Parking lots and bus loops at Elmira Elementary (EES), Veneta Elementary (VES) and Elmira High School (EHS) posed challenges the first few days of the school year. However, due to planning, coordination and the patience of our parents and students, I am confident the worst of the congestion is over. The schools all appreciate the patience of our parents when visiting one of the sites under construction (especially at EES and EHS), where a simple trip to the office can be somewhat of an adventure. The next challenge in regards to parking lots will be at Elmira Elementary School when demolition of the current school begins. The families of EES should stay tuned for what that plan will look like as we will begin communicating it prior to the holiday break in December.
All of the projects continue to be progressing nicely, and are on schedule for completion. One project that has begun since the last update in August is the project at the District office. This building is getting much needed repairs that will extend its life with new siding and roofing. In addition, there will be new ADA access ramps as well as a new septic drain field.
The two sites that remain under heavy construction are EHS and EES. At EHS, the gym construction remains on track to be finished prior to the holiday break. The girl’s locker room is completed with only some final cosmetic work remaining. The fire suppression systems throughout the remodel area are done and provide additional student and public safety. The new lobby recently had its concrete slab poured and framing is now beginning in that area.
At EES we remain on track to move into the building over the holiday break. The District is currently working on a plan that will allow that to occur in a way that makes the transition smooth for students, and as simple for staff as we can possibly make it. While there is no easy way to make a move like this in such a short timeframe, we are confident we can minimize the stress on staff and students by beginning to plan early during this challenge. Within the building, the contractors are currently in the interior finish phase of the project with cabinets and flooring being installed and painting being completed. On the exterior, siding and hardscape around the building are in the final stages of completion.
The Fern Ridge School District provides a monthly update on the progress of the work funded by the $26.7 million bond approved by voters in May 2014, published on the fourth Wednesday of each month. For more information about bond activities, visit the District’s website at www.fernridge.k12.or.us/bond, or call the District Office at 541-935-2253.
- One three-year term – Position #5 (Expires 6/30/19)
To be eligible for appointment, the appointive member must 1) live in the district; and 2) not be an officer, agent or employee of the district. Click here for an application or pick one up at the District Office, 88834 Territorial Road, Elmira. Applications will be received at the District Office until the opening is filled.
Fern Ridge School District would like to invite community members to come look at how your tax dollars have been spent on the Veneta Elementary School and Fern Ridge Middle School completed Bond Projects. Both schools will be open on Wednesday, September 28th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. Staff will be present to answer questions and give tours. We hope you can come visit these first two projects completed in our District, and see the awesome work/improvements that have been done. Thank you Fern Ridge School District Community!
In today’s Oregonian…. Way to go EHS Staff, students and parents! In addition, a big congrats to this years seniors whose scores showed the rest of the state that Elmira rocks!
Following are the dates/times:
Elmira High School – Thursday, September 15th – 5:15 pm (Includes free admission to volleyball game after!)
Fern Ridge Middle School – Wednesday, September 21st – 5:30 pm
Elmira Elementary School – Thursday, September 22nd – 5:30 pm
Veneta Elementary School – Thursday, September 29th – 6:30 pm
We look forward to seeing you!
One of the first things tasks I wanted to complete in my new position as FRSD Superintendent was to assess the bond promises made to the voters of the District, and ensure our progress was in line with meeting those commitments. I am happy to say I am confident that all bond promises at all buildings will be met. In addition, while we are unsure of the exact amount, there will be at least some additional monies left unencumbered. The School Board will have future discussions in regards to its best use. The sole use of any remaining dollars will be for capital improvement projects only. Those that fit with the criteria of the bond, taking highest priority: Safety, Technology, Critical Capital repairs, and maintaining a sound educational environment.
Before I give a brief update on each site, I wanted to take a minute to thank the Fern Ridge School District Maintenance and Facilities staff. Michael Bateman and Michael Biehler (Technology), Greg Baker (Facilities), Jeff Thiessen and David Johnson (Grounds and Maintenance) as well as many others, have been in countless long days this summer to ensure the complications and challenges that arise with projects such as this are met and overcome. They have done a fantastic job! In addition, the District has worked with three different General Contractors so far: Hyland Construction, GBC Construction and LCG Pence. All three have performed admirably, worked with the District well, and have been good partners in the stewardship of our tax dollars.
Veneta Elementary School – Except for some warranty and product issues that are being solved, the building work at Veneta is complete. Just this last week the second phase of the project (the parking lot loop) was completed, as well as a Holiday Tree Lighting Plaza and performance area. This area was partially funded by the City of Veneta through a partnership and should be a great community resource in the years to come. The building has new key-card access as well as security cameras. New Audio/Visual equipment is located throughout the building and will be coming on-line the first few weeks of school. Sometime in the next 4-6 weeks I will be coordinating an evening community tour of both VES and FRMS for any community member. This will be a great opportunity for those that haven’t yet had a chance to see the changes, to get a first-hand look at these fantastic new community resources.
