Veneta Elementary will be holding a Family Reading Night next Tuesday, March 16th, from 5:30pm-6:45pm to celebrate National Reading Month.
The night will start with a parent session (kids are welcome, too!) hosted by our own first grade teacher, Angie Pebworth. Angie will be presenting on how children learn to read, from emerging kindergarten readers to our older grade level readers. Following Angie’s presentation, Caitlin McMahan, the Youth Services Coordinator at the Fern Ridge Public Library, will share a short presentation for parents and students about all the great things happening at the library. Following Caitlin, staff members will be reading their favorite books. A book giveaway will end the night. Come join us for the whole evening, or just the session you’re interested in. The times will be as follows:
5:30-6:00pm: Parent Session (kids are welcome to listen also!) with Angie Pebworth
6:00-6:15pm: Student and Parent Session with Caitlin McMahan, Youth Services Coordinator at the Fern Ridge Library
6:15-6:45pm: Student Session (parents are welcome to listen also!) with staff members reading their favorite books
6:45pm: Book Giveaway!
Family Reading Night Zoom
Time: Mar 16, 2021 05:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 830 1458 2729
Starting Monday, March 8th, FRSD’s food service will begin offering an additional weekly meal pick-up option.
Families with students who have returned to in-person learning are able to order an Add-On Meal Kit which will supplement the hot lunches our students are able to receive during their in-school days.
Each meal kits include 5 breakfasts & 3 cold lunches. We hope this will help to alleviate some of the logistical concerns for families’ meal options on their student’s non-school days.
If you’re interested in an Add-On Meal Kit for your family, please email Food Service Director, Alan Fullerton at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your last name, how many kits you would like to order and if your student(s) are on an A or B day schedule.
These Add-On Meal Kits will be available for pick up during our normal weekly pick-up time in the back EHS parking lot on Monday evenings from 5-6pm.
To minimize waste, we will only be producing as many of these kits as are pre-ordered so please be sure to reach out if you would like to participate!
We have two special days this week!
CATCH Day is Wednesday, March 3rd, for B day and Thursday, March 4th for A day. Wear athletic gear because Mr Greene is taking everyone out to the track to run!
In addition, our Cougar Spirit Day is scheduled for Thursday, March 4th, for A day and Friday, March 5th, for B day. Wear purple OR your VES gear!
Apologies to A day students who have both special days on Thursday! Feel free to wear your CATCH gear OR your purple VES gear! I promise we’ll think that out better next time. 🙂
We are SO EXCITED to see everyone again!
In anticipation of students returning to in-person instruction, we have a few reminders for families regarding COVID related changes to the normal routine at Veneta Elementary. For some of you it’s been a VERY LONG time since you’ve been to VES, so some basics are included also. Sorry ahead of time for such a long post! At the bottom of the post you’ll find links to the Feb lunch menu and the VES bus routes.
- Doors open at 7:30am. School starts at 7:55am and ends at 2:25pm.
- Students will enter through grade level entry doors. Grade level doors are as follows: Kinder comes through the front north entrance (the staff entrance); 1st grade comes through the main entry doors; 2nd through the cafeteria door; 3rd through the north doors by the bus loop/outside stage; 4th through the front staff entrance (same as kinder); and 5th will walk to the north 3rd grade entrance then be directed around the building to the east 5th grade doors. No worries if you’re directionally challenged- staff members will be outside letting your child know which direction to head.
- Due to health precautions, we are not able to invite any family members or volunteers inside the building this year. So sorry!! Our sweet VES staff will be outside to greet your child and help him or her to the correct classroom.
- All students will be screened before entering the building. Basic questions such as “How are you feeling today?”, “Have you had a cough?”, etc. will be asked.
- Grade level entry doors will close at 7:55am to allow our instructional aides who are doing entry screening to get to their other duties. After that time, students should enter through the main office doors.
- Breakfast will not be served (except for the first day back). Instead, a sack with two breakfasts and a lunch will be sent home with your child for the following day(s) breakfasts (and lunch). If you don’t want to receive the to-go sacks, let your classroom teacher know. They will adjust their to-go list and discontinue giving them to your child.
- Hot lunch will be served in the cafeteria every day. There will be only one entrée served. Please see menu below.
- Sending a cold lunch from home is always an option. If sending lunch for your child, please send items that do not need help to get open. We’re trying to keep everyone safe and don’t want students asking other students (or staff) to help open an item after they’ve already tried with their own hands, teeth, etc.
- Individual milks will not be for sale to students bringing cold lunch. Please plan accordingly. Thank you!
- All meals are free through the end of the year, regardless of need.
- Students are split into A Day and B Day cohorts. A Day cohorts attend T/Th, B Day cohorts attend W/Fri. Your child’s teacher has assigned your child to a cohort and should have notified you. If you haven’t heard yet, please call the school (541-935-8225).
- Students will have work assigned by their teacher that is to be completed on off days.
- Masks are required while at school, per State of Oregon requirement. This includes PE and recess. However, there will be timed “mask free zones” that students will be able to utilize during the day when needed. We understand that masks can be a pain-they aren’t our favorite thing either-but we all have to follow the guidelines.
- Daily bus changes (riding a bus to a friend’s house, etc.) cannot be accommodated due to cohorting issues. Parent pick up and drop off is always ok.
- Please, please, please do not send your child to school when he or she is not feeling well. Err on the side of caution this year and keep your child home if he or she complains of possible illness before school. It keeps others in the classroom (students and staff) safe. Just call and let us know- we’re very appreciative of the consideration!
- If your child has one of these three symptoms we will call home right away and ask that you pick up your student: Fever (100.4 or higher), Shortness of breath/trouble breathing, or a Cough. Please do not send your child to school with any of these symptoms. If your child has other symptoms at school (runny nose, sore throat, tummy ache, etc.) we will contact the school nurse, Teresa Parsons, about next steps.
Please give us a call if you have a question that hasn’t been answered.
We can be reached at 541-935-8225. We’ll help you out!
We can’t wait to see you!!
Meet Wes Walton, Veneta Elementary’s newest little addition.
His mom, Ms.Becky, is our VES secretary. She’ll be taking a few months off to snuggle this sweet little guy. In her place we’re fortunate enough to have Shelby Humphrey working in the VES office. She’s a parent of two FRSD students and was a FRSD student herself growing up! She’ll be here through the end of April. We’re glad she’s with us!
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
Veneta Elementary- let’s have fun on our Zoom sessions this Friday!
Show us your craziest hair or your craziest hat on Friday the 29th.
Can’t wait to see how crazy you can get!
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.