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Classified Benefits & Wellness Newsletter May 2017 Issue #6

OEBB Mandatory Open Enrollment

OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2017. Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018, plan year will be required to log into the MyOEBB system during open enrollment in order to register for that coverage. The mandatory OEBB open enrollment period will begin August 15, 2017, and will remain open through September 15, 2017.

May is Open Enrollment Month
for the Classified Sick Leave Bank

All Classified employees will receive enrollment information by 4J email account for bank membership effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.  Only benefits eligible employees (.50 FTE or greater) are able to participate.

Important:  All current 2016-17 bank membership expires June 30, 2017.  Everyone – new members, and anyone who wants to continue membership in the bank, must enroll and donate one day of sick leave.

Here are a few of the highlights:

  • The bank is intended to extend, to contributing members; additional paid sick leave days should a long-term illness or injury exhaust all the members’ available paid leave.
  • Benefits eligible employee participation in the sick leave bank is voluntary.
  • Sick leave bank days will begin after an employee has been on unpaid leave for five (5) consecutive days.

Completed forms may be put in District mail, attention Diana McElhinney /Ed Center, scanned and emailed to me (mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu), or hand delivered to Human Resources – Please keep a copy for your records – this is very important should the original get lost before reaching my office.

Enrollment deadline: By 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2017.

Classified Sick Leave Bank Questions & Answers:

Q:  Can I donate more than one day to the bank?  …and I only work four hours. Is that a “day?”

A:  You may donate up to two days at open enrollment.  However, it’s not required or recommended – it only takes one day for full bank membership.  The additional day provides no extra benefit to the donor.  …and yes, one “day” is considered one regular work day for you.

Q:  I’ve run out of all my sick leave – how can I join the bank?

A:  Your sick leave donation will take place when you receive your new allotment of sick leave for next school year.  This should allow almost anyone to join the bank – go ahead and send in the form.

Q:  I’m a new employee.  I didn’t receive an enrollment email.  When can I join?

A:  May open enrollment is the only time when classified employees may join the bank.  Any new employee hired after the May open enrollment, or who misses the enrollment deadline, will need to wait until the next enrollment period – May 2018.

Q:  I have very little sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  People in this situation are the most vulnerable to loss of income if there’s a long-term illness that prevents them from being able to do their job.  All 4 hour and above employees do have some income protection with our Long-Term Disability insurance.  However, there’s a 90-day wait for coverage to begin, and after that, income is replaced at 66%.

The Classified Sick Leave Bank can provide income replacement during that 90-day waiting period.

Q:  I have several months of personal sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  In some cases, you have rights to use your personal sick leave to care for an ill dependent.  If that occurs, your personal sick leave could become depleted.   You would then have the “insurance” of the bank to protect your income against personal serious illness or injury.  (Note: Sick Leave Bank time can only be used for the employee’s long-term incapacity)

Q:  I have over three months of personal sick leave.  Why would I want to join the bank?

A:  If you have many months’ worth of sick leave, you may not receive any benefit from the bank.  It’s important to remember that your situation could change, as noted above.  At the minimum, donating to the bank will help those who are in serious medical situations, and who need bank support.

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.                                     Vietnamese Proverb

PERS Presentation

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Ed Center Auditorium, 4J will be hosting a second PERS education presentation: Understanding Your PERS Pension. The presentation is a duplication of the information provided at the January session, and is suitable for PERS members just beginning their careers, for those within a few months of retirement, and for all members in between.

Topics will include:  Understanding the difference between Tier 1, Tier 2, and OPSRP, pension benefit calculation methods, understanding your IAP account, retirement option choices, coordinating PERS benefits with other income sources, and investment strategies and financial planning for retirement

At the conclusion of the presentation, there will be time for questions and answers.  To sign up to attend, please send an email to mcelhinney_d@4j.lane.edu.  In your email, please indicate whether you will attend alone or whether you will be bringing a guest.
PEP Fund Request Deadline

The following deadline is in place for reimbursements for the Classified Professional Education Program (PEP) fund:  Forms must be in Human Resources by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

Is It Safe To Use Raw Ground Beef That Is Red On The Outside But Gray Inside?

