Oregon Health Authority guidance and framework that was updated last week to guide our plans. The research that informed the recent changes to the K-12 Metrics Framework can be viewed here. The primary metric that determines when we can bring students back for in-person learning is the COVID-19 case count per 100,000 over the prior two weeks. When the case count is under 350/100,000 we can bring back elementary-aged students. When it drops below 200, we can consider bringing back grades 6 and above. These two week “look-back” rates are released each Monday.
The rates for Lane County for the past 5 two-week periods have been:
The last time the case rate in Lane County was below 200 (which would allow grades 6-12 to return) was in mid-November. We are hopeful that with the rollout of the vaccine and continued adherence to health and safety protocols, the case rate will drop back down again soon, allowing us to expand our return to in-person instruction for our older students.
Below are the specifics of our plan for returning elementary students to in-person learning:
Thursday, February 4th and Friday, 5th: All K-3 students return to in-person instruction in an A/B Hybrid Model, similar to what was done earlier this year. Due to transportation changes, whether or not you are an A or B day student may have changed. This will be communicated soon with our families. The school day will be from 7:55am-2:25pm. Teachers will communicate with families what the expectations are in regards to applied learning, or off days.
Thursday, February 11th and Friday, 12th: All 4th and 5th grade students return to in-person instruction in an A/B Model. Due to transportation changes, whether or not you are an A or B day student may have changed. This will be communicated soon with our families. The school day will be from 7:55am-2:25pm. Teachers will communicate with families what the expectations are in regards to applied learning, or off days.
Thursday, February 4th: For students in grades K-5 that are a part of our SLC or Bridges classrooms, the opportunity to return all 4 days each week will be offered. Please work with your student’s teacher and school principal if you have questions.
Returning all of our students in grades K-12 is our highest priority and we will be prepared to do that when the case rates drop.
Below is some additional general information on a wide range of topics around returning to in-person instruction that folks may be interested in:
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS: Each building has a “blueprint” that outlines all of the safety protocols that will be in place. The list is too long to review here, but includes things like social distancing, wearing masks, cohort groups, hand-washing, limiting movement in the building, entry screenings upon arrival, dedicated entrances and much more. The blueprints, once finalized, will be updated on our District website.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation is one of the larger logistical issues to solve. Please be patient as we work through this. Anyone that has the ability to transport their student, please know that is greatly appreciated. The goal is to have the routes and times up by early next week.
MEALS IN SCHOOL: Meals will look different. Breakfast will not be served at school but sent home so that students are able to eat prior to coming to school. Lunches for off days will also be sent home. Students will have an opportunity for a normal school lunch, on days they are in session.
VACCINATION: FRSD staff have begun to receive vaccinations. We are on-track to have about 20% of staff receive the first vaccination by this weekend. The vast majority of those staff are at the elementary level.
I DO NOT WANT TO RETURN, OR CANNOT RETURN DUE TO MEDICAL ISSUES: We have begun collecting information from families who do not want or cannot have their student return to in-person learning. Please inform your teacher and or building principal ASAP if you are in this situation. While enrolling in our online OPTIONS program is one choice a parent can make, we will also have a CDL (Comprehensive Distance Learning) option for these students. What it looks like exactly will, in part, be determined by how many students need to access this option. It may take a few weeks to get up to full-speed as we are waiting on some technology to assist with this that was ordered back in December. However, we are hopeful that it will include some packet work, as well as some live interactive connection with a teacher and a classroom each day (it might not be through their regular classroom teacher). More information on this in the coming days.
Thank you for your continued patience as we begin to roll this plan out next week. We all look forward to seeing our students in our buildings!–Gary Carpenter, Superintendent, FRSD 28J
As you are probably aware, late in the day on January 19th, Governor Brown along with the Oregon Department of Education released updated guidelines around what it takes to return to in-person instruction, and what protocols must be in place. You can watch a short 10 minute video summary of this new information from Director Gill, at this link: (click here). Since that time, I have been working with our staff, administrators, association leadership, and other community partners to formulate our plan here in Fern Ridge.
Since the beginning of the pandemic back in March, our district has relied on the expertise of our health partners to inform decision making regarding the return to face-to-face instruction. We have collaborated for months to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our buildings. We will continue to do that, now that the guidance has changed (Click here to review the ODE research informing the change in the K-12 Metrics Framework).
The logistics of our plan are beginning to come into focus. We will continue to work on some of the more difficult elements (that of transportation and meals) through the weekend. On Monday night, January 25th, I will share the specifics of the plan with the FRSD School Board and consider any input they may have.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26th I will hold a Community Q & A Zoom meeting, and the following night, each elementary school will hold a similar Q and A meeting. All of these will be at 6:00 PM. Below are the links.
Tuesday, Jan 26th, 6:00 P.M. FRSD Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
Wednesday, Jan 27th, 6:00 P.M. VES Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
Wednesday, Jan 27th, 6:00 P.M. EES Community Q & A Zoom meeting: (CLICK HERE)
While I will not have the final details until Tuesday morning following the board meeting, this is what I would expect:
Grades 6-12: Under the current guidelines, our county needs to be below 200 cases/100,000 before I will recommend to the board that those grades can return. Absent that, these students will remain primarily in CDL, with some students coming on campus for 2 hours a day of limited in person instruction. Returning before the county case count drops below 200 cases/100,000 places the district at an unacceptable level of liability, as we would NOT be following the recommendations of the Oregon Health Authority.
