Special Services


Special Services

Special Services Address: 24936 Fir Grove Lane, Building B, Elmira, OR
Phone: 541-935-7733 Fax: 541-935-0613

Welcome to the Fern Ridge School District Special Services office!  We supervise Special Education Programs.  If you have any questions, please call me at 541-935-7733, ext. 2 or email at bbrands@fernridge.k12.or.us.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with Oregon Administrative Rule 581-015-2228, Individualized COVID-19 Recovery Services will be considered at each annual IEP meeting from now through the “2022-23” school year. Recovery services are provided to students who made little to no progress on their IEP goals during Comprehensive Distance Learning. Recovery Services will most often be offered in the summer between school years.

If you would like your child’s IEP team to meet before the annually scheduled date to discuss if your child is eligible to receive Individualized COVID-19 Recovery Services, please reach out to your child’s case manager. If you have any questions, please contact Brian Brands at 541-935-7733 ext. 2.

“Providing excellence for every student so that each will reach their greatest potential”

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires all school districts to locate, evaluate, and provide services for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school age children between the ages of birth and twenty-one, who may have a disability. The Fern Ridge School District is seeking your assistance in locating any children in the district who are in need of, but currently not receiving special services. Parents, guardians, staff members, or anyone who knows of a child that they believe has a disability can refer a child for a possible evaluation.

Direction Service is offering activities, camps and services during the summer season to youth and families with disabilities. For more information on all the different events that are being offered, visit them online at:


Northwest Disability Support (NWDSA) have two upcoming online Fighting COVID: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine sessions. One of the sessions is in Spanish (2/10/2021, 4-6PM) and the other is for individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) (ages 16+) (2/18/2021, 3-5PM). There are flyers that can be shared attached to this email. More information and registration is available at: https://www.abicommunity.org/events/event/2021/02/18/fighting-covid-understanding-the-covid-19-vaccine/324099. Questions about the Fighting COVID sessions should be sent to Kate Williams-Paul (phone: 503-238-0522).

NWDSA also wanted to help get the information out that the following groups of people are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine now:

Students experiencing IDD who are old enough [at least 16 for Pfizer; at least 18 for Moderna (source)];
Parents, caregivers, and siblings of individuals of any age experiencing IDD, and;
Paid and unpaid people providing support for individuals experiencing IDD (e.g., personal support workers, healthcare personnel).

Further information about the vaccine is available on: https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov/ and information specific about individuals who experience IDD is available in this message from ODDS. Specific questions about the vaccines are best routed to: COVID19.Vaccine@dhsoha.state.or.us.

2020 Tax Exemption for Parents of Children with Disabilities

The Oregon Tax Code provides an additional tax exemption for parents of eligible children with disabilities in Oregon. The procedure for claiming an exemption for the 2020 tax year is explained in the Oregon Individual Income Tax Return and Instruction booklets.

Who qualifies for the exemption?

A child qualifies if he or she meets all of the following criteria:

Qualifies as a dependent of the parent(s) for tax year 2020;
Is eligible for early intervention services (birth to age 3), early childhood special education services (ages 3 to 5) or receives special education as defined by the State Board of Education of the state where the child attends school; and,
Is considered to have a disability as of December 31, 2020 under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and related Oregon laws.

What documentation must be submitted with the tax return to qualify for this exemption?

As the tax instruction booklet indicates, the child must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), as well as a current eligibility statement as a student with a disability. If you do not have these documents contact your District for a copy of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet, and eligibility statement. Copies of the IEP/IFSP cover sheet and eligibility statement are not required to be submitted with the tax return. However, parents are advised to retain a copy with their 2020 tax records as the Oregon Department of Revenue may ask the parents to provide such documentation. If you have any Special Education related questions, please contact your local education provider.

Oregon Department of Revenue Online Instructions and Forms

For further information and assistance in completing Oregon tax forms, consult a tax professional or contact the Oregon Department of Revenue at 1-800-356-4222. Oregon income tax forms/publications are available at the DOR website (www.oregon.gov/DOR). That process will allow you to claim the additional tax exemption for the 2020 year.

Early childhood CARES (EC Cares) can help your baby or preschooler with:
• Speech and language skills
• Behavior and social skills
• Moving and playing
• Learning and understanding

They offer free developmental screening and services for babies and preschoolers:
• No insurance required
• Lane County children from birth to kindergarten
• Anyone can make a referral

It’s free!