It should be fine.  Meat contains a pigment called myoglobin that turns bright red when exposed to oxygen.  Grocery stores typically cover ground beef with a plastic wrap that allows some oxygen to penetrate, so that the surface of the meat turns this appealing red color, which consumers have come to associate with freshness.  When ground beef is not exposed to oxygen, the myoglobin turns grayish-brown after a few days.  It may look less appetizing but is safe.

If the ground meat is gray or brown through-out, however, that usually indicates that it has been in the package for a while and may be spoiling. If you just bought it, you may want to return it.  “Spoilage bacteria,” though generally harmless, can make meat smell bad and cause other signs of deterioration.  If you still want to eat it, it’s essential to cook it thoroughly (160 degree F.).  Meat can also turn gray in the freezer.  It’s perfectly fine and safe to eat.

Focus on Mucus

Many people find the thought of mucus unpleasant.  And yet we couldn’t live without it.

What is mucus?  It is 95 percent water.  The key components are mucins, special carbohydrate-coated proteins.  Depending on where in the body it is, mucus may also contain certain white blood cells and other immune system components, proteins, fats, microbes, cell debris, and salts.  Mucus is a lubricant as well as tissue-protector, secreted by special cells in membranes throughout our bodies.  Abundant in saliva, it helps food pass through the digestive system and helps protect the stomach lining from acids.  In the respiratory tract, mucus traps foreign particles (such as pollen and dust) so they can be coughed up or blown from the nose, and it also prevents surfaces from drying out.  In the nose, mucus allows odor molecules to dissolve so that we can smell them.  Mucous membranes are essential parts of the genital tract.

Is it bad to have too much mucus?  It depends on where it is, why it occurs, and how thick it is.  Normally, cells in the sinuses and airways produce one to seven tablespoons of mucus a day.  A cold, flu, or allergy increases mucus and blocks its drainage, resulting in congestion and postnasal drip.  If you have chronic sinusitis, mucus trapped in the sinuses can become a breeding ground for bacteria.  In people with asthma or chronic bronchitis, thick and excessive mucus can make breathing difficult.  Excess mucus in the stool may be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or infection.

If you cough up green or yellow mucus, is that a sign of a serious infection requiring antibiotics?  Not usually.  The color doesn’t mean you have a bacterial infection (the kind that responds to antibiotics).  Often, with a cold or flu (both viral) mucus will thicken and turns greenish or yellow, probably because of the enzymes used by white blood cells to attack microbes.  If, however, after 7 to 10 days you continue to have yellow-greenish nasal discharge, facial or upper-jaw or tooth pain (especially on one side), or worsening of symptoms after an initial improvement, you may have a bacterial infection that would be helped by antibiotics.

If you have lots of mucus because of a cold or allergy, is it better to cough it up than swallow it?  It’s okay to swallow it – it will simply be digested.  You needn’t force yourself to cough it up.  Decongestant drugs can thicken mucus and make it harder to drain or cough up.
This newsletter is reviewed and edited each month by the District 4J and OSEA representatives of the Classified Joint Benefits Committee (JBC).The information in this newsletter is summarized, and is not intended as advice or counsel.

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Notice of Budget Committee Meeting: 2017–18 Proposed Budget Presentation & Public Comment


Eugene School District 4J
School District No. 4J, Lane County, Oregon
Notice of Budget Committee Meeting

A public meeting of the Budget Committee of Lane County School District 4J (Eugene Public Schools), Lane County, State of Oregon, to discuss the budget for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, will be held at the Education Center Auditorium located at 200 N. Monroe Street, Eugene, Oregon.

The meeting will take place on May 8, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to receive the budget message and to receive comment from the public on the budget.

This is a public meeting where deliberation of the Budget Committee will take place. Any person may appear at the meeting to ask questions about and comment on the budget document.

An additional meeting will be held on May 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Education Center Auditorium.