Fern Ridge Middle School –The Fern Ridge Middle School project is also complete. There are some minor fixes and corrections being made, but for the most part, the project is finished. Key Card access, security cameras and Audio/Visual throughout will be coming on-line at FRMS in the first weeks of school. At both FRMS and VES we are currently in the process of gathering quotes for a “blending” of the exteriors of those buildings with the end result being a more seamless appearance and transition between the new sections of the building and the older. Once this is complete it should really create a “completed” look in the front of these two facilities.
Elmira Elementary –The EES project, the largest one in the District, has hit all of its target dates and is currently on track to have staff and students move in over the December Holiday break. As soon as the move into the new building is completed, the old school will be demolished and construction of the parent parking area and a new “play field” will begin.
Elmira High School – Some projects at the high school such as replacing the siding on the old gym complex, and the re-roofing of two areas that were in need of repair have been completed. The girl’s locker room renovation is nearly complete and the District is expected to take occupancy of that space before school starts. The main project of a new gym, lobby/entrance to the school is scheduled to be complete prior to Winter Break. We are excited about the improvements this project will bring to our students and the community.
As school starts, please be aware of the changes and construction activity the school sites. Your patience is appreciated as we continue to problem solve what will work best. This is especially true at EES and EHS where major construction is still occurring and alternate plans have had to be made in regards to office access, parking, bus drop-off/pick-up and parent drop/off pick-up.
As mentioned in the post below, I have accepted the position of FRSD Superintendent for the 2016-2017 school year and look forward to continuing to serve the Fern Ridge community while keeping my duties as the High School Principal. I am excited about the possibilities for our staff, students and community members in the months to come. I am fully committed to giving this challenging task and tremendous responsibility my undivided attention and focus. To kick things off I wanted to share some general information, as well as upcoming events you should be aware of.
- This morning I got a chance to visit our outstanding bus drivers as they prepare for the year. Please join me in thanking them any chance you get for this critical work that they do.
- The first day that teaching staff return to prepare for the school year is August 29th.
- Construction projects throughout the District continue to move forward, and are on track. The students thank the FRSD community for the passage of the 2014 bond that is bringing many much needed and exciting facility improvements to our District. District Maintenance and Technology staff has been working extremely hard this summer to keep things moving forward.
- The first day of school for grades 1st-5th, 6th and 9th is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6th. The second day of school, Wednesday, September 7th is for grades 1st-5th, 7th-12th. The first day for grades 1st-12th is scheduled for Thursday, September 8th, and the first day for all kindergarteners is scheduled for Monday, September 12th.
- School Registration days and times are as follows:
- EHS: 24 August, 8-11 AM—12th graders 1-4 PM—10th graders
- EHS: 25 August, 1-4 PM—11th graders, 5-8 PM—9th graders
- FRMS: 23 August, 7 AM – 7 PM, 24 August, 8 AM – 3 PM, 25 August, 8AM – Noon
- EES: 23 August, 7 AM – 7 PM, 24 August, 8 AM – 3 PM, 25 August, 8AM – Noon
- VES: 23 August, 7 AM – 7 PM, 24 August, 8 AM – 3 PM, 25 August, 8AM – Noon
– Gary E. Carpenter, Jr., Superintendent
Last night, August 15, 2016, the school board accepted the resignation of Dr. Sally Storm for health-related reasons. We wish to convey to her our appreciation for her work with the District these past two years.
In order to move forward with the school year, Mr. Gary Carpenter was designated our Interim Superintendent to carry out the responsibilities of the position through June 30, 2017. He will remain the High School Principal as well.
Elevated levels of lead in school drinking water is making headlines in both local and national news. Effected school districts are frantically working to test their facilities and make corrections in response to the public’s outcry. But not here at Fern Ridge! For more than a decade the District has operated our water systems under the watchful eye of the Department of Human Services in their Drinking Water Program. All facilities whose water comes from District owned water sources, are on a set schedule for lead testing. A certified testing lab is provided samples from sinks and drinking fountains accessible to students and staff. Those results are sent to both the District and responsible State agency for verification of compliance. No elevated levels of lead are present in our systems.
To assure this trend continues, daily pH levels are monitored so heavy metals do not have a chance to leach into our systems. The only exception to this is Veneta Elementary School, whose water is provided by the city-wide system. Lead testing in that system is performed by the City of Veneta itself and reported to their governing agency. Recently, the Superintendent directed the maintenance staff to conduct independent testing of Veneta Elementary School’s drinking water. No elevated lead levels were found. All test results are public record and are available by contacting the District.
Looking for something fun for your kids to do this summer? Elmira High School will have the first ever Elmira High School All Skills Youth Camp hosted by the administration and athletic coaches from the high school for incoming grades 3rd through 8th on June 20-24, 2016. The following sports will be introduced and practiced throughout the week: Basketball, Soccer, Football, Volleyball, Baseball, Softball and Track and Field. For more information and registration form, please click here.