Fern Ridge School District

openhs2Please come join us for our schools Open Houses that are scheduled during the month of September!
This will give you an opportunity to come see your children’s classroom(s) and meet their teacher(s).

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.

New for the 2016-2017 school year, the Fern Ridge School District has an easy-to-use, secure online registration system for KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION ONLY.  This allows you to complete many of the forms required for registering your child.  You will also need to bring certain documents to your local school to complete the registration process.  Please go to the specific school website, Elmira Elementary School or Veneta Elementary School, to register your child.  If you have any questions, please contact Becky Dube’ at 541-935-2253 ext. 1210 or e-mail at rdube@fernridge.k12.or.us.

A public meeting of the Budget Committee of the Fern Ridge School District 28J, Lane County, State of Oregon, to discuss the budget for fiscal year July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, will be held at the District Administration Office at 88834 Territorial Rd in Elmira, Oregon. The meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 18, 2016. The purpose of the meeting is to receive the budget message and to receive comments from the public on the budget. This is the public meeting where deliberation of the Budget Committee will take place. Any person may appear at the meeting and discuss the proposed programs with the Budget Committee. A copy of the budget document may be inspected or obtained on or after May 12, 2016 at the District Administration Office, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

May 2-6, 2016 is Teacher Appreciation Week!  Our teachers work endlessly and touch the lives of our students.  They are kind and loving as they work to help each special student learn.   We are fortunate to have such caring individuals working with our students.  Please thank a teacher for all they do! – Dr. Sally Storm, Superintendent

Fern Ridge Schools are closed by order of Governor Kate Brown for the remainder of this school year.


Please visit the COVID-19 tab for the most up to date information.



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