A copy of the budget document may be inspected or obtained on or after April 24, 2017 at the Financial Services office in the Education Center at 200 N. Monroe Street between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Monica Brown
Deputy Clerk

Meeting information and materials will be posted on BoardBook.

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Nominees Named in 2017 ACE Awards

89 staff and volunteers honored in business-supported educator awards program

Public school staff and volunteers make a difference for kids and deserve appreciation every day. In a show of that appreciation, parents, colleagues and community members have honored nearly 90 outstanding 4J employees and volunteers with a nomination for the 2017 ACE (A Champion in Education) Awards.

ACE Award “Champions” are nominated and selected each year from the Eugene, Bethel and Springfield schools in each of the four categories: Licensed, Classified, Administrators and Volunteers. Each champion’s school receives a $1,000 award for a project or program at the school.

All nominees will be honored and the champions will be announced on the evening of Tuesday, April 25, at an elegant awards ceremony at the Hult Center. To reserve a seat, please register online. Admission is $10 per person and seating is limited so early registration is advised. Register online 

The ACE Awards are a collaborative effort of the Eugene 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts and the Eugene and Springfield chambers of commerce. The program is made possible by the generous support of the local business community, notably title sponsor Oregon Community Credit Union and supporting sponsors Hershner Hunter Attorneys and Eugene–Springfield McDonalds.

Congratulations to all of the nominees from Eugene School District 4J:

Teachers & Other Licensed Staff

Lisa Albrich, Spanish Teacher, Sheldon High School
Lee Baker, Counselor, Arts & Technology Academy
Salvador Barajas, Spanish Teacher, North Eugene High School
Tyler Boorman, Music Teacher, Kennedy Middle School
Becky Casado, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School
Jim Conaghan, School Psychologist, Student Services Department
Lindsey Daggett, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School
Kenneth Davis, Spanish Teacher, South Eugene High School
Tom di Liberto, Social Studies Teacher, Monroe Middle School
Gregory Dunkin, Home Economics Teacher, South Eugene High School
Dene Eller, District Elementary Physical Education Specialist, Instruction Department
Sara Farmer, Physical Education Teacher, Kennedy Middle School
Carmella Fleming, Counselor, Bertha Holt Elementary School
Susanna Goodwin, Spanish Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School
Steve Grossberg, Essential Skills Coordinator, Churchill High School
Nora Hagerty, Teacher, Adams Elementary School
Eric Johannsen, Health Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School
Kristi Johnson, Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School
Ariel King, Teacher, Charlemagne French Immersion Elementary School
Karen Lacey, Speech Specialist, Student Services Department
Yvette Landrum, Special Education Teacher, Gilham Elementary School
Shirley Madathil, Counselor, Monroe Middle School
Dana Marks, Teacher, McCornack Elementary School
Tyler Martell, Advanced Math Teacher, Sheldon High School
Jaimee Massie, Essential Skills Coordinator/Teacher on Special Assignment, Bertha Holt Elementary School
Bethani Mayberry, English Language Learners Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School
Laura McCaskill, eacher, Gilham Elementary School
Nanci McChesney-Henry, Physical Education Teacher, Sheldon High School
Talon Nansel, Music Teacher, Monroe Middle School
Polly Nelson, Special Education Teacher, South Eugene High School
Jamie Nicholsen-Tait, Teacher, Awbrey Park Elementary School
Laura Queirolo, AVID Teacher, Spencer Butte Middle School/South Eugene High School
Tracy Reed, Teacher, César Chávez Elementary School
Ashley Reich, Teacher, Bertha Holt Elementary School
Jed Shafer, GED Program Coordinator, Eugene Education Options/Early College & Career Options (ECCO)
David Sheehan, Alternative Programs Teacher, Eugene Education Options
Marty Smith, Social Studies Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School
Chris Stober, Special Education Teacher, Roosevelt Middle School
Darcy Strange, Math Teacher, Arts & Technology Academy
Kim Sullivan, Special Education Teacher, Camas Ridge Community School
Jill Torres, Teacher, Howard Elementary School