Contact them at:
Florence: 541-997-1513

Welcome to Early Childhood CARES

Hot meals are available in the Elmira High School cafeteria each weekday from 11:00-12:30.

The district has added four additional pick-up sites throughout the community for families to get sack lunches each weekday from 12:00-12:30.

The meals will be picked up and delivered by our bus/transportation staff to the following locations:

– Noti Market Parking Lot
– DS Mart/Farm Store Parking Lot
– Fern Ridge Child Development Center parking lot, located at 25391 Jeans Rd.
– 5th & Woodland Ave. in Veneta

All you need to do is show up at one of these locations between 12:00 and 12:30, give a last name, and you will receive both a breakfast and lunch sack lunch for any child 0-18. A REMINDER THAT ALL MEALS ARE FREE.

Announcement Regarding “2020-21” School Year

The first day of school for the Fern Ridge School District will be Tuesday, September 15th. A variety of learning formats will be in place as students begin the “2020-21” school year. Learning formats that are available are dependent on state and county COVID-19 metrics.

Grades K-3 will begin the “20-21” school year with in-person instruction. Students will be an A/B day schedule with students attending two days a week. Students will receive instruction in the building either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday.

Grades 4 – 12 will begin the school year in Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL). In this format Fern Ridge School District Students will be taught online. Instruction will be provided by FRSD teachers.

For families in all grades K – 12 the FRSD OPTIONS Program is available. This program will be fully online with some teacher support.

Some students will have the opportunity for limited in-person instruction based on educational, relational, curricular, instructional, and/or assessment need. FRSD special education teachers and case managers will be reviewing IEP’s and spring data to make this determination. Case managers will be contacting parents/guardians to discuss how your child’s IEP will be implemented. Limited in-person instruction will begin September 22 for those that qualify.

Other Special Education Information:
• The special education referral process will resume at the school building level.
• Last spring’s school closure impacted all students, several weeks of high quality instruction may be necessary before a team can assess a student with validity.
• Under limited in-person instruction we are now able to conduct on site assessments
• Students who have pending referrals will be reviewed to make sure the team has the appropriate data to move forward.
• All timelines are in effect, including initial assessment, annual review, and three-year eligibility assessment/review.
• Students who have difficulty wearing a mask will not be denied access to curriculum. For some an accommodation may be necessary, for others staff will work on skill acquisition.
• Students with special circumstances who cannot attend school in-person will have individual meetings with their IEP teams to determine the appropriate services and service delivery.

Fern Ridge School District
April 3, 2020
Special Education Services Guidance During COVID-19 Closure

Students with a Disability Receiving Individualized Education Program (IEP Services)
Districts will begin providing the provisions of FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education) on April 13. Case managers will be contacting families to discuss the districts extended School Closure Guidance Plan and what supports are needed for students eligible for special education services. Communication between case managers and parents/families/caregivers will be very important to the success a student experiences.

Providing SDI (Specially Designed Instruction)
Providing SDI means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of each student, the content, methodology or delivery of instruction. At this time of Extended School Closure the general curriculum becomes the district’s Extended school Closure Guidance Plan.

Must the District conduct an IEP for each student?
No, case managers will not need to hold an IEP team meeting for every student. For some students, school placement could be considered, but the general education move to Distance Learning Plans does not require a change in placement for a student with an IEP. If we are able to implement the IEP as written with minor changes (such as changes to the minutes and how services are being delivered), case managers will document with a Prior Written Notice (PWN)

The extended School Closure and Conducting IEP’s
IEP’s being held during the closure will be done so remotely. This could be via the phone or through video conferencing.

How will Case Managers Obtain Signatures?
In many cases case managers will email parents to obtain a signature. An email may look like the following:
Please let this email serve as my signature for attendance/participation/consent to initial provision of services. I verify that I _______ parent/guardian of _______ attended/participated by ___________ (phone or virtual meeting) in the IEP/Eligibility meeting for my student on _____ (date).

IEP’s and Dates of Services
At this point we do not know when a return to school will occur. IEP’s must include the projected date for the beginning of special education and related services. Projected means proposed so there is flexibility. A projected start date could be written, “This service is projected to start on the first day school resumes and children are in attendance at school for instructional purposes.”