Grades K-3: In early February (exact dates will be known on Tuesday) we will get students in school every other day, all day on an A/B schedule.
Grades 4-5: One week later will will be adding 4th and 5th graders in the same every other day, all day, A/B model.
K-5 Bridges and SLC Classroom Students: We will be offering all day, 4 days a week of in-person instruction.
What if we do not want to return? This continues to be a work in progress, and really depends on the number of students and grades of students that need/request this option. I do know it will be limited, but we will be getting creative to provide something like this for families that need it. We have some new technology on order to assist in this area, but timely shipments of ANY K-12 technology is extremely challenging these days. Of course the FRSD fully online OPTIONS program will also be a choice.
Thank you for your continued patience, we all look forward to seeing more of our students in our buildings, beginning in February.
The FRSD Wellness policy can be found at: http://policy.osba.org/fernridg/E/EFA%20G1.PDF
Every three years (last done in the Fall of 2019) we do a triennial evaluation report, and post it to the website on the “District and State Reports” page: http://www.fernridge.k12.or.us/?page_id=5734
Parents that are interested in becoming more involved in the district’s wellness policy monitoring and implementation can contact building principals regarding becoming a member of the building ESSA teams. These teams meet monthly at each building and discuss a wide range of topics, including the District Wellness Policy.
In case you missed it!
Here’s the link to the community Q & A session with Superintendent Carpenter: https://youtu.be/gIaXrJhz-Lc
There was one question in the meeting that was unanswered, regarding the end of the Semester at the OPTIONS program, and a change in the availability of content. The OPTIONS staff will post information regarding this question on their webpage today. If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to call them at 541-952-7025!
On Monday, January 11th at 6:00 PM, the FRSD will be holding a Community Q and A session with Superintendent Carpenter. All parents, community members and students are invited. Some information will be shared regarding our upcoming plans and where we are headed based on the best data at that time, although most of the time will be reserved to answer any questions that folks may have.
For anyone that isn’t available to attend, but is interested in the information discussed, it will be recorded and the recording will be posted and shared the next day.
Access/login information to the meeting is below.
Gary Carpenter is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Community Q and A
Time: Jan 11, 2021 06:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 810 3038 0437
One tap mobile
January is School Board Appreciation Month. We want to thank our school board members who work hard to “providing excellence for every student so that each will reach their greatest potential.”
Julie Burton has been an employee with the Fern Ridge School District for 13 years! She started working in the district on September 4, 2007 and has been helping students ever since.
In a normal year, Julie runs the study hall at Elmira High School for seven periods a day. This year, being anything but typical, has found her scheduling online IEP meetings for the special education department and working alongside other EHS staff, keeping spirits up for our limited-in-person students. She is also the EHS Key Club advisor, holding weekly meetings and participating in various community events.
Here’s what she enjoys the most at EHS, “one of the best parts of my job is seeing such a variety of students. Seeing the excitement in their eyes when a topic sparks their interest. I’m used to kids thinking that I’m strict in their 9th and 10th grade school years and then leaving me in their 11th – 12th grade years because I have bugged them so much to turn in assignments that they’re on track to graduate (I call it the natural progression of high school).”
Julie has 5 children and 15 grandchildren. She and her husband Rod were married a year and a half ago at their favorite spot, Crane Prairie, Oregon with her daughter, Jami performing the ceremony.
When she is not encouraging students and supporting teachers, she loves camping, fishing, and a good book. Her newest hobby (addiction) is acrylic paint pouring and of course, she loves her Elmira Falcons!
Julie is an outstanding employee who is always wearing a smile. Her constant “strict” encouragement has helped countless students stay on track to graduate.
Thank you for your positive attitude.
Thank you for working hard to support our students.
Thank you for being a part of the Fern Ridge School District family for the past 13 years.
Limited-In-Person Instruction for around 200 students begins tomorrow, January 5th. Any student that is in this group has already been contacted by their school.
Below are the links to the updated bus routes:
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your school administrator.
With some students returning to school beginning in January, we need to adjust the ways we get out meals for students. Below are the options that will begin on Monday, January 4th. These options will be in place for at least a few weeks, and if we can add a bus stop in the community after a week or two, we will do that.
OPTION 1: Each weekday (Monday-Friday) from 11:00-12:30 in the EHS North parking lot, there are two meal options. The options include a “hot meal” or a sack lunch. Breakfasts for the following morning are available as well.
OPTION 2: Each Monday night from 5-6 PM, in the EHS North lot, families can pick up a “kit” of meals for the week. To ensure your family is on the list, and we make the appropriate amount of meals, you should email our food service director, Alan Fullerton, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a message at 541-935-8218, stating the number of children ages 0-18 you will be picking up for.
OPTION 3: For the approximately 200 students district-wide that will be coming onto campus beginning Tuesday, January 5th, for 2 hours a day, they will have an option to leave school with a sack lunch containing lunch and a breakfast for the next morning.
Please share the above information!