Classified Staff

Julio Aguirre, Bus Driver, Transportation
Janell Baker, Educational Assistant, Gilham Elementary School
Joe Brainard, Student and School Coordinator, Instruction Department
Ann Christianson, Volunteer Program Coordinator, North Eugene High School
Peggy Farris, Department Secretary, Eugene International High School
Chanel Green, Middle School Secretary, Monroe Middle School
Stu Grenfell, Program Coordinator, KRVM Radio
Jason Lewis Harter, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Sheldon High School
Gary Henager, Bus Driver, Transportation
Sheree Houck, Career Center Assistant, Churchill High School
Debora Kovensky, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Roosevelt Middle School
Maria Lee, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School
Anne Lettkeman, Food Service Coordinator, South Eugene High School
Fernell Lopez, Bilingual Educational Assistant, Kelly Middle School
Kaylee Luna, Program Coordinator Assistant, Eugene Education Options (EEO)/Early College & Career Options (ECCO)
Larry Meyers, Custodial Maintenance Coordinator, Awbrey Park Elementary School
Marguerite Moore, Educational Assistant, Howard Elementary School
Blake Ridgway, Behavioral Educational Assistant, Camas Ridge Community School
Judy Smith, Records and Scheduling Assistant, Arts & Technology Academy
Kevin Summerfield, Educational Assistant, Churchill High School
Christopher Turner, Educational Assistant, McCornack Elementary School
Misty Watson, Food Service Coordinator, Early College & Career Options (ECCO)

Administrators, Professionals & Supervisors

George Gillett, Assistant Principal, Spencer Butte Middle School
AJ Hruby, Assistant Principal, Arts & Technology Academy
Michael Johnson, Principal, Monroe Middle School
Londa Rochholz, Principal, McCornack Elementary School
Leila Schuck, Education Administrator, Student Services Department
Charlie Smith, Principal, Kennedy Middle School
Brian Watson, Assistant Principal, Monroe Middle School


Ed Chastain, Gilham Elementary School
April Colgrove, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School
Mark Harden, Awbrey Park Elementary School
Sue Harnly, South Eugene High School
Julie Henning, Arts & Technology Academy
Beth Hopkins, Gilham Elementary School
Sydney Koh, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion School
Lindsey Poulsen, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School
Moira Querns, Bertha Holt Elementary School
Maya Rabasa, Camas Ridge Elementary School
Brandyn Rice, Gilham Elementary School
Judy Salisbury, Willagillespie Elementary School
Jenn Sheffler, Arts & Technology Academy
Sue Thompson, Awbrey Park Elementary School
Mike Truitt, Kelly Middle School
Barbie Walker, Early College & Career Options (ECCO)
Lisa Walker, Yujin Gakuen Japanese Immersion Elementary School
Julie Ward, Monroe Middle School
Tiffany Wright, Buena Vista Spanish Immersion Elementary School

Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to the 89 employees and volunteers named above. And thanks to all of our Team Eugene staff, nominated or not, who give their all for 4J students every day.
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NS Planned Maintenance: 04/14/2017 @ 5:30pm


  1. Wireless Controllers/Network Changes
  2. Add Network Redundancy at Adams, Chavez, and Churchill
  3. DNS changes for Active Directory


  • Brief service interruption for wireless, DNS, and Active Directory

Rollback window:

  • None required
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Network Services Unplanned Maintenance: April 12, 2017

4J Network Services is scheduling work on our mail archive systems Wednesday April 12th, 2017 at 7:00am.    The work will involve a short interruption in the sending of email.   There is always the risk of extended outages during this time if things don’t go as planned.  We will be working on the following:
  • Mail Archive code update.
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School Safety Training for Students

Parent info nights April 17 and 26

The safety of our students is of the utmost importance. The district has updated protocols for improving school safety, and students will learn about updated safety concepts and strategies this spring. Parents are invited to two information nights in April to learn more.

Parent Information Nights: Student Safety Training
• Monday, April 17, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 26, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
Spanish interpretation will be provided. Childcare is not available.

Best Practices for Safety

In Eugene School District 4J we are committed to giving our students, staff and schools the best practices to keep everyone as safe as possible in an emergency. Although school fires are very rare, schools practice with students how to evacuate safely in case of a fire. Similarly, although school violence is also quite rare, schools practice emergency safety procedures such as lockout and lockdown drills.

The district has updated protocols for improving school safety, as recommended by our local law enforcement, the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Homeland Security, and more. The district’s updated safety protocols, known as ALiCE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate), expand on our traditional safety practices and empower staff and students with more options to use during a life-threatening emergency, the kind we all hope never happens. That could include helping to barricade a door, evacuating the building on a moment’s notice, or even making loud noises, throwing objects, and interfering with an intruder if a threat is in the room and there is absolutely no other option. ALiCE empowers everyone to use their best judgment on each unique situation.

Sharing with Students

The district began implementing ALiCE protocols and training for all staff two years ago. Now, after thoughtful preparation, 4J schools will be introducing the updated protocols to students this spring. Teachers will begin to share these strategies with students during the months of May and June.

The student safety training will be age-appropriate, different at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and sensitive to students’ special needs. At elementary schools, students will have age-appropriate class discussions, practice evacuating, and talk about barricading. At middle and high schools, class discussions will include more specifics about potential dangers and options, and students will practice evacuating, sheltering or barricading in response to a threat. Although staff have trained with active-shooter drills, students will not participate in such simulations.

Preview for Parents

The district is offering two information nights in April for parents to learn more before these safety concepts and strategies are shared with student in class. At the information nights, parents will have an opportunity to review ALiCE materials and ask questions of district staff and local law enforcement. The learning materials also are available for review at schools.

Parent Information Nights: Student Safety Training
• Monday, April 17, 7:00–8:00 p.m.
• Wednesday, April 26, 5:30–6:30 p.m.
4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene
Spanish interpretation will be provided. Childcare is not available.

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4J Benefits and Wellness Newsletter – April 2017 – Issue 295

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Prepared by Julie Wenzl • 541-790-7682 • wenzl@4j.lane.edu • April 6, 2017 • Issue Number 295


OEBB will end all current medical, vision, and dental plans effective September 30, 2017. Therefore, members who wish to have medical, vision, and dental coverage for the October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018, plan year will be required to log into the MyOEBB system during open enrollment in order to register for that coverage. The mandatory OEBB open enrollment period will begin August 15, 2017, and will remain open through September 15, 2017.

You will receive updated and detailed information as it is available – watch for updates in this newsletter, on the 4J website, in your e-mail inbox, and via US Mail over the summer. As always, OEBB will send information about plan designs and offerings, but rate information and other details specific to 4J employees will come from 4J.


If you are a licensed employee hired for this school year only and your hire date was before November 1, 2016, your insurance benefits will run through August. Benefits also run through August for employees planning to take an unpaid leave from 4J or who will not be returning next school year (for reasons other than retirement). The final 2016-17 paycheck will be at the end of July. If you currently have a monthly insurance premium withheld from your paycheck, please remember that you can make arrangements to have your August premium spread out over your June and July paychecks or to have it withheld from your July paycheck (in addition to your regular July premium deduction). This allows you to pay for your benefits with pre-tax dollars.

To make this arrangement, send an e-mail to the Employee Benefits Office (4j_benefits@ 4j.lane.edu). This e-mail must be sent by May 26, 2017 in order to meet the payroll deadline. There is not a form to fill out, but you must express your wishes in writing to get this set up. Please indicate whether you wish to have your August premium spread over your June and July paychecks or withheld from just the July paycheck.

If you are retiring at the end of this school year, please refer to your copy of your Licensed Retirement Agreement, which has details about your retiree insurance elections and rates.

If you have any questions, please let me know. You can reach me by phone (541-790-7682) or e-mail (wenzl@4j.lane.edu).


We all sneeze, especially when we have allergies or a cold. And though some sneezes are brief and barely perceptible, others are distinct enough to leave a lasting impression. We’ve all heard an ear-piercing sneeze, the sneeze that sounds like a loud bark, or someone who never sneezes just once, but in a cluster of 5, 10, or more. The Editors from the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter and the School of Public Health have some facts about why we sneeze, what happens when we do, and whether a big enough sneeze can be dangerous.

What does sneezing do for us?  Sneezing is a reflex that protects us from irritants or foreign particles that might otherwise get into our lungs. When you sneeze, it’s because sensory receptors in the nose are activated by a pollutant. This could be an allergen such as pollen or dust, or other particles. The activated receptors then send signals to the brain, specifically the brain stem. The sneeze expels mucus along with the irritants.

Can you get injured by a forceful sneeze?  There have been reports of sneezing causing physical problems. For example, Major League baseball player Sammy Sosa sprained his back after sneezing violently, and, as a result, missed a month of games. Other injuries that have reportedly resulted from sneezing especially forcefully, or from holding back a sneeze, include stroke, miscarriage, car accidents, broken blood vessels in the white of the eye, retinal detachment, and fainting—but most of these are quite rare.

Can sneezing rupture an eardrum?  By keeping your mouth shut and pinching your nose to stifle a sneeze, you increase the risk that you could cause damage because of the buildup of pressure against the eardrum. There have also been rare reports of hearing loss and vertigo from suppressing a sneeze.

Why do some people sneeze much louder than others?  The strength, sound, and volume of a sneeze have to do with many factors, including anatomical and physiological differences among people, such as the strength of abdominal muscles, lung volume, and size of the windpipe or trachea, as well as the amount of air inhaled and whether most of the sneeze is expelled through the mouth or the nose (the mouth is louder). Interestingly, one survey found that many people report they sneeze differently in private vs. in public.

Why do we close our eyes when we sneeze?  It’s really a blink and it’s part of the many coordinated movements that are part of the involuntary reflex of sneezing. It’s also theorized that the eyes blinking or briefly closing is a biological adaptation—a way to shield them from whatever irritants are being expelled during the sneeze.

Why do some people sneeze two or three times in a row?  It may depend on what it takes to clear the nose of contaminants as well as individual variations in the sneeze reflex. In one lab study, researchers found that nasal cells from people with sinusitis didn’t respond to a sneeze in the same way as those of healthy people. It’s possible that sneezing doesn’t completely clear the nasal passage in people with sinusitis, which in theory might lead them to sneeze multiple times.

Is it true that some people can’t stop sneezing?  Yes, there have been reports of extended bouts of sneezing. There was a case of a young girl who sneezed more than 200 times in 20 minutes, and a teen boy who sneezed three to six times a minute for more than a month. According to Guinness World Records, the longest sneezing fit ever recorded was a 12-year-old girl who sneezed about a million times over a year and only stopped sneezing after more than 2.5 years.

When you sneeze, how fast and how far are the particles propelled?  The velocity can vary based on the size of the body frame of the person sneezing. Some reports clock a sneeze as hurling particles at up to 100 mph. Others, however, suggest it’s considerably less. A small study in PLOS ONE (a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal) showed the maximal velocity may be 10 mph. The distance particles can be propelled could be as far as 20 or so feet, depending on factors that include the weight and size of the expelled particles.

Can we control whether we sneeze?  Yes. Sneezing is a respiratory reflex that consists of two parts: the first involves something irritating sensory receptors in the nose. The second involves inhaling deeply, closing or blinking your eyes, then exhaling explosively. You may be able to stop the reflex during the first part by, for example, putting a finger under your nose, but once you inhale, there’s no turning back.

Why do some people sneeze when they look at a bright light?  Genetics determines the “photic sneeze reflex,” also known as sun sneezing or the “ACHOO syndrome” (autosomal-dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst). The tendency runs in families and may affect up to 35 percent of people. Scientists attribute it to a crossover of nerve signals such that when bright light stimulates the eye’s optic nerve, it also stimulates the nerve responsible for the sneeze reflex.

Is it true your heart stops when you sneeze?  Despite popular belief, your heart does not stop when you sneeze. This myth may have its origins with people feeling that their heart “skipped a beat” when they sneezed. That occurs because of changes in the internal pressure in the chest cavity, which can, in turn, alter heart rhythm.


OEBB offers a number of scientifically proven health-promoting activities at no cost to qualifying members. These programs offer a range of options, including depression management, tobacco cessation, diabetes prevention, and team-based wellness. To find the full list of programs and see if there is a program that aligns with your personal wellness goal, please visit: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/OEBB/Pages/Wellness-Resources.aspx


The information in this newsletter has been summarized. It is presented as information – not advice or counsel. In all instances, the benefits, conditions, and limitations as outlined in the 4J Master Contracts prevail over this representation. Please refer to your Benefits booklet or master contracts available at the District offices for additional information regarding your benefits plans.

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Three School Board Positions on May Ballot

Voter registration deadline is April 25

Voters will decide on May 16 who will fill three of the seven positions on the Eugene School Board. The other four positions will be on the ballot in 2019.

Position 2: Anne Marie Levis, Maya Rabasa
Position 3: Mary Leighton, Judy Newman, Jerry Rosiek
Position 6: Evangelina Sundgrenz

Board members are elected from the district at large, not from geographic regions. Registered voters who live within the Eugene School District may vote on all positions on the ballot. To be eligible to vote in the May 16 election, you must be registered to vote by April 25.

Voter registration deadline: April 25
Ballots mailed: April 27
Election day/ballots due: May 16 

Additional election information
About the Eugene School Board

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High School Science Curriculum Open House

April 4: Drop in to review and provide input on curriculum under consideration 

WHAT:    Open house: Review high school science curricula
WHEN:    Tuesday, April 4, 5–6 p.m.
WHERE:  4J Education Center, 200 N. Monroe St., Eugene

Eugene School District 4J will soon adopt new high school science curriculum, using bond funds approved by voters in 2013. New curricula are being considered for five high school science courses: physical science, biology, earth science, chemistry and physics.

Parents, students, educators and community members are invited to learn about and give feedback on new science curriculum being considered for 4J high schools at a science adoption open house on Tuesday, April 4, 5–6 p.m. Spanish interpretation will be provided.

Sample textbooks, materials, and literature about the recommended programs will be available for visitors to review. Teachers and other members of the district adoption team will be at the open house to talk about Oregon’s adopted academic standards for science (Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS), the adoption process, the curriculum piloted by 4J teachers, and the resulting top curriculum choices under consideration.

The process to select new high school science materials has been underway for the past year. Teachers across the district have participated in piloting materials aligned to Oregon’s updated science standards and have provided feedback to help select the potential curricula to recommend.

The high school science adoption process follows the adoption of new science curriculum for elementary and middle schools, completed last year in the first new science curriculum adoption in the district since 1997.

Feedback gathered at the open house will be considered in the next steps of the adoption process. Curriculum recommendations will be considered by the school board for adoption this spring. New materials could be in use as soon as next fall.


4J School Bond Measure: In May 2013, voters in Eugene School District 4J resoundingly passed a $170 million school bond measure to provide funding for 4J school improvements. The bond measure is paying for improvements at every 4J school, including updated science curricula and other instructional materials, new student technology, security upgrades, and building repairs, as well as replacing four of the district’s oldest, most inefficient school buildings. (Learn more)

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Parent Info Night: Tweens, Teens & Tech

Free workshop about social media and internet safety

WHEN: Tuesday, April 18, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley, 1545 W. 22nd Ave., Eugene
FOR: All intere­sted parents and community members

Parents and community members are invited to an information night about social media, the internet, and youth safety.

Come for the inside scoop on how to protect your child, tween, or teen. Learn about the dangers of social media, as well as the reality of its uses in today’s world. Bring your smart phone, tablet or laptop!

This is a free event with presenters including a human trafficking expert from Looking Glass, technology team members from Eugene School District 4J, representatives from the District Attorney’s Office and Springfield Police Department, and REV youth-led leadership program.

The event is organized by the Eugene Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (ECASEY) which includes Eugene School District 4J, Springfield Public Schools, Bethel School District, City of Eugene, Lane County District Attorney’s Office, Kids First Center, Junior League of Eugene, Looking Glass and other local agency partners.


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